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K. Eckert

Devourer of all books fantasy

Member Since 2004

77
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 68 reviews
  • 183 ratings
  • 453 titles in library
  • 28 purchased in 2014
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  • Blood Trade: Jane Yellowrock, Book 6

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Faith Hunter
    • Narrated By Khristine Hvam
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1079)
    Performance
    (972)
    Story
    (969)

    The Master of Natchez, Mississippi has a nasty problem on his hands. Rogue vampires - those who follow the Naturaleza and believe that humans should be nothing more than prey to be hunted - are terrorizing his city. Luckily, he knows the perfect skinwalker to call in to take back the streets. But what he doesn’t tell Jane is that there’s something different about these vamps. Something that makes them harder to kill - even for a pro like Jane.

    Amazon Customer says: "Wow, Jane does it again!"
    "This series just keeps getting better!"
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    This is the sixth book in the Jane Yellowrock series and I am just amazed out how this series keeps getting better and better. The seventh book in this series will be titled Black Arts and is scheduled to release in 2014. This was a fantastic read, action packed, and full of all the wonderful characters we’ve come to know and love.

    I listened to this on audiobook and it was spectacular. This is one of those books that is actually better on audiobook than in paper format. The narrator sounds completely like I imagine Jane would sound and does an excellent job on other character voices as well. The narration is perfect, capturing tone and emotion wonderfully.

    Jane Yellowrock receives a call from the Master of Natchez, Mississippi; he’s got some Naturaleza he needs taking care of and he thinks Jane is the one to do this. Of course when Jane arrives she finds things are much more complicated than that. These aren’t normal Naturaleza...they are something much harder to kill. To add to the complication a friend from Jane’s past, Misha, is in town and wants to talk to Jane about vamps. When Misha disappears Janes realizes that there may be some witchy things thrown into this Naturaleza mess.

    These books just keep getting better and better. I absolutely love how fast-paced these books are. I love Jane as a character too; she is funny and heartfelt and tough. Jane continuously struggles with her need to protect humans by killing vamps and the morality behind taking the lives of living (or dead) things. She is battling some depression in this book and it was interesting to read about heroine dealing with that and trying to get on with what needs doing. Jane is trying to figure out how to find some happiness again but it is taking some time.

    All of our other favorites are here too. Bruiser is in the story, Rick is back to cause some trouble, and of course the boys (Eli and the Kid) are watching Jane’s back. I love the dynamic between Eli, the Kid, and Jane. It’s like a little vampire killing family and they really provide the backup Jane needs (both emotionally and physically).

    I am starting to get a bit sick of the whole love triangle between Rick, Bruiser, and Jane. The romance going on there was kind of at a standstill in this book. There is a ton of tension between Bruiser and Jane and Rick and Jane. It didn’t add a lot to the story and was more distracting than anything. I hope that this love triangle gets resolved soon so that Jane can either develop (or not develop) a relationship with one of those men.

    Misha brings along another old friend of Jane’s, Bobby. Bobby is mentally challenged but has some special magic skills of his own. He added a lot to the story with his sunny disposition and gave us a glimpse into Jane’s past as well.

    I loved all the witchy elements and vampiric transformation things that were going on in this story. A lot happens and the plot is fairly complex, but I found it all to be incredibly interesting and engaging. There are a lot of very well done action scenes in here and the spidey vamps add a whole new level of creepy to this story.

    I also love that there is a contained story here but it ties into the larger story that’s been developing from book to book. It is amazing how Hunter ties all these books together and it really shows how much planning and work she’s put into this series right from the beginning. The book is very well written and I really enjoyed it.

    Overall a spectacular addition to this series. I enjoyed it alot. We learn more about Jane’s background and are introduced to many new and interesting creatures and characters. I love how Jane is developing a family of sorts of her own and that she has a good support team at her back. The book in incredibly engaging and really pulls you in. This is definitely more urban fantasy than paranormal romance, which I enjoy. I can’t wait to read Blark Arts! This series is highly recommended to fans of action packed urban fantasy.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Revenant

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Kat Richardson
    • Narrated By Mia Barron
    Overall
    (23)
    Performance
    (22)
    Story
    (22)

    Turmoil, sickness, and destruction are sweeping through Europe - and its effects are being felt all the way across the world in Seattle. Harper Blaine and her lover, Quinton, suspect that Quinton’s father, James Purlis - and his terrifying Ghost Division - are involved. Following a dark trail of grotesque crimes and black magic across the Old World, the pair slowly draws closer to their quarry. But finding and dismantling the Ghost Division won’t be enough to stop the horror that Purlis has unwittingly set in motion.

