Wakefield, QC, Canada | Member Since 2011
I wasn’t a huge fan of Coveted, the first installment in this series, because I didn’t particularly enjoy Madison’s OCD heroine. So imagine my surprise when the very things that annoyed me about book 1 actually endeared me to Natalya’s character in Collected. This audiobook is a prime example of how some stories are just better when read aloud. Audio Élan does a great job of capturing the essence of Stravinsky’s disorder and giving it form through her tone and rhythm. Her version of Shawntelle’s protagonist is way better than the one I originally inside my head. What a great way to spend an hour and a half!
I enjoyed the triviality of this novel’s plot line; it’s a cute story about a nutcracker gone missing and what lengths Natalya is willing to go to in order to retrieve it. Those of you who’ve read this series know how much this girl LOVES her Christmas ornaments and for those of you who haven’t met Stravinsky yet, this novella is a great introduction to the quirky heroine. The ridiculousness of Natalya’s mission continues to escalate as this tale progresses; one minute she’s making deals with dangerous supernaturals and the next she’s breaking into the leprechaun factory! The hilarity of her using her werewolf senses to help track down her missing treasure wasn’t lost on me either. If I had preternatural powers I certainly wouldn’t waste them on something as mundane as nutcracker sniffing!
I’m glad that Shawntelle Madison gave readers another opportunity to better understand Natalya; I disliked her in the beginning but she’s been slowly growing on me with each new installment. The Collected audiobook is a fun listen that’s sure to leave you with a wolfish grin on your face!
For centuries, Atticus has been lying low trying to stay under the Tuatha Dé Danann’s radar but after what went down in Hounded that’s no longer an option. Oddly enough, instead of lining up to kill him, the old Gods want to enlist his help to dispatch some of their own foes. Hexed is another action-packed installment in Hearne’s The Iron Druid Chronicles; full of demon hunting, manipulative Celtic goddesses and witchy magic. You can’t go wrong with this series on audio; both the writing and the narration are phenomenal. A definite must!
I love how versatile Luke Daniels’ narration is; he’s a pro at transitioning from one character to the next and does a great job of giving each of them a distinct voice with the help of accents, pitch and tone. I especially enjoyed his Coyote persona because he absolutely nailed the Southern twang and slower paced dialogue. His interpretation of Oberon never fails to bring a smile to my face and I think Daniels’ has Atticus’ POV down to a tee. I was relieved to hear him pronounce “Roosevelt” correctly this time around but he did botch “nocked” (as in an arrow) a few times which was a mild irritant.
The mythology, multiple plot threads and scheming characters help ensure that this book is never dull. There’s even a bit of sex in this installment, just probably not the fun kind you’re thinking of! Needless to say, the Celtic Chooser of the Slain and the Goddess of War’s tastes are anything but vanilla. However, she’s not the only Tuatha Dé Danann who’s vying for Atticus’ attention; Brighid, the Goddess of poetry, fire, and the forge also wants a piece of the druid pie.
Oberon still continues to be the star of this series; from his bath time adventures to his doggy humor, I just can’t get enough of his POV. As a dog owner I’ve often wondered what goes on inside their heads and these books do a great job of playing off of that. Atticus comes in second on my list of favourite Iron Druid Chronicles characters; I love how he can talk circles around practically anyone and, can often times diffuse a volatile situation with logic and reason. However, when all else fails there’s always Fragarach or in this case… RPGs!
Hexed combines intense action with quick-witted humour to create an entertaining experience that’s truly unique. Kevin Hearne and Luke Daniels are quickly becoming one of my favourite audiobook duos; together they transform Atticus’ story into an irresistible, full-bodied adventure.
Two books is usually my average for becoming hooked on a series so the fact that Kevin Hearne did it in one is definitely impressive. I absolutely loved everything about Hounded; from the male POV, to the phenomenal narrator, to Oberon, the wise cracking Irish wolfhound. The story is a nice blend of old Celtic mythology and modern adventure which proves to be an incredibly addictive combination.
I always enjoy reading Urban Fantasy novels written by male authors; they are few and far between so I find it refreshing when I get to experience a story that’s told from the opposite sex’s perspective. Hearne does a fabulous job of developing Atticus’ character. I loved the contrasts between his ancient druid past and his 21 year old occult shop owner reality. New and old comes together seamlessly to create a very unique world that’s overflowing with Celtic gods, fascinating mythology and epic battles. I thoroughly enjoyed Hearne’s keen sense of humour and there’s a nice sprinkling of fun pop culture references as well.
I don’t think Brilliance Audio could have picked a better narrator than Luke Daniels for this series. I loved his reading of Atticus’ POV and thought that he really succeeded in capturing the essence of The Iron Druid Chronicles. I especially adored the dialogues between O’Sullivan and his Irish wolfhound, Oberon; Daniels really brings Hearne’s characters to life and delivers more than a few laugh-out-loud moments. The only thing that frustrated me about his narration was his ability to effortlessly pronounce mouthfuls like “Tuatha Dé Danann” but butcher household names such as Roosevelt.
The plot is complex and engaging thanks to its multifaceted Celtic mythology; there’s a stream of big bads that get progressively worse as the story unfolds. I enjoyed learning more about the various gods and goddesses and, found it hilarious every time one of them hit on Atticus. This lowly druid sure does get around! There’s definitely more action than sex in this tale but there’s enough of the latter to help make things extra interesting. I’m not sure if Hearne will be able to top this stellar first installment but I’m definitely sticking around to find out.
Hounded was love at first listen! I highly recommend this audiobook; it should be at the top of everyone’s must-read list.
Worried about turning into bride-zilla? Nothing will make you feel better about your own wedding planning mishaps than reading about Jolene’s upcoming werewolf nuptials. Between her family’s questionable traditions, a future mother-in-law from hell and a theme that’s centered on a sinking ship; there’s no shortage of drama in Nice Girls Don’t Date Dead Men. Molly Harper’s unique sense of humour never fails to bring a smile to my face and even a few laugh-out-low moments but when her story is narrated by Amanda Ronconi the whole experience becomes doubly enjoyable. In this installment we get the best of both worlds: Jane Jameson AND werewolves!
I’m currently in the midst of planning my own big day so I absolutely loved reading about Jolene’s werewolf wedding disasters. She’s a fictional character so I didn’t feel bad about laughing at and even feeling better because of her misfortunes. There are several things that I am dreading about this whole “getting married” process but I was comforted by the knowledge that no matter how bad it gets, it’ll never be this bad. The wedding cake snafu was hilarious and I almost started crying from laughing so hard when the new couple had their first dance to Celine Dion.
One of my favourite characters in this series has to be Dick Cheney; every time he’s in a scene I just know that within no time I’ll be trying to suppress an uncontrollable case of the giggles. We uncover what his secret “vampire” power is and it’s so blatantly obvious yet ridiculously preposterous at the same time. I was as shocked as Jane was to learn the truth but couldn’t resist doing a quick *facepalm* over having missed the clues. Cheney even goes so far as to vamperize Jane’s car; you won’t believe the modifications that Harper dreamed up! This guy should get his own spin-off series. Seriously!
I loved getting to know more about the werewolves in this series; some of their wedding traditions are downright weird but they were definitely good for a laugh. Female wolves don’t consider the B-word to be derogatory and Jane quickly catches on to that fact; it was funny listening to her vent her frustrations over dealing with Jolene’s crazy family by repeatedly using the term. Unfortunately, the bride-to-be quickly caught on to Jameson’s scheme and makes her tone it down. It was great while it lasted though!
The only reason why I haven’t finished this series yet is because I find that the audiobooks are a great way to get me out of a reading slump so I always try to keep at least one in reserve. Molly Harper never ceases to entertain and Nice Girls Don’t Date Men is a great addition to her repertoire. If you haven’t listened to a story narrated by Amanda Ronconi yet, this series is for you.
The fourth installment in Stacia Kane’s Downside Ghosts series felt like a major stepping stone for Chess. Putnam and I didn’t exactly hit it off in the earlier books; I struggled to find the “heroine” in this drug addicted protagonist which has made her journey up to this point all the more impressive. The last novel was my favourite so far but Sacrificial Magic surpassed it in one area; it changed my view of Putnam’s potential for happiness. Chess makes some incredibly difficult decisions in this installment and realizes that the trust issues that exist in her and Terrible’s relationship are hers, not his. I was awed by how much her character grows in this book; now I find myself rooting for her and actually optimistic about the possibility of a happily-ever-after (just not TOO soon as I’d like Kane to write a few more novels first!).
So far, my favourite plot lines in this series have revolved around the tension between the two sides of Downside and in Sacrificial Magic we get exactly that. Chess must investigate a haunting on Slobag’s side of town which in turn leads to an attempt on Putnam’s life and an all-out turf war. Can you believe that this is actually just an average day of the job for this church witch? The result is an emotionally charged, action-packed story that doesn’t quit until the very last page. Kane’s talent for writing intricate investigations with multiple plot threads is out in full force in this installment and I found myself enjoying the detective work almost as much as the scenes with Terrible. Almost.
Bahni Turpin’s performance as the narrator is once again without compare; she switches between characters with ease and her tone is always dead-on. She does a brilliant job of portraying each individual’s emotional state and, handles Chess’ frequent highs and lows with ease. Every time I listen to one of these audiobooks I can’t help but be amazed by Turpin’s proficiency with the unique lingo that this series is renowned for. Her voice has become an integral part of my Downside Ghosts reading experience and has forever replaced the one inside my head.
Tension runs high between Chess and Terrible in the first half of this novel which spawns a rather intense argument between these two lovebirds. I was glued to my earbuds during their showdown; it was just so heartbreaking that I felt like I died a little inside after listening to it. Luckily, their make-up session is equally as powerful which means that I cried not once, but twice during this 14 hour experience. I just hope that Terrible and Chess have reached a point in their relationship where they’re finally going to be more “on” than “off” because I’m beginning to get a little frustrated (and drained) by all of the drama. I NEED for them to be a united front for at least one full installment.
Sacrificial Magic provides readers with some closure while simultaneously adding new questions to the already large unanswered pile. I can’t help but worry about what the future might hold for Chess but one thing is for certain; I will be there to find out! Needless to say, Stacia Kane has earned a spot on my auto-buy list!
Every time I pick-up a Charlie Davidson book I know that I’ll find snarky humor, quirky characters and a grade-A cut of man meat inside. Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet delivers all that and more with its jaw dropping revelations, countless twists and impossible situations; definitely my favourite installment to date!
One of my main complaints about this series has been its lack of forward momentum; as much as I enjoy Jones’ wit, the stagnant storyline has been taking its toll. I’m pleased to say that that issue gets resolved with this installment; I wanted answers and boy did I get ‘em! Aunt Lil finally realizes she’s dead, Charlie uncovers more about her grim reaper origins and Reyes stops being so wishy washy by finally making a move. This influx of information left my head reeling with the possibilities but also plastered a huge, contented smile on my face. This novel felt like a giant step forward for this series and for once, I found myself enjoying the plot just as much as the wisecracks.
I hated seeing the toll that the events from book three have taken on Charlie; she’s not exactly the most stable person to begin with. Her newly acquired reclusive habits have her whittling away her savings on useless junk from the Shopping Channel and spending way too much quality time with Mr. Coffee. I thought the “intervention” organized by Uncle Bob, Cookie and Gemma was a nice touch. They clearly understand their distraught friend’s needs and I enjoyed watching them come up with creative solutions to help an especially unique individual out of a tight spot. Despite all of these challenges, Davidson still manages to dumbfound the FBI by solving four impossible cases in under a day. Her methods may be questionable but her talent as a P.I. is irrefutable.
Reyes is positively fan-freaking-tastic in this installment; there are some great scenes between him and Charlie that’ll have you teetering between wanting to jump him and/or punch him. He finally puts his corporeal form to good use in this novel and the result is downright explosive; although, admittedly, I was a little surprised that there weren’t any consequences, especially after all of the ominous predictions made by demon with the English accent. I suspect that there will be hell to pay in the next book.
Lorelei King continues to beguile me as this series’ narrator; her smoky voice and seamless transitions between characters are some of the main reasons why I prefer to listen to these novels. Her timing is, as usual, impeccable and she continues to deliver Jones’ punch lines with skill and class. You can’t go wrong with the Charlie Davidson series in audio and Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet is the cream of the crop.
I’m pleased to say, that after three installments, I FINALLY understand what all the fuss over this series is about! Chess and I got off to a rocky start in the beginning but my ratings of Kane’s books have been steadily climbing which brings me to this 5 star review of City of Ghosts. There’s no shortage of action in this novel with its super-charged plot, magical machinations and relationship drama; truthfully, by the end I felt dizzy. This installment packs one heck of a punch and left me grinning from ear-to-ear!
