LISTENER

Akela

  • 48
  • reviews
  • 155
  • helpful votes
  • 540
  • ratings
  • The Fourth Friend

  • A Jackman and Evans Thriller
  • By: Joy Ellis
  • Narrated by: Richard Armitage
  • Length: 7 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 411
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 387
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 385

Crimebusting duo DI Jackman and DS Evans are back, solving another crime that will make your skin crawl. Police detective Carter McLean is the only survivor of a plane crash that kills his four best friends. He returns to work, but he is left full of guilt and terrible flashbacks. So for each of his four friends he decides to complete something that they left unfinished....

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • A bit of a disappointment

  • By Maine Knitter on 12-24-18

Boring and muddled with fantastic narration

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

Reviewed: 02-09-19

The story is rather confusing. I am past the middle of the book and still not sure whether it's trying for a police detective, uncertain mystic noir or mild horror. Overly repetitive (I am not sure how many more scenes with the burning smell and burnt ghosts I can bear till I simply ask for my money back) and utterly boring.

At the same time it's irritatingly predictable, you see what's going to happen at the end (rather cheap melodramatics).

The first two books of the series were good, the third was ok, this one is quite bad.

Richard Armitage narration is perfection itself. Otherwise, I would have stopped listening after the first two chapters.

  • Stephen Fry’s Victorian Secrets

  • An Audible Original
  • By: John Woolf, Nick Baker
  • Narrated by: Stephen Fry
  • Length: 7 hrs and 33 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12,006
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,050
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 11,003

On the surface, the Victorian age is one of propriety, industry, prudishness and piety. But scratch the surface and you’ll find scandal, sadism, sex, madness, malice and murder. Presented by Stephen Fry, this series delves deep into a period of time we think we know, to discover an altogether darker reality. The stories we’re told offer a different perspective on an era which underwent massive social change. As education, trade, technology and culture blossomed, why was there an undercurrent of the ‘forbidden’ festering beneath Victorian society? 

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Please, have mercy and cut out the sound effects

  • By Areader on 11-29-18

Superb!

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

Reviewed: 12-01-18

I love it! The facts are interesting, even though I knew some of them before listening to the book. Stephen Fry's narration is simply magnificent. It is full of sly humor and delightful innuendoes and even the background music, in this case, is not distracting and serves as a perfect frame to the narration. In some moments I laughed out loud, (one of the best moments is when Fry is quoting some risque pages from a Victorian diary and the narration is hilariously punctuated by oohs and aahs from the theatrical audience.
Usually, I do not particularly like either music in an audiobook, or additional theatrics, but I have to admit that here it was done flawlessly and with great tact and humor and only adds to the general pleasure.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Inspector Hobbes and the Curse

  • Unhuman, Book 2
  • By: Wilkie Martin
  • Narrated by: Tim Campbell
  • Length: 10 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 316
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 296
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 294

Set in the Cotswolds, this is the next instalment in the adventures of Inspector Hobbes, Mrs Goodfellow, and Dregs, as narrated by the still disaster-prone Andy Caplet. It is a rip roaring, funny, and moving tale of Andy's infatuation with a dangerously beautiful woman, starting off during investigations into sheep deaths and the mysterious disappearance of pheasants. These incidents appear to be connected to a rash of big cat sightings, and something horrible seems to be lurking in the woods. Is Andy cursed to be always unsuccessful in love, or is the curse something much darker, something that will arouse his primeval terrors?

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A paranormal comedy that's entertaining & exciting

  • By AudioBook Reviewer on 12-22-17

Stupidity has a limited fun potential

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

Reviewed: 11-28-18

I liked the first book, but after that sequel, I am really not sure if I am going to buy the next one. After all, general stupidity has very limited fun potential. By the middle of the book, I started getting irritated by Andy and the feeling only got stronger. OK I can tolerate one book about a mumbling sniveling self-pitying cowardly idiot, but that's about it. Andy would be good as a sideline to provide some cheap laughs but as a protagonist, he is hopeless and eventually disgusting. Especially as he does not demonstrate even the slightest hint of developing into somebody more interesting.
There is relatively little of inspector Hobbes in this one and Andy simply can not stand on his own shaking feet as a hero.

The narrator is very good and he is the main reason I finished the book at all.

  • Busman's Honeymoon

  • Lord Peter Wimsey, Book 13
  • By: Dorothy L Sayers
  • Narrated by: Jane McDowell
  • Length: 12 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 14
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 13

They plan to have a quiet country honeymoon. Then Lord Peter Wimsey and his bride, Harriet Vane, find the previous owner's body in the cellar. Set in a country village seething with secrets and snobbery, this is Dorothy L. Sayers' last full-length detective novel. Variously described as a love story with detective interruptions and a detective story with romantic interruptions, it lives up to both descriptions with style.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • OMG who chose this narrator and why?!

  • By Akela on 10-26-17

OMG who chose this narrator and why?!

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

Reviewed: 10-26-17

One of the most beloved books I have in my library, naturally, I jumped at the chance of having an audio version...Titanic is nothing to this disaster: a funny and lyrical, sophisticated and lovely text turned into a shrill staccato parody. One of the most tactful and beautiful love scenes - into a hurried romp through a village market.

Where did they get that narrator? Who chose her - she is obviously seeing the text for the first time in her life, has no sense of humor, no idea of the variety of tones and accents, of the quiet intelligent humor that is one of the loveliest things about Sayers' books.

The worst possible thing is that she has already done nearly all the novels - so there is obviously no chance of getting another narration in the foreseeable future.

If you love Dorothy Sayers novels, DO NOT buy those books. It's better to re-read them yet another time rather than listening to this disaster.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Gaudy Night

  • Lord Peter Wimsey, Book 12
  • By: Dorothy L Sayers
  • Narrated by: Jane McDowell
  • Length: 16 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 25
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 24
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 24

The best of the golden age crime writers, praised by all the top modern writers in the field including P. D. James and Ruth Rendell, Dorothy L. Sayers created the immortal Lord Peter Wimsey. The twelfth book featuring Lord Peter (the third novel to feature Harriet Vane) is set in an Oxford women's college. Harriet Vane has never dared to return to her old Oxford college. Now, despite her scandalous life, she has been summoned back.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • a murder of a lovely book by narration

  • By Akela on 10-24-17

a murder of a lovely book by narration

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

Reviewed: 10-24-17

This is such a beautiful text, full of humor, intelligence, period details and the loveliness of Oxford. And it was brutally murdered by a shrill, humorless, staccato narration. Nothing in the world could make me dislike the heroes and the book itself, but I have to say money was wasted on this production.

Jane McDowell did a very unpleasant narration: humorless, tactless and slap-dash.

As she already did all of the books, there is obviously no chance of another try in the nearest future with a different narrator. Such a pity.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Blood of the Earth

  • Soulwood, Book 1
  • By: Faith Hunter
  • Narrated by: Khristine Hvam
  • Length: 15 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,010
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,803
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,791

When Nell Ingram met skinwalker Jane Yellowrock, she was almost alone in the world, exiled by both choice and fear from the cult she was raised in, defending herself with the magic she drew from her deep connection to the forest that surrounds her. Now, Jane has referred Nell to PsyLED, a Homeland Security agency policing paranormals, and agent Rick LaFleur has shown up at Nell's doorstep.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Faith Hunter hits it out of the Park!

  • By Teri on 08-03-16

stick to Jane Yellowrock series

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

Reviewed: 09-26-17

Would you try another book from Faith Hunter and/or Khristine Hvam?
Definitely not these series - I was not impressed with this beginning. Compared to Jane Yellowrock series (by the same author) this one is slow and simply not fascinating enough (neither the heroine nor the story itself). I did not expect it to have that much of the cult (Church) scenes and information and it quickly got boring and irritating (all these sister-wives church accents, cult everyday life and so on).Nearly every scene takes half a chapter longer than needed, it's descriptive and lacks motion and development.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)
I am at the last two chapters and I am still debating with myself whether to finish it or just drop it as I have to make an effort to listen to it )))

Have you listened to any of Khristine Hvam’s other performances before? How does this one compare?
The narration is o'k even though her constantly breathless and wondering tone in this one gets boring quickly. When nearly every phrase is said as if it was the dramatic focus of the story - at some moment you stop reacting to the dramatic and it turns soporific.

Could you see Blood of the Earth being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?
I'd rather see Jane Yellowrock series turned into a TV series.

Any additional comments?
A sad and boring disappointment.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

Pound of Flesh audiobook cover art
  • Pound of Flesh

  • The Half-Demon Warlock, Volume 1
  • By: J. A. Cipriano, Conner Kressley
  • Narrated by: James Foster
  • Length: 6 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 225
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 215
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 217

My name is Roy Morgan, and I'm not your average Atlanta cop. For one, most of them don't have to kill people to stay alive. I do. It's a half-demon thing. Yep, that's right, half-demon. It's awesome, especially since I'm half-warlock too, and those two sides don't much get along. Still, that and a buck will get you a candy bar. So it's all good. Or at least it was. See, I had this dumb idea to stop a robbery in progress and have myself a snack. Turns out these weren't your run of the mill robbers. No, these were demonic slavers.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fans of Quincy Harker have a new friend

  • By Mary Karowski on 03-27-17

Lord knows, he ain't got the smarts...

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

Reviewed: 09-13-17

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Probably not: it's a typical for latest years and many authors string of disasters happening to the hero while he never stops to think, just reacts and gets saved at the last moment by some 25th or 34th miracle, unexpected help and so on.The way all action scenes go in this book (and many similar ones, alas): the idiot protagonist blindly goes into some confrontation hoping his half-demon nature will help, gets pummeled until - again- realizing that he is hopelessly outmatched - gets saved by somebody or something (mother in this case) and so on ad nauseam.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

Give a hero some brain, cut pathetic dialogues, Limit the number of lucky saves to one or two and make the hero think and work for it.

Have you listened to any of James Foster’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

The performance is fine. The narrator is quite decent in fact, otherwise, I would have probably dropped the book in the middle.

