LISTENER

Anonymous

  • 18
  • reviews
  • 6
  • helpful votes
  • 22
  • ratings

Great atmosphere

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

Reviewed: 21-02-2020

This is a very hard book to review without spoiling everything, but I will do my best.
First things first, the atmosphere was amazing. The toy store setting was magical and wonderful and just all the good things. The WW1 time period also fed into the enchanting atmosphere by placing this juxtaposition between the despair of the war and the joy people find in the Emporium.
Like most magical realism stories, this is a very character-focused book and focuses on some really great themes. Even though this story is told predominantly from the perspective of Cathy, it really focuses on the sibling relationship between Kaspar and Emil. I really enjoyed having an outsiders’ perspective into their sibling rivalry and seeing how it impacts the brother’s relationships between each other and with other people.
However there were points where I felt like the story lost direction a little and I was mildly dissatisfied with the ending, I just wanted a couple more chapters or an epilogue.
I listened to this book on audio and unfortunately the narrator wasn’t my favourite. There wasn’t a huge amount of distinction between the voices (especially male). However I think she did do a great job of expressing the correct tones and emotions to fit the scenes, and creating the atmosphere.
Overall, this was a beautifully told story of family and relationships. I would recommend to anyone who enjoys slower, character-driven magical realism books.

Best Gaiman Book!!

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

Reviewed: 21-02-2020

This was the first urban fantasy I have read in a while and I really, really liked it. I love Gaiman’s writing style, the humour was spot on and mixed really well with the eeriness of the atmosphere to make this a really compelling book.
I loved the character of Jacob, I thought he was very fun and relatable and I liked seeing his perspective of the world. I also really liked Door and the other characters from London Below, including the more morally grey characters. In addition, the antagonists were actually kind of terrifying and even though they play off a lot of villain tropes, I found them very menacing.
The world had great, eerie atmosphere. The idea of a London Below is really fascinating and I liked the way Gaiman went about constructing this world. As with a lot of urban fantasies that I’ve read, the magic system doesn’t seem that well defined, however that could also be because we are viewing everything through the eyes of Jacob who has no clue what’s going on most of the time.
The story itself was engaging and fast-paced, and while I can’t really say I was surprised by any of the events, I did really love this story.
Now I need to read all the Neil Gaiman!!

Excellent Sequel

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

Reviewed: 21-02-2020

This book was a really, really great time.
The characters were engaging and I felt really invested in the relationships between them, particularly between Audrey Rose and Thomas. I wasn’t really sure about Thomas in the first book, but he grew on me and I ended up really liking his character. I also liked the side characters that were introduced.
The mystery element of this book was far less predictable to me than in the first book, which I obviously couldn’t be happier about. The castle setting really fed into the ambiance of the story and was really enjoyable.
I listened to this book on audio and I would highly recommend the audiobook. It was thoroughly entertaining, the narrator did a great job expressing emotion and distinguishing between character’s voices. I couldn’t stop listening.
Overall, this kept everything I liked from the first book and improved on the things I wasn’t super keen on. I now can’t wait to read the next book.

Disappointing Entry

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

Reviewed: 21-02-2020

Unfortunately, this book was a huge disappointment for me. I’m going to try my best to keep this review spoiler free, but I need to rant a little.
The mystery plot of this book was fine, I didn’t find it predictable and it was enjoyable enough. More importantly I didn’t really guess who the culprit was. The unfortunate part was, this mystery was completely overshadowed by the absolutely stupid love triangle. The only thing that this love triangle was based on was a miscommunication plotline and a series of increasingly bad decisions by Audrey. These bad decisions are usually followed up or proceeded by an internal monologue to try and provide some reasoning, unfortunately I just couldn’t understand this reasoning in most instances. I spent most of my time reading feeling frustrated and I just wanted to reach into the book and shake some sense into these characters.
Overall, I think I’m going to continue the series, just because the book ended alright. But I’m also going to try forgetting that this book was ever part of the series.
(There are several more spoiler-filled reviews on Goodreads (look for Katerina and Sharon) that more clearly outline the problems with this relationship and book in general, I would highly recommend checking them out if you want to know more).

Great

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

Reviewed: 21-02-2020

This book was a really fun time. This series is a really accessible way to learn more about Greek Mythology, the myths are retold in a way which is compulsively readable and interesting. The humour always hits the mark with me, I often found myself giggling in the car while listening to it.
I also really liked the stories Fry had decided to put into this book. While I had heard of some of them there were a lot that I didn’t really know anything about, which was really exciting.
If you want to know more about Greek Mythology or just want a fun book to read/listen to I would recommend this one.

Very interesting premise

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

Reviewed: 21-02-2020

This book reads like a literary fiction with some scifi elements, rather than the other way around. This means it is much slower paced and more character focused than the description might think.
The characters were extremely complex and felt very real, which I really liked. It was very interesting to read Harry’s development over several lives and see how re-living your life can affect your personality and mental health.
The real issue for me was the pacing of the plot. I really enjoyed the beginning and end sections but I thought the middle dragged. It would often skip away from the main plotline to flashbacks which did a lot for character understanding and development, but it did get a little frustrating when you just want to know what happens next. However, this type of narrative style really allowed for some great discussions on the morality of what is essentially time travel and whether interference or indifference is the right course of action when you know how history is going to play out. The ending really started to pick up and I started to get used to the writing style, so I really liked the last third of the book.
Overall, I’m conflicted on my rating for this one. I think it’s probably going to be a case where my rating increases over time.
NOTE: There are trigger warnings for self-harm, torture, and suicide.

Amazing conclusion to a beautiful series

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

Reviewed: 21-02-2020

The fantasy elements of this story came further to the forefront in this book which I really loved. Russian folklore isn’t something I had a huge amount of exposure to prior to starting this series, but I think I’ve really started to gain a real appreciation for it and I now really want know even more. I also think that the way the folklore is blended into actual historical events is really well done.
This is a fairly character-driven series but the plot did pick up the pace in this book. I was on edge pretty much the whole time and couldn’t stop listening to the audiobook (which was amazing by the way, I would definitely recommend it).
Vasya is a great character to follow, she’s really headstrong and daring but there is definitely huge consequences for her actions which helps add to the realness of the story. I also really loved the side characters in this series, even though sometimes my heart was breaking.
Overall, I loved this book so much and I think it might be my favourite book in the series. I would highly recommend this series to anyone who loves atmospheric stories with enchanting writing.

Enchanting

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

Reviewed: 21-02-2020

This book was utterly enchanting. Madeline Miller has a way of writing such powerful, lyrical, atmospheric books. Basically, I just love her writing style.
Greek mythology is something that I really love and am familiar with so I loved the perspective this book offered. The discussion of gods, immortality, and morality was very interesting and very well done.
Circe was a very compelling and complex character. She is very sympathetic with a multitude of flaws and strengths. I couldn’t help but to root for her and I loved watching her grow as a character. The side characters were equally as complex and dynamic and I liked watching the relationships develop and fade away.
This is a character focused book, so the plot is very slow moving and not super explosive. However, I love a good slow burn book so this didn’t put me off at all.
I didn’t quite love this book as much as the Song of Achilles, but it was a very close race. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a good character-driven book full of atmosphere.

Absolutely loved it!

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

Reviewed: 21-02-2020

This book was amazing!! The world was enchanting and eerie, the characters were well developed, and the plot was engaging.
Firstly, I really loved the atmosphere. The eastern European fairytale-type setting was enchanting and I loved the sinister, sentient vibe of the woods. The magic system is really well explained, but isn’t very complicated. The juxtaposition of the well-defined magic against the more intuitive earth magic was really interesting to me.
I loved the pacing of this book. I never felt bored or like the story was too rushed.
The characters were very well developed. The friendship between Kasia and Agnieszka was so strong and supportive. I loved them so much and I would love to see more friendships like theirs. I also really liked the development of the relationship between Agnieszka and the Dragon.
This book won’t be for everyone, it isn’t fast paced and the magic system isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. I just got so invested in everything.
All in all, I loved this book so much and will be picking up more from Naomi Novik very soon.

A great way to learn some new myths

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

Reviewed: 21-02-2020

Mythology is one of my favourite topics to learn about. I find it fascinating to hear the stories of civilisations and draw conclusions about how their societies were shaped by these stories and vice versa. I wasn’t very familiar with Norse Mythology going into this book, so I was super excited to learn more.
The idea of the Norse gods is pretty different to most other cultures I’ve come across as they have an in-built expiration date (Ragnarok) and it was very interesting to speculate on how this shaped the ideologies of the Norse people. It’s also interesting to think about how many other stories there were that have been lost over time.
The humour injected into these stories was right up my alley and the writing style is overall very accessible. Neil Gaiman books just work for me and this was no exception.
But overall, I just don’t seem to have quite the same level of fascination with Norse Gods and Society as I do with cultures like the Greek, Egyptian, Indian, Roman, Chinese, Japanese, etc.
All in all, I think this book is a very accessible and fun way to learn more about Norse Mythology and was worth the read.