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  • The Wizards of Once

  • Book 1
  • By: Cressida Cowell
  • Narrated by: David Tennant
  • Length: 5 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 459
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 388
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 384

Once there was magic, and the magic lived in the dark forests. Until the warriors came... This is the story of a young boy wizard and a young girl warrior who have been taught since birth to hate each other like poison and the thrilling tale of what happens when their two worlds collide. Xar is a wizard boy who has no magic and will do anything to get it. Wish is a warrior girl, but she owns a banned magical object, and she will do anything to conceal it.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • absolutely wonderful!

  • By puppeteer on 02-10-17

Great fun!

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

Reviewed: 28-10-17

I enjoyed this book - comparisons are always odious but I couldn't help but compare to the dragon books - but I didn't enjoy it quite as much as the dragon series. That said, I will certainly be looking out for the sequels and I am sure I will enjoy the development of the plot. Witches are most certainly not extinct......Superbly narrated by David Tennant who uses his bottomless repertoire of different voices to bring the story to life.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Glass Houses

  • Chief Inspector Gamache, Book 13
  • By: Louise Penny
  • Narrated by: Robert Bathurst
  • Length: 13 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 73
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 68
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 68

One cold November day, a mysterious figure appears on the village green in Three Pines, causing unease, alarm and confusion among everyone who sees it. Chief Superintendent Armand Gamache knows something is seriously wrong, but all he can do is watch and wait, hoping his worst fears are not realised. But when the figure disappears and a dead body is discovered, it falls to Gamache to investigate.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Mixed feelings

  • By molly68 on 03-09-17

good story; narration????

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

Reviewed: 02-10-17

I enjoyed this book as I have its predecessors; a good tale with believable characters that develop with the series. Perhaps not the finest in the series, but most enjoyable. However, I must agree with many of the other reviews,Mr Bathurst is not the man to narrate these books. They are set in Quebec with French Canadian characters - there must surely be a Canadian who can read them and bring the characters to life. Comparisons are odious, but in this case I'm afraid I do agree that Mr Sims was by far the better narrator. It does rather spoil the book.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Bone Field

  • The heart-stopping new thriller
  • By: Simon Kernick
  • Narrated by: Paul Thornley
  • Length: 10 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 786
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 719
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 721

A new twist to a decades old mystery. 1990. A young woman goes missing while backpacking in Thailand. She is never seen again. 2016. Her bones are discovered 6000 miles away in an English field and, within hours, the boyfriend who reported her disappearance all those years ago is dead. So begins a hunt to solve her murder that will take DI Ray Mason and PI Tina Boyd into a dark and terrifying world of corruption and deadly secrets, where murder is commonplace, and nothing and nobody is safe....

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Disappointing

  • By P M Sedgwick on 08-10-17

very disappointing

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

Reviewed: 21-05-17

This book started really well, the narrator is excellent and the story draws you in - despite the rather improbable body count - but it never ended........ I would not like to spoil the book for another listener, but the "cliff hanger" ending left the impression that the author hadn't really thought about finishing the book, had reached the required number of words and simply stopped. I'm not sure I will bother with a sequel - imagine if that also ends so abruptly. Rather like a soap opera.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • The Strangler Vine

  • By: M. J. Carter
  • Narrated by: Sam Dastor
  • Length: 11 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 144
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 135
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 132

Penguin presents the unabridged, downloadable audiobook edition of M. J. Carter's The Strangler Vine, read by the actor Sam Dastor. India, 1837: William Avery, a fresh young officer in the East India Company, arrives in Calcutta expecting to be seduced by its ancient traditions. Nine months later he hasn't learnt a word of Hindoostani, is in terrible debt, and longs to return home before the cholera epidemic finishes him off.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • "Ripping Yarn" revises our view of Brits in India

  • By T on 15-05-15

Slow start, but well worth the perseverence

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

Reviewed: 21-02-17

I initially downloaded this book on the strength of the narrator whom I came across in the Vish Puri series. The prologue was a bit confusing - perhaps it would have been better in the written novel to actually see the context, but once I was through the first few chapters I was hooked. The conversion of Lt Avery from naive unhappy boy to confident man was as compelling as was the historical background across which it took place. The historical afterword was as interesting as the story.
Well written and superbly narrated by Mr Dastor I really recommend this book..

