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BikeVON

Southfield, Mi, United States
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  • Of Ash and Spirit: A Curse Keepers Novel

  • Of Ash and Spirit, Book 1
  • By: D.G. Swank, Denise Grover Swank
  • Narrated by: Shannon McManus
  • Length: 10 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 13
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 12

Piper Lancaster is a ghost whisperer and a skeptic. Piper helps her clients settle their inner demons, and that's good enough for her, even if ghosts aren't real. But the astonishing reappearance of the ruins of the Lost Colony of Roanoke turns her world upside down. She's soon confronted with undeniable evidence and discovers Asheville's new resident demon intent on killing her and a handsome stranger who says she's the only one who can destroy it. Barely able to accept the complete reversal in her convictions, Piper must embrace her true identity before it's too late. 

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Just ok ...

  • By BikeVON on 05-16-18

Just ok ...

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-16-18

Piper is no Jane Yellowrock. Do not expect Piper to be a strong kickass woman. Piper must acquire fighting skills to become a demon fighter that I would follow. The story becomes distracting with her wishy-washy thought process. First, she will trust Jack and distrust Abe and then reverse. Nothing overt in either of their actions requires all that over thinking. That detracted from much of the story.

When we meet her, Piper is a con-person. Her chosen profession was selected for no apparent reason other than it is a money maker. The first 1/4 of the book her life choices are based on her ignoring one of her best skills. RESEARCH.

She becomes pious when her powers manifests and cannot lie, even when she should keep her mouth shut.

We follow Piper who does not have any idea in hell of the forces that are jerking her around. She picks up snatches of information and becomes expert enough to fight demons.

The first 9 hours of the story were not riveting – remember, she is going back and forth about who to trust. When the big event occurs, it is more like amateur hour. Who do you take to a fight, a priest or a fighter?

If you want a better ghost paranormal novel try Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper By: J. L. Bryan.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Academy of Assassins

  • Academy of Assassins Series, Book 1
  • By: Stacey Brutger
  • Narrated by: Traci Odom
  • Length: 10 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 135
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 119
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 117

Abandoned as a child and unable to remember her past, Morgan was raised as a hunter, one of an elite group of fighters sworn to protect humans from the dangerous paranormal creatures who invade our world...creatures such as herself. Her life changes the day she's summoned to the Academy of Assassins, a school that trains witches and hunters to eradicate paranormals who prey on humans. Her first assignment - find and eliminate the killer who is using the Academy as their own personal hunting ground.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Good new series - 3.5 stars

  • By BikeVON on 05-12-18

Good new series - 3.5 stars

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-12-18

This is a refreshing story about a female hunter, Morgan. As a female she has a few strikes against her. Her life is shrouded in mystery. She cannot remember anything before the age 10. There is action and Morgan does a really good job of kicking ass. She is fast, strong and fast healing.
The Academy is home to many interesting species: werewolves, witches, wizards, hunters, fae, hellhounds and others.

Girls at the academy are being killed and they have a connection to Morgan. Her job is to find the killer.

*****Spoiler*****
The story loses points because of the cumbersome method that Morgan interacts with her male teammates. She drools over and sexual objectifies her teammates. She is the only “human” who can run with the wolves and sooth the vicious wolf. The fae admires her skill with weapons and she can make friends with a hellhound.

All her teammates have endured an emotional or physical abuse because of their species. All of them are without a mate. With soothing touches and words, she empathizes with their hurt and forms emotional intimate relationships with them. There is the usual struggle where the men want to protect her and Morgan chafing at their efforts.

If she can get over her teammates being sexy, it would be a much better story.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Saint of Wolves and Butchers

  • By: Alex Grecian
  • Narrated by: January LaVoy
  • Length: 11 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 37
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 36
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 36

Travis Roan and his dog, Bear, are hunters: They travel the world pursuing evildoers in order to bring them to justice. They have now come to Kansas on the trail of Rudolph Bormann, a Nazi doctor and concentration camp administrator who snuck into the United States under the name Rudy Goodman in the 1950s. Travis quickly learns that Goodman has powerful friends who will go to any length to protect the Nazi; what he doesn't know that is that Goodman has furtively continued his diabolical work.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A 5<br />

  • By Donna on 04-21-18

Good but...

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-30-18

Spoilers:

I was captive by this story. With only 3 hours left, the action was getting to a high point when, I want to kill Scottie’s daughter, Maddie. It is riveting but Maddie’s actions became stupid. I stopped. listening. Frist, Maddie hears the intruders. After telling her mother, she wants to do something other than what her mother told her. Why not call 911? She goes about trying to be amateur detective.

Second, Scottie is furious and worried because her daughter is missing. I got that. Knowing that time is of the essence for missing children and your need to interrogating the burglar, call 911 FIRST.

Third, Maddie appears at a hotel desk in the winter without shoes and a coat. The clerk has no sense of urgency to help her. Her father is there, and he says to her “it is too late to call his room”

Fourth, Damn that Maddie. She is safe in the hotel lobby with the stupid clerk. She panics when she sees her assailant outside of the hotel. Her dad is on his way down. She takes off. She caused problems for Bear and I was ready to kill her.

Fourth, Scottie’s neighbors hear commotion and never call the police. They come out at the end of the event with the line, “was that noise that we hear?”

Fifth in that damn little town, when 911 is finally called, the callers are put on hold.
With the warning that Scottie had and the help of Bear, this could have ended with ours heros in a better position.

I gave the story a 4 because it was a riveting story. I was too disappointed with in the first conflict to continue.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Convent's Secret

  • Glass and Steele, Book 5
  • By: C.J. Archer
  • Narrated by: Marian Hussey
  • Length: 8 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 301
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 280
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 279

To find the one man who can fix the magic in Matt's watch, he and India are led to a convent where the nuns will do anything to keep their secrets private. Including murder? Matt and India must uncover the truth behind the disappearance of the mother superior and two babies given to her care many years ago. But sometimes, the truth is painful and its exposure can have deadly consequences.  

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Loved the first 3 books

  • By Melissa, LEED AP BD+C, ID+C, O+M, Passive House on 03-18-18

Disappointing

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-08-18

I have become extremely disappointed with this series. A time prospective - Matt was cured 5 years-ago with a magic watch. It has been months since Matt and India met to find a magic watch repairer and doctor.

When an author creates a world, it is disappointing when they use conflicting information. *** spoiler*** In this story, we find that the magic has a finite life span. To extend the magic time of the magic requires a watch magic user. India is highly prized because she can extend the life of the magic. Yet, India is able to sense magic in a box and crucifix after 27 years. That is in violation of the premise of the series.

As the story unfolds, we discover that magic is more prevalent than originally thought. A fierce debate takes place in the newspapers for the general population about the merits and evilness of magic. My question became why/when the government will become involved in magic. I find it highly unlikely that no one in the government had magic talent.

Much of the time in this series is wasted on getting Matt’s married to one of his cousins. India spends hours whining about not being good enough to marry him. As a reader of a myriad of historical novels, marrying above one’s station is not a serious taboo, especially when it is a man with the wealth.

India was kept out of the watch guild because she is female and a magic user. She has vigorously fought for her liberally views. Yet, when it comes to loving Matt, she cannot stand up to the societal prejudices of marriage. Predictably when Matt is presumed dead, she cries because she did not agree to marry him.

This story continues the search to find a child given up for adoption 27-years- ago. Our characters spend their time bullying nuns to reveal their secrets from the past. In a 9-hour story, approximately, 8.5 hours is spent on this point. The only action is the shrillness of India voice as she threatens nuns.

C.J. Archer has dragged out our desire to see Matt saved for 5 books to give us a very an anticlimax ending.

The last hour is precipitated with Payne, the antagonist, catching up with Matt. The long-awaited battle ensures. This story was drawn out much too long with so little action and magic. This is categorized as a historical mystery thriller. In the beginning, it did offers a few unique glimpses into the difference between American and Europe societies, Willie wearing man wears and carrying a gun offered amusing batter between her and Matt’s aunt.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Tiny Gods

  • Temple Chronicles, Book 6
  • By: Shayne Silvers
  • Narrated by: Joel Richards
  • Length: 13 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 185
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 174
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 169

It's almost Nate's birthday, so, he can cry if he wants to. That is, if he lives to see it.... Because a lot of people want him dead: his fiancée, his long-lost ancestor, the good wizards, the dark wizards, and.... Look, it's easier to list who doesn't want to kill him. To prevent a shifter-versus-wizard war, Nate steps in to draw a line in the sand, picking a fight with the deadliest magic slingers on the planet... and then he tries to rob them.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Nate Temple delivers again!

  • By BikeVON on 03-06-18

Nate Temple delivers again!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-06-18

We expect heros to have some humanity but at what price? How can we empathize with our heroes, when they are not being consistence with their characters? For instance, Rumpelstiltskin’s reeked untold death and havoc in Nate’s battle with him. After dismissing the ideal of out-right killing him upon capture, Nate decided that a more fitting death would be to make him serve the Mad Hatter. So why should Nate feel shamed because Rumpelstiltskin spirt has been broken?

This was an extremely emotional story for Nate and Indie. The depth of her hurt caused catastrophic emotional upheaval to people who were once her friends. If you have followed this series, you remember that Nate never wanted Indie to become involved in the fight. But she was determined. Once she acquired powers she inserted herself in the battle. In doing so, her loved ones became a target and she became an insane bitch. As close as her and Nate were, why in all her pop up visits into Chateau Falco did they not take a few seconds and talk? Why does the talk happen in the middle of a battle when they, or rather Indie, is ready to annihilate Nate?

The time has come for Nate’s parents to move on. He discovers what many kids must … parents are fallible. When faced with having a family fall out, ostracizing them, or accepting them as humans, what do you do? Despite losing his parents, Nate’s family does acquire more family.

Nate’s entourage now have lives/responsibilities outside of being at Nate’s beck and call. This has added more story lines and characters to the story. It is exciting to see how other paranormal fights. From the title of the book, yes there are other gods in the story. With the stakes being so high everyone joins the battle. Yes, Ganesh joins the battle.
The growth of all the characters and the expanse of the paranormal world is outstanding. With each novel Shayne Slivers, the author, has built a story that is impossible to drop. Every story has added a new element.

I was disappointed that Nate is no longer a master. As a master, he presented an indomitable character, which cause all opponents to pause. Do not count him out. There are always tricks in is basket.

***spoiler*** Chateau Falco is sentient and deadly. This is the perfect opportunity to show her capabilities. As a leader, it is your responsibility to make sure that all your defenses are set. Twice Nate neglects to set the house wards. Instead of the battle being stopped at the gates of his home, it rings the door bell.

This is a great installment to the Nate Temple story.

  • Soldier of Fortune: A Gideon Quinn Adventure

  • The Fortune Chronicles, Book 1
  • By: Kathleen McClure
  • Narrated by: Tim McKiernan
  • Length: 8 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 26
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 25
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 25

Wrongly convicted of treason, Gideon Quinn has spent six years harvesting crystal under the killing suns of the Morton Barrens, until the day a general of the Colonial Corps arrives with an offer of freedom, and the chance to clear his name. Gideon doesn't have to think twice, and with his pet draco Elvis on his shoulder, he takes 'ship for the city of Nike in search of revenge - and justice. But mostly, revenge. What he finds is a dodger named Mia, a city steeped in corruption, and a menace at the heart of the Corps.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Make your fortune better, get this book

  • By Ray Johnson on 02-25-18

A new hero in town!

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-06-18

Water Break Editor Error
I cannot believe this! In chapter 7 at approximately 10:01 minutes, the narrator actually stops to drink water!

This is basically a Vin Diesel or Dwayne Johnson type of story. The character is loyal, serviced his country, respected by his peers and has been framed.
Gideon Quinn is the protagonist. He is the wronged good guy who now must perform illegal things to find his justice. He was a captain in the service of his country. He has high morals and the respect of his troops. He was framed and took the blame of the crime to save others. Add a flying reptile, a pet draco named Elvis, a cute kid, Mia and the honest police officer, DS Hamm, those are the main characters.

Quinn gets out of jail and looks to extract revenge for the lives of his men that were killed. Quinn is a good guy and has the heart to save those in distress. He is paroled and everyone from his past and new enemies are after him.

I enjoyed the characters in this story and Quinn. Mia, Tiago and DS Hamm and would enjoy reading about their next adventures. Enjoyable execution of a predictable story.
I will not read the next in the series. It will not feature Quinn, Mia, et al, but other character introduced in the story.

Zero sex or swearing

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Underground Druid: A New Adult Urban Fantasy Novel

  • The Colin McCool Paranormal Suspense Series, Book 4
  • By: M.D. Massey
  • Narrated by: Steven Barnett
  • Length: 7 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 110
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 102
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 102

I thought the job was done when we broke up the Fae’s child sex-trafficking ring. We rescued the kids and killed the ringleaders, and everyone was supposed to live happily ever after. But as it turns out, that only happens in fairy tales. Because when you’re dealing with the Fae I know, there’s always another nightmare waiting in the wings. Now I’m traveling into the belly of the beast - straight into Underhill, the mystical realm of the Fae. And to pay for my passage to and from the Faery lands, I’ll have to do something no one has ever done before.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • amazing series can't wait for the next book<br />

  • By Richard Kahra on 04-29-18

Great addition to the series

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-05-18

We pick up the story with Colin completing his revenge job from Moonlight Druid. He has tracked down and killed all humans and paranormals who had any part in taking the kids. Colin is continuing his quest to save the children that were stolen and taken to underhill world of the Rye Mother. In his quest he meets many of the old fae and does an errand for Maeve.

He has an interesting posse with him; Sabine the half goat with the unrequited love for Colin is the healer, Hemi a big guy with an equally big heart, Gut the troll warrior and Crowley the human wizard, former sworn enemy Jack the wisp.

Sabine is the half fae who was always in the coffee shop using the see me not spell. She now has more story time. She is fiery, excellent with a sword, and totally pissed at being dismissed by Colin for Belle.

Colin has become stronger simply by controlling his changes. Now he wields his half-Fomorian beast form as a weapon instead of being its’ pawn. He discovers more about the fae, specifically Maeve. As usual, the story ends with a cliff hanger. This is predicated upon the action Colin takes to get even with Maeve.

There are great battles, devious plans and plots reveled, and Colin saving the human race to the detriment of his safety.

  • Blue Curse

  • Blue Wolf, Book 1
  • By: Brad Magnarella
  • Narrated by: James Patrick Cronin
  • Length: 7 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 85
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 81
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 81

Cursed by a blind witch in a remote corner of Waristan, Special Ops Captain Jason Wolfe finds himself transforming into a creature of local legend, a lupine referred to in fearful whispers as Blue Wolf. Faster, stronger, and more lethal, he’s the perfect soldier - but not for the US military. To break the curse, Jason must join a war between ancient tribal foes: blue werewolves and the formidable White Dragon. In a battle spanning from the peaks of Central Asia to the valleys of Manhattan, Jason will push himself to the breaking point.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Overview sells itself short

  • By Brian on 02-04-18

Jason Wolfe is a new urban hero

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-04-18

Another great series for Brad Magnarella! Jason Wolfe becomes the principle protector for a village in the Wakhjir Providence. Through no fault of his own, he is transformed into the Blue Wolf. The Blue Wolf and White Dragon are the opposing forces, which have been at war for centuries. They are the yin and yang forces of their dimension. Their races have evolved with the genetic ability to transform into the wolf or dragon. Through the presentation of the village history and dragon lore we learn about the conflict between the enemies.

Every hero has a conflict. Jason is not different. He has served 10 years in the army. He is waiting on his transfer papers to go home to his fiancé. One last mission for Jason but things don’t go as planned. Jason becomes a Blue Wolf and becomes embroiled in a battle with a dragon.

Jason is a fighter, a solider, a leader of men, brute force and regeneration from most wounds are his abilities. He is the leader who sacrifices himself and assumes responsibility of his team’s actions. He does not participate in witty repartee. His attitude is get this job done so I can get one with my life. He was the highest-ranking officer when shit went wrong so it is his responsibility to make amends.

There are good guys, bad guys and an organization without any loyalties. There is a cameo appearance of Prof. Croft. Using the world of Croft (if you have not read that series, do so) gives familiarity to the reader of the world of Jason Wolfe

The fights are goods, but… The disparity in abilities and size of wolf and the dragon, leave our hero at a great disadvantage. Even genetically the wolfs have a disadvantage. Their life cycle is shorter than the dragons and there is a finite amount of power they can acquire.
For urban fantasy fans of Jim Butcher, Al K. Line, M.D. Massey, Conner Kressley & J.A. Cipriano, and Brad Magnarella you must this one.

Kudos for James Patrick Cronin for his narration.

  • The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax

  • By: Dorothy Gilman
  • Narrated by: Barbara Rosenblat
  • Length: 8 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,396
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,971
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,971

Mrs. Virgil (Emily) Pollifax of New Brunswick, New Jersey, was a widow with grown children. She was tired of attending her Garden Club meetings. She wanted to do something good for her country. This first in the series sends Emily on her first case after she successfully persuades a skeptical CIA recruitment officer that she is the best person for the job.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Barbara Rosenblatt: THE Voice!

  • By Barbara on 01-14-12

An enjoyable mystery

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-03-18

When the CIA was still in it’s infancy, along comes Mrs. Pollifax to offer her services. She is a widow, mother, grandmother and have served on many community committees/clubs. She is ready for the next phase of her life. Since the CIA had not contacted her, she went to their office to let them know she was available.

Through happenstance she is hired as a as a courier for the CIA. Picking up a book turns into her being captured with a real CIA agent and taken to Albania. With the persona of a grandmother, she is the perfect picture of a non-threatening prisoner. Using her intelligence and resourcefulness she arranges an escape over the mountains, pasture and sea.

Women in mystery meant Agatha Christie's Miss Marple. International espionage meant young government men like James Bond, Dorothy Gilman gave us Emily Pollifax. She learns through hard knocks and a lice infestation, spies do not get the recognition they deserve.

  • Off the Record

  • An Avery Shaw Mystery, Book 10
  • By: Amanda M. Lee
  • Narrated by: Angel Clark
  • Length: 10 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 34
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 34
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 34

Camping is supposed to be a peaceful and relaxing time...unless you're Avery Shaw, of course. No, when you're Macomb County's most intrepid reporter, camping is akin to murder...or a very slow and painful death by disease-carrying bugs. That's what Avery thinks as she takes a well-earned vacation with her boyfriend Eliot Kane. When the duo stumbles across a body at a local festival, Eliot has to force Avery to ease up on the suspicion and embrace the vacation decadence. She's out of her coverage area, after all, and she's supposed to be taking it easy.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Fun with Avery

  • By BikeVON on 03-01-18

Fun with Avery

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-01-18

Avery Shaw is still working the new story circuit and getting information to the public driving the police crazy. Amanda M. Lee has continued to provide us with fun, great dialogue and interesting characters. Start the series from book one to understand the relationships and fun .

1 of 1 people found this review helpful