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Dr. Geoff

United States
  • 8
  • reviews
  • 129
  • helpful votes
  • 8
  • ratings
  • The Ancients

  • By: Nathan Hystad
  • Narrated by: Luke Daniels
  • Length: 6 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 28
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 27
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 27

“The Theos await you. Only then will we stop the Unwinding.” The threat of invaders is gone, and Earth has been bartered away as a price for peace. Yet, the human world of New Spero is thriving and full of hope. Joining the rank of the Gatekeepers, Dean and Mary set off to explore worlds connected by the mysterious portals. When they stumble upon a strange symbol, they are led to an ancient object, one that sets them on an unstoppable path. The journey takes them through multiple worlds, before they can find what they’re searching for.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Non-stop action, phenomenal narration, Fabulous!

  • By Dr. Geoff on 10-28-18

Non-stop action, phenomenal narration, Fabulous!

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

Reviewed: 10-28-18

Nathan Hystad’s book The Ancients, book 4 of The Survivors series, picks up the action of our heroes Dean Parker, Mary (LaFontaine) Parker and Slate following their adventures on New Spero. Dean and Mary have gotten married, and they have become Gatekeepers. Gateways are the portals to other worlds that the Ancients, a race known as the Theos created, and it has long been rumored that the Theos are dead. But are they? And what secrets have they hidden? Are they really gods? And what is the Unwinding, that threatens the Universe? Dean may be “the True” the only one that can find the Theos. So with Mary and trusty sidekick Slate at his side, the Hero of Earth sets off on an adventure that will literally span worlds before the shocking conclusion.

The Ancients spans worlds at a truly breakneck pace! The Ancients is by far the fastest pace and most adventurous book of the series thus far, and ratchets the tensions up yet another screaming notch. Don’t be looking to sit down and have a long, relaxing read with this one; it sucks you up like a Hoover run amok and just won’t let you go. I was finding every excuse possible to listen to this book, from lunch time walks, to deskside lunch breaks, to bus rides home, and in the car, and at bedtime. I just couldn’t stop! Kudos to author Nathan Hystad as his writing truly takes us to other worlds, and to narrator Luke Daniels who does a masterful job at voices, inflections, and even aliens! I feel as though I actually got to know Dean Parker better just from listening to this book, and I am SO glad I got it!

I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but you need to read these books, they are totally worth it, and it is best to read them in order. The Survivors series depicts the events that a normal, average man might go through in the event of a real alien invasion. But the author is Nathan Hystad, so you know that there are going to be a few twists and unexpected turns as we go through the events that unfold following man’s first contact with extra-terrestrials.

Nathan sets up a really interesting conflict in this book: Even as he contemplates if he is really “the True”, and wonders why these mysterious Theos are taking them on life threatening – and saving – quests, Mary is all in with them, and believes completely in them, and just won’t back down. Trust me, you are not going to see the twist and turns and absolutely shocking conclusion to this book! It’s not a cliffhanger, but it is going to make you REALLY want to find out what happens next, and I wanted to so badly that I finished the Ancients last night, and I bought the Theos, Book 5 this morning!

My usual litmus test for a book is three-fold: Did I enjoy it? Was it engaging and believable? Did it make me want more and want to know what happens next? The answer to all of these questions for me is a resounding yes! Another question is, would I buy the next book? And the answer here is yes again. In fact I can’t wait to read the next book in this growing series!
This is the first Audible version of Nathan’s books I have listened to, but it is definitely not the last – in fact I may get the Theos on Audible just so I can listen to it as I described above. Luke Daniels is a very good narrator, and very easy on the ears, and does a superb job at voicing the characters, and particularly expressing the emotions of the speaker. His inflection is outstanding, and I believe adds depth, realism and believability to this story.

I have read this entire series, the Exploration series from Nathan Hystad, and I see a continuous improvement in his writing. He is constantly bringing us into the action, not telling us about it, and that’s one of the things that makes his writing leap off the page at you.

Nathan Hystad is a really talented writer and editor, and I think you will really enjoy this speculative take on just what would you do when the ships come – and how do you survive. And how do you stop an unstoppable and technically superior enemy? Now we are looking at questions of once the disasters are over, how do you make a thriving and satisfying life for yourself?

I highly recommend this book. It’s a great, fun, gripping read (or listening experience in this case) and will bring you much enjoyment. Though I warn you, you really won’t be able to put it down!

  • Deadly Escape

  • Shelby Nichols Adventures, Book 11
  • By: Colleen Helme
  • Narrated by: Wendy Tremont King
  • Length: 9 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 134
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 131
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 130

How many times can a person escape death? Shelby Nichols may be one lucky gal, but this time, her luck is about to run out. Working for a mob-boss has danger written all over it, but when an escaped convict with a lust for revenge goes after him, it’s up to Shelby and her mind-reading skills to keep Uncle Joey alive. Not only that, a federal agent from her past has an agenda with her name on it, and he won’t take no for an answer. What’s a mind-reading soccer mom to do? If you’re Shelby Nichols, you jump in with your mind wide open and hope for the best.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Another adventure of the mind reading soccer mom!

  • By Wayne on 07-04-18

High Octane adventure with Shelby Nichols-Awesome!

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

Reviewed: 07-24-18

The audible version of Deadly Escape, the 11th volume of the Shelby Nichols adventures was without doubt the best one to date.

As I have mentioned previously, the narration by Wendy Tremont King has literally embodied Shelby and cohorts, and to me Wendy IS Shelby Nichols.

Wendy has continuously improved over the volumes that she has narrated. There were many subtle nuances in and variations in the voicing of various characters and their roles in this book, and it really came to the fore in Deadly Escape and made listening to the story all the more realistic. An example of this is Josh, Shelby’s son, sounding like Chris, but younger, and more boyish. There were real differences that you could hear between Uncle Joey and Ramos, Jackie and Shelby, and other male and female characters. That’s hard to pull off, so kudos to Wendy for making the story all that more absorbing and realistic and enjoyable!

Shelby’s in a lot of trouble in this book. Uncle Joey has personality disputes and fighting over a girl to contend with in his organization. But overshadowing all is the threat of him being killed by an old associate who has escaped out of jail and has a vendetta against Manetto, and wants him dead! At any cost! Is his innocent-seeming daughter involved too? You’ll have to listen to find out!

Literary artist Colleen Helme is not content with just one plot, subplot, or many twists, bringing characters we have known and met before into the story, including characters from Paris, a terrorist, an old love interest of Ramos and the head of the FBI. Can Shelby handle it all? Can she stay in one piece?

Things get really complicated when even her kids are involved, husband Chris is attacked, and may not survive, and Shelby is closer to death – over and over - than she has ever been before. It’s a race against the clock, a standoff with Federal Marshalls, rivalry with the Police, and Uncle Joey in the cross-hairs.

There is more threatening Shelby in this one book than I think we have ever seen before in a single Shelby Nichols adventure. From the queen of close calls, we get within seconds of death, over and over again in this incredibly high octane adventure from bestselling author Colleen Helme.

Shelby gets more mature in every volume. She is more accepting of her talents, though as she adjusts to them she seems to make more slips by answering people’s thoughts, not what they’ve said in this book. More by far than any previous volume. But she is turning her powers to her advantage and purposely using them to help more people in more ways. She is rapidly coming to accept where life has delivered her as a soccer-mom turned investigative consultant who works for both the Police AND a Mob Boss.

There’s one thing I can say with a certainty about this book: You’ll love it!

I highly recommend Deadly Escape without reservation. It works as a standalone novel, but you should definitely go ahead and treat yourself to the whole series. You’ll get to know and love (and hate) the characters and being part of Shelby’s evolution as a person in a very unique situation is worth every penny of the cost of these books. They are gripping, exciting, page-turning fun reads!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Circuit

  • By: Rhett C. Bruno
  • Narrated by: Jefferson Mays
  • Length: 28 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 435
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 412
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 409

Earth is a dying planet. To survive, humanity founds the Circuit, a string of colonies across the solar system, dedicated to mining resources vital to preserving what remains of mankind. Here there are no heroes or villains, only those willing to do what's necessary to survive. The New Earth Tribunal, a powerful religious faction, has risen to rule the Circuit. They believe a Spirit within the Earth will one day appear and welcome humanity back home.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An author who understands science fiction and true story telling!

  • By Alan McDonald on 07-03-18

Narration brings the story and characters to life!

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

Reviewed: 07-05-18

I have both the Kindle version of The Circuit Trilogy and I have now listened to the narration expertly executed by Jefferson Mays on the Audible version.

Rhett Bruno is an expert at painting a story picture in words, and The Circuit Trilogy, comprising 3 volumes and 30 odd hours of listening pleasure is no exception. The Circuit is extremely professionally and well-crafted with a flair for imagery and extremely high quality writing and language usage. One of my favorite things about a Rhett Bruno piece is the quality of literary skill and enjoyment you get.

Adding the narration by Jefferson Mays, who is perfect for the characterizations and story-telling, only makes this near flawless gem all the more satisfying.

I read The circuit a while ago, so remembering the Frankensteinian awe of ADIM, the savage, ruthless pursuit of Casius Vale and his goals, yet at the same time his tenderness and love for what he cares about – this is a story full of juxtapositions, angst, and action. Casius is to all intents and purposes amoral and unethical in his single-mindedness of purpose. ADIM, for all that he is a lethal killing machine who flawlessly executes instructions demonstrates the innocence and naiveté of a child in some ways, yearning to express that machine-based love of his creator, wanting to be "loved", and exhibiting a sense of wonder in all things human.

There is a lot of action, violence, and immorality in this story. There are times when it will leave you gasping, crying, laughing and having to remember to breathe.

For me, that is what a good story is all about. Yes, it paints a dark – but very realistic – picture of humanity, with all its flaws, shams, and broken dreams, and yes, a very bleak future after we have decimated the planet. Yet somehow Bruno manages to find beauty, love, and some measure of hope for a better future. In a way it gives you that sense of morbid fascination like coming upon a horrific disaster or incredible work of art; it is terrible or wondrous to behold but you cannot take your eyes off it either way.

This is a very fast-paced story. It goes from subplot to storyline to action to alternating characters and points of view in such a flowing way that it never lags, and will always keep your interest. It will often keep you on the edge of your seat, and it will keep you up reading / listening long after you should turn out the lights and go to sleep.

Jefferson Mays was the absolute perfect pick for bringing this story to life, and he does so in a fashion that will keep you 100% riveted, attentive and absorbed. He was type cast for the roles, and does a masterful job at capturing the menacing immorality and the fragility of the human condition. Mays brings The Circuit to life.

This is one incredible story, one incredible performance, and left me saying to myself, if Bruno writes it or Mays performs it, I’m in! I want it!

This is not one to be on the fence about. Push the button. This is one not to be missed.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Trapped by Revenge

  • Shelby Nichols, Book 5
  • By: Colleen Helme
  • Narrated by: Wendy Tremont King
  • Length: 8 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 403
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 374
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 373

With summer, over Shelby is looking forward to having some time to herself while the kids are back in school. A phone call from Uncle Joey ruins her plans, but she manages to take it in stride. After lunch with her friend, she promises to meet with the private investigator who was spying on Uncle Joey, but this simple task turns into a disaster. Not only does she find the P.I. dead, but a slip of paper with her name on it under his lifeless hand implicates her for his murder.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Best noveel so far in a great suspense series!

  • By Wayne on 09-22-17

The most exciting and breathtaking adventure yet!

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

Reviewed: 01-01-15

In Trapped by Revenge, the darkest and most thrilling Shelby Nichols adventure yet, our heroine is in deep trouble. As usual, through no fault of her own, Shelby is the first on the scene of a murder… and not just any murder, the murder of a private detective, and he’s got her name on his notepad!

With a series of twists and turns, an exciting subplot that runs throughout this adventure and Shelby winding up in jail for murder, this book will keep you listening for hours on end.
The narration by Wendy Tremont King is spot on as usual. Wendy IS the voice of Shelby Nichols, and characterizes our mind-reading soccer mom turned detective and consultant perfectly. Wendy’s forte, in addition to expertly capturing Shelby herself, is expertly and believably capturing the voices, inflections and intonations of the other characters in the story. She is particularly good at voicing the different male characters, such as husband Chris, Hit Man Ramos, and mobster turned maybe not so bad mobster after all Uncle Joey.
Colleen Helme is undisputedly at the top of her game once again with Trapped by Revenge. This thrilling ride through Shelby’s life features a crooked judge, a man on death row about to be executed, and a detective in the police dept. determined to nail Shelby for murder.

This complicated and complex piece will captivate you and leave you breathless for more as you make your way through the story. The action builds to a crescendo near the end of the book, when we finally find out if Shelby will end up on death row or go free, whether the falsely accused man will be executed, and if the crooked judge will be caught.

Throughout the book, there is a new developing relationship between detective “Dimples” Harris and Billie-Jo the investigative reporter who is on her own mission.

So there is a lot going on in this book, and you will love every minute of it, and be glued to your speakers or headphones for hours and hours of non-stop action, wry comedy, and the thrill ride of Shelby’s latest adventure.

This is the 5th installment in the Shelby Nichols adventure series and I would recommend this book to anyone that loves an adventure, loves a good detective read, and especially is a fan of Shelby Nichols or for that matter Colleen Helme. The more books Colleen writes the better she gets. The characters are deeply realistic and expertly depicted. The characters are so well portrayed that you will feel as if you actually know them. Shelby is a very good person, a very moral person, and she feels very badly when she has to tell lies to protect her mind-reading secret. She is deeply in love with her husband Chris, and must resist temptation with a sizzling hot hit man that has fallen for her. So you’ll encounter a lot of dilemmas and a lot of difficult and realistic choices that Shelby encounters as she goes through this exciting life of hers.

A long time ago I stumbled onto Carrots, the first book in the Shelby Nichols adventure series. While normally not the kind of book that I would listen to or read, Carrots drew me in. Colleen’s wonderful and talented descriptive writing captivated my attention and my imagination and has never let go.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Lie or Die

  • A Shelby Nichols Adventure, Volume 3
  • By: Colleen Helme
  • Narrated by: Wendy Tremont King
  • Length: 8 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 513
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 471
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 470

Shelby has her hands full managing her new agency where she hopes to put her mind-reading skills to good use. Her first case to track down money stolen from a bank leads her into the lingerie business where nothing is as it appears.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fantastic entertainment!

  • By Wayne on 09-19-17

This is a "Can't Stop Listening" mystery adventure

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

Reviewed: 10-03-14

This is the 3rd book in the Shelby Nichols Adventures. There are 6 books in the series now, and they do not have to be read in order, but I do suggest doing so for maximum continuity. If you jump in a few books further on, you are just going to want to start at the beginning anyway, so you might as well start there to begin with.

As I have been listening to the fabulous narrations of Wendy Tremont King, a very interesting phenomenon has occurred: Now when I read a new book by Colleen Helme the voice I hear in my head as I'm reading is Wendy's! If Colleen does a TV series or a movie, will Wendy star in it? Otherwise, I'm going to have one of those "That's not Shelby!" moments.

Wendy's narration of this mystery adventure novel with our heroine and psychic soccer mom Shelby Nichols is flawless as ever. Wendy has a unique and very high quality flair of dropping her voice an octave or so for male renditions. She goes beyond that though by her intonation, her inflection, and her affect. Yes, affect. You can clearly tell Shelby's husband Chris from Mob Boss Uncle Joey from Ramos the hit-man and for that matter from Detective Andrew "Dimples" Harris. That is part of what makes this audio book so engaging and so believable. Wendy is equally as attentive to the female characters. She nails it.

I maintain that as the series progresses, it gets better, the writing gets better, the characters get better, and so forth. But listening to Lie or Die again, I was struck by how well written it is. Everything is in there. Shelby and what happens to her is so believable that it is incredibly absorbing and addicting.

Some of what I really enjoyed the most about this particular adventure was the twists and turns that the plot takes. How recognizable some of the characters are. Like Private Eye Rob Felt, and how annoying he is! I found myself saying, "I know that guy!"

Poor Shelby throughout the complications of this book finds herself numerous times having to lie. It's a real Hobbs choice; she can lie or she might die if she doesn't! This causes a lot of angst for Shelby, who is basically a good and honest person. But sometimes she just has no choice. Hence the title of this adventure.

There is a lot of closure in this book. There is a lot of getting to know people better. Is Joey really that bad of a guy? Could a Mob Boss be other than that bad of a guy? Will Ramos learn her secret? What if he does? And what of her old nemesis, Kate? Can Chris win his case without getting beat up or killed? There is so much going on in this book, it literally keeps you on the edge of your seat for a non-stop thrill ride. This adventure has several main plots and sub plots interweaving and co-mingling throughout it that really add to the listening enjoyment.

I said closure, and one of the things that I like the most about this third Shelby adventure is that I came to find it almost natural that Shelby can read minds. I also liked the interactions and the developing relationships between the characters, there is such realism there and I really found that I could relate to them. Lie or Die has a lot of relationship evolution and resolution in it.

I listened to this book during a time of stress and angst in my own life, and I really was impressed by how much I could relate to what happened to the characters in Lie or Die. I believe that the interplay between the author and the narrator must be as finely tuned as a full symphony orchestra to really work, and I found this book incredibly satisfying. Oh My! Does it work!

I would recommend this book without hesitation or reservation of any kind for any readers that crave adventure and mystery in a very enjoyable edge-of-your-seat-cannot-put-it-down ride.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Secrets That Kill

  • A Shelby Nichols Adventure, Volume 4
  • By: Colleen Helme
  • Narrated by: Wendy Tremont King
  • Length: 8 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 426
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 393
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 393

As a “favor” to Uncle Joey, Shelby must deliver a letter to his associate in Orlando where she has been vacationing with her family. When things go terribly wrong, Shelby finds herself being pursued by a Florida Kingpin for the information he thinks she stole. On her own and in trouble, Uncle Joey sends Ramos to her rescue.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I love this modern detective series!

  • By Wayne on 09-21-17

Perfect blend of action mystery and mind reading!

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

Reviewed: 07-22-14

Who would believe that a family vacation and a simple favor could end up in a life or death battle and a murder? With Shelby Nichols involved? I would!

This, the next installment in the Shelby Nichols adventures from acclaimed author Colleen Helme is another non-stop action roller coaster ride that will keep you coming back for more. I would recommend this book to anyone without hesitation, it is not to be missed. I think Colleen Helme has the potential of being another modern day Agatha Christie.

Usually, I am in real trouble with a Shelby Nichols book (for exceeding my reading budget, and losing sleep!) and this audio book is no exception. As I have been travelling for a living for over four years, normally I need good books to keep me company on long airplane flights. With Secrets That Kill, I was looking for some more long flights, just so I could spend more time listening to the book!

Wendy Tremont King has now established herself as the quintessential Shelby Nichols. In fact, Wendy's voice is SO Shelby at this point that if I heard another actor I would say, "That's not Shelby!" The power and finesse of Ms. King is her understated realism. When she does Ramos's voice, or Uncle Joey's voice, you get the downplayed shift to a deeper more masculine voice, but more importantly you get the menace, the coldness, and the intonations that come with the different personalities. In a narrated audio book, I believe that there must be a symphony between the writer and the narrator. If the voices are not real and believable, the listener's attention could wander. With Wendy King and the Shelby Nichols Adventures, Wendy IS Shelby, and the depth and breadth of Wendy's capabilities makes this audio book incredibly real to the listener. I classify this as "not to be missed".

There is a new element in this 4th book in the Shelby Nichols Adventure series: Romance. When a favor to drop off a letter for Uncle Joey goes murderously wrong, Shelby is stuck in Orlando with Ramos. Well, not exactly stuck, but wanting to help him. The temperature climbs to the boiling point between these two. Can Shelby's love and loyalty for husband Chris win out?

This story delves deep into Ramos's past, and we get a lot of back story for him, but the sizzle between Shelby and Ramos goes off the scale. Yes, the book is still PG rated and this audio story is suitable for tweens and teens as well as mature audiences. You really don't want to miss this one.

In the way that Helme brings out the nuances and details of her characters, in her wonderful chain of consciousness style, in the interaction between Ramos and Shelby, this book is a knock it out of the park slam dunk home run of a novel, without doubt Helme's best to date.

So the good news is, this is a fabulous 5 star addition to the collection, and the bad news is like the chicken and the pig scenario, I find myself committed. Which means that like the ham and eggs, I am very definitely not the involved hen, I am the committed pig - to the series. If Helme pens it, if King narrates it, I'm all in. I'll buy it.

Want something great to listen to on your summer holidays? need a distraction? Need that great new book while driving to keep you focused? Secrets That Kill is the audio book you need.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Fast Money: A Shelby Nichols Adventure

  • By: Colleen Helme
  • Narrated by: Wendy Tremont King
  • Length: 7 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 667
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 608
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 609

A trip to the mall gives Shelby the shock of her life when she finds an extra five million dollars in the bank account Uncle Joey set up for her. She thought he was out of her life for good, but with this fast money, she's not so sure. Now she must decide if she will tell her husband the truth that she can still read people's minds. Including his. How will he feel when he finds out she lied to him? When the Mexican Police tell her that Uncle Joey's been kidnapped and look to her for the ransom, she knows she's in big trouble.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent, engaging performance, top notch story!

  • By Dr. Geoff on 02-27-14

Excellent, engaging performance, top notch story!

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

Reviewed: 02-27-14

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, 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?

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Carrots

  • Shelby Nichols Adventures, Book 1
  • By: Colleen Helme
  • Narrated by: Wendy Tremont King
  • Length: 8 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,857
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,700
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,701

Shelby Nichols is an average woman who is married to the only guy she ever fell for. Her life is organized and predictable, revolving around her husband and two children. All that changes the day she stops at the grocery store for some carrots. As the cashier rings up her purchases, a gunman is busy robbing the bank inside the store. When a customer grabs the robber's mask, he is shot and everyone runs for cover. Everyone except Shelby, who finds herself face to face with the killer.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fantastic story and flawless audio! Get it!

  • By Dr. Geoff on 11-20-13

Fantastic story and flawless audio! Get it!

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

Reviewed: 11-20-13

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 it.

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!

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