Joe Coffin Season One Episode One (A Vampire Suspense and Gory Horror Series: Episode 1 Book 0)
by Ken Preston
Wow, I really enjoyed this introduction to the Joe Coffin series. It is a nice pairing of mob and horror. I found the main character, Joe Coffin, a member of the Slaughterhouse Mob, to be surprisingly sympathetic. Now it is on to read the rest of Season One because I am hooked.
My original BAD WOLF (BAD WOLF CHRONICLES BOOK 1)audiobook review and many others can be found atAudiobook Reviewer.
Detective Lara Mendes, a by the book and new homicide cop, gets partnered with John Gallagher, the bad boy of the department. Their first case involves a woman killed and eaten by dogs. All the pieces do not fit; one bite is identified as a large wolf, not a dog, and one DNA sample is identified as not human and not canine. Lara and John try to solve the crime without actually working together in a stereotypical dysfunctional police partner relationship.
This book is essentially a mystery with paranormal twist. The paranormal ingredient is no surprise based on the title. The not human-not canine DNA belongs to a werewolf. He is on a mission of revenge. To stop him, Lara and John first have to identify him. Next is wrapping their heads around the fact that such a thing as a werewolf can exists. The werewolf does have the ability of changing forms at will, not tied to the moon.
The story progresses on a predictable path. Lara and John never break out of the run of the mill cop molds. The backstory on the werewolf does not make me have any feelings, either positive or negative, for him. The book ends abruptly. The reader would have to purchase the next book and the final in the trilogy to get the whole story.
I was not impressed with the narration by Bob Barton. At points it sounded as though he was reading through the book for the first time. When John’s character reacts to Lara with a “sinister grating chuckle like some vaudeville diablo”, it just falls flat. It doesn't sound sinister but is definitely grating.
At timestamp 2 hours, 20 minutes and 52 sections, the narrator does flub a line, stops and repeats it. It sounds like this: “A hack job shelf. Filed into it (throat cleared then percussive sound, like a movie clapperboard). Filed onto it were more of the same cheap notebooks.” I consider this to be an error on the part of production values. This should have been caught and edited out before it was released.
I do not understand why there is not a “proof listening” step in the production of audio books. Authors should insist on it because it affects the reader’s perception of their work and whether the reader will try them again.
I did not find the story compelling enough, either as a mystery or a werewolf story, to continue with the second book in the series. At same point I hope to hear another narration by Mr. Barton and see if it is just this title that is lackluster.
Audiobook provided for review by the audiobookreviewer.com
Story (Plot) 3
Production Quality 2
Attention Holding 3
Straight to Hell: A Quincy Harker, Demon Hunter Novella
Written by: John G. Hartness
Narrated by: James Foster
Length: 3 hrs
Publisher: Falstaff Media
I really enjoyed the first book in the Demon Hunter series, Raising Hell, so I jumped at the chance to review Straight to Hell. Quincy Harker does have some similarities to Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files. If you enjoyed the Dresden Files, the Demon Hunter series will pull in you.
Quincy Harker is still the same Quincy we met in Raising Hell, profane and attitude laden.
The big change in Quincy’s world is Rebecca Flynn, the cop whose main goal was arresting him, is now his partner and they are both working for Homeland Security. This installment of the Demon Hunter series explains why Quincy has tolerated Rebecca instead of feeding her to his Uncle Luke. It also has flashbacks that illustrate what his life was like before and after he came to live with his Uncle Luke. His teenage experiments in exactly what it takes to wake a vampire during daylight are hilarious. The centerpiece of this story is protecting a direct descendent of David (you know, got in a fight with a Philistine named Goliath, that David) who has the power to bring about the end of the work by breaking the mythical seven seals as detailed in the Book of Revelations.
Again as with the first book, the pacing was fast. Every scene taught us something new about Quincy or Rebecca and helped develop their characters. James Foster did another excellent job narrating it. If you have not had an opportunity to sample Mr. Foster’s work, the Demon Hunter series is a great place to start. He does male and female characters equally well. He brings attitude where it is needed and drops the room temperature a good twenty degrees when Uncle Luke speaks (creepy on so many levels). The production values were excellent.
I have purchased all three Quincy Harker novellas on Amazon. As soon as Mr. Foster narrates the third one for Audible, I will pick that up also.
Story (Plot) 5
Production Values 5
Attention Holding 5
"This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher through audiobook blast dot com at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review."
My original Hell House audiobook reviewaudiobook review and many others can be found at Audiobook Reviewer
“It’s the Mount Everest of haunted houses.” Hell House is a novel written by Richard Matheson about the “Mount Everest of haunted houses.”It is a fitting quote as Matheson was Sir Edmund Hillary to the sci fi and horror genre. Modern writers, like Stephen King, and filmmakers, like George Romero, list him as one of their major influences. His credits include novels, short stories, screenplays, television, and even one non-fiction. Reading Hell House is almost a rite of passage for lovers of the haunted house genre.The book is centered on the Belasco House is rural Maine, so rural not even Stephen King has been there. The house was owned by an extraordinarily wealthy and amoral man. He built it as far away from everything as he could and in a generally unhealthy area to discourage unwanted visitors. While he lived, the opulent house was host to ongoing parties which increased in depravity and violence over the years. When family of guests finally checked on them, they found everyone dead, Belasco missing and the house abandoned.
