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Jackie Burns

  • 8
  • reviews
  • 36
  • helpful votes
  • 69
  • ratings
  • Children of the Deterrent

  • Halfhero, Book 1
  • By: Ian W. Sainsbury
  • Narrated by: Sam Phillips, Jaimi Barbakoff
  • Length: 9 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 774
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 725
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 723

The new novel by the author of the best-selling The World Walker series. 'My name is Daniel Harbin, and I'm a child of The Deterrent.' What if a superhuman turned out not to be so super...or even human? Britain's superhero, The Deterrent, was unveiled to the world in 1979 and disappeared two years later. The truth about his origins has never been revealed. The rumours about his children - those that survived - and their mysterious abilities have never been confirmed. Until now....

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Sadly predictable

  • By Miss Penelope Wright on 08-06-18

Excellent

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

Reviewed: 05-07-18

Excellent performance by Sam Philips and Jaime Barbakoff. The story is pretty good too, even if full of comic book cliches...but as it was so engagingly written I really didn’t mind. Great character twists sprinkled liberally throughput. You’re definitely going to get your monies worth listening to this audio book.

  • The Hanging Tree

  • Rivers of London, Book 6
  • By: Ben Aaronovitch
  • Narrated by: Kobna Holdbrook-Smith
  • Length: 10 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,030
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2,841
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,830

Suspicious deaths are not usually the concern of PC Peter Grant or the Folly, even when they happen at an exclusive party in one of the most expensive apartment blocks in London. But Lady Ty's daughter was there, and Peter owes Lady Ty a favour. Plunged into the alien world of the super-rich, where the basements are bigger than the house and dangerous, arcane items are bought and sold on the open market, a sensible young copper would keep his head down and his nose clean. But this is Peter Grant we're talking about.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • As usual, a great read.

  • By Justine on 12-12-16

It's been worth the wait...

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

Reviewed: 25-11-16

Lovely - Ben Aaronovitch has put a bit more muscle into the story arch, fleshed out the minor characters (past AND present), and has woven tantalising threads through the fabric of the main character that may, or may not, bear fruit in future episodes. I love it when I sense a variety of possible future outcomes.

The story unfolds at a very fast pace, yet the characters are always given just enough time to develop without any sense of being rushed. I loved the sprinkling of magical back history throughout the previous books and wasn't disappointed with this volume. And, as always, I especially love the way that Ben Aaronovitch give as much effort to crafting the past and present background, geographically speaking, as he does to his characters.

And as to the performance by Kobna Holbrook-Smith...I love, love, love it. Kobna REALLY brings the story alive with such passion and humour. His timing is amazing.

I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the story and the performance.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • American Gods: The Tenth Anniversary Edition (A Full Cast Production)

  • By: Neil Gaiman
  • Narrated by: Neil Gaiman, Dennis Boutskiaris, Daniel Oreskes, and others
  • Length: 19 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,867
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,405
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,394

Shadow Moon has served his time. But hours before his release from prison, his beloved wife is killed in a freak accident. Dazed, he boards a plane home where he meets the enigmatic Mr Wednesday, who professes both to know Shadow and to be king of America. Together they embark on a profoundly strange road trip across the USA, encountering a kaleidoscopic cast of characters along the way. Yet all around them a storm threatens to break.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • This book has got character!

  • By Sebastian on 24-12-14

I'm kinda lost for words...

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

Reviewed: 20-05-16

The performances of each of the voice actors has been nothing short of excellent, their voices draw you into the story and they keep you there, embellishing the imaginary characters in your minds eye without distracting from the story. It's a good book. A really good book...beautiful, horrific, sad, uplifting - all those things and more. At the end of the book I was left relieved that it was over, and sad that there was no more. It was a visceral, but enjoyable experience.

  • The Watchmaker of Filigree Street

  • By: Natasha Pulley
  • Narrated by: Thomas Judd
  • Length: 10 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,136
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,990
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,988

It's 1883. Thaniel Steepleton returns home to his tiny London apartment to find a gold pocket watch on his pillow. Six months later the mysterious timepiece saves his life, drawing him away from a blast that destroys Scotland Yard. At last he goes in search of its maker, Keita Mori, a kind, lonely immigrant from Japan. Although Mori seems harmless, a chain of unexplainable events soon suggests he must be hiding something.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An enchanting read

  • By anne on 15-08-15

Stately as an Octopus...

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

Reviewed: 16-05-16

Wonderful. I've thoroughly enjoyed the story throughout all of its convoluted twists and turns. The humour is subtle, and its social observations both sharp and deft in turns. Emotionally, there's no great depth to the book, but sometimes that's exactly the right cup of tea to serve. It's well written, well paced, well performed, and you'll be well entertained.

