• The Secret World of Christoval Alvarez

  • The Chronicles of Christoval Alvarez, Volume 1
  • By: Ann Swinfen
  • Narrated by: Jan Cramer
  • Length: 10 hrs and 3 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (137 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

It is the year 1586. England is awash with traitors, plotting to assassinate the Queen and bring about a foreign invasion. The young physician Christoval Alvarez, a refugee from the horrors of the Portuguese Inquisition, is coerced into becoming a code-breaker and agent in Sir Francis Walsingham's secret service. In the race to thwart the plot, who will triumph - the ruthless conspirators or the equally ruthless State?

©2014 Ann Swinfen (P)2016 Ann Swinen

What listeners say about The Secret World of Christoval Alvarez

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Good Story, Somewhat Distracting Narration

The story is good. It takes a bit to get interested in the main character but once it gets well established is interesting. The setting is well detailed and researched. The inclusion of actual events and historical figures was fascinating. Nice subplots.

The narration was overall a B- for me and I had to keep the sound turned down below what was comfortable because of the mouth noises (saliva and audible swallowing etc) of the reader. Otherwise I would not have been able to listen. That's something that REALLY bothers me. The narrator did an excellent rendering of English and other dialects in a subtle and believable way.

10 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Boring

I have never written a review before but I found that this book is incredibly boring. Not only is the story a rehash of the one that has been told ad nauseum, but the monotone of the narrator adds to the problem. Don't waste your credits.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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More please ...

When are the rest of the books coming to Audible? Very good and looking forward to the rest.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great storyteller. Great narrator.

I love this series. This is my 2nd time through it. Interesting plot and it gives a believable glimpse into life in the 1500's in London. Just hoping that Audible will offer the books that are available after #7 in the series.

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    4 out of 5 stars

Off to a good start.

This was an interesting book. The plot was well written with plenty of"elephant traps" to fall into in the series to come. I like the characters and their sincerity, how they want to do well for themselves and those around them but can't seem to get past their hand-to-mouth existence.
I think the narrator is good at doing both male and female voices equally well. She does an excellent job at conveying the author's thoughts and ideas.
I will proceed to the next book.

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  • The Curator
  • 05-04-18

So predictable

Sadly the plot was predictable, the characters pretty one dimensional and the twist could be seen from page one. As mentioned by another reader, the narration was made uncomfortable by the sound of swallowing.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Longedge
  • 04-13-20

It hasn't gripped me - see how I go with the next.

I've come to this series having first finished the "Oxford Medieval Mystery" series which I really enjoyed. This first book has been something of a disappointment by comparison and I'm not at all sure that I'll finish the series but I'll give the next one a chance and see how it goes.

I got to the end thinking that there were several major questions that hadn't been addressed at all. I much prefer to get the back story rather than just be given a bald fact without any sort of explanation or expansion.

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  • Adrienne Harris
  • 01-16-21

Boring Reader

What a disappointment! This book appears well written and interesting, but it is read by such a boring reader that I couldn't get beyond chapter 3. Whilst I really like Anne Swinfen as an author, I will certainly avoid anything read by Jan Cramer from now on.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • lucy brownlie
  • 09-17-19

not the best narration

This is an entertaining and well written historical story but every sentence is spoken on a sigh.