Thursday, July 2, 2015

Audio Book Review: The Harvesting

The Harvesting

By:  Melanie Karsak

Publish Date:  March 4, 2015

Format:  Audiobook - 7 hrs 7 mins
Narrated By:  Kristin James

Genre:  Urban Fantasy, Apocalyptic

Series:  1 in The Harvesting series

First Impression:  An apocalyptic zombie story with so much more than I expected!

"The world, it seemed, had gone silent. It was something we knew but did not talk about. We were alone."

While Layla Petrovich returns home to rural Hamletville after a desperate call from her psychic grandmother, she never could have anticipated the horror of what Grandma Petrovich has foreseen. The residents of Hamletville will need Layla's cool head, fast blade and itchy trigger finger to survive the undead apocalypse that's upon them. But even that may not be enough. With mankind silenced, it soon becomes apparent that we were never alone. As the beings living on the fringe seek power, Layla must find a way to protect the ones she loves or all humanity may be lost.

It's all fun and games until someone ends up undead!

First Sentence:
"If you ever need to slice someone's head off, this is the blade you want," I said as I lifted a curved sword off the table in front of me.

Purchase At:
Amazon  /  Barnes & Nobles

*This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBlast dot com, at my request.

My Thoughts and Summary:
When Layla returns home, at her Grandmothers strong request, she finds the house boarded up and all sorts of supplies stocked up. Layla is concerned her grandmother is losing her mind, but she knows the woman has a strong connection with the spirits. Layla sees on the news of an outbreak of sickness that has a mortality rate of 100%, with signs of brain activity afterward... Layla drinks a special tea from her grandmother, and when she wakes the world is not as she remembers it. Layla's knowledge of swords, knives, and hunting that she's learned through her life will come in handy in the new world she's to live and survive in.

I had the great opportunity to listen to the audio book version. Kristin's work is outstanding. The emotion she shows through her voice is easy to grasp at and understand. She brings the intricately written Layla to life. She hits the rushed, horror filled moments making them pop with the suspense they are to feel and with shaking that fit's with Layla. It's like listening to a movie with the height of all emotions bubbling to the surface in her voice. She even does a Russian accent for Grandmother. I really enjoyed Kristin's work in this story! She really brought the story to life.

Between Melanie's writing and Kristin's reading, I even teared up at the thought of why Grandmother did all she did. And even a few other times through the book I felt caught up in the world with the characters, hurting for what they had to do.

Starting the book I knew from the description and others that there is a battle coming. Listening to the stocking Grandma is doing, the weapons she's collecting, and getting to know Layla and her Grandma has caught my attention right off. I want to know all! Grandma is scaring Layla, and making anxious as well. Then the moment comes. It's rough seeing the place Layla grew up go through all they have to bare. The people of this town have to come to grips with killing those they loved in life when they die. It's heart wrenching listening to how these people remember everyone and have to put them to their final resting place.

This book is full of all emotions. Love of loss, love blooming, and scary and rushed adrenaline moments. All blends together with action and emotions wonderfully in this world. Well done Melanie!

I love the subtle blends that Melanie has brought to the story. There feels to have nature and American Indian influences in the spirits around the Hamletville. The wood spirits around the area, and everywhere, is a helping hand for Layla. The world has changed, and they are able to suggest things in small ways.

Just when I thought I was settling in, the story has a turn that brings us to something new! Oh this was wonderful! This story has so much more than I was ever expecting to read. We struggle through in Hamletville with Layla and those that survive, but then to come upon another obstacle in their lives and choices they made. Oh a new foe appears and is exciting to see!

There is a bit of love in the book as well. Layla returns home, where her ex-boyfriend and the love of her youth still lives. But there is a potential other interest. It's not a three way that we all see all the time. Actually, Layla has her mind made up early on, it's that one of them has to get it through their skull that there's not a chance with her. And, I'm thrilled with the one she picks. He's TOTALLY the right choice.

Layla is a wonderful lead character. She's the strong woman that I would love to be in this situation. She is knowledgeable from her history studying and profession. She's also kick arse with a sword and guns, yet she's not one with a large head that takes charge. She's respected by all that know her and knew her grandmother, and she's looked to for help and advice. She's amazing.

If you haven't read or listened to this one, you SHOULD! I listened to that audio and man... this is an AMAZING combo of writing by Melanie and voice by Kristin. If you are a UF fan, you'll will enjoy this.


  1. I didn't know about this one but it sounds a perfect book for me

    1. Melliane, I was hesitant about this with the zombie thing, but I soooo looooved this story! Hope you get to pick it up and enjoy it too. :)

  2. I loved this book! I liked the zombie outbreak and how they deal with it all...and then that plot twist! I loved the way it turned the book on its head.

    1. Chucklesthescot, I'm soooo with you! :D Was a great story! Did you read the short story after this yet? It's with another character but they will cross paths in the next book. :)

  3. Oh I love zombie books like this. I'm so going to have to check it out.

    1. Melissa (B&T) I really think you'll love this one too. And the twist to it, yes, you'll so enjoy it. :)

  4. Lovely review, Melissa! I remember reading this one and enjoying too :-)

    1. Kara, I remember your reviews of Karsak's books and really wanted to try them. I've really enjoyed everything thus far. :)


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