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mavo

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Lyra is back!

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

Reviewed: 2019-10-30

Lyra is back, and so is Phillip Pullman. Although I enjoyed the Book of Dust, it just didn't have the same visceral quality of the first Dark Materials trilogy. So was I monumentally thrilled when I started listening to the Secret Commonwealth. Although the Book of Dust was a prequel to the Golden Compass, this book is a sequel to the Amber Spyglass, and the treachery of the Magisterium is back in full force. And this time, Lyra has in some way, lost herself. As we follow her angst, we wonder where that spunky, sharp little girl has gone to, now that she has grown up. The setting is spread across a dozen countries in Europe and the near East, with delicious characters and places, intense with smells, particularly that of 'rose oil'. Wait, no more spoilers. You HAVE to read this if you loved the Dark Materials.

Marvellous main character

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

Reviewed: 2019-10-30

As well as a plot that combines the dark and brutal history of Nazi medical experimentation with the inspiring friendship of four young people, Ilaria Tuti creates an amazing detective--caring and empathetic and sharp as a licorice whip. Over the course of the book, you can fall in love with the dangerous mountains and forests of the Italian Alps and analyze the dysfunction of small town life. I only have one word for the author: MORE, please.

Is there such a thing as 'binge listening'?

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

Reviewed: 2019-10-14

If there is, then this is a candidate for consumption in this manner. Cherie Dimaline has embraced magic realism in the style of Isabel Allende and given us a Canadian mystery/fantasy with authentic characters as well as an undertone of political commentary. It is a brilliant read/listen that flows well through multiple points of view. Her words invoke the smell and the taste of the earth and the voices of her characters ring true. The only blip in my mind, is the ending. NO SPOILERS, but we do seem set up for a sequel in a way that seems unnecessary. I, for one, would read any sequel to this, in any event. Don't miss this one!

A moving lyrical story

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

Reviewed: 2019-10-05

Guy Gavriel Kay is at his best in Under Heaven, as he was in Sailing to Sarantium/The Lord Emperor. The history is told through the lives of memorable characters in a setting as lush as only a country as old and complex as China can afford.It was nineteen hours, but I didn't want it to end. And I will remember the ghosts and the man who buried the dead at Kuala Nor for a long time. As I will the Banished Immortal poet!

A Tribute to Story

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

Reviewed: 2019-08-15

In this book, Isabelle Allende's weaves the stories of her characters with originality, compassion and spirit. She links the events of the 20th century world in a way that suspends disbelief and shows how truly we are all connected to each other. It's hard not to love all of her characters, with their great capacities for love on one hand and their human frailties and foibles on the other.

A novel for all time

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

Reviewed: 2019-07-07

There are some books, that after I've read them (or listened to them), I want to hold them in my soul for a while before reading anything else. This is a book like that. A teaching colleague had recommended this choice to me, as we both teach in a small hockey town in the woods. Only our small town is in Canada...but not unlike the town that Backman creates. The omniscient third person point of view is superbly done and the weaving of the stories of the people of the town is seamless, a portrayal of a community with all its courage and cruelty thoughtfully explained. It is a rich tapestry of a book, the vivid colours of its threads woven to both break your heart and to mend it.

Very Entertaining

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

Reviewed: 2019-05-26

The cast was very good and the stories interesting and suspenseful. Great characterizations of an ancient tale.

Not quite as good as Volume 1

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

Reviewed: 2019-05-26

I really missed going back periodically to the Sultan and Scheherazade. The story went on and on without the breaks and it seemed like they were forgotten.
Otherwise, the cast was good.

Touching, funny and it made me cry

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

Reviewed: 2019-03-08

This is an amazing book enhanced by the passionate reading of the narrator.
I ached with the soul of the young protagonist, reveled in his ability to survive through his bonds with science fiction and fantasy fiction and tea and Iranian food. The author builds the pace so well and never bends to the temptation to speed it up or hurry through. Every time I stopped listening, I felt I was leaving my heart behind with Darius and 'Mamoo' and 'Sorab' and 'Lale'. I have been reading for more than 50 years and I have rarely finished a novel in which I loved so many characters at the end. This is a book that breaks your heart and saves it, that lays bare the cruelty of the 'soulless minions of orthodoxy' and how we can, perhaps, survive despite it.
As far as I can tell, this is the author's only book. He really needs to write more. Please.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Waiting for Part 2: Loathing

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

Reviewed: 2019-02-11

Bob Woodward is a privilege to read. His consummate attention to detail and his ability to pull it altogether into a story is a credit to his profession. This is the opposite of "fake news".
I really hope he is working on Part 2: Loathing: Trump in the White House.