LISTENER

ElzabetG

  • 17
  • reviews
  • 20
  • helpful votes
  • 309
  • ratings
  • The Scent of Holiness: Lessons from a Women's Monastery

  • By: Constantina R. Palmer
  • Narrated by: Constantina R. Palmer
  • Length: 6 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 2
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2

Every monastery exudes the scent of holiness, but women's monasteries have their own special flavor. Join Constantina Palmer as she makes frequent pilgrimages to a women's monastery in Greece and absorbs the nuns' particular approach to their spiritual life. If you're a woman who's read of Mount Athos and longed to partake of its grace-filled atmosphere, this book is for you. Men who wish to understand how women's spirituality differs from their own will find it a fascinating listen as well. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • With simplicity and an open heart..

  • By Jenifer Parke on 11-18-18

We are not saved alone, but only in relationship.

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

Reviewed: 11-05-18

The positive
Hearing the book left me with a decidedly different viewpoint than when I read it via Kindle in 2017. The book was narrated by the author and, even though she was striving to be neutral in her reading, it was very easy to tell that she was deeply affected by her experiences at the monastery/monasteries she visited. The stories came to life and I found myself smiling and re-winding and sometimes even cringing in sympathy with her stories. Her engagement with the story is what gave it more life than the printed version. I imagine she spins quite a good yarn in person.

This book is not meant to be a juicy "tell-all" about the ongoings behind the walls of women's monasteries, nor is it meant to be a theological treatise. It is a glimpse through the eyes of one young convert who chose to visit and grow in relationship with women monastics. You will find a few sparkly theological bits scattered here and there but that is not the point. If you read this book looking for deep theological musings you will be disappointed.

This is book is about a young woman visiting Orthodox monastics and her relationships with them. The lessons she learned about herself and about being Orthodox are found in those relationships told through brief vignettes that, at the end of the book fold into one message: We are not saved alone, but only in relationship. Even the hermits come to communion.

It's a lovely little book and I recommend it highly.

The negative
There are a few technical issues at the beginning and the end of the audiobook. KInd of an annoying echo or hollow sound during the introduction and first couple of chapters, and again in the epilogue. The chapters in between do not have this issue. I was afraid the echo would continue throughout and I would not have been able to listen to the entire book with that going on. It would have been too distracting.

4 stars.

Full Disclosure #1: I was given an Audible credit to purchase this book in return for an honest review. Thank you for the opportunity to do this, AFP!

Full Disclosure #2: I read the Kindle version in July 2017 so this is my second read. The first time I read this book, I was unable to get past the format in which it was written, by which I mean I was not sure if it was supposed to be a travelogue or a travel-diary or just a collection of entries from a diary strung together based on a loose relation between what seemed to be just a rand0om bunch of stories. To be honest, other than gathering a few thought-provoking quotes I didn't get a lot out of it at that time. The audio version was much, much more accessible for me for the reasons I state above.

  • Magic Bites

  • Kate Daniels, Book 1
  • By: Ilona Andrews
  • Narrated by: Renée Raudman
  • Length: 9 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,083
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 985
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 988

When magic is up, electricity dies, cars stall, and skyscrapers tumble; when it's down, phones and guns work, and defensive spells can't protect your house from the creatures who stalk the streets. Equally dangerous are the competing factions of The Pack - a highly organized and military clan who governs Atlanta's were-bears, -wolves, and -hyenas - versus the Masters of the Dead, power and knowledge-hungry necromancers whose minds control hordes of blood-crazed vampires.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Great Start to a Paranormal Fantasy Series

  • By Kjda on 04-19-18

I don't get the hype

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

Reviewed: 01-28-18

Seriously NOT worth the credit. Kate Daniels was boring and typical (stereotypical). I figured out who the bad guy was WAY too early. Curran was very "I Am Alpha Male Hear Me Be Testosterone Laden". Derek was really sidekicky. And the narration was very meh. I didn't find any humor to the story until the very end and by then I was done with Kate and Co. This is a very lukewarm offering. If it gets better I won't know about it because I really do not care about these characters. Two stars because the world was interesting. One for narration. Average = 1.5 but I can't do halvsies.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Power

  • By: Naomi Alderman
  • Narrated by: Adjoa Andoh
  • Length: 12 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,724
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,448
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,441

In The Power, the world is a recognizable place: There's a rich Nigerian boy who lounges around the family pool; a foster kid whose religious parents hide their true nature; an ambitious American politician; a tough London girl from a tricky family. But then a vital new force takes root and flourishes, causing their lives to converge with devastating effect. Teenage girls now have immense physical power - they can cause agonizing pain and even death. And, with this small twist of nature, the world drastically resets.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A necessary read

  • By Grace on 11-22-17

Slippery Slope

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

Reviewed: 01-25-18

I enjoyed this book. Especially the end where we see how the little snippets of history play out. I've always found this idea (in certain circles) that "if women were in charge the world would be more egalitarian and peaceful" to be weirdly assumptive. I like how Alderman took this and ran with it. Some parts were extremely hard to read, but violence--physical, emotional, or sexual--is never cake to me.

Adjoa Andoh never fails to please. I love her voice and the way she acts each part. Each character has their own vocal quirks and their emotion, especially in moments of extremity, was so obvious. I will say she went a bit overboard on the Eastern European accents though. Those R's rolled like an avalanche at times.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Nightshifted

  • Edie Spence, Book 1
  • By: Cassie Alexander
  • Narrated by: Tai Sammons
  • Length: 10 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 116
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 109
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 104

Nursing school prepared Edie Spence for a lot of things. Burn victims? No problem. Severed limbs? Piece of cake. Vampires? No way in hell. But as the newest nurse on Y4, the secret ward hidden in the bowels of County Hospital, Edie has her hands full with every paranormal patient you can imagine - from vamps and were-things to zombies and beyond. Edie’s just trying to learn the ropes so she can get through her latest shift unscathed. But when a vampire servant turns to dust under her watch, all hell breaks loose.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A must read urban fanasty

  • By BikeVON on 07-18-12

Interesting Story Boring Narrator

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

Reviewed: 01-22-18

1. Good story. Great idea and the execution of the story wasn't bad. There were some things that were confusing--jumps in timing or where a character was (physically) from moment to moment--but otherwise it was entertaining. I liked the world and the idea of a night nurse is a new one for the genre

2. The narrator was...Less than ideal. She read the book. That was it. She read it. There were some Russian accents and a British accent but the characters all sounded flat and emotionless and bored with their lives. There was nothing in her narration that pulled me into the book and made me want to stay. If it hadn't been a fairly good story I wouldn't have stayed. The narration was just that bad.

3 stars: 4 for story and 2 for narration (and that's being generous.)

  • The Star-Touched Queen

  • By: Roshani Chokshi
  • Narrated by: Priya Ayyar
  • Length: 9 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 373
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 345
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 345

Maya is cursed. With a horoscope that promises a marriage of Death and Destruction, she has earned only the scorn and fear of her father's kingdom. Though she's content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her whole world is torn apart when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. Soon Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Enjoyable, Relaxing

  • By Jenny on 05-18-16

Beautiful but boring

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

Reviewed: 09-05-17

I read this book. I enjoyed this book. I do not think I want to read the sequels. The story was beautifully written and the prose was very poetic. The descriptions were marvelous and detailed...but I really don't care one way or the other about the characters. They were flat and two dimensional and the story, while moderately entertaining, lacked a sense of vitality. The narrator didn't help either--she never changed the way she read; the entire book was flat and emotionless. I could have had the computer read it for the inflection she gave.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Alive: Book One of the Generations Trilogy

  • By: Scott Sigler
  • Narrated by: Emma Galvin
  • Length: 9 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,154
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,069
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,066

A teenage girl awakens to find herself trapped in a coffin. She has no idea who she is, where she is, or how she got there. Fighting her way free brings little relief - she discovers only a room lined with caskets and a handful of equally mystified survivors. Beyond their room lies a corridor filled with bones and dust but no people and no answers. She knows only one thing about herself - her name, M. Savage, which was engraved on the foot of her coffin. She finds herself in charge. She is not the biggest among them or the boldest, but for some reason the others trust her.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • worth two credits!!!

