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Understanding the Stars Audiobook

Understanding the Stars

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Publisher's Summary

Alexandra Blackwood is minding her own troubled life when she unknowingly gets caught up in an extraterrestrial conflict. Ronan, a human with his own alien-entangled past, has been keeping an eye on her and sets out to help her escape looming abduction, and maybe win her heart.

©2017 Xela Culletto (P)2017 Xela Culletto

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (25 )
5 star
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Overall
3.9 (25 )
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Story
4.1 (25 )
5 star
 (9)
4 star
 (11)
3 star
 (4)
2 star
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Performance
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  •  
    trixie 04-12-17
    trixie 04-12-17
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Understanding the stars"
    What did you love best about Understanding the Stars?

    The character was written well, This audiobook had a lot of action and so many twists and turns that it kept me interested and wanting to find out what was going to happen next.


    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Natalie @ BookLoversLife 06-12-17 Member Since 2015
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    "It's ok."

    I have to say that this had the potential to be very good, but I felt it lacked debt and character development. I felt like the pacing was fast but the overall story was way too fast and had no flesh on it. I didn't connect with the characters, nor the story. I felt like Alex was too perfect and absolutely hated that she took everything that was happening and didn't question it or didn't freak out! I mean if I found out that I was being monitored 24/7 by an alien race I think i would have freaked!! It was unrealistic and after that I just couldn't connect with her.

    Lori Prince was OK. She had a good voice for Alex but she didn't really differentiate any of the other characters. Plus her voice for the evil aliens was a little hard to listen to. I still enjoyed listening to her and know she will become better with practice.

    I was voluntarily provided this audiobook for free from the author, narrator, or publisher. This in no way affected nor influenced my thoughts.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julie S. Texas 05-23-17
    Julie S. Texas 05-23-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Good sci-fi alien adventure tale"
    Any additional comments?

    I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Xela Culletto. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

    Understanding the Stars is a sci-fi YA adventure, where our main character is literally on the run from aliens. Due to circumstances beyond her control and because an alien species selected her as one of their test subjects, another alien species wants to snatch her and cut some tech out of her head. Fun times. Not.

    Alex is a spunky teen who's about to graduate high school when her life gets super scary super fast. Her life isn't all happy sunshine and rainbows with a father dying of the big C and her in danger of having her head cut open. But she doesn't hide from her troubles and looks danger right in the face (er, tentacles?) and stands up for herself and others around her. That's what makes Alex a character you can really get behind and root for.

    The plot is fast-paced and there is even a bit of a romance, though not super developed in light of all the running from aliens. I kind of liked our male character, but the focus was definitely on Alex so I can't say I got to know Ronan that well.

    The audio narration was excellent. I really appreciated all the creepy sounding voices for the aliens, which really upped their scary and grossness factor. I liked the intonations and how Alex really did sound like a teenage girl with the sentences that sound like a question and abrupt replies. This really helped the story be more believable and the character easier to connect with while the crazy plot was happening to her.

    Overall a good read for alien abduction and sci-fi fans.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kitty ranma 11-03-17
    Kitty ranma 11-03-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Where's the understanding the stars"

    This is okay. I feel it lacks depth and needs some more character development. It left me uncaring about what was going on.
    The narration was also okay.
    This Audio book was given to me for free at my request from the publisher, author or narrator and I provided this unbiased voluntary review.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Trisha Arkansas, USA 09-14-17
    Trisha Arkansas, USA 09-14-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Awesome listen"

    This was a pretty awesome listen. It had fantasy, romance and aliens. This was one that I didn't want to quit listening to until I reached the end. There were very few slow parts that would allow me to turn it off! For me that was a great thing. If other books by this author are as good, I will definitely following them!

    The narration was also great. There isn't any part of it I can complain about!

    This review copy audiobook was provided by the author/narrator/publisher free of charge.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DabOfDarkness Ojo Caliente, NM, United States 06-18-17
    DabOfDarkness Ojo Caliente, NM, United States 06-18-17 Member Since 2011
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    "YA version of an X-Files mystery"

    This X-files-like tale is set in Colorado. Alex Blackwood is just about to graduate high school when her life takes an unexpected turn. Ronan drops a stunning revelation on her involving three alien races, the CIA, and some secret surveillance. In the midst of all this, Alex’s dad is suffering from cancer and she has her pizza delivery job as well.

    Ronan was the most interesting character for me. He’s a human descended from a group of humans that left Earth ages ago to co-habitate with an alien race (Salurians? My spelling is probably off since this was the audiobook version). I would have liked to get to know him more in this book and what his life in space is like. Now the Salurians are back and have been watching Earthers for a few decades, simply learning about current cultures and such.

    Now the creepy part is that Ronan was assigned to watch Alex since she was 14 (she’s 18 at this point in the story) and this involves an implant in her. Yep. He knows every time she went to the bathroom, had the stomach flu, or suffered growing pains. On his part, I can see the insta-love that we stumble into later. I didn’t really care for the insta-love stuff, but Alex seemed pretty happy with it. Setting aside the beginning of the romance, it later grows into something meaningful as these two develop a friendship.

    The Salurians need to leave ahead of schedule because the aggressive Kema’dor are on their way. Initially, they are portrayed as these violent tech thieves. Later on, Alex meets some of them and has to form her own opinion. Much later in the story, a third alien race (the Meddas – again, spelling?) come into play. I really liked that not all aliens are created the same and each race has their own ethics and goals.

