Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Audio Book Review: Relentless Souls

Relentless Souls

By:  Ryan Kirk

Publish Date:  November 28, 2018, Audiobook Release March 27, 2019

Format:  Audiobook - 11 hrs 35 mins
Narrated By:  Andrew Tell

Genre:  Fantasy

Series:  Stand-alone

Impression:  The fight is on.

A new threat has risen.

For years, peace has reigned within the boundaries of the empire. Monks, gifted with extraordinary powers, wander the land, keeping order by any means necessary. Their gifts make them invincible, or so most believe.

A lone warrior disagrees. Guided by a shadowy organization, Fang seeks to break the monasteries. Once left for dead by powerful monks, revenge has driven him to unimaginable strength. Only one obstacle stands in his way.

His name is Lei, and he is no hero. Exiled by the monasteries for an unforgivable crime, he’s more comfortable with a drink in his hand than a sword. But he’s about to be thrust into a fight he had no part in starting.

As destiny hurtles the two men into inevitable conflict, the fate of the empire hangs in the balance.

First Sentence:
The stiff breeze flapping through Jian's white robes portended a storm.

Purchase At:
Amazon  /  Barnes & Nobles 


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

It's been a while since I've listened to Andrew Tell. I've enjoyed his stories in the past and glad I got to one with his narration. Andrew did not let me down. He voices the story clean and clear through out. He tells the story of Lei and Fang in a way I don't know it's being narrated. This is credit to Ryan's writing as well since I can see the fights as the characters are experiencing them.

We start with a prologue that tells there is something coming, but the news doesn't make it back to the monastery. We learn a little about Lei, and how he's not part of the monastery anymore, along with his angry feelings toward his brother. This prologue is important as it sets the stage for Lei and his brother's relationship. But it also connects the trouble that's coming to our characters.

We get the chapters from Lei or Fang's eyes. It's easy to know who we are with as each chapter starts with naming them in the first sentence. The story is very straight forward and of a simple feel with the characters. We know what they want and what they are to do. Lei just wants to be left alone, but his life takes a turn when his brother dies. Lei experiences more than he expected and comes to have a respect for some things in life. Fang wants to please his Master.

Both men have a grudge against the Monasteries and monks. But it's what you do with that grudge and how you act on it that makes a difference. The two men have a few things in common, though the end results of their time with the Monastery is different. That end result is what formed the person they become. This is an interesting story of how what you life through influences your responses.

I enjoy the neat and orderly writing of Ryan's. I find the story is easy to follow and things are not overly hidden in the story. The feel of an oriental influence in the story is strong and very nice to read/listen to.

If you enjoy fighting, this book is for you. We are in the head of one of the fighters as they battle. You can see the fight and what's happening to the area around them.

****If you found my thoughts helpful, please click yes at Amazon and/or Audible. Thank you!

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Audio Book Review: The Dysasters

The Dysasters

By:  P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast

Publish Date:  February 26, 2019, Audiobook Release February 26, 2019

Format:  Audiobook - 9 hrs 40 mins
Narrated By:  Emma Galvin

Genre:  Urban Fantasy

Series:  1st book in The Dysasters series

Impression:  Coming into their unknown elemental powers.

Foster Stewart knows she's different. Her life has never been "normal." Talking to plants and controlling cloud formations aren't things most seventeen year olds are into. Tate "Nighthawk" Taylor is perfect. Star quarterback and all around dreamy boy next door he never thought about his "extra" abilities. What quarterback wouldn't want night vision? That's not weird, right? It's cool!

But on the night of their first meeting a deadly tornado brings them together and awakens their true abilities - the power to control the element air. Unbeknown to Tate and Foster, they are the first in a group of teens that were genetically manipulated before birth to bond with the elements. Which truly sucks for Foster, as she has to face the fact that Dr. Rick Stewart, her beloved scientist father, betrayed her and now wants to use her and the others for his own nefarious world domination plot.

Foster and Tate must stop Dr. Stewart and his minions before he destroys their lives and the world.

First Sentence:
"Cora, why are we here?

