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RabidReads

Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy Book Review Blogger.

Wakefield, QC, Canada | Member Since 2011

122
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 61 reviews
  • 63 ratings
  • 140 titles in library
  • 21 purchased in 2014
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  • Sixth Grave on the Edge: Charley Davidson, Book 6

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Darynda Jones
    • Narrated By Lorelei King
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1024)
    Performance
    (965)
    Story
    (960)

    Most girls might think twice before getting engaged to someone like Reyes Farrow - but Charley Davidson is not most girls. She’s a paranormal private eye and grim-reaper-in-training who’s known to be a bit of a hell-raiser, especially after a few shots of caffeine. Her beloved Reyes may be the only begotten son of evil, but he’s dark and sultry and deeply sexy and everything Charley could hope for. Really. But when the FBI file on Reyes’ childhood happens to land into her lap, she can’t help herself: She opens it...and then the real fun begins.

    RabidReads says: "This book could change EVERYTHING!"
    "This book could change EVERYTHING!"
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    I held off on the fifth book for the sole purpose of evading the cliffhanger, yet here I am experiencing exactly what I wanted to avoid—a horrible hangover that’s going to last five months. Ok, so I know it’s bad form to start a review off by talking about the ending, but holy geez how can I not? I mean… the series just completely changed directions because of one revelation! I always feel like Darynda Jones leaves readers with more questions than answers, and that’s the case yet again with SIXTH GRAVE ON THE EDGE. As usual, this installment is packed with so many plot threads that trying to figure out how Lorelei King managed to cover them all in under 10 hours just might make your head explode.

    It’s been a while since I’ve mentioned the entertaining quotes this author uses at the beginning of each chapter, so it’s definitely worth repeating. Jones also takes it a step further in this installment with the addition of hashtags which I LOVED! Then there were the countless references to Charley’s coffee addiction that always make me feel like we’re sisters-from-another-mother. All of the spork jokes cracked me up too! The author also delves deeper into the powers of the reaper, and if you thought Davidson was badass before, just wait until you learn what other tricks she has up her sleeve. And then, there’s the mystery surrounding the prophesies, the daughter of light, and the twelve. Yes, we get some answers, but mostly it’s just more questions.

    Charley’s got her hands full once again in this installment with a naked dead man riding shotgun in Misery, her on-going child abduction case, Reyes’ looming question, and then there’s The Dealer. Ooh, and of course let’s not forget that Angel’s true past comes to light, there’s news on the Mr. Wong front, and in the midst of all this chaos Charley is also playing matchmaker to Cookie and Ubie. Needless to say, life as the Grim Reaper is never dull! But, leave it to Reyes Farrow to totally eclipse the entire action packed story line with his hot self. I love how far his and Davidson’s relationship has come through the course of this series, and I think the ending of this book will be a step in the right direction for them, even though the world might not agree.

    When it comes to audiobooks I consider myself somewhat of a slow listener, but I had no problems finishing SIXTH GRAVE ON THE EDGE in a day thanks to Lorelei King’s exquisite narration. Her pitch is perfectly suited for Jones’ writing style, and her voice couldn’t be any more CHARLEY DAVIDSON if she tried. You can tell that she’s having a blast while in the studio recording these, and that really comes through in her performances. It doesn’t matter whether it’s an action or sex scene; King always gives it her all which is why pre-ordering this audiobook was a no-brainer.

    SIXTH GRAVE ON THE EDGE ends with a big surprise that will leave you reeling in the possibilities. I’m telling you, this could change EVERYTHING! #holyshit

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Endless Knight

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Kresley Cole
    • Narrated By Emma Galvin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (442)
    Performance
    (420)
    Story
    (415)

    In this seductive follow-up to Poison Princess, #1 New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole takes us deeper into the dark world of the Arcana Chronicles. With threats lurking around every corner, Evie is forced to trust her newfound alliance. Together they must fight not only other Arcana, but also Bagmen zombies, post-apocalyptic storms, and cannibals

    Katheryne says: "Thrilling!"
    "Team Death all the way!"
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    Story

    Going into POISON PRINCESS I couldn’t help thinking Young Adult—this is going to suck, but Kresley Cole’s writing quickly won me over to Evie’s side, and then Emma Galvin sealed the deal with her mesmerizing narration. And now, here I am, completely committed to this series, and putting my stamp of approval on book 2. The characters show a level of maturity that I never expected from this genre, and there was even a sex scene in this installment. Yes folks, don’t let these teenagers fool you, this is grown up YA at its best. The author does such an amazing job of making readers dislike Death that when the love triangle began to develop I was convinced that nothing could sway me from Team Deveaux. Well, now I’m eating crow because Aric was so skillfully fleshed out that the Cajun is just a distant memory. Jackson who?

    For a girl that doesn’t want to play the game, Evie sure is racking up Arcana symbols! I love how far she’s come from that scared young woman refusing to accept her new, albeit harsh reality, to the ring leader of an unlikely alliance of Arcana. Greene shows mercy when the situation calls for it, and still believes that more than one power card can survive the coming battle, but when he friends’ lives are on the line, she doesn’t hesitate to do what must be done. I enjoyed witnessing the Empress embrace her powers in ENDLESS KNIGHT; her abilities may be the complete opposite of Death’s, however life can, and does annihilate just as easily. Evie continues to surprise me at every turn from how she deals with the teeth (carnivores), to certain characters’ two-facedness, to Aric’s unexpected past. The Red Queen is no pushover!

    Coles’ dystopian world-building marched forward in this installment with the Hierophant, Devil, Tower, Strength, Judgment, and World cards. I liked learning more about their tableaux, calls, and powers as well as the characters that they represent. I also developed a soft spot for Scarface, Cyclops, and Maneater—Lark’s wolves. The plot line was uncomplicated: escape Death, and when that fails, survive him. I enjoyed the showdown leading up to Evie’s capture, and her time with Aric was enlightening to say the least. I was happy that Jackson was finally clued in to the game and ecstatic when he and Evie found a brief respite in each other’s arms. But of course, just when Greene decides to trust him his deception comes to light.

    This novel took so many turns that I did not see coming, and oddly enough, I found myself rooting for the bad guy! Like most other readers, love triangles are the bane of my existence, but the one in ENDLESS KNIGHT is so far removed from what is typical of this trope that I wasn’t the least bit upset by it when it eventually surfaced. I’d mentioned in my review of book 1 that Emma Galvin’s narration carried that installment, so I was relieved to see her flying solo this time around. I’m not knocking Keith Nobbs’ delivery, but I prefer to give credit where it’s due. Galvin excels at bringing THE ARCANA CHRONICLES’ dark tone to life while still doing the youthful characters justice with a YA authenticity that so many performers in this genre lack.

    ENDLESS KNIGHT concluded with one heck of a cliffhanger, but that’s a recipe for success as far as pre-orders of DEAD OF WINTER go because you can bet I’ll be glued to my earbuds come hell or high water on January 6th, 2015.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Raven Boys

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Maggie Stiefvater
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (716)
    Performance
    (655)
    Story
    (658)

    It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive. Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them - not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her. His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble. But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can't entirely explain.

    C. ALLINGER says: "Stiefvater does it again!"
    "We will meet again in THE DREAM THIEVES!"
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    I’m a huge fan of Maggie Stiefvater’s THE WOLVES OF MERCY FALLS trilogy, and I recently listened to SINNER in audio which is what prompted me to give this series a whirl. Well, that and the fact that I won a copy. The author’s lyrical writing style that I’ve come to know and love was out in full force, I connected remarkably well with all of the characters after only one installment, and I also really liked that this wasn’t your typical paranormal listen in that it doesn’t feature the usual supe suspects. However, I found that the lore was a lot to take in—I had to listen to several chapters more than once in order to grasp all of the intricate details—and, I wasn’t completely sold on the narrator’s delivery. But, I remember not having instantly clicked with SHIVER, so I’m more than willing to give THE DREAM THIEVES a chance, I just won’t be downloading a copy asap.

    The first few chapters were kind of meh because all of this series’ players were introduced, but Stiefvater didn’t connect the dots until three hours in which caused THE RAVEN BOYS to have a rather slow start. Then all of the symbology, Tarot aspects, and Welsh lore kicked in, and I was once again swept again by this author’s masterful world-building skills. Readers are left with way more questions than answers, however that’s to be expected from a debut installment, so even though it was frustrating, I was still pleased with the end result. I’m infinitely curious about the corpse road, ley lines, Cabeswater, Glendower, the dreaming tree, and what it all means because at the moment there seems to be many MANY pieces to this puzzle, and I don’t have two clues as to how they fit together.

    I took an immediate liking to all of the characters; from Adam the trailer park trash trying to make it on his own, to Gansey the wealthy adventurer that attempts to be middle-class but fails horribly, and Blue the only non-psychic among a family of fortune tellers who just wants to be special too. The prophecy surrounding Sargent’s true love added an extra layer to the intrigue, then there was Whelk & Neeve’s individual motivations, and the whole possibility vs reality angle. And, just when I thought that I was beginning to figure the story arc out, Stiefvater goes and drops the Noah bomb on me, followed by multiple visions of likely outcomes, and a semi cliff hanger ending about a ghost’s dreams and a raven named Chainsaw. Colour me thoroughly confused!

    I liked Will Patton’s narration, but I didn’t love it, and there were a few reasons why. The main one being that he whispered a lot, and although I found that it fit this novel’s darker tone, it also made him difficult to understand. The whole time I was listening, I thought that Cabeswater was actually caves water, and this happened for several words that I later had to look-up in order to write an accurate review. This also may have been what caused me to have to re-start several chapters rather than putting all of the blame solely on the author’s complex world-building. I really disliked the voice he used for Persephone, and for the most part, he felt too old for a Young Adult book. However, after eleven+ hours of him streaming through my earbuds, he did grow on me, so I’m not prepared to write him off just yet.

    THE RAVEN BOYS made me go WTF way too many times to count, as all good mysteries should, so mission accomplished Maggie Stiefvater. We will meet again in THE DREAM THIEVES!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Steel's Edge

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Ilona Andrews
    • Narrated By Renée Raudman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (400)
    Performance
    (370)
    Story
    (372)

    The Edge lies between worlds, on the border between the Broken, where people shop at Wal-Mart and magic is a fairy tale—and the Weird, where blueblood aristocrats rule, changelings roam, and the strength of your magic can change your destiny…Charlotte de Ney is as noble as they come, a blueblood straight out of the Weird. But even though she possesses rare magical healing abilities, her life has brought her nothing but pain.

    Malinda says: "Great addition to the series! :D"
    "This author duo doesn’t do half-assed. Period."
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    It should come as no surprise that I’ve been enjoying this series a lot, but I haven’t LOVED any of the installments yet, until now. When I first discovered that this final book featured a healer as the main heroine, I had some qualms as to whether Charlotte would be able to achieve the level of badass-ery that I’ve come to expect from Ilona Andrews. Case in point, FATE’S EDGE’s Audrey Callahan wasn’t a fighter either, and ended up being my least favourite THE EDGE female protagonist. All of my doubts quickly flew the coop though when I learned that de Ney’s abilities could also be used to harm, and I’m not talking little ouchies here, but mass murdering plagues. Never have I been so happy to eat my words! The world-building, narration, secondary characters, and storytelling absolutely rocked too. This was the series finale after all, and this author duo doesn’t do half-assed. Period.

    I liked that the protagonists were older; they’ve both been married once already, are individuals first, and a couple second. Charlotte and Richard have been around the block a couple of times, and as a result, were unwilling to settle for anything less than true love. It made them both more accepting of their respective faults; the flash fire romance was believable on account of them knowing exactly what they wanted in a partner, and not being afraid to go after it. I loved de Ney’s flawless poise vs. Mar’s backwoods mannerisms, and her raw power to his skill with a blade. She fears transforming into a bringer of plagues, while as he’s worried that he’s not Blue Blood enough for her. When they finally opened up their hearts to a relationship, it was like two puzzle pieces sliding home.

    The Andrews’ skillfully wrapped-up this series’ story arc while still weaving a captivating story about slavers, political intrigue, and also tying up several loose ends secondary character wise. Jack and George play a vital role in this installment, and I loved how they were able to get some closure with regards to their father’s abandonment. Sophie gets a piece of Spider for fusing her mother, and even Rose, Declan & Kaldar had brief cameos. As much as I enjoyed the action, I actually liked Charlotte’s poised manipulations and tutelage of Lark more. It takes finesse to defeat a foe with a sword, but even more so with words, and clever artifice. However, not everyone got their HEA unfortunately, poor sweet Éléonore… And, was it just me, or were there sparks between George and Sophie? Potential spin-off?

    I’ve now had the pleasure of listening to eleven audiobooks from Ilona Andrews and Renée Raudman, and let me tell you, the experience is in no danger of getting old. There are many reasons why this trio makes up the bulk of my Audible library including spellbinding performances, flawless pacing, and masterful tone. Raudman is the voice behind the Andrews’ written word, breathes life into all of their memorable characters, and makes listeners feel like they inhabit this author duo’s fictional worlds. If you’re still on the fence about audiobooks, I highly recommend that you give these a try, you won’t regret it! In fact, your house may end up cleaner than it has even been because you’ll find yourself actively seeking out excuses to read hands-fee.

    STEEL’S EDGE was the ultimate epitome of go big or go home! My god, am I ever going to miss these characters!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Shattered: The Iron Druid Chronicles, Book 7

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Kevin Hearne
    • Narrated By Luke Daniels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2422)
    Performance
    (2292)
    Story
    (2291)

    For nearly 2,000 years, only one Druid has walked the Earth - Atticus O’Sullivan, the Iron Druid, whose sharp wit and sharp sword have kept him alive as he’s been pursued by a pantheon of hostile deities. Now he’s got company. Atticus’ apprentice, Granuaile, is at last a full Druid herself. What’s more, Atticus has defrosted an archdruid long ago frozen in time, a father figure (of sorts) who now goes by the modern equivalent of his old Irish name: Owen Kennedy. And Owen has some catching up to do.

    D says: "The third druid"
    "All good things must come to an end"
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    All good things must come to an end, and unfortunately this seventh installment in Kevin Hearne’s THE IRON DRUID CHRONICLES terminated its 4/5 star reign for this reviewer. It seemed as though the author tried to go all out for his hardcover debut by incorporating multiple POVs, countless gods, several mythologies, and way too many plot lines which caused the story to lack focus, and to feel somewhat disjointed. I really enjoyed what Owen and Orlaith brought to the table, but the lack of Atticus/Oberon moments, and the overabundance of Granuaile ones made it impossible for even Luke Daniels’ superb narration to save. The Tuatha De Danann story arc has finally come full circle, so one can only hope that the next novel will be a return to a simpler time when these audiobooks were about an outspoken druid, and his quirky Irish wolfhound.

    This is the only Urban Fantasy series that I’ve succeeded in convincing my guy to read, and he actually devoured this one twice because we were travelling at the time. Anyway, on his second pass he admitted to having skipped over all of Granuaile’s chapters, and they were my main issue with this listen as well. I’m not sure whether Hearne was overcompensating because she’s his first female POV, if her character was just over-ecstatic about being a new druid, or if Daniels’ breathy narration got on my last nerve—probably a combination of the three—but I absolutely HATED her in SHATTERED! She came off as such a hippy-ish worry wart that hitting play became a real challenge for me because I just wanted this audio to be over; she single-handedly turned one of my favourite stories into a horribly painful experience. It took me a full week to finish this book compared to my usual 1-2 day norm.

    I adored Owen, he’s cranky and a bit of a d*ck, and quite frankly I loved him for it. He was the complete opposite of Granuaile, and boy did I need that! I enjoyed Orlaith’s simplistic speech, and of course Atticus & Oberon are long time favourites of mine, although I wish they’d played larger roles instead of the equal three-way split. All of the previous installments in this series have focused on one specific lore while as this one had a bit of everything which led to a lot of nothing. The plot threads were difficult to follow, and felt like separate stories haphazardly smushed together in a vain attempt to make one congruent tale. I did not care for this new format; it was a far cry from Hearne’s typically smooth flowing writing style. The author’s trademark humour was also severely lacking because Granuaile simply is NOT funny.

    I have yet to actually read an IRON DRUID book because I am a huge fan of Luke Daniels’ narration; however I strongly considered switching to hard copy in the middle of this one to see if Granuaile’s POV would annoy me less on paper. Again, I’m not sure if it was his actual performance or just that specific character, but listening to Miss MacTiernan’s chapters was downright unpleasant. That being said, I enjoyed Daniels’ gruff portrayal of Owen, he did a fab job of bringing this old Irishman to life, and I really liked his Mexican accent when he stepped into Jesús’ shoes.

    SHATTERED was good, but not my favourite, and if this series continues this format I may have to stop pre-ordering these audiobooks.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Magic Breaks: Kate Daniels, Book 7

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Ilona Andrews
    • Narrated By Renée Raudman
    Overall
    (546)
    Performance
    (520)
    Story
    (521)

    No matter how much the paranormal politics of Atlanta change, one thing always remains the same: If there' s trouble, Kate Daniels will be in the middle of it. As the mate of the Beast Lord, Curran, former mercenary Kate Daniels has more responsibilities than it seems possible to juggle. Not only is she still struggling to keep her investigative business afloat, she must now deal with the affairs of the pack, including preparing her people for attack from Roland, a cruel ancient being with god-like powers.

    RabidReads says: "Characters die, power shifts, a new path is forged"
    "Characters die, power shifts, a new path is forged"
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    *** Review may contain spoilers for previous installments in the series. ***

    Whenever I finish a truly amazing book I’m often tempted to write a one sentence review because words fail me, and the only thing that potential readers really need to know is READ THIS. And, never has that urge been as strong as in the case of MAGIC BREAKS. This novel wraps up one of the greatest Urban Fantasy story arcs that has ever been penned, and that’s not even the best part, because even though KATE DANIELS’ lifelong journey has reached its culmination, the best is still to come. In this installment, characters die, power shifts, and a new path is forged—epic is the only term that comes to mind, and even then, it still falls short.

    It was a good thing that MAGIC BREAKS came with a disclaimer because otherwise I think this novel would have caused mass panic among readers (me included). I loved the character recap; it really helped to set the stage for this story, and ensured that everyone was on the same page regardless of whether you re-read all of the installments prior to this one, or haven’t visited Andrews’ universe since last July when MAGIC RISES hit shelves. Hugh d’Ambray demonstrates why he earned the title of Roland’s Warlord when he sets his ingenious scheme in motion to cause an all-out war between the Pack and the People. Kate’s got some pretty big shoes to fill with Curran away on business, and although I did find myself missing the Beast Lord, the wait was worth it when he finally made his spectacular entrance.

    Pretty much all of this series’ characters came out to play which was awesome, and fitting seeing how everything comes to a head in this book. Kate and Curran’s interactions were perfect, and I loved learning more about Ghastek. And, even though the action was at the forefront of this story, there’s still a good dose of romance, and—believe it or not—cuteness thanks to Cuddles, the mammoth donkey, and an adorable bunnycat. A long time character dies, however I think that I was actually more upset over what happened to Slayer, but again it was all part of the Andrews’ master plan. The authors did a fabulous job of tying up loose ends while still continuing to add new mythology and world-building to the mix. Roland was positively magnificent, and I was thrilled that his and Kate’s first meeting exceeded my sky high expectations after a grueling six installment long build-up.

