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Zarah

St. louis, Mo
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  • 10
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  • 54
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  • Crossing in Time: Between Two Evils #1

  • By: D. L. Orton
  • Narrated by: Noah Michael Levine, Erin deWard
  • Length: 10 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 89
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 84
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 86

When offered a one-way trip to the past, Isabel sacrifices everything for a chance to change the rapidly deteriorating present - and see her murdered lover one last time. When she arrives 20 years in the past, buck naked and mortally wounded, she has 24 hours to convince a stunned but enraptured 19-year-old to change their future. Definitely easier said than done, as success means losing him to a brainy, smart-mouthed bombshell (her younger self), and that's a heart breaker, save the world or not.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Brilliant! - You may be surprised at who you are

  • By Michael on 11-02-15

How do u rate a book u hate w/ has good narrators?

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

Reviewed: 08-27-18

Look, I simply did not like this book. I’ll admit that the editing seems fine. (I listened to the audio, so I wouldn’t know if there are a lot of copy edit mistakes, but it sounded structurally competent.) But the farther into it I got the more I hated it, until I simply had to force myself to finish it. I would literally dread pushing play, too afraid of what new way the book would find to upset me. Yes, I’m serious with that attitude. I hated this book.

Before I get into why, let me pause and be positive about the narrators. They both did a marvelous job, Noah Michael Levine especially. Erin deWard did a good job too, but the choice to voice Isabel sounding so desperate all the time only exacerbated my problem with her. But that was a style choice, not a quality problem. The narration is good.

Now back to the negative. It’s all freakin’ negative from here and there will be SPOILERS. I’m going to start with the romance, or lack there of. Two people (ex lovers) accidentally run into each other after not seeing one other for 15 years. They go to dinner, have a fight (about their past), she walks out. There’s a bit of drama requiring him to rescue her from a burning building and he asks her to marry him before they get out. That’s the romance and we’re suppose to believe it’s the romance to end all romances. Meant to be and all that jazz.

Here’s my issue. First, it’s 100% unrealistic. Yes, this is fantasy/sci-fi, but people change a lot in 15 years and this isn’t addressed. Two, if it’s so perfect they wouldn’t have given it up so easily 15 years earlier and/or would have made contact before 15 years passed. And he apparently had her cell number the whole time. It didn’t change. (And don’t think I’m not seriously side-eyeing someone having the same cell phone number for 15 years. Anyone remember what cells were like in 2000?) Three, as a reader I felt cheated out of seeing them get to know each other and fall in love. I suspect Orton meant for the reader to feel this in the second time-line, but I 100% DID NOT. Because that was not romantic either. That was Isabel being incompetent and Diego being unbelievably sway-able.

Now let me move on to my big issue. Diego was lovely, too wonderful actually. But you can’t help but like him. Isabel however was cliched beyond belief. Let me tell you her role in this book (and this just off the top of my head). She almost dies saving a kitten (not even her kitten, just a random kitten) and has to be saved from being burned and crushed in a fire. She gets stabbed. She gets septic. She almost gets raped (and turns out to probably actually have a history of being raped). She essentially gets kidnapped by her ex-husband. She almost dies in a miscarriage and she gets sick and almost dies from traveling through dimensions. And I lost count of how many times she was either in debilitating pain or confused because she’s barely conscious. She was the perpetual victim. I hated her. Or rather I hated that Orton could come up with no better role for her than to be the victim that spurs Diego into action.

Their love is supposed to save the multi-verse. But Diego gets to go through to another world and retrieve a vaccine, bring it back and save millions. Isabel? She gets to travel through dimensions to teach Diego to be a better lover to her apparently unstable future self. How do I feel about that? Go fly off a bridge Orton. Isabel was supposed to be a smart scientist. She never does anything intelligent in the entire book. She’s too busy navel gazing and being cliche.

Speaking of science, it’s all hand waving. I actually think calling this science fiction is almost a stretch.

I find myself in a difficult position now. I think I won this audio book (though it was my choice to listen to it and review it) and I have the second book too. I feel like I should listen to it. But considering how much I hated this one, I just don’t want to.