Purchase At:
Amazon  /  Barnes & Nobles 


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

Emma is a narrator I've listened to in one other audiobook series. I like her, but when there are more characters, I find it's hard to tell which person is talking when they speak. There's not much difference between the voices and personalities of characters to easily distinguish them in conversation. Emma does fit hard female leads though, and Foster fits that personality.

This is one of the first books that has a slight downside to listening to audio instead of getting the print book, you miss out on the artwork. I flipped through the Kindle book to get names and spellings, and I saw some amazing artwork of the characters. They are comic type frames but it's awesome!

The first chapter is important. It draws me into the story and has me asking questions about the characters and what's to happen. I'm interested in what the characters are doing and want to know why. I also get an introduction to what's happened in their lives, but it also leaves me wanting to know more about past events, as I suspect the past has a strong influence on what's to come.

Foster knew she had some Jedi special gifts, but never expected she'd have all that she learns about on her eighteenth birthday. And there's someone else like her. Though, that other person isn't on the top of Foster's favorite list. See, Foster has trust issues with anyone and everyone, so finding Tate and having to share information with him is hard for Foster. Tate feels to be the opposite of Foster in personality. He's so outgoing and easy talking.

On their eighteenth birthday, Foster and Tate are handed a lot of information about themselves and a few others. They are now alone with lots to learn and digest, along with staying safe from the doctor that made them.

This book felt to have the feel of many books out there already, the elemental power, DNA manipulation, crazy science doctor, and the struggle to stay safe and help others like them, but the characters are made to be their own. The elements we find similar is what makes the book easy to follow. But there are small details that belong to this book that's different. The actions of the characters belong to them. And the characters are what makes a book individual for me. Foster and Tate do that for me.

We get most of the book through the point of view of Foster and Tate, but there are a few chapters from the eyes of others; Eve, Mark, Charlotte, and Bastion. Each chapter starts with the heading of who's mind the chapter is from. This is neat as we learn details of each person that others don't know along with details of what they know of what's happening and why. There is the ultimate question that lingers about Dr. Rick Stewart... is he mad and what does he really want with the kids he created?

This book had a few moments where things could have gone as normal, but the characters had grown and didn't turn against each other in those moments. I enjoyed this as they took the better path. I enjoyed the book for these small moments.

I look forward to the future books of finding the other elementals and dealing with the doctor. Can't wait!

****If you found my thoughts helpful, please click Yes at Amazon. Thank you!

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Book Review: King of Ashes

King of Ashes

By:  Raymond E. Feist

Publish Date:  May 8, 2018

Format:  ARC

Genre:  Fantasy

Series:  1st to Firemane series

First Impression:  Meet the new fantasy characters and world.

The first volume in legendary master and New York Times bestselling author Raymond E. Feist’s epic heroic fantasy series, The Firemane Saga—an electrifying tale of two young men whose choices will determine a world’s destiny.

For centuries, the five greatest kingdoms of North and South Tembria, twin continents on the world of Garn, have coexisted in peace. But the balance of power is destroyed when four of the kingdoms violate an ancient covenant and betray the fifth: Ithrace, the Kingdom of Flames, ruled by Steveren Langene, known as "the Firemane" for his brilliant red hair. As war engulfs the world, Ithrace is destroyed and the Greater Realms of Tembria are thrust into a dangerous struggle for supremacy.
As a Free Lord, Baron Daylon Dumarch owes allegiance to no king. When an abandoned infant is found hidden in Daylon’s pavilion, he realizes that the child must be the missing heir of the slain Steveren. The boy is valuable—and vulnerable. A cunning and patient man, Daylon decides to keep the baby’s existence secret, and sends him to be raised on the Island of Coaltachin, home of the so-called Kingdom of Night, where the powerful and lethal Nocusara, the "Hidden Warriors," legendary assassins and spies, are trained.

Years later, another orphan of mysterious provenance, a young man named Declan, earns his Masters rank as a weapons smith. Blessed with intelligence and skill, he unlocks the secret to forging King’s Steel, the apex of a weapon maker’s trade known by very few. Yet this precious knowledge is also deadly, and Declan is forced to leave his home to safeguard his life. Landing in Lord Daylon’s provinces, he hopes to start anew.

