Awesome Audiobooks: Aranya by Marc Secchia

Introduction:

It’s been a while since I’ve heard a story like this. Don’t think I’ve ever come across the notion of Shapeshifter dragons, but Marc Secchia does a lovely job fleshing the concept out. The story’s on the long side, but it’s got fantastic world-building, great characters, and decent descriptions. I love, love, love this narrator. I’m super picky, so that’s saying a lot.

Summary:

Aranya goes from exiled princess to shapeshifter dragon.

Additional Comments:

– Content warnings: It’s a very enjoyable story with stellar narration, but this is not for children. I’d place it in the 14+ range. I’ve never seen so many references to nudity w/o there being a sexual connotation. (It’s mixed in with the rules of being a shapeshifter.) There’s mention of harsh torture. There are also a few curses.

– I love the narrator’s voice. The performance itself wasn’t flawless, but it was very, very good. (Some spots had the sound drop off oddly. Others, I think the character accents shifted about a bit.)

– It’s long; 14 hr 22 minutes as an audiobook. I get it, most fantasy books are long, but this one definitely could have been even stronger if it weren’t prone to quite so many meandering plot pts. For example, the big, long journey at the end didn’t add much. I think it went on for about 45 minutes or more and the basic gist was “it was a long, hard journey.”

– Character development is good, though I’m guessing some may think it clichéd.

 

What’s not to love:

  • Must every fantasy book use the word incorrigible? (It’s bothersome.)
  • Did I mention it’s long? It does have some pacing issues, but in the grand scheme of things, that’s a pretty mild complaint, esp in light of the fact that the narrator could make a dictionary sound awesome.

What’s to love:

  • Shapeshifter dragons! (awesome concept)
  • great world-building
  • evil empire/outnumbered good guys
  • Zip (some of her sass is hilarious)
  • end battle was sweet

Conclusion:

Overall – excellent dragon tale that will delight fantasy fans.

 

Special Treat:

If you want to get the book on 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

For a limited time, I’m offering a fantasy book to anybody who supports Audiobook Edge.

Audiobook Reviews: Story Keeping: The Night I became a Hero by AR Marshall

Introduction:

I really am expanding my reading these days. A while ago, I’d done a series of reviews on Carol P. Roman’s “If you were me and lived in __” series. I think I also reviewed a picture book about bugs. Other than that, it’s been some time. These days, I tend to be more of a murder, mystery, and mayhem kinda gal. This series is more the “enjoy with your kids” sort of thing.

Summary:

A lovely introduction to a children’s series. Riles and his siblings find much more than words within the pages of a book their grandfather reads to them.

Additional Comments:

– I am not the target audience, but I can see the merits of a story like this. It’s got great imagination.
– I heard the audio version. The author did an admirable job bringing the story to life.
– It’s clearly the beginning of a series. The end spends more time setting up the next story than wrapping up this one, but it’s satisfying enough.
– The premise of being able to interact with stories is very cool. I’m sure it will appeal to many children.
– The cover is charming too.

Conclusion:

Short, intriguing tale for children.

Special Treat:

If you want to get the book on 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.

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Audiobook Reviews: Dragon’s Future by Kandi J. Wyatt

Introduction:

I’ve probably read 5 stories that have dragons in them in my life. Conclusion = dragons are cool.

Summary:

This is a story about dragons and the people who ride them. The dragon population is dwindling. If nothing’s done, the entire colony could cease to exist.

 

Additional Comments:

– It took me a while to get into the story, but the end fits well and is awesome. There’s a lot of setup that needs to happen.

– The names were a tad difficult to follow in audio format. Ruskya and Duskya, Kyn, Wynn (spelling??), etc. It was hard to keep straight who was a dragon and who was a human. I feel like seeing the words would have made that easier somehow. At least there was also a Carol.

  • It’s a series, so I think some of this will be explained in future books.

– The performance was okay. The narrator was good but didn’t have a great range of characters so it was difficult to delineate who was speaking based on voice alone.

– Duskya could have had more page time, but for the most part, there’s decent balance between who gets to be in what scene.

Pros:

– There are a lot of things to love in here: dragons!, the ability to ride them, mental connections, twin bonds, bad guys, and a ton of great characters. (Yes, distinguishing could be difficult, but there were a ton of people who were so down to earth. You just want to spend an afternoon getting to know them.)

– I think the story’s aimed at the middle grade audience, so even though there’s violence you’ll find it scrubbed fairly well.

 

Conclusion:

This is the type of story that would be good on a long car ride. It’s something to share with younger children. If you love dragons, you won’t want to miss Dragon’s Future.

 

Special Treat:

Please note that this book is permafree. You can grab a copy for FREE. Add the audio version at a discount after that. If you want the audiobook for free, please join Audiobook Readers’ Edge.

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

Thanks for your time.

Sincerely,

Julie C. Gilbert

For a limited time, I’m offering a fantasy book to anybody who supports Audiobook Edge.

Awesome Audiobooks – Hide and Seek by Amy Shojai

For all who love audiobooks …

Welcome to this series of reviews. Since starting Audiobook Edge, I have had the privilege of listening to a slew of wonderful audiobooks. I’m eager to share them with you. These are the books that will be available to you – the reader courtesy of the author or in some cases, the narrator. In this case, that applies to both since the author did the narrator herself.

*I will do my best to keep spoilers to a minimum*

Summary:

September Day’s got a past that’s catching up in a dangerous way.

Random Comments:

– I’ve not read or heard the first in the series.

– There are a few sections in here from Shadow’s (the dog) pov. I’d become familiar with the author’s penchant for such things through her Kindle Worlds story, Born to Love, so it fit fine. It adds a charming element to the work.

– Much of the story is grim as there’s clearly a stalker at work. But there are enough other sideplots to keep it light.

– The narration was decent. I’m super picky about such things and I’ve heard a lot of audios, so I could hear where some of the edit pts weren’t completely clean. They were few enough and far enough between to keep from interfering with the entertainment value.

– There was quite a bit of setup. Things were tied together in the end, but it’s on the long side, so expect to need to wade in to get the full value out of the work.

– The cover makes more sense once the story’s done. I love when that happens.

– There are some authors you would never want to be a character for … this is certainly true for Ms. Shojai. Poor September.

Conclusion:

A great addition to the world of audiobooks. This can be read/listened to without having heard the first, though I’m sure that there’s an added layer of enjoyment for fans familiar with the series already. Check this one out.

Special Treat:

If you want the audiobook for free, please join Audiobook Readers’ Edge. This book will appear in the May 7, 2017 edition of the program.

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

Thanks for your time.

Sincerely,

Julie C. Gilbert

For a limited time, I’m offering a fantasy book to anybody who supports Audiobook Edge.