Audiobook Readers’ Edge Update

What is Audiobook Edge for Readers?

·         A short, vetted list of clean indie audiobooks I recommend every month. I’ll try to give you a clear rating system in terms of curses, adult content, and the like. The first Sunday to be precise. By “clean” I mean the book has minimal curse words and adult content. (There will also be Matchmaker, which has some stuff I will not post to the main list – email me to get on that list.)

What do you get?

·         Free audiobooks. (The author emails of those willing to share audible gift codes or directly gift you the book you’ve select.)
·         News of any audiobook price drops, giveaways, and cool contests put on by the lovely authors on the list.

What’s the “catch”?

I run by the principle: “If you like it, then you shoulda put a review on it.” (And if you don’t like it, let the author know privately.)

These authors and their narrators have put hours upon hours into creating an entertaining or informative show for you. Listening and enjoying their hard work is one step, but it costs you about five minutes of your time to thank them with a review. It also helps other readers find and enjoy things you love.

Details:

By “vetted” I mean I’ve either read the book or know the author and the quality of their work personally. (I will be gathering a small team of audiobook readers I trust to make such decisions, but right now, it’s just me.) My reading tastes tend very strongly toward mystery, thriller, and science fiction with a smidgen of fantasy and a few other genres. Therefore, you can expect the list to lean heavily toward these genres. Also, I write (and therefore tend to read) squeaky clean stuff. I’m not saying there won’t be curse words here and there as it fits the story, but these will be the works you wouldn’t mind if your grandmother caught you reading it.

I’m just the middleman here as it were. I’ll show you thing I’ve enjoyed or am excited to try out. It’s up to you to contact the authors who are kind enough to offer some free codes.

Reviews:

Eventually, I’ll be posting the lists to my wordpress blog. After they’re up and running, I’ll send you a link to the recent post(s) at the bottom of the weekly newsletter.

If that sounds like a good deal to you, please sign up below. As a bonus, I’ll enter you into a drawing to win one of 5 ebook, audiobook, and paperback bundles of any of my applicable works. (Clarification: It has to be a title that has an audiobook, ebook, and paperback version.)

Update as of 8/12/17: I also have a matchmaker list of things rejected from the normal list due to excessive curses, too many adult scenes or gory descriptions.

Questions can be directed to: devyaschildren @ gmail.com (take out the spaces)

Ready to get your Audiobook Edge?

Join up here.

 

If 1-2 free books ain’t enough, check out Audible’s paid programs.

The first two books are free through the link below.

*Bonus: I also have free codes for all my audiobooks and if you join Audiobook Edge and email me the title of one of my books you’d like to review, I will send you a code to purchase it. See my Amazon page for a list of my books. (Eligible titles: Ashlynn’s Dreams Shorts, Ashlynn’s Dreams, Nadia’s Tears, Malia’s Miracles, Varick’s Quest, The Collins Case, The Kiverson Case, The Dark Side of Science, Awakening.)

*Double Bonus: If you buy one of my books as your very first Audible.com account purchase (needs to be a paid account), I’ll give you a $10 gift card/code to Amazon.com (please note, you have to be able to buy from the US site.) Also, this is only doable because of Audible’s bounty program, you’ll need to prove the purchase and wait until the bounty clears on my end.

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Awesome Audiobooks: 4.5/5 Sink or Swim by Stacy Juba

 

4.5/5 Fame’s not what Cassidy thought it would be

Summary:

Cassidy’s stint on a hot new reality TV show, Sink or Swim, propels her into unwanted stardom and earns her a stalker. She misses the million by five points, but still winds up with more attention than she’d like.

 

Additional Comments:

  • It’s a predictable yet enjoyable story.
  • I heard the audiobook, and the narrator’s performance was very good.
  •  I like the concept of the reality TV show and the idea of stalker angle. It went on a tad longer than it truly had momentum for, but there were some interesting red herrings. It’s not really about the TV series, but that’s a neat angle.
  • Her family dynamics worked for me. Mother and father divorced amiably and a devoted kid half-brother. I enjoyed the fact that the family wasn’t picture perfect with a white picket fence.
  • The murder angle was okay, but I think it distracts from the terror caused by the stalker.
  • The gun thing was kinda dumb, but I can forgive the character under pressure some irrationality.
  • I didn’t get a big “personal trainer” vibe from Cassidy. I’m not sure the book describes her running once, though I do remember her lifting weights or something. I haven’t had a personal trainer, but I think a lot of their job is the mental piece. I would have expected some of that disciplined mindset to bleed into her thought process while dealing with the stalker.

Conclusion:

Intriguing stalker book.

As Always …

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

If you’re an author (or a narrator) 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 😉

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

Prime Student – Oh, how I wish I was still a student.

Kindle Unlimited – Keep that Kindle Happy. 30 FREE trial

Free Kindle Reading App

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.

If you’re an author (or a narrator) 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.

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.

If you’re an author (or a narrator) 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.

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.

If you’re an author (or a narrator) 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.

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.

Awesome Audiobooks: 4.5/5 Apprentice Cat by Virginia Ripple

4.5/5 Cute Cat Goes to Magic School Type Story

Summary:

Toby’s only mediocre at magic, but he still wants to fulfill his mother’s dream of being accepted into the Academy. Once in, he stumbled across a colossal mystery.

Random Comments:

  • It’s an intriguing world where humans and cats work hand-in-hand. The description of it being a kingdom and them traveling in carriages sort of make me think it’s a steampunk type era. It’s a tad hard to tell though.
  • The characters are well-developed.
  • The narration is nicely handled. I personally didn’t enjoy the voice used for Terrence as that was a little tough to follow, but the characters are distinct.
  • The mystery meanders a bit, but things work out in the end.
  • It finds the balance between giving the reader closure and leaving enough loose ends to gracefully beg for a sequel.

Conclusion:

Slow start and lots of world-building, but overall, a satisfying tale.

 

The book is permafree! Go ahead and download it … then prep yourself for the first Sunday in October when you can request a free audio version.

As Always …

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

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.

Audiobook Reviews: Prestigium by Joseph Barone

4.5/5 Paranormal Detective

Summary:

Tanya Cora gets drawn into a mystery with more magic than she bargained for.

Random Comments:

  • There’s a lot of world-building here, so it takes some getting used to. The informational sessions are handled nicely in that the main character genuinely isn’t aware of most of it, so the reader gets to learn as she does.
  • The MC – Tanya – has a habit of commenting on everything that can get tiresome on occasion, but mostly, it comes across as amusing. She’s got a semi-jaded view of the world, but that fits well with the cop persona.
  • It’s definitely the sort of story that’s more fun to listen to than to read.
  • The cover’s okay. I would like a more solid view of what the main character looks like. Something deeper, darker would be cool.
  • The reader gets cheated a bit in the end where the epic battle is concerned. I’m not looking for blood and gore, but some description would be nice. References exist, but still …
  • The narrator’s good. I’m a fan.
  • I enjoyed how the story took familiar magic and elements and added its own twist.

Conclusion:

A worthwhile fantasy story.

 

As Always …

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

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.

Audiobook Reviews: An Inner Fire by Jacki Delecki

4/5 Stars Romantic Suspense Story with Fun Characters

Summary:

Grayce Walters, paranormal vet, gets a vision from Mitzi that Ewan Davis is in danger. He, of course, is a hot fire investigator who’s looking into a suspicious fire down at the wharf.

Additional Comments:

  • Writing quality is very strong overall.
  • The mystery itself is fairly straightforward. It’s not a police procedural or anything so the main character’s investigation is confined more to generic snooping. She does do some pretty stupid things overall, but it’s all because she loves her man … I guess we can at least understand the why of it.
  • The repeated use of strong language got tedious for me. (But I will say that the narrator did a nice job with the performance.)
  • The touch of paranormal in here was well done. I think more could have been done with the connection to Grayce’s sister, but the dreams/visions were decently described.
  • Twist at the end kind of cheapened all the character(s) did to investigate up to that point.
  • The idea of doing acupuncture on pets is intriguing. I know zip about acupuncture in general, but the descriptions sounded reasonable.
  • Fun side characters – Davis’s aunt and Grayce’s friend James are outlandish in their own ways
  • Content warnings: very strong language, adult content goes beyond the “mild” setting (I’d probably categorize it as medium level in at least 1 scene)

 

Conclusion:

Good romantic suspense/ mystery story if you can handle the descriptions of sex and the repeated strong language.

As Always …

You should still join Audiobook Readers’ Edge, but this book will not be featured in the regular list. It will be available by Matchmaker. Sign up then email me. (Devyaschildren @ gmail.com).

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.

Audiobook Reviews: 3.5/5 Derelict by LJ Cohen

3.5/5 Derelict by LJ Cohen

Summary:

Ro and a motley stow-away crew find trouble on a derelict ship.

Additional Comments:

What I Didn’t Enjoy:

  • There’s a LOT of strong language in here, which is weird because the book otherwise seems aimed at young adults. I work with teenagers. Some of them curse, but very strong languages loses its impact when used this casually.
  • There’s not one fleshed-out, competent, sympathetic adult. The adults here come in three flavors: overbearing jerks or manipulative, overbearing jerks or manipulative, overbearing, psychopathic jerks.
  • The friendships and rivalries seemed genuine but there’s also a bizarrely paced, subtle (F/F) romance.

Neutral:

  • At its heart, the plot’s actually rather simple. (Girl wants to get away. Girl and acquaintances get into trouble. Runaway ship nearly kills ’em all.)
  • The purpose of Deadilus (sorry about spelling, I heard the audio version) was never really made clear. Is the station strictly for research or survival?

What I Enjoyed:

  • The technology aspects of this book were pretty cool. The computer programming aspects were nicely described.
  • The music integration and purpose where Halycone is concerned rocks.
  • Bill Burrow’s performance fits very well.
  • The four main characters are both well-developed and likable. I enjoyed how their names unfolded piece by piece. Their nicknames work.

Conclusion:

If you’re okay with a lot of strong language and quite a bit of adult-bashing,  you would probably enjoy this book.

As Always …

Note: this book will not be on the regular Audiobook Readers’ Edge, but it is available via the matchmaker program.

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