When Annalee Ahlberg goes missing, her children fear the worst. Annalee is a sleepwalker whose affliction manifests in ways both bizarre and devastating. Once, she merely destroyed the hydrangeas in front of her Vermont home. More terrifying was the night her older daughter, Lianna, pulled her back from the precipice of the Gale River bridge. The morning of Annalee’s disappearance, a search party combs the nearby woods. Annalee’s husband, Warren, flies home from a business trip. Lianna is questioned by a young, hazel-eyed detective. And her little sister, Paige, takes to swimming the Gale to look for clues. When the police discover a small swatch of fabric, a nightshirt, ripped and hanging from a tree branch, it seems certain Annalee is dead, but Gavin Rikert, the hazel-eyed detective, continues to call, continues to stop by the Ahlbergs’ Victorian home. As Lianna peels back the layers of mystery surrounding Annalee’s disappearance, she finds herself drawn to Gavin, but she must ask herself: Why does the detective know so much about her mother? Why did Annalee leave her bed only when her father was away? And if she really died while sleepwalking, where was the body?
A Free Serialization of the Complete Audiobook in Eight Parts
Presented by Sophie Hannah
Throughout the serialization, Sophie informs listeners on the crucial distinction between the truly impossible and the deeply unlikely, points out the magic of a very personal motive, and explains her belief that “the best stories are the ones that would only ever happen once.”
Hercule Poirot is called on to investigate the murder of a brother and sister, in this classic Agatha Christie mystery now available in an updated edition with a foreword Sophie Hannah.
“He was murdered, wasn’t he?”
When Cora Lansquenet is savagely murdered, the extraordinary remark she had made the previous day at her brother Richard’s funeral suddenly takes on a chilling significance. At the reading of Richard’s will, Cora was clearly heard to say, “It’s been hushed up very nicely, hasn’t it. But he was murdered, wasn’t he?”
Did Cora’s accusation a dark truth that sealed her own fate? Or are the siblings’ deaths just tragic coincidences?
Desperate to know the truth, the Lansquenet’s solicitor turns to Hercule Poirot to unravel the mystery. For even after the funeral, death isn’t finished yet .
Julia has the unusual ability to be . . . unseen. Not invisible, exactly. Just beyond most people’s senses.
It’s a dangerous trait in a city that has banned all forms of magic and drowns witches in public Cleansings. But it’s a useful trait for a thief and a spy. And Julia has learned–crime pays.
She’s being paid very well indeed to infiltrate the grand house of Mrs. Och and report back on the odd characters who live there and the suspicous dealings that take place behind locked doors.
But what Julia discovers shakes her to the core. She certainly never imagined that the traitor in the house would turn out to be . . . her.
Genre: YA / Urban Fantasy / Steampunk-ish
Story Rating: **** (4 stars)
Narration Rating: *** (3 stars)
That thing is growing again. We must destroy it. The time to act is now…
With these words begins Gideon Crew’s latest, most dangerous, most high-stakes assignment yet. Failure will mean nothing short of the end of humankind on earth.
Five years ago, the mysterious and inscrutable head of Effective Engineering Solutions, Eli Glinn, led a mission to recover a gigantic meteorite–the largest ever discovered–from a remote island off the coast of South America. The mission ended in disaster when their ship, the Rolvaag, foundered in a vicious storm in the Antarctic waters and broke apart, sinking-along with its unique cargo-to the ocean floor. One hundred and eight crew members perished, and Eli Glinn was left paralyzed.
But this was not all. The tragedy revealed something truly terrifying: the meteorite they tried to retrieve was not, in fact, simply a rock. Instead, it was a complex organism from the deep reaches of space.
Now, that organism has implanted itself in the sea bed two miles below the surface-and it is growing. If it is not destroyed, the planet will be doomed. There is only one hope: for Glinn and his team to annihilate it, a task which requires Gideon’s expertise with nuclear weapons. But as Gideon and his colleagues soon discover, the “meteorite” has a mind of its own-and it has no intention of going quietly…
Narration – *** (3 stars)
Story – **** (4 stars)
This version of the Bennet family—and Mr. Darcy—is one that you have and haven’t met before: Liz is a magazine writer in her late thirties who, like her yoga instructor older sister, Jane, lives in New York City. When their father has a health scare, they return to their childhood home in Cincinnati to help—and discover that the sprawling Tudor they grew up in is crumbling and the family is in disarray.
