This audio book was provided to me by Audiobook Jukebox for review.
The books started out with an alright feel to it. The main characters along with several minor characters and “The Howler” and introduced and there is a bit of background given. It’s quickly established that the main character, Don, isn’t all that popular and that he has some troubles at home, which is why he has his “friends” in his bedroom. His “friends” being pictures and statues of animals.
The story takes a while to get going and it seemed like The Howler was really only there simply to help move things along to the point where the horse makes it’s appearance. The Howler is in fact a werewolf, though it only ever mentions him having long nails/claws, so I’m not sure how accurate of a description that is. His character was a bit weak, he spent most of his time skulking around in the bushes missing opportunities to kill people. When he finally did make a kill it felt like it had taken a bit too long to reach that point.
When the horse is finally summoned, and after far too long of it just creeping in the shadows and forcing the narrator to say “Iron striking iron. Hollow.” far too many times the horse truly appeared. The murders that followed made sense to the rest of the story but overall seemed a bit lackluster, mostly it just slowly stalked after the individual scaring them with the sound of it approaching but them not being able to see it.
The narration of this book was fairly good. At times I found the narrators voice a bit dull and my attention wandering away from what I was listening to. One issue I did have was at the parts where Don was yelling the narrator seemed to be whispering those sections which seemed odd and a bit disappointing. He should have at least raised his voice, not lowered it.
As far as the overall story is concerned I found there was a lot of repetitiveness throughout, especially with the description “Iron striking iron. Hollow.”. That sentence alone seemed to have been said probably around 100 times and I wonder if it would have felt less or more repetitive had I read to book instead of listening to it. The horror in the book seemed almost non-existent, even with the various murders, The Howler and the horse stalking people before he killed them. The issues with Don, his parents, the school and everything else seemed to take away from what would be considered the horror plot line of this story. There was a lot of good descriptive moments in the book, however I felt at times that the story was a bit bogged down by all these descriptions and it distracted from what was actually happening.
I think this book might be better classified as Young Adult Horror and even then I think it’s a stretch on the horror part. Perhaps this would be good for a person only getting into horror and not wanting to dive headfirst into the genres but for regular horror readers it would likely be disappointing.
The ending made me shake my head, it was so predictable and far too cliche, which was actually something that seemed to be a plague on this book. Far too many cliches. I think the author was setting it up so perhaps he could write a sequel in the future but it felt too obvious, just an excuse to throw in another monster at the end.
Would I recommend this book to others? Perhaps, though I would be straightforward and tell them that I didn’t find it to be a horror novel. In the end I am glad to have read this book as one can never know if a book is truly good or bad until they read it.
I’ll admit I was very excited to see this audio book after finishing the first book in the series, Lethal Circuit. But initially I wasn’t sure if I would listen to it or not. Yes, I wanted to know what would happen next but what kept me from instantly rushing to listen was worry over the narrator. Then I found out there was a new narrator for this book and most of my worries went away.
As soon as I started listening to this audio book I could tell it was going to be good. Though I was thrown for a loop right away as well. The book was written in first person, where as the previous novel was done in third person. It took me several chapters to get used to this shift in perspective, however the further into the story I got I realized that I actually enjoyed it being written this way. Being done in first person really gives the reader/listener a better view of what is happening in the story and a deeper look into who Michael is and what it takes him to overcome the odds he is facing to try to save the day again. I think this style of writing also brought a smoother feel to the story. It’s true I would have liked to have seen a more in depth look at some of the new and recurring characters, however it was only a minor thing to not know what a character was thinking at a particular moment in the book.
As with the previous novel there was a lot of action in this book and that along with the quick paced, well-flowing story line I found myself listening to hours of this at a time but it only feeling like a few minutes had gone by. There is a nice mix of action as well, from fist fights, gun battles, speeding boats, explosions, dangerous climbing and so much more. Without this the book would have lacked a lot of it’s heart and soul, and I’m glad for the large amount of action from page one all the way to the final page.
There was a great mix of characters in this book. Along with some recurring characters, some of who were less expected than others, there was also a good amount of new characters as well. Of course as each character is introduced I was trying to figure out who they truly were and how they would affect the story as it progress. Some of the guesses that I made were accurate, while others were well off their mark.
I have to say that the narrator, Russel Jonas, did a fantastic job of bringing this story to life. He did real well with putting the various emotions Michael was feeling into the story, the rhythm he set as he read really brought the actions scenes truly to life. Since my main worry over this book had been about the narrator I was so happy when this new narrator worked out and really helped this story become what it was.
