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Jo Partridge

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An old favourite re-visited

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

Reviewed: 22-06-19

I was a voracious reader of Dean Koontz’s work when I was younger, but there are a few of his books I have gone back to over and over, Watchers is one of those books. I just love the development of the story as Travis gets to know Einstein, and then Nora is introduced, and they slowly come to realise just how amazing a discovery they have on their hands (trying to be a bit cryptic here so as not to spoil the plot too much). The host of supporting characters are great too. One of Mr Koontz’s greatest skills for me is making the unbelievable seem not only believable but perfectly possible too, this story has that quality in spades.

There were a couple of small parts where the story showed its age and I found them a little jarring, but overall this book has stood the test of time very well. I enjoyed Edoardo Ballerini’s narration, and I think he did a great job on the various characters.

A valuable addition to my audible Library, I went and bought the kindle copy too as my battered paperback has seen better days and can now be retired. Certainly one I will listen to again.

Classic Crichton

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

Reviewed: 22-12-18

I read this book many years ago, and of course have seen the various movies, and I enjoyed the story all over again listening to Scott Brick's very good narration.

I love the concept behind this story, who doesn't want to believe we might be able to bring back extinct species? The pace of the plot, the gradual descent into chaos and the breathless ride to safety.

No less gripping when you know how the tale ends than it was the first time I read it.

Not a Classic Herbert

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

Reviewed: 22-12-18

I first read James Herbert's work as a child, and scared myself silly with The Rats, and have since enjoyed many of his books.

I hadn't read this book before listening, though I did read book 1 of the trilogy a number of years ago. Although I listened avidly, and found myself quite gripped at times I was left with very mixed feelings at the end.

The Good

I enjoyed the conspiracy theory, what-if elements of the tale very much. Yes, they were a tad unlikely at times, but I can't honestly say I think they are all beyond the realms of possibility.

The world building was also very good, the complexities of the organisation and life at the castle.

Steven Pacey's narration was overall very good, with an exception- see below.

The Bad

The character development, particularly of the heroine & her relationship with Ash was awful. I don't even buy that level of insta-love in a cheap romance novel, let alone an author I hold in high esteem such as the late Mr Herbert.

Mr Pacey's narration of the heroine, she came across as a simpering, soppy, pathetic woman, and I really did just want to slap her. I can't decide whether to blame the author or narrator for this, but perhaps its a combination of the two.

Overall I'd conclude this is not one of Mr Herbert's better books, I felt the ending was very rushed, and it left me feeling a bit cheated, but I did enjoy the journey for the most part. I will certainly listen to another book by both this narrator, and by this author.

Lovely Feel Good Story

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

Reviewed: 22-12-18

I received a free credit to download this book, in return for a review.

I very much enjoyed this book as a piece of Christmas escapism. The plot was unexpected in places, and honestly better than I was expecting. A story of what are the turning points in a life, that lead us down a particular path, and what we might do to change things given the opportunity. I thought Linda West handled this concept very well, without making this a heavily emotional book, I'd definitely describe the story as lighthearted, but no less enjoyable for that.

Jennifer Jill Araya did a lovely job of narrating, and I found myself eager to see where the story would go next. Perfect for my mood on a cold, wet afternoon curled up on the sofa with a cat on my lap.

Classic Erskine

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

Reviewed: 30-11-18

I’m a huge fan of Barbara Erskine’s work, and count some of her books among my favourites

I enjoyed this story, and learned a little more about a period of Welsh history that I wasn’t terribly familiar with. It had all the elements that I’ve come to expect from this author, blending a troubled heroine of the present day with one from the past. It’s a very successful formula but this time it didn’t grip me in quite the same way some of her earlier stories such as Lady of Hay did.

Having said this I still enjoyed the story very much, and really liked Charlotte Streven’s narration, and wouldn’t hesitate to listen to something else narrated by her.

A Beloved Favourite

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

Reviewed: 30-11-18

A Town Like Alice has a been a go-to re-read of mine for many years, since I first came across the story as a TV mini series with Bryan Brown as a child.

Shute’s tale of a woman’s life from a prisoner of war and unassuming heroine to post war freedom and an act of thankfulness that leads her to a new life never fails to inspire me. Joe’s simple, quiet love for his Mrs Boong is beautiful, and Noel’s narration holds it all together beautifully.

Robin Bailey does a super job, bringing much loved characters to life and telling this timeless tale.

My First Lord John Story

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

Reviewed: 30-11-18

And it definitely won’t be my last.

I’m a long term fan of this author, and have listened to the Outlander books, as well as having read them all, but had never got around to this side series before.

This book appeared in an Audible sale and I decided to give them a go, and I’m so pleased I did. The plot was good, with a number of great twists, I loved the way the author brought to life some sides of 18th century London that you don’t often come across, most of the characters were terrific, but mostly I think I loved Lord John himself.

Diana Gabaldon has a unique talent for injecting wry humour into often unlikely places, and pulling it off brilliantly. Hugely entertaining story that was wonderfully narrated by Jeff Woodman.

I can’t wait to start book 2 in the series.

An Unexpected Gem

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

Reviewed: 29-11-17

I purchased this title on a Daily Deal as the synopsis appealed to me. This book is chock full of the charm of post world war 2 Italy, and a mixed cast of characters brought together by a mysterious will.

The characters were richly drawn, and the plot very clever. I did anticipate a couple of the plot twists, but that certainly didn’t spoil my enjoyment of the story.

Wonderful narration brought everyone to life beautifully.

Thoroughly recommend.

Brilliant Story and Narration

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

Reviewed: 11-08-17

It's many years since I first read the Outlander series, and I enjoyed rediscovering them a couple of years ago. Now, I'm loving them all over again listening to Davina Porter's wonderful narration. I have one or two very, very small niggles on pronunciation of the odd word, but really I'm searching for something to make this less gushing in even mentioning that.

Ms Porter brings much beloved characters to life wonderfully. Male and female, and even children. Her voice is now Claire for me.

Heartily recommended these books. Jamie is the best book boyfriend ever, but the story is so much more than a romance. Listening to them has added a whole new dimension. Well worth the credit! <3

Ruined by Narrator Attempting Accents

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

Reviewed: 26-06-17

Would you try another book written by Kristen Ashley or narrated by Abby Craden?
Yes by Kristen Ashley, I'm a huge fan, have read this book and loved it. Sadly I won't buy anything narrated by this performer as her attempt at various accents is truly awful. The upper class English male was laughable and very hard to understand at times (I'm English and very familiar with this type of accent) and the upper class English female voice, while easier to understand than their male counterparts, were awful too. I bulk purchased 4 titles by this author and narrator, am only part way through this book and already tempted to see if Audible will accept a return of them all as the narration is totally spoiling the story for me. Gutted as I was really looking forward to listening to some old favourites.

How could the performance have been better?
Ms Craden has a perfectly lovely speaking voice but whoever allowed the attempts to replicate various British accents for is narration ought to be shot - dreadful. I would have enjoyed listening to the performer's own voice,with perhaps small variance to pitch and tone for the various characters as I have heard in other performances for this author for example Susannah Jones narrating the Rock Chick series. Ms Jones managed to produce recognisable voices for various characters without these almost comically bad impersonations. So disappointed.

Could you see Lucky Stars being made into a movie or a TV series? Who would the stars be?
I'd love to see this story as a movie. Not sue who I'd pick to star in it, but as long as they had authentic voices I'd be happy :)

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