LISTENER

Anna O

  • 12
  • reviews
  • 3
  • helpful votes
  • 17
  • ratings

Chace discovers his destiny is to fight monsters -

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

Reviewed: 10-04-2020

Highly recommended - definitely a book for young adults and young at heart who enjoy a clean fantasy with an unlikely hero. Chace starts a new year at a new school with his best buddies and the gift of a dragon crafted bracelet. The narration always adds another dimension to the story, well done Michael Wetherbee! Spoiler alert! Chace started hearing voices, so distracting that he caused the friends to loose their online video game. Pop guessed there were problems, that the time was nearing, that the world was threatened by evil and that Chace was needed to play the role destined by his blood line. So Chace's pop gave him the bracelet to wear, a treasured heirloom, that unknown to Chace would unlock magical abilities. In true middle school manner, the friends disperse to different streamed classes. In the world history class, Chace takes an instant dislike to the grumpy and creepy teacher, Mr Uwyn. The dislike seems mutual. To Chace's delight, a new student arriving late stands up to Mr grumpy Uwyn, her name is Raven. Chace is impressed! Lots of fun, the trials and tribulations of learning to be a hero supported by good friends and a feisty Raven. This ends a minor cliff hanger. I am committed to finding out what happens next in the Quest for Raven

Alternative History of Indigenous Australia

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

Reviewed: 26-07-2019

A book to enlighten those seeking knowledge about precolonial Australia. This ties in with the book by Bill Gammage "The Biggest Estate on Earth: how Aborigines made Australia". In Dark Emu, Bruce Pascoe has drawn a far different picture of aboriginal civilisation and culture prior to the European invasion than that perpetrated by the early historians in an attempt to validate the annexation of the aboriginal lands. Far from being simple nomadic hunter gatherers, the aboriginal people constructed dwellings and gathered to life in sizeable villages. The aboriginal peoples managed their food resources in fish farms, cultivated and harvested crops and stored excess produce. There is also evidence that they were bakers long before the Egyptians! The indigenous farming methods, especially the use of fire, described in this book were perfected by the aborigines over thousands of years. With soli and pasture degradation, perhaps modern farmers could look closely and lear from those who cared for this land before them. This is a well researched book. I really like that Bruce Pascoe sources his evidence from the diaries of the explorers and settlers. I have discussed this book with my peers and some cling to the established Eurocentric narrative that the early settlers found an uninhabited country through which roamed uncivilised nomads. To these non-believers, civilisation = cities. Read this book and be convinced that the indigenous of Australia had an amazing civilisation and a sophisticated cooperative land management system.

Frustrating Cliffhanger

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

Reviewed: 22-12-2018

I am a big fan of MKE. I so enjoy the multiple narrators and their interpretation of the characters. After "Kirall's Kiss" I waited impatiently for the next book. So disappointed that the story was only just heating up when it ended. I feel cheated. I try hard never to buy books that aren't complete in themselves. If the stories are linked I wait until the story arc is complete. Then perhaps the books are offered in box sets. Autumn returns to Mondu with Kirall. They take their place as Red Supremes after claiming Autumn's birthright, Razeth's Lair on the highest mountain range. There is opposition from the council of elders and betrayal. I love the world building, the magic and the characters. However I suggest you wait until the story arc is complete. Your choice, but be prepared to be frustrated if you buy now.

1 person found this helpful

Entertaining First Contact with Dragons

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

Reviewed: 14-12-2018

Scales of Empire - the title is prophetic. I bought this audio book based on Kylie Chan's reputation. Much as I enjoyed the audio performance, I won't bother with the rest of the trilogy. Why not? The story faded out back on earth, there was no hook for a future, the whole story seemed aimless, the characters were not engaging with no inducement to find out what happens next. The pacing of the story was choppy. Choosing to cast Jian as a welsh born afro-chinese lesbian takes political correctness to a cringe worthy extreme. There is gender fluid sex with dragons, and with a mutilated war hero who has none of his sexual parts left. Told in the first person by Corporal Jian Choumali, the plot explores alien first contact when space travelling, teleporting dragons rescue Japanese interstellar colonists. This is a dystopian dying future Earth, reaching out to the stars. The red dragon with her AI assistant Marque and capacious space ship offer the restore earth and transport the colonists, all in the name of love. Nothing is as it seems. There is no such thing as a free lunch. The sentient AI Marque comes to the rescue in sticky situations, how convenient! What kept me listening was the wonderful narration. I also empathised with Maxwell. I make many long road trips and 15 hours was just enough to cover a round trip.