Soon, the two young men—an unknowing rightful heir to a throne and a brilliantly talented young swordsmith—will discover that their fates, and that of Garn, are entwined. The legendary, long-ago War of Betrayal has never truly ended . . . and they must discover the secret of who truly threatens their world.

First Sentence:
Angry dark clouds hurried across the sky, foretelling more rain.

Purchase At:
Amazon  /  Barnes & Nobles 

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

We start with a prologue that sets the stage for what's to come. We learn about how the kingdoms once were and what happened to the fifth kingdom. We also learn about a baby. We get the feel of what a perceptive man thinks will come to pass in the kingdoms that just went through war. Not tomorrow or next year, but sometime in the future the balance they upset this day will fall for all to fight and set right.

The one thing that pops for me in Raymond's writing is his ability to bring characters to life. He creates solid, full systems in which they live in and then break out of. His world creating is always vast and complete with the lives and characters we have.

Declan and Hatu are two special young men who, of course, don't know how special they are. Individually, we follow them as they journey out into the world at important moments in their lives. They see and learn things they didn't think they would experience, but somehow they survive and carry on. I felt to be drawn into the lives of Declan and Hatu with their experiences. I never grew bored as their lives were always moving forward and we lived with them through important moments that shape their decisions in life. 

Declan feels to be a normal man. He's an orphan but it doesn't change the fine man he grows into. Actually, the people that raised him and taught him to be a blacksmith made a great influence on who he turns out to be. I love Declan for this. Though, as in Raymond's books, he could very well be more than we know. What will be Raymond's outcome for Declan through the series, I do not know, but there could be a few angles he could go. 

Hatu. Aaahhh. Hatu is more than he thinks he is. Hatu feels like he is the main character, with great reason. There is something stirring in him and he doesn't know what it is or why. Hatu has lived through some extraordinary events that leave him questioning about himself. We have more of a clue as to why or what is happening with Hatu as we get the overall picture with different characters and the past. Hatu has been sheltered in some ways so doesn't know what has happened out in the world. 

This book is an introduction. We meet all the players and learn the history. This sets us up to feel comfortable with our main characters, getting us ready for what's to come. Their personalities are set and they are ready to make the hard decisions with what's to come.

I finished this book looking forward to events picking up the pace and moving faster with our characters. There is more to come, and it feels as it's going to get ugly before it gets better. I can't wait to read it as lives cross paths and secrets come to light.

****If you found my thoughts helpful, please click Yes at Amazon. Thank you!

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Audio Book Review: In an Absent Dream

In an Absent Dream

By:  Seanan McGuire

Publish Date:  January 9, 2019, Audiobook Release January 8, 2019

Format:  Audiobook - 4 hrs 57 mins
Narrated By:  Cynthia Hopkins

Genre:  Urban Fantasy

Series:  4th book in Wayward Children series

Impression:  A view on fair living, in a paranormal market

This fourth entry and prequel tells the story of Lundy, a very serious young girl who would rather study and dream than become a respectable housewife and live up to the expectations of the world around her. As well she should.

When she finds a doorway to a world founded on logic and reason, riddles and lies, she thinks she's found her paradise. Alas, everything costs at the goblin market, and when her time there is drawing to a close, she makes the kind of bargain that never plays out well.

First Sentence:
In a house, on a street, in a town ordinary enough in every aspect to cross over its own roots and become remarkable, there lived a girl named Katherine Victoria Lundy.

Purchase At:
Amazon  /  Barnes & Nobles 


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

Cynthia is a new narrator for me. She feels to be precise in what she says, which would fit the personality of Katherine at this age. But in doing that it leaves the narration feeling a little flatter for me, almost like no emotion in the narrators voice. I do like that she gives a different feel when she vocalizes the Archivist and a few characters.

The story starts with a lot of details for a few chapters. There's not much interaction with Katherine and others. This is Katherine's interaction with what she sees. It felt slow for me as it built up Katherine (Lundy's) character and reasoning for why she does what she does. Then when Lundy finds the door, all changes and the story becomes much more.

