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  • White Queen

  • Written by: Philippa Gregory
  • Narrated by: Susan Lyons
  • Length: 15 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17

They ruled England before the Tudors, and now internationally best-selling author Philippa Gregory brings the Plantagenets to life through the dramatic and intimate stories of the secret players: the indomitable women.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I Love History

  • By dewartracey on 2018-09-25

Enchanting ...

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

Reviewed: 2019-05-10

I read the White Queen by Philippa Gregory out of its intended order by mistake. I had been frustrated by the recounting of her third book, the Red Queen and wasn't sure what to expect, having to go backwards to read the second book. Fortunately books 2 and 3 of the series are so interconnected and take place at the same time that it doesn't actually matter what order you read them in. I found the White Queen to be the engaging, active, and enchanting story I was missing from its sister book.

Elizabeth Woodville was a largely disliked queen said to be a descendant of a water goddess. This retelling of her marriage to King Edward IV and her tumultuous reign as queen paints her in a more sympathetic, feminist light than what we've seen from historical accounts.

Both the story and performance were very engaging. Thankfully there were no changes of perspective or voice. Sometimes the storytelling favored plot points over characterization but overall this is a fun read if you like historical fiction.

Be warned: Audible Canada does not have the series listed in the correct order and does not have all the books in the series either, which is sad.

  • Daisy Jones & The Six

  • A Novel
  • Written by: Taylor Jenkins Reid
  • Narrated by: Jennifer Beals, Benjamin Bratt, Judy Greer, and others
  • Length: 9 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 332
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 309
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 309

Daisy is a girl coming of age in LA in the late '60s, sneaking into clubs on the Sunset Strip, sleeping with rock stars, and dreaming of singing at the Whisky a Go Go. The sex and drugs are thrilling, but it’s the rock and roll she loves most. By the time she’s 20, her voice is getting noticed, and she has the kind of heedless beauty that makes people do crazy things. Also getting noticed is The Six, a band led by the brooding Billy Dunne. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • tears

  • By Erin on 2019-03-24

Wow, just wow

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

Reviewed: 2019-05-06

Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid is another reason Audible should have a production score category! This book is well paced, with a stellar cast, and rocking production quality.

I am an avid audiobook listener and really all I can say is that this book captured my attention right away, kept me wanting more, and never let my mind wander. This book is a treat and a great addition from Audible. If you have a chance to pick this up for a listen, you should. It's worth the read.

  • The Red Queen

  • A Novel
  • Written by: Philippa Gregory
  • Narrated by: Bianca Amato
  • Length: 12 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11

Heiress to the red rose of Lancaster, Margaret Beaufort never surrenders her belief that her house is the true ruler of England and that she has a great destiny before her. Her ambitions are disappointed when her sainted cousin Henry VI fails to recognize her as a kindred spirit, and she is even more dismayed when he sinks into madness.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • She Stood Before God...

  • By Melissa on 2019-05-06

She Stood Before God...

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

Reviewed: 2019-05-06

and believed he stood for her.

The Red Queen is an interesting tale by Philippa Gregory that follows Margaret Beaufort and her journey to become Margaret R, mother to the true King of England.

While I wish I could say I loved this as much as The Lady of the Rivers (I mistakenly thought this was the second book in the series), it would not be true. This book makes a strong third book in the Plantagenet and the Tudors series but it fails to be as compelling as the first book until about 2/3rds of the way through.

Bianca Amato does a great job but unfortunately there are two sections in which there is a random change in perspective that really throws off the narrative pacing. If there were a production score category I would not penalize the performance score.

This is an interesting piece of the series but Margaret becomes more and more of an unlikeable character as the book progresses without a lot of focus on this point. I would have liked to see the character brought to task for her unfailingly large ego and righteousness.

  • Blood Magick

  • The Cousins O'Dwyer Trilogy, Book 3
  • Written by: Nora Roberts
  • Narrated by: Susan Ericksen
  • Length: 11 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 22
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 22
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 22

Branna’s strength and selflessness hold together a close circle of friends and family - along with their horses and hawks and her beloved hound. But there’s a single missing link in the chain of her life: love…

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Fun But Formulaic

  • By Melissa on 2019-04-17

Fun But Formulaic

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

Reviewed: 2019-04-17

Blood Magick is the third and final book in Nora Robert's Cousins O'Dwyer series. It follows the third set of pairs, Branna and Finn, in their attempt to take down their greatest enemy and a curse that hurts them all.

What worked for me: the intertwined narrative of present and past and how both protagonists and ancestors played a role in the final battle. Susan Erickson as the new narrator was engaging and really drew you in.

What didn't work for me: having a third different narrator (characterization was great but pronunciation of names was different than the previous) and the slow and painful building of the third pairing's character arc.

You will like this book if you're into the no-brainer Roberts romances, but will find this repetitive, drawn out, and anti-climactic if you've already read her other romance series.

  • Shadow Spell

  • Book Two of The Cousins O'Dwyer Trilogy
  • Written by: Nora Roberts
  • Narrated by: Alan Smyth
  • Length: 11 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 16
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 14

With the legends and lore of Ireland running through his blood, falconer Connor O’Dwyer is proud to call County Mayo home. It’s where his sister, Branna, lives and works, where his cousin, Iona, has found true love, and where his childhood friends form a circle that can’t be broken. A circle that is about to be stretched out of shape - by a long-awaited kiss. Meara Quinn is Branna’s best friend, a sister in all but blood. Her and Connor’s paths cross almost daily, as Connor takes tourists on hawk walks and Meara guides them on horseback across the lush countryside.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Of Mother's, Dream-walks, and Demons

  • By Melissa on 2019-04-15

Of Mother's, Dream-walks, and Demons

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

Reviewed: 2019-04-15

If you've read the Guardians trilogy, this will be familiar to you. Shadow Spell by Nora Roberts follows the second pair of destiny-bound heterosexual lovers as they navigate family, love, and time off. The story is engaging and fun; a good follow up from the first in the Dark Witch series.

While I found both story and characters fun, switching to a new narrator for the second book was jarring. The characters came off slightly different and made me focus more on the change than on the book. Alan Smyth unfortunately cannot pull off an American accent, even if the Irish accent was good and dominant to the story. However, this book was enjoyable. If you're a Nora Roberts fan, and you like her fantasy/romance, you will likely enjoy this.

  • Dark Witch

  • The Cousins O'Dwyer Trilogy, Book 1
  • Written by: Nora Roberts
  • Narrated by: Katherine Kellgren
  • Length: 10 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 46
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 44
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 44

With indifferent parents, Iona Sheehan grew up craving devotion and acceptance. From her maternal grandmother, she learned where to find both: a land of lush forests, dazzling lakes, and centuries-old legends. Ireland. County Mayo, to be exact. Where her ancestors’ blood and magic have flowed through generations - and where her destiny awaits.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • "So mote it be..."

  • By Melissa on 2019-04-07

"So mote it be..."

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

Reviewed: 2019-04-07

If you read the Guardians trilogy then you're in familiar territory with the Dark Witch and the Cousins O'dwyer trilogy by Nora Roberts. Six friends band together to defeat a terrible villain, rooted in mythology. Aside from that, the series is it's own. Five friends and one distant cousin come together in Mayo, Ireland to reconnect with their magical heritage, take down an evil sorcerer that has been following their ancestors for centuries, all the while navigating love, loss, and family ties.

This particular book follows the inner thoughts and actions of Iona as she runs away to Ireland to find the home she's always been searching for. Katherine Kellgren does a good job of bringing the characters personality and distinct voices but tends to make the Irish women sound much older than they are written.

All in all, worth the read if you have a mind for romance, magic, and friendship.

  • Joyful

  • Written by: Ingrid Fetell Lee
  • Narrated by: Ingrid Fetell Lee
  • Length: 9 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 8
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 7

In Joyful, designer Ingrid Fetell Lee explores how the seemingly mundane spaces and objects we interact with every day have surprising and powerful effects on our mood. Drawing on insights from neuroscience and psychology, she explains why one setting makes us feel anxious or competitive while another fosters acceptance and delight - and, most importantly, she reveals how we can harness the power of our surroundings to live fuller, healthier, and truly joyful lives.  

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Vive la joie!

  • By Marie-Anne Dube on 2019-05-01

It's in the things we leave behind...

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

Reviewed: 2019-04-02

It probably isn't weird to think that a book called Joyful can bring you joy, but there's the truth of it. Ingrid Fetell Lee dives in, heart and soul, into a scientific and emotional discovery of what parts of life can help you achieve moments of joy. Color, shape, nature, and a sense of wonder all contribute to a joyful lifestyle that Lee has travelled the world to uncover. The way to joy isn't constant but to be consitantly worked at over time, just like exercise and knowledge, but it is achievable.

Lee narrates her own book which is generally a risky move for authors, but her lyrical, calming tones help bring you on the journey of love and appreciation.

Do yourself a favor: pick up this book and bring a little joy into your own lives.

  • The Lady of the Rivers

  • Written by: Philippa Gregory
  • Narrated by: Bianca Amato
  • Length: 19 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 25
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 24
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 24

Jacquetta always has had the gift of second sight. As a child visiting her uncle, she met his prisoner, Joan of Arc, and saw her own power reflected in the young woman accused of witchcraft. They share the mystery of the tarot card of the wheel of fortune before Joan is taken to a horrific death. Jacquetta understands the danger for a woman who dares to dream. Jacquetta is married to the Duke of Bedford, English regent of France, and he introduces her to a mysterious world of learning and alchemy.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Interesting!

  • By Anonymous User on 2019-04-17

The Wheel of Fortune turneth...

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

Reviewed: 2019-03-30

Let's be honest with ourselves for a moment: good historical fiction is hard to find. Fortunately for us readers, Philippa Gregory comes through with her novel The Lady of the Rivers.

This novel is a well thought out piece of fiction that weaves magic and history with a delicate hand. My only complaint is that narrator Bianca Amato can be a tad dramatic and the production quality of the audio could have been better.

Very worth the read.

  • Prometheus Bound

  • Director's Playbook Edition
  • Written by: Aeschylus
  • Narrated by: David Hopkins
  • Length: 1 hr
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    2.5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Performance
    1.5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2

Aeschylus, the father of tragedy, paints a gripping portrait of Prometheus - bound to a cliff face and sentenced to an eternity of punishment for defying the almighty Zeus out of his compassion towards humanity.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Great story, terrible narration

  • By Melissa on 2019-03-25

Great story, terrible narration

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

Reviewed: 2019-03-25

Unfortunately Aeschylus's tale of Prometheus post-thievery is marred by the poor production value of this recording and its even poorer choice of narrator.

  • Chapter 1 (The Last Days of August)

  • Written by: Jon Ronson
  • Length: 33 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 16
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 16

"Something terrible happened." Soon after the beloved porn star August Ames is found dead in a park near Los Angeles, her husband Kevin tells Jon Ronson why he believes Twitter is to blame.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Thrilling and Heartbreaking

  • By Melissa on 2019-03-14

Thrilling and Heartbreaking

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

Reviewed: 2019-03-14

Jon Ronson has a knack for researching some of the most absurd and culturally taboo topics in the most honest and quirky ways, and the Last Days of August is no exception. What Ronson does here however, in this masterwork, is he takes us into some of the very serious problems sex workers face through reporting on the death of August Ames. This is, in some ways, not your typical Ronson, but it's one that has matured into someone willing to put absurdity aside and let the story tell itself.

He is, of course, a fantastic narrator of his own work. This docu-drama from audible is fantastically produced and features voices from the many interviews he does over the course of the story. Every episode is gripping and well done but not because he's trying to manipulate those feelings from us. No, the Last Days of August is a story that wanted to be told and we we're just lucky that Ronson and his producer Lina Misitzis were there to expose it.