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Lisa Davidson

Hawaii
  • 39
  • reviews
  • 148
  • helpful votes
  • 187
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  • Hard Road

  • A Jon Reznick Thriller, Book 1
  • By: J. B. Turner
  • Narrated by: Jeffrey Kafer
  • Length: 8 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,606
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,349
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,352

Jon Reznick is a "ghost": a black-ops specialist who takes his orders from shadowy handlers, and his salary from the US government. Still mourning the loss of his beloved wife on 9/11, he's dispatched to carry out a high-level hit. Reznick knows only that it must look like suicide. It's textbook. But the target is not the man Reznick expected. The whole setup is wrong. In an instant the operation is compromised, and Reznick is on the run with the man he was sent to kill.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Plenty of Action

  • By shelley on 01-01-18

Disappearing Characters!

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

Reviewed: 02-17-19

I was anticipating a fast, entertaining thriller--but I have to admit I was disappointed. The protagonist was just too aggressive to be sympathetic. My major complaint was how characters initially important to the plot simply disappeared. What happened to the mother-in-law after she served as a violent warning, for example? After essentially raising his daughter, didn't she deserve to be found, or at least mentioned again with a sense of loss? Did she even get a memorial service? Following the video clip, which might have been staged, our hero never spares her another thought. Wouldn't his daughter grieve for her Grandmother?
Then there was the brave agent trying to deactivate the device in New York...did he survive, die, receive a commendation? And what about the son of his one and only trusted Delta buddy? After serving his plot purpose, he too falls out of the narrative.
No wonder Jon was such an isolated character...if the people closest to his life are never recollected again after providing loyal service! Seems like an editor should have noticed their absence if the author didn't. Frustrating.

  • Rosewater

  • By: Tade Thompson
  • Narrated by: Bayo Gbadamosi
  • Length: 13 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 605
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 568
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 565

Rosewater is a town on the edge. A community formed around the edges of a mysterious alien biodome, its residents comprise the hopeful, the hungry, and the helpless - people eager for a glimpse inside the dome or a taste of its rumored healing powers. Kaaro is a government agent with a criminal past. He has seen inside the biodome and doesn't care to again - but when something begins killing off others like himself, Kaaro must defy his masters to search for an answer, facing his dark history and coming to a realization about a horrifying future.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wow! Just wow!

  • By Debra Harris on 09-28-18

Compelling, Original, Breakthrough SF

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

Reviewed: 01-09-19

With breathtaking honesty, Tade Thompson joins the glittering lineage of authors Philip K. Dick, James Tiptree Jr./Alice B. Sheldon, William Gibson and other pioneers who have opened new territories in science fiction with a brilliantly original schema and startling world view.

In "Rosewater," Thompson refreshes the meaning of tropes that have dwindled into derivative clichés, including aliens, first contact, telepathy, biological/mechanical hybrids, post-colonialism, and the future nature of work, family, and society. Of particular value is his exploration of how rare talents and powers are just as dangerous as they are beneficial without recognition and guidance, training and discipline.

I agree that the protagonist is at first extremely self-absorbed and unappealing. Yet when you consider the average adolescent male, then "gift" him with bizarre and terrifying mental powers unique in history, what is the likelihood he will grow into a polite, compassionate and courageous adult? It would take decades just to gain any sense of control over his own mind. I found it encouraging that Kaaro was able to conduct moral debates with himself on the nature of fidelity, feel sorrow for past actions (especially when "virtual" and "real" are so difficult to distinguish), and finally FINALLY take that poor injured street dog to the vet--although even this was part of an alibi, not a selfless act!

Thompson takes the ordinary "now"--dysfunctional families, collapsing economies, secret government agencies, environmental hazards, political corruption, eternal greed--and with abrupt, almost magical twists, builds a future world that changes our view of this world irrevocably.

I also have to commend narrator Bayo Gbadamosi. He is a phenomenal voice actor, ranging deftly from young to old, male to female, even human to alien and mechanical, with grace and sophistication.

I want more! UPDATE: The second book in the trilogy appears in March. It's now in my Wish List.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • The Deepest Well

  • Healing the Long-Term Effects of Childhood Adversity
  • By: Dr. Nadine Burke Harris
  • Narrated by: Dr. Nadine Burke Harris
  • Length: 10 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 629
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 568
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 570

Two-thirds of us have experienced at least one adverse childhood experience, or ACE, such as abuse, neglect, parental substance dependence, or mental illness. Even though these events may have occurred long ago, they have the power to haunt us long into adulthood, and now we have found that they may even contribute to lifelong illness. Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, the founder/CEO of the Center for Youth Wellness and recipient of the Arnold P. Gold Foundation Humanism in Medicine Award, expands on similar topics as in her popular TED talk.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Blown away with the content of The Deepest Well

  • By Diana Hager on 02-09-18

Disappointing

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

Reviewed: 12-30-18

From the title, I honestly expected more of a focus on healing modalities: techniques and recommendations for victims of toxic stress in childhood.

I have read the research here and there elsewhere. The long-term damage caused by cortisol and an over-reactive stress response, as well as the biology behind PTSD, is not new. My hope for this book was a focus on solutions, not a reiteration of existing research. I also was surprised that the author included so much about her personal good luck and accomplishments: her wealthy husband, healthy pregnancies, subsidized education, political connections--what we used to call "chest thumping."

When you turn to a book that promises solutions, and you've lived a life of pain with a score of 8, you expect more than passing references to mindfulness and the value of child/parent therapy. If your parents don't even provide adequate medical care, are they really going to be honest about family dynamics or even speak with a therapist? Shame and denial can last a lifetime.

To me, this book was a tribute to the author's accomplishments, not a source of healing.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • The Feral Detective

  • A Novel
  • By: Jonathan Lethem
  • Narrated by: Zosia Mamet
  • Length: 8 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 60
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 57
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 57

Phoebe Siegler first meets Charles Heist in a shabby trailer on the eastern edge of Los Angeles. She’s looking for her friend’s missing daughter, Arabella, and hires Heist to help. A laconic loner who keeps his pet opossum in a desk drawer, Heist intrigues the sarcastic and garrulous Phoebe. Reluctantly, he agrees to help. The unlikely pair navigates the enclaves of desert-dwelling vagabonds and finds Arabella is in serious trouble - caught in the middle of a violent standoff that only Heist, mysteriously, can end.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Ugh

  • By Mike in Dallas on 11-17-18

The Endless Drone of Vocal Fry

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

Reviewed: 11-10-18

I was so eager to experience more of Lethem's innovative language play that I downloaded this audiobook before the audio sample was available. Bad move. The narration was grating and monotonous. I had to keep taking breaks from the performance in irritation. Vocal fry is not cool or sexy--it damages the vocal chords and inhibits the full power of a voice in its natural range. Everyone sounded like s/he just got out of solitary on high doses of thorazine. How about a fresh recording with a professional narrator instead of a celebrity "artiste" who just happens to be the daughter of two famous theatrical parents?

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • The Final Frontier

  • Stories of Exploring Space, Colonizing the Universe, and First Contact
  • By: Neil Clarke - editor
  • Narrated by: Tim Campbell, James Anderson Foster, Mary Robinette Kowal, and others
  • Length: 28 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 12
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 9

The urge to explore and discover is a natural and universal one, and the edge of the unknown is expanded with each passing year as scientific advancements inch us closer and closer to the outer reaches of our solar system and the galaxies beyond them. Generations of writers have explored these new frontiers and the endless possibilities they present in great detail. The Final Frontier delivers stories from across this literary spectrum, a reminder that the universe is far large and brimming with possibilities than we could ever imagine, as hard as we may try.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Nothing New Here!

  • By Lisa Davidson on 09-11-18

Nothing New Here!

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

Reviewed: 09-11-18

I was looking forward to new material by an attractive selection of some of my favorite SF authors. To my huge disappointment, I have already read--or heard--more than 75% of the contents. As the numbered chapter headings don't include story titles, it's almost impossible to skip around while seeking new stories. And despite the heroic energies of the narrators, the thematic thread was surprisingly dismal and dystopian for a collection about the challenges of outer space and new worlds!

I have listened before to podcasts of material selected by the same editor (Clarkesworld), and while the diversity of content is greater, their narrator mispronounces too many words--ranging from Pleistocene to recombinant--and tends to sink into vocal fry instead of her natural range reading longer stories.

So I had high hopes for this collection: fresh readers and new stories! Alas, I will be asking for the return of my credit.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • The Kremlin's Candidate

  • The Red Sparrow Trilogy, Book 3
  • By: Jason Matthews
  • Narrated by: Jeremy Bobb
  • Length: 17 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,638
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 3,401
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,393

Russian counterintelligence chief Colonel Dominika Egorova has been a recruited asset of the CIA, stealing Kremlin secrets for her CIA handler, Nate Nash, for over seven years. In the dazzling finale to the Red Sparrow Trilogy, their forbidden and tumultuous love affair continues, mortally dangerous for them both but irresistible. In Washington, a newly installed US administration is selecting its cabinet members. Dominika hears a whisper of a closely held Kremlin operation to place a mole inside a high intelligence position.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Torn from today’s news

  • By Gary on 02-15-18

After Great Anticipation, a Tragic Disappointment

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

Reviewed: 02-17-18

I have been an eager fan of this espionage series, but Book Three broke my fascination with a shocking and unbelievable ending. If this was a setup for another in the series, the author has betrayed readers who believe that novels are stand-alone works of art. Series are acceptable only if you can enjoy each book on its own merits, without having to read any other series works to find value in the book on hand.

Yes, we live in a desperate world of violence, lies, and betrayal, but what is the purpose of literature if not to provide some framing wisdom and deeper discernment to enable us to pick up and carry on? The end was such a HUGE disappointment that I returned this book and intend to boycott the movie (which already had me uneasy with casting I couldn't accept). No satisfying sense of inevitability or completion here, just more incredible violence. A shame.

12 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • The Secret Garden

  • By: Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • Narrated by: Josephine Bailey
  • Length: 7 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,381
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,055
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,058

When Mary Lennox's parents die from cholera in India, the spoiled orphan is transplanted to her uncle's 600-year-old gloomy and secretive estate in England. She is certain that she is destined for misery at Misselthwaite Manor. However, she soon discovers an arched doorway into an overgrown garden, locked shut since the death of her aunt 10 years earlier.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A magical getaway

  • By Catherine on 10-20-07

Brings Back the Years I Believed I Was Magic

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

Reviewed: 07-05-17

I hope this classic is still being shared with every child--and those adults who missed the touching blend of realism and wonder.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • IQ

  • By: Joe Ide
  • Narrated by: Sullivan Jones
  • Length: 9 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 5,411
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,053
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 5,035

A resident of one of LA's toughest neighborhoods uses his blistering intellect to solve the crimes the LAPD ignores. East Long Beach. The LAPD is barely keeping up with the neighborhood's high crime rate. Murders go unsolved, lost children unrecovered. But someone from the neighborhood has taken it upon himself to help solve the cases the police can't or won't touch. They call him IQ. He's a loner and a high school dropout, his unassuming nature disguising a relentless determination and a fierce intelligence.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • IQ way better than OK

  • By green ice cream garden on 12-21-16

Exceptional! You have to read this novel!

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

Reviewed: 11-20-16

Truly intriguing characters, original and creative use of language, and a moving plot that had me laughing and crying, sometimes simultaneously.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Redemption Ark

  • By: Alastair Reynolds
  • Narrated by: John Lee
  • Length: 27 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,148
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,733
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,742

Late in the 26th century, the human race has advanced enough to accidentally trigger the Inhibitors---alien-killing machines designed to detect intelligent life and destroy it. The only hope for humanity lies in the recovery of a secret cache of doomsday weapons---and a renegade named Clavain who is determined to find them. But other factions want the weapons for their own purposes---and the weapons themselves have another agenda altogether.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Stick with this series!

  • By Michael on 05-22-10

Very Disappointing After "Chasm City"

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

Reviewed: 09-28-16

I loved "Chasm City." The characters were fascinating, the plot dilemma very original, and the world-building exhilarating and unique. Unfortunately, I can't say the same for this novel--in fact, I returned it for my credit back under Audible's excellent guarantee policy.

Any compelling sense of suspense failed to hook me, and I didn't care about any of the characters. Scenes seemed to drift back and forth and eventually I just lost interest entirely, alas. I had hoped for a new trilogy to absorb me, but this is not it. More and more frequently I am of the opinion that we need more stand-alone novels and fewer serializations that leave readers stunned, bored, or dismayed after having their hopes lifted by the original and then dashed.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Science Fiction Anthology

  • Volume 1
  • By: Ray Jay Perreault
  • Narrated by: Christopher M. Allport
  • Length: 2 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 21
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 21

Four sci-fi short stories where you'll find good computers, people who regret their past, and an explanation for something you're familiar with.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Fascinating threads left untied

  • By Matthew on 08-15-16

Keep These Four Loaded on Your Phone

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

Reviewed: 08-22-16


Ray Jay Perreault has created a winner with his new "Science Fiction Anthology: Volume 1." All four stories are imaginative and original with a kicker and a twist, in the tradition of Asimov's and Analog.

I leave the Anthology loaded on my phone for those in-between moments when I don't want a novel, and every time I listen I hear something new that makes the stories richer. My favorite is the fourth story, "Good Morning," with its "gotcha" ending! Completely unexpected--and I think everyone can identify with the isolated worker, unsure of the line between discrimination and paranoia, and too exhausted by his situation to get any real perspective on why he is being so thoroughly abused. It's much more than a parody of office life in a corrupt corporation.

Narrator Christopher M. Allport succeeds in making multiple voices realistic, including the non-human ones! Enjoy.

"I received a free copy of this audiobook for an honest review."