Audiobook Reviews 3.45/5 Stars: Chasing Eden by B.K. Sherer and Sharon Linnea (narrated by Kristina Fuller Yuen)

3.45/5 stars Insanely Far-Fetched Suspense Story with Fantasy Elements


Major Jaime Richards, an army chaplain, gets caught up in a giant conspiracy with world-altering consequences on the eve of Saddam Hussein’s fall in Iraq.

Additional Comments:

Characters (3/5):

Jaime’s likable but not realistic in any sense. She doesn’t think, speak, or act anything like I’d expect a chaplain to … except in maybe 2 scenes. There’s maybe three prayers in the whole book and they seem bland. We don’t know much about Jamie’s family. I think that’s by design. Does she have just a brother or a brother and a sister? Yani’s mysterious. I get that. There are reasons for the mystery man. There are very few sections by random army personnel. They’re good but too few to know the character.
– Aside: The main character might be a chaplain but it’s not a very Christian-y book. That might thrill people, but it makes her unrealistic. (The cynical part of me says that perhaps she’s “too realistic” in terms of what the church has become in America, very politically correct.) If you’re looking for something marked Christian Fiction, look elsewhere. If you’re just in it for general thriller with fantasy-ish elements, go for it.

Plot (2/5):

Scattered is the best term I can come up with. It’s definitely fast-paced much of the time, but the pacing’s also slightly awkward. It’ll be full-speed action sequence (well-described) then *boom* history lesson. I have several misgivings about coincidences that happen. Without going into too many for fear of spoilers, let me just chat a moment about a few. The character who shows up in the beginning “stumbles out of the desert” right across Jaime’s Humvee convoy – after having been captured by some nameless bad guys and tortured for information. How did she escape? How did she know how to find Jamie? They also went to college together. Jaime’s even in the Middle East at the right time and place she needs to be to be caught in the conspiracy. She speaks the right language to be relevant to the bad guys. I understand that they’re setting up for a larger world, but the plot’s needlessly complicated. It’s like they read a book on conspiracy theories and had a shopping list to tick off for items. Must have 2-3 crazy dudes looking for ultimate weapon for world domination.

End Sequence (4/5)

Unrealistic, but cool.
– Very End Sequence (1/5) – Intriguing in the sense that it explains a lot, but it also strikes as a blatant, “well, if you want to know the real story, you’ll just have to buy book 2” bid. That leads to lack of closure and tends to tick me off. I have a thing about needing closure to enjoy a story.

Action (4/5:

Nicely described.
– Narration (4.5/5) – Fitting. The narrator did a nice job, and I would listen to more books from her. She has a matter-of-fact style but it comes across as informative and earnest not annoying. Her voice quality is soothing.

Content and Language warning:

Besides a few war scenes (well-described), there is also one almost rape scene. There are at least 3 f-bombs in here. I officially tap out of a book at 4, so that’s saying something. Definitely not a kid-friendly book.


It’s an enjoyable listening experience if you can get past the highly unrealistic points.

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This Book…

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Awesome Audiobook Reviews: 4.5/5 Mystery of the Dead Sea Scrolls Revealed by Spencer Hawke


I don’t read or experience historical fiction much these days, but this book provided a nice change of pace from the dragons, fairies, and Gifted teenagers. I love all those other things, but change can be good too.


Mystery of the Dead Sea Scrolls Revealed is not really a mystery or a history, but it is decent historical fiction. This is the story of a Bedouin boy who grows up to be a scribe then a priest and guardian of Israel’s greatest treasures. It doesn’t present the Roman soldiers in the best light, but I think history in general agrees they could be brutal.

Additional Comments:

– The author narrated the story. The music in the beginning kind of threw me for a little, but I enjoyed the added touch.

– I love the camel. She gets the best side character award.

– The hero and his uncle are fleshed out quite well but most of the other characters weren’t. I’m not sure why Lazarus was in the story.

– I really enjoyed the set up with the boy, Hilal (sorry if I misspelled that, I heard the audio), but then it pulled one of those “thirty years later” things that make me cringe a little. I guess that’s a pacing issue. Same thing near the end, you get wrapped up in the thrill of the hunt then boom it’s late 1940’s. I understand why it’s done that way, but the transition was … abrupt.

– Content warning: There are descriptions of Roman atrocities and torture.

– The book was a refreshing change from the book fare I’ve been taking in lately.


Interesting take on the battle to preserve history.


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Julie C. Gilbert

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