I first bought Carrots for Kindle in 2011 on a whim. Naturally when I got the chance to listen to it as an Audible book I couldn't wait to listen to i..Show More »t.
As a Regional Officer with the British Diplomatic Corps, I travel bi-weekly, usually to a foreign country and usually it is a long, long long airplane trip. So I really want something that will capture my attention, and really pass the time without FEELING like 9, 10, or 11 hours is going by, steadily sucking the will to live from my body like a black hole.
I decided to start getting audible books since I have devices I can use that will enable me to listen in comfort and pass the time.
I was a little concerned about listening to Carrots, as I had read it, and I have just finished the newest book in the series, Trapped by Revenge, the 5th Shelby Nichols adventure. Boy, was I wrong.
Well, was I? There I am, sitting in my seat, and listening to Wendy King's phenomenal audio production, and now I'm gasping out loud. The first time, I knocked my drink over. Next thing I know, I'm laughing out loud, and Mr. 5E sitting next to me thinks I'm taking a nutty. Nothing daunted, I'm worse than the person at the movie theater who then starts talking to the screen: "No, no, don't go in there!" By this time on my overnight flight Mr. 5E is snoring, but I think the flight attendants began rooting about for their Valium reserves.
Fortunately, I was not incarcerated upon landing, but I just loved listening to the book. Possibly more than reading it! It was fresh, it was so well done and so consistently produced that there was nothing to complain about. I was sucked into the story completely, and 8 plus hours seem to pass in the blink of an eye.
It is hard in a way to separate the content of the book from the audio production. The book was incredibly well written, the story very enjoyable, the characters entirely believable, and the quality of the writing fantastic. Equally, Wendy's voice characterizations were right on the money. She puts just enough intonation and inflection into the recordings that you can tell when it's Shelby, you can tell when it's Uncle Joey, and you can tell when it's Ramos. It is what I think of as understated elegance.
I would recommend this Audible book to anyone. The Shelby Nichols adventures stand in and of their own right, but it is far more enjoyable listening to the professional, flawless recording in some ways than reading the book. What it really did was make me want to listen to them all, so I am now eagerly awaiting the release of the next book through Audible.
This is an absolute winner: Do yourself a favor: Get it!
Fast Money is the second installment in the Shelby Nichols adventures series. I am not a "psychic soccer mom" kind of guy. I like action, engaging..Show More », lost in the story real life nitty-gritty characters that can keep me absorbed for 9-11 hour flights. I like books I can listen to whilst driving that keep my mind focused instead of just another mindless song. I started reading Colleen Helme's books when I stumbled upon Carrots, the first Shelby Nichols adventure, whilst stuck in my car in a downpour at a supermarket. The parallel got me involved, but the story got me committed. Since then I have read and enjoyed ALL of the Shelby Nichols adventures that up and coming author Ms. Helme has penned. I started listening to them from Audible when they became available, and I have been pleasantly surprised and delighted that I did. These stories and the entertainment I derive from them will remain long after the price is forgotten. An audio performer can make or break a book. The voice we hear MUST be recognisable as the character we imagine, or all is lost, including interest, which will fast fade away and die. Fortunately, Wendy Tremont King IS Shelby Nichols incarnate, or at least her voice is, and that makes all the difference. Wendy does a 5 star job of performing in Fast Money. Her depictions of the other characters in the story, including the male mob boss Uncle Joey, the NOT love interest and hit man Ramos, and the Detective "Dimples". Her voice characterisations are understated, and that suits the performance admirably. It adds believability to the story. Colleen's writing and portrayal of the different personalities and mannerisms of the characters already make them utterly believable, and Wendy's portrayals only add to that panache. It had been more than two years since I had read Fast Money, and I had actually forgotten a lot of the story, including the surprise and dramatic ending at the banquet by the time I got the Audible version and listened to it. I found myself laughing out loud, gasping at times, and generally so absorbed in the story that I actually at one point turned to the person in 6D next to me and asked, "Oh no! How is she going to get out of that?!" Fortunately, Ms. 6D was asleep at the time, and I quickly looked around to see if my gaff had been noticed. Fortunately, most everyone was asleep or absorbed in their own entertainment. I have pondered long and hard about why I like the Shelby Nichols adventures so much. They are part mystery, part crime drama, part fantastic story... The thing is, they are so darn real and realistic, that they remind me of my own life (minus the mind-reading, drat)! The book (and narration) is done in such a stream of consciousness fashion by the main character, that I can really relate to them. Shelby is an accidental heroine. She really loves her husband and kids. She really wants to be a good mom and wife. But life keeps happening to her. I don't think it is just my own job, which involves 2 weeks of national and international travel a month that makes the stories resonate so much, I think it is really the path of my own life, and the power of events outside of our own control. Shelby, like me, makes commitments, tries her hardest to keep them, but stuff keeps happening, and life gets in the way. And she tries to do the right thing, not the easy thing, and that creates a non-stop roller-coaster adventure you cannot stop listening to. One of the best things about this style of writing: Shelby gets to hear in her mind how people perceive her. Which can be VASTLY different from how she perceives herself. Fast Money cost me sleep when I could not put it down as a written book. The audio book kept me constantly listening and recharging my iPad Air battery, listening on long flights, listening in the hotel, listening in the car... All with gripping and absorbed interest. It is a great book, and if anything it is more entertaining to listen to than to read. Would I recommend this book? Absolutely! Without any reservation, for pretty much anyone from tween to teen to AARP member. This is quality writing and performing at its best, and if I were you, I would avoid the disappointment of missing out on this fantastic book. Just plan on being hooked for the whole series! Got Shelby?