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  • Kingdom of Ash

  • By: Sarah J. Maas
  • Narrated by: Elizabeth Evans
  • Length: 33 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 111
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 104
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 104

Aelin has risked everything to save her people - but at a tremendous cost. Locked within an iron coffin by the Queen of the Fae, Aelin must draw upon her fiery will as she endures months of torture. Aware that yielding to Maeve will doom those she loves keeps her from breaking, though her resolve begins to unravel with each passing day....With Aelin captured, Aedion and Lysandra remain the last line of defense to protect Terrasen from utter destruction. Yet they soon realize that the many allies they've gathered to battle Erawan's hordes might not be enough to save them.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Perfect ending for a fantastic series

  • By vincentr on 25-10-18

A solid final instalment

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

Reviewed: 14-11-18

No time is wasted in recapping what has gone before . Do not attempt to read this if you haven't read all previous books in the series.

There are three distinct groups / story arcs travelling towards each other for the final big show-down. There is no treading lightly around a big ending, and nothing held back in the violence of the battles. It's a well conceived final instalment, with very few loose ends.

I did find the writing a little uninspiring at times. The same descriptors repeated over and over (up, up, up and dive, dive, dive), and the sex scenes a little gratuitous and samey, and a good editor might have been able to tighten it all up. However, despite these few gripes (I know I'm of the fussy variety), the plot is still good, and although the final outcome is not unexpected, it doesn't all go to plan and therefore it keeps it interesting.

It's been a good series, and one I've enjoyed from start to finish. It didn't lose any momentum in this final instalment, and in the end, it was all quite satisfying. It helps that I've always enjoyed the heroine - and her character development is solid and consistent throughout the series.

Narration is ok - occasionally jarring, but on the whole it's alright (but that might be more the writing not being up to par in those places, than the narration's problem).

  • Skyward

  • By: Brandon Sanderson
  • Narrated by: Sophie Aldred
  • Length: 15 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 166
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 159
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 159

Defeated, crushed, and driven almost to extinction, the remnants of the human race is trapped on a planet that is constantly attacked by mysterious alien starfighters. Spensa, a teenage girl living among them, longs to be a pilot. When she discovers the wreckage of an ancient ship, she realizes this dream might be possible - assuming she can repair the ship, navigate flight school, and (perhaps most importantly) persuade the strange machine to help her. Because this ship, uniquely, appears to have a soul.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Heading

  • By Adam on 09-11-18

Sanderson sci-fi magic

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

Reviewed: 14-11-18

Brandon Sanderson's world building and magic systems have put him up there with the best in the fantasy genre. This is sci-fi. - there is no magic system. Instead we're treated to the Sanderson imagination unleashed skyward.

It does read a little young-adult, but I wouldn't see that as a negative. This is easily one of those books which could be enjoyed by a family together on a long journey (no cringey-turn-the-volume-down scenes). No bad language ("Scud!" is as bad as it gets), no graphic sex scenes, no bloody violence (although there is death through battle - it is sensitively managed) - instead you get likeable, interesting characters and a well conceived plot. And despite trying to work it out all the way through the book, and my many guesses at the reasons things were as they were....I didn't come close! It's a good ending, while still setting things up nicely for a sequel or two.

A very well spent credit and another contented Sanderson fan.

  • Big Little Lies

  • By: Liane Moriarty
  • Narrated by: Caroline Lee
  • Length: 15 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,440
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,165
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,159

Pirriwee Public is a beautiful little beachside primary school where children are taught that ‘sharing is caring.’ So how has the annual School Trivia Night ended in full-blown riot? Sirens are wailing. People are screaming. The principal is mortified. And one parent is dead. Was it a murder, a tragic accident or just good parents gone bad? As the parents at Pirriwee Public are about to discover, sometimes it’s the little lies that turn out to be the most lethal.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Should be 4.5 Stars - Fantastic Surprise

  • By Gavingks on 06-11-14

Very well observed

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

Reviewed: 17-10-18

What makes this so clever is that you could potentially recognise almost all the characters, to some degree at least, in those faces you see at the school gates every day. I love the little vignettes and interviews from the various parents as the book progresses - their random observations which are so presumptive and regularly out of place, or just so obviously self-centred. It's all so well observed. A microscope on the politics of the parents at the school gates (some of whom really need to grow up themselves). Genius in the telling. Completely believable characters and very, very well constructed. Didn't see the end coming right until "it" happened, despite the obvious clues and foreshadowing. A really good listen (and a reminder not to make assumptions about people we don't know, or even about those who we think we know).

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Emperor's Blades

  • Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne, Book 1
  • By: Brian Staveley
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 19 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,166
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,091
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,091

In The Emperor's Blades by Brian Staveley, the emperor of Annur is dead, slain by enemies unknown. His daughter and two sons, scattered across the world, do what they must to stay alive and unmask the assassins. But each of them also has a life-path on which their father set them, destinies entangled with both ancient enemies and inscrutable gods.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An enjoyable setting of scene

  • By Callum on 02-12-15

Excellent series

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

Reviewed: 17-10-18

I have just completed all three books in this trilogy - enjoyed them immensely. If you're an epic fantasy fan, and enjoy the likes of Abercrombie, Sanderson, Lawrence or Rothfuss, then you may want to add this one to your listen list.

It was all fast-paced, and the characters sufficiently complex to be interesting. Despite the length (over 70 hours across 3 books), not once did I think "padding in the middle", nor did I consider anything predictable. Indeed even in the third book I found myself regularly looking at the time remaining and wondering how it could all possibly resolve itself with only a few hours to go! Particularly enjoyed the epilogue's "wrap-up".

Over 70 hours of escapist listening with excellent narration throughout. Very happy to have parted with 3 credits for this series.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Spoonbenders

  • By: Daryl Gregory
  • Narrated by: John Chancer
  • Length: 16 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 64
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 62
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 62

Meet Matthias Telemachus, Teddy Telemachus, Maureen Telemachus, Irene Telemachus, Frankie Telemachus and Buddy Telemachus! They were the Amazing Telemachus Family, who in the mid-1970s achieved widespread fame for their magic and mind-reading act. That is until the magic decided to disappear one night, live on national television.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Best book ever

  • By Andrew Balerdi on 25-10-17

A little bit different

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

Reviewed: 16-08-18

This is another quirky listen. A family with a difference, while managing to be just a little bit dysfunctional. Amusing and light-hearted in its tone, it was cleverly constructed with a decent twist in the tail. Worth a credit if you are looking for a comfortable holiday listen with a difference.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Throne of Glass

  • A Throne of Glass Novel
  • By: Sarah J. Maas
  • Narrated by: Elizabeth Evans
  • Length: 12 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 630
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 581
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 583

After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king's council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she'll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Most Definitely Not Game of Thrones

  • By jf101 on 30-12-16

Good fantasy listen

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

Reviewed: 16-08-18

Apart from the narrator being a little bit "shouty" too often, this was a really easy, enjoyable listen.
Moves along at a decent pace, with all the usual ingredients of a good fantasy novel. Strong, feisty heroine, and decent support characters. Enjoyed it. A different magic / power angle than I've encountered before, even if the references to the fae and demons etc are still familiar.
Downloaded book number 2 immediately I finished this - and that's usually a good indicator for a good rating.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden

  • By: Jonas Jonasson
  • Narrated by: Peter Kenny
  • Length: 12 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 991
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 914
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 915

On 14th June, 2007, the King of Sweden disappears. In 1994 South Africa dismantles six missiles developed during its brief nuclear weapons programme. In 1961 Nombeko Mayeki is born in a Soweto shack. Seemingly destined for a life nasty, brutish and short, her path takes an entirely unpredictable turn. Because really this story is all about the seventh South African missile - the one that was never supposed to have existed. The one that Nombeko knows far too much about.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An Intellectual Laugh-out-loud Read!!

  • By Lulu on 03-12-15

Quirky

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

Reviewed: 09-07-18

Very much like the 100 year old man in that the improbable occurs on a regular basis, and everything lines up rather too usefully. That said, having grown up in South Africa during the apartheid years, I enjoyed the South African scenes which if they hadn't been so light-heartedly written might have been rather upsetting given their "well-observed-truth".

An easy listening credit. Perfect for when you need something entertaining and uncomplicated.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Skin Game

  • The Dresden Files
  • By: Jim Butcher
  • Narrated by: James Marsters
  • Length: 15 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 1,126
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,049
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 1,046

Harry Dresden, Chicago's only professional wizard, is about to have a very bad day. As Winter Knight to the Queen of Air and Darkness, Harry never knows what the scheming Mab might want him to do. Usually, it's something awful. This time, it's worse than that. Mab's involved Harry in a smash-and-grab heist run by one of his most despised enemies, to recover the literal Holy Grail from the vaults of the greatest treasure horde in the world - which belongs to the one and only Hades, Lord of the Underworld.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Dresden file that delivers!

  • By J. Sutherland on 26-07-14

Still excellent

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

Reviewed: 09-07-18

Slightly concerned that I may be coming to the end of this series?

I think there has only been one book (Ghost Story) which I felt a little neutral about - the rest have simply ticked all my required listening boxes. The magic stacks, the characters are unique and well developed - and after 15 books, I'm really quite fond of them. This is comfort listening for any fan of magic and the supernatural. James Marsters is excellent as narrator, and has made this series for me.

With Skin Game, there is yet another twist to the series (which is why I'm slightly concerned that there aren't a whole list of books to come in the audible library...). All sorts of new alliances, twists and turns. Nice to see Michael on an outing again - and the scenes with Mouse always make me smile too.

The humour is on form, as always. Definitely a favourite series of books.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Changes: The Dresden Files, Book 12

  • By: Jim Butcher
  • Narrated by: James Marsters
  • Length: 15 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 829
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 769
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 766

Long ago, Susan Rodriguez was Harry Dresden's lover-until she was attacked by his enemies, leaving her torn between her own humanity and the bloodlust of the vampiric Red Court. Susan then disappeared to South America, where she could fight both her savage gift and those who cursed her with it.Now Arianna Ortega, Duchess of the Red Court, has discovered a secret Susan has long kept, and she plans to use it-against Harry.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Best of all the Dresden Books

  • By Mrs W. on 25-02-17

It's all change

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

Reviewed: 30-05-18

It's all changing.....a good plot twist lobbed in at the start of the book sets the scene for a new direction for Harry and his team/friends.

Another 5 star instalment to this series. I am not even remotely getting bored with this saga - indeed have just nervously checked to see how many books there are left in this series as I'm already worried about what I'm going to resort to when its done.

James Marsters is superb, as ever.

If you haven't yet started this series - treat yourself! Start at the beginning though, cos it's a fun, fun ride.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Turn Coat

  • The Dresden Files, Book 11
  • By: Jim Butcher
  • Narrated by: James Marsters
  • Length: 14 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 848
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 792
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 792

The Warden Morgan has been accused of treason against the Wizards of the White Council - and there's only one, final punishment for that crime. He's on the run, wants his name cleared, and needs someone with a knack for backing the underdog. Someone like Harry Dresden....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • More of the same!

  • By Sam on 01-12-13

Excellent as always

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

Reviewed: 16-05-18

I so enjoy the Harry Dresden stories; they seem to get better and better. This has become my go-to series when I need something tried and trusted as a palate cleaner between epic fantasy tales. (Harry and the characters are so well developed that it gives this series surprising depth.)

This story is steering the way to further intrigue reference the black council....its clearly all going to implode or explode quite spectacularly in one of the books to come.

Narration never disappoints. James Marsters is consistent across all the books, and he manages to keep the ironic and humorous moments just right. (as long as I avoid remembering him as Spike from his Buffy days)

1 of 1 people found this review helpful