Deadwood A Novel by Peter Dexter and narrated by J. Rodney Turner was a very interesting audiobook. Let me start by saying J. Rodney Turner has an incredible voice and I would listen to him narrate the phone book. He did a great job of creating distinctive voices for the main characters.
Deadwood is historical fiction. Not being a historian, I cannot speak to how accurate it is. If you are looking for the characters of HBO's Deadwood series, they are here but not the same as in the series. Each, the HBO series and the novel by Peter Dexter, interpret the characters in different manners. The story still involves Deadwood being a very dangerous and evolving town. The main characters are well defined. The character that the book follows is Charlie Utter beyond the death of his friend, Wild Bill Hickok. The author does a great job setting the scenes so that the reader/listener can picture them.
Warning - the language of the book has profanities. It also has several offensive identifications toward individuals or groups. Both the profanities and the offensive terms are part of the language usage of the time.
A copy of Deadwood was provided by Tantor Media in exchange for an honest review.
I won a Kindle copy of A Boy and His dog at the End of the World through a Goodreads contest. I enjoyed reading it. It will be published in late April. The book takes place after an event has overtaken the earth. It is called The Gelding. It is exactly what it sounds like, a plague of sterility. No one knows how it started. It affects animals besides man. Griz is a young man who lives with his parents, a brother, a sister, and his two dogs on a small island off the west coast of Scotland. Since the book isn't published yet and I do not want to inadvertently share any spoilers, let me say if you like post-apocalyptic stories, you will enjoy this one. Anyone who enjoys a good story will enjoy A Boy and His Dog at the end of the World.
I really enjoyed One Way, the first book is S. J. Morden's Frank Kitteridge series. I purchased No Way, book #2, the day it came out. I just finished it. So much action and surprising twists. Just excellent. It is very hard to comment on this book at all without giving away the major points of the first book. S. J. Morden and William Hope created another "cannot stop listening" audiobook that I truly enjoyed.
One Way was a fantastic book. Wonderful premise, a Complicated main character, so much action, and enough gray morality to staff a campaign for president. The main character Frank states several times, "Mars wants to kill you." But what is it is not only Mars trying to kill you? Where one mistake can cause your blood to boil off into the thin atmosphere. William Hope handles the narration perfectly. The voices are all wonderful. My favorite secondary character was Zeus. One Way is a wild ride and a fun one.
On Nov. 16, 2018, I wrote a review for Bookish First on a First Impression (except about 100 pages) of The Haunted by Danielle Vega. After reading the excerpt I rated it 5 stars and wrote:
Hendricks is a high school junior who was from Philadelphia. Something went horribly wrong there and her family moved to a small town north of NYC. What that something is, the reader doesn't know yet. Piece by piece it is being revealed. Her parents bought an old house to fix up in this idyllic little town. If they had spent a little time googling their new address, they would have found their house has a name, Steele House, and a very nasty reputation. As Hendricks tries to settle into her new school, her "new" house, and make new friends. She is haunted by whatever happened in Philadelphia. Unfortunately, that is not the only thing haunting her.
Now having finished the book, I must downgrade the rating. Hendricks' mystery of what happened in her previous school is somewhat underwhelming. Many of the secondary characters are tropes. The popular beautiful girl who rules the social pyramid of the high school. The outcast boy who dresses all in black skips more school than he attends, and is antisocial. Hendricks' parents barely make an impression in the book.
The book is fun (for a horror/haunted house fan) until the last fifth of the book. Then the story starts to unravel. I do not want to reveal any spoilers but the end was very predictable. This is the first of Ms. Vega's work I have read. I do hope to read another in the future.
Expected publication: June 4th 2019 by Razorbill
I won a copy of The Haunting in a raffle at BookishFirst.com . This is an honest review.
Meddling Kids is not for kids, meddling or otherwise. Edgar Cantero writes and Kyla Garcia narrates a delightful, easter egg filled, action-packed story that had me from the first chapter. If you replace Scooby Doo and the gang with the Summer Detective Club, you have the foundation the story is built on. Instead of a Great Dane named Scooby Doo, the book has a Weimaraner named Sean. Many rubber masks were pulled off and many traps set by the Summer Detective Club until their last case in 1977. Something went wrong and the Club never solved another mystery. Now, adults, the Club must reunite to fix what was broken in the last case, namely each individual in the club.
The book never takes itself seriously. It has fun and wants you to have fun too. Some of the delights are the names of the traps they engineered and consider using again. The river is the Zoinks River. The language is colorful. The F-word and many of its derivations are included. Two of my favorite quotes that I think illustrate the general attitude of the book are:
“Peter sat as powerless as an overwhelmed female character in a Victorian drama.”
