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Paul Lloyd

West Haven, NSW, AU
  • 14
  • reviews
  • 7
  • helpful votes
  • 170
  • ratings
  • Witchin' USA

  • A Moonstone Bay Cozy Mystery, Book 1
  • By: Amanda M. Lee
  • Narrated by: Angel Clark
  • Length: 10 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 20
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 19

Hadley Hunter has lived a normal life, in a normal suburb, with a normal job and a normal father. All that changes when a grandmother she didn’t even know existed dies and leaves her a fabulous lighthouse on Moonstone Bay Island. From the naked woman swimming in the ocean outside her back door to the hot sheriff who seems to be hiding a secret, Hadley is intrigued from the start. That’s before magical things start happening - including to Hadley - and a body washes up on the beach.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • fun read

  • By Amazon Customer on 21-04-18

Not so cozy

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

Reviewed: 03-03-19

This book looked interesting but I'm left disappointed. I guess it's more suited to young adults than to an old male like myself. I found the heroine too whiney for my liking. And, as a cozy mystery, it's too loaded with sex, thankfully not the graphic type. I'm afraid I'm going to return it - there's no way I would want to re-listen to it, or listen to any of its sequels.

  • Witch Way to Spellbinder Bay

  • Spellbinder Bay Cozy Paranormal Mystery Series, Book 1
  • By: Sam Short
  • Narrated by: Pearl Hewitt
  • Length: 8 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11

Would you drop everything and move to a town with a peculiar name, because an odd little man made you a strange offer? Millie Thorn did, and she could never have guessed what mysteries and revelations were awaiting her in the magical town of Spellbinder Bay. After witnessing a murder on her first day in the bay, Millie is cast into a world she never knew existed - a world of magic and the paranormal, and a world where it's seemingly normal to have a conversation with a cockatiel named Reuben.  

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A good cozy mystery story

  • By Paul Lloyd on 16-02-19

A good cozy mystery story

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

Reviewed: 16-02-19

I rather enjoyed this story, and agree with another reviewer that it is a gentle story. If it is a story that has violence, sex, foul language or racy dialogue and fast paced action that you want, then this one is not for you. Despite these "short comings" the story held my attention as Millie comes to grips with her self discovery whilst attempting to determine what happened with her murdered neighbour. The main character is likeable, and the narrator's lovely Welsh accent rounds her out nicely. Then the story finishes on a mild cliff-hanger! I'll be getting the next book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Queen of the Dragons

  • Dragon Born Trilogy, Book 3
  • By: K. N. Lee
  • Narrated by: Mary Sarah
  • Length: 2 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1

The world's fate rests on the shoulders of one half-blood dragon. Taken by the infamous Red Dragon, Rowen now finds herself without hope, a plan for escape, or her memory. Ancient secrets are revealed during her captivity, and a strange black dragon risks his life to save her. When he finds himself injured and also kept in the Red Dragon's lair, the two of them must find a way to survive. Captain Elian Westin and what remains of his crew make the journey to Withrae, where a war is brewing. Dragons versus humans. Which side will they choose?

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A budget story with limitations

  • By Paul Lloyd on 29-12-18

A budget story with limitations

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

Reviewed: 29-12-18

This trilogy is curious in that each book is quite brief, and in fact, could just as well be just a single book. As you would expect for such brief stories, character development is slight and the plot often left me gasping at times as it takes large leaps in continuity and logic over short spaces in plot time. I'm still wondering what sort of heroine the lead character is to the point I really don't know just how she is going to use/cope with her extensive abilities. Perhaps this is developed in the following books. She seems to be more passive, than active, have things done to/for her than grasping opportunities to improve her lot. Don't get me wrong, I thought the plot and its general development interesting...I just think the author has sold herself a little short on producing an above average fantasy. The "chic lit" element is not too syrupy.

I thought Mary Sarah did a reasonable job performing the different characters.

CPL

  • Mountains and Magic

  • Witches of Pine Lake Paranormal Cozy Series, Book 1
  • By: Natalie Summers
  • Narrated by: Amy Melissa Bentley
  • Length: 10 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2

Burnt-out social worker Amalie Holmes thinks she's finally caught a lucky break in the form of a free cottage from her mystery great aunt. With nothing to lose, Amalie heads for the hills, or, in this case, the mountains. Turns out the cottage comes with a big family secret: Amalie is from a long line of witches. She quickly discovers that living in a new town isn't easy, especially when lightning strikes whenever she loses her temper! When an orphaned 11-year-old stands accused of murder, Amalie's social worker instincts compel her to solve the case and clear the child.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A gently paced murder mystery

  • By Paul Lloyd on 16-12-18

A gently paced murder mystery

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

Reviewed: 16-12-18

If you are looking for a story with thrills spiced with a bit of horror, this book isn't for you. As you would expect for a "cozy" mystery, there's lots of character and relationship development. The mystery is gently eased into and out of. There's nothing there to alarm - no violence, no harsh emotions, no creeping menace. The pace is gentle and the performer takes the story at a leisurely speed. In addition, the "chic lit" aspect is subdued, which suits this septuagenarian. Even so, I like the plot and the story and have purchased the 2nd book in the series.

  • The Razor

  • By: J. Barton Mitchell
  • Narrated by: Travis Baldree
  • Length: 12 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17

Brilliant engineer Marcus Flynn has been sentenced to 11-H37 - a hard labor prison planet better known as the Razor, where life expectancy is short and all roads are dead ends - alongside the galaxy's most dangerous criminals. At least until the Lost Prophet goes active. In a few hours, prison guards and staff are evacuated, the prisoners are left to die, and dark mysteries begin to surface. Only Flynn has the skills and knowledge to unravel them, but he will have to rely on the most unlikely of allies.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • It's a movie script (and only part 1)

  • By ZX80 on 03-03-19

A gripping read

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

Reviewed: 05-12-18

I liked this book from its opening pages. The characters a well drawn, and the plot grips you, once its pace starts picking up. The idea behind the story is good, and it takes the entire book to work out some of the hidden features of it. Be aware, these characters are desperate and are certainly not the type one would normally invite home to dinner! Consequently, their language is sometimes not nice. For all that, though, they are engaging in their different ways.

The book ends on an enigma - it's obvious that the story will continue, and I am one who will be standing in line to get its sequel. Baldree does a good job of performing the plot with good voice characterization.

  • The Shadow Ryana

  • The Shadow Sisters Series, Book 1
  • By: C. R. Daems
  • Narrated by: Gabrielle de Cuir
  • Length: 9 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10

Ryana, a worthless girl-child, is sold to a mysterious woman who takes her to the home of the Shadow Sisters who are prized for their abilities as spies and assassins. She survives years of training in spite of being unconventional: adopting poisonous bats as familiars - something no one else would dare to do; choosing the blow dart as her weapon of choice - a weapon the Sisters don't teach; and relying on intuition rather than logic. As she completes her training, the Shadow Sisters are under attack and send Ryana out to find out who is killing Sisters and why.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A refreshing take on this storyline

  • By Paul Lloyd on 07-11-18

A refreshing take on this storyline

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

Reviewed: 07-11-18

I found this book enthralling. It was difficult to break off listening to do the chores, For me it is a cut above similar story plots, but I can't really put my finger on what makes it so. There is a lot of action, and (a warning!) a lot of killing. We walk with the character, Ryana, as she settles into her impossible task, and watch it transform her. Even though the action is grim, and it takes a heavy toll on her, Ryana's strong sense of self helps her cope. If I say any more, it would probably spoil the story for you. de Cuir does a first-rate job of performing the various personalities and the 'Americanisms' are thankfully few. All credit to Daems for his writing. I've just downloaded the second book in the series and will start it soon. When are we likely to see a third book (the 2nd book was published in 2013)?
CPL

  • The Kiss of Deception

  • Remnant Chronicles
  • By: Mary E. Pearson
  • Narrated by: Emily Rankin
  • Length: 13 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 150
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 144
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 140

As First Daughter, Princess Lia is expected to have the revered gift of sight - but she doesn't - and she knows her parents are perpetrating a sham when they arrange her marriage to secure an alliance with a neighboring kingdom - to a prince she has never met. On the morning of her wedding, Lia flees to a distant village. She settles into a new life, hopeful when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive - and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • i wanted a warrior female and got a cheerleader

  • By honeybee on 02-09-16

Chic-lit but with something interesting to come

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

Reviewed: 08-08-18

When I started listening to this book I was nearly put off. It seemed to be largely chic-lit/YA in genre, and nothing much happens until about half-way through. Then the pace picks up and the action starts to put the chic-lit approach into the background (though not entirely). From about the 70% mark, the fantasy genre elements start making themselves present, and these have a reasonable amount of intriguing interest about them. At the close, we are left with the heroine's future in a cloud, and many unanswered "fantasy" elements dangling! It's a bit of a cliff hanger, so I've purchased Book 2 in the series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Child of the Flames