  • By Spamy Jr. on 07-15-15

Oh God the Narrator! So much cringe

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

Reviewed: 03-31-17

I tried. I really did but the whiny narrator and the way she said every sentence like she was out of breath and SO excited about simply everything just irked my nerves to no end. The story may have been good but the narrator ruins it. Such a cringe-worthy reading of this story.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Baine Chronicles Series, Books 1-3

  • Burned by Magic, Bound by Magic, Hunted by Magic
  • By: Jasmine Walt
  • Narrated by: Laurel Schroeder
  • Length: 20 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 601
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 545
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 551

The first three books in this action-packed, wildly original fantasy series by New York Times bestselling author Jasmine Walt. This kick-ass urban fantasy series has been compared to books by Ilona Andrews, Patricia Briggs, Karen Marie Moning, and more. You're sure to enjoy it if you like spunky heroines, kick-ass fight scenes, wild new worlds, and sizzling, slow-building romance.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Decent YA light read, but no Patricia Briggs

  • By Life's A Beach on 12-25-16

Might Be a Good Story if Not for the Narrator

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

Reviewed: 02-25-17

1. This narrator. Please just no. She needs remediation.

2. The main character has all the self control of a 5 year old boy and none of the charm. If she manages to grow as a character I will never find out because the narrator is so bad.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Mind of My Mind

  • Patternist, Book 2
  • By: Octavia E. Butler
  • Narrated by: Christie Clarke
  • Length: 7 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 632
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 586
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 587

For 4,000 years, an immortal has spread the seeds of a master race, using the downtrodden as his private breeding stock. But now a young ghetto telepath has found a way to awaken - and rule - her superhuman kind, igniting a psychic battle as she challenges her creator for her right to free her people.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The value of diversity in fiction authors.

  • By Michael on 04-29-14

Story 5, Narrator, 2

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

Reviewed: 06-29-16

I love Octavia Butler. I love all her stories. The narrator did not do this one justice.

  • The Player of Games

  • By: Iain M. Banks
  • Narrated by: Peter Kenny
  • Length: 11 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,424
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,184
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,188

The Culture - a human/machine symbiotic society - has thrown up many great Game Players, and one of the greatest is Gurgeh. Jernau Morat Gurgeh. The Player of Games. Master of every board, computer and strategy. Bored with success, Gurgeh travels to the Empire of Azad, cruel and incredibly wealthy, to try their fabulous game...a game so complex, so like life itself, that the winner becomes emperor. Mocked, blackmailed, almost murdered, Gurgeh accepts the game, and with it the challenge of his life - and very possibly his death.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great introduction to The Culture series

  • By Ken on 08-04-11

Narrator on Fast Forward

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

Reviewed: 04-17-16

I enjoyed this story greatly. The only drawback was the narrator. Was the man mainline Nguyen 5Hour Energy or what? I kept checking to see if the speed was right. It was. He just read like he had to be someplace in the next five minutes.

  • Clean Sweep

  • By: Ilona Andrews
  • Narrated by: Renee Raudman
  • Length: 7 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,902
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,580
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,577

On the outside, Dina Demille is the epitome of normal. She runs a quaint Victorian Bed and Breakfast in a small Texas town, owns a Shih Tzu named Beast, and is a perfect neighbor, whose biggest problem should be what to serve her guests for breakfast.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Story was good, narrator did not fit.

  • By Letitia Waltersdorff on 11-18-15

I can't take the narrator

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

Reviewed: 10-28-15

The story seems like it would be good but the narrator sounds like she has a mouthful of mashed potatoes. It's so irritating.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful