A Cast-Off Coven is the second book in the Witchcraft Mysteries, and sees Lily back in the middle of a murder. Lily owns Aunt Cora's closet, and gets a call to look at some vintage clothes found in a closet at the San Francisco School of Fine Arts. What Lily finds is more than just vintage clothes: a murder of a wealthy man and a demon!
I listened to the first book in this series (Secondhand Spirits) in audio version and I really enjoyed the narration from Xe Sands (particularly of Oscar, the familiar) so I decided to listen to the second book on audio as well.
I liked that this book followed closely after the first, and told more of Max's back story. So the reader finds out what he has against magic, and also more of Aiden's story as well.
The mystery kept me on toes, constantly trying to guess who the murderer was. I loved the backdrop of the San Francisco School of Fine Arts with its bell tower ghost, as it set a very creepy scene, which suited the book perfectly. Of course the stand out character was the familiar, Oscar, who is a goblin that changes himself into a pot belly pig. Oh Oscar, you are wonderful!!
I'm really glad that there is lots more books in this series to enjoy, and I definitely will check out the audio versions, because I love Xe Sands narration.
In his final adventure before his very first regeneration, the Doctor and his companions, Polly and Ben, land at the South Pole. They are greeted by the discovery of a new planet, eerily similar to Earth, from which the famed "Cybermen" appear. The Cybermen are determined to take over the station and will kill anyone in their way. However, the stakes are raised even higher when their failing planet, Mondas, becomes the centre of a plan to blow it up.
I've been a Doctor Who fan for so long that I'm not even sure when I became such a fan. The show has been around for fifty years now and I haven't been around for quite that long, so it's been around all my life. The great thing about being a fan of audiobooks is that I can listen to radio plays and novels on audio, especially while I'm eagerly awaiting the next episode of Doctor Who on tv.
William Hartnell's appearance as the First Doctor is way before my time, but I've seen some tv episodes with him and I decided he'd be a good place to start reading some of the novels. In "Doctor Who and the Tenth Planet" this is his first regeneration and the first appearance of the Cybermen. It's a great adventure and it's fun to see the interaction between the Doctor, his companions, Ben and Polly, and how they get out of the mess. It's interesting that in all the adventure the sonic screwdriver is only vaguely mentioned once, as Ben tells a crew member that he has a "screwdriver" that may help deactivate the bomb!! For a lot of this episode the Doctor is in failing health and it's really up to Polly and Ben to save the day.
The audio is fantastic. It's narrated by Anneke Wills, who plays Polly, and I really felt like I could be back in the 1960's and listening to this play on the radio. I loved the sound effects used and the interview with Anneke Wills at the end was a fantastic bonus. She talks about William Hartnell's failing health during the filming of the actual episode and the regeneration.
If you're a Doctor Who fan I strongly suggest listening to this one on audio. It was a super fun episode and great on audio.
Beatrice Prior lives in Chicago. A Chicago far into the future where the city is divided into five factions based on virtues - Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). She has grown up as Abnegation but she doesn't feel like she is selfless. On her sixteenth year she will undergo a aptitude test to determine where she belongs and what faction she will live the rest of her life. However her aptitude test shows that she is "divergent", meaning she doesn't lean towards one particular faction but to three of them. It will be her choice which faction to choose and she chooses to leave Abnegation behind and join the Dauntless. Becoming a Dauntless member though seems like a test to the death as she has to fight with her fellow initiates, survive attempts on her life and face her fears. And the end of her initiation could well just be the beginning of a war.
I think you'd have to have lived in a cave to not have heard about Divergent. There is a movie coming out in 2014 and the final book in the trilogy was released last month. I'd previously avoided all the hype and concentrated on other books on my shelves, but decided it was time to see if this debut lives up to the hype. Guess what? It does!! Divergent is a powerful YA dystopian book and I'm really hoping the movie will do the book justice because the book was amazing.
Beatrice "Tris" is a great character. She's young and determined. She knows that leaving her family and Abnegation behind will be difficult but she wants to find out where she belongs. Even though she's the smallest of the initiates she's determined to make it, even if that means fighting her new friends. I also really liked Four, our male protagonist. He seems tough on the outside but he isn't fearless and has his own issues. I don't want to give too much away but his past and how he got the nickname "Four" is really interesting.
