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Diane Severson

  • 43
  • reviews
  • 28
  • helpful votes
  • 57
  • ratings
  • Catseye

  • By: Andre Norton
  • Narrated by: Eric Michael Summerer
  • Length: 6 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 6

The classic far-future novel about the telepathic bond of friendship between human and animal from the grande dame of science fiction and fantasy. Exiled after his home planet was turned into a military outpost following an interstellar war, Troy Horan is relocated to the planet of Korwar. Under the watchful eye of the police state, he lives in the slums in a restricted area for sub-citizens. He works as a day laborer in an interplanetary pet shop and has no idea why the Terran animals have been imported to Korwar or why he has the ability to silently communicate with them.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • So good to have this book on Audible

  • By Jane Shepherd on 12-05-18

May have to listen again

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

Reviewed: 19-02-19

I didn’t dislike it, but I did have a hard time following what was going on in the latter third of the book.

It’s a good early mystery type romp with animals one man can communicate with on a planet in a Star Trek-like universe (but not following the government (I. E. The Federation), but rather the people of the random planet it takes place on).

The narrator was good and read the somewhat dated style so that it was easily understandable.

  • City of Golden Shadow

  • Otherland, Book 1
  • By: Tad Williams
  • Narrated by: George Newbern
  • Length: 28 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 43
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 42
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 42

Otherland, a universe where any fantasy can be made real, but which is ruled by Earth's wealthiest and most ruthless power brokers, the Grail Brotherhood. Shrouded in secrecy, it is home to the wildest dreams and darkest nightmares. Vast amounts of money have been lavished on it. The best minds of two generations have laboured to build it. And somehow, bit by bit, it is claiming Earth's most valuable resources - its children

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Elaborate plot with insane world development!

  • By lucidblack on 15-05-19

Audiobook a big help

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

Reviewed: 22-01-19

I have been trying to read this book for over 2 years. The difficulty was not necessarily because I didn’t like it. I was interested, especially to find out how the various threads connected, but the hardcover I had been given as a gift was just too huge to carry around and read when I had a moment like I would normally. Therefore other books kept gaining ascendancy. How happy I was when the audio book was announced. And indeed, it helped me finish it.

It took way too long for the threads to start to come together and of course the end is not an end, but a beginning. I will read the next one, because now I’m hooked.

The narrator is excellent, doing a good job with accents to make the various characters more clear. An audible sound or more silence when the scene changed would’ve gone a long way toward making it clear this is what had happened. Instead, it was as though nothing were different and I often had to go back to get it straight in my head.

  • Wool

  • Wool Trilogy, Book 1
  • By: Hugh Howey
  • Narrated by: Susannah Harker
  • Length: 16 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,318
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,147
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,143

An epic story of survival at all odds and one of the most anticipated books of the year. In a ruined and hostile landscape, in a future few have been unlucky enough to survive, a community exists in a giant underground silo. Inside, men and women live an enclosed life full of rules and regulations, of secrets and lies. To live, you must follow the rules. But some don't. These are the dangerous ones; these are the people who dare to hope and dream, and who infect others with their optimism.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Couldn't stop listening

  • By Niamh on 23-01-13

Great dystopian story

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

Reviewed: 29-10-18

I very much enjoyed this story. I love a good dystopian story and this delivered on so many levels. The pacing was good, the “world-building” well done, the characters multi-dimensional.

The narrator was good, if a tad slow and monotone. Her attempts at an American accent for a character or two largely failed.

Deception Peak
    The Ian's Realm Saga, Volume 1
    
        By:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Dianne Lynn Gardner
    
    


    
    
        Narrated by:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Matt Josdal
    
    


    
    Length: 7 hrs and 16 mins
    1 rating
    Overall 4.0
  • Deception Peak

  • The Ian's Realm Saga, Volume 1
  • By: Dianne Lynn Gardner
  • Narrated by: Matt Josdal
  • Length: 7 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 first book of the Saga, Deception Peak, is a young adult adventure fantasy about a teenager, Ian Wilson, who follows his father through a portal that magically appears on their computer screen. They travel into a deceptively beautiful Realm, where horses run free, the wind sings prophetic melodies, and their computer avatars come to life. But when the two are separated, Ian is abducted by a tribe of dragon worshippers and is forced to find his courage.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Great coming of age story

  • By Diane Severson on 21-06-18

Great coming of age story

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

Reviewed: 21-06-18

I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I don’t remember why I bought it on Audible, since I did so a long time ago. I decided to listen to it now as part of a challenge on Habitica to fulfill the “Read a book by an author new to you” part of the challenge.

A 15 year old boy and his father stumble upon the entrance to a different world through their computer and there get separated and when this happens the boy realizes this world isn’t just benign but has some very dark and dangerous aspects to it.

I loved how the relationships between the characters grew and evolved.

I enjoyed the audio book quite a bit, the narrator is good, but reads perhaps a tad slow. I was able to listen to it at x1.5, which usually annoys me. The music used to illustrate the strangeness of the place is quite lovely, a type of music I really enjoy - women’s voices in harmony - being a singer myself. It was a bit weird so fast though. Unfortunately, I didn’t hear any credit for the music. I’ll have to see if I can find it on Audible, because it was really nice. I expect it is available for free somewhere.

  • Mockingjay: Hunger Games Trilogy, Book 3

  • The Final Book of The Hunger Games
  • By: Suzanne Collins
  • Narrated by: Carolyn McCormick
  • Length: 11 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,985
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,020
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,034

Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice. But now that she's made it out of the bloody arena live, she's still not safe. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge....

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Game Over... but do they live happily ever after?

  • By Laura on 15-06-11

So real.

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

Reviewed: 17-06-18

I know many people don’t like Katniss, how the story ends and other elements of the story as a whole. Personally, I think that Katniss’ feelings, motivations and actions are almost too real, too close to home, and that’s why people don’t like her. She’s not a good heroine. Her feelings are messy, all over the place and she herself can’t make hide nor hair of them. Plus, she is impulsive and doesn’t think of the consequences of her actions. However, she doesn’t really apologize for any of this. And rightly so. She was put in impossible situations, many times and came out a winner, somehow, against all odds. I don’t like her (and yet, I see a lot of her in myself!) but that is why I love her as a character. I’m glad she was able to settle down and live the rest of her life in peace. Accepting Peeta and that circumstances have changed and for now she can handle them.

Carolyn McCormick’s narration was much more easily tolerated at x1.5 speed. Normally, I can stand it faster than x1.25 speed, but she reads so slowly and with a rather affected cadence, which doesn’t change at all throughout 3 books, that I couldn’t stand listening to it any slower! One thing I did appreciate about her performance were her subtle character voices. They weren’t over the top (except maybe Plutarch) but just defined enough so that the characters were easy to distinguish.

  • Catching Fire: Hunger Games Trilogy, Book 2

  • Hunger Games, Book 2
  • By: Suzanne Collins
  • Narrated by: Carolyn McCormick
  • Length: 11 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,419
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,229
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,242

Katniss Everdeen continues to struggle to protect herself and her family from the Capitol in this second novel from the best-selling Hunger Games trilogy.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fantastic series

  • By Renee on 09-04-12

Great sequel!

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

Reviewed: 06-06-18

I don’t know what made me wait so long to listen to this (I must have read The Hunger Games 6 or 7 years ago!), because I really enjoyed it.

It’s quite emotional at times and it seems like an impossible situation. But now that the immediate threat has been resolved I have to listen to the next one immediately!

I don’t care much for Carolyn McCormick’s delivery, but it’s not awful and much easier to take at x1.25 speed. She is good at giving characters their own voice, but in the subtle way I appreciate, though.

  • Ann Leckie

  • Audible Sessions: FREE Exclusive Interview
  • By: Elise Italiaander
  • Narrated by: Ann Leckie
  • Length: 10 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10

After great success with her Imperial Radch trilogy, sci-fi author Ann Leckie comes to Audible to chat with us about her latest release, Provenance. We talk to her about what we can expect from Provenance, how it differs from her previous books and what prompted her to start writing novels.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A delightful person

  • By Diane Severson on 19-05-18

A delightful person

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

Reviewed: 19-05-18

Disclaimer: I have narrated a story of Ann Leckie’s (not for Audible, for PodCastle) and have corresponded with her briefly. She was so lovely in an email, that it comes as no surprise that she comes across as a delightful person in an interview. She’s very down to earth and forthright and has no qualms about saying, “You know, I don’t know!” Which is refreshing.