    Amazon Customer says: "Extraordinary ending to a satisfying series."
    "Well done continuation of this series!"
    Overall
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    This is the ninth book in the Greywalker series. I have really enjoyed this investigative urban fantasy series and how each book focuses on a new topic. This was a wonderful continuation of the series in which the vampire necromancer Carlos plays a large role.

    I listened to this on audiobook and the audiobook was very well done. The narrator for this series sounds exactly like I imagine Harper would sound. She also does a great job distinguishing between character voices and adding emotion to her narration. Definitely a series I would recommend listening to on audiobook if you like audiobooks.

    In this book Harper rushes over to Europe after getting an urgent request for her help from Quintin, Carlos accompanies her. Quintin has uncovered a plot initiated by his father to take out vast portions of Europe; the whole scheme involves a bone mage cult.

    This was a well done continuation of the Greywalker series. A lot of major plot points are wrapped up in this book. I enjoyed that Harper and Quintin were actually both in the story together again.

    Harper has grown a lot throughout this series. She’s become a very able Greywalker and makes good decisions when she is navigating the Grey. I love that her and Quintin have a loving a stable relationship and trust each other implicitly. There isn’t a ton of romance in this book, but I have enjoyed watching Harper and Quintin form a stable relationship with one another.

    We spend a lot of time with Quintin’s family in this story. Quintin's fathers is causing most of the issues here, so he is in the story quite a bit. We also meet Quintin's sister and niece.

    There is a lot of history on Carlos, he features in the story a ton. We learn how he ended up becoming both a vampire and a necromancer. We also learn about his family and wife. The majority of the story takes place in Portugal, so we get to learn a lot about the history of that country and about some of the traditions there.

    As I have mentioned before this won’t be the type of urban fantasy everyone will love. Richardson has a very analytical and precise writing style, she gives a lot of information to the reader quickly and has a lot of detail. I really enjoy this style and I love how Richardson does research into a new place/topic every book. In this book we learn a ton about Portugal and Portuguese traditions.

    Overall I continue to really enjoy this investigative urban fantasy series. All the books in this series have had excellent mysteries with a heavy dose of paranormal/ghost elements. I love that some of the major plot points were wrapped up and am curious to see what adventures the future holds for Harper and Quintin.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Magic Thief: Home: Magic Thief, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Sarah Prineas
    • Narrated By Greg Steinbruner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    To solve the mystery of the disappearing stones, Conn goes back to his beginnings - gutterboy, chimney sweep, mudlark, and, yes, thief. It's the only way he can clear his name and find the culprit. But turning back is not easy, and old enemies don't disappear. Can Conn pull himself out of the gutter one more time?

    K. Eckert says: "Wonderfully magical middle grade fantasy!"
    "Wonderfully magical middle grade fantasy!"
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    This is the fourth book in the Magic Thief series. This has been a wonderful middle grade fantasy series that is great for all ages. This book was just as wonderful as the previous books in the series. My whole family enjoyed it a lot.

    My whole family listened to this together on audiobook on a road trip back from Yellowstone. This whole series has been incredibly well done on audiobook. The narrator does Conn’s voice spot on and is excellent at all the other character voices as well. I highly recommend listening to this on audiobook if you listen to audiobooks.

    Duchess Rowan wants to promote Conn to ducal magister, however Conn objects. Conn feels that he has other problems to deal with and that sitting in meetings all day won’t help. The two magics that were joined in the last book Magic Thief: Found, are fighting each other and wrecking havoc in the city. To makes things even worse magicians’ locus stones are being stolen and Conn (as the only known person who can touch another magician’s locus stone and survive) is being blamed for the thefts.

    In a desperate attempt to both fix the magic in the city and uncover the locus stone thief Conn ventures back to his thieving roots in the Twilight where his story started.

    As with all of the other books in this series this was a wonderfully fun and magical read. It is even more fun because of the inclusion of Pip, Conn’s little dragon companion/locus stone.

    Conn grows a lot in this book. Rowan is trying to make him ducal magister and give him a lot of responsibility, she believes in him and appreciates his help. Conn knows that he won’t be good at the type of position but is struggling to figure what he wants to do to help support the city of Wellmet.

    Conn spends a lot of time figuring who he is and who he wants to be; is he a thief, a wizard or something else completely? He spends a lot of time in the Twilight as a thief again in this book and discovers that he just doesn’t make a good thief anymore...he is just more than that now. Conn is also learning that accepting help from others and working with others isn’t always a bad thing.