I really liked the dystopia Chicago. It is clear at the end of Divergent that this Chicago is on the brink of war and I can't wait to start Insurgent to see what is going to happen to all the factions and where Tris and Four fit into this. I'm also curious about what is outside the outskirts of Chicago. They only mention a few times outside of Chicago so I'm hoping we learn more about this in the next book.
I listened to Divergent on audiobook and I loved it. It was my first time listening to Emma Galvin and I really liked the narration. She narrates the next two books and I'm looking forward to listening to her narration.
Death of a Outsider sees Hamish Macbeth leaving his beloved Lochdubh to spend three months covering for a police officer in the Highland town of Cnothan. With his beloved dog, Hamish gets to know the locals and discovers he's not the only "outsider" in Cnothan. There are quite a few, a lovely lass from Canadian and a married couple that the locals cannot stand. It seems that Mr Mainwaring has a way of causing the locals to dislike him, as he picks and prods his way into all their lives. When a skeleton turns up dead and it is discovered to belong to Mr Mainwaring, Macbeth and Inspector Blair set out to investigate the case and find out who disliked Mainwaring enough to want him dead.
I've liked the first two books in this series and I'm continuing on by listening to book 3, Death of a Outsider, on audio. I love seeing what Hamish gets up to and it's nice to see him away from Lochdubh for this adventure. He's trying to keep his mind off Priscilla, his crush and the girl that he can't quite see a future with, even though he wants to. He finds things interesting in Cnothan - especially with a very unattached Canadian artist. And of course there is a murder to solve!!
Speaking of the murder. I read a lot of murder mysteries and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised of who Mainwaring was killed and the discovering of his skeleton. Yes not a corpse but a skeleton. I haven't seen this in a previous mystery and I love how creative M.C. Beaton was with this.
I really enjoyed Death of a Outsider and will listen to more of these books on audio. It seems that there was a new narrator with this one - Shaun Grindell. He provides the voice for the rest of the audios in this series, and while it took me a little while to get used to his narration I am looking forward to seeing how he narrates future books.
After Scarlett Parker discovers that her boyfriend has been lying to her and is still married, her fiery temper gets the best of her and she behaves badly and gets the name of the “Party Crasher”. To put some distance between the incident, Scarlett decides to visit her cousin, Vivian, who runs Mim’s Whims, the millinery business they both inherited when their grandmother passed away. In England Scarlett doesn’t quite find the peace and quiet she’s looking for, especially when Vivian appears to be missing and a client turns up dead. With an old love interest in tow, Scarlett and her new friends must solve a murder and try to keep the hat shop open, in Vivian’s absence.
I first discovered Jenn McKinlay through her Cupcake Bakery mysteries and then her Library Lover’s mysteries. Being a fan of English-based mysteries, I was thrilled to learn that she was publishing a series set in England.
Right from the second Scarlett steps off the plane in England, I was hooked on her adventure. She’s such a fun heroine, as she struggles with the pain of her embarrassment of her ex-boyfriend, to not remembering, Harrison, a boy she stood up as a teen. She has a fiery temperament, and it seems she’s always getting herself into trouble!! Scarlett is plain and simple fun and it was so enjoyable to read her first adventure.
The first mystery in this series really sets the scene about the store, Mim’s Whims, Vivian and Scarlett’s history together, growing up together and spending their summers at the store. We are also introduced to the fabulous pair of Andre and Nick, a couple that live just down the street, and help Scarlett cause trouble and get out of trouble too!! I absolutely adored Andre and Nick and I can’t wait to see more of them in the next book.
I listened to Cloche and Dagger on audiobook and the narration is voiced by Karyn O’Bryant. It was my first time listening to Karyn O’Bryant narrate and it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience. She quickly switches between the English and American accents, and her voices matched the personalities so perfectly. From vibrant Nick to Harrison, who can be quite the stick-in-the-mud and formal, the voices were simply perfect. I hope that future books in this series will be published in audiobook format with Karyn O’Bryant providing the narration.
Cloche and Dagger is a five-star read. It’s a debut in a new series and it is an absolute stellar start to this series. I can’t wait for the second book (Death of a Mad Hatter) to hit the shelves next year.
Please Note: This review refers to events in the first two books, Across the Universe and A Million Suns, but no spoilers to the conclusion of this series.