“The novelty of bare rock walls instead of concrete had become old at the speed of SNL material.”
Kyla Garcia does a great job narrating. Ms. Garcia handles several accents, voices that are alarmed, dispirited and determined. I enjoyed her narrating and will look for her in future purposes.
Meddling Kids is a love letter to those of us that watched Hanna Barbera cartoons on Saturday morning. Even if you are younger than the original Scooby Doo program, you will enjoy this very funny book.
I checked out the audiobook through Overdrive at the Lane Library in Oxford, OH.
The Providence Rider is the fourth book in McCammon's Matthew Corbett series. Matthew is astounded to find his name painted on walls near where buildings have been blown up. His latest refusal to Professor Fell was not graciously received. Matthew is told that the bombings will continue until the town is destroyed or Matthew accepts the professors "invitation" to visit him in the Caribbean. When Matthew decides he has no choice but to accept, he reluctantly sets out to board the ship. What Matthew finds in Professor Fell's domain is the nastiest group of villains. He must fulfill the professor's demand for help and survive the other guests. This book is part spy and part historical fiction. The Providence Rider is enjoyable but not as enjoyable as the previous books in the series. Edoardo Ballerini is a terrific narrator. He helps bring the story to life through his wonderful accents and distinct voices. This story had a huge range of accents.
I have recently begun reading books in the romance genre. Bitten by Kelley Armstrong was highly recommended by several members of a Facebook audiobook fans page. I thought if the romance angle was overdone or poorly written, at least there were werewolves. I needn't have worried. The entire book, romance, and werewolves is fantastic. The action is often fast-paced. When it is not, it is weighted with dread and foreboding waiting for the next strike to come. The main characters were enjoyable although some of them had anger management issues. The villains ranged from intelligent to evil idiots. The sexually explicit passages are just a few and are part of the story, not just gratuitous sex added. Aasne Vigesaa does a nice job narrating. She handles the male and female characters well as well as a multitude of accents including Ontario, Louisiana, and New York to name a few. As long as I can find books of this quality, I will continue reading in the romance genre.
Note: There is a consent issue but it does not involve sex.
I was excited to see what Peter Clines's next book in the Threshold series was. I really enjoyed 14 and The Fold. As I began seeing reviews for Dead Moon, I was dismayed by negative reviews with references to zombies. I downloaded it to my Audible account and started listening. I finished the audiobook in less than twenty-four hours. The connection between the first two Threshold books and Dead Moon is not revealed until the last third of the book but it is incredibly fun and exciting getting there. The book takes place over two hundred years in the future so the cast of characters is all new. I loved Cali and Jake and the rest of the crew from Osiris Cemetery. The mayor of Luna City reminded me what my 7th-grade teacher said when I gave her my book report on Jaws, "The shark isn't the monster." There are several monsters in this book, including very original zombies. Ray Porter's narration is terrific. He gives distinct voices to the characters. He also conveys the fear, frustration, and humor. Keep in mind that in Dead Moon, the moon itself is trying to kill you, not just the zombies.
The Vampire of Maple Town was an enjoyable read. The stories of Charlie, Vincent, Skat, Sally, and Alice are tied together in a web of lies. Not everyone knows they are not who they think they are. Charlie is the protagonist. He is a nice boy who longs for life beyond his confined existence. I think Kane McLoughlin will be an interesting author to follow. I see potential in The Vampire of Maple Town.
This book would be appropriate for high school or mature middle school students. The deaths in the story are not graphic in nature or detailed. I won a Kindle copy through a Goodreads contest. I am not a professional reviewer, author or honestly anything. I recommend giving The Vampire of Maple Town a read to form your own opinion.
R. C. Bray is a fantastic narrator. I have listened to several of his books including Burnt Offerings, The Elementals, Gilded Needles, and one of my all-time favorites, The Martian. He does an excellent job of creating discernable characters. His females are never falsettos. They sound natural. Bray’s accents are incredibly good. He excels at communicating emotion including snark, which is actually hard to pull off. There were no issues with the quality or production of this audiobook.
Last year I listened to The Hospital: The FREE Short Story: The First Mountain Man Story. It is a short listen that can be listened to at any point but chronologically between book 1 and 2. It got me interested in the series. When I was given the opportunity to review Mountain Man: Prequel for Audio Book Reviewer (https://audiobookreviewer.com/), I started listening immediately.
Gus makes a living as a house painter. He lives in a small town in Canada near the Bay of Fundy in southeastern Canada. Gus lives a simple. He hopes to make a life with his girlfriend Tammy. He tolerates and encourages his young coworker Toby. Life is going on in a normal trajectory until it takes a sharp, violent turn.
As a virulent strain of flu starts to hit the area, Gus’s boss signs Gus, Toby, and another coworker Gord up to paint the manager’s office at the local Mollymart. The manager’s office is on the 2nd floor overlooking the sales floor. While not thrilled to be working from 7p to midnight after working all day, Gus is glad to make the extra money. As the painters start their work, the world crashes quickly outside.
Individual’s dying from the flu strain are resurrecting as mindless, eating machine zombies. Individuals bit by zombies die and become zombies. One of the stricken runs into the store screaming. What follows is a wonderfully constructed scene. The reader/listener has a good idea of what is happening outside. The people in the store do not. They are confronted with a raging man who does not respond to any type of deterrent and argues with how to proceed. Even though no one can reach 911, the people still are unaware of how violent and dangerous it has become outside the store.
Mountain Man: Prequel is an exciting start to a different take on the Zombie genre. The Canadian location adds some subtle tweaks to the known geography of American towns and cities. The book tracks Gus and friends over the first few days of the outbreak. No explanation is given for the dead rising. Honestly, Gus does not have time to consider anything other than surviving minute to minute. A good story paired with an excellent narrator creates an accessible and exciting entry into a new series.
I received a copy in exchange for an honest review. This review and many others can be found at https://audiobookreviewer.com/ .
Rock, Paper, and Scissors. It is not just a game anymore. The triplets all have their different dreams but Paper is the one with the biggest dreams. She wants to go to Mars. She makes her own rockets from scraps and for homemade contraptions, they fly well. Paper has read everything she can find on space and Mars. She should be in college but instead, she is in Fill City, a massive dump on what used to be Staten Island. She cannot leave.
Along comes a contest for participants to compete on TV to win the only open seat on a trip to Mars. Millions of red scarab pendants are sold. Only thirty contain the winning message. The contest is sponsored by Zach Larson, the richest man in the world. Think Bezos and Musk but much cooler and actually in touch with the lives of common people. The contest will be like all reality shows, the lowest in each round goes home.
Paper just has to find a winning scarab, escape Fill City, get to California before the competition starts and win the competition. All without anyone finding out that she is a Filler. Easy peasy, right?
Khristine Hvam is a marvelous narrator. Her snark is so strong, she could have grown up in my family. This is the first title I have listened to narrated by her and it will not be the last.
My husband, who does not usually listen to audiobooks, joined me for the last 75% of this book and loved it. Andy approved - 5 Stars.
I would listen to it again. Repeat value - 5 Stars.
Marvelous narrator - 5 Stars
I won a copy of You're Going to Mars from the Dab of Darkness (https://dabofdarkness.com) and Rob Dirks, the author. I have written an honest review of the title.
Influenza: The Hundred Year Hunt to Cure the Deadliest Disease in History
Audiobook – Unabridged
Dr. Jeremy Brown (Author)
Holter Graham (Narrator)
Simon & Schuster Audio (Publisher)
Dr. Jeremy Brown has written an easy to read history of the influenza virus that reads like the best of detective fiction. His writing combined with Holter Graham's warm narration make a very approachable look at a fascinating and frankly terrifying subject. It is an audiobook that I will listen to again.
Many readers are acquainted with the Spanish Flu that killed millions in 1919. The Prologue tells the story of a flu victim, a healthy young woman, who almost died. Not in underdeveloped country and not in 1919. It was in the United States in 2013. Brown's book creates a very understandable link between the historic flu, the present strains, and what the future of the flu could be. Brown also educates us on historic flu treatments (enemas!) and recent treatments like Tamiflu.
Influenza will be a wonderful read for those who enjoy history, medical mysteries, as well as the economics of pharmacology. I enjoyed the writing style and the narration equally. I would be interested in other books written by Dr. Jeremy Brown and/or narrated by Holter Graham.
Jane Stanton Hitchcock's Bluff is a wonderful book. For me, it is reminiscent of the many Dominick Dunne books I read. It gives the reader a wonderful look at the lives of the 1% and how miserable they can be. Maud Warner is a wonderful character. She is a lady of what my mother's generation called, "a certain age." She lets us into her story when she walks into the Four Seasons restaurant in Manhattan, shots a man, and walks back out unaccosted. Hitchcock writes this wonderful line, "Older women are invisible and we don't even have to disappear." The characters are well fleshed out, not just the main protagonist. The action is believable. Bluff is a very enjoyable read. I am looking forward to reading more of her work.