  • Dhata Mays

  • The Synth Crisis Series, Book 0
  • By: Greg Dragon
  • Narrated by: Tucker McDougall
  • Length: 4 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 16
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16

In a war between man and machine, he must find a way to protect them all... After a devastating war forced humans to rely on synths for survival, the two have learned to coexist peacefully. Until now... When detective Dhata Mays is called in to investigate a homicide, what he uncovers threatens the serenity of this futuristic society. The gruesome murder means only one thing: someone is ready to incite another war. Now, it's up to Dhata to ensure that the truth stays hidden - to protect both sides of the battle. But can he be unbiased in a world that forces him to take sides? 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Dhata Mays

  • By trixie on 08-01-18

nice hard boiled detective

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

Reviewed: 07-31-18

I quite enjoyed this. It was a little bit futuristic noir, a little bit Maze Runner. Hell, there might even have been a little Elijah Baley in Dhata. It was a good mix. Yes, Dhata was just a little too perfect—a little too tough, with too many connections in all the wrong places to somehow be one of the few clean cops left around. But I liked him and the book all the same. The writing was sharp (though occasionally oddly formal), the mystery progressed at a nice pace, and the persecution of Synths could easily be read as an allegory. I look forward to reading more about him. And Tucker McDougall did a marvelous job with the narration.

On a side note, it's worth knowing that there is a glossary at the end of the Kindle edition that I think may be missing in the Audible version, which is a shame. I needed it for some of the slang.

Note: I received an audible credit for this book from the author. However, I chose to listen and review it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • It's Not a Date

  • By: Heather Blackmore
  • Narrated by: Lori Prince
  • Length: 9 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 207
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 199
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 200

Entrepreneur and innovator Kadrienne Davenport gets results. A demanding executive and stickler for punctuality, Kade throws herself into work to avoid hurting anyone, convinced she only causes pain to those she loves. When Jennifer Spencer meets an incognito Kade at a conference, sparks fly. But when Kade unexpectedly becomes her boss, Jen's problems multiply. The company she founded is going broke, her grandmother's dementia is worsening, and her attraction to Kade -- her difficult, brilliant, charismatic mentor -- is growing.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Not a typical romance

  • By Jason Engler on 03-15-18

ok

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

Reviewed: 05-10-18

I finished this days ago and forgot to write the review. If I'm honest, that tells you about how much impact it made on me. It wasn't bad, so much as just flat. I never bought into Kadrienne's reasons for refusing a relationship and frankly thought the "you should forgive your abusive parent" plotline gag-worthy. Because, I don't honestly think people who have hurt you repeatedly deserve to be given a chance to do it again, just because they suddenly need you. Lori Prince (the narrator) made the experience worth while though.

Note: received a cope for the purpose of review. However, I chose to listen to it and write a review.

  • Ice Cream Man

  • Crime Novel of Obsession, Greed, Love, Murder: vb Story, 1
  • By: Charles Puccia
  • Narrated by: Derrick McClain
  • Length: 12 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 10

Vinnie Briggs is obsessed with his boss, Dan Livorno, even though the financial analyst is happily married. Dan's wife Ginny suffers from sthenolagnia, a compulsive obsession with muscles, which makes her husband obsessively jealous. Their mild obsessions pale in comparison to the desire for power and money that could get them all killed.Bill Barrington and Linda Lords are higher-ups at Dan and Vinnie's company. When Dan applies for a new position, Linda will do anything to get it for herself. As Bill and Linda seek to destroy Dan's life and career, Vinnie discovers a secret about his greedy co-workers that could put him, his boss, and their obsessions out of their misery.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • lol you must love the humor

  • By Rebecca Azizov on 01-27-18

ok

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

Reviewed: 02-22-18

I have really mixed feeling about this book. The writing is fine, as is the narration, but the story seemed to go off the rails at some point and I still can't quite finger it's location on the genre spectrum. There is a mystery to be solved by the characters (the reader knows who done it), but there is too much focus on relationships and sex to be a mystery novel. There is focus on a relationship, but not the right sort of focus to be a romance. There is erotica-level sex (in fact, the last 1/4 or so of the book is basically just sex), but it's clearly not an erotic novel. In the end, I'm not sure what it is. All the disparate pieces just don't fit together quite right. The graphic sex especially seemed out of place. And I say that as someone who loves a good, dirty erotica.

Similarly, this is a "Vinnie Briggs" novel, but Vinnie isn't the main character. In fact, he's in a coma for most of the book. (Though I did find him by far the most endearing character.)

Lastly, some aspects of the book simply made me uncomfortable. Some of the language grated. I know bad guy characters can be expected to use derogatory language. But I didn't enjoy having it scrape against my backbone, thus it detracted from my enjoyment of the book as a whole. There are gay characters and they're represented well. But I also felt that there was a certain discomfort with them. It was in some of the subtleties of language and the way they themselves are used by straight characters. Lastly, Ginny has a sexual obsession that she clearly coerces others into participating in. If she was a male character, treating female characters as she does Dan and Ben there would be outrage. As it was, I hated her throughout the whole book.

In the end, I didn't dislike the book. But I think I'd only continue the series if I found the next book free. So, I liked it enough to read, but not enough to allocate funds for it. That makes it a fairly middle of the road read.

Note: I received a free copy of this audiobook. But I chose to listen and review it.

  • The Legends Saga Collection

  • By: Stacey Rourke
  • Narrated by: Karen Krause
  • Length: 25 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 18
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 18
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 18

Cursed by the malevolent spirit of the Headless Horseman, Ireland Crane seeks a way to break free from her soul crushing bond. Croaking ravens. Telltale hearts. Dizzying time travel. Coercive witchcraft. The lines between fact and fiction blur as the works of Washington Irving, Edgar Allen Poe, HG Wells, and Nathaniel Hawthorne come alive around her in this thrilling three book series. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Legendary tales retold

  • By Spooky Mike on 06-13-18

entertaining enough

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

Reviewed: 02-07-18

Crane

Pretty good. I finished the book still confused about some of the hows and whys of both the Horseman and the ghosts' reenactments, it's a bit hand-wavy, but I enjoyed my time with the characters (Ireland more than Ichabod). The loves are both a tad too insta-love for me, but there were hints that there might be a reason for this (some draw) that will be revealed in future books, so I'll forgive it. The dialogue and writing were witty and the narrator did a nice job with them. I liked her voice for the modern characters a lot more than the historic ones, but I think some of the reason might have been because they were written to be more formal (fewer contractions and such). All in all, enjoyable and I look forward to more.

Raven

While not bad, I didn't enjoy this one anywhere near as much as the first. It picked up directly after the end of book one, but I generally felt like the characters randomly went to meet some guy, who randomly had a tragedy befall him, and they all randomly went about trying to save the day. I actually wondered if I'd missed a chapter or two in there at some point, because it seemed to jump about.

It was still funny and the characters dropped lots of witty one-liners and I liked the pop culture references. Further, I listened to the Audio version and the narrator did a nice job. So, again, not bad, but a disappointment after book one.

Steam

I wouldn't go so far as to say this is bad, but I do feel like the series has run farther and farther off the tracks with each book. At the end of each subsequent book, I've been left with more questions than at the end of the previous one. As always, I thought Rourke's writing was easy to read (or listen to in my case, since I had the audio) and all the sarcasm and pop culture references are funny. But I never felt connected to this story. Why, the crew went along with Well's plan, for example, was a nagging question. Why introduce characters that were never more than props, was another. And I also thought that pulling the legends of the Horseman and Poe away from the mystical and giving them human(ish) origins diminished them. Basically, while finely written I just didn't like it very much.

All in all, I liked the books less and less as the series went on, but I started out liking it enough to never quite to dislike. The narrator, Karen Krause, did a good job with all of it though.

Note: I received a free copy of this audiobook, but I chose to listen and review it.