The main story arc, as usual, revolves around a Church investigation but this one is unlike any Chess has ever worked before. She has to team-up with Lauren, a coworker who also just so happens to be the Grand Elder’s daughter. So, not only is the pressure on but Putnam doesn’t exactly play well with others. The complications don’t end there; Chess must take a blood oath of secrecy which puts her in a precarious situation with Downside’s drug lords. Needless to say, the plot keeps you on your toes because you’re constantly decoding magical rules, unearthing layer upon layer of bad guys and crossing your fingers that Putnam gets “them” before “they” get her. You’ll spend most of this book feeling both horrified and hypnotized which proves to be a weird yet surprisingly satisfying combination.
I liked that Chess’ drug use is less prevalent in this novel than in previous installments. I actually thought of her as a heroine for the first time in this series. A few of her less desirable personality traits are strangely beginning to endear her to me thanks to Kane finally revealing more about her character. Chess will never be the perfect protagonist but that’s also part of her charm. Urban Fantasy is full of beautiful people with strong morals so it’s refreshing to encounter one that’s so… un-hero like. I find it ironic that her drug addiction has actually saved her life a couple of times now too. I’m starting to think that being a junkie might actually be a vital survival tool in Downside!
After their fallout in the previous book, Terrible can’t stand to be near Chess but he can’t seem to resist her either. It’s an impossible situation that’s bound to have an explosive outcome. Their love for one another takes a somewhat violent turn but the end result was better than I could ever have hoped for! Not only is City of Ghosts the best installment yet but it’s also the one that made me fall in love with Terrible. Bahni Turpin continues to shine as the narrator of this series; she consistently nails the Downside lingo and handles Chess’ ever-changing moods like a seasoned pro. This is another prime example of a book being better in audio.
Stacia Kane has transformed this critic into a fan. Her gift for combining the most unlikely of elements is oddly compelling and makes for a truly unique Urban Fantasy experience.
Stepping into Stacia Kane’s Downside world was like walking into an alternate universe where the Church reigns supreme, ghosts have wiped out two thirds of the population and the residents speak a language that’s entirely their own. The magical rules are numerous and complex, the world-building is extremely heavy and the influx of new terminology is beyond confounding. To sum it up in one word I felt lost. Thank goodness for my GoodReads support group because otherwise I don’t think I would have been able to make it through this audiobook in its entirety. Then again, I felt similarly when I first started reading Karen Marie Moning’s Fever novels which now rank among my favourite Urban Fantasy series’ of all time so understandably, I’m going to stick this one out a bit longer. At least until I discover what all of the fuss over Terrible is about!
I really struggled to connect with the main heroine, Chess. Her drug addiction frustrated me to no end; although I can understand the whys behind it, I still had a difficult time comprehending her need to dull her senses, especially given how dangerous Downside really is. You’d think she’d want to have her wits about her in case a murderous ghost decides to cross her path. Chess is a debunker for the Church of Real Truth which means that she’s supposedly one of their most highly trained employees. I found this hard to believe considering she does her job high on most days. A large portion of the mistakes she makes and her delayed light bulb moments during an investigation are caused by her drug use. There were times when I just wanted to yell “if you’d stop doing lines for one freaking minute you might be able figure this sh*t out!” I liked that she’s a flawed heroine but I also would have liked to see her sober for at least one chapter.
The world-building and terminology are definitely going to take some getting used to. I can’t help but wonder if I’m being penalized once again for choosing to listen to this book over reading it because I’m thinking that the physical copy probably comes with a glossary. On the flip side, I think listening to the audiobook does have a few advantages, namely being able to better grasp the Downside lingo. I like that Kane invented her own language for this series; it helps to set it apart from the crowd. I’m not going to comment too much on Bahni Turpin’s narration in this review because I was more focused on grasping the world than on her overall performance so I’ll save my feedback on that for my second kick at the can when I check out Unholy Magic.
After feeling immense pressure from my fellow reviewers to LOVE this book I can’t help but be a little disappointed that I wasn’t immediately swept off my feet by Stacia Kane’s first Downside installment. The plot’s entertaining, the dialogue’s memorable and the world-building left me in awe but the drug addicted protagonist was difficult to swallow (pun intended). Heroine and druggie do not belong in the same sentence in my opinion. Here’s hoping that my second trip into Downside will be better than my first.
When I originally heard about this series my first thought was “not another vampire hunter book” but, I quickly changed my tune when I met Jane’s Beast. I enjoyed the alternating POV’s of the main character, the large variety of unique supernaturals in the Jane Yellowrock universe and Faith Hunter’s descriptive yet action-packed writing style. Khristine Hvam’s superb narration also played a key role in my enjoy enjoyment of this audiobook; her transition between characters was smooth and I loved the way she read Beast’s parts.
For a novel about a skinwalker, Hunter reveals a surprisingly large amount of information about all of the other paranormals in her world with the exception of Jane herself, the character that I most wanted to learn about. Frustrating, yes, but the continued mystery surrounding Beast was even more maddening. Out of all of the creatures introduced in this book I enjoyed the witch mythology the most. I think this is the first time that I’ve come across magic practitioners that aren’t portrayed as human. Granted, there are tons of series’ out there where they evolve over time into something more but in this case, they are something other from the get-go which I found was a interesting twist on the typical witch.
I loved the back-and-forth between Jane and her Beast; they aren’t always in agreement as to the correct course of action in a given situation which made for some wildly entertaining internal arguments. Yellowrock’s POV was pretty much what I’ve come to expect from an Urban Fantasy heroine but Beast’s was something else entirely. Her perspective is more instinctual; she talks in halted sentences and is more hyper-aware of scents/sounds than your typical protagonist. I really felt like I was experiencing Hunter’s world from an animal’s POV, albeit a very intelligent one. This is also where Khristine Hvam’s narration really shined; her tone and rhythm captured my impression of Beast and brought it to life.
My biggest annoyance with this book was the lack of information where the main character is concerned. Normally I complain about too much information in the first installment of a series but in this case it was too little. Beast knows a lot more about Yellowrock and how they came to be together than she is letting on which again, frustrated me to no end. I couldn’t resist asking a friend who’s a few books ahead of me if more is revealed in the next installment because I don’t think that I could stand being strung along for too much longer. I need a lil’ something to keep me going! Luckily her response was affirmative so here’s hoping that Blood Cross sheds some light on a few more of this duo’s secrets. Aside from that, Skinwalker breathes new life into vampire hunter story line and takes talking to yourself to a whole new level of crazy. I look forward to seeing where this series goes from here.
I’d like to start off this review by stating that this novel is nothing like Twilight so whatever hang-ups you may have about Stephenie Meyer’s original series should be set aside. As an avid reader, I’m a firm believer in that “the book is always better” saying so when I found out that there was a The Host movie in the works I couldn’t resist bumping this novel to the top of my to-be-read pile. Saying that I’m glad I did would be a gross understatement; I was glued to my ear buds from the moment I first pressed play!
The Host is unlike anything that I have ever read thanks to its emotionally complex story, unique POV and unlikely love triangle. This is one of those books that when you’re done reading it, you’ll need to take a moment to let it all sink in. I really enjoyed the two-characters-for-the-price-of-one aspect of this novel; it gave a whole new meaning to the “we” and “our” possessive pronouns. In this instance, instead of talking about a group of people the author is referring to the two minds in one body which made for one heck of an interesting first person POV. Kate Reading does an excellent job of sounding “other” while narrating from Wanderer’s perspective and human while reading from Melanie’s. Her voice is mesmerizing and definitely helped to make this 23 hour audiobook just fly by.
Normally, love triangles are one of my biggest pet peeves in fiction but Meyer’s is so outside of the box that it’s impossible not to get caught up in the characters’ emotions. Imagine having two people inside of your head who are in love with different guys! Not only that, but Wanderer and Mel’s psyches become so closely intertwined over time that it’s a challenge (even for them) to determine which feelings belong to whom. Throw some good old fashioned jealousy into the mix and you’re left with one incredibly complicated predicament!
A lot of really interesting questions surface in this book but the one that I personally found the most fascinating was what it means to be human. In the beginning the answer is pretty clear cut: humans = good and souls = bad. However, as the story progresses that line becomes progressively blurrier. Does the answer simply come down to a matter of genetics or is it a person’s actions that determine their humanity? By the end of this book I was surprised by how much my opinion of Wanderer had shifted. Although, it’s important to note that she’s not a typical soul so even though she won me over, the rest of her race did not.
The Host is an emotionally charged story that redefines the classic love triangle and take the first person POV to a whole new level. After finishing this novel the first thing that came to my mind was how in the heck are they ever going to make a movie out of this? I have a sneaky suspicion that as usual, the book will be better than the film.
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