As the story starts Dr. Lionel Barrett is hired by another fabulously wealthy man to put an end to the question of whether there is life after death. Barrett does not believe in the soul. He is a scientist. In addition to his wife, Barrett takes Florence, a mental medium, and Ben, a physical medium and the only survivor of a previous Belasco investigation team. The ectoplasm hits the fan almost immediately on their arrival. The questions of who or what is haunting Hell House grow with each incident until the final chapter.
Hell House is a very good haunted house story. It is not the best though. The Mount Everest of haunted house stories title belongs to Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House. Matheson was definitely taking Jackson on with Hell House (Stephen King did his homage to her with his screenplay of Rose Red). There are many similarities in the beginning. Matheson uses a lot of sexual situations where Jackson does not. Matheson’s horrors are fully exposed while Jackson’s are implied and more frightening for that very reason. While it is not Mount Everest, Hell House is K2, still a good book and a classic in the genre.
Ray Porter did a great job narrating it. His voice is smooth and calming, which adds to the horror in a very unique way. Even at the height of action, his voice never rises. He conveys all the emotion and horror without yelling or screaming. His characters are great. He must have an amazing vocal range. Barrett’s character has a deeper voice than Fischers. The women’s voices are slightly higher and the speech patterns different so it is easy to tell them apart. The production values were excellent. I also found that Ray Porter’s voice reminds of Bill Ratner (“Alexander feels a strange pulling sensation.”).
I must confess that Haunted Houses are my favorite part of the horror genre. The audiobook of Hell House is a wonderful addition to my collection.
Audiobook provided for review by the audiobookreviewer.com
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a unbiased review. I just bought the damn book. It was that good. Where to start? Everything, and I mean everything, was done right with this book.
I cared about the characters. That says a lot. I really cared about what happened to them. The female characters were well written. They were not victims or just observers of the action. When something bad happened to them, they fought back and took revenge just as well as the male characters did. Kudos to Mr. Parker for getting that right.
The pacing was incredible. It was not just insomnia and shoulder pain that kept me reading until early this morning. As I finished each chapter, I had to know what happened next and kept reading. When I finished the book, I felt like I did not want to leave these people. I liked them and wanted more time with them.
The situation which brought about the apocalypse/armageddon was believable. Apocalypse fiction is my favorite, probably because I grew up during the cold war when nuclear war was a daily threat. The details Mr. Parker has with the nuclear blasts and aftermaths are great. His concept of nuclear winter is first rate (reminded me of how well Robert McCammon captured it in Swan Song). Then there are the zombies, mutants and mutated insects. I will skip the biggest monster for readers to discover themselves (Spoilers Sweetie). Holy crap, there is so much here for a horror fan to love.
The best part of the book was the characters, their relationships and their development from all the horror inflicted on them. The title is perfect. It is to be endured, not merely survived. I hope Mr. Parker is planning on making this an audiobook. I can think of a narrator (looking at you Mr. James Foster) who would be great. I recommend Enduring Armageddon to fans, not just of horror or post apocalypse, but fans of terrific writing.
Magna Carta: The Birth of Liberty
Written by: Dan Jones
Narrated by: Dan Jones
Length: 7 hrs and 12 mins
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Magna Carta: The Birth of Liberty by historian Dan Jones is excellent. As with his previous books, The Wars of the Roses: The Fall of the Plantagenets and the Rise of the Tudors and The Plantagenets: The Warrior Kings and Queens Who Made England , Mr. Jones makes a very complicated period of history accessible.
The Magna Carta is often referred to as the starting point for our own Constitution. Ironically it was never intended as a tool to help the common man. It was intended to benefit the nobility by controlling a despotic king. Mr. Jones does a wonderful job of setting up the circumstances that required the creation of the Magna Carta. He also explains that it was not just one document and done. It was reissued with changes over the course of many years. It is a fascinating timeline to follow how a barons’s rebellion is credited in the creation of some many documents which brought freedom to nation’s citizens.
Honestly I enjoyed John Curless’s narration of War of the Roses better than Mr. Jones’s narration of Magna Carta. I did enjoy Mr. Jone’s narration better than Clive Chafer’s narration of The Plantagenets. Mr. Jones has a pleasant voice. He certainly knows the text having written it. He provides emphasis where it is needed. It just comes down to personal choice in narrators. I would highly recommend Magna Carta. It is wonderful and not dry.
This book was provided free from Audiobook Addicts on Facebook as a prize for a contest.