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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Forty stories set in the Star Wars Universe. Forty stories on the periphery of the main stories we all know. Whether you are a Star Wars fan or a true Star Wars all out nerd, these stories are enjoyable. For example, the first story Raymus by Gary Whitta was an enjoyable story for me, a Star Wars fan. My daughter-in-law, who was listing with me, told me one of the characters mentioned is the Stormtrooper Luke and Han knock out when they are freeing Leia from the prison. I would have missed that but it was still a good story.
Ultimately that is why this collection works because it has something for everyone. Just looking through the authors in the table of contents is a sci-fi fans dream. Chuck Wendig writes a great fun piece called “We Don’t Serve Their Kind Here”. Based on that one line in A New Hope, Wendig creates an entire piece that changes how you view the character that speaks that line. Wil Wheaton’s Laina was incredible. Just so many feels, especially bitter and sweet. There are too many stories to list them separately as I usually do with anthologies but they are more hits than misses. Authors such as Delilah S. Dawson, Glaudia Grey and Alexander Freed who are already familiar with Star Wars fan, extend their writings into the universe in this collection. And who can pass up on the story told from the viewpoint of the monster in the trash compactor?
This audiobook does have sound effects, which is something I am not usually fond of. In this particular case though, the sounds effects do not overwhelm the dialogue and are a nice addition. Each one of the narrators does a great job. Jon Hamm, Neil Patrick Harris and Janina Gavankar are just three of the very talented bunch to narrate the book. Every story is a fascinating trip into part of the beloved universe that finally have a light shined upon them.
This review and many others on Audio Book Reviewer who provided a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
Acceptance is the conclusion to Jeff VanderMeer's Southern Reach trilogy. It is told from multiple view points. The Biologist, Control, the former Director, the Assistant Director are all woven together to create the most complete picture of Area X readers will be given. There are still questions when the book is finished. Some may be answered by a second listen. Others may remain because Area X is still Area X and as such is till a mystery.
Carolyn McCormick, Bronson Pinchot, and Xe Sands do a fantastic job as narrators. The alternating viewpoints are clearly voiced and it is no problem deciphering who is speaking. I really enjoyed this changing of narrators in this book. It helped make the mysteries of Area X more believable. There is so much about the book that cannot be shared because of spoilers. I highly recommend the entire Southern Reach trilogy.
Authority is the 2nd book in the Southern Reach trilogy by Jeff VanderMeer. I highly recommend reading the first book Annihilation before Authority. Otherwise it will not make much sense.
While Annihilation was told from the viewpoint of The Biologist, this book is told from the viewpoint of Control. Control is the third generation of spies in his family. He is sent to the Area X administration to assume the position of Director. His job is to find out what is wrong with the Area X explorations and fix it. First up is to interview the three members of the 12th expedition who returned, including The Biologist.
Control is challenged at each step by the Assistant Director who loyalty is to the former Director. He is also given orders by The Voice, a faceless, nameless male that he must give progress reports to daily on the phone. As Control struggles to do his assigned job, he discovers there is as much hidden in the administration of the Southern Reach as there is behind the barrier of Area X.
Bronson Pinchot does a fantastic job narrating Authority. He creates distinct voices for Control and The Voice as well as the female characters. He is one of my favorite narrators. Authority leaves the reader/listener waiting for the solution to Area X.
Jeff VanderMeer creates a very realistic and at the same time foreign world in Annihilation, the first book of the Southern Reach Trilogy. The world is real. It seems to be set in contemporary times, with cell phones and no radical technology that screams future world. The premise is that an area called the Forgotten Coast, which is predominately rural, has suddenly been cut off from the rest of the world. Some type of invisible force field came down and the area became inaccessible. No one knows what happened or the fate of those behind the barrier.
The Southern Reach is the administrative body created to monitor and study Area X as it is called. This first book deals with the 12th expedition sent into Area X. The story is told from the viewpoint of The Biologist. The expedition members are referred to by their functions, not their names. As the story details the expedition from The Biologist viewpoint, we learn about the strange life forms in Area X and the byzantine administration that continues to send expeditions in Area X even after disasters.
The narration by Carolyn McCormick is very good. Although this is the first in a trilogy, it does have a rational ending. Trust me, you will want to continue. Trying to find the secret, the reason for Area X will get under your skin.
I saw the Psycho movie multiple times over the years but this was my first time with the book or audiobook in this case. The story is so much more than the movie ever covered (no surprise). There is an entire backstory to Norman and his mother. Norman is described as being overweight, not the thin good looking Anthony Perkins from the movie. Mary, the character Janet Leigh played in the movie, also has a more complete story. I really enjoyed the write style of Robert Bloch. Even though it is somewhat dated, the dialogue is not stilted at all. The suspense was maintained until the very end. The narration was good but not great. I cannot quite put my finger on what in the narration bugged me but something was enough to cause me to rate it 4 instead of 5 stars. I will be checking out the rest of the series soon.
By Stephen King and Owen King
Read by: Marin Ireland
Courtesy Simon & Schuster
I went into this audiobook expecting the wonderful hair raising horror experience that I have enjoyed from Stephen King since reading his first book, Carrie, back in the 1970’s. So I did have high expectations. I expected a good story, great characters and something normal morphing into something that scared the crap out of me (example clowns).Sleeping Beauties did not deliver. I did not find the book or characters enjoyable.
In a small town in Appalachia there is a women’s prison. Many of the women are there because of drugs or domestic violence that caused them to break the law. A strange illness breaks out at the prison where the women fall into a deep sleep and are enveloped in a cocoon. If they are removed from the cocoon, they become dangerous and homicidal. While the women are in the cocoon they travel to a different place. Time is different. There are no men. They are safe and heal from their traumas. Meanwhile, the men go into testosterone overdrive. There are a lot of guns, a lot of driving around, and a lot of dealing with the situation by violence.
I found that I just did not care about the women or the men. I did not find any reason to connect to them. Marin Ireland did a nice job narrating. My inability to get into the book had to do with the story and not the narration.
A People’s History of the World
From the Stone Age to the New Millennium
Author Chris Harman
Narrated by Napoleon Ryan
Publication date Aug 29, 2017
Running time 27 hrs
Courtesy Tantor Media
I love history. I have loved it since childhood. I have favorite eras, like the Plantagenet and Tudor reigns of England. I lack an overall view of world history. How it all fits together. The non-European history and how it connects with the history I was taught. When I saw A People’s History of the World by Chris Harman offered for review from Tantor Media, I thought it would be a good opportunity to fill the gaps in my knowledge.
The Introduction begins stating that the book is meant as an outline, a stepping off point for deeper study into specific areas. Although it is an outline, not an indepth look at every moment of history, the book does have a thread that runs throughout all the eras studied. Part One is the Rise of Class Societies. It begins with prehistory. The author posits that at this point in history there were no classes. Every individual was important to the life or death of the tribe so all things were shared equally. There is no way to say for sure this is true or false (unless Doctor Who shows up with the Tardis and the right coordinates). As he lays out the development of civilization, he accompanies it with the development of a classed society. He shows a shift from matriarchal to patriarchal societies, not all but the majority, leading to the subjugation of women.
The sections following are The Ancient World, The Middle Ages, The Great Transformations (Reformation and Renaissance), The Spread of the New Order (Enlightenment), The World Turned Upside Down and finally The Century of Hope and Horror. Mr. Harman is a leading socialist in Britain. His writing style is fluid but not simple. This is not a book that can be devoured quickly. It is best to read a chapter at a time and let it percolate before moving one. Mr. Harman’s socialist background is evident in his interpretation of events. That does not mean it is invalid. Very few historians can write without an visible biases. It is not the history you learned in school and will open your mind to possibilities.