As for things I didn’t like about the book, well there weren’t many of them. The first one was the shift from third to first person. While it didn’t bother me in the end so much I feel that at least for consistency wise in the series I would have liked to see the story remain in the third person perspective. This small detail wasn’t a deal breaker for me, but being thrown off at the beginning having assumed it would be in third person because of the previous book led the a small amount of distraction from the story. The second thing I didn’t like was how things became a bit too predictable, especially in the second half of the book. I was a bit disappointed to see a few too many things coming but mainly to see Michael fall for nearly the same things he did in the previous book. I honestly wanted to yell at him, pointing out the obvious mistakes he was making but more so that he made those same mistakes only days ago (since this book happens a few days after the end of Lethal Circuit). However, it’s these stupid mistakes that he makes that also gives Michael that realistic feel to him. He is a flawed character, he makes mistakes, sometimes makes the same one twice, and yet he learns from others. The fact that he isn’t a perfect character brings an appeal to listening to this book.
Overall I thought this book was really good, not great like I was hoping for but really good. I think those who enjoyed the previous book as well as those who like action and thriller novels will enjoy this book and I look forward to seeing future books in this series.
It didn’t start off with a bang, nor did it crawl at the beginning. Instead I simply settled in a listened carefully to everything that was happening. The pace throughout the book was very solid. Yes there was a few slow spots however these were always followed up with something unexpected happening that propelled the story forward once more and made me suddenly forget that the slow spot ever happened. Along the way I found that clues were expertly woven into the story, so much so that I actually missed a number of them initially and it wasn’t until something happened as a result of that clue that I realized what I had missed and it made me wonder what other subtleties I have overlooked along the way.
Though I never felt a full connection to any of the characters in this book I wasn’t bothered by this fact. Normally if I don’t have a connection to the characters than the story is harder to get into. However in the case of Lethal Circuit I found that the story itself was more important to me than the characters, they were simply there to propel things forward and to add some insight to events. There were some characters that stood out, especially among the minor roles, but with how well things were hidden within the story I couldn’t guess how important their roles would become or what their connections to events would be.
There comes a time when every reader finds that one book that takes them by surprise. Lethal Circuit was that book to me. When I started listening to it I found that it was good, not great, but good. Interesting? Yes. Intriguing? Absolutely! But it hadn’t blown me away instantly. However I wasn’t fooled. I could feel that things were building up, it might take a little while, but at some point I would suddenly be blown away by what was happening in the story. I am happy to say that that is exactly what happened.
Really the only thing I can say that I didn’t one hundred percent care about with this book was the narrator, Ben Sullivan. Overall he was pretty good. What bothered me was how he would use different voices to describe things such as what a certain character was seeing, their thoughts, describing certain events and especially when he spoke of things from Michael’s past, such as what his father had taught him as a child. I would have preferred to have him stick to his regular voice at these times and only use different voices when dealing with narrative from the various characters. In fact it was this that made me give the book four and a half stars instead of five stars.
Because of the way the story progresses I feel that I can’t go into much detail about what I truly liked with this book without giving away too much. The ending caught me somewhat by surprise and afterwards I wanted to listen to the audiobook again so that I could catch all the little things I had missed along the way. This was a truly well written and thought out book. The way that things were presented, clues hidden while others were put out in the open, characters playing varied roles while often keeping their true intentions locked away and most importantly the ending the sneaks up on the reader and proves that even if all the clues are caught that the answer may not be as easy or as obvious as it had seemed.
I would certainly recommend this book not just to those that enjoy audiobooks but also to those who enjoy mysteries and thrillers and those who are looking to get into that genre.
I will definitely be checking out the second book in the series, Blown Circuit, as I am looking forward to what adventures Michael has next.
This review was originally posted on my blog, Exploring All Genres.
I listened to the audiobook version of The Road and I have to say it was pretty good. The narrator, Tom Stechschulte, did quite a good job of reading this book, however there were times when the tone of his voice became a but too monotonous and that made my attention waver a bit. One thing I can say that he did really good was putting a lot of emotion into some of the parts of the story, especially during times when the boy was scared of a certain situation and he was trying to plea with his father to stop. It was those times that I felt like there really was lots of danger out on the road and that it wasn’t simply a father and son out on a camping trip but these people were truly struggling to survive.
What stood out most to me with this book was the lack of names. During the story there was the man, the boy, the woman, but their names were never given. In fact there was only one name given throughout this book and that was Eli the old man they came across during their travels, and even then Eli admitted that might not even be his real name since names no longer help any significance out there. No doubt the characters had names at some point, but with the world in ruin and only a few surviving there is no need for a name.
While the majority of the character focus was on the man and the boy there were a few other characters that they encountered along the way. Most were bad men who essentially captured and eventually ate those people they came across but there were a few good people along the way as well. However the character with the biggest impact on the story was the one that many might not even consider a character, and that is the road itself. Sure it’s an inanimate object but the road holds such a significance to to story that it really does feel like it is a character. It leads the man and boy towards the ocean, provides them protection and on occasion supplies from the various abandoned vehicles along it, and is both the safest and dangerous way to travel.
Overall I enjoyed this book. It was a great story about survival in extreme circumstances, showed the lengths the man would go to protect his son as well as teach him about the world that used to exist and also about how to survive in the current world. I would certainly recommend this book to people who are looking to read something different or a book that has that Dystopian/Apocalypse feel.
This review was originally posted on my blog, Exploring All Genres.
Let me start by saying this is the kind of book I likely never would have picked up without some kind of outside influence. And in this case that outside influence was the Vaginal Fantasy Hangout over on GoodReads.
I listened to the audiobook version of this book and I’m wondering if it would have been better to have actually read it. The narration was lackluster at best. There was no distinction between characters whatsoever. It was hard to tell who was talking unless it was one of those “he said” or “she said” moments, and even then with so many male characters in this book it was hard to know exactly which “he” said something, otherwise all dialog seemed to be non-distinctive. Even when someone was thinking something it was almost impossible to tell if it was thought, dialog or general description without listening to it a second time, the part before/after didn’t always reveal what type it was.
The names of the various male characters who played the role of the dinosaur shape shifters certainly made me give my head a solid shake, Ty for Tyrannosaurus Rex, the triples Utah, Rap and Tor were obviously the Utah Raptor, and other shortened dinosaurs names filled the role of these men’s name. Trying to get past how crazy, and fairly unoriginal that was, took a bit of time but eventually I learned to ignore them as the story progressed. As far as the female main character, Kelly, I didn’t really feel any connection to her either, she much filled the role of human in among the circus of other characters and species.
The addition of werewolves in the story was partially a turn-off for me as I tend to avoid books with them in it, however at this point there was dinosaur shape shifters, demons and vampires it made little difference and a bit of sense. Why not throw in all the generic “monster” types? It sort of worked for the book in the end, but honestly I could have done without the story being drowned in monster type creatures.
While the narration wasn’t good, the character names were ridiculous, the plot was lacking at best I will admit it did entertain me a bit to listen to this book. It was one of those things where it was so out there that it was somewhat good. I spent just as much time shaking my head as I did laughing at some of the things that were said and done, especially the ending, that was the epitome of ridiculous. Will I read the others in the series? Probably not unless I’m really bored and looking for a book that isn’t supposed to be taken seriously but who knows maybe I will at some point in the future.
This review was originally posted on my blog, Exploring All Genres.
This audiobook starts off interestingly enough. You’re introduced to the victim, Barbara Adams, and what happens to her before she dies. It certainly makes you wonder why she was killed. I would like to say that the narrator did a very good job on this one, she made sure each character had a distinctive voice something I think is extremely important in audiobooks, and that the tone/pitch of her voice reflected what was going on in a particular scene. Now there were a few spots where the narration got a little bit dull, though that was likely more a lull in the story that anything to do with the narrator but I did need to truly concentrate on what was being said at that time to absorb it.
The banter between Mavis, Barbara’s best friend, and her daughter Julia, as they talked about various things including Barbara’s death was a bit boring. I realize it’s a necessarily evil to give some background and introduce the other characters but I really had to focus on listening to what was being said and not staring off at the wall ignoring them.
I found it all too convenient that Julia was in school for Law and obsessed with mystery books so of course the allure of investigating her mothers friend was just too much for her to resist. And the fact that she hid her initial investigation by telling the temporary library director that she was writing a book about library works and Barbara Adams also seemed all too convenient.
As things progress you find out more about the victim as well as her background and are introduced to a number of characters as well. Barbara was clearly not the most liked person out there and so the suspects of who would want to kill her/could have killed her were long enough and the reasons varied quite a bit. Pretty good amount of mystery and suspense, especially towards the end.