    The plot is very well done too. Honestly everything is really well tied up in this book. I couldn’t find information on whether or not there would be another book in this series but I really really hope there is. I would love to see how some of the decisions Conn makes at the end of the book play out.

    Overall a spectacular middle grade fantasy. This whole series has been so much fun to read; full of magic and adventure. It’s a great read for all ages, I enjoy these books just as much as my seven year old son does. I sincerely hope there are more books in this series!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Magic Thief: Found

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Sarah Prineas
    • Narrated By Greg Steinbruner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (70)
    Performance
    (42)
    Story
    (43)

    Sneaking out of prison isn't easy, unless you are a thief, or a wizard. Luckily, Conn is both! Trouble is, once he's out, where does he go? His home is a pile of rubble since he blew it up doing magic. His master, the wizard Nevery, is not happy with him. Worst of all, Conn's been exiled, and staying in the city will mean his death.

    K. Eckert says: "Fantastic fantasy series, wonderful narration!"
    "Fantastic fantasy series, wonderful narration!"
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    This is the third book in the Magic Thief series by Prineas. It was an excellent book in this series. The fourth book in this series, Magic Thief: Home, just came out last week. I was unable to find confirmation that there will be a fifth book in the series, but I did find a comment by Prineas saying she does have ideas for a 5th book. This is a wonderful fantasy read that is great for all ages.

    I listened to this on audiobook and the audiobooks for this series are incredibly well done. The narrator gets Conn’s voice spot on and does an excellent job with the other characters as well. We listened to this in the car on a road trip as a family and everyone really enjoyed it (my son is 7 years old).

    Conn has been exiled from Wellmet and his master Nevery isn’t pleased with him. Conn is determined to stay in the city of Wellmet and protect it from the evil magic that is coming. However, when things take a turn for the worse Conn is forced to leave Wellmet. On his adventures he discovers some truly astonishing secrets about magic and how it is tied to the cities.

    This was an excellent book in this series. There is a lot of magic, adventure, and humor. The characters all have great relationships (wonderful friendships and mentor/student) with each other and I really enjoyed that too. I love the positive messages, the humor, and the wonderfully unique magic. This book includes....DRAGONS...so awesome!

    Conn is such a plucky youth which such a positive outlook on things. Yet he started life as a thief and is struggling to prove himself as a wizard. He is always determined to do what it right despite what other people try to force him to do. He also always tells the truth, even if other people aren’t happy with that truth. He is funny and daring and just a wonderful character.

    We also spend a lot more time with Rowan and the new Lord of Twilight, Ember. Both are wonderful characters. I really enjoy Rowan as a character. She is a young woman with a huge responsibility being thrust on her. She’s a great role model, she knows how to deal with Conn’s independence and she is just a ton of fun to read about.

    This book does an excellent job of wrapping up the storyline involving evil magic invading Wellmet. The ending did feel a bit rushed, so I am happy to see there is another book coming out for this series.

    Overall this was another wonderful book in this series. I just can’t say enough good things about this series. These books are packed with magic, adventure, and excitement. The characters have healthy relationships, there is humor in here, and I love the characters and world. I can't wait to read Magic Thief: Home when it releases. This whole series is highly recommended to fantasy fans of all ages. It’s one of my favorite middle grade fantasy series ever.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mirrors and Magic: A Steampunk Fairy Tale, The Clockwork Republic Series

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Katina French
    • Narrated By Hollie Jackson
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    A Princess in Exile. Neve Bianchi has always lived in the shadow of the big top. Haunted by her father's death, famed magician Giovanni "The Magnificent" Bianchi, she lives in the background, forgotten and alone. The vanity of the circus' new featured act, Bella Venezia, drags the entire company into decline. But magic is in the air. Neve makes a discovery that could change not only her fate, but the fortunes of everyone in Lang and Perrault's World Famous Circus. Can she trust Brendan, the charming Prince of Blades? Can she conquer her fears and bring the magic back?

    K. Eckert says: "3.5 stars; steampunk snow white retelling"
    "3.5 stars; steampunk snow white retelling"
    Overall
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    I got a copy of this audiobook from Audible.com, it was sent to me by the author to review. This was a decent steampunk fairytale retelling. It was basically a retelling of Snow White set in a steampunk circus in an alternate version of the US.

    As mentioned above I listened to this on audiobook. The narrator was okay. Ironically she did a great job distinguishing between male voices (many female narrators have trouble with this) but all the female characters sounded the same. I had a very hard time telling whether it was Neve or Bella talking, they both sounded almost identical. This is a book I would recommend reading versus listening to.