Napoleon Ryan is a British actor who has done quite a bit of voiceover and narration in addition to theater and screen. His voice is rich and he enunciates clearly. The problem I had with the book was that I tried to start it on a very long road trip. About an hour in I had to stop. I had no idea what I had heard. Mr. Ryan’s voice washed over me and was pleasant to listen to but I could not concentrate on driving and the complexity of the book at the same time.
I would suggest A People’s History of the World if you can give yourself the time to take it slow. It is rewarding when you take the time to truly concentrate. You may not agree with all of it but it will give you a new angle from which to explore history.
The Occupant is the third book in the Afterlife Investigation series by Ambrose Ibsen. It is a thriller, horror, paranormal and if you have not read or listen to the first two books, STOP reading now. It is impossible to write a review of the sequels without leaking spoilers from the previous books.
The main character of all three books is Stephen Barlow is an adjunct professor at an Ohio college. In the first book Asylum, Barlow becomes involved with two students, Elizabeth and Jake who want to form a Spiritual Club ( paranormal not kumbaya). They investigate Chaythe Asylum and inadvertently release something evil that has been stuck there for 28 years. In the second book, Forest, Barlow is trying to stop the entity known as The Occupant. Elizabeth is possessed by the entity as Barlow tries to save her and kill The Occupant.
In the third book, The Occupant, Barlow is now deep in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. He and Jake are searching for the lost town that The Occupant was associated with. Elizabeth is somewhere in the unending dark woods, the body through which The Occupant was working to bring its full entry into our world. Jake and Barlow try to piece together the history of The Occupant through the history of the town which has disappeared. They are helped by Jane who was originally used by her uncle to bring The Occupant into the world from the pit where it dwelled.
The pervading sense of dread is ratcheted up several notches in this book. It creates almost a sense of breathlessness. Even when the action is slowed down, there is still the feeling that something is circling ever closer. There are constantly large swatches of forest, trees blocking out the sun or the moon, swaying in the breeze, hiding anything moving slowly, carefully and quietly towards Barlow. The ending of the book really did not give me any sense of closure or peace. I am not sure if the series will continue with Barlow investigating other paranormal things or if this will be the end. Somehow I don’t think it is. “The door has been opened. It’s already too late.”
Joe Hempel does as great job narrating all three books. He conveys the tension and fear just as well in this book as he did in the other Ibsen books I have listened to. While the story gets very intense, Mr.Hempel never veers in hysteria or yelling. I really enjoyed his narration. I will be looking for more books narrated by Mr. Hempel.
Audiobook Review - A Pope and a President John Paul II, Ronald Reagan, and the Extraordinary Untold Story of the 20th Century by Paul Kengor
A Pope and a President
John Paul II, Ronald Reagan, and the Extraordinary Untold Story of the 20th Century
Author Paul Kengor
Narrated by James Anderson Foster
Publication date Sep 20, 2017
Running time 23 hrs 21 min
Courtesy Tantor Media
I remember the spring of 1981 well. I was a freshmen in community college. I had turned eighteen the fall before and voted in my first election. The end of March my family, friends and classmates were all shocked by the assignation attempt on President Ronald Reagan. I was too young to remember the Kennedy assassination. Six weeks later, Reagan was back at the White House and finals were looming. The assignation attempt on Pope John Paul II really hit me as a Catholic. I really did not understand why someone would try to kill the Pope. Finally thirty-six years later, author Paul Kengor supplies the answer and how Reagan factors into the events of May 13, 1981.
Kengor does a fantastic job of constructing the background that sets the stage for the partnership of President Reagan and Pope John Paul II. He explains the events of the history of the Catholic Church and Communism in Russia that are intertwined by the communist opposition to all religions. The author states that “Lenin ordered the shootings of an estimated 14,000 to 20,000 clergy and active laymen.” This book has much to offer even non-Christians or atheist. The religious content is important because it is what motivated those involved. The religious beliefs of President Reagan and Pope John Paul II are are central to the history as the communist antipathy to all religion.
Would the USSR have fallen when it did without President Reagan or Pope John Paul II? I do not think it would have. I think it was the unique unofficial partnership and true respect between the two men that facilitated the events. Without the hope Pope John Paul II gave his countrymen in Poland and other communist bloc countries, without the pressure applied by the government of the United States under President Reagan’s direction, without the same message from two perspectives from two of the most powerful men in the world, the USSR had no reason to allow the changes to happen without bloodshed. Gorbachev is quoted in the book as stating that the Pope, “did a lot to prepare for the end of the Cold war.”
The book is fascinating but the audiobook is even better. James Anderson Foster has been one of my favorite narrators for years. This is the first nonfiction I have heard him narrate. The book contains a number of names that I struggled to read and retain in the print book. With Foster narrating, I was easily able to keep the various people straight because of his clear pronunciations. His voice is easy to listen. I recommend listening to the audiobook over reading the book just for the pleasure of hearing Foster’s narration.
Asylum: The Afterlife Investigations, Book 1 is a thriller, horror, paranormal story written by Ambrose Ibsen. I recently discovered Mr. Ibsen thanks to Audiobook Reviewer. I enjoyed the previous book by Mr. Ibsen I listen to so how could I pass up a creepy asylum story? Who doesn’t love an abandoned asylum with a macabre history?
Stephen Barlow is an adjunct professor at a college in Ohio. He is brand new on staff and only teaching one course. One day walking to campus he witnesses a student killed in a hit and run. The dying boy asks if Stephen can hear “them” and dies in his arms. While trying to avoid the nightmares that follow, Stephen gets talked into being the faculty advisor for the newly forming Spiritual Club. It is spiritual like paranormal not spiritual like kumbaya. The club has only two members, Elizabeth and her overprotective boyfriend Jake.
Chaythe Asylum has been closed for close to 28 years after years of decline and allegations of staff abuse of patients. A patient who escaped her room and killed several other patients and staff before she was killed herself was the final event in the asylum’s history. It was referred to as the 3rd Ward Incident. A strange series of events lead Stephen, Elizabeth and Jake to the tour the asylum, with the present owner’s consent, on the twenty-eighth anniversary of the murders.
This was a fun, although scary, story. Mr. Ibsen does a nice job of creating a pervading sense of dread. Each event is part of a chain that leads to the asylum where things truly go to crap (insert stronger word here). There is no easy solution visible at any point in the book. This is the first book in a trilogy. There is a closure of sense to this book but the story does continue on in the next two books.
Joe Hempel does a great job narrating Asylum. He conveys the tension and fear just as well in this book as he did in Stirrings in the Black House book. While the story gets very intense, Mr.Hempel never veers in hysteria or yelling. He maintains a consistent volume level. I really enjoyed his narration. Mr. Hempel and Mr. Ibsen are now on my list to check out whenever I come across their work.
ABR received this audiobook for free from the Narrator, Submitted in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect our opinion of the audiobook or the content of our review.
Anna is seventeen years old and absolutely stifled by her guardian Aunt Rachel. There are so many things proper ladies do not do. Anna repeatedly gets herself in trouble due to natural intelligence and curiosity. She has, fortunately, had her Uncle Silas, a co-conspirator in bending Aunt Rachel’s rules. Due to the time they spent together, Anna knew him better than anyone else in the family. When Silas died after an illness, Anna was not the least bit surprised that the last request of his will was to have his head cut off from his body. Silas had a horrible fear of claustrophobia due to a traumatic experience. He often told Anna if his head was cut off there would be no doubt he was dead and have nothing to fear.
Anna’s family wail and scream at the family lawyer until he calmly tells them the request is not legally binding but it is considered something the family should do. As Anna’s family rages around her, she realizes the reason for the request and also realizes her family will not honor it. What is a well-bred young woman to do? Let her favorite uncle down and follow the strict etiquette of the time? Or maybe handle the last request herself without letting the family know but risk a world of trouble if they find out?