This story feels to have much to share and teach, more than what Lundy's story is. It feels as though it's teaching people how to treat each other kindly. There feels to be a cost for everything, even in questions. But, if you are fair to each other it's a balance - a fair value for everything. There is a bond in promises too. Promises are not something you make then easily break. There is meaning in that promise, and you should honor it.

The story is a shorter one. It's classified as a prequel as well. I've not read or listened to the previous three books, so I don't know how it falls in the events of the other books. I do know, the story can stand on it's own and the other books aren't needed to be read first. Though the mention of one person at the end of this book had me searching out the other book descriptions to learn who she is. And it also has me very curious and wanting of the previous books.

I really liked this story for all the meanings and themes I felt pop into my mind as I listened. I really got drawn into Lundy and her story of wanting to be at the Market. In the end, I wanted more of the world and Lundy's life. I went searching to see if the books were on Audible, and they are! I'll have to save up to get them in the future.

****If you found my thoughts helpful, please click Yes at Amazon. Thank you!

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Sunday Post #116

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~ It's a chance to share news ~ A post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received and share new about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.


We keep hopping around here. It seems I'll be doing Sunday Posts every other week. Or, at least, that's become my normal. The weather has started to turn, and stay turned. So we hope. There is lots of green and many sneezes. Sinuses are starting to act up with the the turn of the weather as well.

I'm trying to do a few things at once. There are photos and re-writes for Camp NaNoWriMo. I have some catching up to do with re-write time, but I'll get there.

How is the weather where you are? Hope it's nice.

The Fit Booker:

Goal:  Workout in any form of exercise (or on Wii Fit) 2x's a week. (to feel better and hope to drop a few pants sizes)

How did I do last week... I got a few walks at lunch in, but not twice a week this week.

What's Happening in Books:

Current Read:
Gunsmoke & Dragonfire edited by Diane Morrison

Current Audiobook:
Dysasters by P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast

Current Podcast Book Listen:
Nothing new.

Finished Last Week: 
No reads this week.

Audiobooks :
In an Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire

Finished Podcast Book Listen:
Nothing new yet.



Last Week on the Blog:

Cover Reveals: (click titles to go to post & learn more)

Guest Posts:


Around the Internet...

Crystalline Space by A.K. DuBoff

"Crystalline Space offers a fun blend of sci-fi and fantasy adventure with a sleek high-tech skin on traditional magic, perfect for fans of Final Fantasy, Kingdom Hearts, and Xenosaga. Begin reading the complete Dark Stars trilogy today and be transported to a universe where second chances are real."

Agent G: Saboteur by C.T. Phipps

"Friendships and relationships (no matter how strange they seem) are something important to people, even cyborgs. And Agent G starts to see this with those he knows. Even though Agent G is a cyborg with "memories," he's become his own person in thinking. He gives the feel of wanting to have friendships and more with people."

The Tournament of Supervillainy by C.T. Phipps

"Even though I have fun and enjoy the quick quips, jokes, and references, there's a serious side to Gary too. Gary has a lot going on with his family and friends. Gary takes it all in and goes with it as best he can, but his cares for them runs deep in his being. I enjoy seeing him react to the family he's made around him."

Angels and the Bad Man by M.K. Gibson

"Oh snap! Things just got serious. There is sooooo much more in the works that we didn't know about. The "battles" being fought have taken a huge turn here. Revelations are made and they make for a deeper plot than we expected. Niiiiiice!"

Podcast Review:

Mama Bitchstress Reviews:



This Week to Come on the Blog:

I have two reviews scheduled for you this week.


Received For the Last Week:
(Note: Links to Amazon are buy links where I could earn commission, in case you are interested.)

For Review Consideration:
Soul Born by Kevin Breaux
Goodreads Synopsis:
All Opal wanted was to be respected as a wielder of magic, but her teachers passed her over time and time again. When a mysterious warlord embarks on a conquest to destroy the lands of Illyia, Opal seizes the opportunity to step out from the shadows of her instructors and take her rightful place among them. Tala, an alluring young elf, was banished from her tribe, hunted and nearly killed by the beasts of the deep forests, but more than anything else she is a survivor. Joining forces with an ancient elemental power, Tala finds herself in the center of an unrelenting human war. Flesh like leather and bone as strong as steel, Karn, a veteran from the first kingdom to fall, is fueled by vengeance. While pushing headlong into battle Karn begins recalling memories of another life: ghosts that haunt his dreams. Through death of soul, their new world is born.