In the final book in this series, Elder and Amy have left Godspeed with those that want to start a new life on Centuri-Earth and of course, all the military and scientists still frozen in the cryo chambers. Those that have elected to stay on Godspeed remain behind, and Elder and Amy look to the future. They know they will face monsters on Centuri-Earth, creatures they’ve never met before, but they know it is a risk they have to take. However, what they don’t expect is to face a war with the “frozens”, those that were selected for this mission with military and science backgrounds, who are determined to take over control and make all the decisions. With Amy’s father, taking the role as leader, Commander Martin and Elder come up against each other as they fight for their lives not just amongst each other but the monsters (and possibly aliens) on Centuri-Earth.
I really enjoyed the first two books in this series. I don’t read that much YA science fiction, despite being a huge fan of adult science fiction. I love the concept of this book – a ship being sent hundreds of years to colonize another planet. Amy was awoken before her time from her cryo chamber and a power war raged on the ship Godspeed. Now that is all behind her, as she and Elder land on Centuri-Earth.
Starting with the landing on Centuri-Earth to the fight with the monsters, aliens and internal fighting with Commander Martin, every second of Shades of Earth was action packed. I literally couldn’t stop listening to the audiobooks as my heart sped up with all the adventure, betrayals and emotions in this final book in the series. The plot twists were aplenty, and there were some that I predicted and some that I didn’t even see coming. However, I enjoyed every second of it and loved the conclusion.
Amy as a character has grown on me, and it really wasn’t until Shades of Earth that I started to like Elder. In the previous two books he seemed a little immature and whiny, but really came into his own on Centuri-Earth making those tough decisions that only a leader can make.
Shades of Earth was a great conclusion to this trilogy. I don’t want to go in too much about the monsters and aliens as I don’t want to spoil this for readers, but I did like all the twists and turns and how it turned back to events that happened on Godspeed, with the Phydus.
I read the first two books in this series and opted to listened to the audiobook for the final book and wow! I loved the narrators. I’m glad they chose to have a female narrator for Amy and a male narrator for Elder, and I thought they both did a exceptional job with this fast-paced story.
All in all a very enjoyable listen and I can’t wait to see what Beth Revis delivers next.
Kaylee Cavanaugh suffers a panic attack while shopping at the mall with her best friend, Emma. Her panic attack starts like any other but she has this overwhelming desire to scream, and screams a loud, unearthly scream from the back of her throat until she passes out. When she wakes up she is in a mental hospital and note sure how she got there. She learns that she started scratching at her throat and they want her to stay there to figure out what mental illness she has. Kaylee knows she's not crazy and doesn't belong there, but why does she scream like that and what are the dark shadows she sees? A fellow patient, Lydia, may hold the answers, as she seems to have special abilities also.
This series came strongly recommended to me many years ago and it got lost in the shuffle oh my other books. This is the prequel to the series and I opted to listen to it on audio.
I like paranormal teen books and at first glance it seems like this is going to be a series that I'm going to love. The book is short (the audio is less than two hours) but it does give us a peek into Kaylee's abilities and the battle she has trying to keep her screams under control. It seems that she screams when a person is close to death and sees shadows. We don't learn much more than that but I'm going to have to pick up "My Soul to Take" to find out all about it, as I'm really interested now.
I like Amanda Ronconi's narration. She has a good voice for YA fiction and she kept me interested in the story. The narration is neither silly nor over-the-top mature and as such I think she depicts Kaylee's voice very well.
This was a fun prequel and I intend to read the rest of the series.
Harry has been carrying out his job as a Warden on the White Council. Life is calm. There have been no wars or death threats recently, but this is about to change. Mab, Queen of the White Court of the Sidhe, has called in a favor from Harry and he must go into battle against the Denarians to save the life of mobster, Johnny Marcone, and also the life of a young child, who is known as The Archive. This adventure will test his strengths and those of Michael Carpenter, a Knight of the Cross, and Kincaid, a paid assassin, who is acting as The Archive's guardian.
I've loved this series since I picked up Storm Front and discovered the short lived tv-series. Right up to and including White Night I've read every book as paperback, but I decided to pick up the audiobook version of Small Favor as I'm trying to listen to more audiobooks. Let's talk about the story and then I will share my thoughts about the narrator.
The story is dynamite. I got really interested in the concept of the "black council" in White Night. A council that is a secret and is working against the White Council. Harry doesn't know too many details about this suspected Council but he has shared his thoughts with a few people. In Small Favor we learn that the Black Council might be spread further than Harry initially expected, right through to the Supernaturals working against each other. We also learn about The Archive, who is a magical construct and repository of all knowledge and wisdom. The Denarians want The Archive to turn her into one of the "Fallen" and Harry and his friends set out to save her.
There was so much going on in Small Favor that I felt like I was almost holding my breath the entire time as I listened to the book. There is adventure, supernaturals (although less vampires than usual) and hidden plots. I don't want to spoil the story for anyone that hasn't read it yet, but it is all awesome and cements my thoughts that this is one of the best urban fantasy series out there. It is not just focused on vampires or angels or faeries - it is everything and it is fantastic!
I loved learning more about The Archive and towards the end we find a revelation about a comparison between The Archive and Bob (a skeleton head spirit that resides with Harry) that left me wanting to pick up the next book right now to find out what happens next.
James Marsters (Spike from Buffy tv show for those that have watched it) is the narrator for this book and he is fantastic. He is the voice of Harry Dresden. After having listened to him narrate this book I will definitely be listening to the rest of the books on audio now. He does the voices just perfectly and I love the tone he uses when Harry screams out his spells in battle.
I recommend this series, but I highly recommend listening to it on audio. James Marsters definitely makes this series even better, if that is possible!
What do you get if you crossed X-Men with Nancy Drew? The new Variants series by Susanne Winnacker.
Tessa is a Variant, she can morph into anyone that she has "touched" that is still living. She lives with other Variants, with all different skills, at the FEA, a branch of the FBI. Tessa is called on her first assignment, to replace a girl who was killed from a serial killer attack, The FEA believe Variants are involve, so Tessa and Alec, also a Variant with the FEA and whom Tessa has a crush on, set off for Livingston to try and find out who the serial killer is.
I love mysteries and everything supernatural, so naturally I loved the premise of this book. Impostor lived up to all of my expectations as I went on a thrilling ride with Tessa as she tried to fit in with all Madison's friends and family, discover the murderer and also explore her feelings for Alec.
Tessa is a confused teen, which comes across well in the story. Her mom has handed her over to the FEA as she considers her a "freak" and doesn't want anything to do with her, and she's going through all the teen motions of wanting her first kiss, when she's thrusted into her first case. She certainly learns to grow up in a hurry and I liked the direction Susanne Winnacker took her in the first book in the series.
There are lots of questions raised at the end of this book about the Variants and the FEA, and I really, REALLY can't wait for the second book.
I listened on audio and I absolutely loved Emily Rankin's narration, especially for cook, Martha, who is like a surrogate den-mother to Tessa.
I recommend this book to fans of young adult fiction with a twist, especially if you like the X-Men!!
Stephen King has penned his first hard crime novel in Joyland, the tale of a serial killer in a amusement park. College student Devin Jones takes a job at a amusement park one summer. It will be a summer he won't forget as he recovers from a broken heart, learns what life is like as a "carny" and tries to solve a murder.
I'm a big mystery reader. I have a whole bookcase dedicated to the greats and the more recent releases. So when I heard Stephen King was writing a mystery I was intrigued. I have loved everything King has written and I was really interested in seeing if he could pull off a mystery, without it turning into a horror "slash-em" novel. Well let me reassure die hard King fans - he can!!
For me Joyland was more than just a murder mystery. It was a cold case murder mystery combined with a coming-of-age story that was possibly the sweetest coming-of-age story I've ever read. Well if you take away the creepy-serial killer-at-a-amusement-park thing!
I really enjoyed the story from Devin's point of view. He is young, in love, and later nurses a broken heart. His year at Joyland was the year that he grew up and learnt so much, and this comes across so clearly in both King's writing and Michael Kelly's narration. It's a story of heartbreak, sorrow and death. It was a story that I am so glad I read, and one I will never forget.
Joyland is a intriguing mystery and a coming-of-age story all rolled into one. I highly recommend it to both King fans and mystery fans alike. Michael Kelly's narration was fantastic, as he tells of the highs and lows of the summer.
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