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  • reviews
  • 37
  • helpful votes
  • 59
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  • What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

  • The Chronicles of St. Mary's, Book 6
  • By: Jodi Taylor
  • Narrated by: Zara Ramm
  • Length: 9 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 1,163
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,088
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,080

Max is back! New husband, new job, and a training regime that cannot fail - to go wrong! Take one interim chief training officer, add five recruits, mix with Joan of Arc, a baby mammoth, a duplicitous father of history, a bombed rat, Stone Age hunters, a couple of passing policemen who should have better things to do, and Dick the Turd. Stir well, bring to the boil – and wait for the bang! Join Max in the sixth instalment in the off-the-wall Chronicles of St Mary’s series."

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Another great story

  • By Christopher on 30-07-16

How do you spot a madman in St Marys?

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

Reviewed: 11-07-19

With difficulty it would seem. This is a cleverly constructed plot based around Max becoming the chief training officer with responsible for a group of new historians. What should be routine practice jumps don't go as planned (do they ever) and chaos ensures! As always the historical descriptions of various events such as the burning of Joan of Arc and the Battle of Bosworth field are well described and as such my understanding and love of history has been enhanced. It's a good plot, made better by the plots against St Marys in the background. If you want more detail, you'll have to listen to it yourself!

  • Revelation

  • Shardlake, Book 4
  • By: C. J. Sansom
  • Narrated by: Steven Crossley
  • Length: 21 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 805
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 714
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 723

Spring, 1543. King Henry VIII is wooing Lady Catherine Parr, whom he wants for his sixth wife. Archbishop Cranmer and the embattled Protestant faction at court are watching keenly, for Lady Catherine is known to have reformist sympathies. Matthew Shardlake, meanwhile, is working on the case of a teenage boy who has been placed in the Bedlam insane asylum, before his terrifying religious mania leads to him being burned as a heretic.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Story lost its way

  • By Nevermore67 on 23-03-15

Shardlake is back and doing what he does best

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

Reviewed: 17-06-19

As the title suggests this book is all about the Book of Revelation. Set against the backdrop of the rise of different Christian sects in Tutor England, Shardlake is thrown into an investigation of a serial killer who is acting out the prophesies in the Book of Revelation. As always, the politics of Tutor England play a role in the central story and the plot leads closer to the King's court. Like other Shardlake books it is slow burner, but the pace increases as the killer increases the body count and false trails are eliminated. Flawlessly read by Steven Crossley, who has brought Barak alive for me. Overall, one of the best in the Shardlake series.

  • Somebody to Love

  • The Life, Death and Legacy of Freddie Mercury
  • By: Matt Richards, Mark Langthorne
  • Narrated by: Tim Bruce
  • Length: 15 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 320
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 286
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 285

When Freddie Mercury died in 1991, aged just 45, the world was rocked by the vibrant and flamboyant star's tragic secret that he had been battling AIDS. That Mercury had even been diagnosed came as a shock to his millions of fans, with his announcement coming less than 24 hours before his death. In Somebody to Love, biographers Mark Langthorne and Matt Richards skilfully weave Freddie Mercury's incredible pursuit of musical greatness with Queen, his upbringing and his endless search for love with the story of a terrible disease.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • One of the best audiobooks I've ever listen to

  • By Colin Smith on 22-11-18

More detailed than the film

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

Reviewed: 23-05-19

I brought this not because I am a Queen fan or into rock biographies but because I enjoyed the film Bohemian Rhapsody and wanted to understand more about Freddie Mercury and in particular how the story develops after Live Aid. I wasn't disappointed. The book follows Freddies life in parallel to the spread of HIV and from that point of view I learned a lot about the history of HIV and the significance that Freddie played in changing perceptions about people with HIV. There is also an interesting Audible Session available with Mark Lanthorne which provides useful background on the book . So if you enjoyed the movie, have a listen to this!

  • Sovereign

  • Shardlake, Book 3
  • By: C. J. Sansom
  • Narrated by: Steven Crossley
  • Length: 20 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 904
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 824
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 818

Autumn, 1541. King Henry VIII has set out on a spectacular Progress to the North to attend an extravagant submission of his rebellious subjects in York. Already in the city are lawyer Matthew Shardlake and his assistant Jack Barak. As well as assisting with legal work processing petitions to the King, Shardlake has reluctantly undertaken a special mission - to ensure the welfare of an important but dangerous conspirator being returned to London for interrogation.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Jesu this is good!

  • By Karen on 29-01-16

A slow burner

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

Reviewed: 30-04-19

This is a complex story, set against the short marriage of Henry and Catherine Howard. The plot centres on the aftermath of the Pilgrimage of Grace and Henry’s Progress of the north to York to quell any dissent. Shardlake is caught in the middle and soon finds himself privy to knowledge that calls into question Henry’s legitimacy. I found the York part of the novel rather slow at times and lacking the pace of other Shardlake novels, but once the journey to London starts it picks up the pace and has a cracking ending.

  • Notes on a Nervous Planet

  • By: Matt Haig
  • Narrated by: Matt Haig
  • Length: 5 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 832
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 743
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 739

The world is messing with our minds. Rates of stress and anxiety are rising. A fast, nervous planet is creating fast and nervous lives. We are more connected yet feel more alone. And we are encouraged to worry about everything from world politics to our body mass index. How can we stay sane on a planet that makes us mad? How do we stay human in a technological world? How do we feel happy when we are encouraged to be anxious?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Reasons looked inward, Notes looks back out again.

  • By K. J. Noyes on 09-07-18

A personal view ...

