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Penny

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  • 1
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Great Reminders, Helpful Tips

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

Reviewed: 08-10-2019

Another classic Joyce series. This one isn't super long so I expect I will give it a few repeats to remind me of the gems. It is one that will spur you on to action. I enjoy listening to Joyce's voice. This is not her reading a book but the recording of her speaking at a conference including the traditional audience involvement. There is a special anointing on her unique voice. I have enjoyed narrators that have read her published works, but I tend to gravitate to 'totally Joyce' experiences at the moment.

Grabs You But Loses Some Momentum

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

Reviewed: 19-07-2019

Interesting perspective on biblical events. Captures some of the terror of the time too. There are moments that you may need to forward through but not too much of that. Insightful for what transpired during the time. The narrator did a great job with clarity, pace and characterisation. The story did drag at about the three-quarter mark as characters had some deep, heart-felt pondering to do, but it got there in the end.

Insightful and Inspirational

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

Reviewed: 16-02-2019

There is so much in this that it is definitely one that you will listen to more than once or twice. Speaking to the heart of the matter into areas that might never have considered. I always prefer Joyce reading Joyce. It does sound like she is reading but that would be the only criticism. I am always confident that God is speaking through this awesome lady and if He is behind the words then they are definitely worth considering.

Great Characterisation, Querky "Who" Dunnit

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

Reviewed: 27-02-2015

The story itself was "interesting". The sci-fi takes a while to kick in. It could simply be a Sherlock Holmes tale until some obviously alien behaviour finally happens (hard to describe without spoilers). A bit of a soppy ending they could have gone without, but a good story with all the hallmarks of Dr Who - time travel, a good mystery, overlapping stories, unexpected surprises, aliens in hiding and a bit of techno babble.

Key characters are there and easily identifiable - the Doctor, Clara, Strax, Madam Vastra, and Jenny. It was great to hear Dan Starkey (Strax) take on the characters of Dr Who (particular Peter Capaldi's Doc). He does a wonderful job representing each and maintaining voices throughout. He also brings to life another half dozen or so supporting characters. I enjoyed listening to him almost as much as David Tennant and am looking forward to him getting his teeth into another 12th Doctor novel.

The mood music was annoyingly faint in some spots (though that may be my car speakers).

I have already enjoyed listening to this a couple of time. You have those "ohhh" moments that are become so obvious when you know how it is all going to end.

1 person found this helpful

A Hero's Tale With Oodles of Action

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

Reviewed: 31-01-2014

Would you listen to How to Steal a Dragon's Sword again? Why?

Yes! I loved the narration and there is so much going on with the story I want to go back and hear the bits that may have wooshed by. Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III's story is a grand one and continues to build.

What did you like best about this story?

Cressida Cowell is so witty. So many little clever moments that made me laugh out loud. Even the chapter headings make you giggle. I know this is "kids" book but who isn't a kid really? The names of characters make me chuckle just to think of them (Stoic the Vast, Snot Loud, Old Wrinkly, Fish Legs, Madguts). I can't imagine how she came up with them. The different types of dragons too are creative in name and menace. The various tribal names are special too.

Have you listened to any of David Tennant’s other performances? How does this one compare?

I love David Tennant's narration and it was his name that brought me to this book. I had seen the "How to Train Your Dragon" movie but had not read any of the books but thought I would give this a go because of him.David doesn't let you down. He holds his characterisation. His Scottish accent is great for narrating this tale though one time I went "what was that" and realised it was just a "broad accent" moment. He is great at pace and tone - no mono-tone reading from this chap. If you don't get pulled in by his reading you should probably give-up... or at least try one more time.

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

Laugh, giggle and a few "Oh no!" moments throughout. Flashburn "You may cheer now" - the ultimate hero and so full of himself - makes me laugh. Tennant's choice for the witch's voice is great - spooky but makes me laugh at the same time "Doom has come to the Archipelago!"

Any additional comments?

This is a great story and if you haven't read any of the other books (like me) you should be fine listening to this. Cressida likes to add the odd explanation throughout and points you to other novels if you want more info, but you should have not problem enjoying this story. There is a website dedicated to this topic so there is more info there too. Statement of obvious - dragons are little and big - don't bring images of "other" dragons to this tale but listen to descriptions and picture that. Musical lead-in as each chapter begins is nice and not cheesy as some musical moments in audio productions can be. The only let-down is there is still more to go for this hero and his tale, so we will need to purchase those when they are ready.

Soooo Very Doctor Who!

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

Reviewed: 31-01-2014

I love this book and have listening to it a number of times! I am an avid fan of Doctor Who and know stories outside of the watchful eye of the TV writers can miss the mark, but this has not left me wanting - except for more.

Jacqueline Rayner really knows her topic and her characters. I could easily be watching this as a television episode of Doctor Who.

David Tennant nails the characters - obviously his own rendition of the Dr is easy but he switches so effortlessly between Rose, her mum, Micky and a bunch of new characters, intermingled with his own Scottish narration. He is great at keeping a consistent voice for each which makes it so easy to keep track of the story.

There is also a bonus interview at the end with Jacqueline Rayner which is insightful, though the quality of the audio is a little "can-like".

It's only a few hours so is great for a lengthy drive in the car (or a really bad traffic jam). It will make the time pass quickly.

Geek Speak A-plenty and an Ending that is Wanting

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

Reviewed: 31-01-2014

I liked the idea of "Flash Forward" but the scientific theory did not get me engaged. I love my Sci-fi and a good "time travel" idea but this did leave me disappointed.

The scientific explanations should have been dialled back. Some are helpful, but I felt there was too much in this novel and it became frustrating. With an audio book you listen to every word. You don't skip past in case there is some important information key to the storyline so you slog through.


The narrator does a great job with some amazingly complicated terms, names and foreign languages.

I got to the end though and went, "Really, that's it?" It had some good moments, interesting concepts and left you thinking about many things, but I did feel let down by the conclusion.