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Beccameriel

London, United Kingdom
  • 110
  • reviews
  • 605
  • helpful votes
  • 231
  • ratings
  • Cross Her Heart

  • By: Sarah Pinborough
  • Narrated by: Antonia Beamish
  • Length: 10 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 60
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 56
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 56

The explosive follow-up from Sarah Pinborough, author of the number one Sunday Times best seller Behind Her Eyes. ‘Cross my heart and hope to die...’ Promises last only if you trust each other, but what if one of you is hiding something? A secret no one could ever guess. Someone is living a lie. Is it Lisa? Maybe it’s her daughter, Ava. Or could it be her best friend, Marilyn?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • No one does twisty like Sarah Pinborough

  • By Beccameriel on 29-05-18

No one does twisty like Sarah Pinborough

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

Reviewed: 29-05-18

I binged this one pretty much in one day as it was so compelling. As ever, with Sarah Pinborough, just when you think you've worked out what's going on, she pulls the rug out from under you and everything you thought you had worked out about these characters turns out to be wrong. It's heartbreaking and upsetting in places but I can't say why without spoilers. Just be aware that Pinborough brings up some truly awful subjects but they are handled sensitively.

I really liked the depiction of female friendships and the thought processes of Ava are all too believable for a 16 year old.

Antonia Beamish does a great job; all the characters are clearly differentiated and believable.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

Nevernight cover art
  • Nevernight

  • The Nevernight Chronicle, Book 1
  • By: Jay Kristoff
  • Narrated by: Holter Graham
  • Length: 20 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 126
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 121
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 118

Daughter of an executed traitor, Mia Corvere is barely able to escape her father's failed rebellion with her life. Alone and friendless, she hides in a city built from the bones of a dead god, hunted by the Senate and her father's former comrades. But her gift for speaking with the shadows leads her to the door of a retired killer and a future she never imagined.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Surprisingly Good Tale...

  • By Mir on 11-12-16

Girl on a mission

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

Reviewed: 22-05-18

It took me a little while to get into this but then I loved it. Jay Kristoff's prose is dense with florid descriptions and it was a style that had to grow on me. I also have a to get over my cultural prejudice that an American accent is unsuitable for a fantasy world that is not obviously modern. Once I'd got used to that, I could appreciate Holter Graham's narration which is excellent.His characters are all clearly differentiated and appropriate and his pacing is good.

Mia's back story is gradually revealed interspersed with the unfolding present of her time at the school learning how to be an assassin and planning how to avenge her family. So, yes, there is a magical school and, no, it's nothing like Hogwarts. Can everyone just stop comparing all magical schools and gifted novice narratives to HP. It's a story trope that existed long before HP and will continue long after. Bleugh.

Anyway, it's a cracking adventure tale with added murder mystery. There is lots of violence, some of it quite gruesome, and sex so if you are unhappy at lengthy descriptions of oral pleasure then you might want to skip a few bits. There is also much sweary swearing. The city of Mia's birth has a Venetian feel and reminded me of Scott Lynch's Camorr. It does make a change from the usual medieval-ish setting of lots of fantasy series. In fact, if you like to compare books to other books, I think the Gentleman Bastards series has a similar feel.

  • The Furthest Station

  • A PC Peter Grant Novella
  • By: Ben Aaronovitch
  • Narrated by: Kobna Holdbrook-Smith
  • Length: 3 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,701
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,588
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,579

There's something going bump on the Metropolitan line, and Sergeant Jaget Kumar knows exactly who to call. It's PC Peter Grant's specialty.... Only it's more than going 'bump'. Traumatised travellers have been reporting strange encounters on their morning commute, with strangely dressed people trying to deliver an urgent message. Stranger still, despite calling the police themselves, within a few minutes the commuters have already forgotten the encounter - making the follow-up interviews rather difficult. 

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Ok but

  • By Jeffrey Slater on 06-10-17

End of the line!

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

Reviewed: 22-05-18

Peter Grant has to travel out to the far reaches of Metropolitan line to deepest darkest suburban Buckinghamshire to sort out some ghostly shenanigans. Abigail is helping him which is excellent as she is becoming one of my favourite characters. Who doesn't love a stroppy teenage girl determined to learn magic? The sense of place is so strong and Ben Aaronovitch's obsessive research is always put to good use. A vague disappointment in that it's only short but everything in the series adds a little more to the world building and we find out a little more about how the magic works. It's all so cleverly and seamlessly done.

Of course, I loved this. Kobna Holdbrook-Smith is, as ever, the one true voice of Peter Grant, my favourite magical copper in my favourite magical city :)

Bring on Lies Sleeping!

