Awesome Audiobooks: 4.5/5 Hound’s Bite by E.J. Stevens

 

Summary:

Ivy Granger’s a snarky faerie princess. The main plot can be summed up in a quest to save harboursmouth from Herne the Hunter and his hounds.

Additional Comments:

– Not sure where the psychic detective part comes in since this is my first experience with the series. I’m assuming the detective bit had more to do with earlier stories. This story just has her running around the city trying to forge alliances and save the human population from a few crazy plots. There’s some mystery but very little detective work.

– The character voice Ivy has is awesome, but you gotta like snark.

Content warnings: quite a few references to adult content (lots of innuendo); quite a few curses (and a few hexes thrown in too); definite references to the occult – can’t really escape that with a book stuffed full of mythological creatures (kelpies, faeries, vampires, etc).

– Side characters are well-developed, but I think that’s to be expected in a book 5 of a series. There are references to events that happened in previous volumes, but the work feels complete enough that you can jump in here without feeling too lost. There’s an opening for more without sounding like a blatant “buy my next book” plea.

– Narrators were well-picked. It was interesting to have a male and female split the narration duties. The sound effects were okay. It didn’t bother me, but I also don’t think it enhanced it too much either.

Conclusion:

If you like your heroine’s strong and weird, Ivy Granger’s the faerie princess for you.

 

As Always …

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Julie C. Gilbert

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Awesome Audiobooks: 4.5/5 Quest of the Dreamwalker by Stacy Bennett

Disclaimers: Forgive any spelling issues I heard the audiobook. And I don’t own the rights to the pic. Got it off of audible.com.

Summary:

Cara’s a dreamwalker who’s practically raised by an evil sorcerer bent on gaining immortality. Captain Mason Khourey and Archer are mercenaries who get caught up in a tangled web of danger and intrigue. (Totally was not picturing the name spelled like that.)

Additional Comments:

– The world-building is fun, but a few aspects aren’t really fleshed out. Cara’s abilities aren’t really fully realized. I think that’s probably because this is book 1 of a longer story, but still, we’re told she’s a dreamwalker and then given maybe 2 glimpses of this at at play. Could be because it’s part one of a longer story.

– The characters are great, though I will say Cara kind of got annoying. I ended up liking Falin a lot more than Cara and she came into the book like 8 hrs into the story. There were a few points when she does something massively stupid that made me raise an eyebrow, but I can understand to some extent the necessity in moving the plot forward that way. It’s just not pretty.

– Several plot points fall under “well, that’s convenient” but it’s still a very compelling story.

– The end twist is excellent. But then the book continues, opening up a new aspect to the journey, which really messes with the sense of closure that could have been had.

Content warnings: at least 2 “adult” content scenes; graphic violence and disturbing images

– The narrator’s performance worked wonders in bringing the story to life. It’s a long story, but he handled it well. The voices are distinct and pleasant to listen to.

Conclusion:

If you’re a fan of the genre, this is definitely a series to snap up.

 

As Always …

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Thanks for your time.

Sincerely,

Julie C. Gilbert

Audiobook Edge and it’s Matchmaker Program are completely free now, but if you wanna donate anyway, go for it 😉

Er, just do it as a friend b/c otherwise, you’re basically just paying paypal.

 

 

Awesome Audiobooks: 5/5 Stars Princess Kayla and the Dragon Who Wouldn’t Clean Up

5/5 Princess Kayla and the Dragon Who Wouldn’t Clean Up

Most of the things I’ve been reviewing have been available through audible, but this one came through it’s own app.

Summary:

It’s been a long time since I’ve read a choose-your-own adventure type book. This one’s pretty much summed up by the title. It’s about a 10-year-old princess who takes it upon herself to solve the kingdom’s dragon problem. Basically, Gorof and his hoard are taking over all the caves the villagers like to shelter their livestock in. Oh, and his hoard makes a lot of noise.

Additional Comments:

– I made it to the best ending first, but being me, I had to go back and see some of the other endings.

– The narration’s clear and the words highlight so you can read along with the narrator if you wish.

– I am totally not the right age bracket for this story, but it’s still a fun, cute read. This is definitely a kid-friendly book. I was sort of secretly rooting for some more realistic, adult or YA endings, but alas, tame, nice endings it is.

– The scrolling down part was harder than it needed to be, but it all worked out.

Conclusion:

If you have a kid in the right age bracket, this is the perfect fantasy read along adventure.

As Always …

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Thanks for your time.

Sincerely,

Julie C. Gilbert

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Er, just do it as a friend b/c otherwise, you’re basically just paying paypal.

Awesome Audiobooks: 4.5/5 Stars The Kili Wanna Affair by Scott A. Combs

4.5/5 A study in ridiculousness

Summary:

A semi-competent ensign gets assigned as the liaison to Kili Wanna with the job of getting them to sign a treaty with the Galactic Guild. What follows is a series of predictable yet amusing events.

 

Additional Comments:

– Don’t take the book too seriously. If you’re looking for serious, you are definitely in the wrong place.

– At times, the book was kind of annoying, but I broke it up with a family drama/romance book so it’s all good. In the end, it leaves one with a mildly amused feeling, which is a great note to end on.

– The narrator did a lovely job with all the voices. Definitely worth getting the audiobook. Grab the free kindle version and you usually get a discount on the audio.

Content warnings: brief mention of nudity, a few sophomoric references to George’s breasts, and a few curses. Most of the curses were confined to tick-tick-pops.

– Sali Terri’s a dude, so of course George Shooters is a lady.

– I love Bethel. She’s hilarious, and she does everything.

– You can get a feel for the tone of the book by some of the names. i.e. Snookums, royal cat like thing. I won’t attempt to spell that because I heard the audible version.

– The characters are more like caricatures, but that’s definitely done on purpose. Sali’s a (lovable) bumbling idiot who happens to get everything right. George is a top-of-the-class, straight-laced sort who ends up being the assistant for the bumbling idiot.

– The style’s like A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy without quite so much dry humor. (It’s more in-your-face stupid humor like Flex being an Arnoldian and always wanting to break things or maim people.)

 

Conclusion:

Amusing opening to what’s sure to be a series of galactic misadventures.

 

As Always …

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Thanks for your time.

Sincerely,

Julie C. Gilbert

Audiobook Edge and it’s Matchmaker Program are completely free now, but if you wanna donate anyway, go for it 😉

Er, just do it as a friend b/c otherwise, you’re basically just paying paypal.

Audiobook Reviews: 3.45/5 Stars The Girl in Seat 24B by Jennifer Peel

 

Summary:

Carly’s left to fend for herself emotionally and practically become a single mom because her husband, Michael Bishop, decides to pursue some career opportunities.

Additional Comments:

– It’s predictable.
– There’s excellent character development in everybody but the main characters. I love Joseph Xavier and his family. Even the in-laws progressed believably. Michael, not so much. Carly … yeah, I can believe her character development.
– I was really hoping it’d turn into a murder mystery at several points. That says a lot for the author’s skill to make realistic characters, but annoyed typically isn’t the vibe you want for 95% of the book.
– I heard the audiobook and the narrator did a lovely job. There weren’t too many voices she needed to do, but there were quite a few emotional moments that she captured nicely.
– I had to take the book in small doses, but luckily, I had a scifi study in ridiculousness to balance out this family drama thing.
– Although the characters were pretty realistic, their circumstances were not. Besides the major plot of “I don’t love you anymore” Michael walking out for 80% of the book, everything else works out like a dream.

  • Carly has 0 wants for money. Her business just flourishes from nothing to she’s turning down jobs left and right. She’s a social media hit with her wonderful pictures, and so forth. Even Michael, as he pursues his new career goals, he gets plush assignments and book deals thrown at him. The two kids are wonderful in every way. Oh, there are a few references to crankiness, but otherwise they’re little angels who love each other. There’s references to trouble with the in-laws but throughout this journey they’re nothing but supportive and loving.
    Content warnings – a few curse words; adult themes
    – I can’t speak to grammar because I heard it read to me, but aloud, it flowed decently well.

Conclusion:

If family drama’s your thing, you’ll probably enjoy this. It’s basically one woman’s journey to survive a stint of single motherhood while her husband’s an idiot then her battle to forgive him once he comes to his senses. (All that can be gathered from the book description.)

As Always …

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Thanks for your time.

Sincerely,

Julie C. Gilbert

Audiobook Edge and it’s Matchmaker Program are completely free now, but if you wanna donate anyway, go for it 😉

Er, just do it as a friend b/c otherwise, you’re basically just paying paypal.

Awesome Audiobooks: 4.5/5 Stars Mercy’s Prince by Katy Huth Jones

Summary:

Prince Valerian, second son of Lavathia’s king and queen, suddenly finds himself Crown Prince. Thus, he’s thrust into a role he hadn’t trained for during a time of war. Mercy too finds herself in a position she’s not prepared for.

Additional Comments:

– For a fantasy romance book, there’s absolutely no interaction between the leading lady and the handsome prince for the first 1/3 of the book. I listened to the audiobook and it was well over 6 hours (of 15-ish) before they even met.

– The overarching plot’s not particularly unique, but the book’s awesome. (Second son finds himself the Crown Prince and has to grow into the role.)

– The author has done a nice job creating characters you can care about.

– I will admit I found the description of Mercy’s home life tedious after a while. The Brethren come across as a creepy little backwards cult. (i.e. arranging the marriage of a 14-year-old girl to the leader. Not teaching girls to read and so forth.)

– I would have prefer Mercy be slightly older, especially given where the book took the characters in the end. (She’s 14.) Even for a fantasy world, that’s really young. I do love her healing gift though. I enjoyed how her character developed throughout the course of the story.

– The side characters were reasonably fleshed out. I love Kieran. Love the name, but the character’s great too. He’s very loyal but also believable.

– The section with the dragons was surprisingly very quick.

– The bad guy’s a tad overdone, but he fits the role of loath-able villain well.

– Love the narrator.

– The climax happened an hour before the conclusion. That’s a really, really long denouement.

 

Conclusion:

It’s long but it’s great.

 

 

 

As Always …

If you want the chance to get the audiobook for free, please join Audiobook Readers’ Edge.

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Thanks for your time.

Sincerely,

Julie C. Gilbert

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Er, just do it as a friend b/c otherwise, you’re basically just paying paypal.

Awesome Audiobooks: 4.5/5 Stars The Shoulders of Giants by Jim Cliff

 

Summary:

Jake Abraham’s a wet-behind-the-ears PI with an office and one heck of a first case. It fell to him because nobody else will touch it.

Additional Comments:

– I heard the audiobook version, and I think that made all the difference. The narrator pulls off the unassuming, still learning PI vibe very well. The first person perspective serves well here.

– I’m going to use quotation marks even though I might be paraphrasing here: “… unless she was held against her will or dead against her will.” That’s the kind of humor you can expect from this book. You either love it or hate it.

– The bad guy’s not particularly believable, but that’s typical of these sorts of books. Jake zeros in on the bad guy pretty handily even though nobody else will believe him.

– Things sort of just work out, but Jake’s lovable all the same. I think there’s room for his character to grow and sharpen his skills.

– Content warning: off-screen sex, some curses, including a half dozen f-bombs

– The title still doesn’t make much sense to me, but I’m going to chalk that up just one of those things.

– Narration – 5/5

– Story – 4/5

– Characterization – 4.5/5

 

Conclusion:

Jake Abraham’s a PI you may want to keep an eye on. He’s going to have many exciting adventures ahead.

As Always …

If you want the chance to get the audiobook for free, please join Audiobook Readers’ Edge.

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Thanks for your time.

Sincerely,

Julie C. Gilbert

Audiobook Edge and it’s Matchmaker Program are completely free now, but if you wanna donate anyway, go for it 😉

Er, just do it as a friend b/c otherwise, you’re basically just paying paypal.

Awesome Audiobooks: 4.5/5 stars Mail Order Mishap by Barbara Goss

 

Summary:

The American Civil War leaves behind a shortage of men in the South. Wanting a husband and children, Amber Wakefield travels to Hunter’s Grove, Kansas in answer to a mail order bride ad. There, she finds not everything is as it seems.

 

Additional Comments:

  • The narrator handled the Southern accent very well.
  • Romance typically isn’t my genre, but I found this enjoyable.
  • It’s totally predictable from the cover right down to the conclusion, yet that does not detract from the fun factor.
  • Parts made me laugh out loud. That’s always a plus.
  • It’s short enough that it didn’t frustrate me. (A story like this where the two main characters dance around each other being miserable has the potential to get old real quick. But the length of this story was perfect to let the characters get flustered to a point then bring everything to a satisfying conclusion.)
  • Adult themes are handled tastefully. I’d consider this a “clean” book.

Conclusion:

A nice, light, inspirational romance story.

As Always …

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Thanks for your time.

Sincerely,

Julie C. Gilbert

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Er, just do it as a friend b/c otherwise, you’re basically just paying paypal.

Audiobook Reviews: 4/5 Stars Recovery of a Colony Ship by John Thornton

Summary:

Michael and Jamie are sent on a desperate mission to find a new home for the sad remnants of Earth’s population.

Additional Comments:

– It’s a pretty grim future if the remaining population numbers in the thousands.

– The title is … functional, but it might have more zip with just the main colony ship’s name.

– Narration was all right, but the male AI voice got on my nerves. He did great with the female AI though. Other characters are good too.

– I’ve not heard too many stories of this type, but it’s definitely a type. I’m not a big dystopia, end of the world fan, but I enjoyed this tale. (I think it helped to have it read to me.)

– There are frequent references to a disaster in Dome 3, but that thread’s not really explored. I would have liked to see that be a prologue or something for the amount of references it garnered.

– Michael and Jamie are likable enough as main characters, but for Adventurers, they’re kind of naïve. How do they manage to get their stuff stolen out from under their noses on day one?

– The plot reminds me a bit of a video game. They have a mission which promptly goes awry, and they have to figure out a new way to reach their end goal.

– The wrap up is quick.

– The religious fanatics have a fiercer reputation than most of the people Michael and Jamie meet.

– I liked most of the side characters, especially Abigail and the quartermaster guy from Earth.

– Some of the tech was very cool. I like the part about them trying to get into the colony ship.

– I didn’t get a great feel for the colony ship itself. I think some of that was because of the terminology and acronyms. OCM and RC were both explained eventually, but I’m pretty sure I was confused on that (along with the characters) for about an hour. The dimensions were mentioned at one point, I think, but then, later, there was talk of other habitats as worlds.

– The last hour or so had quite a bit of action. I wish the main characters did more of the fighting though. Legionnaires = awesome.

Conclusion:

Scifi adventure across the stars to find a home.

 

As Always …

If you want the chance to get the audiobook for free, please join Audiobook Readers’ Edge. Last I checked, the ebook’s only $0.99.

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Thanks for your time.

Sincerely,

Julie C. Gilbert

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Er, just do it as a friend b/c otherwise, you’re basically just paying paypal.

Audiobook Reviews: 3/5 Zombie Park by Mark Cusco Ailes

3/5 Zombie Park
*mild spoilers possible in discussion; sorry about name spellings, I heard the audiobook*

Summary:

Mad scientists create zombies for the government to use as soldiers. A down-on-his-luck guy submits an idea he clearly got from a video game to a local business man and wins the idea lottery. Boom – zombie park is born.

Character Comments:

 

  • With a ridiculous premise, one expects to have to suspend disbelief. Even so, there are quite a few giant coincidences that are hard to accept as a reader/audiobook listener. Ie. Forenstein has close ties to the military and General Poe. Why would they need Ben’s idea? They could have come up with something on their own or killed him and swiped the idea. Ben just happens to see and ad for Forenstein’s  “I’ll make you rich” scheme and just happens to submit his idea.
  • The general’s not exactly a people person yet he seems to be doing a lot of the leg work involving people.
  • The scientists clearly can’t stand each other, but their rivalry seems very childish as presented.
  • The emotional markings and cues are all over the place and not very believable. Nicholas Hollman’s reaction to certain events is completely incomprehensible. Even Ben’s reaction to an event when he’s in the donut shop is cold-hearted and unbelievable.

 

 

Additional Comments:

  • content warnings: It’s a zombie book. There’s the requisite descriptions of fountaining gushes of blood scattered throughout as well as a relatively high body count for a book this small. Number of curse words is minimal.
  • The premise of needing “smart zombies” to be soldiers is silly, but let’s indulge it for a moment. If thought about, it actually becomes dangerous as an idea. If you need humans to create zombies then it’s not about making soldiers, it’s about who becomes the soldier. At this pt, it’s actually kidnapping, assault, and ultimately slavery. (creating something/someone to fight for you)
  • The cost/benefit analysis doesn’t hold up. A program like this would cost billions with a b. The government could get hundreds of thousands of willing soldiers by less objectionable, less highly illegal recruitment methods. I am all for mad scientist books, but it needed a little more logic to make me buy in.
  • I’m not sure why pages are wasted on Gus and his two gamer friends. This is a relatively short book, and Gus doesn’t really seem that important. Perhaps he comes into play in a later book.
  • There are fun references to Jurassic Park and several zombie movies.
  • Book is decently narrated, but some of the voice choices were hard to listen to. (ie. Billy)
  • The story doesn’t really have an ending, it just sort of ends. There’s a distinct, this-is-the-first-in-a-series vibe that kind of stomps all over any sense of closure.

 

Conclusion:

If you’re willing to just read/listen without thinking, it’s a decently fun zombie book.

 

As Always …

If you want the chance to get the audiobook for free, please join Audiobook Readers’ Edge. Of course, this is going to go live the first Sunday of October …

If you’re an author with an audiobook you’d like featured, sign up for Audiobook Authors’ Edge.

Thanks for your time.

Sincerely,

Julie C. Gilbert

Audiobook Edge and it’s Matchmaker Program are completely free now, but if you wanna donate anyway, go for it 😉

Er, just do it as a friend b/c otherwise, you’re basically just paying paypal.