Unfortunately, the interviewer doesn’t seem to have read any of Ann Leckie’s Books, so she appears a bit clueless.

  • Children of the Different

  • By: S. C. Flynn
  • Narrated by: Stephen Briggs
  • Length: 9 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1

Nineteen years ago, a brain disease known as the Great Madness killed most of the world's population. The survivors all had something different about their minds. Now, at the start of adolescence, their children enter a trance-like state known as the Changeland and emerge either with special mental powers or as cannibalistic Ferals. In the great forest of South West Australia, 13-year-old Arika and her twin brother Narrah go through the Changeland. They encounter an enemy known as the Anteater who feeds on human life.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Psi-powers and mass viral infections

  • By Diane Severson on 10-05-18

Psi-powers and mass viral infections

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

Reviewed: 10-05-18

This is a really interesting concept and a very good first novel.

First off: I received this audio book in exchange for an honest review. Life got in the way and I am just now (2 years after the fact) holding up my end of the bargain.

I found the setting really refreshing. Not many of the books I’ve read, especially Speculative fiction have been set in Australia. Plus the narrator is Australian, which was perfect, of course.

I loved the dreamscape of the Changeland, where anything could happen and things do change weirdly and seemingly at random, although none of it is, in fact, random.

Because the 2 main characters are a set Of psychically linked twins, and they are basically on alternate quests to save one another, there’s quite a lot of repetition from both perspectives. The second time through the events could’ve been executed better with more brevity, but the story didn’t suffer.

The narrator was quite good, changing his voice subtly to give the characters more identity, but it wasn’t over-done, which I appreciate. Only Zara’s cadence was a bit hard to take after a while. By the end the narration suffered only slightly by a lack of variety in the cadence. All the lines had the same melody, if you will. But I’m not sure it was entirely his fault. I noticed that most of the sentences were very short and with little variation in the sentence structure, it would be difficult to create variety in the cadence of your voice.

That said, it didn’t bother me that much, I just noticed it.

Over all, I feel this was a very strong debut novel with an interesting and refreshing story. I’m looking forward to what Flynn comes up with next.

  • Probability Moon

  • Probability Trilogy, Book 1
  • By: Nancy Kress
  • Narrated by: Gregory Linington
  • Length: 10 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 13
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 5

Humankind has expanded out into interstellar space using star gates-technological remnants left behind by an ancient, long-vanished race. But the technology comes with a price. Among the stars, humanity encountered the Fallers, a strange alien race bent on nothing short of genocide. It's all-out war, and humanity is losing.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Flowers and Science

  • By Diane Severson on 23-04-18

Flowers and Science

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

Reviewed: 23-04-18

I really enjoyed this novel. World is an interesting place and the scientists sent fromEarth do not understand the “Shared Reality” which governs society. Kress straddles soft SF and hard SF easily and satisfies both itches. I think that’s what I like so much about her SF.

The narration is very well done and I was able to listen to it at 1.25x speed.

  • Dreams from My Father

  • A Story of Race and Inheritance
  • By: Barack Obama
  • Narrated by: Barack Obama
  • Length: 7 hrs and 8 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,294
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,094
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,091

Dreams from My Father is a masterpiece: a refreshing, revealing portrait of a young man asking the big questions about identity and belonging. The son of a black African father and a white American mother, Obama recounts an emotional odyssey. He retraces the migration of his mother's family from Kansas to Hawaii, then to his childhood home in Indonesia. Finally he travels to Kenya, where he confronts the bitter truth of his father's life and at last reconciles his divided inheritance.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • heart touching!

  • By Yassin Musa on 03-10-18

Inspiring

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

Reviewed: 24-03-18

Ok, I am drinking the Kool-Ade of Barack Obama. But I do it without regret and with great enthusiasm. More so now that I’ve listened to him read his book to me, if that’s even possible. My respect for him rides on my observation of his integrity, hope and faith displayed while he was president and since. It was only increased by hearing the story of his life up until he got married/was elected Senator.