    Neve’s father was a great magician in Lang & Perrault's World Famous Circus. After his death the circus started to decline. Neve is desperately trying to help Lang save the circus and is hoping some of her own magical abilities might help. However the current star act, the lovely but cold Queen of the Air, will stop at nothing to keep Neve from displacing her act from being displaced.

    I enjoyed the circus setting and some of the clockwork devices throughout. I loved the addition of formulas and illusions that made up some of Neve’s magic act.

    I thought the characters were a bit stereotypical and lacked some depth. Neve is overly sweet and seemed too naive to had grown up in a circus. While Neve does have some spunk, she was just too sweet, good, and innocent for a lifetime carnie.

    The lead male character is known as The Prince of Blades. He is your typical "misunderstood rogue who has a sordid past, but really is a sweet guy" kind of male lead. Again he was okay to read about, but was a bit too good and his "sordid" past seemed a bit contrived.

    The story itself was also very predictable with few twists and turns. It was just a very simple story, whose outcome was easily predicted from the beginning. The steampunk elements were pretty much limited to clockwork devices, airships, and some vague “formulae”. There wasn’t really any world-building around that theme.

    The story is supposed to be a retelling of Snow White. While I thought it was an interesting effort, parts of the story felt like they were kind of forced into the Snow White setting (particularly the apple part at the ending). On the other-hand there were other parts of the story that were very cleverly done and really did a good job of paralleling the Snow White tale while still flowing naturally (for example Neve’s back story and how the Queen of Air was the evil Queen of the circus).

    In the end this is one of those stories that was mildly entertaining and non-offensive. After reading it I thought "huh, well that was fine" but I wasn't blown away or dying to read more about this world or these characters. It's a quick and fun read, that is straight-forward and simple. There are some interesting elements and I liked the idea of retelling a fairy tale with a steampunk storyline.

    Overall this was a quick and simple steampunk read. It reminded me a bit of Shelley Adina's Magnificent Devices series. I would recommend this book to those who want to read a steampunk fairy tale retelling. Just don't expect some elaborate story, this is a simple story with simple characters and a happy vibe.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Up from the Grave: Night Huntress, Book 7

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Jeaniene Frost
    • Narrated By Tavia Gilbert
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1716)
    Performance
    (1584)
    Story
    (1580)

    There's always one more grave to dig. Lately, life has been unnaturally calm for vampires Cat Crawfield and her husband, Bones. They should have known better than to relax their guard, because a shocking revelation sends them back into action to stop an all-out war…. A rogue CIA agent is involved in horrifying secret activities that threaten to raise tensions between humans and the undead to dangerous heights. Now Cat and Bones are in a race against time to save their friends from a fate worse than death…because the more secrets they unravel, the deadlier the consequences.

    Julius says: "Missed Kat and Bones"
    "Good closure, but writing was weak"
    Overall
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    This is the 7th and final book in the Night Huntress series. I am so happy that Frost chose to end the series here. I felt like the last couple books were starting to lag, and I would rather see the series end than completely pitter out. This was an enjoyable wrap-up to the series, it was action packed and added some really interesting things to Cat and Bone’s life.

    I listened to this on audiobook and really enjoyed it. I have listened to most of the series on audiobook because the audiobooks are just spectacularly done. Really this is one of those series I like listening to more than reading, the narrator does such a wonderful job.

    Cat and Bones have been enjoying a little peace and quiet for once. Of course that doesn’t last. Cat gets a call that her friends from the CIA have gone missing. As her and Bones struggle to figure what has happened to them, they find out that Cat’s nemesis at the CIA has been doing some crazy genetic experimentation and has created something that no one can control.

    There were some things I liked about this book and some things I didn’t. In general I think it was a good way to close out the series and I think it was time to close out this series.

    I love Cat and Bones, I love that they have finally gotten some peace and quiet. Their relationship has settled into a more comfortable happiness, there are some very steamy scenes between them which were well done.

    That being said the steamy scenes were the best written part of the book. There were a number of plot points that felt forced or didn’t really make sense. Cat again, underestimates Bones a number of times and goes behind his back...this is something that I thought Cat had grown past doing. I was a bit sad to see Cat making the same mistakes as usual. Some of the action scenes were written a bit awkwardly as well.

    There was some awkward dialogue, especially in the beginning of the book. There were also a number of times when I thought “Why in the world would ___ do that? It doesn’t make any sense.” For example Cat calling the CIA agent and having him meet her on an abandoned pier. Why would she do that? Why would he agree to meet her? Why would Cat actually think that he would come alone and not bring reinforcements...seriously is she that stupid? This was just one example of a point where I thought things didn’t really make sense or fit with the characters personalities.

    There is also a major twist in the middle of the book that I thought was just plain silly. It doesn’t fit with Cat’s personality and Cat’s sudden strong feelings towards this deadly individual were just absolutely out of place and odd.

    There are a lot of cameos in here. Mencheres is in the story, so is Denise and Spade. Denise actually plays a fairly large role in the story and I enjoyed that. Ian plays a pretty large role as well. Vlad shows up for a smallish part of the book too. All these characters have excellent back stories, although you need to read the Night Huntress World books as well as the Night Prince series to have all the background here. I am kind of hoping we see a story about Ian in the future.

    Overall a decent urban fantasy. There are some well done steamy scenes and Frost does a good job of wrapping up the series in a way that will leave readers happy. I think this was a good point to end the series at. However, this definitely wasn’t the strongest book in the series. There are some awkward moments in here; some of the action scenes weren’t written all that well, there were plot points that just didn’t make sense, and even some of the dialogue was a bit forced. Overall I definitely recommend this urban fantasy series to fans of urban fantasy, it is for the most part a wonderful series. This book was a good wrap up, but more of a necessary evil than a spectacular finale.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Fiery Heart: Bloodlines, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Richelle Mead
    • Narrated By Emily Shaffer, Alden Ford
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (583)
    Performance
    (528)
    Story
    (527)

    Sydney Sage is an alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets - and human lives. In the Indigo Spell, Sydney was torn between the alchemist way of life and what her heart and gut were telling her to do. And in one breathtaking moment that Richelle Mead fans will never forget, she made a decision that shocked even her...But the struggle isn't over for Sydney. As she navigates the aftermath of her life-changing decision, she still finds herself pulled in too many directions at once.

    Debbie Pharr says: "Turned it on...Turned it off :'("
    "Wonderful story, excellent narration"
    Overall
    Performance
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    This is the fourth book in the Bloodlines series and was an excellent continuation of this story. There are six books planned for this series and the fifth book, Silver Shadows, is scheduled for a July 2014 release.

    I listened to this book on audiobook and the audiobooks for this series have been very well done. They have separate narrators for Adrian and Sydney; both narrators do a very good job capturing emotion and having distinct voices for different characters.

    Sydney is still trying to balance her work as an Alchemist, her relationship with Adrian, the magic she is learning, and her effort to break the Alchemist tattoo. Things have gotten even more complication now that Sydney’s sister, Zoe, is living with her on campus. Now to make things even worse Sydney’s parents have decided to divorce and Sydney’s dad is coming to visit..he expects her to take sides.

    This series has turned into a major soap opera, which isn’t all bad. There is just soooo much drama between all the characters and who loves who and all the secrets being kept.

    Sydney’s life has become extremely complicated. She is keeping secrets from so many people that I am not sure how she keeps track of them all. Her and Adrian are keeping their relationship a secret, and with Sydney’s sister so close it is not easy. Sydney is also trying to keep her magical training under wraps, Adrian knows about it but no one else does. She is desperately trying to find a way to seal her Alchemist’s tattoo so that it can’t be re-inked. I didn’t like Sydney much in the first couple books, but in this book she finally won me over...she has a lot more metal and really starts to think independently in this book.

    There is just a lot going on here. As with previous books there is a lot of Adrian angst going on. Adrian is struggling with the darkness that his power over Spirit brings in a big way. It is even more prevalent because he has some really good times where he has things under control in this book and some really bad times when he spins completely out of control. I get sick of all the whining and angsting Adrian does, but I guess it’s who he is.

    I love how both Sydney and Adrian have changed and grown as characters throughout the series. I have also enjoyed how Sydney's use of magic has grown throughout this series.

    We meet some other witches in this book and they were awesome characters. We also end up back at Court for part of the book so Lissa, Dimitri, and Rose all make cameo appearances.

    I didn't like how things ended, it's a pretty big cliffhanger, but it wasn't an unexpected ending. The horrible thing we have all known was going to happen at some point has finally happened….and I expect it’s going to be even more awful in the next book.

    Overall this was a very enjoyable read, I really liked it. The story is progressing nicely and I am finally starting to love Sydney as a character. Both her and Adrian grow and change a lot in this book. I still get kind of sick of Adrian’s angsting and his long overly emotional complaining...I also did not appreciate the cliffhanger ending. However, I am hooked on this series and will definitely read Silver Shadows when it releases. I still think the Vampire Academy series was better than this one. I would recommend this book to fans of the Vampire Academy series and to fans of paranormal young adult books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Long Live the Queen: Immortal Empires series, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Kate Locke
    • Narrated By Moira Quirk
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (73)
    Performance
    (70)
    Story
    (69)

    Xandra Vardan thought life would be simpler when she accepted the goblin crown and became their queen, but life has only become more complicated. Everyone - vampires, werewolves and humans - wants the goblins on their side, because whoever has the goblins - wins.

