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  • Locke & Key

  • By: Joe Hill, Gabriel Rodriguez
  • Narrated by: Haley Joel Osment, Tatiana Maslany, Kate Mulgrew, and others
  • Length: 13 hrs and 23 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 703
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 663
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 663

Based on the best-selling, award-winning graphic novel series Locke & Key - written by acclaimed suspense novelist Joe Hill ( NOS4A2, Horns) and illustrated by Gabriel Rodriguez - this multicast, fully dramatized audio production brings the images and words to life.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Absolutely incredible

  • By MsRanPan on 05-12-15

Better as a graphic novel?

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

Reviewed: 26-11-15

Getting a book free from Audible is a good inducement to read something different, and I also feel I should return the favour by listening right through and writing a review. However … was it really only 13 hours long? I frequently thought the end must be approaching, only to discover I still had hours of listening to go. This book started life as a graphic novel, and in that format it might be entertaining, but the descriptions given in this dramatization did not adequately replace the pictures. I did not empathise with, nor have affection for, any of the characters. I’m not against stories which stretch the imagination or rely on supernatural forces, but understatement makes everything more acceptable (as in Lord of the Rings, for instance). With this book I really didn’t care what happened to the characters.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Skinny Dip

  • By: Carl Hiaasen
  • Narrated by: Jeff Harding
  • Length: 13 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 131
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 108
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 108

Joey Perrone is a woman with a mission. She's just been pushed overboard from a cruise liner by Chaz, her scumbag husband, and survived to tell the tale. But rather than reporting the crime to the police, she decides to stay dead and instead of getting mad, get even. Filled with a host of endearingly offbeat characters, and a narrative that is hilarious, romantic and thought-provoking by turns, Skinny Dip takes us on a journey through the warped politics of southern Florida.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Acerbic wit and social critique

  • By P1969 on 21-02-15

Unchallenging entertainment

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

Reviewed: 11-10-15

This was an engaging and entertaining romp, reminiscent of Wilt (Tom Sharpe) and books by David Lodge. It is full of weird characters and amazing escapes from death; only the baddies die. I liked it so much I happily spent more hours gardening than planned just so I could listen.

My version was narrated superbly by Kerry Shale; he had a different voice for each character, and his women’s voices were totally believable.

  • The Devil in the Marshalsea

  • By: Antonia Hodgson
  • Narrated by: Joseph Kloska
  • Length: 13 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 276
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 251
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 252

London, 1727 - and Tom Hawkins is about to fall from his heaven of card games, brothels, and coffeehouses to the hell of a debtors' prison. The Marshalsea is a savage world of its own, with simple rules: those with family or friends who can lend them a little money may survive in relative comfort. Those with none will starve in squalor and disease. And those who try to escape will suffer a gruesome fate at the hands of the gaol's rutheless governor and his cronies.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • One of the best audio books I've chosen recently

  • By D on 28-10-14

All you have to imagine is the smell!

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

Reviewed: 11-10-15

This is a very interesting historical whodunnit which describes the horror, squalor and degradation of living in the Marshalsea prison in 1727 - all that’s missing is the smell!
The story also describes the class distinction and corruption which existed then.

The characters are well-drawn, and I felt I could picture each one. I fell in love with Kitty, working as a kitchen maid, which she felt was below her station because her late father had been a doctor, but she did it to keep close to her father’s friend, Samuel Fleet, who educated her in languages and other subjects. He was lying low in the Marshalsea, having worked as a spy and gathered powerful enemies. He was the Devil in the title.

The mystery was regarding who had killed a man, whose widow was challenging the owner and the manager of the Marshalsea to identify the killer and bring him to justice. There was no process at that time for doing this, and they wanted to hide behind the fact that people died in the prison every day. The revealing of the detailed planning which led to the hero, Tom Hawkins, ultimately exposing the killers comes late in the story so I shall not give any clues here, just to say it was a satisfactory ending!

  • The Mozart Conspiracy

  • Ben Hope, Book 2
  • By: Scott Mariani
  • Narrated by: Colin Mace
  • Length: 11 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 214
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 199
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 198

From the number-one best-selling author. Former SAS operative Ben Hope is running for his life. Enlisted by the beautiful Leigh Llewellyn - world-famous opera star and Ben's first love - to investigate her brother's mysterious death, Ben finds himself caught up in a centuries-old puzzle. The official line states that Oliver died whilst investigating Mozart's death, but the facts don't add up.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Superb action thriller...!

  • By Salter on 16-10-18

Ben Hope is Superman!

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

Reviewed: 31-03-15

Scott Mariani has really tried to make this book even more exciting than his first Ben Hope story, and it is packed with action. It has our hero, Ben Hope, struggling for his life, overcoming impossible odds with good luck and ingenuity, but getting his goal in the end.

The story relates to a theory that Mozart was killed by members of a secret society, the Order of Ra. The discovery of a letter he wrote to a friend shortly before his death, in which he expressed his fears that they would kill him for revealing details of their craft in The Magic Flute, has ignited action by Ra who want the letter destroyed. The letter had remained hidden for two centuries until it turned up during the restoration of an old piano, and a musician researching the story was murdered to prevent him making the letter public.

The death of the musician, Oliver Llewellyn, had been made to look like suicide. However, the musician's sister, Leigh Llewellyn, publicised her intention to continue with Oliver's research and this triggered a violent response from the secret society, which apparently still existed. Leigh asked Ben to help her find the manuscript, even though it meant revisiting a relationship which Ben had suddenly terminated when Leigh was nineteen, and together they fought the Order of Ra and found the manuscript.

The book has a well-constructed plot with lots of twists and some horrific detail, and the author brings in snippets of information about Mozart and about places in Europe. Everywhere that Ben goes, Ra is there with a violent response, and the collateral damage is a bit upsetting sometimes. Ben himself appears to be sheathed in Kevlar and will fight again.

Colin Mace made his narration somewhat staccato by always pausing after saying someone's name, but otherwise it was competent and characters were given distinctive and appropriate voices.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Alchemist's Secret

  • Ben Hope, Book 1
  • By: Scott Mariani
  • Narrated by: Will Rycroft
  • Length: 11 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 380
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 344
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 343

The #1 Bestseller. Ben Hope lives on the edge. A former élite member of the SAS, Ben is tortured by a tragedy from his past and now devotes his life to finding kidnapped children. When Ben is recruited to locate an ancient manuscript which could save a dying child, he embarks on the deadliest quest of his life. The document is alleged to contain the formula for the elixir of life, discovered by the brilliant alchemist Fulcanelli decades before.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Very Entertaining

  • By Peter on 27-01-15

Exciting, fighting unknown enemies.

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

Reviewed: 30-03-15

Ben Hope carries with him the memory of a terrible event from his childhood, and this makes him reluctant to trust anyone. He started a degree in Religion at Oxford but abandoned it and went into the army as a trooper, and rose to the rank of Major. He acquired exceptional skills and determination from his SAS training and he uses these in his business of rescuing children from kidnappers. He needs these resources and his considerable intelligence in tracking down the elixir of life.

The story has a number of twists so you don't know exactly who the goodies and baddies are, and Hope finds himself in some impossible situations. However, his thinking and fighting skills and his strength enable him to extricate himself and win through in the end.

This was an enjoyable listen, and I'm going straight on to Ben Hope 2!

  • Scratch Deeper

  • By: Chris Simms
  • Narrated by: Becky Hindley
  • Length: 10 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 55
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 48
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 48

In Mauritius, a retired Law Lord is brutally murdered, while in Manchester, the Labour Party conference is beginning. DC Iona Khan's first case in the Counter Terrorism Unit appears to be a trivial use of false identity, when a Sri Lankan student asks questions about Manchester's tunnel system. But when she learns the identity of the conference's guest speaker, Iona must enter the world beneath the city to prevent a catastrophe.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Very good read !

