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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-16-18

A treat!

I liked Weir's Martian novel just fine but I wasn't sure that I would be that invested in this second novel. I'm delighted that this story is an absolute treat. Rosario Dawson's narration is perfect exactly what I expect my spunky heroin to sound like in a conversation. The story itself is engaging because it's full of action, suspense and, although a lot of it goes over my head, the scientific details add an oddly pleasing spice to the storytelling. That Weir can tell a story in the voice of any person on the street while simultaneously expounding on scientific details is nothing short of brilliant. I don't think I would have enjoyed the story if it weren't for Ms Dawson's gift for being the characters as well as being the narrator. Her accents performance is not bad at all.

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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-11-17

Another shot to tide Riyria fans over til the next

My fascination with this series is driven by unconditional love for Royce and Hadrian.

While I am utterly satisfied with all installments of this "Chronicles" series, this one had a little more in the way if extra.

For long-time fans, MJS treats us to more insight and background of some of the well-known minority races of Elan.

For new readers, you will enjoy a fast paced action story with intrigue and fatastical creativity. This world is well- known for the two heroes and you will understand why.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-09-17

Hooking ingtrigue in first chapter

From the very first chapter we are hooked in to a scientific breakthrough that threatens religion and creationism.

Thankfully the story unfolds pretty rapidly so I was able to keep my attention focused on the story.

The story itself didn't blow my mind like DaVinci Code had, but with little nuggets of historical fact woven in-which are definitely intriguing all on their own-Dan Brown keeps this new Robert Langdon entry going with with sufficient entertainment.

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0 of 1 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-24-17

For lovers of multi-character epics

Tim Gerard Reynolds, as always, brilliant, especially with this multi-character saga.

The focal character is a young man, Ty, with the heritage to save the world from an imprisoned but well-resourced dark wizard. Dark villain has sadistic minions rounding up as much magic wielding people to torture to their evil side.

It's up to a band of brave and capable council of magic wielders to hide amd protect Ty from the evil faction as he discovers his true heritage and powers.

The story tells of the various, well written battles that lead up to what is clearly meant to be an ongoing saga. 50% of this first book is character building.

I can't speak for enjoyablility because I don't like so many key characters.

I can say that what kept me from giving up, besides TGR'S narration, was how certain scenes were richly described The fighting scenes, while a little drawn out for my taste, were creative. And if you like plausible violence and plausible consequences of bloody fighting, this may be for you.

There are some rather gritty chapters that are, like-wise, very descriptive - elements of torture.

This story has a lot of fantastical beasts, violently created to wreak bloody harm on people.

I feel like the author could have kept me interested in this saga if he had revealed a bit more of the central mystery,. Ty obviously has enormous potential but we are only treated to a tiny bit of his ability. He seems to be a straggler in his own destiny. I guess we will have to wait for the next installments. But I have to say, the lack of insight into the plot seems to be gratuitous teasing and doesn't leave me craving.

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6 of 7 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-19-17

Barely finished without returning.

Would you try another book from R. S. Belcher and/or Bronson Pinchot?

Belcher's premise is that all the big boys, Illuminati, Masons ... were mages or occultists. Of all gods ... money is supreme and his world, this is the center of life. So true in real life, IMHO. The key characters are prone to sadism and self-preservation. The anti-hero main character has one foot in selfishness and the other selflessness. His selfishness is more impressive than his selflessness. He maneuvers entertainingly though a plot of big-money bad guys and has some interesting friends helping him along the way.

Belcher puts forth that real life historical events were planned around and for darkly mystical purposes. In and of itself, his premise is interesting but I guess for me, it was too shallow, not deeply developed - i.e. my mind wasn't blown. But this didn't seem to be an epic tale so ... guess that's what it was. The magical characters, for some reason, almost all exist with an innate obsession with sadism.

Pinchot is blessed with a great voice and talent for accents. BUT!!! His southern drawl was tooooo draaawwled. He stretched it out too much I think. His performance of character Grimmer was inexplicably choppy. I tried adjusting speed, but ... it was what it was. This could just be me, but it felt like he just wasn't trying in the first few chapters and even as it sounded better as the chapters went by, the end effort was just plain mediocre.

I wanted to return the book by Chapter 4. I was not intrigued by the plot, Pinchot was just ... unfathomable, and I had no connection to ANY of the characters. The main character, an anti-hero was just GROSS!

In the end, I finished it because it only cost me $5. In all honesty, this could be an enjoyable, thought-light, beach read. And for all I know, production wanted to stretch the southern drawl in the beginning to shake the reader up a bit for a dark but shallowly grim tale.

What could R. S. Belcher have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

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0 of 1 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-17-17

Decent story when you're in between

What did you like best about Slow Horses? What did you like least?

This story won't rock your world, but it'll do when you need an audio book for that long drive and either the book you want still hasn't been released or you don't have time to go searching for a hands-down-credit-worthy book.

If anything its fun to despise the supposed "good guys", spies, who wheel, deal and feud amongst themselves while an innocent life hangs in the balance.

Would you listen to another book narrated by Gerard Doyle?

He's good!

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4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-17-17

For more adept minds than mine.

Would you listen to A Column of Fire again? Why?

No, I wouldn't listen to it again even though I've listed to the first two sagas in this series at least twice each. I think this is because the first two stayed in very close proximity to Kingsbridge with side-international adventures here and there.

This story is multi-loci (sorry, I'm gonna go with that "word")... so so many locations/characters crucial to the story. While the historical fact should be sound, its too much for my little old brain to digest. So either its me or its just that broad historical context is too much.

Would you be willing to try another book from Ken Follett? Why or why not?

I would definitely listen to another book by Follett but only within the Kingsbridge universe. Follett is still an incredible storyteller.

What does John Lee bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

An awesome variety of different accents. I love accents, especially Brit ones.

Who was the most memorable character of A Column of Fire and why?

To me, it doesn't seem like one main character was supposed to stand out among the others. All are noble, courageous and crucial to the historical context.

...Maybe Queen Elizabeth I ... but she only occurs in colorful snippets here and there.

Any additional comments?

I probably should admit the the rating is based on my own taste in historical fiction topic.

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0 of 1 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-13-17

True Colors

Any additional comments?

In the first book of this series, I really liked heroine Sam Brinkman's brash, sass, and general badassness. In this book, Sam's side-vigilante-hustle gets a little bit more disturbing. Where once she was a complicated character that fascinated me, she is now a deeply flawed anti-heroine who fascinates me. Officially, I don't approve of vigilantism, but fictionally, especially told by Clark... its a good read.

Clark is still good at un-spooling her story. Its still super fun to listen to the anti-heroine think quick on her feet and aggressively pound pavement for her clients. There are still tons of twists and turns straight outta soap tv but Clark maneuvers decisively so these elements do not stretch out in a ridiculous fashion.

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4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-12-17

Engaging Mystery

What made the experience of listening to Blood Defense the most enjoyable?

I like the unwavering determination of Sam Brinkman (heroine). I honestly didn't expect much from Marcia Clark as a writer but was surprised at how well she can tell a story. I enjoy being in the mind of this whip-smart female lawyer who goes the extra mile for her clients, in fact, I feel like she is more a private investigator than a lawyer. I am hooked on the enjoyment of being in Sam Brinkman's mind and listening to her think no her feet for many a tricky situation. Her occasional snarky humor gives relief to the more intense aspects of the story. I don't even mind that she is willing to bend a few rules here and there to get to the truth. Sam is truly a complex character.

Its true that this is one daytime soap opera of a legal/mystery with rather fantastic twists and turns - they actually are intriguing ones and not too bad because Ms. Clark presents her story-line at a fast pace.

What does Tavia Gilbert bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

If you are curious about the reviews that are not satisfied with the narrator's narration, I just wanted to point out that Ms. Gilbert, executes a tone that, to me, is what I expect a brassy female defense attorney sounds like. Sam's character is a dynamic, brash and sassy and I think Tavia Gilbert put just the right spice on it.

Tip: I listen to all my books at 1.25 or higher speed on the Audible app and find that it helps for narrators I have a hard time with.

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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-22-17

Intriguing supernatural selection.

Leonie is smart and compassionate heroine with a supernatural (?), metaphysical(?) ability to find missing children. According to this story's lore, the special gift is passed genetically within a small, mysterious community in Louisiana.

The author skillfully blends mystery, lore, and a bit of romance in an imaginative and digestible storyline. The heroine's tale unfolds as she risks her life and familial bonds to attempt rescue of abducted children.

I like this book because the supernatural/metaphysical element is interesting and because it blends well with the mystery and challenge facing the heroine and her compatriots.

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