  • The Silk Roads

  • A New History of the World
  • By: Peter Frankopan
  • Narrated by: Laurence Kennedy
  • Length: 24 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,806
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,544
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,525

The sun is setting on the Western world. Slowly but surely, the direction in which the world spins has reversed: where for the last five centuries the globe turned westward on its axis, it now turns to the east.... For centuries, fame and fortune were to be found in the West - in the New World of the Americas. Today it is the East that calls out to those in search of adventure and riches. The region stretching from Eastern Europe and sweeping right across Central Asia, deep into China and India, is taking center stage.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Poor reading.

  • By Paul on 29-08-17

Riveting history

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

Reviewed: 17-12-16

A well written and extremely informative book focusing on a geographical area not often featured in the run of the mill European history texts. Due to the vast volume of material covered it is to be expected that sometimes the author may seem a little prejudiced and the story a little lopsided. As a wanna-be student of history I have been amused and fascinated how similar themes keep repeating themselves (albeit with different players) and indeed are still playing out today as I write. As with any narrated non-fiction book I have had to find maps pertaining to the narrative to fully understand the nuances of the geography and have had to repeat sections to completely absorb the facts.

The narrator does a reasonable job with what can sometimes be dry material, but I think the producer could have edited a bit better as I often get the impression the narrator stopped mid-sentence and missed punctuation so the narrative is a bit stilted.

Overall, I really enjoyed the book and turned off my iPod feeling I had learned a lot.

  • The Case of the Missing Servant

  • By: Tarquin Hall
  • Narrated by: Sam Dastor
  • Length: 8 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 81
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 66
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 66

Meet Vish Puri, India’s most private investigator. Portly, persistent and unmistakably Punjabi, he cuts a determined swathe through modern India’s swindlers, cheats and murderers.In hot and dusty Delhi, where call centres and malls are changing the ancient fabric of Indian life, Puri’s main work comes from screening prospective marriage partners, a job once the preserve of aunties and family priests

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Charming

  • By Anonymous User on 11-03-15

Charming

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

Reviewed: 11-03-15

If you could sum up The Case of the Missing Servant in three words, what would they be?

Fun, charming, spot-on!

What did you like best about this story?

The portrayal of India as it is - the delightful mangling of the English language and descriptions of the scenes like the one of the railway station, but not neglecting the darker side of corrupt officialdom and a justice system that is often less than truthful

What does Sam Dastor bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

The lovely sing-song delivery and speech patterns of the characters

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Not necessarily. The plot was well crafted, but did not keep me on the edge, or keep me awake at night. It was a feel-good book!

Any additional comments?

I look forward to the next one.....

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Falcons of Montabard

  • By: Elizabeth Chadwick
  • Narrated by: Christopher Scott
  • Length: 17 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 30
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 23
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 24

In the aftermath of tragedy and scandal, Sabin FitzSimon, illegitimate son of a Norman earl, leaves England for the Holy Land in search of a new beginning.

At first, it seems impossible, as the demons from his past life return to haunt him, and Sabin finds his back to the wall. In the heat and dust, magnificence and danger of Northern Syria, he must either face himself, or be vanquished.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Chadwick Magic

  • By Simone on 13-04-13

one of my favourites

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 23-12-12

This must rate as one of my favourite Elizabeth Chadwick stories. It is well narrated by Christopher Scott which greatly adds to the pleasure of an accurately researched, well written and interesting historical novel. The mediaeval story of a nineteenth century "remittance man" who makes good out in the colonies; in this case in the lands of the Crusaders in what is now Syria. The hero is believable and the heroine has gumption and an attitude!

I thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone who appreciates good story telling.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • How to Cheat a Dragon's Curse

  • How to Train Your Dragon, Book 4
  • By: Cressida Cowell
  • Narrated by: David Tennant
  • Length: 3 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 333
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 256
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 252

Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III was a Viking hero - dashing, brave, and ever so clever. But even Viking heroes have to begin somewhere.... Can Hiccup find the antidote to deadly Vorpentitis and fight the Doomfang? Can he brave the axe of Norbert the Nutjob and be the Hero yet again?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Dragontastic!

  • By R B. on 12-12-14

How to Cheat a Dragon's Curse

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 18-03-11

Beautifully narrated, thoroughly enjoyed by the whole family, although it is a children's book. We have listened to the whole series so far and eagerly await the next audio installments of the Hairy Hooligans! Pity though that they are abridged.