    I’ve been hooked on Renée Raudman’s narration of this series since the very beginning, but never have I hung on her every word quite like I did while listening to this audiobook. Towards the end, I think that I actually forgot to breathe a time or two. The conclusion was jaw droppingly wonderful, and her suspenseful delivery made time stand still. I loved everything about her performance, from Curran’s raspy baritone, to Kate’s sarcastic wit, and Julie’s bonus short story at the end was the cherry on top.

    Never has a series been more about the journey than the actual destination, and the evolution that Ilona & Gordon’s characters have undergone is staggering. Urban Fantasy doesn’t get any better than MAGIC BREAKS—READ THIS.

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Charming: Pax Arcana, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Elliott James
    • Narrated By Roger Wayne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (220)
    Performance
    (210)
    Story
    (212)

    John Charming isn't your average prince... He comes from a line of Charmings - an illustrious family of dragon slayers, witch-finders and killers dating back to before the fall of Rome. Trained by a modern day version of the Knights Templar, monster hunters who have updated their methods from chain mail and crossbows to Kevlar and shotguns, John Charming was one of the best-until a curse made him one of the abominations the Knights were sworn to hunt.

    Suzanne says: "Charming is Like Dresden in wolves clothing"
    "Charming was made for audio!"
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    I loved Elliott James’ PAX ARCANA universe, his first person POV writing style, and John, the male protagonist, but I had some major issues with the love triangle, info dumps, and the fact that the female lead was a Valkyrie. However, the former appears to have been resolved, and even though I have reached my limit on books that feature this type of lore, the Norse mythology was light enough to be tolerable. And, because of this, I will not hesitate to one-click DARING in September. CHARMING was made for audio, as soon as I heard Roger Wayne’s voice I knew that this series was meant for my ears and not my eyes.

    A number of reviewers mentioned that having the narrator speak directly to the reader was a little weird; I on the other hand did not have this problem thanks to the audiobook. From the prelude onward I felt like I was part of the story, and I really enjoyed that aspect of James’ style. The world-building was rich albeit a little too much at times, and I especially liked the idea behind the PAX ARCANA. Many authors struggle with whether supes are ‘out’ or not, so I loved the idea behind a world-wide spell. The Knights Templar oath also added an interesting twist on what John can and cannot do, plus he’s learned how to brew the perfect cup of coffee—a man after my own heart!

    I’m not sure why the love triangle surprised me, but I honestly just didn’t expect one from a male Urban Fantasy author which is probably why it annoyed me way more than it should have. Dvornik and Charming are two bad ass characters, so the fact that they are fighting over Sig like a couple of school boys struck me as ridiculous. And, at times I found that the vampire hunt became secondary to the romantic drama which caused me to lose interest in the story. But, the wonderful secondary characters helped to reel me back in, and John’s wit & snark reminded me of Atticus O’Sullivan (Kevin Hearne), another protagonist whom I adore.

    Roger Wayne was an instant hit with this listener; I loved everything about his delivery and tone, and how I felt like he was talking to ME because of the first person POV. His narration flowed well, and I liked all of his character voices. I sometimes had difficulty telling when an explanation wasn’t part of John’s storytelling, but otherwise this audiobook was a near perfect listen. I finally have another male narrator to add to my favourites list—I’m now at two in case you’re wondering.

    CHARMING brought a lot to the table with great writing, lovable characters, and the geeky humour that I love. It wasn’t perfect, but Elliott James hasn’t really even gotten to the best part yet… the werewolves!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Poltergeist: Greywalker, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Kat Richardson
    • Narrated By Mia Barron
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (346)
    Performance
    (210)
    Story
    (213)

    This second novel in the acclaimed Greywalker series finds PI Blaine Harper investigating a chilling case as Halloween approaches. After university researchers create an artificial poltergeist, the team leader suspects someone is faking the phenomena. When a student is murdered, Blaine is asked to investigate. Stepping into the spirit world, she realizes the haunting may be very real. But that doesn't necessarily mean a ghost did the killing.

    Audiobook Addict says: "Harper and the Grey"
    "My struggles with this series continue"
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    I’d like to start this review off by first saying that I’m not 100% sure whether it’s the narration or the story that’s making me consistently rate this series 3 stars, so you might want to take my thoughts with a grain of salt until I figure that one out. Anyway, I think that I enjoyed this installment slightly less than its predecessor on account of all the psycho babble & lengthy experiment explanations. I felt like I was back in college listening to a professor drone on about a subject I couldn’t have cared less about. Kat Richardson’s approach to the paranormal seems to be largely academic in nature, and I’m not convinced that that writing style is well-suited for the Urban Fantasy genre.

    One of the aspects that I enjoyed the most about GREYWALKER was Ben and Mara’s supe 101 sessions with Harper, yet they seem to have almost completely vanished in this installment. I’m not sure how much time has elapsed between novels—I may have missed it in the earlier chapters—but it can’t be more than a couple of months, and I found that Blaine’s grasp of her newfound abilities was far too advanced for book 2. She’s also suddenly full-out dating Will, and in a long distance relationship no less, after only a few weeks (?). Again, I’m not clear on the time frame, but it just felt off to me. I had to double-check to make sure that POLTERGEIST was indeed the second installment in this series.

    I enjoyed the whodunit murder mystery even though I did find that it was a little too predictable because the suspect pool was restricted to the experiment participants. I also liked learning some of the tricks on the trade when Richardson explores how certain illusions are created; it’s clear that a lot of research went into this novel. Quinton is probably one of my favourite characters to date, and I was satisfied with the role he played in this story as well as Phoebe Mason’s. She’s a new addition, and I look forward to reconnecting with her in future installments. Will on the other hand… I honestly don’t see his appeal, and hope that Harper dumps his butt ASAP.

    The narration was somewhat improved when compared to the previous audiobook. I thought that Mia Barron’s Jamaican accent was well-done, and her ‘baby’ voice wasn’t half-bad either, although too much of it would have definitely given me a headache. But to be fair, any 2 year old talking in my ear nonstop would, so that means that her performance was authentic. Barron’s portrayal of the vampire characters was still too over-the-top for my tastes, especially where Carlos was concerned; he came across as more Count Dracula than evil undead master.

    In short, my struggles with this series continue, and if something doesn’t start to click soon, I may be calling it quits. POLTERGEIST felt more like a crime novel with paranormal elements mixed in than it did an Urban Fantasy which might be the crux of my problems with Harper Blaine.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Fate's Edge: The Edge, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Ilona Andrews
    • Narrated By Renée Raudman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (638)
    Performance
    (562)
    Story
    (569)

    In the latest entry in Ilona Andrews's Edge series, Audrey Callahan is determined to stay on the straight and narrow - but when her brother gets into trouble, she takes on one last heist and finds herself matching wits with lawyer, gambler, thief, and spy Kaldar Mar.

    Vinity says: "This one is WONDERFUL!"
    "Another winning audiobook in THE EDGE series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Audrey and Kaldar were my least favourite couple to date in this series—that being said—FATE’S EDGE was still a solid 4-star read thanks to George and Jack. When I finished book 1 my first thought was I hope the Drayton boys will make another appearance, so I was pumped to see them pop-up again in this installment. On top of stunning characters, Ilona Andrews also brings her mad world-building and storytelling skills to the table which makes this novel exactly what I’ve come to expect from this author. Add to that Renée Raudman’s flawless narration, and you’re left with another winning audiobook in THE EDGE series.

    I didn’t dislike the leading duo, but they lacked a certain je ne sais quoi if you know what I mean. Audrey is not Andrews’ typical heroine; she’s strong, savvy, and a skilled lock pick, but she’s no fighter. Callahan wages her battles with words instead of a sword which made the romance between her and Kaldar somewhat of a slow burn; lots of flirting, but very little substance. However, I think my main problem was with her male counterpart; he’s more of an anti-hero in my opinion. Kaldar spends a good chunk of this book trying to get into Audrey’s pants, only to later change his tune to one of love. Admittedly, they are well-suited for each other and I enjoyed their bantering, but the hero’s transition from player to soul mate didn’t feel authentic.

    George and Jack definitely stole the show, and I was more than ok with that. They both play a pretty significant role in this novel including their own mission in Audrey and Kaldar’s scheme to retrieve the magical device. More is revealed about their respective powers, and I especially enjoyed the extra Changeling tidbits. One of my favourite scenes was from Jack’s POV where he’s chasing a butterfly. Now, as a general rule I’m not a cat person, but even I could appreciate the author’s attention to detail when it came to our lynx-y friend. A number of secondary characters as also introduced in this installment, the most memorable of course being Ling the Merciless, Audrey’s raccoon sidekick.

    Renée Raudman’s performance is once again beyond reproach; she achieves the perfect balance between action and humour in her tone, and just makes the overall listening experience a lot more fun. At one point George and Jack are practicing their Broken speak for their upcoming mission, and as a result the narrator had to say “dude” repeatedly in a variety of ways and it was hilarious! The only fault I found with Raudman’s narration was her sexy scenes, her voice became a little too breathy at times, but otherwise this was another fab audiobook from this artist.

    FATE’S EDGE is an excellent listen, and on par with what I have come to expect from Ilona Andrews’ THE EDGE series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Greywalker: Greywalker, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Kat Richardson
    • Narrated By Mia Barron
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (626)
    Performance
    (371)
    Story
    (373)

    Kat Richardson excels at creating vivid, fast-moving novels that blend urban fantasy with paranormal mystery. In Greywalker, Seattle P.I. Harper Blaine is viciously attacked and murdered - but after exactly two minutes, somehow she returns to life. Now she's seeing strange things all around her - dark visions from the shadow world - and living a normal life may no longer be possible no matter how hard she tries.

    Nathan Caroland says: "A fun take on the paranormal ..."
    "Not a bad first kick at the can."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is one of those series that’s been on my radar for a while now; it also came highly recommended from a number of reviewers who know how much I LOVE Urban Fantasy, so I decided to give it a listen in audio. The narration took some getting used to, as did Kat Richardson’s grungy poetic writing, but once the action started flowing I was quickly swept away by Harper Blaine’s story. GREYWALKER reminded me a lot of Kalayna Price’s ALEX CRAFT novels in that the main heroine is a PI with a penchant for seeing dead things.

    I liked how the author introduced readers to her paranormal world by having the protagonist undergo a Greywalker 101 course if you will. Harper hooks up with Ben & Mara, two professors who dabble in the supernatural, and they use her as sort of a guinea pig to test their hypotheses while also helping Blaine to learn about her new gifts. It was entertaining observing the differences between theory and practice, and getting to examine some of this series’ supes from an academic perspective as well as from a witch-y one. In doing this, Richardson gave a nice overview of the main components in her GREYWALKER universe from multiple perspectives.

    The writing style reminded me a bit of a spoken word artist on open mic night; as ugly as this book’s cover is, it does kind of have that gritty “feel” to it. That, and this quote from the blurb: “foggy grey mist, snarling teeth, creatures roaring”, describes the tone of this story fairly well. The plot moved along at a decent pace, and all of the 1990′s fads which were not meant to be funny, but were actually accurate at the time of publication, made me giggle. I mean, when’s the last time you saw a pager? I really enjoyed the secondary characters, especially Mara, her Irish wit was spot on. Ben, Quinton, Will, and Cam all contributed nicely to the narrative as well, and I look forward to encountering them again.

    I wasn’t immediately wowed by Mia Barron’s narration, but like a pair of new shoes, starting an unfamiliar series is always an adjustment. Her tempo was a little slow for my tastes, and some of her character voices were kinda off. Cam for example, sounded like he was constipated which was rather comical, but made it difficult for me to take his dire situation seriously. Mara’s Irish accent on the other hand was very well done, and I expect that Barron’s narration will improve with each installment.

    GREYWALKER wasn’t an insta-favourite, but book 1 rarely is, so I won’t hold that against Kat Richardson because I think that I probably would have enjoyed it slightly more had I read this one instead. Still, not a bad first kick at the can.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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