  • The Seven Signs, Book 1
  • By: D.W. Hawkins
  • Narrated by: Malk Williams
  • Length: 13 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 16
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 14

The Red Swords came with the sunrise and took everything Shawna Llewan held dear. Her family massacred, her home destroyed, she escapes with nothing but her mother’s heirloom and the desire for vengeance. When she’s found by Dormael, a Warlock of the Conclave, she learns that her mother’s keepsake - the very reason her family was killed - holds the power to unleash boundless destruction.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A good start to an interesting series

  • By Paul Lloyd on 10-07-18

A good start to an interesting series

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

Reviewed: 10-07-18

This story started off with a fairly cracking opening chapter. It slowed down over the remainder of the first half, but we learn a good bit about the main characters of the story in this section. The last half picked up speed and finished with a good battle. The closing epilogue goes a little way towards explaining the name of the series.

The narration was good and well paced, with reasonable characterization for the various characters. The American English of the story tended to intrude for me ("gotten", "off of", for example, are frequently used). Overall, though, I enjoyed the story a lot and have purchased the next one in this series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Strangeways to Oldham

  • The Belchester Chronicles, Book 1
  • By: Andrea Frazer
  • Narrated by: Patricia Gallimore
  • Length: 5 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 155
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 141
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 141

Lady Amanda Golightly of Belchester Towers is a person in complete contrast to the stereotypical image of her upper-class breeding. She is short, portly, and embarrassingly forthright. On a visit to a local nursing home, she unexpectedly discovers a long-lost friend, Hugo Cholmondley-Crichton-Crump - and stumbles upon a murder. The pair turn to sleuthing after Lady Amanda reports her appalling discovery to the local police inspector, who treats her as a silly old biddy with an overactive imagination.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Superb entertainment, a laugh a minute

  • By Mrs W. on 25-02-17

Not sure of other reviewers' enthusiasm

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

Reviewed: 22-05-18

I've just finished this, the first of the Belchester series, and find the story and situation rather ho-hum! Consequently, I've rated it down compared to similar whodunits of this ilk. For some reason, the story didn't engage my interest as much as other members' reviews suggested. It did remind me somewhat of the Little old Lady Who... series by Ingelman-Sundberg, another series concerning elderly people.
As regards the humour, I find it falls far short of such series as Euphemia Martins, Royal Spyness, Flavia de Luce, Lady Hardcastle & Flo, Miss Seeton, and to a lesser extent, Sloan & Crosby. I do think the performer did well, though, and rated her accordingly.
These comments aside, I thought the plot reasonable enough and the characters nicely portrayed, so I will be trying other titles in the series - perhaps they will improve on me.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi

  • By: Jason Fry
  • Narrated by: Marc Thompson
  • Length: 11 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 279
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 258
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 257

From the ashes of the Empire has arisen another threat to the galaxy’s freedom: the ruthless First Order. Fortunately, new heroes have emerged to take up arms - and perhaps lay down their lives - for the cause. Rey, the orphan strong in the Force; Finn, the ex-stormtrooper who stands against his former masters; and Poe Dameron, the fearless X-wing pilot, have been drawn together to fight side-by-side with General Leia Organa and the Resistance. But the First Order's Supreme Leader Snoke and his merciless enforcer Kylo Ren are adversaries with superior numbers and devastating firepower at their command. 

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Wow. So dull.

  • By Mr P R Clarke on 16-05-18

A very good and faithful translation to book

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

Reviewed: 20-03-18

Any additional comments?

I find this book version, not only a good translation of the film to written/spoken word, but fills out many of the characters' thoughts and feelings in so many places. I agree that this (like the Force Awakens book) is better than the film for the character development and situational analysis. References to earlier episodes in the film series are accurate and help. Marc Thompson does an excellent job of voicing the many parts, and really gets into the story - I found I was riding along with him on many occasions.

The only jarring issue I have with it is the gratuitous Prologue. This, in my opinion, adds nothing to the story, and jars because its references to earlier film episodes are often wrong! (It implies a very limited involvement of Luke Skywalker with Oban Kanobi, even to his not knowing what happened to Kanobi.) But don't let this put you off an excellent yarn in the Star Wars series. Definitely 5 stars all round.