Audio Review: The Throne of Fire (Kane Chronicles, Book 2) by Rick Riordan

By First Mate Keira

Title: The Throne of Fire (Kane Chronicles, Book 2)
Author: Rick Riordan
Format: Audiobook
CDs + Minutes: 11 CDs (Approx: 12 Hours, 48 Minutes)
Grade Reading Level: Ages 9-12

Summary: Apophis, the ancient Egyptian god of darkness chaos that takes the form of a snake, is breaking ever so slowly free of the prison that Ra, the sun god who represents order, banished him to eons ago. The Kane children have until the solstice to find the three aspects of Ra, combine them with magic, and convince Ra to help fight Apophis or it’s the end of the world.

The hard part? No, it’s not Vlad. Most of the gods don’t want Ra back because they last remember Ra as a weak and senile old man. How can such a god defeat Apophis? Shouldn’t the Kanes put their trust in another… perhaps Horace?

On the side, lots of new comers to the Brooklyn House show up and a few of these fledgling magicians have secrets of their own including a family curse. The House of Life is facing a threat from within while strongly opposing the Kanes’ plan to awaken Ra. Also Carter’s unrequited love is in danger and he’s got to find her! But don’t forget the Forces of Chaos will stop at nothing to see Apophis rise.

Why I started this book:

Read the first, needed something to listen to in the car on the way to and from work. :)

Likes:

  • The narrative style for this series is very suited to narration. The readers were brilliant and had a wide range of voices. They both somehow managed to be unique and yet have enough overlap in how they read certain characters to make the switches feel familiar and the character voices as well.
  • Bes is a god of little people or dwarves (term used in book). He bet some of his height and lost once way back, which is why he’s short. He’s also extremely ugly and uses his ugliness to scare away others be they regular people, magicians, or gods. But he’s also considered extremely lucky so most Egyptians will gladly be around him if he isn’t actively trying to frighten them. What I liked best about Bes was that he simply helped out with no agenda. That’s rare. He’s a true friend to the Kanes.
  • The trip down the river to find and put Ra back together… he’s rather like Humpty Dumpty.

Dislikes:

  • Walt is 15? 16? Sadie is just now 13? Excusez moi? Yes, Sadie talks like a 15 year old and seems as mature as her older brother Carter, but she’s not. And while I do enjoy her boy crazy ramblings, the reciprocation on the guys’ (Walt and Anubis) part doesn’t make sense spelled out. This is why I continually wish she and Carter had been twins instead of merely siblings.
  • Two Southern American accents? Jaz? Hippo goddess? Um… one is enough. It’s too distinctive.

Last Minute thoughts: While there are some downsides for me in the story, one thing is always true about Riordan. He promises and delivers no matter the series or book an epic adventure.

Buy: The Throne of Fire (The Kane Chronicles, Book Two), The Throne of Fire (Audiobook)

Rating: 4 Treasure Chests

[phpbay]throne fire rick riordan, 5, 29792, “”[/phpbay]
[phpbay]throne fire rick riordan, 5, 267, “”[/phpbay]

Audio Review: Insurgent (Divergent Trilogy, Book 2) by Veronica Roth

insurgentReviewed by First Mate Keira

Title: Insurgent (Divergent Trilogy, Book 2)
Author: Veronica Roth
Format: Audiobook
Length: 11 hrs and 22 mins
Narrator: Emma Galvin
Grade Reading Level: Grades 9 to 12

Summary: War looks more inevitable by the hour. The Dauntless faction is split. Some have sided with Erudite, the faction that brainwashed them into becoming murderers, and the rest are seeking sanctuary wherever they can. Tris and Four search out Amity and Candor and find out that every faction is facing problems… and then there is the factionless, those who have been forced out because they couldn’t pass initiation rites. Now is the perfect time for them to flex their muscle and rise out of the shadows. Danger is everywhere… who will Tris trust?

Why I started this book:

I started the series at the recommendation of a friend and continued because I liked the first book.

Likes:

  • The natural growing pains of Tris’ and Tobias’ relationship.
  • Tris’s natural fortitude to resist serums. You should never take or succumb to mind-altering drugs. I understand the author implies the resistance is due to genetics, but it’s also a choice.
  • I like that Candor and Amity factions are equally messed-up. The author has really developed the world in which the trilogy takes place.

Toss-up:

  • Four/Tobias joining Tris in Erudite. On one hand it’s incredibly romantic… sort of… because on the other hand, it’s completely selfish.  “You want to turn yourself in? Fine. So will I.” Now they’re both stuck and nobody is left to rescue them. Clearly, Tobias is not the brains of the operation/relationship.

Dislikes:

  • Tris’ brother is an idiotic, self-righteous, numbskull. How was he smart enough to get into Erudite when he’s got the common sense of a pea-brain and the compassion of a snake-in-the-grass?
  • I’m not a fan of the psychological torture in the book. It does make the situation more bleak and desperate. I’m not saying it doesn’t add drama… the idea is repugnant that someone supposedly intelligent would feel the need to go to such lengths to protect themselves and their way of life that abusing kids is considered okay. Why is the rest of the faction equally moronic and morally corrupt?
  • All factions rely on serums to rule and control. Clearly the ideology is that the more medicated the population is the better for those in charge.

Buy: Insurgent (Divergent Series), Insurgent: Divergent (Audiobook)

Rating: 2.5 Treasure Chests
tc25

[phpbay]insurgent veronica roth, 10, 377, “”[/phpbay]

Review: Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

ender's gameReviewed by First Mate Keira

Title: Ender’s Game
Author: Orson Scott Card
Narrators: Stefan Rudnicki, Harlan Ellison
Format: Unabridged Audio Book
# CDs + Minutes: 9 CDs (11 hours, 11 minutes)
Grade Reading Level: 9th Grade
Summary: In a near-future society, the human race is in a war against the buggers, a hostile alien race, who nearly won twice in two wide scale confrontations against humankind. Fearing a third invasion, a system was put in place to discover and train child prodigies in the art of war. This system found Ender Wiggin, and set a course for him unlike any other kid that has gone before. Is Ender the general humankind desperately needs?

Meanwhile a second (side) plot revolves around Earth, Ender’s siblings, and it’s three separate governing bodies. The Hegemon, Strategos, and Polemarch, all struggle for supreme control and threaten humankind on the home front. Peter and Valentine are determined to make the world over in their image and work to achieve this through the “Nets” to influence how the masses think. Are two kids capable of achieving that sort of influence?

Why I Started This Book:

I can name approximately half a dozen boys over the last several years telling me I had to read this book. It was essential, a must read! I caved. Got it in audio format, because I’m grooving it right now and settled in for the long haul. I now have to apologize to the first five guys who said to read it and I ignored. Great book!

Likes:

  • Orson’s style of writing. It’s obviously a style meant to be read aloud; in fact audio format is the best version to meet this book and is something the author mentioned at the end of CD #9.
  • Orson’s writing is very evocative. You see pictures and feel emotions and think thoughts as if you were a part of the book itself.
  • Battle School is fantastic. I loved it when Ender finally goes up in rank and starts commanding. The mock battles are some of my absolute favorite moments.
  • The surprising twist at Command School. It was an ending I did not expect it. I liked it even more when Orson took the story further and explained the aftermath. That too did not go how I pictured it might. Frankly, I was expecting that Ender was going to have to watch out for Peter.

Dislikes:

  • Very little. I was going to say the graphic nature of some of the fights or the violence but as Orson pointed out in his ramble at the end of the CD #9 the language is in fact very plain. All graphic nature is rendered through the reader.

Last Minute Thoughts: It’s definitely a book for boys as it deals on many fronts issues boys face more often than girls such as bullying and warfare. Ender also goes through a crisis of identity of self. He does not want to be a killer (or hurt others) but is forced to become one. I think the following quote explains this very well:

Unlike his brother, Ender does not take pride in destroying others and commits this action because he is often pushed into situations which demand physical defense. This portrayal and situation in the novel justifies Ender’s actions. (Nick M. on Amazon.com)

I am glad I came to this book now instead of earlier in my life. I don’t think I would have appreciated it then. I do now. It’s terrific! I’m giving the audio book to my dad and telling him to listen to it. He’s on CD #2 and loves it so far.