I won an e-book copy of Bluff from BookishFirst.com. I have written an honest review.
Finding John by Andrew Serra was heartbreaking, terrifying, and a great piece of investigative reporting. Serra was a member of the New York Fire Department's Red Hook Engine 279 and Ladder 131. My brother who is retired from the FDNY also served in that house on 9/11. He felt the book was important enough to send copies to all his siblings (and there are a lot of us).
Serra tells the story of his experience at Ground Zero, not only on 9/11 but also in the months that followed. Most people are aware of the events surrounding the fall of the Twin Towers but few have heard the story of the months of work on the Pile. Every day for many, many months after firefighters were detailed to work on the Pile. Many also worked it on their time off. Serra describes finding a fellow fight fighter, John Tipping II, in the debris. Tipping was a member of Engine 54 and Ladder 4.
When the towers collapsed, so did much of the structure around them. Ladder 4 was parked next to one of the buildings. As the buildings collapsed so did the sidewalks around them talking Ladder 4 with them. Ladder 4 come to rest, mostly intact, several levels down on the shopping mezzanine. A prominent writer who spent the year following the attacks with the engineers and construction crews made the claim that looting had occurred by firefighters before they went in to save those they could. He based this claim on someone telling him that pairs of new jeans had been found in Ladder 4. Every single member of Ladder 4 died on 9/11 and now their names were being tarnished by hearsay.
Serra does a fantastic job of investigative journalism. He proves with eyewitness testimony plus the help of Charles Pelligrino, a scientific writer that the members of Ladder 4 went directly to their deaths that day. They did not stop for anything, even the realization that they probably would not survive. This book is a must read. Not only for the investigative journalism but also for the eyewitness view of the aftermath of 9/11. Serra shares his experiences working the pile, attending many of the 343 funerals, watching FDNY's members contract the illness from working the pile. I highly recommend Finding John. I would suggest to Serra that he and his publisher look into having an audiobook made. With a good narrator, Finding John can find a whole new audience.
Armistice is a wonderful sequel to Amberlough. It picks up the story after the powder keg has blown and the characters have each run to where they thought was safe, if only for a moment. Although they are scattered, the thread that binds them is their wish to return to Amberlough City in Gedda. In order to do that they will have to oust the Fascist regime that has taken Gedda to add to its "One Nation". With this many characters in many locations getting the gang back together involves a lot of adventures and narrow escapes. Looking forward to the concluding volume of the series.
I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Amberlough came to my attention from a friend after we shared our mutual like of the Netflix series Babylon Berlin. My husband picked it up for me from our library. A few days later I found out that I had won a contest. Lara Elena Donnelly was sending me an autographed copy of the book. I finished the book quickly. It was amazing. There are many colorful characters from all economic levels. The political uncertainty and changes drive the characters to set themselves on a variety of courses. It is a book full of excitement and fully fleshed characters. I am looking forward to the sequel.
I love the Adrian's Undead Diary series. The latest addition to the series, The Last Resort: Adrian's March Part Two, is no different. The book has all the wonderful Adrian, Becky, Hall, Kevin and Michelle readers love plus other new characters. Adrian is Adrian, still questioning if he is a good person or not, and reacting strongly when his loved ones are threatened. The action is non-stop and well written. I have never held a gun (have no desire to) but Chris Philbrook writes his action scenes so well that even someone like me can follow what is happening.
If you are already an Adrian fan, pick up this exciting new addition. I believe the audio is expected by the end of the year. If you have not read The Adrian's Undead Diary series, check it out. It is one of those series that you read multiple times because it is a world that you want to visit again and again.
Robin Miles's narration of The Good House by Tananarive Due is perfection. Her characters, no matter gender or age, are recognizable from each other. She conveys the depths of emotions involved in this book, anger, love, grief, regret, and hatred. There is a sense of building tension in the book which ratchets up with a calming spoken sentence from Miles. She does an incredible job with The Good House.
There is not much I can comment on the plot other than what is listed in the publisher's synopsis. The book transcends the mystery/thriller/suspense genres. It could easily be added to the horror and paranormal genres as well. The book contains one point that should probably have a trigger warning. I am not sure how to word it and not give away the plot. Maybe someone who is more skilled can do that.
I highly recommend The Good Book in audio format. It is a long listen but with Robin Miles leading you, you will want to take every step.
Gilded Cage, Tarnished City, Bright Ruin. The Dark Gifts Series. Author Victoria James has created a trilogy that will be counted among the classics. I loved all three books. There was never a slow spot or a dip in the action. All three books were at full throttle from the first page to the last.