    Amazon Customer says: "Loved it"
    "Stunning conclusion to this super fun series"
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    This is the third book in The Immortal Empire series. It was an absolutely stellar conclusion to this series. These book are just so much fun to read and I absolutely love them.

    I listened to this book on audiobook and it was very well done. The narrator sounds exactly like I think Xandra would sound like and does an excellent job conveying emotion and giving all of the characters distinct voices.

    Xandra thought things would settle down when she finally accepted the crown and became the Goblin Queen, well she was wrong. There’s a sixteen year old girl killer that’s on the loose, and the catch is she looks exactly like Xandra. Now Xandra has to figure out how to stop this killing machine before things in London fall apart complete and end up in all out war. The Human League has been increasingly violent towards vamps, weres, halfies, and goblins and Queen Victoria is on edge as well. Luckily Xandra has her beloved alpha werewolf Vexx and the co-ruler of Goblins Prince William, to help her out.

    This was a wonderful conclusion to this trilogy. These books are just so much fun to read, I absolutely love them. This is an excellent urban fantasy set in an alternate London with goblins, and werewolves, and vampires. It’s a fun world because the story is set in modern times but much of London has a Victorian feel to it since the Aristocracy is a bit stuck in the past, being vampires and all.

    The heroine, Xandra, has so much pluck and attitude that she is hilarious and tons of fun to read about. She’s grown a lot both emotionally and in power since the first book. She’s learned to accept who she is, to accept help from friends, and to accept responsibility. She still struggles some with being the center of attention and having to be reasonable with idiots...but she’s becoming quite the power to be reckoned with both politically and socially.

    Queen Victoria and Prince William were both in this story a lot more. It was actually nice to have some depth added to the character of Queen Victoria, she’s a very interesting character and tough in her own right. Prince William is also very interesting and it was fun to learn more about the Goblins and their history too.

    Of course Vexx is in the story a lot, as are Xandra’s sisters. I love them all as characters, they are all interesting and engaging and just super fun.

    The plot was very well done as well. The main mystery to be solved is the identity of the vicious killer Xandra and crew are trying to track down and then of course how to stop her. This ends up tying into the genetic experiments that have been referenced throughout the series. It also ties back into Xandra’s goblin nature and how she ended up how she is. The whole thing was woven together very nicely and everything was tied up wonderfully.

    Overall just a fantastically fun read. I love the interesting world with Victorian and Steampunk overtones, the well done plot, and the wonderfully entertaining characters. I am really sad that this series is over and hope that we see another series set in this world in the future. It is just such an interesting world and there are so many awesome characters I want to know more about. This whole series is highly recommended to those who love urban fantasy, especially urban fantasy with a steampunk flair to it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dust and Decay

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Jonathan Maberry
    • Narrated By Brian Hutchison
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (590)
    Performance
    (541)
    Story
    (541)

    A New York Times best-selling author and multiple Bram Stoker Award winner, Marvel Comics writer Jonathan Maberry continues the story he began in Rot and Ruin. Six months have passed since Benny Imura and Nix Riley learned that flesh-eating zombies aren’t the scariest or most dangerous monsters around. Now, Benny’s brother Tom is training them in the art of zombie whacking. But as they plan to leave and find a better future, a zombie attack puts a crimp in their plans.

    CRISTY says: "Hutchison's narration (once again) is excellent!"
    "Not as good as the first book but still well done"
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    This is the second book in the Benny Imura series. Honestly I didn’t like this book nearly as much as the first. There are two more books in this series “Flesh and Bone” and “Fire and Ash”.

    I listened to this on audiobook and the audiobook was really well done. It has the same narrator as the first book and I really enjoyed listening to it. The narrator does an excellent job with character voices and an excellent job conveying emotion.

    Everyone is recovering from the events with Charlie Pink-Eye in the first book. Benny, Nix, and Tom are ready to leave Mountainside and track down the plane they saw in the first book. However Mountainside doesn’t want to Tom to leave, they are worried about other evil bounty hunters moving in to take his place. One bounty hunter, named White Bear, is causing a lot of trouble. Now there is a bounty on Tom’s head and it seems like Gameland is more prosperous than ever.

    This was still a good book but I didn't like it nearly as much as the first one. I was disappointed that this book was about similar issues as the first book. I was all excited to read about Benny, Tom, Lila, and Nix's journey across the Rot and Ruin, instead what I got was more of the same as the last book.

    Pretty much as soon as the group leaves Mountainside things start going wrong. We end up reading about territory wars with “evil” bounty hunters and trouble with Gameland. I find the whole Gameland idea to be a bit silly and was disappointed that so much of this book focused on that. I was hoping to read more about the Rot and Ruin as a whole, and gain better understanding of this world and why the zombies happened.

    Benny has definitely grown as a character since the first book. Nix is harboring a lot of rage for what happened to her mother in the last book, we watch as she struggles through this anger.

    Lila is in the story a lot, which is awesome. She too is struggling with issues of fitting in. She is so used to surviving alone, that it is tough to watch her as she struggles to become part of society.

    We meet a lot of awesome new “good” bounty hunters. It was super fun to meet some of the bounty hunters we’ve heard so much about from the Zombie cards. We also meet a lot of completely evil baddies. There was a lot more action in this book as welll we get to see Tom kick some serious butt. As I mentioned above we also get very up and personal with Gameland.

    This book is still well written and I love that there is a lot of philosophical introspection as well as zombie fights. There is brief mention about zombies starting to Swarm and some curious stuff going on where zombies are acting different than they have in the past. I just wish we had got to hear more about that and less about Gameland.

    Overall a decent continuation of this series. These books are well written and I love that there is time spent on philisophy, as well as fighting zombies. I was disappointed that this book was more about Gameland and evil bounty hunters. I was hoping to read about Nix, Benny, and Tom journeying across the Rot and Ruin. We do get to meet a lot of new bounty hunters that are awesome and there are some spectacular fight scenes in here. Recommended to those who enjoy post-apocalyptic zombie novels.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Friday Night Bites: Chicagoland Vampires, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Chloe Neill
    • Narrated By Cynthia Holloway
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1080)
    Performance
    (832)
    Story
    (841)

    "Vampires in Chicago! You'd think headlines like that would have provoked the fine citizens of the Windy City to take up arms against us bloodsucking fiends. Instead, 10 months later, we're enjoying a celebrity status reserved for the Hollywood elite - fending off paparazzi only slightly less dangerous than cross- and stake-wielding slayers. Don't get me wrong. Joe Public isn't exactly thrilled to be living side-by-side with the undead, but at least they haven't stormed the castle...yet."

    K. Eckert says: "Fun and entertaining read, love the narrator"
    "Fun and entertaining read, love the narrator"
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    This is the second book in the Chicagoland Vampires series. The sixth book, Biting Cold, will release in August 2012. Right now the author has 10 books on contract for this series. I enjoyed this book. This series has just been so fun and entertaining. I listened to this on audiobook, which I highly recommend, it was a very well done.

    Merit is trying to finally get settled as Sentinel of Cadogan House, she's moving into the house and getting into a routine with the other Guards of the house. That is until Ethan needs her services elsewhere. Ethan has heard rumors that someone has leaked a story about vampire raves to the press and Ethan wants Merit to stop it. Then they find the Selena has been released from custody in Europe and is most likely on her way to shake things up. In an effort to make contact with the movers and shakers in Chicago Ethan asks Merit to do the one thing she vowed never to do again, reenter the elite social scene that plagued her childhood.

    Merit is your typical urban fantasy heroine in some ways but not others. She has unusual powers, she is in the middle of a love triangle of sorts, and she is surrounded by supernatural power figures. The thing that sets Merit apart from other UF heroines is that to unravel the mystery throughout this story she uses something else entirely...her brain and her research skills. It was refreshing to see an urban fantasy heroine that is valued for her intelligence and actually thinks through the consequences of her actions. Don't forget that Merit is also funny, snarky, and wonderful at sarcasm.

    Merit has also discovered that she is different from other vamps and this leads towards some interesting plot elements towards the end of the story.

    Ethan, who was kind of stick in the mud in the first book, becomes a much more well developed character in this novel. Ethan actually has a sense of humor at points and even shows some vulnerability throughout the story. He is mostly still a mystery but we are starting to get some hint of who he really is.

    We don't see a ton of Morgan in this book, he is definitely in the story but when he is he comes across as jealous and angry most of the time. This story focuses much more on Ethan. Mallory is also absent for much of the story; she's gone off to be trained in magic stuff. I missed Mallory and Merit exchanging witty dialogue, but Ethan was there to spice things up a bit.

    One thing that absolutely irritated me about this book is that Neill sticks to a lot of the same description words throughout. Almost every guy Merit meets is just "so pretty". Seriously there are more pretty guys in this book than any other book I have ever read. The other thing is raised eyebrows; there is a whole dialogue of raised/quirked/lifted eyebrows in this book. I have never before read a book where eyebrows are involved so much in body language.... Okay I just had to get that out, now I feel better.

    Overall this is a very fun and entertaining read. Merit does a lot of learning in this book and is as entertaining and snarky as in the first book. Merit is dealing with a lot in this book she is under emotional stress and under pressure to solve the mystery behind the rave stories. Ethan is the other big character in this book; we finally get to meet him and learn more about him. There is a great mystery woven throughout the story and it was hard to put the book down. This is a very entertaining read and fans of vampire urban fantasy will find a lot here to love. I would also recommend if you like the Night Huntress series; this series reminds a lot of that one but this series has less romance and more mystery.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Allison Hewitt Is Trapped: A Zombie Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Madeleine Roux
    • Narrated By Piper Goodeve
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (229)
    Performance
    (185)
    Story
    (185)

    One woman's story as she blogs about - and fights back against - the zombie apocalypse.

    Allison Hewitt and her five colleagues at the Brooks and Peabody Bookstore are trapped together when the zombie outbreak hits. Allison reaches out for help through her blog, writing on her laptop. It may also be her only chance to reach her mother. But as the reality of their situation sinks in, Allison's blog becomes a harrowing account of her edge-of-the-seat adventures.

    Daniel O. Buchholz says: "Book Lover seeking not to meet Zombie"
    "Well done zombie story with excellent narration"
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    I had been wanted to read this book for some time. I loved zombie books and this one had a great premise. It was an entertaining book that ended up being more about dealing with other people than smashing up zombies...although there is a lot of zombie smashing as well.

    I listened to this on audiobook and it was very well done. They have different voice actors for the different voices and blog comments. I highly recommend listening to this if you like audiobooks.

    Alison is at work at a bookstore when it happens. People start turning into mindless zombies and eating each other. Luckily the break room is where the safe is and has a huge reinforced metal door. Now Alison is trapped with her co-workers in the bookstore break room. As the world crumbles apart outside, Alison decides to start a blog detailing the day to day events. Alison's story is submitted to a book being written about American heroes during the zombie crisis. As the reader we read it as blog entries.

    There are a few things that are really interesting about the way this book is done. Firstly since Alison's story is being submitted for inclusion in a book about American heroes, we know that eventually humanity recovers from the horrible events that took place during Alison's life. Just that gives this book a more hopeful feel than many other zombie books I have read.

    Secondly the book is done as blog entries. This is similar to Mira Grant's Newsflesh series, but much different in tone. Alison's entries are more like a personal diary. Also interesting is that comments to Alison's blog are posted at the end of each entry. From these comments we get to see what is happening to the rest of the world; we hear about how other people are surviving and how the rest of the world is fairing.

    Alison is an awesome character. She is your typical grad student but she will do what needs being done. No matter how gross or gory. I was a little surprised in the beginning of the book at the inaction of her coworkers. None of her coworkers did anything, they were all victims...Alison had to spur them into action. I found this to be kind of unrealistic; I mean I can't imagine my coworkers ever being that apathetic but I guess I work with engineers not book store employees...so it may just be different.

    Most of this book isn't about slaying zombies. It's about making a life for yourself in the chaos and dealing with all of the people (good and bad) that cross your life. As with many zombie books, in the end the zombies aren't the problem...it's all the crazy people you have to deal with in a society that has completely broken down that are the problem.

    Is this book gory, heck yeah! Is it sad at times? Yep. But there are also some interesting revelations about life and the meaning of it in here too. There is also a sweet romance between Alison and one of the men she meets that offsets a lot of the violence. I should mention this is a book for adults. Alison swears a lot (I mean boatloads) and sex is discussed quite a bit (although there isn't anything really explicit). There are also some surgery scenes that made me squirm.

    The end of the book is pretty predictable, but that being said this is one of the more hopeful zombie books that I have read. Things actually end in a somewhat hopeful way.

    Overall this is a very good read. The story is told in a creative way and I really enjoyed Alison as a character. Alison is a tough, ax-toting survivor, but along the way she learns a lot about herself and those around her. There is a sweet romance in here, lots of crazy escapes, and lots of chopping up zombies with axes. I still enjoyed The Angels are the Reapers and Night of the Living Trekkies better; but I would still highly recommend this book to zombie fans out there.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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