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Blood on Satan's Claw

  • An Audible Original Drama
  • By: Mark Morris - adapter, Piers Haggard, Robert Wynne-Simmons
  • Narrated by: Mark Gatiss, Reece Shearsmith, Thomas Turgoose, and others
  • Length: 2 hrs and 24 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 742
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 685
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 683

Seventeenth-century England, and a plough uncovers a grisly skull in the furrows of a farmer's field. The skull disappears, but its malefic influence begins to work in insidious ways upon the nearby village of Hexbridge. First, the cows stop milking and the fruit turns rotten on the trees. Then, an insolent ungodliness takes hold of the local children, mysterious fur patches appear on limbs and people start disappearing.... Something evil is stirring in the woods.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Folk Horror at it's best. A stellar adaptation.

  • By Film Lover on 17-01-18

Practically perfect folk horror

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

Reviewed: 14-03-18

Who doesn't love a bit of 17th century satanic panic? I certainly do, particularly when it's played by people who really know how to do this stuff like Reece Sheersmith and Alice Lowe. This is a full drama with fantastic sound design so it really is like a film for your ears. The atmosphere builds up gradually so it's worth listening to it in one session if you can.

There are a few changes from the story of the classic 1971 film. One change really did need to be made so I'm glad that it was done. Some things are best left in the early 1970s.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Strange Practice

  • A Dr Greta Helsing Novel
  • By: Vivian Shaw
  • Narrated by: Suzannah Hampton
  • Length: 9 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 179
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 160
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 162

Meet Greta Helsing, doctor to the undead. After inheriting a highly specialised and highly peculiar medical practice, Dr Helsing spends her days treating London's undead for a host of ills: vocal strain in banshees, arthritis in barrow-wights and entropy in mummies. Although barely making ends meet, this is the quiet, supernatural-adjacent life Greta's dreamed of since childhood. But when a sect of murderous monks emerges, killing human and undead alike, Greta must use her unusual skills to keep her supernatural clients - and the rest of London - safe.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Bit of a disappointment.

  • By G. P. Brown on 15-01-18

Even the undead need a doctor

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

Reviewed: 14-03-18

This a very promising start to a series. I love the idea of a doctor to deal with London's undead, monsters and other miscellaneous supernatural bods. I also love the idea that Greta has to deal with the realities of this career not paying very well. Of course, magic in London is the reason I continue to exist and breathe (in a purely literary way). More of this sort of thing please and thank you.

Suzanna Hampton is generall great BUT considering one of the main characters is Lord Ruthven, somebody really should have told her it's pronounced Riv'n (ridiculous though that is). I was exhausted by having to mentally correct it every time he is mentioned.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • From Dark Places

  • By: Emma Newman
  • Narrated by: Emma Newman
  • Length: 4 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3

Abby finds a creative solution to her father’s problems. Ben makes a pact with the Devil for a new Mum. Katie is pursued by unrelenting voices. John just found his colleague’s hand in a strange girl’s lap. Jarvis is falling apart on his wedding day. Rosalind comes face-to-face with her number one fan. And that is just the beginning....

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Short, dark & unsettling

  • By Beccameriel on 14-03-18

Short, dark & unsettling

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

Reviewed: 14-03-18

The headline says it all really. This anthology is called From Dark Places and that's exactly what the stories are. They are all pretty short so good to listen to during dull chores. If one story doesn't appeal, there's another one along in a few minutes.

I got this to be complete as I absolutely adore Emma Newman's sci fi (and I don't even like sci fi) and the Split World series.

She narrates her own work excellently.

  • Red Sister

  • Book of the Ancestor, Book 1
  • By: Mark Lawrence
  • Narrated by: Helen Duff
  • Length: 19 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 878
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 830
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 829

At the Convent of Sweet Mercy, young girls are raised to be killers. In a few the old bloods show, gifting talents rarely seen since the tribes beached their ships on Abeth. Sweet Mercy hones its novices' skills to deadly effect: it takes 10 years to educate a Red Sister in the ways of blade and fist. But even the mistresses of sword and shadow don't truly understand what they have purchased when Nona Grey is brought to their halls as a bloodstained child of eight, falsely accused of murder - guilty of worse.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Missed at your own expense!

