I was excited to continue my journey in the Mara Dyer trilogy by Michelle Hodkin and once again went with the audio version for The Evolution of Mara Dyer. I love an unreliable narrator, and Hodkin is brilliant at keeping the reader second-guessing. I liked The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, but I loved the twisted, mind-bending tale delivered in the Evolution of Mara Dyer.
The tale centers on Mara who may or may not be suffering from delusions. She may have killed, or is she in fact sane and in serious trouble. Think conspiracy theory, and it is intense as Mara herself narrates the story, leaving the reader to ascertain the truth. Thankfully, she has Noah…yummy, sweet, strange, Noah. I was unsure of his motives in book one, but here he has Mara’s back.
Hodkin’s writing is brilliant, and she does an excellent job of making me doubt my conclusions. The tale moved slowly at first, but then began to escalate, and all I could do was hold my breath and hold on. Mara still gets on my nerves a tad, but the more knowledge I gain, the more I understand and she deserves my respect. The imagery was amazing from the doll, to near death accidents and oh gads the dead animals. I was riveted and the narrator added an element of suspense I found engaging. I love the voice she has given Noah and the doctor.
I am so glad I delayed reading this series, and switched to audio. The Evolution of Mara Dyer surpassed book one and left me drooling in anticipation of The Retribution of Mara Dyer, which, will release November 4, 2014. I hope the audio releases the same day. *fingers-crossed*
Lock In begins its story almost a quarter of a century after the virus, that is now known as Hayden’s Syndrome, changed the world. We meet rookie FBI agent Chris Shane on the first day of his job. He is partnered with veteran agent Leslie Vann. The two are assigned to a murder that took place at the Watergate Hotel. Science fiction geeks will love the technology, jobs, and abilities of this future world. For the non-geeks, prepare to get your Geek on! Scalzi describes this world, the technology and the changes brilliantly in layman terms without making your brain melt. The tale that unfolds is a murder mystery and has an old school meets technology vibe. Lock In isn’t a procedural crime novel, it’s a whodunit novel, and Chris Shane, sleuth extraordinaire is our future Sherlock Holmes.
Lock In combined two genres that rock for me; science fiction and crime thrillers. This was genre blending nirvana for me as the reader/listener. It reads like Mira Grant’s zombie novels; smooth, easy to slip into and yet has the complexities of the brilliant world in the Others series by Anne Bishop. Yes, peeps I invoked the names of two of my favorite authors, and Scalzi is worthy to sit among them. The world building is spectacular and the murder mystery is complex It was well thought out with twists and turns that kept me guessing.
The audio version of Lock In is available with your choice of narrator Will Wheaton or Amber Benson. Wheaton did an excellent job of presenting to us the character of Chris Shane. I felt his mannerisms, tones, and quirks. He created Chris just as I imagined him. Chris Shane is cool, sometimes funny; even though that is not his intent. He is brilliant, a natural sleuth and often is very literal. I cannot wait to go on more cases with him and his snarky, somewhat broken partner.
Audible’s audio edition of Lock In contains the bonus novella, Unlocked: An Oral History of Haden’s Syndrome, written by John Scalzi and narrated by a full cast. I found the history of what occurred after the virus hit fascinating, and enjoyed listening to this bonus.
There is so much I want to talk about, but the synopsis is so vague. I think this journey is best discovered on your own. I will say this; the revelations are fascinating and the tale takes some dark turns. There are moments I wanted to scream in frustration and I was never truly sure of where Hodkin would ultimately leave us. There are fantastic gut wrenching scenes with beloved characters and secondary characters. We experience the characters fear, uncover clues with them and feel moments of absolute desperation. Hodkin does weave in moments of humor and gives us glimpses of the once normal adolescents before these events marred their lives. The clinic, experiments, testing, and truth of it all is brilliant. It is all quite maddening, really, if you think about it. I would love to sit down and share coffee with the author. Her mind is diabolical and it is clear she has been in total control of this tale from the onset.
Christy Romano has made listening an absolute pleasure. Her inflection and unique voices for the characters added an additional element of enjoyment. Her pacing and tone notched up the suspense and the hours slipped by in the blink of an eye.
