LISTENER

Holly Mo

  • 33
  • reviews
  • 96
  • helpful votes
  • 254
  • ratings
  • Night and Silence

  • October Daye, Book 12
  • By: Seanan McGuire
  • Narrated by: Mary Robinette Kowal
  • Length: 11 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 229
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 213
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 213

In the aftermath of Amandine's latest betrayal, October "Toby" Daye's fragile self-made family is on the verge of coming apart at the seams. Jazz can't sleep, Sylvester doesn't want to see her, and worst of all, Tybalt has withdrawn from her entirely, retreating into the Court of Cats as he tries to recover from his abduction. Toby is floundering, unable to help the people she loves most heal. She needs a distraction. She needs a quest. What she doesn't need is the abduction of her estranged human daughter, Gillian. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Powerful Story, Powerful Performance

  • By Michael Charboneau on 10-01-18

Still a Great Series!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-30-18

After reading a lukewarm review, I was worried that the series was going to go the way of others, and fizzle out, but my opinion contradicts that of the lukewarm reviewer.

I'll admit, it wasn't my favorite of the series, but it certainly wasn't bad. I think my only complaint would be my desire for more of that humorous sparring between Toby and Tybalt. Once you know the plot, it's obvious why it was missing... but I look forward to its return!

  • Dark Queen

  • Jane Yellowrock, Book 12
  • By: Faith Hunter
  • Narrated by: Khristine Hvam
  • Length: 16 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 1,749
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,642
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 1,634

As Enforcer to the vampire Master of the City of New Orleans, Jane Yellowrock stakes her reputation and her life on keeping her territory safe. But Leo has been issued a blood challenge by the emperor of the European vampires, who seeks to usurp all of his power and possessions. If Leo loses the match to the death, the city will be forfeit, and the people of New Orleans will suffer the consequences. Jane can't let that happen.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Another great adventure from Faith Hunter!

  • By Teri on 05-02-18

My Favorite of This Series!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-08-18

If you are reading reviews of this book, it is probably safe to assume that you are already a fan of the series. I would assume that a series as long as this one is in danger of becoming repetitive or stale, but Faith Hunter has proven my theory wrong.Not only is the storyline still strong and interesting, but it's getting better! Beast's personality is developing, and she has a sense of humor!

As always, Khristine Hvam provides the perfect narration to this story. I hope that never changes!

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Book of the Unnamed Midwife

  • The Road to Nowhere, Book 1
  • By: Meg Elison
  • Narrated by: Angela Dawe
  • Length: 9 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,862
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,726
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,732

When she fell asleep, the world was doomed. When she awoke, it was dead. In the wake of a fever that decimated the earth's population - killing women and children and making childbirth deadly for the mother and infant - the midwife must pick her way through the bones of the world she once knew to find her place in this dangerous new one. Gone are the pillars of civilization. All that remains is power - and the strong who possess it.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • "Equals" = "Annoying"

  • By Lulu on 12-26-16

What If Your Diary Became Humanity's Textbook?

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-08-17

This is a story about our world, post-disease (a disease that wiped out nearly all women and babies).

Our protagonist is an anonymous journal author. She was welcome in most communities because she was medically trained and she was a female who survived the disease. Generations have passed since her life and death, and now her journal is one of the few things available to explain the days after the disease that ripped through the entire world without warning.

I envision myself in this situation, and I know my ideas and portrayals would be extremely subjective. If a new generation was relying on my words alone to explain what happened, they'd find my perspective lacking in some ways, because I would be writing to maintain sanity, not to communicate with future generations.

Nonetheless, her words become revered text that contains valuable knowledge that must be passed on to future generations.

This may be an unfair assessment, but in a small way, the story reminds me of The Walking Dead series, sans zombies. Both stories exist in a world where most of the population was wiped out by disease. Both follow people as they adapt to this new world. The people become hardened by their situations, learning the balance between trusting no one, yet finding safety in numbers. The stories are vastly different from each other, too, but that thought kept popping into my head.

