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Angel

Western North Carolina
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  • 24
  • helpful votes
  • 184
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  • A Curious Beginning

  • By: Deanna Raybourn
  • Narrated by: Angele Masters
  • Length: 10 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,250
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,902
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,892

As the city prepares to celebrate Queen Victoria's golden jubilee, Veronica Speedwell is marking a milestone of her own. After burying her spinster aunt, the orphaned Veronica is free to resume her world travels in pursuit of scientific inquiry - and the occasional romantic dalliance. As familiar with hunting butterflies as she is fending off admirers, Veronica wields her butterfly net and a hatpin with equal aplomb, and with her last connection to England gone, she intends to embark upon the journey of a lifetime.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • For fans of Elizabeth Peters and Gail Carriger

  • By L. Williams on 06-29-16

Excelsior!

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

Reviewed: 08-06-18

For fans of the Sherlockian formula and strong female characters, this series is for you. Follow Veronica and her unlikely companion as they set out to solve the mysteries that surround them and begin to try to solve the greater mysteries of each other. Armed with their scientific minds, a butterfly net and a gun they're ready for anything.

So far, this series is a great adventure in the London of an alternate England and I adore it. Can't wait for the next instalment to find out where Veronica goes next, Stoker muttering in tow.

The reader for this is Angele Masters and she does a marvelous job of voicing the characters in Rayburn's stories. This is my first experience with her and I was not at all disappointed. Her narration will recommend future books to me when I might otherwise dismiss them.

  • A Discovery of Witches

  • By: Deborah Harkness
  • Narrated by: Jennifer Ikeda
  • Length: 24 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 22,461
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18,988
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19,037

Deep in the stacks of Oxford's Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A most terrific & non-typical treatment of Witches

  • By Neal on 04-17-14

Underwhelming

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

Reviewed: 01-19-17

I started this series with high hopes, having read reviews and the blurb. Unfortunately, the book didn't even disappoint me so much as it was just a slow let me down until I just stopped caring what happened next. I didn't finish the second book.

There's not enough story and too much focus on the interaction between the two main characters, whether it be trust issues, sexual tension, etc. Many of the characters were great and likeable but they're all shoved aside with little attention in favor of an overwhelming focus on the two mains.

I wouldn't recommend this series to a friend.

  • Den of Wolves

  • Blackthorn & Grim, Book 3
  • By: Juliet Marillier
  • Narrated by: Natalie Gold, Nick Sullivan, Scott Aiello, and others
  • Length: 16 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 1,018
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 960
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 959

Healer Blackthorn knows all too well the rules of her bond to the fey: seek no vengeance, help any who ask, do only good. But after the recent ordeal she and her companion, Grim, have suffered, she knows she cannot let go of her quest to bring justice to the man who ruined her life.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Third Time's The Charm

  • By Jan on 11-05-16

A Rush the Finish

Overall
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-22-16

There was as great start here but something must have prevented the author from putting her best into this last volume of Blackthorn and Grimm. The ending was forced, rushed and woefully inadequate. Even if there are many more volumes to come this book was, at best, a disappointment. I'd rather the series had been left unfinished or delayed for years than to have listened to the first 2/3 of the book only to be shoved through the last 1/3 as if the author had something better to do.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Bunnicula Collection

  • Books 1-3
  • By: Deborah, James Howe
  • Narrated by: Victor Garber
  • Length: 6 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 405
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 257
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 262

Each story in this popular and critically acclaimed series has been read by the talented actor, Victor Garber. Now fans who can't get enough of the vampire bunny, Bunnicula, will have something new to add to their collection.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I had forgotten how funny these books are!

  • By Smelly Ian on 04-22-06

Wonderfully imaginative and funny...

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

Reviewed: 12-18-15

These stories are. and will forever be, a favorite of my childhood. I read these books around the age of 9 or 10 with my parents. We laughed so hard and the memory of that is the last happy memory I have of that time in my life.

Bunnicula was, in fact, my introduction to audiobooks. I had it on cassette and listened to it every night when I was going to sleep as a teenager. Which, looking back, is a bit telling I think. The point is, associations aside, I enjoyed these books so much that I have continued to read them again and again well into my adulthood.

The humor and the imagination that surround the Monroes and their amazing pets is a great family story. The language lends itself particularly well to being read aloud, especially by an enthusiastic reader. If you want to introduce your child, not only to a fun spoof on the horror genre, but to a barrel of belly laughs... I suggest these books most highly. Let these furry friends and their antics be a happy part of your family memories.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Book of Lost Things

  • By: John Connolly
  • Narrated by: Steven Crossley
  • Length: 10 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,765
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,525
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,524

High in his attic bedroom, 12-year-old David mourns the loss of his mother. He is angry and he is alone, with only the books on his shelf for company.But those books have begun to whisper to him in the darkness, and as he takes refuge in the myths and fairytales so beloved of his dead mother, he finds that the real world and the fantasy world have begun to meld. The Crooked Man has come, with his mocking smile and his enigmatic words: "Welcome, your majesty. All hail the new king."

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • For Those Who Enjoy Playing with Fairytales

  • By alison on 01-06-13

Be careful what you wish for...

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

Reviewed: 10-17-15

That's the lesson being put to the boy in this story. Connolly does a fantastic job of putting just enough of the Grimm in this twisted fairy tale. Surreal references and echos of familiar childhood things litter this story and bring you back to memories of an age when you were still afraid of the dark and the most mundane things gave you the creeps.

I enjoyed this story immensely and the narrator did the whole reading justice, in my opinion. The setting and characters were really brought to life by Crossley and I'll be looking for more books that he's done the reading for.

I'm in the habit of searching out books that grab my attention, who's narrators I like in the sample reading and that are as long as possible (or are part of a long series). I'm glad I took a break and a chance on The Book of Lost Things. I in no way regret that I purchased it or that there are no other books to follow it. It's an amazing adventure and it reminded me to look a little more closely at that book with the strange cover and the interesting title. The story might be short but that doesn't mean it's not well worth it.

  • Princeps' Fury

  • Codex Alera, Book 5
  • By: Jim Butcher
  • Narrated by: Kate Reading
  • Length: 17 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,191
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 5,897
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 5,912

Tavi of Calderon, now recognized as Princeps Gaius Octavian and heir to the crown, has achieved a fragile alliance with Alera's oldest foes, the savage Canim. But when Tavi and his legions guide the Canim safely to their lands, his worst fears are realized. The dreaded Vord - the enemy of Aleran and Cane alike - have spent the last three years laying waste to the Canim homeland. And when the Alerans are cut off from their ships, they find themselves with no choice but to fight shoulder to shoulder if they are to survive.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderful story, problematic recording

  • By M. Crocker on 02-04-13

It's not Harry...

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

Reviewed: 09-24-15

If you're coming to the Furies of Calderon because you love The Dresden Files, awesome. However, please remember, this was Jim Butcher's first series and it is, occasionally, painfully obvious.

The story is great and I have read this series multiple times. I also understand that mistakes can sometimes take away from a book, even if it's being read aloud.

If you can manage it, overlook those writing mistakes that you won't find in his later books and enjoy a great story full of wonderful characters.

"There are also books full of great writing that don't have very good stories. Read sometimes for the story, Bobby. Don't be like the book-snobs who won't do that. Read sometimes for the words - the language. Don't be like the play-it-safers that won't do that."

-Ted Brautigan 'Hearts in Atlantis' by Stephen King

  • The Magicians

  • A Novel
  • By: Lev Grossman
  • Narrated by: Mark Bramhall
  • Length: 17 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 15,589
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13,752
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 13,773

Quentin Coldwater is brilliant but miserable. A senior in high school, he's still secretly preoccupied with a series of fantasy novels he read as a child, set in a magical land called Fillory. Imagine his surprise when he finds himself unexpectedly admitted to a very secret, very exclusive college of magic in upstate New York, where he receives a thorough and rigorous education in the craft of modern sorcery.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Not an average book

  • By Kyle on 04-30-11

Wait for it...

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

Reviewed: 08-27-15

You'll hate Q, it's okay, you're supposed to.

I always recommend this series as a whole book and not a trilogy due to the fact that there is some serious loathing for the main character that happens in the first book. Almost every person I've ever had read this story hates Q to start with and is relieved that I had them suspend judgement until the middle of the second book.

I highly recommend this series. Yes, there are plot holes. Yes, there are some continuity problems. But it's a great read, nonetheless.

  • Wit'ch Fire

  • The Banned and the Banished, Book 1
  • By: James Clemens
  • Narrated by: Jennifer Van Dyck, Kevin Pariseau
  • Length: 15 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 170
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 157
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 158

On a fateful night five centuries ago, three mages made a desperate last stand, sacrificing everything to preserve the only hope of goodness in the beautiful, doomed land of Alasea. Now, on the anniversary of that ominous night, a girl-child ripens into the heritage of lost power. But before she can even comprehend her terrible new gift, the Dark Lord dispatches his winged monsters to capture her and bring him the embryonic magic she embodies.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • An Amazing Journey

  • By Angel on 12-27-14

An Amazing Journey

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

Reviewed: 12-27-14

There are five books in this series, which I have both read and listened to. Elena Morin'stal is a beautifully imagined character that takes many a hard road on her journey to save her homeland. Beginning as a scared young girl and reluctant savior, she grows throughout the story into much, much more. It's a wonderful ride with tons of magic, monsters and adventure.

There are parts of these books that are predictable, especially if you are an avid fantasy reader and/or if you are a table top role-player. The language is not always perfect and sometimes you may wish for a few more details but the story is truly amazing and worth the time.

I do have to say that I do not like the reader for this particular series. I feel her voice was not suited to the story or the characters. Her reading does not lack feeling, mind you, only a quality that allows you to lose your awareness of the 'Reader' while they are reading. I had a hard time becoming immersed in the story because of this.

Overall, though, this is a great read and I highly recommend it to fantasy lovers. If you do not want to listen to it, I definitely recommend buying it (it is available for the Kindle). Following Elena and her entertaining, sometimes infuriating, group of misfits will not be a trip you regret.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • The Fairy Godmother

  • Tales of the Five Hundred Kingdoms, Book 1
  • By: Mercedes Lackey
  • Narrated by: Gabra Zackman
  • Length: 12 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,008
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 897
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 914

Elena Klovis was supposed to be her kingdom's Cinderella - until an accident of fate left her with a completely inappropriate prince! Determined not to remain with her stepfamily, Elena set out to get a new job - and ended up becoming the Fairy Godmother for the land. But "Breaking with Tradition" was no easy matter. True, she didn't have to sleep in the chimney, but she had to deal with arrogant, stuffed-shirt princes who kept trying to rise above their place in the tale.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An excellent start to a new series

  • By Captain Skurvy on 01-16-13

A Fun New Trip Down Old Paths

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

Reviewed: 12-27-14

As you know, there have been dozens and dozens of twists and turns applied to the old fairy tales we grew up with as children. They range from the ridiculous to the sublime and have been done by good authors, bad authors and great authors. Mercedes Lackey has been a staple in the fantasy world for quite some time and, though I had never read her novels until now, I knew of her and know many who love her. When I was presented with this series I was skeptical of yet another take on the old fairy tales but I wanted something fun and I was assured that this was what I was looking for. Guess what...? They were right. I fell in love with these novels and have devoured them all in a matter of months.

The overall score I provide here has to do with the reader, rather than the story. As you can see, the story received a 5 star vote from me. Gabra Zakman is a fun and enthusiastic reader; however, I felt there was something to be desired in her reading of certain characters, mostly the males. She did grow on me though and her rendition was not such that it kept me returning again and again to the Five Hundred Kingdoms. I am now on my second go through and am loving these stories just as much the second time.

If you love Mercedes Lackey or if you just want something light and fun, please give these novels a whirl. I hope you love them as much as I do.

  • A Game of Thrones

  • A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 1
  • By: George R. R. Martin
  • Narrated by: Roy Dotrice
  • Length: 33 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 91,913
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 79,174
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 79,121

In a time long forgotten, a preternatural event threw the seasons off balance. In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. As the cold returns, sinister forces are massing beyond the protective wall of the kingdom of Winterfell. To the south, the king's powers are failing, with his most trusted advisor mysteriously dead and enemies emerging from the throne's shadow.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Review of First 5 Books

  • By DCinMI on 09-12-13

I highly recommend the books...

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

Reviewed: 08-28-12

I cannot, unfortunately, recommend the reader in this case.

The reading lacked for so much that I stopped listening to the audio and went, bought the real books instead and devoured them all. So, do with that as you will, but I definitely recommend 'A Song of Ice and Fire' regardless of how you choose to consume it.