Friday, May 27, 2016

Audiobook Round Up {Finding Fraser} {The Tudor Vendetta}

I met Jamie Fraser when I was 19 years old. He was tall, redheaded, and, at our first meeting at least, a virgin. I fell in love hard, fast, and completely. He knew how to ride a horse, wield a sword, and stitch a wound. He was, in fact, the perfect man.


That he was fictional hardly entered into it.


At 29 Emma Sheridan's life is a disaster, and she's tired of waiting for the perfect boyfriend to step from the pages of her favorite book. There's only one place to look, and it means selling everything and leaving her world behind. With the aid of an unexpected collection of allies, can Emma face down a naked fishmonger, a randy gnome, a perfidious thief, and even her own abdominal muscles on the journey to find her Fraser?


Publisher: Tantor Audio | Narrator: Romy Nordlinger | Length: 11 hrs and 47 mins |Source: Gift | Ratings: Story-4.5 Cups Performance- ½ Cup
I received this as a gift from a book group friend who shares my love of Outlander. I had received a review copy of the book (see my review) but she was eager to know what I thought about the audiobook version, so I turned it while I was doing a spot of cleaning.

My first thought was thank goodness I had read the book and not listened to it. If I had actually listened to the book, I don’t think I would have actually enjoyed the book. I couldn’t enjoy the way Romy Nordlinger narrated the book. Honestly, I found her annoying. Nails down on a chalkboard kind of annoying. Her voice was high-pitched and nasally. Oh, and the accents were atrocious. What annoyed me the most was the way she presented the book; she turned a charming, lively little story into a dull, lifeless group of words.
Honestly, I ended up skipping several chapters in this one because there was no what I was going to be able to listen to almost 12 hours of this.
Overall: skip the audiobook and read the book.

Upon the death of Mary I (Bloody Mary), Elizabeth I takes the throne, and Brendan Prescott is called to aid the young queen amid a realm plunged into chaos and a court rife with conspiracy.
London, 1558. Queen Mary is dead, and 25-year-old Elizabeth ascends the throne. Summoned to court from exile abroad, Elizabeth's intimate spy, Brendan Prescott, is reunited with the young queen, as well as his beloved Kate, scheming William Cecil, and archrival Robert Dudley. A poison attempt on Elizabeth soon overshadows her coronation, but before Brendan can investigate, Elizabeth summons him in private to dispatch him on a far more confidential mission: to find her favored lady in waiting, Lady Parry, who has disappeared during a visit to her family manor in Yorkshire.
Upon his arrival at the desolate seaside manor where Lady Parry was last seen, he encounters a strange, impoverished family beset by grief, as well as mounting evidence that they hide a secret from him. The mystery surrounding Lady Parry deepens as Brendan begins to realize there is far more going on at the manor than meets the eye, but the closer he gets to the heart of the mystery in Vaughan Hall, the more he learns that, in his zeal to uncover the truth, he could be precipitating Elizabeth's destruction.
From the intrigue-laden passages of Whitehall to a foreboding Catholic manor and the deadly underworld of London, Brendan must race against time to unravel a vendetta that will strike at the very core of his world - a vendetta that could expose a buried past and betray everything he has fought for, including his loyalty to his queen.
Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.| Narrator: Steve West | Length: 9 hours and 50 minutes | Ratings: DNF

Normally, I’m a massive read-it-in-one-sitting fan of Gortner’s work so I happily accepted this audiobook. So, I fixed me a hot cuppa tea, grabbed my cross stitch, and turned on the book.
It started out pretty good. The narrator was engaging, the plot held a nice air of mystery with a bit of romance. I was able to get a good sense of the Elizabethan court as well as the intrigue and danger that lurked. As the book progressed, I realized I was starting to lose interest. I tried to pick up where I left off a few days later but realized I couldn’t get back into it. Perhaps I was expecting the plot to remain more in the mystery genre and it kind of veered off into a full romance.  After a few more failed attempts at getting back into the story, I finally just gave up.

What do you look for in an audiobook?

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