Queensland, Australia | Member Since 2008
Connie Shelton's Samantha Sweet Series features a forgetful, part-time caretaker of foreclosed properties for the USDA and single parent with dreams of owning her own bakery shop, who currently runs her dream bakery business part time from home.
Whilst entering a property the USD thought to be vacated in order to clean it and make it ready for resale, Sam found a dying woman who insists that she take a small wooden box, that changes her life . . . in somewhat weird ways.
Sam is different from the normal fantasy heroine in that she is in her 50's, but she appears to have the energy and outlook of a much younger woman, for example most people in their 50's are not still dreaming of opening their own business where they will be working long hours at least 6 days a week on top of every thing else . . .
Sam still fits the fantasy heroine mold however, in as much as she refuses to believe in the magic of the Box and its . . . . ( well you have to read the book to find out - sorry but I try to keep spoilers to a minimum)
In the first book Sam finds two bodies in two new properties she is given to care take in one day and meets Deputy Beau Cardwell who she slowly becomes close to.
Sam appears to be unable to stop herself from being caught up in the investigations. Some parts of the mysteries uncovered in the investigations and who the possible real villains are, where not that hard to figure out, but then again the whole series seems to be overall a light, relaxing read (if one ignores the murders).
Admittedly I have only listened to two books to date and have just downloaded the third.
The characters are well rounded & developed, bad language, violence and sexual content references, are few or hinted at rather than reveled in.
The baking descriptions seem to get more than it's fair share of space as does chocolate, which the author admits to loving. But it does not take too much away from the flow of the book.
The plots however seem to rely heavily on Sam's forgetting things until prompted or suddenly remembering later . . . a plot device overused I feel in both books so far. But this is not a book or story killer for me and some may not even agree or see it as an issue.
Sam treads where angles fear to tread in her "investigations". Often confronting suspects and prominent people, and at times it becomes unreal and once even jarred me from the story. Again this is me and my impressions and i have not read any other review that makes an issue of this. I have after all purchased Book 3 so it did not kill this series for me
In one instance Sam gets upset when she is herself is threatened with eviction by someone close to one of the suspects because of her "investigations". Sam is saved by her neighbours who rally to her side. Whilst its was a nice touch with the neighbours. In real life if they went ahead with their "retaliation", they would find that contracts etc would be the least of their worries in the real world and relocation would not be cheap or easy . . . but that's why this fiction I guess.
The Narration is good and I would recommend this series (at least to date) to any who like a touch of paranormal in their reads.
Connie Shelton has created a very well developed, likable, characters in Sam Sweet, and her friends. I look forward to reading more of this series.
Excellent spin on the supernatural world - just be aware that there are some very descriptive sex scenes (although they don't take over the book like some authors) and use of colourful language, (again it exists but there are must worse out there) so if such things put you off then this book is probably not for you. which would be a pity as it well worth the purchase and listen.
The narrator is excellent
Another great Steampunk romp from Gail Carrier with an excellent narration from Moira Quirk.
This is the second in this series set before the timeline of the excellent Parasol Protectorate series. it even includes younger versions of some of the characters or their relations from the original series. Whilst the technology is earlier there is a definite Steampunk vibe to the story arc and of course the same supernatural races are woven into the tale.
The story is told in Ms Carriger's irreverent tongue firmly in cheek style of her earlier series and whilst listed as YA it will most definitely appeal to those who love Steampunk and or her earlier series no matter what their age . . .
The "heroine" causes 90% of the problems & deaths, in this book and I can't remember the last time i wished for a main character to die quickly, save lives and put us all out of our misery. She "never" appears to learn & she causes more pain and death to her friends because basically she appears to be too stupid to live. She even admits her stupidity several times during the book.
Amanda does a wonderful job with the narration but even she is hard put to save this book.
The plot has promise but Olivia Kiskey (the Heroine) is so clueless to reality she causes harm, damage and death all around her, supposedly in the guise of "doing the right thing", she is the kind of friend who makes it superfluous to have enemies
The story is listed under fantasy and as Steampunk, but would be better listed under erotica.
The excessive descriptions/use of sex, "colourful" language, drug taking, deviant sexual behavior and alcoholic binges, could be somewhat excused by the early life of the "heroine" but such things need not become most of the book. they could have be described once and then eluded to instead of becoming most of the books bulk and story.
The narrator is the only real saving grace and in-spite of the material does an excellent job.
I wont go into plot spoilers but instead would like to use this review as a warning for those who are looking for a Steampunk Fantasy rather than an erotic one, because i don't think you will like this book, which is a shame as decent Steampunk fantasies are few and far between especially in Audiobook format.
If however erotica, with heaps of helpings of drug and other abuse is your thing . . .enjoy
I don't consider myself a prude but I require a reasonable cohesive plot with such stories before they interest me in anyway and such devices should be used as a means to grow the characters and the world they inhabit or at least used with skill not as a bludgeon and constant shock or page fillers because after a short time such stories and devices have no real value other than to fill space.
This review is solely my own interpretation and will obviously not agree with that of others, I just hope it helps some in evaluating this book under the category it is listed as
I remember reading and enjoying this when it first went into print (a little while back in the 70's) so maybe I was expecting more, and whilst it's not bad it was not what i was exactly expecting. This maybe because due to reading the series several times in the past or the narrator.
Whilst the narrator is far from bad it took me a bit to get used to him, again this might be me and not a reflection on the narrator.
This series pretty much follows the standard fantasy formula but does it very well and does deviate from that formula in a witty and irreverent and you soon find yourself transported into a new world with its own rules and characters.
I would recommend this book and series to all who enjoy a good fantasy, this is also one of Dicksons better series at least in my opinion
Another winner for Molly Harper and Amanda Ronconi a wonderful combination of the right Author and Narrator . . . once again Amanda's narration lends it's self perfectly to Molly Harper's characters and writing style to produce another great story. If there is one thing i had issue with was that this visit ended too soon, but like all her stories it will be revisited many times until the next installment
This is the 3rd is this series (sorry not vampires or werewolves in sight). I suggest you start with book one if you wish to enjoy and fully understand the rich interaction between the characters and their full back-stories. I normally prefer scfi or fantasy but have been known to wander into other genres if the author / narrator / or story grab my interest.
Well worth the price/credit and time
Thank you Molly Harper and Amanda Ronconi for yet another wonderful escape.
It takes some time to get used to the narrator or at least it did for me . . . and the premise of different types of magic based on materials is not all that common for a magic based alternate world.
At times one wants to just instil some common sense, or some backbone and still other times cheer Ceony on.
The Author at times runs away with attention to such minute descriptive detail but it does not overly slow down the pacing.
There is a distinct lack of expletives which is heartening and refreshing.
I wont reveal the plot but you might want vet it first before recommending it to anyone who has a blood phobia, not that it is overly violent or even bloodthirsty (you have to read it to understand).
Whilst the book does not end on a cliff hanger it is nicely set up for the next one.
Some imaginative uses for Paper . . .
This is actually 3 novellas in one based on a common arc.
The description given for the book is actually for the first story in a series of 3 stories based on the common theme of the Chisholm brothers set in the same basic locale and with some of the same local characters/brothers appearing/mentioned in some of the stories to help tie them together.
Each story is based on a different brother and could be read alone, but are best read in the order presented anyway for continuity.
This is not your usual JF vampire novel as was voiced in the book when Ivy asked about Holy water & crosses and was told they are for vampires and the don't exist . . .
Tavia narration as usual is excellent and this new arc has promise, I enjoyed this book but I will withhold my comments on comparisons with JF's previous arc and and much loved Characters until at least the next book in the series.
I have read similar books on demons etc and found my interest waning after a few books at best . . . maybe this category is not my "bag" as much as Bones and Cat's arc was. Then again maybe Jeaniene and Tavia will win me over with this new series, only time will tell.
I would however highly recommend this book to any fantasy reader and JF fan, its well worth the listen
Just finished the audio book and whilst the narrator, who i like in other narrations and is a good narrator, i felt she does not quite fit this character, hers is the voice of a much more mature person and would have done justice to Arizona her self but she the handles different characters Male ans female with ease, maybe with future repeat listens she will grow on me in this book as she has in other stories she narrates.
The plot and book its self is a wonderful mix of Arcane, Harmony and Rain shadow and of course the formula, Jayne has created another yet another winner, thank you.
I wish Dust Bunnies were as real as they are in my imagination, i would dearly love such a companion (not a pet) . . .
If you have enjoyed previous Harmony, Arcane or Rainshadow arcs or just like fantasy then ti think you will love this book.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.