Youngest sisters Kitty and Lydia are too busy with their CrossFit workouts and Paleo diets to get jobs. Mary, the middle sister, is earning her third online master’s degree and barely leaves her room, except for those mysterious Tuesday-night outings she won’t discuss. And Mrs. Bennet has one thing on her mind: how to marry off her daughters, especially as Jane’s fortieth birthday fast approaches.
Enter Chip Bingley, a handsome new-in-town doctor who recently appeared on the juggernaut reality TV dating show Eligible. At a Fourth of July barbecue, Chip takes an immediate interest in Jane, but Chip’s friend neurosurgeon Fitzwilliam Darcy reveals himself to Liz to be much less charming. . . .
And yet, first impressions can be deceiving.
Genre: Romance, Fiction
My Rating: **** (4 stars)
First of all, I have to say that I love Pride and Prejudice. It’s my favorite Jane Austen novel, and Liz Bennet my favorite Austen heroine. I was a little nervous that a modern retelling of the story, complete with modern language, would be a disappointment. The author has done a wonderful job, though, of keeping the dialog as modern as possible while giving the narration a more classic feel. The story itself provides the same type of contrast, as it is easy at times to forget that this is a modern take on Pride and Prejudice, yet at other times it feels so familiar that you know just what will come next.
Cassandra Campbell as narrator does a good job of differentiating the Bennet girls’ voices, and is pleasant to listen to. Pleasant that is except when she’s doing Mrs. Bennet’s voice, but I think that is to be expected. 🙂
While some of the situations that the girls find themselves in do seem over-the-top, I enjoyed the story, and Ms. Campbell’s performance of it.
NOTE: I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Listening Library presents Grimm’s Fairy Tales (on sale 5/10/16)
Genre: Fantasy / Children’s Stories
My Rating: ***** (5 stars)
I was fortunate enough to get an advanced listen to this newly produced collection of Grimm’s fairy tales. (These are the original tales, full of violence and betrayal, and not suitable for very young children.) Full of favorite tales like Cinderella and Rapunzel, along with several lesser-known stories, and with such a spectacular cast of narrators, this audio collection is a treasure! I recognized most of the readers’ names, and even more of the voices in this collection. Jim Dale reading Rumpelstiltskin was a real treat, and there isn’t one bad narrator in the bunch. If you are a fan of fairy tales, or have a pre-teen or young adult reader at home who might be, don’t miss this one.
Rapunzel, read by Katherine Kellgren
The Six Swans, read by Davina Porter
Cinderella, read by January LaVoy
The Twelve Huntsmen, read by Dion Graham
Little Red-Cap, read by Simon Vance
The Goose-Girl, read by Edoardo Ballerini
Little Briar-Rose, read by Grover Gardner
Sweet Porridge, read by Jayne Entwistle
Little Snow-White, read by Kate Rudd
The Golden Goose, read by Luke Daniels
Rumplestiltskin, read by Jim Dale
Eve’s Various Children, read by Roy Dotrice
Snow-White and Rose-Red, read by Julia Whelan
The Elves, read by Bahni Turpin
A Riddling Tale, read by Janis Ian
The Twelve Brothers, read by Graeme Malcolm
The Sea-Hare, read by Mark Bramhall
The Frog-King, or Iron Henry, read by Kirby Heyborne
The White Snake, narrated by Scott Brick
Hansel and Gretel, read by Robin Miles
The Shoes That Were Danced to Pieces, read by Alfred Molina
NOTE: I received a free review copy from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. All comments and opinions are my own.
Maybe I’m the last one to find this, but I just had to share. If anyone is an audiobook fan, be sure to check out http://www.mobydickbigread.com/ to listen to Moby Dick for free.
Each chapter in this massive undertaking is read by a different person of interest – authors (China Miéville), actors (Benedict Cumberbatch), even Prime Minister David Cameron reads a chapter.
You can listen to each chapter online, as a podcast, or download them from iTunes. There is also some great art inspired by the novel included on each chapter’s web page that’s worth checking out.
I’ve only managed to get 5 or 6 chapters into Moby Dick, so I think I’ll give it a try this way!