Buy: Ender’s Game (Unabridged Audio Book), Ender’s Game (Paperback), The Ender Quartet Box Set (Ender’s Game, Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide, Children of the Mind)

Find books by Orson Scott Card on ebay.

Book Rating: 5 Treasure Chests.
tc5

Keira runs a book review blog for readers by readers on romance novels entitled Love Romance Passion. She’s been reading romance since she was in her teens and began blogging about romance so she could share her passion for her favorite genre. She loves reading paranormal, Regency, historical America, and highlander most of all and completely adores blind and wounded heroes.

[phpbay]ender game orson, 10, 29792, “”[/phpbay]
[phpbay]ender game orson, 5, 377, “”[/phpbay]

Audio Review: Artemis Fowl: The Lost Colony (Book 5) by Eoin Colfer

guestreview

by First Mate Keira, guest reviewer

Title: Artemis Fowl: The Lost Colony, Book 5
Author: Eoin Colfer
Narrator: Nathaniel Parker
# CDs (Minutes): 7 CDs (8 hours, 24 minutes)
Format: Unabridged Compact Disc
Grade Reading Level: 6.2; Ages 10-17

Audio Clip Preview: Download Clip (Right click, save as.)

Summary: The aliens are returning… well they’re demons now, but that’s beside the point. The magic that held them apart from the world for 10,000 years is deteriorating and the time/dimension jumping demons are starting to make their presence known and Level 8 is going to fix it. Level 8 is the fairy’s version of MI6 and Foaly is their new ‘Quartermaster.’ Recruiting Holly Short, Mulch Diggums, and Artemis Fowl to help, they’re in a race against time itself to save the world.

Why I Started This Book:

By this point it should be pretty obvious that I like the Artemis Fowl series and listening to Nathaniel Parker. I got this audio book from the library and listened to it instead of radio while working. My likes and dislikes are going to include some biggish spoilers so beware.

Likes:

  • Artemis gets fairy magic in this book. Now he’s like Superhuman and it’s pretty cool when and how he got it in the time travel tunnel.
  • I’m a huge fan of Artemis/Holly as a potential love interest so when the time and dimensional travel ended and they each had one eye switched with out with the other I was going “Woohoo!”
  • Nathaniel’s voice for #1 the mage imp is very well done. He comes across like a kid but he isn’t squeaky or weird sounding.

Dislikes:

  • Minerva, who is the young female version of Artemis. I can’t really explain why I dislike her. Maybe it’s because she represents potential trouble to my hoped for Arty/Holly pairing. Maybe it’s because she’s so cold or maybe because I don’t like thinking that a 12 year old girl can be that creepy. I was not a fan of her.
  • It’s amazing how many different things were going on in this book. It’s not really a bad thing, just some of it is hard to follow when listening. You really have to pay attention in this one and perhaps even skip back a track or two to listen again.

Buy: The Lost Colony (Audio Book), The Lost Colony (paperback), Artemis Fowl Boxed Set

Buy on Audible: The Lost Colony: Artemis Fowl, Book 5

Book Rating: 4 Treasure Chests
tc4

Keira runs a book review blog for readers by readers on romance novels entitled Love Romance Passion. She’s been reading romance since she was in her teens and began blogging about romance so she could share her passion for her favorite genre. She loves reading paranormal, Regency, historical America, and highlander most of all and completely adores blind and wounded heroes.

[phpbay]lost colony colfer, 5, 29792, “”[/phpbay]
[phpbay]lost colony colfer, 5, 377, “”[/phpbay]

Review: All American Girl by Meg Cabot

bookreview

by Captain Yarr

Title: All American Girl
Author: Meg Cabot
Narrator: Ariadne Meyers
Format: Unabridged Compact Discs
CDs + Minutes: 6 CDs (7 hours and 10 minutes)
Grade Reading Level: Ages 12+

Summary: Sam is a not so ordinary girl who wears all black and has a talent for drawing. She is in love with her sisters’ boyfriend Jack, who is an artist also. Her parents sign her up for art classes that she doesn’t want to take, and one class she decides to skip. While she’s waiting for class to be over she sees the president of the United States and an assassin trying to kill him. One quick thoughtless decision and she’s a hero for saving the president. At a celebratory dinner at the White House she reconnects with the presidents’ son, David from her art class. Does stay true to Jack or will her heart fall for a new love?

Why I Started This Book:

One day I went to the library and I guess it caught my eye from a lineup of audio books. I’m a big fan of audio books as you know.

Likes:

  • I liked David. He was both mysterious and sweet with a wide teasing streak.
  • I enjoyed the chapter where Sam and her family were at the White House for dinner. Sam’s a picky eater and ended up putting about half of her dinner into her napkin to avoid eating it.

Dislikes:

  • While I was listening to this book Meg Cabot would write “I mean” this and “I mean” that. When read aloud it was way too much. Eventually I got sick of hearing the words and would groan every time I heard them.
  • I didn’t like how Sam dyed all of her clothes black. If I had to do that I’d die of hideous fashion shame.

Last minute thoughts: I didn’t really understand why this book was called “All American Girl,” after all how many American girls save the president and find love with his son?

Buy: All American Girl (Audio Cassette), All-American Girl (paperback)

Book Rating: I give this book 3.5 Treasure Chests.
tc35

[phpbay] All American Girl, 5, “377”, “”[/phpbay]

Audio Review: Artemis Fowl (Book 1) by Eoin Colfer

artemis fowl

by First Mate Keira, guest reviewer.

Title: Artemis Fowl (Book 1)
Author:
Eoin Colfer
Narrator:
Nathaniel Parker
# CDs / Minutes:
5 CDs (approximately 72 min. each)
Format:
Unabridged Compact Disc
Grade Reading Level:
6.2; Ages 10-17

Audio Clip Preview: Download Clip (Right click, save as.)

Summary: Artemis Fowl is a criminal mastermind with a few parental issues. His father is missing and presumed dead. His mother has reverted to a childlike state to cope and never leaves her room in Fowl Manor. Artemis Fowl is determined to bring the Fowl Estate back to its former glory and he’s going to do that by doing what no other human has ever succeeded at doing… he’s going to extort the fairy people!

Why I Started This Book:

I began this book series because I heard an awful lot about it. One friend described it as getting a Harry Potter fix and since I was in desperate need of that I went to the library’s young adult section to find it. I decided on the audio format because I had an opportunity to listen for several hours on a road trip.

Likes:

  • Eoin Colfer is extremely clever when it comes to world building. I quite liked his use of current myths like a leprechaun and turning it into Lower Elements Police reconnaissance or more commonly LEP-recon, the fairy police force.
  • Nathaniel Parker is an amazing reader. He is so good with voices and acting that the story fairly leaps out of the speakers and starts materializing in front of you. He is as good as Jim Dale in my opinion.

Dislikes:

  • I don’t know if I’d call it an out and out dislike but there’s a lot of body humor in the book. Girls will probably find the flatulence-emitting dwarf a bit over the top as I did. However in Mulch Diggums’ defense he does bring a lot of humor to the story.

Last minute thoughts: Artemis Fowl is similar to Harry Potter in its setup. The first book places young Artemis at age eleven. In the next he’s age twelve and so on.

Buy: Artemis Fowl (Audio Book), Artemis Fowl (paperback), or Artemis Fowl Boxed Set

Buy on Audible: Artemis Fowl: Artemis Fowl, Book 1

Book Rating: 4 Treasure Chests
tc4

Keira runs a book review blog for readers by readers on romance novels entitled Love Romance Passion. She’s been reading romance since she was in her teens and began blogging about romance so she could share her passion for her favorite genre. She loves reading paranormal, Regency, historical America, and highlander most of all and completely adores blind and wounded heroes.

[phpbay]artemis fowl eoin colfer, 5, 29792, “arctic opal time lost deception colony”[/phpbay]
[phpbay]artemis fowl eoin colfer, 5, 377, “arctic opal time lost deception colony”[/phpbay]