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S. Kohl

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  • reviews
  • 5
  • helpful votes
  • 34
  • ratings
  • The Crooked Staircase

  • A Jane Hawk Novel (Jane Hawk, Book 3)
  • By: Dean Koontz
  • Narrated by: Elisabeth Rodgers
  • Length: 15 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,591
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,420
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,409

Jane Hawk knows she may be living on borrowed time. But as long as she’s breathing, she’ll never cease her one-woman war against the terrifying conspiracy that threatens the freedom - and free will - of millions. Battling the strange epidemic of murder-suicides that claimed Jane’s husband, and is escalating across the country, has made the rogue FBI agent a wanted fugitive, relentlessly hunted not only by the government but by the secret cabal behind the plot. Deploying every resource their malign nexus of power and technology commands, Jane’s enemies are determined to see her dead...

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Well done.

  • By James C. Lamb on 05-11-18

Could have sworn it was a trilogy

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

Reviewed: 06-02-18

This is now one book too long. I thought the initial story, characters, etc. were great. Jane Hawk is a strong, almost super, hero. But the third book was 15 hours with very little continuing of the narrative. At the end I thought “ wait, I must have lost the rest of the book!” The one positive was the narrator. I will definitely see if any other books she has narrated is at all something I might read.

  • The Escape Artist

  • By: Brad Meltzer
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick, January LaVoy
  • Length: 12 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 4,211
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,852
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 3,826

Who is Nola Brown? Nola is a mystery. Nola is trouble. And Nola is supposed to be dead. Her body was found on a plane that mysteriously fell from the sky as it left a secret military base in the Alaskan wilderness. Her commanding officer verifies she's dead. The US government confirms it. But Jim "Zig" Zigarowski has just found out the truth: Nola is still alive. And on the run.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Not His Best

  • By Amazon Customer on 03-10-18

Nola Brown is NO Lisbeth Salander, nor Carry Matth

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

Reviewed: 04-04-18

What did you like best about The Escape Artist? What did you like least?

I enjoyed the interspersed chapters, featuring Zig and Nola. I thought the performers were great. I’d have preferred doing the narration like the Baldacci Books. Man does men, woman does women.

What do you think your next listen will be?

Waiting for memory man series by Baldacci

Which scene was your favorite?

The end when they talked. A bit bland but nice

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

Not really.

Any additional comments?

This was promoted as a great and almost super female character. She had some skills, it was not really all that accomplished. Plus she wasn’t in the book enough.

  • The Girl Who Was Taken

  • By: Charlie Donlea
  • Narrated by: Nina Alvamar
  • Length: 10 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,543
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,972
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,951

Nicole Cutty and Megan McDonald are both high school seniors in the small town of Emerson Bay, North Carolina. When they disappear from a beach party one warm summer night, police launch a massive search. No clues are found, and hope is almost lost until Megan miraculously surfaces after escaping from a bunker deep in the woods. A year later the best-selling account of her ordeal has turned Megan from local hero to national celebrity.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great book!!!

  • By tarafarah7: Tara Brown on 06-07-17

Great narrator of a good story

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

Reviewed: 11-14-17

Well drawn characters. Story never dragged. Ending was satisfying. Very different were the Cutty sisters

  • Those Girls

  • By: Chevy Stevens
  • Narrated by: Jorjeana Marie, Emily Woo Zeller, Nicol Zanzarella
  • Length: 11 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,251
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,156
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,157

Life has never been easy for the three Campbell sisters. Jess, Courtney, and Dani live on a remote ranch in Western Canada where they work hard and try to stay out of the way of their father's fists. One night a fight gets out of hand, and the sisters are forced to go on the run, only to get caught in an even worse nightmare when their truck breaks down in a small town. Events spiral out of control, and a chance encounter with the wrong people leaves them in a horrific and desperate situation.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Not good, not good at all

  • By Najima Rainey on 07-15-15

Great Narration of annoying story

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

Reviewed: 07-11-17

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

First, the good. The narration was first rate. I'm usually hesitant with multiple narrators, but in this case, it worked well. All three performances were great, and the different voices worked within the framework of the book.
Now, the bad. This is the second book I've read by this author, and I can only surmise that she does not hold women in high regard. I understand covering the subject matter. Terrible things happen to people. But, without giving away anything too much about the story, she has made her female characters so clueless and making choices that make no sense, I feel it demeans women. Not to say there weren't some evil male characters, but the decisions that "Those Girls" kept making strained credulity. And I understand they were young, but it continued on and on.

Would you ever listen to anything by Chevy Stevens again?

maybe if on sale

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

Not sure, but they were all great. Would definitely listen to them again

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

It was one long slog through putting women in horrible situations

Any additional comments?

How about a strong female character?

  • Into the Water

  • By: Paula Hawkins
  • Narrated by: Laura Aikman, Imogen Church, Daniel Weyman, and others
  • Length: 11 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 10,660
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,667
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 9,648

A single mother turns up dead at the bottom of the river that runs through town. Earlier in the summer, a vulnerable teenage girl met the same fate. They are not the first women lost to these dark waters, but their deaths disturb the river and its history, dredging up secrets long submerged. Left behind is a lonely 15-year-old girl. Parentless and friendless, she now finds herself in the care of her mother's sister, a fearful stranger who has been dragged back to the place she deliberately ran from - a place to which she vowed she'd never return.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Don't Hold Your Breath

  • By Mel on 05-07-17

Biggest waste of time ever.

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

Reviewed: 06-01-17

What disappointed you about Into the Water?

