Thursday, April 21, 2022

Audio Book Review: The City of Thieves

The City of Thieves

By:  Kyle Alexander Romines

Publish Date:  June 7, 2019, Audiobook Release May 11, 2020

Format:  Audiobook - 11 hrs 3 mins
Narrated By:  Matt Addis

Genre:  Fantasy

Series:  3rd in Warden of Fal series

Synopsis:
Years ago, when violent purges plunged Dún Aulin into chaos, Warden Esben Berengar was sent to restore order by any means necessary. He did so with such brutal efficiency he became known throughout Fál as the High Queen’s Monster.

All is not forgiven.

When the hunt for a mysterious enemy leads Berengar back to Dún Aulin, an old friend’s request thrusts him headfirst into danger. In the Ceremony of the Cursed Blade, the sword used by the Lord of Shadows in his conquest of Fál will change possession, and it’s up to Berengar to keep the blade from falling into the wrong hands.

To do that he’ll have to survive vengeful goblins, bloodthirsty monster hunters, Leinster’s powerful Thieves Guild, and worse.

Much worse.


My Thoughts and Summary:
*I was given this free review copy of this audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.



Berengar has some left over business he has to deal with. This is where we return to deal with things that happened in the first book and clean up loose ends. This also leads to new jobs and ties in with other missions.

Berengar has agreed to Morwen being his companion. Morwen brings out another side of Berengar that no one else sees. I like it, because he really is that person deep down, he's had to deal with terrible things and has covered those feeling over with the anger that he needs to do his job.

They need to find the Thunder Rune that was stolen from the hobgoblins that were going to keep it safe. But first, Morwen needs a staff to help channel some of her spells to. In looking for the staff we learn more of Berengar's bloody past. The story is very interesting as it unfolds. Also, Berengar and Morwen get drawn into other people's problems... fairy dust additions, the Ceremony of the Cursed Blade, Brotherhood of Thieves (who has it out for Berengar), and more. All happening at one time.

I'm once again drawn into Berengar's world and adventure. I love how Berengar is tough and does what needs to be done, but he's softer on the inside than he shows. Berengar is struggling with a few things he'd done in the past and accepts how people see him with other events. Berengar also has a soft spot in his heart for Morwen, now traveling with him. They are great companions on these adventures.

Berengar and Morwen find trouble before they get to the bottom of the mischief happening. And trouble always finds them when they aren't looking for it. Berengar wouldn't have any luck if it wasn't for bad luck. I love how he tries to avoid situations but others keep pushing him. Berengar is determined to finish it then. 

We do meet friends and enemies. Some we've meet before, others we haven't. The old friends and enemies bring a history we don't know yet from Berengar. This is always interesting, to see what people think and hear of him then we get a glimpse at what he lived through. Wow.

Monday, April 18, 2022

Audio Book Review: Masters of Fate

Masters of Fate

By:  A.K. DuBoff
Publish Date:  October 17, 2018, Audiobook Release December 13, 2018

Format:  Audiobook - 8 hrs 55 mins
Narrated By:  Kristin James

Genre:  Young Adult, Sci Fi, Fantasy

Series:  3rd Book in Dark Stars Trilogy series

Synopsis:
A Space Fantasy Sci-Fi Adventure

The final fight will change their perception forever.

Everything Elle Hartmut and her friends thought they knew about the alien menace—and the nature of their universe—is wrong.

With mounting evidence that the aliens behind the Darkness reside on a hyperdimensional plane above spacetime, Elle and the Dark Sentinels will need a new approach to win. However, preventing the impending alien invasion will test their team in ways they never imagined.

The ancient artifacts wielded by the Dark Sentinels may hold the key to victory. If they can understand and master their true abilities, they may still be able to save the Hegemony and their loved ones before the invasion’s final stage consumes them all.

The Dark Stars trilogy combines high-tech sci-fi with traditional fantasy magic, perfect for fans of Final Fantasy, Star Ocean, and Xenosaga. Join Elle in her final battle against the Darkness!


My Thoughts and Summary:
*I was given this free review copy of this audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

I love Kristin as a narrator. She breaths live into all the characters, giving each their own voice and personality. Such a great pleasure to listen to her.

We learn a great deal about the Crystalline network and the aliens. Some of the crystalline network was a deep detail that kind of skipped over me, but I like how there are different planes to the network. The Crystalline network reminds me of save points or respawning points in a game. But it also has a computer network feel to it as well. Very interesting blend to create different dimensions. As for the aliens... they are trouble. Yes, there's more to them but I don't want to give it away.

I enjoyed the new friend we pick up in this book. He's very special and willing to help. He adds to the gaming world feel with the group and their powers. I love this!

The crew finds a new artifact in their travels through new places. The new artifact fits right in as each one is important and a key to the hyperdimensional planes. Yes, hyperdimensional planes. That's a lot in one word. There are details about this in the book, however I fall in the same mind as Elle and I don't always follow what is told of it. But I get a solid feel for it through their actions. Thank you for showing and relating the descriptions to what we've seen and done!

This is the last book of the trilogy. We get answers to what's been happening as things have escalated through the series with the Darkness and aliens. This book felt to have more technical items to it for me, but with those details came answers. I didn't always understand what was said as I had to digest it and think on it because it came in the form of audio, I may have caught it sooner if I read it, but it was answers. We see what happens to our favorite four as things come to a close. I enjoyed the way this story tied up for us.

Thursday, April 14, 2022

Audio Book Review: A Light in the Dark

A Light in the Dark

By:  A.K. DuBoff
Publish Date:  August 8, 2018, Audiobook Release November 20, 2018

Format:  Audiobook - 8 hrs 34 mins
Narrated By:  Kristin James

Genre:  Young Adult, Sci Fi, Fantasy

Series:  2nd Book in Dark Stars Trilogy series

Synopsis:
A Space Fantasy Sci-Fi Adventure

The real invasion is about to begin.

An alien fleet is coming. Elle and her friends are the Hegemony's best chance for fighting back, but they'll need to head straight into enemy territory in order to identify the Darkness' origin.

The Hegemony is out of time... and the war may already be lost before it even starts. The only chance for salvation is the mysterious shard of the Master Crystal, supposedly capable of initiating a universal-scale reset. Except, no one knows what a reset of that magnitude might entail, or if it's possible.

Despite the risks, no step is too extreme in the frantic fight for survival. Elle and her friends must stop the insidious alien menace before every world is consumed.

The Dark Stars trilogy combines high-tech sci-fi with traditional fantasy magic, perfect for fans of Final Fantasy, Star Ocean, and Xenosaga. Continue the adventure today!


My Thoughts and Summary:
*I was given this free review copy of this audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

Elle and her team have done the first step for what they were made for, create back up the worlds in the archive. But when doing this, they learned there are aliens coming. They wait a week before Elle talks them into action. It's time to go learn what they can of the Darkness that's overtaking worlds so they can fight it. Off to investigate they go.

It is a pleasure to listen to Kristin again. I've not listened to her narration in a while, but once starting a story I knew why I enjoy listening to her. She brings the story to life to me as she voices each character as their own with tone and personality. Her pacing goes with the action of the story as well, keeping me hooked when things are moving quickly. I love her work.

Our crew tests their immunity to the black smoke as they investigate the first planet that was consumed to learn what they can of the black smoke and crystals.

As we investigate, we see Elle and crew in dangerous situations. But how else do you learn details? I love how we get to see them in action, fighting the darkness and working as a team.

I love how the characters are created from the world and with this, they react to the world. There's a great give and take between the characters and the world in events that happen. Never a dull moment with this team as they fight to learn and battle the darkness.

This book handled a situation that could be repetitive rather well and made it new for us. I really like how the same scenes become new as we learn different details that bring our characters to the conclusion they need. However, things are different. This difference is what drew me deeper into the story, to see if their plan B works or not.

I'm 100% invested in this series. I love the characters and their relationships along with the trouble of the darkness in the world. It still have a video game feel to what the crew does, but not as much as it did in the first book. I don't mind though because the group have grown as individuals and as a team and I love it.

With the ending of this book, I'm diving right into the third audiobook because I want to know what happens with the Darkness!

Monday, April 11, 2022

Audio Book Review: The Others

The Others

By:  Jeremy Robinson

Publish Date:  July 15, 2018, Audiobook Release July 24, 2018

Format:  Audiobook - 10 hrs 15 mins
Narrated By:  R.C. Bray

Genre:  Science Fiction

Series:  Stand Alone

Synopsis:
UFOs and alien abductions remain one of the most hotly debated and mysterious subjects of the twenty-first century. In the decades since 1960, with reports of strange encounters on the rise, thirteen million people have gone missing worldwide and never been found. The Others takes a fast-paced, unique, and moving look at the phenomenon that has fueled Jeremy Robinson's imagination since several sightings, strange happenings, and visits with renowned UFO investigator, and family friend, Raymond Fowler.

TO SAVE A MISSING GIRL...

Dan Delgado is a private investigator. When it comes to finding cheating spouses, corporate thieves, or runaway teenagers, he's unenthusiastic, and unmatched. As a former San Francisco detective, he misses more meaningful work, but he hasn't had the heart for it since his wife's death five years prior. That is, until a phone call from a distraught mother. An illegal immigrant who can't go to the police puts him on the hunt for a missing little girl.

By the time he reaches the mother's small home, she's missing, too. The circumstances are strange, but when a team of heavily armed mercenaries arrive, Delgado is convinced there is more going on than a simple kidnapping.

Joined by his elderly assistant, a gun-toting pastor, and a UFO enthusiast Uber driver, Delgado follows the clues west, to Colorado City, a town cleaved in two by the 37th parallel, also known as the UFO Highway. In a town infamous for fundamentalist Mormon cult activity, they uncover evidence of a massive child-trafficking ring, whose ringleaders might not be human.

Delgado and crew are plunged into a dangerous world of corporate competition, UFO lore, and government cover-ups. While they hunt for answers, they're pursued across the Southwest by high-tech mercs, brainwashed cults, and beings whose true identity has been concealed since 1947.

...HE MUST RISK THE WORLD


My Thoughts and Summary:
*I was given this free review copy of this audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

R.C. Bray is a new narrator to me, but an experienced narrator by his long list of audio books. Wow. How have I not listened to him before now? R.C. has a controlled voice that gives nothing away. The emotion of the characters are portrayed through the worlds spoken and small innuendos. I stayed focused on the story at hand and drawn into the world created by the author.

I've come to know that I truly enjoy Jeremy's books. Not only do we get an entertaining and twisting story, I get my action and boldness with the characters I love. There comes a point when they have to stand or fall, and his characters chose what I want to see. The characters have a fully developed growth that flows with the story and events. It feels natural and believable for the characters to make the choices they make, even if the story is a science fiction fantasy read.

This book has created a well rounded person in Dan Delgado as I see the events unfold through his eyes. There is more to him and we learn the things that make Dan tick as we move through the story, looking for Isabelle and her mother.

The thing that Dan finds himself in, along with his dearest friend and co-worker Wini, is mind blowing. Dan never expected to find his way into learning the truth about UFOs and aliens.

The people that Dan finds himself spiraling down the rabbit hole with are perfect. There's a Sheriff, a Pastor, and a Uber driver along with Dan's assistant, Wini, who's a senior citizen. lol. It sounds like a joke when you think about it. An unlikely crew, but they all have pasts that lend to why they are here. They really do fit together and make a great crew.

Thursday, April 7, 2022

Audio Book Review: The Finder of the Lucky Devil

The Finder of the Lucky Devil

By:  Megan Mackie

Publish Date:  September 21, 2017, Audiobook Release June 5, 2019

Format:  Audiobook - 13 hrs 48 mins
Narrated By:  Megan Mackie & Frank Sjodin

Genre:  Urban Fantasy

Series:  1st in The Lucky Devil series

Synopsis:
The only thing more dangerous than using your magic to help a cybernetic spy find a missing criminal, is being the criminal he's looking for...

When Rune Leveau is approached by a charmingly dangerous, cybernetically-altered, corporate spy, St. Benedict, his request seemed simple: use her magical Talent to help him find an elusive criminal named Anna Masterson. But Rune has a dangerous secret: She IS Anna Masterson.

Over the past six years, St. Benedict has searched for the Masterson Files, a computer program rumored to do the impossible—cast magic spells. The technology could reshape the world. His last hope is this Finder of the Lucky Devil, but the Finder is proving difficult... and St. Benedict isn't going to take no for an answer.

Set in an alternate Chicago, where technology and magic are in competition with each other, this fast paced Cat-and-Mouse chase makes The Finder of the Lucky Devil a welcome addition to your urban fantasy/cyberpunk library.

My Thoughts and Summary:
*I was given this free review copy of this audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

This is the first time I've listened to Megan and Frank narrate a story. From the start, I noticed I could hear the deep breaths Megan takes to get the words in that need to be said together. This was distracting for me in the prologue. The air around her also sounds empty. This sounds strange to say and you probably think that's what you want to hear. Yes, but the empty space can add as a distraction. I wouldn't say there's an echo but it has a sound of it's own. I followed along in the first few chapters as Megan narrated. It seemed she missed pauses where comma's were that could have added feeling to the moment. I noticed there were pauses that were a second or two longer that were her transitioning to another characters voice. When Frank joined the conversation, he was smooth as his character and used breathing with comma's and periods to add to the feel of the character. There was an audio editing that was missed too.

Rune has a terrible moment in her past she's hiding from. However, that past is coming back to haunt her. A cybernetic enhanced corporate elite has come looking for Anna Masterson and wants Rune to help him find her. Anna's husband, who's been missing as long as Anna, is who they really want for his computer programming that can read magic's language and cast a spell. It's the only program of it's kind and no one can recreate it. When Rune refuses to help St. Benedict, St. Benedict puts word out to all wanting the software that Rune knows how to find Anna... and people come out of the woodwork attacking and demanding Rune to "help" them. St. Benedict didn't realize how close to the truth his words to others were.

Rune can't do much of anything with magic. She lives her life as a normal person, but her talent is finding things. She has a knack for it but doesn't understand it. Hoping to help make the mortgage payment on her bar, she takes on a job to help find a woman's daughter, who's been turned into a dog and the mom won't believe the dog is her daughter. Now Rune has to figure out how to help the girl while on the run from corporate assassins and head hunters wanting to hire her. Rune is on the run, with St. Benedict and Allie, the dog, and learns more about her talent than she expected.

This is one of those books that I'm on the wall about. I want to like it, but... I don't know what's stopping me. I don't know if it's the narration that's stopping me or if there's something in the book.

There's a blend of magic, cybernetics, and fairy court.

There's a lot happening here. We have St. Benedict looking for Anna Masterson. Rune is dealing with the loss of someone that's extremely important to her, so she's growing to strengthen her stance while coming to understand who she is. Rune has to deal with the hoards after her for what she can do along with those after her bar and home.

This could be a stand alone novel, but it could be the beginning of a series as Rune works to help others. And St. Benedict could be seen around or involved as well.

There is a whole world created that I'm a bit more curious about. It's the Corporate world. Corporate is who runs things, and I'm curious to see a little closer at what the set up is and how it works. There is also mention of a magic guild. Rune avoids both of these because she's hiding who she is, but now that events have happened in this book we could get a closer look at this system.

In the end, I liked how things played out and what we came across in the way of magic along with the technology in the world and cybernetics. There are many things hinted at with minor characters that could open up many doors for the series. I'd be curious to see the author improve her writing and venture into the world deeper.

Monday, April 4, 2022

Audio Book Review: Race to Terra

Race to Terra

By:  Terry Mixon

Publish Date:  February 22, 2019, Audiobook Release May 6, 2019

Format:  Audiobook - 9 hrs 12 mins
Narrated By:  Veronica Giguere

Genre:  Science Fiction

Series:  10th in The Empire of Bones Saga series

Synopsis:
Separated by an almost unimaginable gulf in space, Princess Kelsey Bandar and Admiral Jared Mertz must fight to stop the diabolical artificial intelligences that destroyed the Old Terran Empire.