Do you think Pound of Flesh needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

No, one sample is enough.

Any additional comments?

The final cliffhanger line was just horrible cliched - though quite in character with the boring rest.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Next Always

  • Inn BoonsBoro Trilogy, Book 1
  • By: Nora Roberts
  • Narrated by: MacLeod Andrews
  • Length: 11 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,185
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,516
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,519

The historic hotel in Boonsboro has endured war and peace, the changing of hands, and even rumored hauntings. Now it’s getting a major face-lift from the Montgomery brothers and their eccentric mother. As the architect in the family, Beckett’s social life consists mostly of talking shop over pizza and beer. But there’s another project he’s got his eye on: the girl he’s been waiting to kiss since he was sixteen.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • You need to Set your MP3 Playback to FASTER!

  • By Lynne Phelps on 05-04-12

kiddie fun

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

Reviewed: 08-21-17

What did you like best about The Next Always? What did you like least?

The best thing was the inn itself, the luscious descriptions of materials, scents and colors. Everything else goes into the category "not the best" )) If you want some light romance and adventure, your patience is going to be sorely tempted as romance comes with a solid addition of a whole bunch of kids and the details of everyday life with kids. If you are a family person, this might be for you. If you are - like me - somebody who perks up seeing the "No kids" sign on the restaurant doors, you won't like the book. I did not. I really do not need to know that when you have more than one kid, you ask the first one in the bathroom queue not to flush (to save water). I mean it's logical and practical, but somehow...too much information, really.
Kids, their games, pizzas, tantrums... About an hour into the book I decided it was enough.

Would you recommend The Next Always to your friends? Why or why not?

Probably not. The reasons are stated above. Though I would imagine ladies with kids might find this book less boring and irritating.

Which character – as performed by MacLeod Andrews – was your favorite?

The narrator himself - I like his voice and style, he is for some time already one of my favorite narrators.

Do you think The Next Always needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

Not in my library.

  • Roak

  • Galactic Bounty Hunter
  • By: Jake Bible
  • Narrated by: Andrew B. Wehrlen
  • Length: 7 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 309
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 287
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 287

There are thousands of bounty hunters across the galaxy. Solid professionals that take jobs based on the credits the bounties afford. They follow the letter of the law so they can maximize those credits. Licensed, bonded, legal. Then there's Roak.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • "Just pay me what you owe me"

  • By Brian on 01-25-17

narration saves the galaxy

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

Reviewed: 07-29-17

Would you try another book from Jake Bible and/or Andrew B. Wehrlen?

Bible - definitely, most assuredly - not. But the only thing that saved this from being switched off after the first half an hour was a rather good narration by Andrew B. Wehrlen which was funny and made a semblance of a book out of this disaster.
I do like action and I do not mind gore (when it is logically positioned around the place) but I hate the idiotic plots where the author announces his hero invincibility - and then everyone and his dog (and the little cleaning lady) kick the said hero around like a faded beach ball. It is ever so irritating when somebody is pronounced unconquerable and invincible - and is conquered and defeated in 5 minutes with a dust mop (which is not even damaged in the process).
This is not funny action, this is pathetic.

What do you think your next listen will be?

I believe I need a dose of Jack Reacher )) Or some Larry Correia - now that's some tough guys and great action.

Have you listened to any of Andrew B. Wehrlen’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No I haven't but I might try - a guy who can make a tolerable listen out of THIS - is definitely worth attention.

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

Whoever wants a swift and bubble-less end of their career.

  • News from Tartary

  • By: Peter Fleming
  • Narrated by: Richard Mitchley
  • Length: 11 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18

For most travellers, and all merchants, the road from China to India lies as it has lain for centuries, through Singkiang along that ancient Silk Road which is the most romantic and culturally the most important trade route in the history of the world. In 1935 Peter Fleming set out to travel that route, from Peking to Kashmir. It was a journey which swept him and his companion 3500 miles across the roof of the world. It took them seven months to complete the journey.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Time travel back to 1935 and do it tough

  • By Expat Sidekick on 03-20-13

listening to a smart and witty man is a pleasure

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

Reviewed: 07-29-17

Would you consider the audio edition of News from Tartary to be better than the print version?

I would not say so, it is more like they complement each other. I have read nearly all Peter Fleming's books (and I like him considerably more than his famous brother) but listening to those stories - especially narrated that well - is a separate and new pleasure.

What did you like best about this story?

The old-fashioned style, the wit, dry humor (which is not unkind but often is sharp as a razor). A wonderful talent for a small but precise detail. An extremely cultured voice (Fleming's texts sound exactly like their author looked )))

Which scene was your favorite?

Various succinct and funny - nearly comic opera - descriptions of small caliber Asian and Chinese officials. At times one feels like listening to a part of a Gilbert&Sullivan libretto.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Never had time for that, but it was a pleasure anyway.

Any additional comments?

Richard Mitchley did a very good job. Exactly the kind of voice and attitude Fleming's books demands. Lovely narration. Will have to hunt for more by this narrator, love the voice and manner.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful