Mercy Thompson is a rare creature, a Coyote Walker. She is the wife of Adam, the Alpha leader of the local werewolf pack. The entire pack has gone missing while Mercy and her step daughter, Jesse, are out shopping. An injured Ben, a British werewolf with attitude, finds Mercy at her garage and she learns that he is the only one who escaped when supposed government authorities rounded up the pack and subdued them with silver tranquilizers.
Mercy is able to use their mate bond to contact Adam mentally and determine that the pack is alive but weak from silver poisoning. Mercy must keep Jesse save from the kidnappers who would use her as additional blackmail to coerce Adam to do their bidding. She must also keep herself safe and find a way to rescue the pack before Adam has to make a devastating sacrifice.
There are political implications that require careful handling. Mercy calls for help from her fae friends, Zeek and his grandson Tad, to guard Jesse, Gabriel, Mercy’s college-age employee, and Gabriel’s family. Then Mercy calls upon her vampire friend, Stephan, to help rescue Kyle, a prominent attorney who is the lover of one of the kidnapped wolves.
Mercy risks her own well being by ‘changing the rules’ to help Adam and then she faces an ambush attack. Even when the pack is free, Mercy is not out of danger. She is summoned to a special meeting with the Queen Vampire. At first she fears it may be over the Mercedes she borrowed which has suffered from a bleeding werewolf, battle dents and a (supposedly) dead body in the trunk. Soon Mercy learns that the car is a trifling matter compared to the political Vampire war she is pulled into.
I love the strength in Mercy and in her bond with Adam. Coyotes are not as strong as werewolves and not all of the pack accept Mercy. But her position as Alpha mate and her bond with Adam allows her to bring along an Alpha attitude in her own presence. I like the strong pack atmosphere of ‘family’ that is exhibited in these stories. I also like that Mercy has friends among the other paranormal communities. This particular story has some brutal killing but also Mercy’s own special touch of faith and forgiving grace. Ms. Briggs brings a unique and new tale of danger and action to each of the books in this series. They never fail to entertain me.
Audio Notes: I greatly enjoy the narrations of this series by Lorelei King. She distinguishes the voices so you can almost see the different creature personalities– the werewolves, the fae and the vampires. There is an even flow to the reading that keeps it moving well at rare moments of calm as well as the usual emotional times of danger and action.
I highly recommend this series for the warm relationships presented in action packed and entertaining plots. Preferably read/listen to the books in order for the full impact of the character involvements and nuances.
Andy Carpenter is a very shrewd lawyer. He is independently wealthy so he doesn’t have to work too hard which suits him just fine. He loves dogs and he and his friend, Willie, an ex-con whom Andy helped release, set up a dog rescue.
Billy is a former cop who lost his leg while serving as a soldier in Iraq then came home to no job. He adopted his old police dog, Milo, and re-trained him to help steal to make a living. They were quietly waiting for a mark who was meeting for an apparent exchange. Milo leaps in to grab the envelope at the same time as the man is shot and the shooter turns the gun on Milo. Billy foils the shot towards the dog but becomes the prime suspect for the murder especially when the police realize that the murdered man was the army commander responsible for Billy’s injury. Milo is captured and locked in a cell with guards.
Andy is asked to represent Milo and get him released from incarceration. Billy is sure that the dog will find the envelope and that it will prove his innocence. Andy can’t let a dog stay in jail so he takes the case and springs the dog. One thing leads to another and soon Andy is representing Billy and investigation the army security team that was responsible for allowing the bomb attack in Iraq. During the trial a thug tries to kidnap Milo, threatening Willie’s wife, which brings out the ire in Willie. It is clear there is more going on than a simple robbery and murder. Slowly the evidence points to other murders, missing people, greed and corruption.
Andy sets his intrepid team of investigators to the task. His sweetheart companion, Laurie, is recovered enough to get back into PI work. His usual research expert has gone off on a mission trip but left a recommendation for Andy to use Hike. This fellow is an “always see the worst” sort but he turns out to be a great researcher. Andy’s brilliant accountant friend, Sam, who can hack any computer line, steps in to follow the money and the phone trails while Marcus, the intimidating human eating machine, guards Milo.