2 people found this helpful

Dark Suspenseful YA Urban Fantasy

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

Reviewed: 03-12-2018

A fast paced post-apocalyptic urban fantasy spoilt by the narration. However, once you acclimatise to the accent and the variable tonal quality, you become enmeshed in the fate of Piper, Lyre and Ash. The magical Sahar stone is stolen. The trio are the main suspects. Hunted by the daemons, the haemons and the humans, Piper and Lyre, an Incubus and Ash, a Drakonian warrior, bond together, learning of trust and betrayal as they seek to clear themselves. This is definitely for a YA audience with the teenage angst about betrayal; her mother, her father, and Ash are all perceived to fail her. Really Piper needs to demonstrate the skills she is learning as an apprentice consul, analyse the situation and make unemotional assessments. Piper could practice empathy and be less egocentric. However, I must admit that I thoroughly enjoyed the story. Dark, twisted, with sexual sizzle and snarky banter. Best bit? the bout with Ash in the Styx Fight Club. Very clever.

Engrossing forensic archeological mystery

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

Reviewed: 03-11-2018

I am hooked on this series in which DCI Nelson and Dr Ruth Galloway, an academic forensic archeologist, collaborate in solving mysteries and crimes when bones are at the core of the evidence. I bought this first book as a special deal on Audible and so enjoyed it that I have now purchased and listened to the first ten Dr Ruth Galloway novels. I totally empathise with Ruth, her choice to live in a remote cottage on the Norfolk salt marshes, and her intellectual curiosity. As I listened to the audio I immersed myself in images of the Norfolk coast on Google Earth. Ruth is pragmatic, intelligent, with a wry sense of humour and, although now 40 years, childless and having gained weight, she enjoys her academic life. The characters in this book are truly English, and the audio accents are great with the exception of the Norwegian, Eric, who was Ruth's mentor 10 years earlier. Such a shame that the narrator, Jane McDowell, failed to produce a genuine nordic accent especially as the other voices gave life to the characters: Cathbad, Shona, DCI Nelson. In summary, a great mystery, evocative, atmospheric with a complex convoluted plot. Even if you guess who is the perpetrator, it won't detract from the suspense. I urge you to listen and become invested in the characters who grow and develop throughout the series.

I love this retelling of a favourite classic fairy

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

Reviewed: 03-11-2018

The tale of Beauty and the Beast is timeless. It has been retold many times and this is my favourite reiteration. As a full length novel, there is a lot of back story about the family and the transition from urban life to a rural life living beside an enchanted wood. But the essential elements remain: a father lost in the enchanted wood who promises his daughter to a beast, a horse, a rose, a magical castle and a curse. Although her two older sisters are acknowledged beautiful, it is Honor who is given the nickname "Beauty". Honor is in fact an ordinary hard working young woman, devoted to her family. Her spare time is consumed by reading books, scholarship and horses, most especially her horse, Greatheart. This is a magical love story. Even knowing that Beauty grows to love the Beast, there is delightful suspense and a gentle wooing. What makes Robin McKinleys "Beauty" so special are the idiosyncratic changes to the traditional narrative: Beauty is not an outcast but a loved and integral member of a family; the Beast's library contains as yet unpublished books; the unseen maids and the whispering presences in the castle. The audio book is beautifully read by Charlotte Parry and the interpretation brought the characters to life. This is a must listen that is suitable for young adults and older lovers of fantasy.

