Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Books Read With My Ears

Storm Front (The Dresden Files, #1) Storm Front by Jim Butcher

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Either this was a lame reading, or it was a mistaken rendering. James Marsters, if he'd had the 'tude he had for Spike on Buffy, he might have done this justice. However, he read this with a bored flat voice, so I couldn't get too excited about it. I thought perhaps he was trying for the hard-boiled detective sound, but it didn't come out that way. For that, he should have had more of an edge to the voice.

As fantasies go, this was an ok book. Perhaps I would have liked it better if I'd read it. If it comes across my desk at the right time, I might move on to the next Dresden Files book, but I'm not feeling the urgency. Hard-boiled detective + talented wizard + misunderstood by the cops = good story, but average writing

The Valley of Secrets The Valley of Secrets by Charmian Hussey

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This is a secret garden-ish sort of book; it was fun for a light listen.

At the beginning there are hints of fairy folk, but the book takes another turn. A boy inherits a country estate from a relative he never knew existed. I didn't quite catch his age, but he was old enough to be done with school. He was not academically inclined, but had always felt an affinity for the things of nature. The valley of secrets could be his little slice of heaven.

The Minister's Daughter The Minister's Daughter by Julie Hearn

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
A neat take on the hedge witch meeting the phenomena of the burning of witches. Rather than witch, she is more of a midwife and healing woman, though fairies and pixies play a part in the lexicon of her arts. The minister's daughter gets pregnant, and blames the young midwife, just a girl herself. Well-read, easy to listen to.

Fledgling Fledgling by Octavia E. Butler

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I started listening to this book from one of my favorite authors without realizing just what kind of book it was. I'm sorry other reviews give it away, but I suppose you find out soon enough. It really pulls you in, starting with an amnesiac regaining her strength and her knowledge in a phenomenal way, and how she copes with her unusual heredity and mystery of her injuries.

Parable of the Sower [Audiobook] (CD) Parable of the Sower [Audiobook] by Octavia E. Butler

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The first time I read this book I wanted "Earthseed: Books of the Living," the book as composed by the main character Lauren Olamina, to be my new religion. Now, I disagree with her on the question of God, though she has a very pragmatic reason for including it. I also read it at an age of fear of societal dissolution, and this dystopian book provided that how-to parable on how to survive.Now listening to it years later, we've had a boom and a crash in the computer industry, and another crash in the finance industry, and that dystopian future still hasn't happened to that extreme. Now I listened to it with a more mature appreciation of Butler's story, and love it just as much. It was made even better by the skilled reading by Lynne Thigpens.Butler is a must-read for any science fiction fan.

Graceling Graceling by Kristin Cashore

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I love encountering new lands and societies created by fantasy writers. This book is peopled by 7 lands with 7 kings, and a certain segment of the people are graced with abilities. In most of the kingdoms, such children become the property of the king, and are feared by the rest. Most feared are those with mind-reading abilities. Also feared is Katsa, an uncannily skilled fighter who rarely feels pain. She does her king's bidding, but forms a secret council whose members do what they can to mitigate the poor choices of kings. Things change when she meets a prince, also a graceling, from a land where gracelings are free to choose the life they would lead.

Read by Full Cast Audio, always a good listen, with different people reading the various parts.

View all my reviews >>

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