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Rachel

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  • 120
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Hokey but mostly enjoyable...

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

Reviewed: 30-10-19

I did enjoy this book, which was well read by Christopher Lane. The story is good - with many of the mind-bending aspects of time travel explored. I also enjoyed the down-home southern USA style to begin with. However, it became a bit saccharine and nice. Everything heading towards happy ever after and sickly sweet. I also object to the core idea that humanity is divided into good people and bad - ridiculously simplistic. There are bad people but most of us are a complex mix of selfish, kind, lazy, hard-working etc. This story really portrays the idea of American values - that hard work and relentless application will win out in the end, when we all know life just isn't like that. So although I listened to the whole book and enjoyed the first half a lot, it left me feeling as I often do at the end of mainstream American movies - like we can't endure the truth that life is complicated and unfair! (And we all die in the end.)

Romping with Winter

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

Reviewed: 15-10-19

It's just great to be reading books with strong, clever and capable women characters. Winter is complicated and cunning and these books are well-written escapist fantasy. Fast, crazy and far-fetched, this is a wild romp with a bad and brilliant spy. Beautifully narrated: the sex is sexy, the plot is bonkers and I really hope there'll be more.

4 people found this helpful

Delicious second helping

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

Reviewed: 15-10-19

I am getting old. I listen to dozens of audiobooks every year and promptly forget most of them. So when I saw that the third part of this trilogy was available I tried to remember the earlier books - which I listened to about 18 months ago. An almost complete blank. So I started with Nevernight, intending to listen to enough to refresh my memory. But I listened to the whole book, surprised that I could have forgotten such a vivid story. I really like the bloodiness (grimdark is the best!) and Mia's strength, how she evolves and grows - always trying to find her own opinion. I managed to overcome my aversion to 'magical school' settings for the first book, but was relieved when Mia got out of there and into the arena. Holter Graham's narration is wonderful. I very much enjoy the whispers of Mr Kindly. Even the sex scenes manage to be quite horny rather than corny. This book is better than the first in some ways. Nice twists and turns and good character development. So now I'm going to listen to Darkdawn, and try to remember it. If not - I'll just have to listen again next year! (It would be good to have more stars to play with in these reviews. I can't give this full marks - five stars have to be reserved for Joe Abercrombie)

Agonies and Ecstasies of youth

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

Reviewed: 04-09-19

What a wonderful, moving, funny and well-observed book. I enjoyed it so much I didn't want it to end. And Rory Kinnear's narration just adds the delicious icing to the cake. Don't hesitate - if you want a deeply enjoyable and very British coming-of-age story that will make you laugh and sigh, and still resonate with you days later - you've found it...

1 person found this helpful

Good fun

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

Reviewed: 08-02-19

I enjoyed this fantasy. It is good-humoured and very visual (I can really see some of the adventures clearly in my mind's eye). Although the characters are a bit cliched they are rounded enough to care about and Simon Bubb's narrating certainly helped to make them seem more three dimensional. The story is exciting and well-paced with some good set pieces. The character of Aren did develop and mature through the book, although his friend Kale is a bit of a Sam Gamgee. I wonder if I've made this book sound dumb? It was certainly enjoyable for me and I will be listening to the next one.

2 people found this helpful

Row row row the boat...

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

Reviewed: 08-02-19

Like the river, this book is full stories, secrets and reflections - the kind that wriggle and warp on the surface of the water. Which of the missing is this magical child? There are powerful women in this book: Rita who helps mothers and babies during birth and helps the sick and old as they die, Margot who runs the Swan Inn and cares for poor Joe and their children and the woman who lets people tell their tragedies and cry and talk until they feel better. I love Robert the farmer with his pockets full of treats to gentle any beast or child. There is kindness and mystery, sorrow and harsh lives in this story. It twisted and turned and I loved every moment. Of course, it was made all the more absorbing and wonderful by the incomparable Juliet Stevenson, whose honey voice - so warm and adaptable - drew me in and wouldn't let me go. Such a treat.

Magical books

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

Reviewed: 08-02-19

Binding: the cover of a book; an agreement or promise that mustn't be broken; to tie something or someone; a spell that stops the actions of another person.

This was wonderful - atmospheric and full of surprises. Like a box of delicious chocolates. I really engaged with the characters and the world of the story was utterly convincing to me. Emmett doesn't want to be a binder, and what are books for anyway? Why do his parents fear them? Who is the old woman who becomes his teacher? And what about the delicious boy from the big house?

A book full of shadows and questions, unexpected developments and moral choices. What are memories and what do we do with the awful ones? (Shades of Sunshine of the Spotless Mind in some of the ideas). This is an intelligent fantasy novel that I didn't want to end.

1 person found this helpful

Isolation, fear and infection

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

Reviewed: 02-09-18

Like many I really enjoyed The Girl with All the Gifts, and I really enjoyed this book too. It's billed as a prequel, but that's not entirely true, in that the ending of this book is not the start of the other. Instead, we see what happens to the uninfected humans in a time beyond the end of both books. The characters and story line had me completely engaged in the fate of the soldiers and scientists sent out in Rosie - an impregnable fortress of a tank/camper truck - to travel Britain obtaining samples from llive 'hungries' in an attempt to discover more about the infection, and a possible vaccine. The action is incremental and much of the story builds tension and conflict between the humans travelling in Rosie, added to by reports of larger scale conflicts happening back in the survivor city of Beacon, until contact with home base mysteriously ceases. The boy of the title is a brilliant young scientist - traumatised and secretive - discovering important truths about the new 'hungries' - children who still have functional brains - like those who we met in the Girl with All the Gifts. I found the story addictive and the characters believable. A thoroughly enjoyable and exciting book. Finty Williams narration was wonderful and added greatly to that enjoyment.

The Wild versus the Domestic

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

Reviewed: 19-08-18

A deeply beautiful story, perfectly told by the wonderful Jonathan Keeble. A boy is bereft and finds himself living in the woods with his grandpa. Through fairy tales and war stories we discover the papa's past and the power of the forest. And beneath the sadness and survival the ancient dilemma between the longing to be free and wild, and longing for safety and comfort, is played out as life in the forest becomes increasingly harsh, and human connection calls out to the boy. I found this an amazing and satisfying tale on all levels and it still haunts me - several weeks after I finished it.

Terrible book

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

Reviewed: 19-08-18

I listened to over half of this book - I hate giving up - but it is such bland writing and the narration is so flat, I hated it. In the end I couldn't even keep going to find out what happens. There's a boring main character and her drip of a new boyfriend, a history of violent abuse which has led to post traumatic stress and obsessive compulsive disorder. That was the only interesting bit for me - how she could overcome her compulsions. But really I just couldn't care less about the characters or their horrible lives. So glad I gave up after all.