  • By Strawberryskullcrusher on 14-04-17

Gripping, violent and exctiing

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

Reviewed: 12-07-17

Utterly surprised to find that I flipping loved this! I can't remember what made me buy it now but I'm glad I did. I don't normally enjoy extended fight scenes and am usually bored rigid as each thrust and twist is described in lengthy detail (ususally muttering "skip to the end, skip to the end!") but by some strange alchemy, Mark Lawrence has made the fights - and there are lots of them - totally mesmerising. Maybe it helps that the slowness is part of what Nona experiences or maybe he's just a really good writer.

Anyway, I loved the premise, the nuns, the atmosphere, the world building, the consistent system of magic, I can't say I loved Nona herself but she is fascinating. Even the depiction of girls' friendships was believable. Some major plot developments are very clearly signalled but somehow it didn't matter as the execution (hah!) was so good.

Helen Duff's narration is great. I enjoyed the variety of accents she uses and her pacing is uniformly excellent. My only slight whinge is that Nona always sounds like an adult even though she starts off as a young girl.

Really looking forward the the next book in the series.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • A Rare Book of Cunning Device

  • By: Ben Aaronovitch
  • Narrated by: Kobna Holdbrook-Smith
  • Length: 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,087
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,912
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,912

Exclusive to Audio! Somewhere amongst the shadowy stacks and the many basements of the British library, something is very much amiss - and we're not talking late returns here. Is it a ghost, or something much worse? PC Peter Grant really isn't looking forward to finding out....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Short vignette for the fans

  • By Beccameriel on 16-05-17

Short vignette for the fans

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

Reviewed: 16-05-17

A fun story that's really more of a short scene. Nice to see Postmartin have a bit of fun. Honestly, don't bother with this unless you already know the series. No concessions are made for noobs; it's just dropped there for you to find. Or, then again, maybe do just spend a few minutes listening to this and if you are intrigued, go back and get the books.

Kobna Holdbrook-Smith is brilliant as ever. It makes such a difference to the quality of the audiobook when the author and reader work together. Kobna is so comfortable as Peter Grant and Ben Aaronovitch's world that it's always a pleasure to listen to him.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • The Grand Sophy

  • By: Georgette Heyer
  • Narrated by: Sarah Woodward
  • Length: 11 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 337
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 304
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 299

Resourceful, adventurous and utterly indefatigable, Sophy is hardly the mild-mannered girl that the Rivenhalls expect when they agree to take her in. Kind-hearted Aunt Lizzy is shocked; stern Cousin Charles and his humorless fiancée Eugenia are disapproving.With her inimitable mixture of exuberance and grace Sophy soon sets about endearing herself to her family, but finds herself increasingly drawn to her cousin. Can she really be falling in love with him, and he with her? And what of his betrothal to Eugenia?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Utterly splendid - classic GH

  • By Beccameriel on 16-05-17

Utterly splendid - classic GH

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

Reviewed: 16-05-17

I'm not sure a review is helpful here. It's a classic Georgette Heyer. Is there is a marvellous, meddling heroine determined to sort everyone out? Is she a dashing rider of other people's horses/driver of their high perch phaetons? Is there a handsome man who is exasperated by our heroine's shenanigans? Is he highly respected at Jackson's? Are there various unpleasant, meddling females undermining her? A chorus of naughty but delightful young persons who kick up no end of larks and complicate matters? Does Lady Jersey make an appearance and issue tickets to Almacks? The answer to all these and more is yes, of course. If you are suffering from a fit of the blue devils, this is just the tonic. That or a fetching new pelisse.

Sarah Woodward is excellent.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Fellside

  • By: M. R. Carey
  • Narrated by: Finty Williams
  • Length: 15 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 820
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 771
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 769

Jess Moulson is convicted of murder. But it's a murder she can't remember committing. Nothing is quite clear from the drug-fuelled night when a blaze set in Jess' apartment killed the little boy upstairs. But when the media brands her a child killer, she starts to believe it herself. Now she's on her way to Fellside, the biggest, most formidable women's prison in Europe, standing in the bleak Yorkshire moors. But Jess won't be alone in her prison cell.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Genre-Hopping Mystery Drama

  • By Simon on 13-04-16

Tense and violent supernatural thriller

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

Reviewed: 25-03-17

There's lots of different types of story going on here but it's very enjoyable overall. It didn't go where I expected at all although one big reveal is so obvious that I found myself getting a bit irritated with the main protagonist for not figuring it out. In retrospect, we have more information than she does so jt gets a bye.

Actually not too much graphic violence but I'm not good with sort of thing so there was one bit I to listen to at double speed to lessen the impact.

I really enjoyed Finty Williams' narration; she has a very natural way of speaking. She doesn't really attempt accents which is fine and far better than doing them distractingly badly.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful