This is only my third audio listen and it is one I will recommend.
The tale takes place in New York City and mainly occurs in an old brownstone apartment building. We learn the story of Holly Golightly through Fred a writer who lives on the floor above her. This is not a love story in the romantic sense, but fall in love you shall. Capote through Fred shares Holly and her escapades to us. At first glance, you may find her shallow, conceited, and an over the top scammer. You know immediately there is so much more to Holly Golightly. Capote does an excellent job of peeling back her layers an allowing us to see both the flawed character and the hopeless dreamer. Capote writes as if he is sitting next to you on a train sharing his story and he brought it all vividly to life. I fell in love with Holly, despite it all, just as those who encountered her did. I adored Fred and Joe Bell. The tale moves at an even clip with climatic moments that brought us joy, anger and tears. While I didn’t like Holly Golightly, I couldn’t help, but love this quirky woman
Michael C. Hall was the narrator for the audio version. He is best known for his work in Six Feet Under and Dexter. I am a huge fan of both shows so you can imagine how unnerving it felt to have an undertaker/serial killer reading to me. Those feelings were quickly dismissed as I succumb to his rich tone. Hall did a wonderful job sharing Breakfast at Tiffany’s with me. I actually felt like we were sitting in a pub, and he was sharing a story about a period in his life; a memory if you will. You know the Pub I am talking about? The one with those comfy leather chairs and cozy library feel? The warm fire blazes as the glasses of wine reflecting the fire. I felt content and comfortable in Hall’s hands as the tale unfolded. He did a wonderful job giving each character voice, especially that of Holly.
I actually listened to this in two sessions and quickly became caught up in the story.
The Swan & the Jackal was brilliantly paced with twists and turns that shocked me, ripped my heart out and made my jaw drop. The last 40% of my listening experience took place into the wee hours of the morning because there was no way I was stopping. Fredrick’s story is far from over and maybe I am sick, but I cannot wait for more.
Fans of dark, gritty, complicated romances wrapped in the world of assassins for hire will find The Swan & the Jackal to be a brilliant addition to the In the Company of Killers series. Redmerski has this incredible gift for bringing these dark, damaged characters to life and weaving them around your heart.
• Better Homes and Hauntings is a standalone paranormal romance filled with humor, a benevolent spirit and diverse group of people working to restore an old family mansion.
• The setting is fantastic. The home is on an island surrounded by water and reached by boat. The house built in the early 1900’s has secret nooks, a ballroom and tons of atmosphere perfect for spirits.
• The cast is very diverse from the tech geek to the gardener creating for entertaining meals, feuds and friendships. We get multiple Pov’s, and the narrator did an excellent job of bringing forth their personalities which added to the listener’s enjoyment. I loved the banter, late night girls’ talk, the bickering and of course, the romances that developed.
• Ghosts, old family legends, murder and more made Better Homes and Hauntings interesting. I loved the old family tragedy, the hauntings and the slow build as the entities’ anger escalated. Back-stories and threats from Nina’s past had me fully engaged.
• The romances were very different. Nina and Deacon’s romance so cute, sweet, awkward and funny. Cindy and Jack had history and theirs was a haters to lovers’ romance that made for a hilarious listen.
• Amanda Ronconi did an excellent job narrating and quickly gave a unique voice to each character making the transition from each character seamless. The humor and hauntings were enhanced by her skill set.
• While we get a few creep-tastic moments, for the most part this is a G haunting, and I would have loved darker tones.
• The tale is predictable, and moments lagged a little, but overall this was entertaining.
• A little something was missing, and I cannot quite figure out exactly what I needed. Perhaps because no aspect of the tale was the main focus, and multiple POVs left me wanting more depth.
In the Janus Affair, we once again join the duo of Eliza Braun and Wellington Books, officers at the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences in Britain. It was a fantastic ride filled with murder, missing people and revelations. They are traveling home aboard Britain’s latest hypersteam train when the hair rises on her back of their necks. A woman of Eliza’s acquaintance vanishes before their eyes in a bright bolt of lightning. Eliza and Wellington are stunned, but back in the archives they find this strange occurrence is happening all over.
I love this duo, from their banter to wit. Their personalities blend wonderfully. She loses her restraint, he keeps her in check. When they discover someone at the ministry is burying these missing cases in the archives that they must solve the case. From Woman fighting for Suffrage to an old flame of Eliza’s showing up the tale is suspenseful, with the most creative characters. While we have privy to the growing feelings developing between our heroes…they are suddenly beginning to release it themselves. It was delicious being in their minds as they worked it out.
Ballentine and Morris have a creative imaginations and it’s all in the details. I love the inventions, the diabolic plot and the language. James Langton is once again the narrator, and I enjoy his rendition. He brilliantly brings out Wellingtons stuffiness and Eliza’s snark. Through tone and inflection, he helps create the mood, ratchet up the tension and his narration for the villains, ex-lover and superiors at the ministry was spot on.
The Janus Affair was another excellent addition in the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series. Fans of steampunk, banter and mystery will delight in the adventures of Wellington and Eliza.
Five reasons to grab your ear-buds and take a walk with The Hollow Ground:
1. Harnett realistically captures this small mining town and the horrific horrors they deal with from nightly checked for gas levels to a down turned economy devastated by the fires and the fleeing of townsfolk. She takes us into the dysfunctional home of eleven-year-old Brigid Howley an Irish-American family with secrets and hardship. The story is atmospheric, character driven and beautifully captures this period.
2. The story unfolds through Brigid Howley’s perspective as she narrators events, shares her family curse and reasons out the behavior of her family. She is a curious mixture of childlike innocents and wisdom beyond her years. Her voice is incredibly realistic and heartfelt. Readers will fall in love with Brigid, and her voice will engrain itself forever in your mind. Reviewers have likened her to Scout Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird, and I whole-heartily agree.
3. Harnett captures the raw emotions of this family exposing their secrets and daily struggles. She adds moments of light into this bleak world. Family can tear each other down and lift each other up like nobody’s business, and we gain an insider’s perspective that is real and raw through the eyes of this child. The tale was captivating and realistically portrayed.
4. The secondary characters had depth as Harnett held nothing back. Brigid’s parents were complicated, frustrating, and damaged. Harnett gave them powerful voices even when they said nothing. As the reader they stunned me, made me angry and yet Harnett allowed me to feel sympathy and gain understanding. Gram was an ornery hoot, who holds grudges, will not listen to reason and loves with a ferocious intensity. I both scorned and adored her.
5. The Hollow Ground is an atmospheric tale that will stay with you as will Brigid’s voice. Add this to your reading list if you enjoy tales inspired by actual events, learning about American history and delving into the dynamics of the dysfunctional families. Luci Christian the narrator did an excellent job of bringing Brigid and her family to life. Each character was easily recognizable and their emotions evident in her voice.
The tale picks up eight months after the final scenes from book one and Sarai is attempting a normal life. The problem; she is not normal. Sarai sets out to even the score and despite all her planning things go seriously wrong. She ends up back with Victor and ooh-la-la these two are on fire together. It is like looking at the sun. Of course, these two cannot just ride off into the sunset and the tale Redmerski takes us on will test them all.The tale shares both Sarai and Victor’s perspectives. Although more chapters are devoted to Sarai, we get inside both of their heads We get to know Victor more and see the incredible impact Sarai has had on him. Sarai is stronger, colder, and more determined than ever to lead the life she wants. These two and the circle they travel in are dark. At times, this is violent, and gritty. Other characters are present such as Victors partner, Fredrik Gustavsson. The man is smexy and unsettling. Victor’s brother while absent most of the tale plays a large roll towards the end. Redmerski holds nothing back as the plots twists and turns. There is drama, secrets and confessions. It was riveting, and I quickly consumed this.I listened to the audio version of Reviving Izabel and Kate Reinders nails the voice of Sarai. She brought Sarai’s thoughts and stone cold attitude to life. She even did an excellent job for Victor. Now comes the not so good part; Stephen Bel Davies did the voice for Victor, and it failed for me on some many levels. I know Victor is cold, has learned to suppress his emotions but the monotone delivery brought none of the Victor I experienced while reading. His voice for Sarai and other characters offered no real distinction. Sadly I am unsure if my rating might have been higher if I had read this or Reinders did the reading solo.The series has won a place for Redmerski among my favorite authors list, and I cannot wait for the release of The Swan & the Jackal, which will share Fredrik Gustavsson story. It is currently availabe in kindle/paper editions but will release on audio June 6th. Narrated By Luke Daniels, Andi Arndt, and Kate Reinders.Fans of dark, intense, action-packed suspense wrapped up with a romance and fleshed out characters need to read this series, STAT. Copy received in exchange for unbiased review.
Phoenix Rising oozed with steampunk goodness. From Eliza’s weapons to the archives we encountered gadgets from the simple to complex. The authors did an excellent job of describing them, and I often felt like I was right in the room with the characters and impressive machinery. Ballantine and Morris delivered an engaging plot with an ebb and flow that provided intense action scenes and moments that allowed us to glean information and understand their characters. The overall story ARC is a small thread woven into the overall tale that has me curious and eager for more. While there is no romance, we do feel a connection developing between our main characters, one that has me itching for more. The case wrapped up nicely, and I look forward to The Janus Affair the next book in the series.
James Langton was absolutely amazing as the narrator. He brought both Eliza and Wellington to life. Through him, they came to life from the gestures to pitch as he conveyed the feelings. He seamlessly delivered punch lines and the snark that made this tale so entertaining for me.
Phoenix Rising was such a brilliant listen. I laughed, felt for the characters and became swept up in the chase. I am so glad I chose to listen to the audio version and plan to continue.
In Murder of Crows, Bishop’s world and character building blew my mind. The threat intensified as we gained more insight into the HFL, traveled to other parts of Thasia, and new characters came into the fold. Those things alone made the book stellar, but then Bishop fleshed out relationships, introduced three dimensional characters and increased our knowledge of the terra indigene. We learn about their books, movies and have an interesting time with cookies. Meg and the community are beginning to understand more about the cassandra sangue and Meg’s prophecies. From the first page to the last the tale ebbed and flowed perfectly as the tension increased. Bishop does an outstanding job of balances the darker tones of this plot with the light. We get multiple povs, including those of the Controller and another cassandra sangue which intensified the story keeping me enthralled. The treatment of the cassandra sangue by these controllers was dark and violent from abuse to rape. Bishop didn’t attempt to flower these details. She simply presents the facts leaving them to smack and enrage the reader. When reading my reviews you often hear me say, “I wanted more world-building and fleshed out characters.” Murder of Crows and Written in Red are exquisite examples of what I crave. All of my needs were satisfied from the panoramic view to the depth of details. Nothing was rushed; the plot was well thought out, and every word and detail was relevant. If every author gave me these beautiful details as seamlessly as Bishop, I would be on a never ending book high.
I was very excited to see that once again Alexandra Harris was the narrator. Harris did a wonderful job narrating Written in Red and impressed me even more with Murder of Crows. Her depiction of Meg truly captures her emotions and even her growth. She brought the characters to life for me, and I think her pacing is perfectly matched for the Others series. She uses different voices for each character that are so unique and so clear I could immediately identify them.
The Doctor boards Radio Bravo, a pirate radio station in the year 1966. Here he encounters Layla, Tomah, and Jasper the crew who shares music illegally. He has tracked the Hush to this ship. A monster that devours noise leaving only silence in its wake. The Doctor is convinced it is looking to broadcast through the transmitter on board with plans to silence the world. Layla was the most fleshed out of the secondary characters. Much like the show we dive head first into the action and receive information along with the secondary characters. The Doctor was his usual snarky, conceited and of course brilliant self. The narrative is first person from the Doctor’s pov and felt like a story being retold. The tale had clever moments, suspense, humor and a few twists as the Doctor faced his opponent.
David narrated the entire story solo, giving unique voices and accents to the others aboard the ship. I was quickly able to identify each. Tennant spoke in his native accent a wonderful Scottish brogue. I must admit I missed David’s British accent created for the tenth Doctor. Having said that David makes an excellent narrator, and I will be on the lookout for more books narrated by him. The soundtrack came complete with sound effects that added to the suspense. It felt like I was listening to an episode on the television complete with cuts for commercial breaks were we heard the TV show’s soundtrack.
In Written in Red, Anne Bishop spun a tale that unfolded before my eyes, and I quickly became immersed in this world, with its brilliantly fleshed out characters, suspenseful plot, humor, and tender moments. The residents within the compound are all supernatural characters we are familiar with, but Bishop portrays them in a refreshing way. She gave me a small-town story that quite frankly I never wanted to end. Each character was fleshed out from the humans to the elements. There were moments of discovery, laughter, fear and magic. We had villains to loathe and the overall danger that was a threaded throughout the tale was slowly revealed to us. The more I learned, the harder it was to stop listening. These characters especially the terra indigene became my friends. I cared for them, felt their emotions and wanted to bop them on the head occasionally.
Alexandria Harris is the narrator, and once I settled in with her voice I began to appreciate how she gave each character their own unique tone, the subtle way her tone changed as the tension built. Her ability to capture and convey the characters emotions was effortless. Written in Blood is the kind of story that is almost impossible to put down. Be wary of just one more chapter, as you will soon find yourself lost within this world, unable to pull yourself back to reality.
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