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Kaz

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Best Romance I've Read in Years

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

Reviewed: 12-01-2020

Great idea; great tension; great characterisation; great character arcs (for both Tiffy and Leon); and best ever HEA that I've read in years. Beth O'Leary successfully makes you keep your fingers crossed for the two protagonists, almost from the word go. And once you're rooting for them, the HEA was perfect. Such a feel-good feeling. Thank you! And not forgetting the narrators, who did an excellent job reading this audio version.

It's an Onion! - layers upon layers

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

Reviewed: 06-01-2020

How does one monumental event affect all those involved? That's the simple premise, but the answer is far from simple. Liane Moriarty weaves a complex, multi-layered plot that she builds carefully and then slowly peels away, one layer at a time (like the onion simili she has one of the characters use). The characterisations are superb, the 'cause and effect' interpretations realistic, and the imagery of the settings was insightful. In my opinion, the story started and finished just at the right place, no more or less would have improved it. Added to all that, I listed to the audio version which was narrated beautifully. The accents, the intonations, everything sounded believable and made the story flow. I highly recommend this book with no reservations. I am not associated with either the author or narrator in any way, so this is my true and honest, unbiased opinion.

Fascinating.

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

Reviewed: 14-12-2019

At first the choice of first person, present tense sounded contrived, but as the story unfolded it became obvious that it was the best choice. I loved how the mystery unfolded, seemingly erratic and jumbled, but the pieces all started falling together, at which point the genius of the story was revealed. I was a tiny bit disappointed with the story's resolution, but it did not severely dampen my enthusiasm. It was, however, the reason why I gave the story only 4 stars, rather than the 5 stars that the rest of the book deserved.

Excellent!

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

Reviewed: 28-11-2019

A beautiful story arc for this book, an excellent end to the series arc, and a perfect endpoint for the character arc of Nona. I thought the previous two books were very good (I gave them both 4 stars), but this one deserves 5 stars. it ticked all the boxes, making my mind wander around some of the pseudo-science, my gut clench in trepidation during some of the battles, and my heart both cry and celebrate in equal measure. Well done, Mark Lawrence. And well narrated, Helen Duff.

Brilliantly different

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

Reviewed: 28-10-2019

At first the story did not capture my imagination, but I persevered and became enmeshed in the story before too long. It is so different from anything else I've read or listened to, with outstanding creativity on the part of Adrian Tchaikovsky. well done.

Highly Recommend

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

Reviewed: 20-10-2019

I will try to write about this book without giving any details of the actual story as everything needs to come fresh to the listener, to avoid spoiling the telling. So apologies to those who prefer a review to be more of a story summary. There are story arcs within story arcs, just as a trilogy should be - excellent. The protagonist of the series ... maybe, looks to be a mysterious character in this book, whom we are given foreshadowing about throughout, but don't really get to know at all until the last third of the book. He may even turn out to be the series antagonist - future books will reveal more, I'm sure. But in the meantime, the protagonist BN of this first book (who I imagine we will see a lot more of in future volumes, and may well turn it to be the series protagonist) transforms slowly, yet inexorably to a bit of a 'superhero', although he still has a lot more developing to do. The secondary and other support characters are fleshed-out well too, sufficient for their roles, and the world-building is excellent. At no point did I feel like I was being given a 'lesson' and still I have learnt about a world completely new and fresh, with magic lore, history, geography, politics and beliefs. I bought this audiobook at an introductory reduced price, but I recommend it so highly that the full price should not be a block. I will certainly be buying the next two at the regular price.

Excellent story, but narration does not work well

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

Reviewed: 04-10-2019

I want to write a review for The Left Hand of Darkness because although unusual, I think it's an excellent book. But I'm finding that writing the review I'm stumbling. Why? Primarily because I listened to an audio version of this book, narrated by George Guidall rather than read it and I do not believe he was the best choice of narrator. Whilst his reading matched the more cerebral nature of the story and he had an easy style which suited the book, his breathing was a little laboured which distracted me often. And sadly, I must say this, his voice was too old for the main characters of the book. For example, the protagonist - the envoy - was supposed to be a Terran man, approximately in his 30th year, but the voice sounded more like a man of 70 years old and it did not 'gel'. Having said why I didn't like this particular edition, I loved the premis and the actual writing. Ursula Le Guin is an exceptional writer and I can't wait to read other of her books – both in this series and others she has written. This crossover between science fiction and fantasy is superb.

Every 'read' of this classic ibetter than previous

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

Reviewed: 03-08-2019

Sublime. I love the slow, deliberate build of tension, the little twists and turns off the plot. Even when you know where the story is going, you can revel in the language that gets you there. This was the first time I listened to an audio version of Rebecca and the narration, with its well-annunciated words and accent, was perfect for this book.

Great finish to this wonderful series

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

Reviewed: 30-03-2019

l loved the whole story from start to finish. I gather it's categorised suitable for a YA audience, but I have to question the quality of the sex scenes. They were fine and worked well with the story, but were a tad more detailed than I'd expect in a YA book. Perhaps I'm too old, having left my YA years far behind me! This last book in the series went from strength to strength, leaving me breathless in anticipation at every obstacle thrown in our heroine's path and at every battle. The resolution was superbly managed, tying in all the loose ends, or maybe not quite all leaving a crack for one more book maybe, but done with style. The narration was excellent throughout.

Loved the HFN ending especially

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

Reviewed: 09-03-2019

Deborah Harkness's trilogy has been a joy to listen to from start to finish, aided by an excellent narration from Jennifer Ikeda. Supernatural, these books are most definitely, but they are also quite obviously a romance with a strong element of philosophy. Don't let me put you off, if these strings are not your "thing". The story is strong, exciting and suspenseful (is that even a word?), and the plot is sound too. But, as with every romance, this has a wonderful "happy ever after", or more correctly I should say, a "happy for now" ending. I hope that Ms. Harkness plans to continue, perhaps a linked trilogy to follow this one. No hesitation from me, 5 stars and I highly recommend the trilogy to others.