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Robyn

escaping to another world
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  • Age of Myth

  • Book One of The Legends of the First Empire
  • By: Michael J. Sullivan
  • Narrated by: Tim Gerard Reynolds
  • Length: 16 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 371
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 353
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 352

Since time immemorial, humans have worshipped the gods they call Fhrey, truly a race apart: invincible in battle, masters of magic, and seemingly immortal. But when a god falls to a human blade, the balance of power between humans and those they thought were gods changes forever. Now only a few stand between humankind and annihilation: Raithe, reluctant to embrace his destiny as the God Killer. Suri, a young seer burdened by signs of impending doom. And Persephone, who must overcome personal tragedy to lead her people.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A Very Enjoyable Mystical Read

  • By Lulu on 15-07-16

Well constructed fantasy

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

Reviewed: 02-01-19

The usual ingredients for a good fantasy epic. Fhrey, Dwarves, Humans, giants, mythical beasts, inept leaders, conspiring leaders, a few heroes - all tossed together with some well constructed plots and some solid (and likeable) characters. A good dose of #metoo and feminism keeps it current (eg it's a group of women who set off to save the world, leaving the men behind to squabble over who the leader is), but there is also some rather useful sword swinging and magic blasts chucked around by all and sundry too.

Yes, it's a typical fantasy, but it's well constructed, with no gaping plot holes or convenient twists, and therefore it's perfectly enjoyable for those fans of this genre. I have now listened to books 1 to 3 in quick succession, and still looking forward to book 4 (release date later in 2019 apparently), which must say something re their standard!

It's the same world as the The Riyria Revelations, but it pre-dates that period. I know I will be tempted to go back and re-listen to that series once I finally get done with this one.

Narration is well suited to the story.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Becoming

  • By: Michelle Obama
  • Narrated by: Michelle Obama
  • Length: 19 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 16,424
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 14,580
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 14,531

In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites listeners into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her - from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work to her time spent at the world's most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it - in her own words and on her own terms. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Audio better than print

  • By Fersh on 03-12-18

Just fabulous!

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

Reviewed: 30-11-18

Like the former First Lady herself; Fabulous!

An honest and inspiring telling of Becoming. Couldn't put it down.

Thank you, Michelle, for the honesty and dignity with which you have told your story, and the inspiration you bring with it. This book resonated with me on so many levels. I am inspired to do more and to be more.

Here's to the day when politics, worldwide, returns to the concept of Service Before Self. Using Becoming as a reference, the Obamas seem to have got it right. They were motivated by all the right things. I can't imagine either Barack or Michelle will fade into the background post White House - quite simply, they have too much energy and too much more to offer.

Listening to Michelle Obama narrate this herself was an added bonus. You can hear the emotion, and the honesty. Certainly, this must be one of those books where the audio is better than the written version.

9 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Kingdom of Ash

  • By: Sarah J. Maas
  • Narrated by: Elizabeth Evans
  • Length: 33 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 581
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 527
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 528

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
  • A solid final instalment

  • By Robyn on 14-11-18

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).

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Skyward

  • By: Brandon Sanderson
  • Narrated by: Sophie Aldred
  • Length: 15 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,929
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,815
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,817

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
  • What a fun story - highly recommended

  • By TomzMullen on 18-12-18

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.

13 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Big Little Lies

  • By: Liane Moriarty
  • Narrated by: Caroline Lee
  • Length: 15 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,664
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,264
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,253

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).

3 of 3 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 1,273
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,192
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,191

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
  • Excellent series

  • By Robyn on 17-10-18

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.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Spoonbenders

  • By: Daryl Gregory
  • Narrated by: John Chancer
  • Length: 16 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 76
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 73
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 73

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
  • A little bit different

  • By Robyn on 16-08-18

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.

4 of 4 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 1,016
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 944
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 946

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.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Good fantasy listen

  • By Robyn on 16-08-18

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.

17 of 17 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 1,051
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 970
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 971

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.

4 of 4 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 1,318
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,233
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 1,230

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
  • Still excellent

  • By Robyn on 09-07-18

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.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful