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Old 06-08-2019, 09:22 PM   #2581
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Currently listening to The Body in the Castle Well, the latest Bruno, Chief of Police book from Martin Walker, narrated by Robert Ian Mackenzie. As always, a delightful listen, and an excellent narration. Though I do find his voice for the Americans in this one a bit too broad and flat. Really, I know we sound like that to those whose English originated in the U.K., but don't overdo it!
I just finished the ebook of this and enjoyed it. I am thinking of using one of my credits to get the audio book.
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Old 06-09-2019, 12:17 AM   #2582
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I always enjoy the Audible versions, with Robert Ian Mackenzie. (I know, with a name like that, what's he doing reading a book about French characters, but hey, it works.) Typically, I listen to it first, while I wait for the Amazon price to come down or the wait list to get shorter at the library, and then at some later date, get the eBook.
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Old 06-09-2019, 06:36 AM   #2583
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Currently listening to The Ninth Step by Mark Dawson. I love his narrator. I have all the audio books, I just like to space them out.

Next I will listen to Defending Harlow by Susan Stoker, which just came out in Kindle Unlimited audio book. This tends to be a lazy author, plot-wise, but since I'm caught up in the series and it's costing me nothing, I'll listen to it. I sure wouldn't pay a penny for it. (I'm on a 2 year sub to KU so I paid a long time ago).
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Old 06-09-2019, 11:48 AM   #2584
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Originally Posted by CRussel View Post
I always enjoy the Audible versions, with Robert Ian Mackenzie. (I know, with a name like that, what's he doing reading a book about French characters, but hey, it works.) Typically, I listen to it first, while I wait for the Amazon price to come down or the wait list to get shorter at the library, and then at some later date, get the eBook.
I agree he does a very good job with the audiobooks in the series.
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Old 06-19-2019, 08:15 AM   #2585
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Finished up Storm Cursed. A good read. For a little while, Briggs was drifting into more Romance Urban Fantasy, but she's cut back on that a good bit in her last several books in the Mercy series.

Started Waylander II, In the Realm of the Wolf. I had been doing an ebook re-read of Gemmell, so I read Waylander II not long ago, which means it's still fresh in my mind. Like many authors who writes a series where each book is stand alone, but interconnected, the published order is not the chronological order. Waylander II (5th book published) was actually a prequel to Waylander, the 3rd book published in the Drenai Series. It's also set well before Legend, the first book of the Drenai series. I'm listening to the books in published order rather than Chronological order.
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Old 06-19-2019, 01:38 PM   #2586
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I tore through Rebecca Roanhorse's Trail of Lightning and immediately picked up the next in series, Storm of Locusts. It scratches the urban fantasy itch despite being decidedly rural and technically post-apocalyptic, though the apocalypse in this case arguably improved the situation of the Navajo nation where most of the story takes place. They're better situated than most of the surviving world, and oh yeah, they have magic.

The story and style are action-movie-ish with some clear comic book superhero influences and an almost throwback "dark and gritty" tone, but the total package is plenty entertaining. The characters... I don't trust any of them, but I do like them. The world-building and mythos are center stage, and very satisfying for recovering mythology nerds like myself, even if authenticity and reverence for the source material are not high priorities. Navajo stories (and, I suspect, a hodgepodge of other Native American stories) are a jumping-off place for Roanhorse's world, as is present day culture on the reservation, and as they say, "Any resemblance to real (or mythological) persons or events is coincidence."

Narration is adequate - pretty flat, but it didn't annoy me or put me to sleep.

Last edited by taosaur; 06-19-2019 at 01:44 PM. Reason: Added a bit about the world-building
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Old 06-20-2019, 12:44 PM   #2587
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I'm now onto Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy read by Richard Poe. This is a violent literary western tale. I like Poe's voice for the narration - grizzled, old, and that sort of old-time-American-western-man sounding - and he does different characters' voices well, but I kind of detest the voice he uses for the main character, The Kid. He uses a sort of snivelling, nasally, uncertain, higher-pitched, whining voice to indicate the youngness of the character, and while the voice is distinct and realistic enough, it's not a voice I really want to listen to for a main character for many hours of an audiobook, and from the description of the character so far, nothing has been said of his voice needing to be anything like that. So that irks, but otherwise, I'm enjoying it.

Finished up Sea of Poppies. There are two versions of this audiobook. I had almost chosen the one narrated by Kish Sharma, which sounded a more authentic narrator, but I'd went with Phil Gigante instead because of the variety of accents he uses. His narration speech was a sort of monotone yet emphatic flat American, reminiscent of the 'movie trailer narrator man' or Moviefone man voice if any of you know what I mean. But what sold me on listening to his version was that he uses many, many accents and distinct voices for the characters, and there are a lot of very different characters and voices in this book.

The Indian, Chinese and other Asian accents he used, I couldn't tell how well or authentic they were. They were all distinct enough. Some did sound bordering on caricature but otherwise I thought they sounded fine to my western ear, though I saw someone complaining about them on Audible. His half-French accent sounded fine enough to me. The main American character, Zachary, who is partially black, I thought sounded overdone. It was distinct enough, but it was too 'aw shucks' enthusiastic American and too 'this is a black voice', especially for a character who is passing for white. The various British accents were a bit funny to me. Especially, he gives one of the major characters in the second half of the book, Mr. Crowle, a strong Scottish accent though I don't think he was ever referred to as Scottish and instead I think I'd heard him mentioned as English. The voice didn't even sound just northern English, it was very Scottish. But what was really funny to me is that this Scottish accent would slip through in other characters' accents at times, not only the various English accents but even the Asian ones, lol. I think Gigante's American from his main narration voice, so all I can think is that the first other accent he ever learned must've been a strong Scottish accent and because of that it slips into the other accents from time to time. Anyway, despite all these quibbles and sometimes laughing at an accent, he did manage to give each character a very unique voice which was no easy feat for this book.

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I loved Sea of Poppies. I should read the second book before I forget too much of the first!

I did not enjoy Normal People. It did not live up to my expectations given the critical acclaim that it has received. It was like a young adult coming-of-age university novel, infused with class issues, and told in the manner of brunt realism typical of Irish literature. I think I would have preferred more sentimentality in this "is but isn't" a love story. I had trouble engaging with the characters emotionally.
That's too bad about Normal People! Although, your description of why you didn't like it - coming-of-age university novel with brunt realism - sounds right up my alley, lol.

I was surprised that Sea of Poppies ended as it did, although I could tell about halfway through that this was going to be more the first section of a longer story rather than a self-contained story in the one book. Still, the whole book felt like an extended prologue! LOL. Well, maybe the first 4/5, and then the last fifth felt like the beginning of the book, and then it ends. This is definitely the sort of series that is more one gigantic book split into separate volumes.

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Currently listening to The Body in the Castle Well, the latest Bruno, Chief of Police book from Martin Walker, narrated by Robert Ian Mackenzie. As always, a delightful listen, and an excellent narration. Though I do find his voice for the Americans in this one a bit too broad and flat. Really, I know we sound like that to those whose English originated in the U.K., but don't overdo it!
I read the first Bruno book some years ago and liked it, but didn't love it. From time to time I wonder if I should try another book in the series.
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Old 06-20-2019, 06:56 PM   #2588
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I read the first Bruno book some years ago and liked it, but didn't love it. From time to time I wonder if I should try another book in the series.
Well, for me, they keep on giving. Some I like better, some a bit less, but the town and the people in it, to say nothing of the food, are all quite enjoyable.
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