Audio Books Requested for Review:
Perfect Assassin by K.A. Doore
Goodreads Synopsis:
A novice assassin is on the hunt for someone killing their own in K. A. Doore's The Perfect Assassin, a breakout high fantasy beginning the Chronicles of Ghadid series.

Divine justice is written in blood.

Or so Amastan has been taught. As a new assassin in the Basbowen family, he’s already having second thoughts about taking a life. A scarcity of contracts ends up being just what he needs.

Until, unexpectedly, Amastan finds the body of a very important drum chief. Until, impossibly, Basbowen’s finest start showing up dead, with their murderous jaan running wild in the dusty streets of Ghadid. Until, inevitably, Amastan is ordered to solve these murders, before the family gets blamed.

Every life has its price, but when the tables are turned, Amastan must find this perfect assassin or be their next target.

Creation Machine by Andrew Bannister
Goodreads Synopsis:
It is the aftermath of civil war in the vast pageant of planets and stars known as The Spin. Three years since he crushed the rebellion, Viklun Haas, industrialist and leader of the Hegemony, is eliminating all remnants of the opposition. Starting with his own daughter.
But Fleare Haas, fighter for Society Otherwise has had a long time to plan her next move. Sprung from her remote monastery prison and reuniting with a team of loyal friends, Fleare’s journey will take her across The Spin to the cluster of fallen planets known as the The Catastrophe Curve - and from exile, to the very frontiers of war.
Meanwhile, in the brutal and despotic empire of The Fortunate, word is reaching viceroy Alameche of a most unusual piece of plunder from their latest invasion. For hundreds of millions of years, the bizarre planets and stars of The Spin itself have been the only testament to the god-like engineers that created it. Now, buried in the earth of a ruined planet, one of their machines has been found . . .

Reign of the Kingfisher by T.J. Martinson
Goodreads Synopsis:
Thirty years ago a superhero tried to save Chicago. Now the city is again under siege, in this gritty, suspenseful, and beautifully written novel from award-winning debut author T.J. Martinson.

Somewhere in Chicago, a roomful of people have been taken hostage. The hostages will be killed one by one, the masked gunman says on-screen, unless the police will admit that they faked the death of the legendary black superhero called the Kingfisher and helped him to give up his defense of the city thirty years ago.

Retired reporter Marcus Waters made his name as a journalist covering the enigmatic superhero’s five years of cleaning up Chicago’s streets. Then the Kingfisher died, Chicago resumed its violent turmoil, and Marcus slid back into obscurity. 

But did the Kingfisher really die? And who would take hostages connected to the Kingfisher's past attempts to clean up the streets? With the help of disgraced police officer Lucinda Tillman and a young hacktivist named Wren, Marcus will explore the city's violence, corruption, and chaos to figure out if the vigilante hero died tragically, or gave up hope and abandoned the city—and for the hostages, the clock is ticking.

The Demon Prince by Ann Aguirre
Goodreads Synopsis:
Charming. Irreverent. Haunted.
Alastor Vega is the sole challenger in a brutal battle for succession. Against all odds, he must stop his power-mad brother, Tycho, before he destroys the Numina. Though he never wanted to rule, he must claim the throne and liberate his people, or the consequences will be calamitous. Yet only the surprising support of a beautiful Animari doctor gives him the fortitude to fight.

Focused. Analytical. Solitary.
Dr. Sheyla Halek has always been more interested in research than personal contact, but family ties—and the needs of her pride—keep her in Ash Valley, deferring her dreams. Brusque and abrasive at the best of times, she never expected to bond with anyone, let alone Golgoth royalty. Strangely, Alastor seems to need her as no one has before, and not only for her medical skills.

Their attraction is forbidden, likely doomed beyond the wildness of wartime, but these fires burn too hot and sweet to be contained…

Seven Blades in Black by Sam Sykes
Goodreads Synopsis:
Sam Sykes returns with a new fantasy that introduces to an unforgettable outcast magician caught between two warring empires.

Among humans, none have power like mages. And among mages, none have will like Sal the Cacophony. Once revered, now vagrant, she walks a wasteland scarred by generations of magical warfare. The Scar, a land torn between powerful empires, is where rogue mages go to disappear, disgraced soldiers go to die and Sal went with a blade, a gun and a list of names she intended to use both on. But vengeance is a flame swift extinguished. Betrayed by those she trusted most, her magic torn from her and awaiting execution, Sal the Cacophony has one last tale to tell before they take her head. All she has left is her name, her story and the weapon she used to carved both.

Vengeance is its own reward.

Relentless Souls by Ryan Kirk
Goodreads Synopsis:
A new threat has risen. 

For years, peace has reigned within the boundaries of the empire. Monks, gifted with extraordinary powers, wander the land, keeping order by any means necessary. Their gifts make them invincible, or so most believe. 

A lone warrior disagrees. Guided by a shadowy organization, Fang seeks to break the monasteries. Once left for dead by powerful monks, revenge has driven him to unimaginable strength. Only one obstacle stands in his way. 

His name is Lei, and he is no hero. Exiled by the monasteries for an unforgivable crime, he’s more comfortable with a drink in his hand than a sword. But he’s about to be thrust into a fight he had no part in starting. 

As destiny hurtles the two men into inevitable conflict, the fate of the empire hangs in the balance.


The Leopard King by Ann Aguirre
Goodreads Synopsis:
Proud. Imperious. Impassioned.

Until three years ago, those words applied to Dominic Asher, the leader of Ash Valley. His family has ruled the feline branch of the Animari for hundreds of years, guiding the pride through perilous times. Unspeakable loss drove him into seclusion, a feral beast nobody can tame. Now he’s wrecked, a leopard king in exile, and he wants nothing more than to die.

Fierce. Loyal. Determined.

Fortunately for Dom, those words still apply to Pru Bristow, his dead mate’s best friend. She’s had her heart broken too, but she never quits. With the conclave approaching, alliances with the Pine Ridge pack and Burnt Amber clans on the verge of collapse, she’s prepared to do whatever it takes to drag their leader back, before his second can start a war.

At best theirs seems like a desperate alliance, but when their mate bond turns hot and fierce, there’s no end to the questions and the doubts. Neither of them expects to fall in love. But sometimes people don’t know what they’re looking for until they find it.

Free Ebooks:
(On my Kindle and Nook App) Links to books under title. They may or may not be free at this time.
Sea of Darkness by Rebecca Hamilton & Isdora Brown
Goodreads Synopsis:
Working with a supernatural enemy is Kelia's only hope of solving her father's murder. But her investigation puts her own life in danger. 
The Society’s sole purpose is to protect the general population from vicious Sea Shadows, and Kelia’s their top Slayer. But when her father is murdered and her handler insists it’s suicide, she starts to question whether The Society really has her best interests at heart.
Now, to solve her father’s death, Kelia must work with an unexpected ally: Drew Knight, an infamous Sea Shadow and the most beautiful creature Kelia has ever set eyes upon. A Sea Shadow who, without intending to, just may show her who the real enemy is…and it’ll only cost her one unnamed favor to be collected at a future date.
But after her affiliation with Drew Knight is discovered, Kelia is forced to choose between what she’s known since the beginning of her existence…or a dark, terrifying truth that puts her life at risk.
Find out who dies and who survives in SEA OF DARKNESS, the first installment of The Vampire Pirate Saga, an exciting new urban fantasy romance readers of Sarah J Maas and Karen Marie Moning are sure to devour!

Reviews to Come:

Soulless by Skyla Dawn Cameron
The Sentinel by Chris Lester
The Muse by Chris Lester
Metamor City: Making the Cut by Chris Lester
Metamor City: Whispers in the Wood by Chris Lester
Lex Talionis by Starla Huchton
Spark by Starla Huchton
Heir to Kale by K.L. Bone
Tales from the Archives Vol 4 #5 - Old Sinner's Bones
The Death of Dulgath by Michael J. Sullivan
Danger's Halo by Amanda Carlson
The Books and Braun Dossier by Philippa Ballantine & Tee Morris
Solomon Key by David Wood
In an Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Audio Book Review: Angels and the Bad Man

Angels and the Bad Man

By:  M.K. Gibson

Publish Date:  January 7, 2018, Audiobook Release August 28, 2018

Format:  Audiobook - 12 hrs 31 mins
Narrated By:  Jeffrey Kafer

Genre:  Fantasy

Series:  3rd book in The Technomancer Novel series; Book 1 ~ To Beat the Devil, Book 2 ~ Flotsam Prison Blues

Impression:  People come into light, as do plans. So much more happening!