  • The Fine Art of Keeping Quiet

  • By: Charity Tahmaseb
  • Narrated by: Ashley Klanac
  • Length: 6 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 25
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 24
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 24

Sometimes staying silent is the biggest lie of all. Sophomore Jolia does the one thing no one expects from the girl who has perfected the art of keeping quiet. She joins the speech team. Jolia can't confess the real reason - not to her best friend, her new teammates, or even to crush - worthy rival Sam who offers to coach her in secret.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • facing your fears and learning more than expected

  • By Gaele on 06-29-15

pretty good

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

Reviewed: 01-22-18

This had many of the elements of contemporary YA literature that I dislike: the pretty girl who doesn't know she's pretty, the boy who solves her problems and gives her her confidence back, all the girls outside the main character's circle were horrible, etc. (Well, so was her best friend. That girl should have taken long walk off a very short pier. She was horrible, but forgiven without even apologizing and I was angered by it more than the other mean girls.)

Despite having plenty of elements I disliked, it was also smart and witty, had a clean narrative voice and relatable high school experience. All of which I enjoyed. Additionally, Ashley Klanac did a good job with the audiobook narration. So, end the end I enjoyed listening to The Fie Art of Keeping Quiet, even if I sneered at certain bits of it.

Note: I won a copy of this, but I chose to read and review it.

  • Something About You

  • By: Jea Hawkins
  • Narrated by: Lori Prince
  • Length: 5 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 49
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 47
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 46

Love happens when you least expect it. Dre's life falls into a nice, predictable rhythm and that's the way she likes it. But when an adorable, fashionable 20-something bursts into Dre's flower shop to cancel her wedding order after her fiance's change of heart, Dre finds a distraught young woman on her hands. She doesn't have the heart to shove her out of the shop, so she takes her out for sympathy and tea. The idea of befriending this woman who is clearly her opposite, however, is the last thing on Dre's mind. Kelsey feels awful for canceling the order, but she's sincere when she tells Dre she wants to be friends. When she offers to make up the loss by using Dre's services for a major project at work, Kelsey sees a chance to get to know the woman who represents the life she's always wanted for herself.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Irritating "let me fix you" story line

  • By Jo E. Meyertons on 01-29-18

narration good, but story didn't work for me.

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

Reviewed: 01-12-18

Soooo, I wasn't all that fond of this. The fact that the narrator, Lori Prince, did a good job with the narration meant I made it through, but the story left me pretty cold. It's basically a meet cute and some sex scenes. There's some flirting and an attempt to give the story some depth by looking at home the pretty blond is so much more than her appearance would suggest, but since the romance is so rushed none of it really works.

My main issue was elsewhere though. I had some major problems with Kelsey's character. The story begins when her male fiancée cancels the wedding at the last minute and she comes into Dre's flower shop to cancel the flower order and breaks down. Dre offers her some friendly support. Kelsey is obviously presented as straight. Toward the end of the book, she's still referred to as straight. But the reader is never given even a moment in which she considers her identity or sexuality before she aggressively pursues a lesbian relationship. None. If someone goes from identifying as straight to something else, bi-sexual, lesbian, whatever, I would expect there to be at least a moment of, "Oh, I guess I'm not as straight as I thought."

This was al compounded by the fact that Kelsey repeatedly went on about how she'd always wanted to try this or do that. But the things she wanted to experience were basically Dre's life, lesbian lives. It made her feel like she was just playing dress of with Dre's identity, a lesbian identity. I expected it would be the sort of thing she'd later chortle about with her suburban mommy-friends, "That time when I was young and adventurous and dated a woman." It didn't feel serious or real.

All in all, the writing was ok and the narration was good, but the story was uncomfortable at best.

Note: I received a free copy of this audio book, but I chose to listen and review it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Deep Wood

  • Sunshine Walkingstick, Book 2
  • By: Celia Roman
  • Narrated by: Rebecca Winder
  • Length: 7 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17

When my boy Henry was killed, I tracked a pooka through the deep wood for three days with no food in my gut and only my daddy's hunting knife for comfort. Was what got me into the monster killing business, that pooka, and I ain't regretted a single day of it since. The day I stumbled on a four-legged critter with human eyes, the rightness of my revenge begun to unravel, leading me to a clan of two-natured shifters what'd been living under my nose the whole time.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazing Paranormal Fantasy

  • By Adriana B on 01-03-18

still enjoying the series

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

Reviewed: 01-06-18

Again, I enjoyed my time with Ms. Sunshine Walkingstick. This isn't a book of fast paced action, but more of slow developments and strength of character. I happen to enjoy that, but if you're looking for shootouts and car chases, or dramatic clashes of humans versus monster, you'll be disappointed.

What I like most is Sunshines voice. She's...Appalachian I suppose is what I'd call it. In the first book I struggled a bit with it, but here I quite enjoyed it. Both the way Roman wrote it and the way Winder voiced it. Maybe it just took getting used to.

While I understood Sunshine had trust issues, I eventually became confused about why she was so unable to recognize Riley's intentions toward her. He's certainly not hiding his feelings. The whole this is starting to stress the bounds of credibility. Similarly, considering the events at the end of the book, I'd have expected to see a bit more stress on his part.

All in all, however, I very much enjoyed this and am looking forward to book three.

Note: I received a copy of this book for review purposes. But I chose to listen and review it.

  • Cemetery Hill

  • Sunshine Walkingstick, Book 3
  • By: Celia Roman
  • Narrated by: Rebecca Winder
  • Length: 5 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 12
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12

After my uncle Fame run his wife off for messing around with his brother, we thought for sure we seen the last of 'em. Good riddance to bad blood, right? Only, weren't no Happy Ever After in store for any of us....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • It keeps getting better and better...

  • By Adriana B on 01-03-18

still enjoying the series

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

Reviewed: 01-05-18

I think maybe this series is just getting better, though it's getting to the point that reviewing each individual book becomes difficult. After all, the voice, characters, world, etc is all the same. I liked it in the past two books and I still like it here. This particular mystery and monster didn't seem quite as important as some of the past ones, maybe because it's a middle book.

I'm still finding Sunshines resistance to her relationship with Riley a bit too much to believe. But I appreciate that the reader sees Riley's frustration with this.

All in all, I'm still all in for Sunshine Walkingstick and look forward to future books and I'm still enjoying Winder's rendition of the books too.

  • Invading Nirvana

  • A Chicagoan in the City of Angels
  • By: Kevin Theis
  • Narrated by: Kevin Theis
  • Length: 8 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 47
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 46
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 46

Chicago theater veteran Kevin Theis, co-author of the cult classic Confessions of a Transylvanian: a Story of Sex, Drugs and Rocky Horror presents: Invading Nirvana: a Chicagoan in the City of Angels the story of one actor's quixotic odyssey into the heart of the entertainment industry: Hollywood, California. From the early preparations for his trip to La La Land to his search for representation, his encounters with the famous (and soon-to-be famous) as well as his deep-dive exploration of this unique and fascinating city.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A honest Primer on making it in La La Land

  • By cosmitron on 05-18-18

I liked it more than I expected

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

Reviewed: 12-29-17

This is one of those books I had to look at in my Audible account and wonder how I ended up with it. I mean, I know I won it through a Dab of Darkness blog giveaway. But what was I thinking to even enter? I have almost debilitating stage fright. The thought of becoming an actor is tantamount to hell for me. So, how did I end up listening to the story of a 50-year-old veteran actor's move to Los Angelous to pursue his acting career? Honestly, I'm not even sure.

But surprisingly enough, I found it interesting. Interesting in a detached, 'I have NO INTEREST in doing that' sort of way. But interesting all the same; kind of a 'how the other half lives' experience. The other half being people who don't pee themselves at the thought of standing in front of a crowd.

Theis has a self-deprecating humor that I appreciated and I found myself invested in his journey. I also found myself shocked at how many people he knows. At one point he had a chapter dedicated to how many people took him out to lunch during his 3 months in LA. I'm not being facetious when I say, I literally don't think I even know that many people!

Not only am I not interested in acting. Prior to listening to this, I'd of told you I'm not remotely interested in LA. Big cities? No thank you. But all the history was fun. Again Theis made it so.

All in all, you might not be surprised to find that I liked this a lot more than I thought I would. Even my hesitancy to listen to an audiobook narrated by the author himself proved unfounded. Theis spoke a bit too fast for my liking, especially in the beginning (which I listened to at .75 speed, which I hate doing), but it eventually slowed down and I enjoyed his banter-like narration. Invading Nirvana was a surprise win for me.