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MJP

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  • reviews
  • 8
  • helpful votes
  • 86
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  • Cephrael's Hand

  • A Pattern of Shadow and Light, Book 1
  • By: Melissa McPhail
  • Narrated by: Nick Podehl
  • Length: 32 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 237
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 229
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 229

In Alorin...300 years after the genocidal Adept Wars, the realm is dying, and the blessed Adept race dies with it. One man holds the secret to reverting this decline: Bjorn van Gelderan, a dangerous and enigmatic man whose shocking betrayal three centuries past earned him a traitor's brand. It is the Adept Vestal Raine D'Lacourte's mission to learn what Bjorn knows in the hope of salvaging his race. But first he'll have to find him....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Massive!

  • By Patrick on 22-12-16

Mixed feelings

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

Reviewed: 06-10-16

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Only after warning them that it had weaknesses, however it's not a bad story and is very well narrated.

Would you recommend Cephrael's Hand to your friends? Why or why not?

I was happy listening to it as I was doing so in the garden or doing jobs - if I'd sat to listen to it, I should have got very irritated by the writing style and given up.

Have you listened to any of Nick Podehl’s other performances? How does this one compare?

No, I don't think so but it was the performance that kept me listening.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No, not really - found bits of the parts with the pirate amusing though.

Any additional comments?

This book really needed a severe editing. Lots of cliches and over-use of adjectives/adverbs, sometimes oddly - weird use of the word 'subtlety' and lots of repetition. An over fondness of elaborate description and names, both of which are pretty unoriginal holds up the narrative. The basic story is quite good but the writing is a bit ponderous. Hence I shan't follow up with the next volume as I don't care enough about the characters to persist with the heavy narration style.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • The Lies of Locke Lamora

  • By: Scott Lynch
  • Narrated by: Michael Page
  • Length: 21 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,620
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,183
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,168

They say that the Thorn of Camorr can beat anyone in a fight. They say he steals from the rich and gives to the poor. They say he's part man, part myth, and mostly street-corner rumor. And they are wrong on every count. Only averagely tall, slender, and god-awful with a sword, Locke Lamora is the fabled Thorn, and the greatest weapons at his disposal are his wit and cunning. He steals from the rich - they're the only ones worth stealing from - but the poor can go steal for themselves.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fantastic modern fantasy storytelling

  • By Amazon Customer on 01-05-11

Original, entertaining and compulsive.

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

Reviewed: 19-07-16

Any additional comments?

This is the first of three books by Scott Lynch and although each can be read or listened to as a stand-alone, best to start with this one. If you do, you'll be hooked! The structure of the book gives you glimpses of a puzzle which becomes more and more complex. Who is Locke Lamora? Each book ends satisfactorily in some ways but there's always a hook because the central issues, the relationships between Locke and his remaining 'Gentleman Bastard' companions and his identity are never quite resolved. The plotting is intricate, the dialogue witty, the characters intriguing and well drawn. The entangled worlds of thieves, bond mages and nobility are vivid and compelling. Great to read and for listening.

  • The Desert Spear

  • The Demon Cycle, Book 2
  • By: Peter V. Brett
  • Narrated by: Colin Mace
  • Length: 24 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,348
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,252
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,254

Continuing the impressive debut fantasy series from author Peter V. Brett, The Desert Spear is book two of the Demon Cycle, pulling the reader into a world of demons, darkness and heroes. The Deliverer has returned, but who is he? Arlen Bales, formerly of the small hamlet of Tibbet's Brook, learnt harsh lessons about life as he grew up in a world where hungry demons stalk the night and humanity is trapped by its own fear.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazing 2nd instalment

  • By Susan on 29-07-15

All good

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

Reviewed: 25-04-15

Good characterisation, good plot and pace, excellent narration. What more could you want? Thoroughly enjoyed first two books of this series.

  • The Grand Sophy

  • By: Georgette Heyer
  • Narrated by: Sarah Woodward
  • Length: 11 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 371
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 330
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 325

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

Joyous

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

Reviewed: 21-02-15

One of the best of her romantic tangles. Entertaining and amusing with a glorious depiction of this period and read with warmth and humour.

The Game of Kings
    
    
        By:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Dorothy Dunnett
    
    


    
    
        Narrated by:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Samuel Gillies
    
    


    
    Length: 24 hrs and 48 mins
    47 ratings
    Overall 4.2
  • The Game of Kings

  • By: Dorothy Dunnett
  • Narrated by: Samuel Gillies
  • Length: 24 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 47
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 43
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 43

The Game of Kings: First in The Lymond Saga. It's August 1547, and unrest in Europe is rife. Scotland, nominally ruled by 4 year old Queen Mary, is heaving with intrigue - and hot gossip. The notorious rebel, Crawford of Lymond, is rumoured to be back in Edinburgh. The city is sealed, but such things never worry 'Lymond'. As usual, he leaves a characteristic trail of hue and cry, vanished contraband, and a drunken sow.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A kaleidoscope of the 16th Century

  • By MJP on 29-01-14

A kaleidoscope of the 16th Century

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

Reviewed: 29-01-14

What made the experience of listening to The Game of Kings the most enjoyable?

I've always loved this series and it was great to be able to listen to it at my leisure as I got on with my household chores. It's an intricate and carefully developed story, like a piece of beautiful embroidery. It's a high romance with characters who develop over time and there are all kinds of twists and turns in the plot, some of which will only become clear in later volumes. It may take a little while to get attuned to Dorothy Dunnet's style but once you do, you'll be hooked for life!

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Game of Kings?

Don't want to answer this as far as character and plot are concerned as it would spoil the book for others. The jewel bright descriptions of life in 16C Scotland though are brilliant and the constant twists and turns of the plot are a delight.

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

The narration was good in many ways. However, the Lymond character and many of the others are young, challenging and humorous and this needs to be reflected in their dialogue. The narrator's style was a bit ponderous and didn't really reflect the sharp wit of the characters he portrayed. Even Sybilla, although not a young woman, sounded really ancient rather than the 'Helen Mirren' image I've always held of her.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Yes - more than one - again, plot spoiler.

Any additional comments?

This is a very welcome series and I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the story again. However, I did feel that the narrator had gravitas rather than the smooth sophistication and wit that the story needed.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful