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K. Eckert

Devourer of all books fantasy

Member Since 2012

  • 90 reviews
  • 205 ratings
  • 469 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2015

  • Fragments: Partials, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Dan Wells
    • Narrated By Julia Whelan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Kira Walker has found the cure for RM, but the battle for the survival of humans and Partials is just beginning. Kira has left East Meadow in a desperate search for clues to who she is. That the Partials themselves hold the cure for RM in their blood cannot be a coincidence - it must be part of a larger plan, a plan that involves Kira, a plan that could save both races. Her companions are Afa Demoux, an unhinged drifter and former employee of ParaGen, and Samm and Heron, the Partials who betrayed her and saved her life, the only ones who know her secret. But can she trust them?

    Aser Tolentino says: "A Time for Hard Choices and Growing Up"
    "Fast paced and engaging!"

    This is the second book in the Partials trilogy. It was an excellent continuation of the series and I enjoyed it a lot.

    I listened to this on audiobook and the audiobook was very well done. The narrator does an excellent job of distinguishing between voices and characters and also conveys character emotion well.

    Kira is determined to figure out the secrets behind her origins, so she journeys to the deserted Manhattan to find a business office for ParaGen and hopefully find the answers to her questions there. Meanwhile Marcus is still desperately trying to find a cure for RM; issues are complicated when the Partials threaten to invade Long Island. There are many twists and turns and many secrets are revealed.

    This was a fast-paced and well done YA dystopian/post-apocalyptic type of novel. Some parts have more of an adventuring feel to them as Kira heads out west to find answers about her origin and I enjoyed these parts a lot. I also enjoyed how we got to see other parts of the United State, for example the wastelands that Kira and crew have to cross.

    The book switches between Marcus and Kira; I found the parts from Kira’s POV to be a lot more engaging. Kira is out exploring and finding new things while Marcus is mainly trying just to survive from day to day. This book has more of a science fiction and less of a dystopia feel to it than the last book. There is also a lot of survivalist stuff going on.

    Kira comes off as a bit bull-headed and determined throughout the book. While I understood her drive to solve the problem and save the world, she comes off as incredibly selfish at times. Heron calls Kira out on this multiple times, finally Kira starts to question the morality of some of her decisions. Kira does have a point though, she has determined that it is okay to sacrifice a few people to save many...although she struggles with this decision towards the end of the book.

    Along with Kira for much of the story are Samm and Heron. Both Samm and Heron were more interesting and fascinating characters for me than Kira. Samm always seems so emotionless but this book explores a lot more about Samm, his life up to this point, and what he wants out of the future.

    I thought this book was more consistently paced than the first book. The story is engaging and there were some interesting plot developments. There are lots of twists and turns. Also this book is much darker than the first, all of our characters end up in very bad situations. So while it wasn’t exactly an uplifting story, it was intriguing.

    The one thing that really bothered me was that there were a few inconsistencies throughout the novel. For example Kira didn’t even know what a computer looked like early on, but then a short while later she is running searches on a computer without any help. When did she suddenly get so computer savvy? There were also some things that seemed implausible and contrived. For example the wastelands caused by oil rigs burning and off gassing; this seemed a bit contrived for me...especially in the way it was isolated to only a certain region. It made for an interesting story, but I couldn’t help occasionally thinking “this totally does not make any sense”.

    Overall I thought this book was an enjoyable read. It’s fast-paced and engaging. There’s a lot of interesting secrets revealed and I enjoyed spending more time with Samm and Heron and getting to understand them better. The world-building is a bit weak and contrived and there were a couple inconsistencies in the story. Despite these I still found this to be an entertaining read. Recommended to fans of YA science fiction/dystopia.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Hard Magic: Book I of the Grimnoir Chronicles

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Larry Correia
    • Narrated By Bronson Pinchot

    Jake Sullivan is a licensed private eye with a seriously hardboiled attitude. He also possesses raw magical talent and the ability to make objects in his vicinity light as a feather or as heavy as depleted uranium, all with a magical thought. It's no wonder the G-men turn to Jake when they need someoneto go after a suspected killer who has been knocking off banks in a magic-enhanced crime spree.

