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review 2017-06-15 13:20
#Audiobook Review: The Goal by Elle Kennedy
The Goal - Audible Studios,Susannah Jones,Elle Kennedy,Andrew Eiden

After the pregnancy bombshell delivered at the end of the previous book, The Goal actually goes back a bit in time and begins when Tucker and Sabrina first meet. Readers/listeners relive certain scenes and moments from the The Score, with a new perspective and focus, as well as several new scenes. 

 

Tucker is probably the most likable, easy-going guy we’ve met thus far in Ms. Kennedy’s Off-Campus series. He’s genuine, and while he’s easy on the eyes, he’s not all about scoring with the ladies. When he first lays eyes on Sabrina, he senses she is something special. I adore everything about this guy. He’s nearly perfect and has the patience of a saint. He never takes his eye off the end goal of making Sabrina his, but he allows the ebb and flow of life to take its course along the way. 

 

On the other hand, all we knew about Sabrina before this book is that she is Dean’s educational nemesis, and his perception is that she is a cold-hearted bitch. Ms. Kennedy removes that mantle from Sabrina immediately, by showing us Sabrina’s deplorable home life and the motivations behind her desire to achieve perfection at Briarwood. I fell for Sabrina’s flawed character hard. She’s driven and sometimes too focused, but she has a heart of gold underneath the layers of protection she’s built. 

 

Sabrina and Tucker make a great couple. There is insta-lust and sexual chemistry big time, creating an immediate interest in the pair. I like that they have time to fall a bit for one another before the baby news comes. I also appreciate that there are several ups and downs. It's very realistic with a happy ending. 

 

While I enjoyed their story, and I’m thankful to finally have Tuck's book, I was overwhelmed by the amount of focus on the pregnancy/baby storyline. Don’t misunderstand, Ms. Kennedy does an amazing job with the baby storyline; she didn't sugar coat what it's like to be pregnant and have a child. She also didn't minimize the impacts on the parents' lives and their relationship. However, it's too much baby for me. I am just not a fan of baby-romances.

 

Generally, the narration is good; better than book 3, but still not as great as the first two books. The male narrator, who also read The Score, has great drawl and perfect laid-back attitude for Tuck. At times, I felt certain words held too much of a Boston accent, but overall he is consistent. Mr. Eiden does a great job distinguishing between all characters and has a solid feminine voice. Similarly, the female POV narration is good, especially after I sped it up. (I varied between 1.25x and 1.5x.) I enjoyed her voice for Sabrina right from the start. She gives Sabrina a perky, upbeat air, yet is able to add the weight of life into her voice when called for. My biggest complaint is that Ms. Jones had extremely long pauses between dialogue and paragraphs which became annoying right away. Increasing the listening speed helped with that.

 

Overall, I enjoyed The Goal, and look forward to hopefully more stories in the Off-Campus series. Although there was too much baby storyline for me, and I missed the laugh-out-loud humor and silly moments found the previous three titles, Tucker and Sabrina make a wonderful couple with an entertaining romance.

 

My Rating: B

Male narrator A-

Female narrator B+

 

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review 2017-05-28 19:13
"Six Degrees Of Assassination" by M J Arlidge - an audible originals production
Six Degrees of Assassination: An Audible Drama - Hermione Norris,Audible Studios,M.J. Arlidge,Clare Grogan,Andrew Scott,Freema Agyeman,Geraldine Somerville,Clive Mantle,Julian Rhind-Tutt

"Six Degrees Of Assination" is a radio play rather than an audiobook.  It has a full, very talented, cast and the story is told entirely with dialogue supported by sound effects and punctated with (slightly annoying) "thriller" music to remind you how excited you are.

I spent a fun six and half hours on a sunny day, losing myself in the events following the assassination of a British Prime Minister in London.

I was convinced by the portrayal of British politics at a time of crisis. These are the types of politicians I recognise and understand. A couple of the political speaches were so well done, I felt sure I'd heard them before.

The list of suspects, foreign and domestic, was long and colourful. The story moved quickly and had a surprisingly large body count but never fell into the realms of the completely unbelievable.

The acting was what kept me interested. Most of the dialogue was good, some was even quote funny but the occaisonal "I'm saying this to move the plot along" lines were skillfully smoothed over.

I didn't guess who did it but I didn't feel tricked when I found out who it was.

A fun way to spend some time with a drama playing out in your head.

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text 2017-05-28 13:52
Audible Deal of the Day (US)
The Oedipus Plays - Jamie Glover,Sophocles,Michael Maloney,David Horovitch,Samantha Bond,Julian Glover,Ian Johnston - translator,Hayley Atwell,Audible Inc (UK)

$1.99 today.  

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review 2017-05-02 02:28
A Fun & Very Short Peter Grant story
A Rare Book of Cunning Device - Ben Aaronovitch,Kobna Holdbrook-Smith,Audible Studios

This is an audio-only release (for now anyway) about Peter (and Toby) go looking for a poltergeist in the stacks of the basements of The British Library. Harold Postmartin was hanging out at the Folly when Peter got the case, and wouldn't let him shrug it off for awhile, so he got to do a little field-work, too.

 

It was fun to see Postmartin in action and learn a bit more about him. Peter and Toby were their usual entertaining selves. The Librarian (who's name I can't remember, sorry), was fun -- the tie-in with Peter's family was, nice too. The Library (in both fact-based and clearly UF ways) was an interesting place, and I can easily see the need for Peter to return there on another case.

 

Holdbrook-Smith is just fun to listen to, if I heard another couple of books in this series, I'd probably hear him in my head for any future Peter Grant/Rivers of London books. Top-notch stuff there.

 

I gripe too much about short stories being to short, so I'll try not to here. This was a complete story, but it very easily could've gone on -- in fact when the file ended, I pretty much thought that my headphones ran out of juice. It was good enough to satisfy, but not so good that I can't grumble about it being short. This was fun, and though I'm not sure how giving a story away works to earn money for a library charity, I'll trust that it does some how and hope that it meets with plenty of success.

Source: irresponsiblereader.com/2017/05/01/a-rare-book-of-cunning-device-audiobook-by-ben-aaronovitch-kobna-holdbrook-smith
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text 2017-05-01 21:01
Booklikes-opoly update
In the Dark, in the Woods - Phoebe Sparrow,Eliza Wass,Audible Studios

I finished Tomorrowland 34, for which I read In the Dark in the Woods (also known as The Creswell Plot) by Eliza Wass. My editions was 304 pages long, so I earned 3$ for this!

 

Bank: 42$

 

I'm not sure I will be able to write a review for this book, I need time to process. It was amazing, but it was also disturbing and thought-provoking. I gave it 5/5 stars.

 

Next book will be The Patchwork girl of Oz that I am reading for Fantasyland 7. It will be a much lighter read ;) !

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