Immediately after escaping Flotsam Prison, Salem finds himself in the middle of nowhere with the mad giant Chael and the teenage stowaway TJ. Salem’s mission is simple: find the Tears of God in seven days, or else his land, and the people residing there, will either be sold to demonic lord or face death. The only things in his way are demonic Abominations, shape-shifting bison, murderous men, and the last remnant of an angelic choir. Salem pits everything he has, and everything he is, to hold on to hope and save his people.

No pressure.

While Salem risks his life, Vali and Father Grimm risk theirs. Father Grimm’s investigation into his old apprentice Rasputin leads him into a trap and into the heart of the last remaining Faerie land. Forced to survive the Wild Hunt, Grimm fights to stay alive while clinging to his last remaining connection to humanity. Meanwhile, after the kidnapped children of L√∂ngutangar are returned, the assassin god Vali makes it his personal mission to strike back against their enemies. The god collects his past sins and sets his deadly sights on Flotsam Prison.

Angels and the Bad Man is a work of adventure and pain, sadness and perseverance, redemption and hope.

First Sentence:
The entity known as Mr. Rictus, or Ricky, sat as he normally did: with his arms over his head, his fingers interlaced, and an expression of amusement at the world around him.

Purchase At:
Amazon  /  Barnes & Nobles 


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

Jeffrey is one awesome narrator. He doesn't give anything of future events away in his voice. He feels to absorb Salem, Grimm, Vali, and more, voicing them with true feeling of who the characters are. In some audio books I add a small amount of speed to the audio to move a little faster, I could not do that here. Jeffrey keeps a wonderful pace for the storytelling that it moves along quickly, and their are details that I want to pick up as Gibson wastes no time on unneeded words.

The story is fast moving and full of fun references as Salem has lived a long life already. When you live as long as Salem has, you start to distance yourself from people and the lose that is to come. Salem starts to see he can have connections. There is more to the people that surround him and who he meets, so maybe he can have friendships again, and family.

I had to work my brain to remember where we left off with Salem and Grim and all others. It all came back to me as I listened to this one. I remember wondering what was going to happen next and needing this book. I have it and was excited to get into it.

In the beginning we are divided between Grimm, Salem, and Vali as they have separate paths to follow. Salem has been the main character in the previous books, but Grimm was growing to be a favorite along with Vali and his brother, Vidar, growing into great leaders of their own right. Grimm has his own...sticky situation to get through with someone from his past and the fey he's had run-ins with. Vali is having a hard time with the children being taken. Vali becomes determined, more than ever, to protect his people in Longutangar.

People are changed with tragedy and harsh events in their lives. Characters in a book are no different. When characters live through terrible moments, it affects them and it's then believable to the readers. Salem, Grimm, Vali, and TJ (yep a new character) live through such events here and come out at the other end changed. Maybe even influenced in perspective. Salem sees a family he's formed along with facing some feelings for his parents. To live through what these characters do gives them views and thoughts they wouldn't have had before.

I've come to enjoy the secondary characters in this series. Sometimes secondary characters aren't given the credit they need. Well, these characters have really stepped up and stepped into the light. There are things we learn with those we didn't realize were more. Oh yea. Keep an eye on ALL the characters here!

Oh Mr. Rictus, or Ricky. He's a bad person. He has a bigger plan for everyone, that something big is coming and our characters are being primed to be as they need to be when that thing happens. We get hints as to what he's up to, how he goes about it is the question.

I've come across a few new characters that have caught my attention. Riggs and TJ. There is more in the future with them, there has to be...