  • By Ronald Orme on 06-06-15

Easy to follow thriller

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

Reviewed: 30-03-15

This is an interesting page-turner; it's a simple plot but I was eager to seize any opportunity to listen.

The heroine, Iona Khan, is a very intelligent mixed-race Detective Constable, newly-appointed to the Counter Terrorism Unit in Manchester. Her boss is a racist and bullying man who deliberately puts her in dangerous situations without backup. She is advised and protected by her ex-boyfriend, who she split from because of his drinking. He is a brave and competent ex-soldier who turned to drink to help him forget a terrible action in Afghanistan, of which he is deeply ashamed.

DC Iona Khan is given a task by her boss to keep her away from the main action on protecting the Labour Party conference in the city, but her ability to link apparently unrelated incidents and bits of information leads her to believe she is on the trail of a terrorist attack which could be carried out using little-known tunnels under the conference venue. With her unhelpful boss and unwelcoming colleagues to fight against, she needs all the determination and resilience she can muster to push forward with her fight to prevent an attack which could have drastic consequences.

Eventually DC Khan wins through, with the help and experience of her ex-boyfriend, and a tragedy is averted!

The narration by Becky Hindley is excellent, with good clear accents and no irritating characteristics.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Hollow World

  • By: Michael J. Sullivan
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Davis
  • Length: 12 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 433
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 402
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 401

Ellis Rogers is an ordinary man, about to embark on an extraordinary journey. All his life he has played it safe, but faced with a terminal illness he’s willing to take an insane gamble. He’s built a time machine in his garage. If it works, he could find more than a cure for his illness; he might find what everyone has been searching for since time began...

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Imaginative Futuristic Utopia

  • By Beanie on 26-04-14

Crystal ball gazing

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

Reviewed: 15-02-15

I appreciated the spoken introduction by the author, asking us to suspend our disbelief regarding time travel. I immediately felt some empathy with the effort the author had put into writing the story, and continued to listen even though the story began slowly and I could not relate to any of the characters.

When I got into it I found the story quite thought-provoking: will humanity be like that two thousand years in the future; will we create Paradise if we overcome aging, death, and the need to work; will Paradise be improved by removing self-importance?

The main drive of the story was to create comparisons between people of 2014, with their hang-ups, prejudices, jealousies and hates, and the engineered people of 2000 years hence. The story concentrated on just one storyline, which kept it concise and left me continuing to think about it – better to keep it short and have the audience asking for more!

I enjoyed the narration by Jonathan Davis.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Night Watch cover art
  • Night Watch

  • By: Linda Fairstein
  • Narrated by: Barbara Rosenblat
  • Length: 13 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 17
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 15

Linda Fairstein follows up her 13th bestselling Alexandra Cooper thriller with another taut, fascinating foray into the dark side of New York City, this time centred around the city's most glamorous and storied restaurants. With the help of NYPD's Mike Chapman, Alex is set to uncover the shocking secrets that have lurked just beneath the surface of the bustling metropolis for centuries - only to come screaming to light in the present day.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Slow

  • By Karoline on 27-01-15

Misleading publisher's summary

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

Reviewed: 30-01-15

Very well narrated by Barbara Rosenblat: good accents and good distinction between voices. Her men's voices were impressive and believable.

This was not really the sort of book I normally go for, and, going back to the publisher's description of it, I can see why. I was expecting to read about some very strange things hidden in New York, but in fact it was a police investigation into crimes by drug smugglers. The 'shocking secrets that have lurked just beneath the surface of the bustling metropolis' must refer to the wine cellars with secret doors with clever hidden mechanisms, leading to rooms where drinkers could hide during Prohibition, and where cocaine can be hidden now – not very shocking really!

Nevertheless I quite enjoyed the story. It hinged on our heroes not knowing how well their friends should be trusted, with Alexandra Cooper being torn in half by her love for Luke but her uncertainty about whether he still loved his wife, and whether he was involved with drugs. Luke had some new business partners but we don't know if they are goodies or baddies, and a rape case involving a senior French-domiciled politician was thrown in to create confusion.