Though unable to communicate with one another, they must overcome terrible odds and defeat foes determined to kill or enslave them. They cannot allow themselves to fail.

Yet time is running out. Unless both quickly make their way to Terra, the computers win and humanity loses.

My Thoughts and Summary:
*I was given this free review copy of this audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

Veronica is magnificent as always! The number of voices she has to do! Wow. That's talent to keep them all straight and different with tone, accent, and personality. Amazing work! Veronica makes it possible to hear emotion in each character's voice as they live through amazing and terrifying moments on this adventure. This brings the story and world to life through natural actions as the voices feel to be natural to how the characters would respond.

I love how Terry takes different people with different views and makes allies and even friends with them. People that are on opposite sides of a battle could still connect, and Terry shows that. Of course these people are ones that are not drastic in their thinking, but even those that are brain washed have been shown the truth. I love this blending as it gives hope to all.

Terry's character growth feels natural and believable as I listen to his story. I don't feel that anything comes out of the blue as it evolves. There are leads to the points in these characters lives and emotions that feel human. I love how he writes these characters. And the small jokes that are made by characters is awesome, they draw in something we know to a futuristic space story.

Terry breaks his normal story style in this book. We don't start with meeting new people then dive into the troubles. Everyone is already in tough situations that could go bad in a heartbeat. Do we get to meet new people? I'll let you read the book to find that out.

We do get a few surprises in the story though, like a System Lord we get to visit. Interesting to see this AI's view.

I'm afraid to say too much about the story as this is the tenth book. Wow. How did we get this far already?!? I'm no where near ready for this series to end! I've become so comfortable with these characters, their lives and adventures. Sure, we've lost a few good ones along the way, but that's what happens when battles are fought to free all from the control of the AI's.

We see most of our crews come together again, along with making new alliances. As the title states, this is a race to Terra and for a good reason. We will find the Terra system, and ready for the next step in the plan for freeing all from the AI controls. And we will learn a bit about the Singularity that have showed up on our radar. Very interesting.

I can't wait to see what adventures and who we meet on Terra in the next book! 

Monday, March 28, 2022

What have I been doing??

It's been over a year since I posted last. And that post was six months after my last review posted. 

*heavy sigh*

Where does the time go? 

I don't even know where to start with all I've been doing. I've been staying busy, for sure. I think that's how I cope with things, always busy. It keeps my mind busy and me out of trouble. 

I've been focusing on my two dogs, Arrow and Zeba. Arrow needs to walk and exert energy. Zeba has been doing training and gaining awards. My son grew up, graduated college, and moved three hours away. We talk/text almost daily and visit at least once a month.

Me...I've been staying busy. I'm still working full time at the day job. But, I've fallen away from photography the last year. I want to get back to taking more photos again. Covid slowed where I could go and then winter makes it hard to get outside. I've also been working steady with my tea business. I'm loving the tea flavors, mixing them together, and all the health benefits I'm experiencing. I have cut sugar intake (thanks to being close to diabetes) and calorie intake with these amazing drinks. 

I know this is just scratching the surface of all that's been going on in life. But, I'm sure I'll share more about events and things as I go along. I'm looking forward to sharing the reviews I have ready and what I'm listening or reading in the future. 

I'm wanting to get back to blogging again. I loved all of you I meet here, and I'm missing you! I'm going to make a few changes though, life is moving way to fast for me to keep up these days. So, I'm going to work at a slower pace though. I can't do all the posts every day of the week anymore. That was a lot of work. I'm also going to cut my reviews to a shorter format. It was so much work sharing all the details that I had. I'm going to work on getting the blog page cleaned up too, I know there's bad links there. So I'm going back to basics and going to enjoy what I'm doing. After all, it's for fun. 

I look forward to chatting with you all again!