Oh snap! Things just got serious. There is sooooo much more in the works that we didn't know about. The "battles" being fought have taken a huge turn here. Revelations are made and they make for a deeper plot than we expected. Niiiiiice!

****If you found my thoughts helpful, please click Yes at Amazon and/or Audible. Thank you!

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Audio Book Review: The Tournament of Supervillainy

The Tournament of Supervillainy

By:  C.T. Phipps

Publish Date:  December 15, 2018, Audiobook Release January 4, 2019

Format:  Audiobook - 7 hrs 20 mins
Narrated By:  Jeffrey Kafter

Genre:  Fantasy

Series:  5th book in The Supervillainy Saga series; Book 1 ~ The Rules of Supervillainy, Book 2 ~ The Games of Supervillainy, Book 3 ~ The Secrets of Supervillainy, Book 4 ~ The Science of Supervillainy

Impression:  We've come this far, as a family.

Being a supervillain was all Gary ever wanted to be but the constant beatings, moral ambiguity, and the fact he now has a young daughter to look after have caused him to reconsider his career path. As he debates making a jump to the "other side", Gary finds himself recruited by Death to serve as her champion in a multiversal tournament for the ultimate prize: anything you could desire!

Gary and a oddball collection of champions from a variety of universes must prevent the prize from falling into the hands of the genocidal space wizard Entropicus! He also must discover just where his heart really lies when his two closest loves reveal shocking secrets.

Guest starring Jane Doe from I Was a Teenage Weredeer, Agent G from Agent G: Infiltrator, and Cassius Mass from Lucifer's Star.

First Sentence:
So, I was getting my ass kicked.

Purchase At:
Amazon  /  Barnes & Nobles 


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

Jeffrey has to have fun while narrating these stories. He gets to let loose and put the manic into the crazy villains as he vocalizes them. I enjoy Jeffrey giving these characters a voice. He does it with such love as he seems to have absorbed the characters personalities. When he delivers some of these lines that are crazy and would make anyone smirk or laugh, he does it with the full feel of the character delivering it. Jeffrey is amazing at giving nothing away in his voice. Another flawless performance by Jeffrey.

Okay. I have a soft spot for 80's and 90's references. Oh heck, even current geek references. I'm one of those people that forgots them until I hear them in these books, and boy do they bring back the fun memories. It was an awesome time for movies, games, cartoons, comics, and so much more! And C.T. takes advantage of all that is available to reference. I never counted how many references to fight games (and movies) there were, but C.T. uses them here.

Oh. When Gary met Jane Doe and Agent G... I smiled the whole time. lol. I love these personalities and their reactions to each other. Jane Doe, Agent G, and Star Count are characters from C.T.'s other series. Yep, that's right! This book has a character crossover. The cool thing, you DO NOT have to read the other books to read this one. It's cool that you get to meet characters from his other books, so maybe you'll want to check out their worlds after you are done here.

Even though I have fun and enjoy the quick quips, jokes, and references, there's a serious side to Gary too. Gary has a lot going on with his family and friends. Gary takes it all in and goes with it as best he can, but his cares for them runs deep in his being. I enjoy seeing him react to the family he's made around him.

Gary has a great group around him - Cindy, Diabloman, Gabrielle, Guinevere, Mandy, and more. They all add to the story. It's great how C.T. juggles them all being together through the book. That's hard to have a large cast of characters in one place, but C.T. makes it seem easy. They all add to what Gary has to do and the chaos of his mind and life. lol. Some moments I wonder how they all keep it straight when they get side railed in a conversation, but they do! And they come back to the topic at hand. Life gets sidetracked but it all works out for them having an "off the beaten path" feel to their thinking processes.

In closing I want to response to C.T.'s forward, I know there are people saying the formula is getting old. Here's the thing, I enjoy these stories because of the geek references to books, movies, games, and so much more. Gary and his friends are a crew I enjoy with their banter and jokes and unconventional living. This is what I expect coming into the book, smile while I'm listening because of, and leave with a smile from.

The ending leaves me with hope for a next book, and more fun. This made me smile, for the request made and that I'll get more time with Gary and his family.

****If you found my thoughts helpful, please click Yes at Amazon and/or Audible. Thank you!