If you have not started the Myer Dyer series, I recommend that you do. This is one of my favorite young adult paranormal. Fans of unreliable narrators will loved the experience. The Retribution of Mara Dyer was a brilliant conclusion to the trilogy.
The tale is set in a Dickenson type London, and the writing is mesmerizing. Fletcher brings the world and characters to life using multiple perspectives. The story is rich in details, laced in magic and dark uncertainty.
The Oversight stands for the Free Company for the Regulation and Oversight of Recondite Exigency and Supernatural Lore. At one time, the Oversight was a powerful group numbering in the hundreds whose sole purpose was to keep the streets of London safe. A secret order that regulates and contains magic. Now, the membership has been reduced to five. These five make up the Hand, and without them, the Oversight would cease to exist allowing things to go unchecked. They are Sarah, Cook, Mr. Sharp, Hodge and the Smith. Sounds exciting right? I love the set up and secret agency.
Fletcher brilliantly takes us from the dangerous streets of London to a traveling Carney. Danger, fate, unknown factors and unique characters quickly draw us into each scene and I found myself caught up in everything from the sights to battling their enemies. While the pacing was slow in the beginning, the twists and unknown factor of Lucy Harbor, a girl who could end them or strengthen them kept me listening into the wee hours.
Each of the characters is unique, quirky and thoroughly fleshed out with just enough mystery to ensnare the reader. When Lucy is first introduced to the Oversight she realizes something is amiss. When Lucy touches things, she has visions, but until she meets Sarah, she believed herself to be crazy. Sarah who heads the Oversight believes that Lucy is a Glint, like herself. Lucy’s arrival sets of a series of events and raises questions as we are thrust into a tale. I found the premise utterly riveting.
There is a threat that exists in the shadows, one that can tip the scales spilling havoc into the world around us. It is this knowledge that gives the tale a suspenseful, dark feel even as the pace meanders. Despite intense spurts and than slower pacing I loved all of the details, suspense and unknowing of it all. The imagery was so impressive.
The story takes place in Atlanta where magic and technology battle. Here we meet Kate Daniels a sword-wielding human who is more. There is magic in her blood, and until now she has spent most of her life in seclusion, but when her guardian is murdered Kate is determined to seek her revenge.
The world Andrews introduces us to is filled with paranormal creatures from vampires, weres and shifters to strange abominations caused by breeding. A council governs the paranormal world and magic as well as others seeking to gain power. It was simple, yet complex.
The characters are fairly fleshed out, and all have unique voices. Kate is unapologetic, from the clothes she wears to the method she will use to kick your ass. I loved her, and I see so much potential in her for growth. Curran is lord of the beasts, and I am anxious to see how his role plays out because, OMG the man needs a smack. He is controlling, aggressive and oh so arrogant! I got angry at myself, because the big lug managed to sneak into my heart.
Magic Bites is dark, bloody, and filled with potential. I slipped right into the story and connected with Kate and many of the characters. The villains were creep-tastic notching up the tension. We witnessed necromancy and carnage with some kick-ass scenes as Kate investigated her guardian’s death.. I love raising the dead. The plot had great balance with intense action scenes, quite moments and a dash of humor.
The narration by Renee Raudman was good. She gave the characters clear voices, and I was easily able to follow along. The next book is Magic Burns, a
Magic Burns the second book in the Kate Daniels series has solidified this audio series as a favorite. While still gritty, Andrews’ added depth smoothed out some of the rougher aspects and endeared me to Kate. If you have not tried the Kate Daniels series, I urge you to do so. Magic Burns is fresh and original with a storyline and characters that will have you casting the real world aside and losing yourself within its pages!
Squee! I am almost at a loss for words. Andrews’ world and its characters are complex and kept me engaged. Narrator, Renée Raudman brings Magic Burns to life and her interpretations of the characters are brilliant.
Kate Daniels is kick-ass as a mercenary. Her job cleaning up magic gone wrong is dangerous, unappreciated and intense. Kate resides in an alternated Atlanta where magic ebbs and flows. In this installment, Kate does battle with a divine one and the tale that unfolds held me tightly in its grips. What starts out as a simple task of retrieving stolen maps for a shape-shifting clan quickly becomes complicated. Kate soon finds herself in a battle to save them all.
As a heroine, Kate is fantastic. The girl has tude and her snarky; quick-witted comments had me smiling like an idiot while I listened. What makes it so epic is that most of the time she does not do this deliberately. It is just Kate pure and simple. Her interactions with the smexy alpha male Curran are among my favorite. Anytime these two shared scene time, I was completely smitten.
The storyline is intense and action packed with a heaviness that weighed on my heart. Death, loss, and change all affect the tone. Andrews continues to flesh out the world and the characters. We gain insight into Kate’s past and see growth in her powers. There is so much more to Kate and her gift. Magic Burns is fast paced, and with the magic flare that is occurring we see many fascinating creatures. Andrews’ world is utterly fascinating and complicated without overwhelming the reader. In fact, they only make me crave more. The ending was nail-biting and climatic making me immediately download the next audible, Magic Strikes. Eeep!
Mitosis is a mini-story set between Steelheart and Firelight in the Reckoners series by Brandon Sanderson. MacLeod Andrews narrates the audio and he nailed David. While the story is only one hour and three minutes long it has all the things I love about this series. Mitosis while small delivered an evil Epic, news about Newscago and plenty of action.
I enjoyed seeing what was happening in Newscago after the events that unfolded in Steelheart. I love the good verse evil, superhero vibe of this series and Sanderson delivered all the elements I enjoy in this short novella. It was interesting to see how the humans were surviving the changes to Newscago, and at first I was surprised. We gain a little knowledge about main characters and it was fun seeing David, well being David. For fans of the series, it is worth a listen.
MacLeod did an excellent job portraying David and even made me laugh as he captured some of David’s sarcasm and his interaction with others. I loved the voice he used for our evil Epic. Audiobooks are a new passion for me this year, and until now I have been staying with the same format for trilogies and series that I began with..but I might just break that trend and go for Firelight on audio.
Five reasons to grab your earbuds and listen to Alias Hook
1. The writing is simply wonderful from the way that it flowed to the vivid details of Neverland. This is meant for adults and the language can get colorful, but it also offered a unique perspective casting Hook and his crew in a whole new light.
2. Captain James Benjamin Hook. Ralph Lister did an excellent job of giving him voice and Jenson truly fleshed him out making me see this pirate in an entirely new light. Gone are the images from movies and the Disney animation.
3. Stella Parrish is a grown woman who makes her way to Neverland and forever changes James. I adored this snarky, clever woman. She says what she thinks, and it was often hilarious. Her reasons for dreaming her way to Neverland were interesting, and her role in the tale was well dome.
4. It is Neverland! There are battles with the Lost Boys, secrets, fairies and of course Peter Pan.
5. Alias Hook while based on Peter Pan completely stands on its own and offers a new twist on Neverland.. Lessons were learned, a romance developed, and both Jenson and Lister weaved their magic making me lose myself in the story.
Once Bitten has, an intense mystery involving a rogue shifter. Kita finds herself in trouble and thanks to the quick actions of a lone vampire known as “the Hermit” she wakes up dead and unable to shift. Hmm, you think that would be enough for one day, but Kita ends up being accused of being the rogue shifter. She is granted seventy-two hours to find the killer and prove her innocence. Her ex-boyfriend Bobby and the vampire who saved her assist her along with a mage in training. This motley crew work together, quibble and begin to forge an interesting team.
Once Bitten despite flaws was a solid start to the Haven series. This first installment created questions regarding the world. While the reader is giving a basic understanding, it felt like we were thrust into this world and left to flounder. The second issue lies with the characters. All of them are intriguing and unique, but we gain very little connection. It is like watching a seriously good movie with the volume fading in and out. I want to better understand the relationship between Bobby and Kita not to mention the Vampire council and its hierarchy. So many questions. A little romance, or infatuation develops and I am interested to see how it progresses. Aspects of each character are fascinating, but I wanted to experience an emotional connection and gain understanding particularly with Kita. Having said that, I was interested enough to continue listening and picked up Twice Dead, the second audiobook.
I loved the dark Oz that Paige created from the blacken fields, silent forests and enslaved monkeys. Gone are the smiling tin man and adorable cowardly lion. The Scarecrow will make you shiver. We meet Dorothy, the Wizard and spend time in the Emerald City. As a child, I dreamed of traveling to Oz, but Paige’s Oz will make you long to click you fuzzy slippers as you cry, “there is no place like home.”
Amy does not live on a farm. She lives in a trailer park with her drug-addicted mother and is tormented by the high school “mean girl.” She does not have a lot of confidence and we get to see growth in her throughout the novel. At times, she is a little abrasive, but I felt her frustration at being thrust into a battle and not knowing the players. There is a hint of romance and at first; I thought we were going to get a triangle, but no worries on that count. If romance is necessary for your reading pleasure, you may be a tad disappointed as this one takes a back seat to the action, suspense and mysteries of Oz, Dorothy and the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked.
While not without flaws, I had to admire Paige’s take on Oz, and hope the next novel gives us more answers as to what went wrong and who is responsible. The tale’s ebb and flow for the most part was well paced. It dragged a little in the middle, and I felt it lost direction. However, the ending was deliciously paced and intense. Paige weaved in magic, contraptions, and spells while giving me a panoramic view of Oz. Where this fell a little flat for me is in the execution. While the world of Oz is dark it often boarders on ridiculous taking away the darker tones I would have appreciated. The novel for all its wonder did not provide many answers and was more of an introduction. I am hoping that book two digs a little deeper and answers questions. I would love to see Tim Burton get his hands on this. It would make quite the twisted movie.
Devon Sorvari narrated, and I felt her pacing, tone and voice added to the tale. She did an excellent Dorothy and made me want to slap the snot out of her. Amy could be annoying, and Devon did an excellent job of showing her frustration, fear and determination.
I am die-hard Stephen King fan and have been since I was a teenager. I love his quirky characters, vivid imagination and his ability to pull me into the story. Recently I have been enjoying audio books and snagged Mr. Mercedes on audio when I saw the narrator was Will Patton. Mr. Mercedes was brilliant mystery crime thriller with an eclectic cast of characters who intrigued me as much as solving the case. I laughed, cringed and gave myself over to the audio.
The tale opens with an unthinkable, seemingly random crime that has horrific consequences and King had me hooked. The crime goes unsolved and is one of a handful that plagues now retired cop Bill Hodges. He sits in his home day after day watching a regiment of daily talk shows, fondling his gun, and contemplating suicide. When the mail falls through his door a letter from someone identifying themselves as Mr. Mercedes and threatening another attack it springs Bill out of his depression and back on the case. He enlisted his neighborhood friend Jerome to aid him, and picks up help along the way.
The tale that unfolds in Mr. Mercedes takes us on one heck of a ride with twists and turns that kept me up listening to the wee hours. King includes our villain Brady Hartfield’s perspective and I call me creepy but I loved getting inside his twisted mind. King’s characters are not your typical heroes and villains. They are quirky, and flawed and he quickly brings them to life as you root for them, fear for them and shiver as they cross hairs with Brady. The story was perfectly paced with moments of intense suspense, and eye-opening horror. King then weaves in humor, friendship and teamwork giving you the entire package.
Will Patton is the narrator and many of you will recognize the name from the hit show Falling Skies. He has performed in more than forty-five films and was the narrator for King’s previous novel Doctor Sleep. Patton brought the tale to a completely new level for me. I adored his voice for Jerome as well as the other cast. He made Brady’s thoughts seem real and added a creep factor that gave me shivers. His interpretation of Bill Hodges reminded me of the old dime store novels and Patton breathed life into him. As I closed my eyes, listening to Patton each character was easily identifiable, and the tale flowed seamlessly allowing me to experience that book high I constantly crave.
Fans of King and crime thrillers will find Mr. Mercedes to be stunning addition to King’s collection.
Report Inappropriate Content