Awesome!

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

Reviewed: 18-09-2018

I love this audio book. I have listened to it many times for the feel good story and great dual narration. I also love the sound effects, making it more like a radio play. This was my first audio book by M K Eidem and now I have listened to all the other audio books by M K Eidem, and can recommend them all. Grim is an alien abduction romance, with some sexual content, so for an adult audience. Grim, or rather King Grim, has been sent by his brother, the Emperor Wary, to kidnap 12 "unprotected women" for mates of worthy males. Females in the Tornian empire are outnumbered by men 100 to one, and are thus a rare and treasured commodity. Lisa, the last of the women secured from earth, is abducted while she is seated by the graveside of her husband, Mark. Lisa awakes on the spaceship, devastated to realise that her two small children are unprotected on earth. None of the warriors were willing to help Lisa as off-spring of others are unwelcome. Then Grim, the huge scarred bronze warrior, agrees to return to collect her offspring and claim them as his own on condition that she join with him and only him. Grim being scarred is considered as "unworthy" of a female due his scars, and this contract with Lisa offers him a chance of a female and heir. To his delight, and the chagrin of other warriors on the ship, Lisa's offspring, Carly and Miki, are female, thus securing his position and status. There is intrigue, action, romance and a HEA.

The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie cover art

Engrossing historical romance with a twist

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

Reviewed: 18-09-2018

This is a romance with an embedded murder mystery. I love the protagonists, such honest and believable characters. A book of love, lust and pleasure. Well paced and such a great listen, especially on long road trips. This audio book is exceptional, with easily distinguishable voices, some Scottish brogue and interesting characters. Spoilers. Beth, widow of an enlightened East End pastor, inherited a fortune when her employer, an old lady, died without other heirs. The sudden affluence made Beth the object of a fortune hunter. Lord Ian's dislike of Beth's fiancee and his amoral ways prompted Lord Ian to intervene and warn Beth away from the dissolute and bankrupt aristocrat. Although drawn to Lord Ian, Beth removes to Paris. Lord Ian follows determined to win Beth to a marriage bed. London society knows that Lord Ian spent his youth in an asylum and all believe that women are not safe in his company, with whispers of a murder in a private brothel owned by Lord Ian's brother. The madness of Lord Ian was well researched and sensitively portrayed. Ian's behaviours are a result of Aspergers as well as trauma from the torture inflicted on him in the asylum in the name of treatment. Beth is true to herself, unashamed of her sexuality and her enjoyment of Ian. Enjoy!

A classic Georgette Heyer Regency Romp

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

Reviewed: 10-09-2018

I have devoured the Georgette Heyer paperback novels since my early teens. It was a delight to listen to this audiobook. I loved the interpretation of the characters by Cornelius Garrett, most especially the deadly effeminate Francis Cheviot, the youthful exuberant Nicky, and the butler Barrow with his thick sussex accent. Georgette Heyer writes romance novels set in regency England. But these are so much more than just romance, there is usually a complex plot, a beautiful strong heroine and an enigmatic and cultured aristocrat, whom our heroine ensnares with her wit, fortitude and charm. An overgeneralisation? In the reluctant widow, Miss Elinor Rochdale, a now 26 year old spinster and orphaned gentlewoman, has been engaged as a governess. As the only female alighting from the stage coach, she inadvertently steps into the carriage sent by Lord Carlyon to collect the bride intended for his cousin, Eustace. Her sense of propriety is overwhelmed by Lord Carlyon. Accepting his desperate need and the total faith in Lord Carlyon's judgement by all around, Elinor agrees to marry Eustace Cheviot. Eustace is on his deathbed, accidentally stabbed in a bar room fight. Elinor is widowed by morning and is catapulted into an adventure with secret passages, house breakers and french spies. I do find the spirited diatribes by Elinor calling Lord Carlyon "odious" hard to reconcile with her being gently reared. Miss Becky, Elinor's old governess, certainly reproves Elinor enough about her free speech.