The story was incredibly boring. For a "suspense/thriller", there was neither. The entire time I kept thinking "this is so bad" but thought maybe it would have an ending that at least made it worth the time. The ending was more boring than the rest of the book. And the characters were not at memorable.

Would you ever listen to anything by Paula Hawkins again?

I listened to Girl on the Train, which was just ok. I won't read another.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of the narrators?

There were too many. Supposedly each character had there own narrator, but there was a lot of crossover. One for each male and one for each female might have made it a little more tolerable. But the book kept jumping from firsterson to third person, so even that would have been difficult.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Disappointment and boredom.

Any additional comments?

I think this author is way over hyped.

  • The Doll

  • A Vanessa Michael Munroe Novel, Book 3
  • By: Taylor Stevens
  • Narrated by: Hillary Huber
  • Length: 13 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 245
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 212
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 213

On a busy Dallas street, Munroe is kidnapped by an unseen opponent and thrust into an underground world where women and girls are merchandise and a shadowy figure known as The Doll Maker controls her every move. While trusted friends race to unravel where she is and why she was taken, everything pivots on one simple choice: Munroe must use her unique set of skills to deliver a high-profile young woman into the same nightmare that she once endured, or condemn to torture and certain death the one person she loves above all else.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Michael's Intriguing heroine.

  • By Janie on 07-04-13

Stunning storytelling

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

Reviewed: 03-13-16

What made the experience of listening to The Doll the most enjoyable?

I love all Taylor Stevens books. Vanessa Michael Monroe is the most interesting character in a series, bar none. I don't like reading reviews that ruin the story, so will try to not do that here.
Overall the story is so well integrated with several stories on different fronts, but very easy to follow. This story includes everything that makes Michael so interesting- her amazing abilities with language, combat, strategy, etc. It also shows, that although she often has a questioning opinion of herself, she is without doubt an incredible person and outstanding example of humanity and character.
The story also shows the amount of love that she not only has for others, but more so, how much she is loved.
The additional characters- the "villains" are suitably heinous, and the "Doll", is much more than she seems at first glance.
I am a fanatical fan of Taylor Stevens and Vanessa Michael Monroe. It still is disappointing that both on Amazon and Audible, putting in a search with her titles, many other books come up before hers do. I have even complained to Audible about including her new titles in their "Best of the Month" titles. Hopefully, more people will rise up and get this series the attention it deserves.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Michael, of course

Which scene was your favorite?

The final scene with The Doll Maker

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

This is actually my second reading/listening and it still had my heart pounding at times

Any additional comments?

Please, please, please... make Taylor Stevens a Best of the Month author.

  • Headhunters

  • By: Jo Nesbø
  • Narrated by: Steve West
  • Length: 9 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 594
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 511
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 518

Roger Brown is a corporate headhunter, and he’s a master of his profession. But one career simply can’t support his luxurious lifestyle and his wife’s fledgling art gallery. At an art opening one night he meets Clas Greve, who is not only the perfect candidate for a major CEO job, but also, perhaps, the answer to his financial woes: Greve just so happens to mention that he owns a priceless Peter Paul Rubens painting that’s been lost since World War II - and Roger Brown just so happens to dabble in art theft.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • This is a great book

  • By D. WARD on 11-21-11

Definitely not Harry Hole

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

Reviewed: 03-31-14

What did you like best about Headhunters? What did you like least?

There were some interesting twists. There was nobody to really root for and a fairly simple story reall dragged on.

Would you recommend Headhunters to your friends? Why or why not?

Probably not. Any Harry Hole novel is much better and I believe better written.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

Yes.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

No

Any additional comments?

Jo, stick to Harry Hole.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Veronica Mars

  • An Original Mystery by Rob Thomas: The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line
  • By: Rob Thomas, Jennifer Graham
  • Narrated by: Kristen Bell
  • Length: 8 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,793
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 3,529
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,512

The first book in an original mystery series featuring 28-year-old Veronica Mars, back in action after the events of Veronica Mars: The Movie. With the help of old friends - Logan Echolls, Mac Mackenzie, Wallace Fennel, and even Dick Casablancas - Veronica is ready to take on Neptune's darkest cases with her trademark sass and smarts.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Mars Attacks, succeeds!

  • By Alison on 03-30-14

Kristen Bell is magnificent

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

Reviewed: 03-31-14

If you could sum up Veronica Mars in three words, what would they be?

Very solid story

What other book might you compare Veronica Mars to and why?

I can't say any specific book, but it's a mystery with solid characters and would appeal to fans and non "Marshmallows" alike

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

Her voicing of the characters is fantastic. All her inflections are perfect keeps your attention throughout. She is able to make each character distinctive and believable.

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

Yes. And I did on a trip to Atlanta, which flew by

Any additional comments?

There is absolutely no doubt that this could and should be an ongoing series.
I wondered if the lack of Logan Echols being around was that Rob Thomas wasn't ready to write any intimate scenes involving Veronica. I think this would be an interesting question for him.

  • Paper Towns

  • By: John Green
  • Narrated by: Dan John Miller
  • Length: 7 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 6,232
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,485
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 5,516

Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs back into his life - dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge - he follows.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • I picked you

  • By Natalia on 07-04-10

Had such high hopes

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

Reviewed: 03-31-14

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

A better story

What was most disappointing about John Green’s story?

There was virtually no story. Characters were unrealistic, and the ending was not worth getting to.

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

I thought the narration was fairly good. One character was a little over the top vocally

What character would you cut from Paper Towns?

Ben

Any additional comments?

I had such high hopes, because I thought The Fault in Our Stars, was one of the 10 best books I can remember reading/listening to. Still, one masterpiece is more than most authors can hope for.