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Can't stand the bickering

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

Reviewed: 16-01-20

Early on in the narrative various characters interject (its quite difficult to tell who as Kate Reading is not good at voices) and bicker about what is happening. The author explains that she is allowing her friends to read the book as she is writing it and, rather than undertaking their suggested alterations, she's including their comments verbatim to show how annoying they are.

After 20 minutes of my story being interrupted by arguing I turned off. I have teenage kids. I don't need this. I have enough trouble getting a quiet half an hour to listen to an audiobook uninterrupted, LET ALONE having the author do it for me. It's a shame as the story seemed quite good, I just couldn't get into it because of the constant interruptions.

Dysfunctional duo - fantastic chemistry

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

Reviewed: 11-12-19

I've been unlucky in my last few audible choices but this one is a joy. I could listen to the verbal sparing / bickering of the two main male leads all day (despite the dubious Scottish accents). One down to earth Scot and one English "lassie" (as his partner derisively refers to him) it's not so much a tale of opposites attract, as a dawning understanding.

It is a bit gory in parts and there are four deaths, along with a few pub fights and some Victorian-style bad parenting. Having said that I think its probably difficult to write a murder mystery about a Riper-copy-cat without a fair amount of removed bodyparts! The story cracks on at a fast pace, with fairly concise language (unlike Conan Doyle) so you'll get through it pretty quickly. I would recommend.

Just couldn't get into it

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

Reviewed: 26-11-19

This just didn't work for me. I bought it as another review complained that it was very like the Rivers of London series which I adore. I see what they mean, but I don't think it works as well. This book isn't sure if it wants to be an over the top pastiche or a serious parallel universe type novel. It is set in the 1960's but with modern touches and I'm not sure if that was the problem for me. Not a keeper.

1 person found this helpful

Classic stories in a classic production

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

Reviewed: 21-11-19

Steven Fry announces in his introduction that he is a Sherlock Holmes superfan. You know from that point that you are in good hands. He does his best to bring the characters to life, to alter the pacing and break up large chunks of slightly old fashioned English to keep the tension zipping along.

I'm listening to this in the car with my boys (age 11 and 13) as I'm hoping it might inspire them to pick up the books themselves. So far we've only listened to the first part, but I'm pretty confident the next 65 plus hours will be as good. Might take us a while to get through the whole thing though.

Fantastic introduction to Sci-fi

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

Reviewed: 21-11-19

I have always loved this book and I thought I'd get it for the car as we were taking the boys (aged 11 and 13) up to London for the War of the Worlds VR theatre experience. So pleased I did. We all totally loved it.

Some of the music is frankly a bit random and sounds like 1970's lift music, but there is no getting away from the impact of the main refrain (everyone ... BA BA BAAAAA, BA BA BAAAAAA) which I have been singing in my head now for days. Totally worth getting. Michael Sheen has a wonderful speaking voice. More from him please Audible.

Like sea foam - so insubstantial it barely touches

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

Reviewed: 21-11-19

I had issue with this book from the first line; "Sonia didn't need superpowers, she had formidable wifi ..." Oh God no. And then Sonia met a handsome man & wished she was wearing designer clothes. Sigh. Really? Aren't we past that?

I gritted my teeth and listened on and, yes, it did get better. The narrators are fabulous, but the plot is so so obvious it took a lot of the enjoyment away for me. There is some fun banter, some genuine jokes but I really couldn't bond with the characters as they don't have any depth at all. And yes, I do understand that this is romantic chick lit about supernatural creatures so its not exactly MEANT to be that challenging but still. It's been done better. Molly Harper's done it better. This book feels like she's just rattled it off for the cash.

The Mystic Bayou series is worth a shot, just not this book. Not a keeper for me.

1 person found this helpful

The Midwich Cuckoos cover art

Great story trapped in a lot of wiffle

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

Reviewed: 18-11-19

I have had to consider this review really carefully. I have only ever seen the film and wanted to read the original. I had no idea how much of the book seems to be main characters apparently discussing what seems to be a thought experiment on man's place in natural selection. Which would be great if it didn't keep cropping up.

What I can't make my mind up over, is whether these long periods of discussion & inaction make the action more vivid. Part of me thinks yes, part of me got annoyed with it all and felt it was Wyndham being rather self indulgent (possibly in need of a better editor). Some of it really got me thinking about the nature of family and so on, but other bits had my hand hovering over the fast forward button. Worth a go I think, but not a keeper for me.

Dated for today's teens

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

Reviewed: 18-11-19

I listened to this with my boys (aged 11 & 13). They were fascinated by the randomness of the plots and the dated attitudes towards women or foreigners - and the fact that EVERYONE seemed to either be a Lord or have a butler. And wow I'd forgotten how dated some of those attitudes are. The BBC & ITV have been quietly updating their Agatha Christie shows for some years, making it grittier & less cosy, so actually listening to the original was a bit of an eye opener. The boys were fascinated. It just seemed very odd to them, almost a foreign England that they'd never been too before.

Hugh Fraser does have a lovely crisp and very English accent. However he doesn't really try to do too much in the way of different voices, so I found that it sort of wafted around the car and was hard to follow.

It was an interesting experiment. The boys said they enjoyed it and were interested in looking at Death on the Nile and so on. I don't think I need to keep this audiobook however. I can't imagine we'll want to listen to them again.

What an ending!

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

Reviewed: 08-11-19

Sometimes a series runs out of steam by book 5, but not this one. Even halfway through the last book doom still seemed certain and I was wondering how Rachel Aaron was going to pull it all together. Then the ipod broke. This caused some chaos as my two boys (aged 11 & 13) and I all wanted to listen to it together to prevent spoilers ...

I'm not even going to try and explain the plot. If you haven't read any of the others, you certainly shouldn't start here. With dragon seers using their powers to view the future to influence current events, you definitely need to read them in the correct order. Nothing is certain until it is past.

Phantom of the Opera meets the Diskworld

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

Reviewed: 08-11-19

This was a great buy - myself and the two boys (aged 11 and 13) thought this was genuinely funny. There were some cultural references that the kids totally missed ("Joy of Snacks"??) but it didn't detract from the overall humour of the writing. I'll explain that one to them when they are a bit older.

My only gripe is that this is a slightly older recording and therefore a bit muffled. Had to turn the car stereo up & it got a bit hissy. No excuses for that in the digital remastering age Audible!