While there were two additional short stories included with this audiobook I did not find them to be of interest to me, more so since they had no connection to the main story. Overall this was a very quick mystery read, the audio from this part being about an hour long. I thought the story had good potential but it might have been better had it been a bit longer and the few things that seemed to be put in place strictly to make the book faster, like Julia being in law, been changed. Fans of cozy mysteries and quick reads will likely enjoy this book.
This audiobook was provided to me by Audiobook Jukebox for review.
Unlike most zombie books this one does not start on Earth, instead it is on another planet, Caldor, which is essentially one big city and uses advanaced technology for just about everything. The way the zombie “disease” arrives and spreads is actually quite interesting, people use transmission pads to transport to and from places and it is the use of one of these new pads that brings the zombie disease onto Caldor. It is certainly not the typical start to a zombie story and the way it spreads so quickly using this everyday technology puts the entire planet in chaos in a matter of hours. With technology being not only the source of the initial infected person but the way it is spread to so many so quickly it gives the plague an eerie efficiency.
Likely the most interesting twist of all in the whole story is that it’s not just humans who get infected, but the technology they use as well. One would think something like zombies would be restricted to sentient beings, but in this case it is not and that in itself proved to be a nice difference from other zombie stories.
There were a number of characters introduced throughout the span of the book though each chapter focused on a certain character. The stories of each character became woven together, some right away, others closer to the end. I can’t say that there were any characters that leapt out at me as being truly amazing, but they each lent something to the story which made it flow smoothly through the events.
The narration of the story was decent. I found that the narrator, Andrew Wehrlen, had a good voice to listen to however he spoke quite fast and there were times where the speed in which he spoke made me almost miss parts of the story. A bit slower narration would have made the overall experience of this audiobook better. The downside to the book. It was short, a little too short. The chapters were really fast and seemed to fly by way too fast even though the story steadily moved forward.
The ending was a bit lackluster and in fact considering how short this book was it felt like the author broke it into two or more parts simply to make a series, which are growing in popularity over stand alone books, when it could easily have been done in a single book. Nonetheless it was an interesting book and a nice twist on the zombie genre. However if you are looking for a quick zombie read that is different and leads to more than this book is a good choice.
The Scorpio Races is far from your average horse book. For those thinking that it may be something akin to reading Walter Farley or Marguerite Henry they will be surprised to find out how different this book truly is. While it will appeal to those who love horse related stories this book is also good for those who enjoy Young Adult novels or those types of books that are far from anything you've ever read.
Originally I started reading this book on my Kindle. While I found it to start off just a bit slow after the initial introduction of Sean and his past with the races and loss of his father I liked what it was building up to. A lot happened before the actual races and that's where the first half or so of the books, slow as it was, really shines. It sets up this small island whose major source of income and activity come from the Scorpio Races. This is where the reason behind Puck entering the races comes to be and shows both main characters in great detail as they not only prepare for the races but also continue their daily lives as best the can.
Around the half way mark I switched the the audio book version. The reason being is that I'm not a fan of books written in first person and this book is written from both Puck and Sean's perspective, switching whose perspective it is every chapter or so but also within a chapter. This was really what slowed down my reading.
The audio book was fantastic. I started it from the beginning wanting to refresh myself on what had happened so far and so that I could listen to the full narration. The two narrators, Steve West and Fiona Hardingham, did an amazing job of bringing this story to life. I though that Fiona Hardingham was the perfect voice for Puck. When reading the book that is what I imagined her sounding like. One thing that slightly lacked in her portions of the book was a good distinction between character voices. When Fiona spoke you could really feel the emotions that Puck was feeling at that times and it truly added to the story.
As far as Steve West performing Sean's parts of the book I thought his voice didn't quite match what I had in mind for Sean, he sounded a bit too old, more like he was thirty instead of a nineteen year old. However Steve did a fantastic job of giving all the other characters in the story their own distinct voices. One thing I loved about Sean's character was how much he cared not only for Corr but the other water horses and the regular ones on Malvern's farm.
My hands down favorite parts of the books were the race itself and the ending. I won't go into details of these parts since I don't want to spoil them for anyone who hasn't read the book yet. But I will say for those who are going to read it in the future that even if you do find the beginning to be slow see this book to the end because it is truly worth it. Another advantage of the audio book version is that I learned the proper pronunciation of capaill uisce and let me tell you I was way off from what I thought it would sound like when I had been reading this on my Kindle.
I highly recommend this book to anyone and everyone. You don't need to be a horse lover to appreciate this book. The story, the characters, the writing all blend together to create a fantastic read.
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