Last Request is a short listen. Perfect for a shorter trip or sitting in a waiting room. The story is very well done. Short stories are difficult to write, more difficult than a novel. In a limited space, the author must tell his story, invest us in his characters, and ultimately fulfill our need for a good story with a satisfactory ending. Mr. Chapman does it so well I would like to read more stories involving Anna and the trouble she finds. The narration by Caprisha Page was excellent. She handled the different accents from Anna’s educated one to the sexton’s lower class words equally well. The male versus female characters was also well done. I highly recommend Last Request as an enjoyable yet thrilling story, perfect for Halloween moods.
ABR received this audiobook for free from the Author, Submitted in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect our opinion of the audiobook or the content of our review.
Nights of the Living Dead by Brandon Shusterman, Brian Keene, Carrie Ryan, Chuck Wendig, Claire Bloom, Craig Engler, David J. Schow, David Wellington, Gabrielle de Cuir, George A. Romero, Issac Marion, Jay Bonansinga, Joe McKinney, Joe R. Lansdale, John Russo, John Skipp, Jonathan Maberry, Keith RA DeCandido, Max Brallier, Mike Carey, Mira Grant, Neal Shusterman, Ryan Brown, Sandra Brown
Narrator: Adenrele Ojo, Claire Bloom, Gabrielle de Cuir, Kasey Lansdale, Kristoffer Tabori, Nicholas Guy Smith, Ray Porter, Rex Linn, Richard Gilliland, Stefan Rudnicki
Nights of the Living Dead was an enjoyable anthology. George A. Romero contributed only one story but his influence is apparent in every story. This was a nice anthology and very even. The good stories greatly outnumbered the meh stories. I have included my thoughts on a few of the stories including the two introductions. The introduction by Romero is almost a class in cinema history, just incredible to listen to.
Night of the Living Dead: An Introduction by George A. Romero
Wonderful history of the zombie genre by its godfather and he prefers “ghoul” to “zombie” but gave up arguing the point years ago.
Reflections of a Weird Little Kid in a Condemned Movie House: An Introduction by Jonathan Maberry
This was fun to listen to. Imagine growing up to collaborate with your childhood hero. Wow.
Dead Man’s Curve by Joe R. Lansdale
A great opening to the anthology. A Wonderful female protagonist and unpredictable but satisfying story.
In That Quiet Earth by Mike Carey
An incredible love story. The lengths a man goes to in order to spend eternity with his beloved wife. Touching, poetic and, ironically, life affirming.
Jimmy Jay Baxter’s Last, Best Day on Earth by John Skipp
This was disturbing on many levels. The main character is one of the most detestable individuals I have ever encountered in literature. I really did not enjoy this story because I was so repulsed by it.
The Burning Days by Carrie Ryan
A cabin in the woods. Two couples and two single friends. A planned vacation that skids to a halt when the dead show up uninvited. Who survives and more importantly whose relationships survive?
The Day After by John A. Russo
The immediate aftermath of the dead uprising has monsters who are very much alive.
The Girl on the Table by Isaac Marion
The zombie apocalypse through the eyes of a young teen girl who has been bitten. It is very complex and excellent writing.
Williamson’s Folly by David J. Schow
“Fidget-pickle” what an incredible word! I have no idea what it means (neither does Google) but there is a character in this story described as a fidget-pickle (I guess it is a hyphenated word).
You Can Stay All Day by Mira Grant
A fun day at the zoo? Not so much.
Pages from a Notebook Found Inside a House in the Woods by Brian Keene
In rural Central Pennsylvania, a group of robbers knocks off a Comic-Con. As they escape the robbery scene they run out of gas and luck. Out of gas and finding their first zombie, they flee into the woods. They find a cabin and make themselves secure. What happens when you are safe from the zombies outside but not the vengeful ghost inside?
Lone Gunman by Jonathan Maberry
“Mostly dead but not entirely” starts with a soldier waking up under a pile of large pile of dead. He must find his sanity and his purpose before he can survive.
Live and On the Scene by Keith R. A. DeCandido
This one starts like a real newscast. Harvey, the on the spot TV reporter, is reporting on a rash of multiple murders in the rural areas outside of Pittsburgh. Witness report seeing strangely acting people which police immediately discount as hysteria. The story alternates between the newscasts and reporter’s life as the events happen. It reminded me of Orson Well’s War of the Worlds broadcast.
Other stories included:
Deadliner by Neal and Brendan Shusterman
A Dead Girl Named Sue by Craig E. Engler
Fast Entry by Jay Bonansinga
John Doe by George A. Romero
Mercy Kill by Ryan Brown
Orbital Decay by David Wellington
Snaggletooth by Max Brallier
Dead Run by Chuck Wendig
My two favorite stories were In That Quiet Earth and Pages from a Notebook Found Inside a House in the Woods. What the two stories had in common, besides zombies, was an unexpected conclusion that left me very pleased, both as an adult and as the 7-year-old who loved Christopher Lee as Dracula. These two stories are horror gold for fans of all ages.
The narration by Ray Porter, Stefan Rudnicki, Jonathan Maberry, Kasey Lansdale, Kristoffer Tabori, Rex Linn, Gabrielle de Cuir, Adenrele Ojo, Richard Gilliland, and Nicholas Guy Smith (as listed on the Audible description) was first rate. All of the stories, even the ones that did not especially set me on fire, were still narrated well.
If you love zombies (it is cool to admit to loving zombies in the new millennium) and if you have a fondness for the history of the genre, treat yourself to this wonderful audiobook anthology. Let me know which stories you like the best. Enjoy and remember aim for the head.
I received this book from Audiobook Reviewer in exchange for an honest review.
The Devil’s Bible is the sequel to Dana Chamblee Carpenter’s best seller Bohemian Gospel. I highly recommend you read or listen to it first. Both books were very well researched in terms of
the time periods and the very complicated politics in addition to the Church history. In the first book, Mouse, the main character, was a very unusual female for the time period. She was better educated than most women at the time. It is not her education that struck me as much as her spirit. She was trying to live a life of her own choosing.
Mouse is changed in the second book, The Devil’s Bible. Her spirit seems very damaged, if not broken. She is not living as much as surviving. She forms no ties with anyone or anything. She lives a life of simplicity that she can flee at a moment's notice. She is more of a shadow of a person than a person. While I understand why she felt she had to live that way, I really did not like Mouse like that. It made me angry. Ever wish you could jump into a book and save your favorite character? That is how I felt, like I needed to reach it and tell Mouse I would help her. I was so glad when she decided to fight to regain herself, she was more like the Mouse from the first book.
There are so many plot points that I cannot discuss because they are spoilers, especially for someone who hasn’t read the first book. Mouse is a character steeped in mystery and mythology. She is not wholly human as though it is what she longs to be. The characters she interacts with are human and non-human. I love Mouse and really like both books.
Tantor Media had given me the first book and then offered me this one in exchange for an honest review. I was happy to accept. Justine Eyre is wonderful. Her voice has a musical quality to it. I found I could not listen to it in bed because I fell asleep. Otherwise I had to have a quieter atmosphere than usual. I think it was because of the complexity of the plot. Ms. Eyre does such a fine job of clearly enunciating every word. So it is totally my fault that I could not binge listen to it even though the story was enticing.
I would recommend both Bohemian Gospel and The Devil’s Bible narrated by Justine Eyre to anyone who enjoys historical fiction, mystery and paranormal fantasy.
By Mercedes Lackey
Read by Amy Landon
The Hunter Series: Book 3
8.81 Hours unabridged
Courtesy Audiobook Jukebox
The Hunter trilogy, by Mercedes Lackey, is just as much fun and page turning action from the first book to the last. Each of the three books has its own mystery with an over reaching story arc for the series. The books feature a very strong female character, Joy. She does not need men saving her. In fact, she does pretty much all the saving.
The universe this series constructs is amazing. It is rich and complex, built on the ashes of our world. Our world went through a series of cataclysmic events that tore a hole through reality. This hole allowed monsters to come through, monsters from all of earth’s mythologies as well as some that no one can identify.
Along with the monsters come the “hounds”. The "hounds" are not normal dogs. Some can fly, some are the sizes of ponies and some are made of smoke. When they come through to our world they bond with an individual who have the ability to use magic. They become a team of hunters, one human with uses magic and their "hounds". Most hunters have two to four hounds. Joy started with seven. Through the events in the first and second books, she gains four more.
The other beings, besides hounds and monsters, from the otherside, as other reality is called, are the folk mages. They vary from a feral type to a sort of nobility. Some want to wipe out all humans while others are more concerned with their own affairs. The mages, of all kind, play a major role in Apex.
The character development is excellent. Joy is a believable young lady. She feels happiness and sadness and despair and desperation. Yet she continues to fight. I really like her. I like the way she has developed and grown through the three books. She has learned so much about herself that allows her to make her own decisions instead of being a tool in the hands of others. This is a young adult novel so the romantic action is described as “making out” or kissing. This would be appropriate for a teen. It is also appropriate for adults. I am fifty-four and really enjoyed it.
Amy Landon is an excellent narrator. I have enjoyed her narration through all three books. She gives Joy a realistic voice. Her male voices are good. She does a nice job on the attitude of the characters. I really enjoyed Ms. Landon’s narration and will definitely check out other books she has narrated.
In Distant Lands
A Short History of the Crusades
Author Lars Brownworth
Narrated by Joe Barrett
Publication date July 11, 2017
Running time 8 hrs
Courtesy Tantor Media
I have never read anything directly about the crusades. Whenever I encountered them, they were the backstory or window dressing of another story. For example the legend of Robin Hood centers around Richard the Lionheart being held for ransom when returning from the third crusade. I knew there were several crusades but not exactly how many. I knew some of the main characters like Richard, Eleanor of Aquitaine when she was Queen of France, Saladin and Suleiman but I did not really know how they all fit together. I knew there was seriously messed up stuff involved like the Children’s Crusade and the crusaders sacking Constantinople, their own ally. In Distant Lands A Short History of the Crusades helped fill all those gaps in my knowledge of an incredibly complex subject that continues to have relevance even today.
Mr. Brownworth begins the book by explaining which characters go with which crusade. I found that extremely helpful. So many of the names are not familiar, like Alexius I Comnenus, who was the emperor of Byzantium and whose request for help set the first crusade in motion. The book then lays out the logical order of events that created the need for the Byzantine emperor to seek help from the Roman Catholic Pope. He also then shows how events spiraled out of control until there was absolutely no hope of stopping the disaster that followed.
The book does a wonderful job of balancing events and people. The significance of the events, what led up to them and what their consequences were are all told in a very readable fashion. At the same time the people involved in the events are discussed in a way that gives them depth and life. Nothing happens in a vacuum and the author does a great job of illustrating the people who created the events.
Joe Barrett did an excellent job narrating In Distant Lands. His voice is very pleasant to listen to. He enunciates clearly and the production quality is excellent. He never stumbles on any of the foreign words whether French or Arabic. I would not hesitate to choose another book he narrates.
In Distant Lands has kindled an interest for me in this period of history. I have two other books picked out for my next trip into this time period (God’s Wolf by Jeffrey Lee and The Templars by Dan Jones). I will also be looking into more of Mr. Brownworth’s work. I found In Distant Lands to be very accessible while not oversimplifying a complex subject.