There is plenty of action and I loved the plot twists, the dog and human involvement and the usual underlying snarky humor that is a Rosenfelt forte. I didn't realize I was several books behind and I will be very glad to catch up. If you haven’t read this series I do recommend starting from the beginning - I think you’ll enjoy the fun run with the dogs.
Audio Notes: Grover Gardner does a great job with this series. It had been a while since I listened to an Andy Carpenter mystery but as soon as this started I felt right at home. Grover manages just the right inflection for the intensity and humor of the story. I completely enjoyed the narration and highly recommend this series on audio.
When I started this I was a bit startled by the strangeness with post-zombie-apocalypse comments. Bombo Dawson is a heavy set, doughnut loving author who has released his first novel to reasonably good reviews. Unfortunately the book received a one star, scathing review from Alistair Foley, a professor and maybe aspiring author. These two odd characters are chosen as ‘heroes’ to protect the secret Legendarium where all books are protected as any work may have influenced someone along the way. Though hostile toward one another, Bombo and Alistair have to work through their animosity if they want to save the multiverse of publishing works that have impacted people and thereby history throughout time. If they don’t work together then the world they have known will never exist.
Once you get beyond the strange beginning the irony and timeliness of the story became very amusing. I enjoyed the forays into several classic stories like Through the Looking Glass and Moby Dick and a few others that I was not familiar with. There are snide comments about current electronic publishing and classics that might never have been published in today’s industry.
This turned out to be a fun listen, especially while I was attending an EPIC (electronic publishing industry coalition) conference. Anyone who loves literature and has interest in the reviewing world should enjoy the irony.
Audio Notes: Robert Rossmann does a really good job of adding to the fun of this story. He gives good portrayals for the unlikely heroes and for author legends like Tolstoy, Hemingway, Twain and more. The narration enhanced the story for me.
Chase Harper is in his senior year trying to figure out how best to prepare for college. He is on a camping adventure with family when he discovers a box containing an old, odd item that resembles a pocket watch. He touches the dials and a soft light glows. He stumbles and awakens in a landscape that is strange although similar. He tries to find his way back to the campsite but nothing is quite right. Then he sees two Mexican cowboys riding off with a woman. He follows and rescues Ellie in 1863.
Ellie is charmed by the young man who rescues her but she is more concerned with finding her grandfather and his secret treasure. She is distressed to discover that Chase has the time tracker but she explains that it is his now since it responded to him. She chooses to travel with him to 2011 so she can explain more of what is happening.
A strong attraction develops between Chase and Ellie although they try to pretend they are just friends to ward off any difficulties with Chase’s family. Chase has to learn the use and meaning of the gadget and decide if he wants to accept the responsibilities of using it. He and Ellie will face danger as they try to find a way to protect each other.
I felt the story started a bit slowly but after a short while I was pulled in by the mystery, travel and suspense. I enjoyed the main characters and really liked the gentle, sweet level of the teenage romance. There are some underlying faith comments that also warmed my heart. The travel plot has interesting twists that build background for the series and make this more than a YA romance. I recommend this as an entertaining listen for those who enjoy YA romance and time travel adventure.
Audio Notes: James Simenc does a fine job with the narration. His voice suits Chase as the primary character and he does a good job with distinguishable voices for the female characters as well as other male voices. I enjoyed this as an audio listen.
I received this title through Audiobook Jukebox for an honest review.
Amy is a nice woman who made the mistake of marrying and relying on the wrong man. It is hard enough to discover that your husband has been murdered, but even worse to learn he was with your best friend who was a female version of a ‘tom cat’. Things look bleak for Amy when her house burns down a short time later.
Amy is trying to recover from the pain of betrayal and loss. She is focused on making her own living as a freelance photographer, and rescuing an abandoned Welsh Corgi, rather than finding a man. She knows this newly rescued dog, dubbed Miss Piggy, has some strangely human mannerisms but she has no way of knowing that the dog is her traitorous best friend sent back to help Amy find “Mr. Right”.
Jeff is a veterinarian who has a laid back practice and enjoys volunteering at the local shelter. When Amy arrives at the shelter to foster a dog he is immediately interested in the understatedly attractive widow. He continues to make efforts to see Amy even with interference from the dog with rather strange behaviors.
Miss Piggy, who speaks in first person as Amy’s deceased friend, Lydia, has been assigned the task of finding the right new husband for Amy. Although disgruntled with the task, Lydia realizes that she must do her best or she may be stuck in this doggie body forever. Lydia doesn’t see any potential in Jeff with whom she had one boring date. Instead Lydia champions the interest of a successful, handsome, TV reporter who was a friend of Amy’s cheating husband.
This is a really fun story and easy listen. I enjoyed Jeff’s persistence to show Amy he would be a good and secure companion, unlike her first husband. I like how Amy’s character was able to grow beyond her past and the demeaning husband to expect more. I also enjoyed the mystery as it developed. Even though it was fairly obvious, it was still fun to watch Amy as she stepped into danger before completely piecing together all the connections.
The writing is solid and the switch from third person view to first person is well done and effectively used. The story is light and the dog view adds humor. Readers should be in the mood for light mystery and fun instead of expecting any great literature or thriller. I was in the right mood and would enjoy another book by this author when looking for a book of similar easy and light entertainment.
Audio Notes: I will admit that when I first stared listening I wasn’t sure if I would like the narration. Once I accepted that the narration fit well with Lydia’s selfish view of life it flowed well. I would be willing to try other audio books narrated by Barbara Rosenblat.
Hosteen Storm was raised on Terra where he learned Navaho discipline and gentle but firm handling of animals. When war decimated his home world of Terra he became a commando for the Planetary Confederacy forces with a designation as beast master. His superior was reluctant to let him go due to the volubility of the Terran survivors. But Storm has survived a year without incident and there is no apparent reason for his superiors to withhold permission for him to travel to Arzor, a frontier world. Storm travels with his special team with whom he has special telepathic abilities: two meercats, a dune cat and an eagle.
Storm has not let anyone know his history and the reason he seeks access to Arzor. Storm makes his way on the frontier planet by proving his value to a man hired to drive cattle and horses. Storm shows his skills by managing a horse who is added to his team.
One of the other drivers is immediately hostile to Storm who has learned to observe carefully and watch over his shoulders. Storm makes a friend with a young Norbie who is a native people whose anatomy precludes them from vocal talk so they have developed sign language that Storm picks up fairly quickly. It seems their culture is very similar to that of Storm's early life. But there are other native tribes and natural land hazards, including floods and huge beasts, that threaten the men on their trek.
The crew reaches a way-station after surviving the wild hazards. There Storm runs into the man he is seeking but he is surprised and unprepared for the character of the man. Storm takes on another job with an archaeological research group. They run into problems too and Storm uncovers evidence of a danger that no one has expected on this planet. He must survive the wilds and enemy attacks to get word of the danger to those who can take action. He is met with surprising revelations before it is over.
Hosteen Storm is a wonderful hero. I really enjoyed the whole package of characters, animals and plot with secrets and dangers. I was impressed by the engaging writing and the extent of the plot especially considering this was written in 1959. I was surprised that I had never read this series (which apparently is not really followed in the movie of same name). I look forward to reading more books by Andre Norton.
Audio Notes: Richard Brewer does a good job with the narration. He gives enough distinction to the characters to make it interesting. I became engrossed in the story and the narration made this an easy read for me which I finished in one day.
Sookie, who can read minds of humans and to some degree the two-natured, has opened her home to her uncle and grandfather, two fae fairies. Sookie seems to think that their nearness is increasing her own fae qualities. While pondering that Sookie is worrying about the loss of business at Merlot’s as some of the patrons are visiting a recently opened vampire bar. Business was down even before a fire bomb is thrown through the window.
Adding to her troubles, a two-natured female enemy has escaped from jail seeking revenge against Sookie. Sookie’s boyfriend, vampire sheriff Eric, is struggling with the competition from the new vampire regent who is doing everything he can to encroach on Eric’s territory. Adding insult to injury, the regent has refused his permission for Eric’s ‘child’, Pam, to change a young woman who is dying. It is becoming clear that the two vampire leaders aren’t going to be able to share the area so plots for killing are working both ways. Sookie gets caught up in a plan to take out the regent even as she learns that Eric is keeping secrets that may break her heart.
I had stopped reading this series in 2010 and my recollection is that it had gotten a bit too racy plus the last title seemed a bit fractured. I apparently didn’t review book #10 when I read it. I am glad that I enjoyed revisiting these characters, including Sam, Eric, Bill and even Bubba. There is danger and death, as always seems to surround Sookie, the vampires and the two-natured, but I wasn’t offended by anything.
Although there are still plenty of open questions in the series, I appreciated the tension that remains with Eric’s dilemma at the end of this installment. I am also interested to find out what happens with the fae and the special stone that Sookie has found.
I recommend reading this series in order for the best enjoyment and I recommend it in audio. Just be prepared for some sex in some of the volumes and violence in most of them.
Audio Notes: I totally enjoy Johanna Parker as the narrator for this series. She does a great job portraying the Southern Sookie and the other characters. They each have an appropriate distinct voice that helps me to visualize the characters and enjoy the story more than just reading.
Sage is an 18 year old who awakens 100 years in the past. As though time warping isn’t enough to cope with she quickly discovers that preternatural creatures - vampires, weres and shifters - believed to be the stuff of fantasy and myth are alive and well ... and threatening her life. Sage is rescued from the streets and brought to a home for young women. She is informed by her new friends that she is a Warper who has arrived so that she could prevent a disaster that would impact time.
The home’s proprietress, the scarred but still handsome professor, Dr. Aldwin Blake, and her young eager rescuer are part of a special society assigned to keep preternatural activities secret from the public. The team takes up the task of training Sage who must learn etiquette and dress suitable for the time period, defense with knifes and strategies, and how to control her own unique abilities. The plan is to have Sage inserted in the household of one of the strongest vampires in town so she can infiltrate his circles and learn what major threat is imminent.
Sage is attracted to Aldwin and thinks he likes her too but he remains aloof. Then she meets the remarkable vampire and finds an attraction there as well. Through bumbling luck as much as anything Sage and the vampire uncover hints that help them track down an assassin plan. Now the team has to step in to help prevent the murder that would change history. Sage is eager to help stop the danger but she isn’t sure if she will then get to go home to 2004, or if she wants to.
I appreciated the action and danger that were the base of the story along with the bits of historical clothing and features. The love triangle, although too swift and obvious, added some additional tension and interest, especially for the ending. There are some weaknesses in the story with Sage being viewed as confident and sure when she really is just a mass of confusion and pretty much inept. I thought the writing a bit more on the YA level than I like. (It is categorized for Ages 11-13 which I don't think is really accurate.) Still, the story was engaging enough to keep my attention for a quick listen.
Audio Notes: Amanda C. Miller did an acceptable job on narration. There is no real effort to make a distinction between many of the characters, but the narrator’s voice suits Sage who tells the story in first person. I enjoyed the quick audiobook for this story which I might not have chosen to read in print/ebook.
Mo is a girl after my own heart. She is strong and determined. She has moved to Alaska to make a break from a broken engagement and her very hippy and controlling parents. She didn’t plan to work right away but somehow steps right into working as a short order cook at the local gathering diner.
Mo is attracted to the sulky, quite guy in the place, Cooper, even though he makes it clear he doesn’t think she’ll make it past the first winter. Since Cooper wants to remain sullen and stand-offish, Mo goes out with Park Ranger, Alan, who is a really nice guy but doesn’t give her shivers like Cooper. As Mo puts it ‘Cooper was caramel triple chocolate cheesecake deep fired on a stick. Alan was angel food cake, sweet and wholesome and nothing you’d regret.’
Mo suspects there is something really different about Cooper and then she learns it for sure when he shows up on her porch naked with a bear trap around his ankle. Cooper takes Mo home to meet his pack when he is summoned because his grandfather is so ill. The pack is at odds because Cooper is the Alpha but he is running from the responsibility. His sister is furious with him and attacks him whenever they are near each other.
There is trouble in town because several people have been injured or killed by a wolf. Mo is sure that Cooper is not the wolf who is attacking people but he isn’t sure of himself so again he backs away from her rather than risk hurting her.
I really enjoyed the push, pull of the romance between Cooper and Mo with the added tension of conflict from Alan’s interest in Mo. The author gives good development of the characters and interesting wolf-pack dynamic as a family struggling under traditional rules. There is plenty of fun dialog and phrasing that had me chuckling out loud. This isn’t fast paced action but it moves along well with a good mix of romance and mystery.
The narrator did a really nice job of catching the quirkiness of the characters and I would enjoy more from both the author and the narrator. I recommend this if you want a light fun read or listen.
Father Frank is a Catholic Priest who has a hands on approach to helping his parishioners. He sincerely seeks the Lord’s guidance and help but he plays an active part too. He is involved helping the youth of his church by playing and organizing basketball games and he keeps tabs on other activities such as a new “pop” band.
An arsonist has burned down a Baptist church in the community and Father Frank takes a personal interest. That interest is increased by an anonymous confession of a youth who seems to have some knowledge but won’t reveal it. Father Frank thinks he knows which boy makes the confession but he is restricted from disclosing any information given in the confessional. As more Baptist churches are burned down Father Frank lines up a handful of suspects. There is the rough, mysterious, man who keeps hanging around the ball park asking about drug sources; a young man who seems to have a drug problem; an angry teen who was abused as a young boy by his mother’s boyfriend; and a man in a bar who sneers at Father Frank as he burns a paper steeple.
Meanwhile Father Frank encourages the budding romance of an active widow in his church who has captured the heart of the local police detective. These two add a nice, gentle side line to the mystery story.
I really liked Father Frank’s character. He lives his grounded faith in a real way, including some impulsive action. The story moves along well with Father Frank actively investigating any clue he can follow. There are side lines of interest including the youth choir and the sweet romance. There is danger, faith and sweetness in a short package that combine to make this a solid Christian cozy mystery.
Audio Notes: I’m sorry to say that I found the narration rather dry. It seemed more like a reading than a narration. I still enjoyed the overall book but I recommend a prospective listener try the audio sample to decide if this might be a story to read in print or ebook instead of audio.
I received this title for review through Audiobook Jukebox.
Jay Anderson and his friends are quirky high school seniors, already ostracized because of their high intelligence. Jay is suddenly accused of selling drugs making him a pariah to his teachers, fellow students and even his parents. The only people who believe him innocent are his best friends, Kathy, Jeff, Ryan and Rachel. Kathy tears apart the evidence managing to get the case dismissed but that doesn’t change the minds of those who were quick to deem him guilty.
Rachel finds an incriminating picture that places a high government official involved in framing Jay. Amid an unusual rash of anger and high tempers in town, Jeff finds evidence of another government cover-up effecting the town’s water reservoir. The 'bug' not only causes the violent tempers but can cause death too. The teens are alarmed and head out in different directions to try to figure out what is going on and how to save their town.
Jay and Kathy visit a Senator in Washington, DC, who is a friend of the family. Jay hopes that perhaps he can give help but the next thing they know they are on the run from government officials. Their race to prevent the deadly plan sends them on a train ride, into desolate, cold mountains on foot and eventually to Russia.
Jay and Kathy have secrets that are a surprise even to them. While certain high level conspirators want them captured, controlled or maybe dead, there is finally a high government force that decides to protect and help them. The problem is the ‘good guys’ can’t get close to the kids to let them know they have back-up.
There is a lot of action that keeps this moving and interesting. However, there are also a lot of improbable episodes. These teens are portrayed as some type of genius superheroes. I enjoyed the quiet faith input and confidence that was portrayed, especially in Jay. I also appreciated the depth of friendship between Kathy and Jay who are resisting the temptations to be ‘friends with benefits’.
This is fun and entertaining as long as you set aside realism. I recommend it as fun action, suspense and entertainment.
Audio Notes: Robert Martinez does a good job providing different voices for the characters. His narration helps to keep the story fun and enhanced the "reading" experience for me.
I received this audiobook through Audiobook Jukebox for an honest review.
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