    Clinton says: "Not what I thought it was going to be."
    "Action packed alternate history with magic"

    I am a huge fan of Correia’s Monster Hunter International (MHI) series. I have been wanting to read the Grimnoir Chronicles for some time and just finally got around to it. This book is more of a paranormal alternate history of sorts than a horror. It was really well done, but I still enjoy the MHI series a bit more.

    I listened to this on audiobook and the narrator did a great job with having distinctive voices for all of the characters and portraying their emotion well. I did have a couple problems with the narration. The narrator talks really really slow; so I ended up listening to this at 1.5x on Audible. Also a couple voices for the characters (primarily Jake Sullivan’s voice) are really really low in tone; this made it very hard to understand what Jake was saying. I listen to these while driving and I really had to crank up the volume to hear these low toned voices over the background road noise...and then the other parts were way too loud. So I might recommend skipping this on audiobook unless you are going to listen to it in a quiet area.

    Jake Sullivan is finally out of prison on a deal. He needs to help the government solve a certain number of crimes involving magic before he is let go on a shortened sentence. Jake himself is a magic user or active and can control gravity and density aka a “Heavy”. During one of his government jobs he finds out that one of the Actives he’s hunting down is an old flame of his and he just can’t believe she would kill people. He’s troubled by this and when the government renegs on their deal with him Jake is pretty pissed. That’s when he gets an offer to join a secret Organization called the Grimnoir who is in an eternal struggle with the Chairman. The Chairman is an evil entity set on destroying the world as we know it.

    This book, like many books being release now, is a mish mash of a whole bunch of genres. There’s a ton of action and gun talk which is very typical of Correia’s book. There are also a lot of superhero elements to the story since all of the characters have very superhero-like abilities. There’s a bit of a gangster feel to the whole story as well. Additionally there are some paranormal aspects with the whole magic thing and the Chairman. There’s also a lot of adventure and some steampunk elements (dirigibles, experimental medicine, etc) and the story is very much of the alternate history variety.

    There was a lot I really loved in this book. I loved the idea of magic abilities that are founded in principles that bend science (manipulating mass, gravity, density of objects). I really loved some of the characters as well. Faye is a lot of fun as a character; she is a teen that is a Traveler and can travel through space. She is so happy go lucky and funny and so darn strong; she is a hoot to read about. I also really enjoyed Delilah, she is a petite women who is a Brute and can pretty much muscle anything or anyone into submission. I also really enjoyed the mysterious and evil Chairman; he is a wonderfully complex villain.

    There were also some things I didn’t like about the book. I never really enjoyed Jake as a character; he was just so serious and he reminded me a lot of Owen Pitt from MHI. He’s super big, super smart but always underestimated because of his size, and has a special connection to magical powers (all characteristics very similar to Owen). I just never really clicked with him and didn’t really enjoy his parts of the story. I also thought the story was a bit predictable. There were some twists and turns in here, but I kind of saw where everything was going from pretty early on.

    Overall this was a very well done action packed alternate history/fantasy from Correai. I would definitely recommend, although I will admit I didn’t enjoy this book quite as much as the MHI books. I did really enjoyed the magic system in this book and all of the action. There are some awesome character in here as well. I will definitely continue reading the sereis. Recommended to those who enjoy action packed alternate history with fantasy and magic.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Clockwork Heart

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Dru Pagliassotti
    • Narrated By Kate Rudd

    Taya soars over Ondinium on metal wings. She is an icarus - a courier privileged to travel freely across the city’s sectors and mingle indiscriminately among its castes. But even she can’t outfly the web of terrorism, loyalty, murder, and intrigue that snares her after a daring mid-air rescue.

    Eivind says: "Steampunk detecive romance"
    "Wonderful steampunk fantasy mystery!"

    This is the first book in the Clockwork Heart trilogy by Pagliassotti. I have had this book in my to read pile for a very long time and was excited to finally get around to reading it. It was a very enjoyable steampunk fantasy with a lot of mystery and some romance.

    I listened to this on audiobook and it was well done. The narrator did an excellent job of conveying emotion and I enjoyed her voice. There were a few spots where it was hard to tell who was talking (the voices just weren’t different enough between characters) but aside from that I enjoyed listening to this.

    Taya is an Icarus, she wears giant metal wings and flies messages around the great city of Ondinium. Her life changes when she spots a failing in the wire ferry lines and ends up rescuing a woman and child from the Exalted caste of citizens. In an effort to thank her the Exalted draws Taya into her life and Taya gains a celebrity-like status. Suddenly Taya finds herself not only embroiled in high level politics but also trying to solve a mystery involving murder and theft.

    I really enjoyed this steampunk mystery. There are some wonderful steampunk elements in the story, the characters are engaging and interesting, and the world-building is well done. There is a complex caste system that was well described. I also really loved the city of Ondinium and how is has multiple layers and runs off of analytical engines.

    The book is mostly a mystery. Taya is following a series of accidents and coincidences to try and figure out what is going on. There is a bit of a romance as well, but I didn't really feel like this book was a romance per-say (not sure why it is advertised as such).

    Taya is an awesome character. She is curious and determined but never gets too serious. She doesn’t know when to stop and constantly runs herself into the ground trying to solve problems.

    I also really enjoyed the character of Cristoff. He is an Exalted that left the caste to become a clockmaker among the lower caste. He is such a noble, honest, and geeky type that I just loved him.

    This was an engaging read that I enjoyed. My only complaint would be that the story went a bit long, I think it would have worked better if it had ended earlier. There is some humor in here as well, which was fun.

    I also have a very specific complaint as a chemist. At one point the character smells an ammonia-like smell and identifies it as methanol...totally not accurate. Methanol smells a lot like rubbing alcohol and absolutely nothing like ammonia. I know...I know a small quibble but it bugged me.

    Overall this was a great book and I really enjoyed it. This book had some fantastic world-building, lots of fun steampunk elements, and very engaging characters. It is mostly a mystery with a bit of romance. I would recommend to fans of steampunk novels that involve a lot of political intrigue. I definitely plan on reading the last two books in this series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Stormwalker: Stormwalker Series, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Allyson James
    • Narrated By Hillary Huber

    Half-Navajo Janet Begay possesses extraordinary power that is tied to the storms that waft across the desert. The only person who can control her when she's caught in the storm's evocative power is Mick, a dark-haired, blue-eyed biker Janet can't seem to touch with her powers. He can wield fire and not get burned, and Janet's never sure where he goes when they're not together.

    Vicki says: "Gods, Goddesses and Harleys"
    "Messy writing with an obnoxious heroine"

    This is the first book in the Stormwalker series. The fifth book in that series will be titled, Dreamwalker, and is expected to release in June 2015. This was an action packed paranormal romance with a story that was incredibly flawed.

    I listened to this on audiobook and it was okay. It was nothing spectacular but the narrator did a decent job distinguishing between character voices.

    Janet Begay is a Stormwalker whose mother is a Goddess from Beneath. Janet moves back to her hometown to face her mother once and for all and to investigate the disappearance of a young woman. Right after her arrival things start to get tricky. Janet is being attacked by Skinwalkers and her ex-boyfriend (the mysterious Mick) shows up to help. Janet hasn’t seen Mick in five years but is still drawn to him. Together they try and track down the missing woman, all the while dodging evil attacks from Janet’s mother.

    I was intrigued by the idea of a character, Janet, who can harness the power of storms. The idea ended up being cooler than what was actually done in this book. I actually struggled to finish this book, it was just so ridiculous. Considering I was listening to this as an audiobook while I languished in traffic, that’s saying something...I hardly ever stop reading an audiobook.

    There were a lot of problems with this story and a lot of things I didn't enjoy about the story. My main issue was the relationship between Mick and Janet, which left a lot to be desired. Pretty much if they have any problems they just have sex and then everything is good until they have problems again. So silly.

    Sex is a huge part of this book, Janet is pretty much obsessed with sex. Which I don’t have a problem with...except the sex scenes were very poorly done. They are boring and not at all creative. I feel like if you are going to make a book that features sex, you should be able to write about it in a way that is engaging.

    Even sillier is the part where Mick tells Janet that he's not sleeping with her again until she decides that she really wants Mick in her guessed it...a couple chapters later they get pissed at each other and have sex. Huge eye roll here.

    When Mick reveals his big secret Janet gets all whiny and immature about it all. I swear she acted like a two year old throwing a tantrum. I mean is she seriously that blind that she didn’t see something was going on with Mick? I understand she is pissed about the secret thing, however she is the one who lets this guy walk all over her without ever questioning his motives. In general Janet's character is extremely immature and makes a lot of bad decisions throughout the book. I hate dumb heroines.

    There was some good action scenes in here and the fight scenes are decently done. However, there were also a lot of parts where things don't quite make sense or are over-explained. There is some awkward dialogue as well.

    Overall this was a paranormal romance (PNR) that epitomizes a lot of things I hate about poorly done PNR. There is an abusive relationship (that is pushed as being a loving one), a stupid and dense heroine, lots of sex that is poorly done, and an underdeveloped world. The book does have a bit of an urban fantasy feel to it because there is a lot of action, but there is also a lot of relationship drama and sex that reminded me more of a PNR. I pretty much detested this book and won't be reading any more of this series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Molecules of Emotion: Why You Feel the Way You Feel

    • ABRIDGED (3 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Candace B. Pert
    • Narrated By Candace B. Pert

    How do our thoughts and emotions affect our health? Are our bodies and minds distinct from one another, or do they function together as parts of an interconnected system? Neuroscientist Candace Pert provides startling and decisive answers to these and other challenging questions that scientists and philosophers have pondered for centuries. She explains the scientific basis of popular wisdom and phenomena like "gut feelings" and makes comprehensible recent discoveries in cancer and AIDS research.

    Pauline says: "Unbelievable Discoveries"
    "More autobiography than science"

    I got this as a free audiobook from I am a chemical engineer/chemist by trade and thought this sounded like an interesting read. The book is narrated by the author Candace Pert.

    The very first thing I noticed is that the author is incredibly conceited, she spends a lot of time bragging about her accomplishments right away. This book is more of an autobiography than an actually book behind the science of emotion.

    There are some interesting theories in this book, that I think many people would agree with. The main theory is that emotional state is caused by a variety of chemicals, particularly peptids. These molecules not only have an influence on your emotions but on your overall physical health as well, you can't really separate the two. I think this theory was groundbreaking at the time, but much more widely accepted now.

    There is a also a lot of discussion about the male domination of science and how hard the author had to work to get recognized. I think maybe this might have been more true in the 70's than today. The author also comes to the realization by the end that maybe it was her aggressive attitude and combativeness that caused some of her issues with her male cohorts and I couldn't agree more.

    Working as a female in a male dominated field I have found that the opinion of those around you (male or otherwise) is fed by your attitude towards them. I have never had a ton of issue with my male coworkers respecting me and treating me as an equal. I had some issues in college, but now that I am working with the people I want to work with and in a field I am comfortable in it just hasn't been an issue. If you have an attitude of competence, but aren't completely arrogant, I don't think you will have much of an issue.

    Okay stepping off my soapbox now...

    Overall this was an interesting read, but not exactly what I was hoping for or expecting. It is more an autobiography of Pert’s work and a treatise on the struggles of female scientists than an explanation behind the chemicals that guide our emotional and physical health. It was free so I can’t really complain, but I wouldn’t really recommend it either.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • FREE: Mitosis: A Reckoners Story

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 3 mins)
    • By Brandon Sanderson
    • Narrated By MacLeod Andrews

    Epics still plague Newcago, but David and the Reckoners have vowed to fight back.

    Thomas says: "He is back!"
    "Great short story, takes place after Steelheart"

    This was a very good addition to Steelheart, but DO NOT READ BEFORE STEELHEART! This book picks up where we left off at the end of Steelheart. Newcago is trying to rebuild and restructure after the events of Steelheart.

    I listened to this on audiobook, which I got free from This is a very short listen (1hr) but I was impressed by how engaging this short story was.

    We get to meet a new Epic named Mitosis. Of course an "epic" battle ensues. In addition we also get to see how Newcago is handling its new rule and structure.

    At the end of the short story we get a little teaser about what Firefight will be about as well.

    The narration for the audiobook was excellent and this little story packs a lot of punch and was highly entertaining. In fact I liked listening to this story better than I liked reading Steelheart, so I think I will listen to the next book in this series on audiobook.

    Overall I really enjoyed this short story and I definitely recommend reading this if you read and enjoyed Steelheart and are planning to pick up Firefight.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • I'm Dreaming of an Undead Christmas

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Molly Harper
    • Narrated By Amanda Ronconi

    It's Christmas in Half-Moon Hollow and newly turned vampire Iris Scanlon-Calix wants to make Gigi's first visit home from college as normal and special as possible. It's taken months for Iris to work up the nerve to spend time around her baby sister after her vampire transition, so she enlists help from Jane Jameson and Company to keep her blood-thirst under control and assure Gigi's safety. Gigi, on the other hand, has problems of her own, including the demise of her relationship with high school sweetheart, Ben, and a looming job interview with Ophelia Lambert, the scariest potential employer in the Hollow.

    AudioAddict says: "Clever Christmas Cheer!"
    "Okay story about the Half Moon Hallow characters"

    This was an okay novella involving the characters from the first novel in the Half Moon Hallow series (Gigi and Iris). The whole story is told from Gigi's POV.

    I got this novella for free from last year, so I listened to it on audiobook. The audiobook is well done and uses the same narrator as the other Half Moon Hallow books.

    Gigi is home from college for the holidays and dealing with normal things like boyfriend trouble and finding a summer job. Only thing is Gigi is considering taking a job with the vampire council, which her older sister Iris would not be pleased about. Oh and there seems to be a hot blond vampire stalking her for some reason too.

    This is a very brief story with some funny parts. There's not a lot resolved here outside of Gigi's relationship with her boyfriend Ben. There is a lot of funny vampire/Christmas stuff in here though.

    You are introduced to a sexy blond vampire who is stalking Gigi, well not really introduced but you kind of meet him. None of this is resolved in this short story, so I am wondering if Gigi’s romance will feature in a future Half Moon Hallow book.

    I would tentatively recommend if you are a fan of the Half Moon Hallow series. I got this as a free audiobook from last year so I can't really complain. If you haven't read other books in this series I would skip it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Care and Feeding of Stray Vampires

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Molly Harper
    • Narrated By Amanda Ronconi
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Iris Scanlon, Half-Moon Hollow's only daytime vampire concierge, knows more about the undead than she'd like. Running all their daylight errands - from letting in the plumber to picking up some chilled O neg - gives her a look at the not-so-glamorous side of vampire life. Her rules are strict; relationships with vamps are strictly business, not friendship - and certainly not anything else. But then she finds her newest client, Cal, poisoned on his kitchen floor, and only Iris can help.

    yasmine32068 says: "Once again this should have disclaimers"
    "Fun humorous paranormal romance"

    This is the first book in the Half Moon Hallow series by Harper. Previous to this I had read the Jane Jameson series by Harper and enjoyed it. I also read Driving Mr. Dead which technically takes place after this book. This was a very typical Molly Harper book, a cute and humorous paranormal romance.

    I listened to this on audiobook and the audiobook was well done. The narrator has a very snarky voice which fits the story well. Although it’s not the best narration I’ve listened to, it’s decent.

    Iris Scanlon runs Half Moon Hallow’s only daytime concierge service for vampires, while also supporting her younger sister Gigi. Things aren’t great but Iris is able to make ends meet. Everything changes when she literally stumbles on Cal, who is poisoned on his kitchen floor. Iris ends up agreeing to hide Cal and getting involved in solving the mystery of who poisoned Cal’s blood supply.

    As mentioned above this book is very typical Molly Harper. The story is nothing special, but it is a fun little diversion. I don't read a lot of Molly Harper paranormal romance books because they are all very similar, but when I am in the mood for a fun little paranormal romance they definitely fit the bill.

    Iris is a great lead. She is practical and hardworking and is doing her best to raise her younger sister after their parents died. She is very careful to never get involved, or even see, the vampires she does work for. Harboring Cal goes against everything Iris would normally do. However Iris happens to be a bit of a do-gooder and just can’t turn away a sick vampire.

    Cal has this whole “I am a mysterious agent for the Council” thing going on and is, of course, very handsome. He has a cutting sense of humor and really endears himself to Iris because of how caring he is about Gigi’s wellbeing.

    There is a good mystery here and some sizzling chemistry between Cal and Iris. This book was exactly what I expected. If you read and enjoy Molly Harper books then you should enjoy this one as well.

    Overall this was a fun little humorous paranormal romance. There’s not a lot special or outstanding here, but the book is a cute and funny read. If you are looking for a light-hearted paranormal romance this book will definitely fit the bill.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Indexing

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Seanan McGuire
    • Narrated By Mary Robinette Kowal
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    For most people, the story of their lives is just that: the accumulation of time, encounters, and actions into a cohesive whole. But for an unfortunate few, that day-to-day existence is affected - perhaps infected is a better word - by memetic incursion: where fairy tale narratives become reality, often with disastrous results.

    Erin - Audible says: "The X-Files meets Grimm meets Law and Order"
    "Outstanding and creative urban fantasy!"

    I have pretty much loved everything I have read by Seanan McGuire/Mira Grant. This book was no exception to that. This is such an incredibly creative idea and I really enjoyed it.

    I listened to this on audiobook and the audiobook was really well done. The narrator does all of the voices really well and also does an excellent job conveying emotion. I really enjoyed listening to it a lot.

    Basically the concept behind this book are that fairy tales are real and they are trying to take over our reality. These fairy tales driven by The Narrative create chaos and pain wherever they appear.

    Enter Henry and crew, Henry (short for Henrietta)is a leader in an ATI field team. The ATI tries to get to these fairy tale incursions and stop them before than can hurt people. However lately things have been getting out of hand and there are way more incursions than normal. On top of all this Henry is an inactive Snow White, and things are pushing her in a way that just might drive her fairy tale to active status...this is something Henry really wants to avoid, she really doesn't want to end up in a glass coffin.

    I loved this book, the premise is awesome and interesting. There are tons of creative fairy tale retellings woven throughout the story. It is fast paced and a very engaging read. Most of the chapters start with a new fairy tale incursion and we hear a bit from the person being affected, then we go back to hearing from Henry and her teammates.

    Henry (and all of the side characters) all have a very interesting issue to deal with. The Narrative wants them to do something that will ruin their lives, but they have to resist. Some of the characters, like Henry, have been able to sidestep their fairy tale and live reasonably normal lives. Still everyday Henry struggles with the love of bluebirds, an urge to eat poison apples, and the fear that she will someday cave in to her fairy tale and end up comatose in a glass coffin somewhere.

    The way the characters have to constantly struggle to avoid their Fairy Tales is fascinating. They try to make the best of the urges that drive them. For example the almost-wicked stepsister is excellent at sniffing out evil. Still it is a constant struggle for them to use their strength...but not get too close to their Fairy Tale.

    The story ends well and has an incredibly well done plot. I just really enjoyed this book.

    Overall another outstanding and very creative novel from Seanan McGuire. If you love urban fantasy and fairy tales I would recommend reading this. If you are a McGuire fan definitely pick this up. I loved it and really hope they are future books featuring Henry and her crew.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lady of Devices: A Steampunk Adventure Novel: Magnificent Devices, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Shelley Adina
    • Narrated By Fiona Hardingham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    At 17, Claire Trevelyan, daughter of Viscount St. Ives, was expected to do nothing more than pour an elegant cup of tea, sew a fine seam, and catch a rich husband. Unfortunately, Claire's talents lie not in the ballroom, but in the chemistry lab, where things have a regrettable habit of blowing up. When her father gambles the estate on the combustion engine and loses, Claire finds herself down and out on the mean streets of London. But being a young woman of resources and intellect, she turns fortune on its head. It's not long before a new leader rises in the underworld, known only as the Lady of Devices...

    Kitty Lagorio says: "Was it really just one book divided into four?"
    "Fun Victoiran Steampunk Novel!"

    This is the first book in the Magnificent Devices series. Currently there are at least eight book planned for this series, with the eighth one releasing later in 2014. I really enjoyed this steampunk young adult read set in Victorian London.

    I listened to this on audiobook and the audiobook was very very well done. I highly recommend this on audiobook.

    Claire Trevelyan is the daughter of a Viscount and her mother is trying her best to get her married off to a fine gentleman. However Claire would rather go to University and spend time talking to Wits about steam engines. Disaster strikes when Claire’s father goes bankrupt and dies. Claire’s mother and brother are forced to flee the city to escape angry investors, while Claire is left to deal with tying things up in the city. Claire sees this as an opportunity to take control of her own life.