I do not want to spoil the series ending for anyone who has not read it yet. (A piece of advice? Read the series.) The characters who the reader has come to care for continuing their stories. Each storyline builds to a stunning conclusion. I never even imagined the events at the end of The Dark Gifts trilogy.
As with the first two books, I purchased print copies as well as audiobooks. In the future, the print books are going to be passed on to a young person so I can share my love of the series with a new generation.
NetGalley provided a free ebook in exchange for an honest review.
Charlotte Goodwin is coming home. She is familiar with the old adage "you can never go home" but she is going to try. Before she faces her family and friends, she has to get through the barrier at the border. It is an invisible barrier and a very special border. Honeysuckle Hollow is home to witches, fairies and all types of magical beings. Charlotte is home to rebuild burned bridges and no amount of magic can help her.
Johanna Parker does a wonderful job of bringing the world and inhabitants of Honeysuckle Hollow to life. Her male and female characters. It was an enjoyable listen. Moonshine & Magic is the first book in Bella Fall's A Southern Charms Cozy Mystery series. I will check out the rest of the series when I have time.
I won a free copy of the audiobook from the author's Facebook contest.
Bringing Columbia Home: The Untold Story of a Lost Shuttle and Her Crew by Michael D. Leinbach, Cassandra Campbell (Narrator), Danny Campbell (Narrator)
My husband and I are space nerds. We grew up in the days of Apollo. We used to watch every shuttle launch and landing, so we were watching Feb. 1, 2003. The memories of that morning were with me as I read Bring Columbia Home. The book is a love story with the joy and heartbreak that have accompanied Human Space Flight. From the first realization that something had gone horribly wrong to the final answer of what caused the disaster, the book chronicles the meticulous work of the process of collecting and reconstructing the evidence (pieces). Through the entire book, the loss of seven humans was never forgotten. In October of 2015, we stood in front of the recovered windscreen of Columbia and the photos of the seven astronauts. Bringing Columbia Home is a thank you to all who helped with the recovery and a memorial to those lost in the exploration of Human Space Flight.
Thank you to Tantor Media for a free copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.
True Crime has become a very popular genre, whether in print, audio or streaming services. Truman Capote may have invented the genre with In Cold Blood but Fatal Vision is a true crime controversy that is still ongoing after thirty years. The book was published in 1983. I read it then and saw the TV movie the next year. The audiobook is narrated by Fred Sanders. The production values are good and Mr. Sanders speaks clearly. Fatal Vision is an easy audiobook to listen to. Deciding the truth of the case is much more difficult.
I received a copy of this audiobook from Simon & Schuster in exchange for an honest review.
Dead Men Do Tell TalesThe Strange and Fascinating Cases of a Forensic AnthropologistAuthor William R. Maples, PhD, Michael BrowningNarrated by Stephen Bel Davies
Stephen Bel Davies narrates the fascinating book Dead Men Do Tell Tales: The Strange and Fascinating Cases of a Forensic Anthropologist. He does a good job pronouning all the words I would have struggled with.Written by forensic anthropologist William R. Maples PhD and Michael Browning, the book is a good introduction to the discipline of forensic anthropology. Maples starts with an antecdote of seeing a very simple poem on a headstone. When he looked above to the poem to see the name on the headstone, he was shocked to see it belonged to Bonnie Parker, as in Bonnie and Clyde. It helped him to remember the humanity of all remains he studied, whether victim or perpetrator.
Maples examines the importance of forensic anthropology through a series of antedotes. He has the opportunity to study the remains of several interesting people, including Joseph Merrick (the elephant man), Pizzaro (the Spanish explorer), and Tsar Nicholas II. He also explains how to reconstruct a skeleton from a body bag of small bone fragments. The book is enjoyable and educational.
Thanks to Tantor Audio for giving me a copy of the audiobook in exchange for an honest review.
I haven't added any new content since April of this year. I have not given up on the blog or on adding new content. It just is not possible at this time. I have spend weeks deciding how to write this post, this difficult post.
Sometime late last year when my depression began a downward spiral, I began to notice that my writing process was not as smooth as before. More often I found myself stalling for long periods. By February of this year, it has screeched to a halt. Writing at this point is similar to trying to write in a language I do not speak. Every word searched for like using an English to whatever language dictionary. I do not know when my writing will return to normal. My physician has two theories. Hopefully in the near future an answer will be found.
If I owe you a review (and I owe 4 audio and 6 e book reviews), I apologize. In most cases, I have completed reading or listening to your item. I just cannot write the review. I will continue trying until they are all complete. Thank you for your patience and understanding.