So thankful to Yuriko who listed the stories with the authors and some comments! It was such a chore to try and keep track of all the stories and authors as well as remember what they were about. So, thank you, Yuriko!I gave this book only 4 stars because the stories were of very uneven quality. Some I absolutely loved and others, I actively disliked. Some, I wished were much longer and could have been novels. But, others, I stopped paying attention to as I listened.
The main reasons I got this book are the authors, Diana Gabaldon and Charlaine Harris. But ironically, their stories were mediocre, and some other authors' stories that I thought I wouldn't like, such as Patricia Briggs, turned out to be terrific.But first I need to say that ANYTHING read by my hearthrob boyfriend (I wish) Phil Gigante, is worth five stars in my high esteem. His voice, no mattter the character, is SO melting. So with that totally unbiased opinion, I especially LOVED "In Red, With Pearls" by Patricia Briggs. How wonderful to have the main character of Warren, a gay werewolf, and his lover, Kyle, a human. I ADORED these characters and the premise and I hope for Ms. Briggs to wite a series using Warren as the main character! Please, please, please. I will buy every book.
The main reasons I liked "Lord John and The Plague Of Zombies" by Diana Gabaldon are the Lord John character and his brief mentions of Jamie Fraser (that I ate up with a spoon) and Ms. Gabaldon who could write a book about the phonebook and I'd be enthralled. This is not her finest work, but who's complaining when it's Lord John?
But the absolute worst was "Beware The Snake" by John Maddox Roberts. I'm sorry, but I happen to love snakes and all animals and having to hear about all the cruel and abusive things those pesky ancient Romans did to the animals really left me cold. Besides the historical details, the story was boring.
"The Lady Is A Screamer" by Iggulden (sp?) was a standout. I love ghost exorcists! But, I'm sorry, salamnders? In "Hellbender" by Laurie R. King. I mean, really, salamanders?
But there's plenty to enjoy in this anthology and I highly recommend it.
I would have given this two and a half stars. For my taste, way too much unnecessary vivid description of the victim's torture; too weak of a heroine; average amount of humor for said heroine; average uninteresting storyline with rather uninvolving characters.
Takes place in the South (at least I think it does), but you wouldn't know it with no flavor of the locale.
I will give the White Trash Zombie books a try.
I understand that this is more of a prose narrative of the Titanic, but when the iceberg spoke and the rat scuddled, I gave up.
Even one of my favorite narrators, Phil Gigante, couldn't save this Titanic.
I am still a huge fan of this well-written, engaging, fast-paced series, but this book is a little bit weaker than the previous installments.
Some other reviewers said it best, but there are some plot developments that have too many loopholes and some characters such as the Dreamers, that really stretched any believability.
Especially since I live in Los Angeles, I love all the locations and happenings in this city. And I adore all the wonderful references to movies, books and social media.
But no review is worth anything without a standing ovation to the narrator, MacLeod Andrews, who makes the character come alive.
I was trying to come up with some clever headline for my review, but the overall picture is that I just love this series!
As in the two previous books, the writing is so good with all the wonderful ruminations of the lead character, done in first person perspective. I loved his inner turmoil, his wrestling with his good/bad self, his take on the world, people, monsters, the devil and god. And the story still moved along at a fast pace and I never lost interest in this extraordinary character.
I cannot say enough about MacLeod Andrew's performance. His narration makes the character absolutely come alive. I wonder if reading it would have the same impact, but I think the experience would be quite different. His smokey, growling voice conjures up vivid images and that perfect sarcastic humor just swept me away.
I would love this series to be made into a movie. It is so visual and such rich material, it would make a terrific film.
And if only MacLeod Andrews looks anything like his voice, he could play Sandman Slim!
I think this is a terrific series so far. I love the voice of Sandman Slim from MacLeod Andrews. He makes him come alive with that throaty Jack Nicholson voice. He also does the other characters very well, as I can easily tell them apart even when not identified in the writing.
And speaking of the writing... for this genre, the writing is superior to most.
I'm also totally enjoying all the Los Angeles locales. They're authentic!
On to the next book.
Things I enjoyed about this book were Piper's insights into peoples' character, her perspective on the judicial system, the many women she met during her stay, and the look inside a world I have known nothing about except from weird B movies about women's prisons.
The one thing I didn't care for was each story or each encounter really had no drama to it. It seemed everything ended fine and nothing really happened. I may not be explaining this clearly, but I kept expecting some big dramatic happening.
Cassandra Campbell is a terrific narrator who really made the story come alive.
I watched the first episode of Orange Is The New Black, but found it a little tedious after already hearing the book.
Like some other reviewers, I would really like to know what has happened to Piper since her release and her experiences with this book being published.
Very well done for the murder/thriller genre with a good flawed anti-hero. His backstory is nicely complex and realistically portrayed. I really liked that our hero is a writer and not a superhero or a McGiver.
I'm not sure how I feel about the first-person narrative which I found it a bit disconcerting. There seemed to be no real reason for it---no memoirs nor anyone telling the story to another. But other than that, the writing was top-notched and Mr. Levine's narration was excellent with lots of emotional qualities, including a really well-done drunk/drugged scene.
Lots of good supporting characters including the usual police detective who thinks our hero is guilty.
Very imaginative plot with excellent twists and turns that kept me guessing almost to the end, except there's a technique often used in films where the story continues even after the main plot is seemingly wrapped up. That's a dead giveaway that someone won't stay down. It's used here, but made the ending much more satisfying.
Such a terrific, well-written, thoroughly engaging series! I am so sorry it ended and I would beg for more.
Although I adored the first narrator, Damian Lynch did an excellent job at capturing Felix's wonderful sardonic yet compassionate nature.
This series is definitely one of my favorites.
What a gem this series is! Hooked as I was by the first book, this fourth installment has completely addicted me!
Just a note about the change of narrator: at first I was disappointed when hearing Damian Lynch as Felix, but as I listened, his narration totally grew on me and very soon I enjoyed his version. It will be very interesting to hear the difference with the next book.
The author beautifully defines the characters, giving us an enthralling scene of Felix's childhood and the memories of his life. Well defined and beautifully written, the plot moved at a good pace without sacrificing insights into characters.
Definitely a cut above most paranormal series and Felix Castor is irresistible.
What a cliffhanger of an ending!
Some of the stories were better than others which is to be expected in an anthology, but on the whole this book was just average compared to Charlaine Harris and her Sookie world.
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