  • Rendezvous with Rama

  • Rama Series, Book 1
  • By: Arthur C. Clarke
  • Narrated by: Toby Longworth
  • Length: 7 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,158
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,082
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,080

At first, only a few things are known about the celestial object that astronomers dub Rama. It is huge, weighing more than ten trillion tons. And it is hurtling through the solar system at inconceivable speed. Then a space probe confirms the unthinkable: Rama is no natural object. It is, incredibly, an interstellar spacecraft. Space explorers and planet-bound scientists alike prepare for mankind's first encounter with alien intelligence.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Well read with distinctive character voices.

  • By In car listener on 16-01-17

Thought-provoking

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

Reviewed: 29-09-14

Review of Rendezvous with Rama, by Arthur C Clarke

This is a good story, with plenty of innovative ideas and a feeling of adventure. It is set in 2131, when a newly set up comet-monitoring programme called Safeguard detected the Rama spacecraft beyond Jupiter. The “world” inside a cylindrical spacecraft about 50km x 20km takes some time to picture and I still haven't fully grasped it yet.

An Earth spacecraft was sent to investigate Rama, and the crew were able to park on the hull of the ship and then enter through an airlock. They set up a base camp, from which they sent out exploration parties.

There are a number of “cities” in the cylinder, which the author did not spend much time exploring. The Earth astronauts who examined the space ship had limited time to find out what they could before the ship got too close to the Sun, and the whole thing was totally alien, so they explored what they could, in a rather haphazard way.

As a standalone book, written in 1972, Arthur C Clarke has used his imagination and knowledge to write a thought-provoking book which leaves the reader thinking about the implications of what has been described. The author left plenty of questions unanswered, so although he has stated that he did not intend to write a sequel, he certainly left himself plenty of scope for one. Rendezvous with Rama is a short book; I have also read Rama II which is twice the length and has much more space to develop characters and actions.

The narration of Rendezvous with Rama, by Toby Longworth, is good, with clearly different voices for each of the characters.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Rama II

  • Rama Series, Book 2
  • By: Arthur C. Clarke
  • Narrated by: Toby Longworth
  • Length: 15 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 438
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 406
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 406

In 2130, an alien spaceship, Rama, entered our solar system. The first product of an alien civilisation to be encountered by man, it revealed many wonders to mankind; but most of its mysteries remained unsolved.… Sixty-six years later, a second approaching spacecraft was detected; four years on, the Ramans are definitely returning. But this time, Earth is ready. And maybe now, with the arrival of Rama II, some of the questions posed by Rama will at last be answered.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Takes A While To Get Going

  • By S. Morris on 25-08-15

Better than Rendezvous with Rama!

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

Reviewed: 29-09-14

Review of Rama II, Arthur C Clarke

This was the best book I've listened to for a long time. I put it on at every opportunity because I wanted to know what happened next. The story is well-constructed and thought-provoking, and the characters are clearly and convincingly drawn. It combines mystery, intrigue, adventure and romance, and now that I have finished it I am keen to go on to the next one in the set.

Arthur C Clarke describes the interior of the Rama II spacecraft, but the concept is not easy to understand – if I were reading the book I would have paused to think, and made a drawing to help me! However, nothing is so outlandish as to be unbelievable, and I'm hoping that some things will be explained in the subsequent books. I would like to think that details have not been introduced only to be ignored or forgotten later.

Rama II is the second Rama book; the first was Rendezvous with Rama, which I had not read before reading Rama II. I have just listened to Rendezvous, for completeness, before writing this review, but it wasn't necessary for my understanding of the story.

The narration by Toby Longworth was good, with voices clearly fitting the description of the characters. Sometimes his pronunciation was not perfect and it should have been corrected (for example, the avians live underground and for some time I wasn't sure whether they lived in a layer or a lair). I noticed more editing errors than is usual in Audible books, with several sentences being read twice and one instance, I think, of a sentence being omitted. Even so, these did not detract from my enjoyment of the book.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful