Wednesday, March 11, 2020

The End of Everything: Book 5 by Christopher Artinian and narrated by Kim Bretton

Wow, wow, wow! The End of Everything: Book 5 by Christopher Artinian and narrated by Kim Bretton might be the best in the series- it’s full of action and wow, wow, wow! It’s really life or death for the sister’s this time around. Highly recommend if you’ve been following this series or if you’re looking to start a new one. I keep waiting to hear about a streaming service picking this up, shouldn’t be long...
Where to purchase:

What’s it about? Robyn and Wren are trying to make it in the new town, only not everybody agrees with the previous events causing tension and problems. Things come to a boiling point not long in with Fry and his cronies trying to be the top dogs but Robyn and Wren are a force to be reckoned with. There are heavy loses, pretty much non-stop action, emotional moments, sibling bonding/bickering/snark, and so much more. Even though this is the longest in the series, it flew by- I listened in one sitting. And a side note: I love this cover!

The narrator, Kim Bretton, was great once again. She nails these characters and absolutely adds to the series.

Parental guidance/trigger warnings: Without giving spoilers away- this is a harsh, post-apocalyptic world- death via zombies, death via people, weapons, struggling to survive, and like situations. Language used: Sx14.

Where to find the author: Christopher Artinian
Where to find the narrator: Kim Bretton

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Redemption (Moonchild, Book 3) by Kate L. Mary and narrated by Heidi Drennan

Redemption (Moonchild, Book 3) by Kate L. Mary and narrated by Heidi Drennan is another good addition to the series. I recommend if you’ve been following this series. There's a steampunk feel to it and make no mistake, a darkness as it's a brutal world. 

Where to purchase: 

What’s it about? Scarlett, Asher, and the gang return with Scarlett and Layla going out for a night on the town where bad things take place resulting in Layla needing to hide from the law. Asher brings a small group of their people out west to a town where it’s safe from the automatons but not safe from the people as no rule or law exists. As they try to settle in, things become dangerous when they find themselves helping to stop the more sinister dealings taking place. While the current events wrap up at the end, it is left open for another book, which I’m hoping will be an epic battle against ___(listen to the book if you want to know who 😊).

Redemption is the perfect title for this book. I like that the characters are relatable in the sense they struggle with real problems such as PTSD, they are not perfect people, and the world is not all sunshine and rainbows. The things I didn’t like were (which is my first time ever writing this about Kate’s work): the focus on the weather was mentioned a few times too many and the pace/action was slower than the previous books, but want to note it may have seemed slower to me because I just finished Kate’s The Brightest Darkness, which is chock-full of action.

The narrator, Heidi Drennan, did a great job again. She brings the characters, new and old, to life perfectly.

Overall I recommend, especially if you’re looking for a new YA series with steampunk elements to it.

Where to find the author: Kate L. Mary
Where to find the narrator: Heidi Drennan

The Eddie Lancaster Series: Volume 1 Books 1-3 by Sean Stone and narrated by Hannibal Hills

The Eddie Lancaster Series: Volume 1 Books 1-3 by Sean Stone and narrated by Hannibal Hills is an amusing listen imo, but I can see how it could be a turn off for some. Eddie can be a bit of an arrogant, sarcastic dillhole in the first book, but as the series progresses he becomes more likable- still sarcastic but more likeable. Eddie isn’t afraid to do things that cross the moral lines at times, but perhaps it’s because he has a curse in him (darkness) or maybe it’s just he way he is. If you don’t mind a little of what I’ve described, def give this a listen. If this type of character isn’t your thing, look elsewhere, but I really recommend sticking with it through at least the second book. I found myself migrating back to Eddie’s story and it was difficult to put down once I started the second book. Break down book by book is below. 4 ½ stars for story.

The narrator, Hannibal Hills, did a wonderful job voicing Eddie throughout the series. If Hannibal hadn't voiced Eddie so well, I don't think I'd be giving such a good review. He def made the character not so annoying- can’t say I’d feel the same if I read the book (but who knows...), so do yourself a favor and listen to it. 5 stars for narration.

Where to purchase: 

Book One (I picked this book up first and the bundle later):
Eddie, a warlock who does pretty much anything for the right amount of money, gets involved with a client named Ashley, who needs help. Only she doesn’t want his help at first, but he butts in anyways. Eventually they form a friendship (of sorts) to take down Killian, a ruthless leader and seer. How do you take down a guy who can see the future and has his hands in everything? There is an underlying back story that helped keep it interesting and, I assume, will serve a purpose in future books.

“The point is, don’t waste time. We all have a small amount of time. We shouldn’t waste it. Spend your time doing the things you love. Things that make you happy. Don’t waste time worrying about things that might or might not happen. Just get on with your life. Cheesy I know, but in your case, it serves a valuable lesson.”

“I wanted to drag it out for as long as possible, but I’m smart enough to know not to tempt fate. It happens countless times in films; whoever has the upper hand takes their time about things and the tables quickly get turned.”

Parental guidance/trigger warnings: kidnapping, drugging, death, weapons (gun, knives). Language used: Fx24, Sx11.

Book Two: Warlock Wanted
Eddie is dealing with the fallout from the battle with Killian resulting in Inspector Richards hot on his tail. Trying to make money to live, he agrees to a job investigating missing people in a local park. Only it’s not so simple as Rachel wants Eddie to do her bidding. Rachel killed Eddie’s parents when he was a child (perhaps that’s why he’s a little jolted in life) and has plans for him and his ability to steal magic. When Rachel puts his friends on the chopping block, Eddie must make a decision as it’s no longer just about him. There’s a lot of action, different mythological creatures (vampires, wendigo, ghost), dark elements, life lessons/choices, relationship elements (friends, lovers), and interesting back stories.

“Her words hit me like a dick-slap on both sides of the face.”

“He was an old man, at least fifty. Some people might not thing that’s old but I do and since it’s my story my opinion is the only one that matters. He had dark grey hair and huge bushy eyebrows to match. I mean really bushy. Something could be living in them.”

Parental guidance/trigger warnings: this will be kept minimal due to spoilers, but expect things like death, kidnapping, drugging, weapons, or like things. Language used: Sx8, Fx25.

Book Three: Dark Warlock
Eddie is now working with police helping to solve the case of missing children. He continues to struggle with the curse of darkness and figuring out what is him and what is the darkness. While this story is of darker nature, there is a bit of fun to it. You can probably listen to this story as a stand alone. While we get characters (Ashley and Inspector Richards) from the previous books, we get a new story line complete with gnomes, mystery, imps, ghosts, black markets, fairy realm, the defunct supernatural investigations team, the new SIT of sorts, and plenty more.

This book certainly brings the series to the next level in many ways. I look forward to the next and what’s in store for Eddie.

“But my grandmother always said we shouldn’t let the trouble of the past stop us from doing what’s right in the present.”

“One thing I admire about children is their lack of respect for social rules. If they have a question they just ask it. If adults did that the world would be a much simpler place.”

“My instinct was to shut the kid in a cupboard but I knew that wasn’t the right way to react to a bit of attitude.”

Parental guidance/trigger warnings: Same or similar to those listed above. Language used: Sx7, Fx28.

Where to find the author: Sean Stone
Where to find the narrator: Hannibal Hills

Saturday, March 7, 2020

The Brightest Darkness: A Post-Apocalyptic Zombie Novel (Oklahoma Wastelands, Book 2) by Kate L. Mary and narrated by Heather Firth

The Brightest Darkness: A Post-Apocalyptic Zombie Novel (Oklahoma Wastelands, Book 2) by Kate L. Mary and narrated by Heather Firth is a great second for the series. Recommend if you are looking for a new z series (make sure to listen in order) or have listened to the first and wondering about the second.

Where to purchase: 

What’s it about? The group is dealing with the fallout from the previous events while trying to move forward, only it’s not so easy to trust in this harsh post-apocalyptic world. Those immune to the virus are no longer able to keep their secrets hidden as Andrew hunts them down. New members shake things up and the Z’s are getting smarter. The result is a fast-paced story with a good amount of action. There is a bit of romance between a few couples with the main focus on Regan and Kellan. The book ends in a cliffhanger of sorts (I need the next book ASAP please!). I love it’s set in the same world as Agnes James (another must listen for z lovers)- nice to have it all tie in.

The narrator, Heath Firth, was marvelous- love her narrations! She brings the characters to life and helps pull you into the story. Between her narration and Kate’s writing, it’s a perfect team.

Overall, I recommend, especially if you are new to Kate or Heather.

“If there’s no goodness, no humanity left in the world, we deserve to follow the dinosaurs into extinction.”

Parental guidance/trigger warnings: It’s the zompoc folks, so things like death, weapons, and not nice people doing not nice things. Threats of rape, reliving the trauma that occurred in the previous book, PTSD, some sex (semi-detailed). Language used: Sx49, Fx2.

Where to find the author: Kate L. Mary
Where to find the narrator: Heather Firth

Dead Jack and the Pandemonium Device (Dead Jack, Book 1) by James Aquilone and narrated by Eric G. Dove

Take a ride through Dead Jack’s crazy world...seriously, it's crazy, fun, and just out there. Dead Jack and the Pandemonium Device (Dead Jack, Book 1) by James Aquilone and narrated by Eric G. Dove lives up to it’s title- it’s one wild and crazy ride through Dead Jack’s world. I think Dead Jack may be a relative of Ash Williams…or Ash as a Z. 

Where to purchase: 

What’s it about? Jack is a zombie private investigator who happens to be addicted to fairy dust because it’s the only thing that controls his zombie appetite- better than alternatives, right? He has a side kick of sorts named Oswald. Together they set out to solve the goblins missing cat problem and discover a more sinister plan is in play. You’re taken into Jack’s world where there are ghosts, kraken, ghost pirates, shark women, goblins, leprechauns, demons, entertaining dialogue between Jack and Oswald, and so much more. You get a little of almost everything in this book and it makes for an odd, humorous listen. 4 ½ stars for story, 5 stars for narration.

The narrator, Eric G. Dove, did a wonderful job. Nails the characters and script perfectly.

Overall I recommend, especially if you enjoy dead, odd humor. I’m not sure how anyone could not like this book, but one thing is for certain, I need more Dead Jack on audible!

~ Thank you, Oswald! Ever since I hooked up with that damn homunculus I’ve had nothing but misery and annoyance. “You’re taking to much dust, Jack.” “You’re not a zombie if you don’t act like one, Jack. Don’t eat that fairy Jack.”

~ The little monster looked dumber than a bag of warm centaur sh**.

~ A thief with morals. I admire that. You must know other infernal thieves, though. Maybe there’s someone you know who likes kitty cats? Someone with a whisker fetish?

~ I’ve never liked ghosts, even if they call themselves spectral buccaneers. You can’t trust them. They always have some gripe or mission or obsession. ShadowShade is full of spirits, hence the name, so I know of what I speak. My secretary, Lilith, is a ghost. She’s always going on about being hammered to death. Let it go, honey. It happened centuries ago.

Where to find the author: James Aquilone
Where to find the narrator: Eric G. Dove

Friday, March 6, 2020

100 Miles and Vampin' (Straight Outta Fangton, Book 2) by C. T. Phipps and narrated by Cary Hite

If you're reading this, wolfman’s got nards! OK seriously though, if you're reading this, you've either made it through the first book and are wondering if the second is worth it, or you're checking out the series reviews wondering if you should venture into it. The answer for both is yes- 100 Miles and Vampin' (Straight Outta Fangton, Book 2) by C. T. Phipps and narrated by Cary Hite is great! I love Phipps works, particularly this series for many reasons, but the pop-culture references/jokes really pulls me in. Highly recommend this one. 

Where to purchase: 

What’s it about? Peter is back and this time new trouble has arisen in the form of a famous vampire author. This sets the stage for old and new characters and creates an entertaining listen with pop-culture refs galore, humor, action, and supes. I am a little saddened over a death, but I’ll leave it at that. There are deeper meanings/metaphors to Phipps writings if you so chose to take notice, and if not, that’s OK, just kick back and listen.

The narrator, Cary Hite, was great- he brings Peter to life.

“I can assure you there’s no crap in the bathroom,” I said, walking past the counter. “Off to do something secret and spooky.” (Cary I about died laughing when you voiced this- it was perfect!)

If I hadn’t been so pissed and terrified, I would have muttered something like, “Wolfman got nards.”

“The third story hallway was riddled with bullets and more than a few bodies as I’d decided to go full-on Matrix through the place.”

“I thought the Force required midi-chlorians.” “Please, never mention those again,” I said, shaking my head. “All I remember about those movies was Samuel L. Jackson kicking ass, Darth Maul, and the lava fight. Everything else is a nice little blur I blame on some good-hearted vampire erasing them.”

“Being a vampire has a lot of advantages,” I said, putting my hand on her shoulder tentatively. “Yeah, we’re cursed and all, but life is a curse. It’s short, ugly, messy, and it ends.”

Overall I recommend, highly. If you’re new to Phipps works, welcome to the club, you won’t be disappointed!

Parental guidance/trigger warnings: death, sex, Iraq mentioned numerous times (Peter served), or like situations. Language used: Fx68, Sx39.

Where to find the author: C. T. Phipps
Where to find the narrator: Cary Hite

A Path of Ashes (The Path of Ashes, Book 1) by Brian Parker and narrated by Stephen Bel Davies

A Path of Ashes (The Path of Ashes, Book 1) by Brian Parker and narrated by Stephen Bel Davies sets the path for a great post-apocalyptic series. It’s well-written and you connect with the characters. Highly recommend for those who enjoy dark post-apocalyptic worlds. 4 ½ stars for story, 4 stars for narration.

Where to purchase: 

What’s it about? Tyler and Aeric are two normal college kids doing their thing when a group of hackers, called the Vultures, sets off and EMP followed by nukes. From there, the world quickly spirals into chaos, with those left trying to survive the aftermath. Make no mistake, there are dark parts to this book, so if that isn’t your thing, might want to stay clear. It starts off semi-light, you’re not always sure where it’s going to go, then picks up the pace to a fantastically dark post-apoc world. Honestly, in the beginning I wasn’t sure if this book would cut it for me, but after it picked up speed, it did and I’m already on to the second book. There’s that hint of realness to the story, which helps bring it to the next level.

The narrator, Stephen Bel Davies, overall did good. Some things were a bit off at times, but overall he’s enjoyable to listen to.

“Yeah, we’ve seen a lot of stuff out there, but it’s mostly been bad people who made the choice to become evil, not these other things that you’re talking about.” (mutant dogs, mutant humans)

Overall I highly recommend for those who enjoy dark post-apoc worlds.

Parental guidance/trigger warnings: one of the MC experiences homophobia from family, rape, prostitution to get food/safety/etc., torture, suicide, murder, castration, sex slaves, and other like situations due to the post-apoc world. Language used: Fx47, Sx54.

Where to find the author: Brian Parker
Where to find the narrator: Stephen Bel Davies