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

Reviewed: 06-04-19

If you suffer from poor mental health, and tend to be compulsive or obsessive about social media, then you might find this book helpful. For the remainder of the population ,including me, you would be better off listening to Leonard Cohen. While the author makes some valid points and the book is given authenticity by having him read it, it is pretty much a personal mediation on those things in the modern world that can push people over the edge. If you want something more uplifting and which offers a more upbeat approach then try Helen Russell's excellent a Year of Living Danishly (or any of her other books) or anything about the Art of Brilliant by Andy Cope.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Lost Words

  • By: Robert Macfarlane, Jackie Morris
  • Narrated by: Guy Garvey, Edith Bowman, Benjamin Zephaniah, and others
  • Length: 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 114
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 105
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 106

All over the country, there are words disappearing from children's lives. Words like Dandelion, Otter, Bramble, Acorn and Lark represent the natural world of childhood, a rich landscape of discovery and imagination that is fading from children's minds. The Lost Words stands against the disappearance of wild childhood. It is a joyful celebration of the poetry of nature words and the living glory of our distinctive British countryside. With acrostic spell-poems by peerless wordsmith Robert Macfarlane, this enchanting audiobook captures the irreplaceable magic of language and nature for all ages.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Pure magic!

  • By Anonymous User on 23-02-19

Poetry in Motion

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

Reviewed: 31-03-19

I'm not into poetry, but this book is a little gem. Lots of poems about the natural world, well read and with the sound of birdsong in the background. Perfect for a spring day!

  • The Battersea Barricades

  • By: Jodi Taylor
  • Narrated by: Zara Ramm
  • Length: 1 hr and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 276
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 249
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 250

It's not easy being a rebel. So many new skills to assimilate. Never mind strategic planning, weapons expertise and the like - there's bicycle stealing, oil-stain removal and boat steering to be mastered first. And quickly. It's the time of the Civil Uprisings, and two young women set out to make a difference. Their only problem? They don't know where they are. Or where they're going. Or what to do when they get there. Other than that....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Very moving

  • By Lindzl00 on 23-04-18

Too short a story for this historical event!

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

Reviewed: 31-03-19

This story is set on St George's day, when three minor but important characters meet to remember the part they played in the Battersea Barricades. As this event is referred to in the series I wanted to find out more. While I learned a lot about some of the characters, the event itself and the link to Thirsk and the founding of St Marys was not fully explored. The role played by other characters who were involved, such as Major Guthrie, was not explored, so ultimately I felt there was a much bigger novel here waiting to get out. Maybe one day it will.

  • No Time Like the Past

  • The Chronicles of St. Mary's, Book 5
  • By: Jodi Taylor
  • Narrated by: Zara Ramm
  • Length: 8 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,256
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,167
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,164

Jodi Taylor’s best-selling series The Chronicles of St. Mary is back with a bang…St. Mary’s has been rebuilt, and it’s business as usual for the history department. But first there’s the little matter of a 17th-century ghost that only Mr. Markham can see. Not to mention the minor inconvenience of being trapped in the Great Fire of London…and an unfortunately timed comfort break at Thermopylae, leaving the fate of the Western world hanging in the balance.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • If the Joneses had a child ...

  • By Garry on 21-04-15

Lots of history re-told in imaginative way

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

Reviewed: 31-03-19

As other reviewers have noted, this feels like a collection of short stories strung together. However, the underlying narrative and subplots work and help to make the various different historical incidents visited work. I particularly liked finding out more about Max's family, and the twist with the re-emergence of an old enemy. To say more would be a plot spoiler, but this is a worthy addition to the series.

  • The Very First Damned Thing

  • An Author-Read Audio Exclusive
  • By: Jodi Taylor
  • Narrated by: Jodi Taylor
  • Length: 2 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,478
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,371
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,366

Jodi Taylor reads the long-awaited prequel in her Chronicles of St Mary’s series, as Dr Bairstow struggles to set up St Mary’s as we know it in a world still scarred by the ravages of civil war. Ever wondered how it all began? It’s two years since the final victory at the Battersea Barricades. The fighting might be finished, but for Dr Bairstow, just now setting up St Mary's, the struggle is only beginning. How will he assemble his team? From where will his funding come?

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • An intro....not much more

  • By Robyn on 29-11-16

An interesting prequel

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

Reviewed: 31-03-19

This is an unusual book in the St Mary's series, partly because it is narrated by the author ( I miss Zara, but Jodie does a good job) and partly because so many key characters are introduced for the first time. The book has a familiar feel to it - the trip to Waterloo is typical of other St Mary's adventures - but is sufficiently different to make it an interesting add on. The story works but ultimately I wanted more, especially about the backstory of Dr Bairstowe. Another spin off novel required please Jodie!

  • Dark Fire

  • Shardlake, Book 2
  • By: C. J. Sansom
  • Narrated by: Steven Crossley
  • Length: 18 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,039
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 950
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 945

It is 1540 and the hottest summer of the sixteenth century. Matthew Shardlake, believing himself out of favour with Thomas Cromwell, is busy trying to maintain his legal practice and keep a low profile. But his involvement with a murder case, defending a girl accused of brutally murdering her young cousin, brings him once again into contact with the king's chief minister - and a new assignment . . .

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent Story

  • By Su on 22-02-18

the plot thickens

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 19-03-19

In this second Shardlake book the main characters in the series come to the fore. we meet Barack, Rich and the Duke of Norfolk. The story is set against the backdrop of the 'Cleeves' affair which led to Cromwell's downfall, and the plotting for position within the Court. The story kept my attention, with its twists and turns and interlinked sub plots. If you are not a Shardlake fan from book 1, this will. hook you in for the rest of the series!