  • The Accidental Alchemist

  • By: Gigi Pandian
  • Narrated by: Julia Motyka
  • Length: 9 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 12
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 11

Unpacking her belongings in her new hometown of Portland, Oregon, herbalist and reformed alchemist Zoe Faust can't help but notice she's picked up a stowaway. Dorian Robert-Houdin is a living, breathing three-and-half-foot gargoyle - not to mention a master of French cuisine - and he needs Zoe's expertise to decipher a centuries-old text. Zoe, who's trying to put her old life behind her, isn't so sure she wants to reopen her alchemical past... until the dead man on her porch leaves her no choice.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Entertaining Urban Fantasy

  • By Jackie Burns on 27-04-16

Entertaining Urban Fantasy

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

Reviewed: 27-04-16

Promised much, didn't quite deliver....but it was an entertaining performance. The narration by Julia Motyka was excellent. The story premise was excellent and, indeed, started off well, but everything started to slide down hill from two-thirds through the story. The reveal at the end was weak, to say the least. I was disappointed. I hope that the writing in the follow-up book in this series improves because, as I've said before, the premise is excellent, but I won't be purchasing it to find out. Once was enough.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Starship's Mage Omnibus

  • Starship's Mage Series #1
  • By: Glynn Stewart
  • Narrated by: Jeffrey Kafer
  • Length: 10 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 200
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 189
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 188

In a galaxy tied together by the magic of the elite Jump Magi, Damien Montgomery is a newly graduated member of their number. With no family or connections to find a ship, he is forced into service on an interstellar freighter known to be hunted by pirates. When he takes drastic action to save the Blue Jay from their pursuers, he sets in motion a sequence of events beyond his control and attracts enemies on both sides of the law.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A good, simple yarn.

  • By Jackie Burns on 15-03-16

A good, simple yarn.

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

Reviewed: 15-03-16

I'm not going to bore you with anything like a synopsis. All you will need to know is that whilst I have really enjoyed myself listening to this audio book, it will not win awards for depth of characterisation or plot. That is, of itself, a plus because you will find yourself engaged, and entertained, without too much effort. Sometimes a good, simple yarn is all that is required. Fans of Firefly will be comfortable in the background to this story.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • A Natural History of Dragons

  • By: Marie Brennan
  • Narrated by: Kate Reading
  • Length: 10 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 159
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 151
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 153

From Scirland to the farthest reaches of Eriga, Isabella, Lady Trent is known to be the world’s preeminent dragon naturalist. Here at last, in her own words, is the true story of a pioneering spirit who risked her reputation and her prospects to satisfy her scientific curiosity; of how she sought true love and happiness despite her lamentable eccentricities; and how she made the first of many historic discoveries that would change the world forever.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Warning - contains a thread of wit so dry it will cut the page that it's read from.

  • By Jackie Burns on 08-08-15

Warning - contains a thread of wit so dry it will cut the page that it's read from.

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

Reviewed: 08-08-15

The story writing is an interesting blend of the Bronte sisters and the brothers Grimm. That isn't a criticism. There is also a vague flavour of steampunk around it. Just a hint, but enough to season the experience. I won't go into a critique of the story itself, other than to say that I really enjoyed it.

What elevated the story to the level of "I will listen for just five minutes more...no, another ten minutes...bugger, is that the time already?", was the impressive narration of Kate Reading. It will take a few minutes to get used to the irritating pomposity of the voice of the protagonist, but then you will discover that her voice actually changes, consistantly, to match the protagonist as she changes in age. She is so believable that I didn't even snigger at the voices she pulled for all the male characters. Consistency wins. What a professional!

13 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • The Collectors

  • By: Philip Pullman
  • Narrated by: Bill Nighy
  • Length: 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,831
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,527
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,542

"But the thing is," said Horley, "they didn’t know each other at all. Never heard of each other. It wasn’t about the makers. Only about the works." On a dark winter's night in 1970, Horley and Grinstead huddle for warmth in the Senior Common Room of a college in Oxford. Conversation turns to the two impressive works of art that Horley has recently added to his collection....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderfully dark story engagingly read

  • By Alexander Patterson on 12-09-15

A creepy little gem

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

Reviewed: 04-08-15

A beautifully observed meeting between two art collectors. Every detail is placed in exactly the right point, with nothing missing and nothing overdone. An impressive tapestry of a story that has been enhanced by the superb narration of Bill Nighy. Absolutely wonderful.