    I did feel that Alex was a little too easy going about these bigger revelations but freaked out a bit over small things (like the first image she saw of a Kema’dor). This didn’t work for me in terms of character development but it did move the plot along swiftly. I did like that not everything turns out OK for everyone. Alex has to deal with some sadness and loss. This added some seriousness to the story and gave Alex a little depth.

    I received a free copy of this book via The Audiobook Worm.

    The Narration: Lori Prince was a really great Alex. She sounded young but right there on the cusp of adulthood. She gets an A for effort when it comes to the alien voices and accents. I realize this is a difficult thing to pull off but I have heard better. That said, I did like her voice for the alien Malsoar. She did great with Alex’s feelings.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Mackey 06-17-17
    Mark Mackey 06-17-17
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    "Understanding the stars review"
    What did you love best about Understanding the Stars?

    The premise, writing, and the main character Alex.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Understanding the Stars?

    When Alex delivers the pizza to the house in the beginning.


    Which character – as performed by Lori Prince – was your favorite?

    The main character Alex.


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

    No.


    Any additional comments?

    Enjoyable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brad&Britney 06-08-17
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    "VERY WELL DONE!"

    I was given this book from Audiobookworm Promotions, as I am a part of the Book Tour for X. Culletto's Understanding the Stars.

    I was so excited to start this book. The summary hooked me and caused me to be invested into the story right away. When I began the audiobook, the plot was so quick--so much so that I felt swooped up and couldn't put it down!

    I listened to the audiobook version, narrated by Lori Prince. I enjoyed this narrator. She had such positive intent in providing concrete and distinct character voices that really led the story further along.

    One flaw of the narrator was sometimes when reading the "bad alien" dialogue, she sounds more pressured and the accent went in and out. At times, I thought she straining her voice too much.

    Another minor flaw, for me, was the direction of the story. At times, I found it exhausting to be going back and forth with Alex--one minute shes being chased, the next minute she's abducted, the next minute she's saved, the next minute she's having a "nice day with mom." Not to mention several tragic things happen to Alex during her time in the novel, but none of those things are fully developed. I wish the audiobook was longer so that the author could have had more time to work out any slight plot holes the book may have had.

    Overall, I really enjoyed the rest of the story. I like its originality and romance aspect to it. This is why I'm sticking with my 4 star rating. I hope there is a follow up!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lomeraniel Spain 06-02-17
    Lomeraniel Spain 06-02-17
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    "It needs polishing"

    I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Xela Culletto. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

    Alexandra Blackwood is just a normal teenage girl on her last year of high school, and she works part time delivering pizzas. During one of her errands she meets a mysterious man who seems to eye her with what she interprets as fondness. Later on she discovers the he is a descendant of some ancient people taken from Earth by aliens thousands of years ago. They are doing some research on Earthlings, and this man has been watching Alex very closely for the last three years. But something goes wrong and both have to escape from an imminent danger.

    I found the premises of this story very interesting, and I was decided to plunge into it right away. It is an easy listen and fast paced book. Sometimes too much. I missed some descriptions and introductions to new places. It was like 'Alex is here, and then she was there'. I think it would have helped to create the right atmosphere if this part would have been more polished.

    The same happens with characters. They are not very developed, and what we know from them is very little. I also missed descriptions here, since I did not find out until I was half way through the book that Ronan was also eighteen. We get a couple of details when we first meet him, but from this brief description I would have guessed he was much older. He was described as a man, but I would have called him a boy, like Alex was a girl.

    I was bothered by how perfect Alex was. It is not that we get a lot of information about her, but everything was so perfect that it was unrealistic. Alex's relationship with her parents did not ring true either. She came and went as she pleased and her mother did not have a lot to say about it. I just missed some of the family drama that we all have. Apart from this issues with the characters, I found the conversations forced and not mirroring real conversations. People just do not talk like that.

    There is a second race of aliens in the story. They are evil, ugly and stinky. I think a story increases its value when there are nuances to the characters. The good ones are not so good, and the bad ones are not so bad. I just hate when writers simplify things and make the main character too perfect and the bad ones evil and ugly. Life does not work like this.

    There is a bit of romance between Alex and Ronan. Not too much to make it annoying, but I think it is something almost mandatory in a YA book.

    Lori Prince's narration was correct, and delivered a good interpretation for Alex. I missed some more voice range for the other characters, which spoiled the story a bit. I think Prince has great interpretation skills but she needs to work a bit more on her voice. There is a sentence repeated at 3:20:05, but no other audio production issues were found.

    It was an okay story but, in my opinion, it should have been much more polished before releasing the book. Characters, places and events would have needed more work.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amy 05-13-17
    Amy 05-13-17
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    "A beautiful Tale for us YA enthusiasts"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Understanding the Stars to be better than the print version?

    I have never read the print copy but I feel that what Lori prince brings to the table is truly invaluable in telling this story especially as she switches perspectives ,an unexpected but brilliant touch when she comes from the aliens perspective.She helps build the world we live in for 5 hrs and 59 mins .So Id say yes ;)


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    oo hard i liked Alex a lot .She had some seriously hard questions and problems she needed the answers to ASAP and it was a moral quandary at a twist and an ethical dilemma at the turn but she sorta finds a middle ground and goes with the the path that is the least evil and I enjoy her thought process as she works that out along with all the rest of the craziness. She made me laugh a lot throught the book.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    oddly I really enjoyed a section at the start of the book where Ronan explains his origin story.


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

    Alex cracked me up her sense on humor is very much like mine ( granted she is probably a lot quicker lol) It' a romance as much as it is Sci fi and the depth and pull of emotion between Alex and Ronan was touching and quite entrancing.


    Any additional comments?

    I received this title for free in exchange for an unbiased review.I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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