I look at the men in my life, and I'd like to think that they'd retain their sanity and morals, even if they lost more than half of their friends and family, but I am lucky enough to not have personal knowledge on this topic, so perhaps I am wrong. Perhaps losing almost everyone is enough to drive most people to insanity. And I suppose, even if that didn't push you over the edge, maybe being surrounded by people who have lost their minds would be enough to make you feral.

Realistic or not, most of the survivors in this story become ruthless, and many of the men devolve into uncivilized, immoral predators. If you like post-apocalyptic stories, this one was will written and interesting.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Stillhouse Lake

  • By: Rachel Caine
  • Narrated by: Emily Sutton-Smith
  • Length: 10 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,852
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,731
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,703

With her ex now in prison, Gwen has finally found refuge in a new home on remote Stillhouse Lake. Though still the target of stalkers and Internet trolls who think she had something to do with her husband's crimes, Gwen dares to think her kids can finally grow up in peace. But just when she's starting to feel at ease in her new identity, a body turns up in the lake - and threatening letters start arriving from an all-too-familiar address.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • imagine Capt. Kirk as a cheerleader

  • By friendlykitty on 09-20-17

A Skilled Murderer Fools Everyone, and His Wife

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-09-17

Just another typical day in suburbia, driving home with her kids in the backseat...

That's what Gina Royal was doing when she realized that she wasn't going to have a typical evening. A drunk driver ran his car into her house! Luckily, there were lots of police officers on the scene, already processing the paperwork that would need to be presented to the insurance company.

Little did Gina know; the drunk's collision with her garage was a mere annoyance compared to what awaited her, inside the garage.

In retrospect, she felt so stupid. How could someone not know they were married to a serial killer? How could she blindly accept his reasoning for keeping his workshop locked up tight (he said he had expensive tools in there, and didn't want them stolen or broken). She's not surprised when the public suspects that she was an accessory to his crimes; she wouldn't be able to believe herself innocent, had she been an outsider, looking on from the comfort of a living room sofa.

She was eventually acquitted of the crime, but it cost her a year without her children. Furthermore, that acquittal kept her out of prison, but the public had already judged her to be guilty, sentencing Gina and her children to a lifetime of being the targets of cyberbullies. Trolls hiding behind the internet's anonymity harass her family, relentlessly. Unspeakable pictures are posted with her children's faces edited atop pornography and murder victims.

There is a witness protection program, but there's nothing in place for the family of a murderer. Desperate to shelter her children from the public's hateful attacks, Gina takes on new identities and develops a new way to survive. She learns self defense. She becomes proficient with firearms. She has an escape plan that she practices with her children, religiously.

Just when she finally finds a bit of peace, she learns another tough lesson. Random internet trolls were horrifying, but in truth, they weren't ambitious enough to do anything requiring them to walk away from their computers. On the other hand, some people looking to avenge the murder of their loved-ones will let nothing get in their way. When you're hurting, it doesn't matter that the man who murdered your sister or your daughter is a sociopath. If you are not a sociopath, you assume that the worst pain a person could experience is losing a loved one to a murderer, and therefore, the way to hurt a murderer is to hurt his family.

This was a great story, and well narrated. I know some people get frustrated with cliff hangers, so I'll warn that group: there is at least one sequel coming out; if you can't stand a cliff hanger, you may want to hold off on this one until December, when the second book is released.

I recommend this book!

  • Beartown

  • By: Fredrik Backman
  • Narrated by: Marin Ireland
  • Length: 13 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,568
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,014
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,990

People say Beartown is finished. A tiny community nestled deep in the forest, it is slowly losing ground to the ever encroaching trees. But down by the lake stands an old ice rink, built generations ago by the working men who founded this town. And in that ice rink is the reason people in Beartown believe tomorrow will be better than today. Their junior ice hockey team is about to compete in the national semifinals, and they actually have a shot at winning.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Barrel To The Head, A Slug To The Gut--

  • By Gillian on 04-28-17

Backman Can Write Any Point of View!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-27-17

I've read most of Backman's books, and this author is amazingly talented. When I read "A Man Called Ove," I thought, this guy must know my daughters and their grandfathers, because the characters' interactions are spot on. When I read, "Britt-Marie Was Here," I thought, he must know an older woman who felt discarded, because she seems so real. In "My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry," I assumed he must have lived in an apartment building where his neighbors represented, all walks of life, because each character was alive and unique. Now, in "Beartown," I jokingly conclude that he is in fact a pseudonym for what must be a team of authors, each specializing in writing a certain point of view, because his representation of the human teenager was very accurate.

"Beartown" is about so many things: parenthood, navigating being a teen, the desperation that can engulf a small town into pack mentality. It touches on retirement and how it effects a sense of purpose. We see immeasurable loss, beating the odds, perseverance, abuse, revenge, forgiveness...and so much more.

From the above paragraph, you may think those are too many subjects to tackle in one book, but Backman makes it flow naturally and realistically.

At times, I felt that he was bordering on over description in regards to each character's inner thoughts, but as I read on, I came to appreciate the time he took to bring the reader into the characters' heads. Some may feel that the following is a spoiler, but I want to explain what I mean with an example, therefore, I'll preface the next section.

*Possibly could be considered a spoiler*

At one point, some boys throw a rock with an expletive written on it through a window. The mother/wife gets in her car and scares the boys in a way that could be perceived as unstable. But the reader has been inside her head. We've seen what she's been through. She's endured unimaginable loss. Outwardly, she seems abrasive and uncompromising, but the reader knows how much she has sacrificed for those she loves. You feel her desperation and helplessness and anger. Despite knowing how wrong it would have been, had she actually caused permanent damage, I found myself cheering her on; then, when she came to her senses, so did I. She wasn't insane; she had a temporary moment of insanity. Backman took a lot of time to get us inside her mind, and it allows the reader to understand her irrational behavior.

*End of possible spoiler*

What I like best about the book is the multiple layers given to each character. We see tough guys in moments of sensitivity. We see sensitive guys finding their strengths. It is easy to dismiss a character as universally shallow, until we see the character in a different environment and we watch them bloom into someone we'd like to know. Heroes make selfish/life altering choices and bullies evolve into better people.

I especially like the ending, because it felt so complete that I actually exhaled. This is a great book for discussion, and I'm encouraging my teen daughters to read it. The narrator's performance was spectacular in the audio version. I highly recommend it!

29 of 34 people found this review helpful

  • Born a Crime

  • Stories from a South African Childhood
  • By: Trevor Noah
  • Narrated by: Trevor Noah
  • Length: 8 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 96,191
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 89,095
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 88,677

One of the comedy world's fastest-rising stars tells his wild coming of age story during the twilight of apartheid in South Africa and the tumultuous days of freedom that followed. Noah provides something deeper than traditional memoirists: powerfully funny observations about how farcical political and social systems play out in our lives.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great book and perfect narration

  • By Marilyn Armstrong on 12-15-16

What an Amazing Life

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-13-17

Trevor Noah narrates his own life story eloquently. He delivers a difficult childhood with a healthy amount of humor. I finished it in two days, because each chapter captivated my full attention.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Dragons of Dorcastle

  • The Pillars of Reality, Book 1
  • By: Jack Campbell
  • Narrated by: MacLeod Andrews
  • Length: 11 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,137
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,620
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,627

The Mechanics and the Mages have been bitter rivals, agreeing only on the need to keep the world they rule from changing. But now a Storm approaches, one that could sweep away everything humans have built. Only one person has any chance of uniting enough of Dematr behind her to stop the Storm, but the Great Guilds and many others will stop at nothing to defeat her.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Huh....Well there are dragons. Kinda.

  • By Katie on 12-05-14

Challenging Character to Write

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-01-17

I enjoyed the story and the narration worked well, so why did I dock a star? In truth, the docked star may be unfair. There is a character, Alain, who was raised to lack emotion; he was punished for using, "thank you," or "you're welcome." He was taught that nothing is real, and therefore nothing matters. Basically, he was robotic. Alain felt underdeveloped, but I don't think that's accurate; I think it's really difficult to develop a robotic character beyond what we see in Alain. By the end of the book his flaws humanize him, and I found myself wanting more, because he's bound to continue to evolve as a character.

I think readers/listeners should go into this book, knowing that Alain improves with time, because it helps to know that he's supposed to feel underdeveloped.

I'll continue to listen to the series.

  • The Dispatcher

  • By: John Scalzi
  • Narrated by: Zachary Quinto
  • Length: 2 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21,556
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20,056
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19,998

Zachary Quinto - best known for his role as the Nimoy-approved Spock in the recent Star Trek reboot and the menacing, power-stealing serial killer, Sylar, in Heroes - brings his well-earned sci-fi credentials and simmering intensity to this audio-exclusive novella from master storyteller John Scalzi. One day, not long from now, it becomes almost impossible to murder anyone - 999 times out of a thousand, anyone who is intentionally killed comes back. How? We don't know.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Good Grief This Was Good

  • By Matthew on 11-09-16

A Perfect Short Story

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-06-16

I hope this is the beginning of a series, because this story was a unique, interesting idea with lots of possibilities for the future!

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Concealed

  • The Lakewood Series, Book 1
  • By: Sarah Kleck, Audrey Deyman - translator, Michael Osmann - translator
  • Narrated by: Heather Wilds
  • Length: 11 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 186
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 152
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 154

After her parents died in a car accident when she was just a child, Evelyn Lakewood was left alone in the world. Now grown up, she enrolls at Oxford University, where she begins to create a new, stable life. But when she encounters Jared Calmburry, who she later discovers is an orphan with his own tragic history, the equilibrium she was striving for is thrown off.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Cliffhanger....

  • By Jeannie Van Der Hooven on 03-15-17

Interesting Idea, but I kept Losing Interest

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-30-16

Would you try another book from the authors and/or Heather Wilds?

I enjoyed the narrator's voice, and I'll certainly listen to her narration of other books. I'll likely avoid this author in the future, unless I were to read a review that says something like, "This book is a notable improvement over 'The Concealed'."

What could the authors have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

I would have liked less description about unimportant things. I also felt like a large portion of the character interactions were longing or brooding stares. The characters were supposed to be college students and teachers, but their communication seemed immature.

What does Heather Wilds bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

She has a clear, calm and pleasant voice.

Could you see The Concealed being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

No.

Any additional comments?

Great narration. The story idea was an interesting one, but the story delivery fell short.

  • Warbreaker

  • By: Brandon Sanderson
  • Narrated by: Alyssa Bresnahan
  • Length: 24 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,712
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,895
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,881

Warbreaker is the story of two sisters who happen to be princesses, the God King one of them has to marry, the lesser god who doesn't like his job, and the immortal who's still trying to undo the mistakes he made hundreds of years ago. Their world is one in which those who die in glory return as gods to live confined to a pantheon in Hallandren's capital city and where a power known as BioChromatic magic is based on an essence known as breath that can be collected only one unit at a time.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • My Favorite Sanderson Yet

  • By Carol on 09-10-17

One Of My Favorite Fantasy Authors

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-07-16

Sanderson always delivers interesting plots with diverting dialogue. This book is no exception. Two women (sisters) are thrown into rolls completely reversed from what was meant to happen, and this makes for a fun adventure. Side note: I really enjoyed the talking sword. He was made to fight evil, but he doesn't know what evil is, so he basically counts on prospective sword wielders to identify evil, making him a very funny character.