    There are a ton of interesting steampunk elements in this novel that I really enjoyed. This is a story that isn’t all that original; a young woman prefers science/knowledge over marriage and decides to go her own way...but it is the type of story I never tire of reading.

    Claire is a wonderful balance of a proper lady and a young woman who wants to make her own way. She is at times pretty and soft, but also extremely determined, smart and stubborn. She’s one of my favorite types of heroines to read about. I love how she makes a family for herself and finds a place to call home even in the worst of situations.

    This book mainly follows Claire as she deals with the aftermath of her family disaster and loss of place in society and starts to find her own way in life. I loved the steampunk elements, found Claire’s story to be very engaging, and really enjoyed the story overall.

    There is a somewhat complicated love interest here. A gentleman who was interested in Lady Claire ends up being the same man who is financing the research of Andrew Malvern, a young inventor who wants to hire Claire as his secretary. It makes for a bit of a love triangle of sorts, although I will say the story definitely isn’t driven by romance there is some romance subtly woven in.

    The story ties up nicely, but there are definitely more elements of the story that still need to be resolved.

    Overall I really enjoyed this story and thought it was a very fun read. It is not a story that is all that creative, but it is fun and well done. If you enjoy steampunk novels I definitely recommend this book. The story is bit of a Pride and Prejudice meets steampunk kind of read. I definitely plan on listening to more audio books in the Magnificent Devices series!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Amber House

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Kelly Moore, Larkin Reed, Tucker Reed
    • Narrated By Tucker Reed

    Sarah Parsons has never seen Amber House, the grand Maryland estate that's been in her family for three centuries. She's never walked its hedge maze nor found its secret chambers; she's never glimpsed the shades that haunt it, nor hunted for the lost diamonds in its walls. But after her grandmother passes away, Sarah and her friend Jackson decide to search for the diamonds - and the House comes alive.

    Sarah says: "YOU WON'T REGRET THIS ONE!!!"
    "Interesting blend of time travel and ghost story."

    This is the first book in the Amber House trilogy. It ended up being kind of a creepy, gothic mystery with some paranormal elements. It was a decent story and I enjoyed watching the mystery unravel.

    I listened to this on audiobook and I think I would have been better off reading it in paper format. While the narrator does a good job with character voices and emotion, I really thought that her voice didn’t fit the tone of the story very well. The narrator’s voice was too perky for such a dark story and it kind of distracted from the mood of the story. I wouldn’t really recommend listening to this on audiobook.

    Sarah Parsons travels to the mysterious Amber House with her family after her grandmother passes away. Sarah has never been to Amber House and finds out she can see images from the past in the houses halls. In the course of this she ends up unraveling some dark secrets in Amber House’s past.

    This was a well done gothic read about a girl unraveling the history of both her family and Amber House. Sarah can see images from the past and has to use these images to put together all of the pieces of the house's sordid history. The son their housekeeper, Jackson, also has some special abilities.

    I enjoyed how the mystery was woven together, but just had some trouble with the imagery and the point of the whole story. There are a lot of heavy gothic overtones involving madness, death, secret passages, and dark deadly spiders. The story does take place in modern times but we spend a lot of time looking into the past with Sarah.

    Sarah ends up involved in a bit of a love triangle (which I dislike). She spends a lot of time with Jackson but is dissuaded from spending time with him because he’s not a suitable match (very backwards thinking for a novel set in modern times). She is also wooed by the nearly perfect Richard who is a Senator’s son and fabulous at everything.

    There is a lot of intrigue in the story, a lot of people lying and doing things to get ahead of other people. Pretty much a lot of what is typically thought of as high society maneuvering for power.

    The story takes a strange twist at the end that had me rolling my eyes a bit. It was just so contrived. I actually read through it a couple times because I wanted to make sure that what I thought was happening was actually happening. I didn't really enjoy the ending that much.

    Overall a decent story. The story was an interesting blend of gothic elements, time travel, ghosts, and paranormal elements. I honestly didn’t find the characters all that engaging. I also wasn’t ever really totally drawn into the story. Still it was a well enough written book that this would have been a 4 star rating if not for the horribly contrived ending. The ending is an awful cliffhanger and just sooooo forced. I won’t be reading any more books in this series. However if you are a big fan of ghost stories or gothic reads you might enjoy this.

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