LISTENER

AudioBook Reviewer

Madison, WI, United States
  • 1,363
  • reviews
  • 12,164
  • helpful votes
  • 1,436
  • ratings
  • Brief as Lightning

  • Avery Nolan Adventure Series, Book 3
  • By: ML Hamilton
  • Narrated by: Kelley Hazen
  • Length: 8 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 6
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 6
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 6

Avery Nolan promised six-year-old Bay one thing - she’d bring his father home to him. That, however, was harder to accomplish than she’d thought. When Bay is abducted by his grandfather and taken to the Greensward, Avery now has two people depending on her, but she’s unable to find a way into the illusive land and no one seems able to help. Until a visit to her mother provides her with a cryptic message, “Find the rainbow people.” Avery has no idea what this means, but ICE agent Graham Braddock does and he thinks he may have found a portal into the Greensward.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Will she finally find Duncan and Bay?

  • By Lidia Chymkowska on 07-14-18

In a fantasy world meeting the parents is NOT good

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

Reviewed: 08-15-18

Avery Nolan’s adventure to recover her lover and his son continues in this book as her and ICE special agent Graham Braddock. They know they must find a portal into the Greensward and rescue both Duncan and Bay from Taeseus, Lord of the Frostfell. After her mother provides her with a clue, both Braddock and Avery set off into the wild unknown in the dead of winter! Avery tangles with Taeseus where she’s ready to unleash the dragon.

There’s a love triangle of sorts – Braddock is falling for Avery, but Avery can only see Duncan. Bay breaks her heart when she sees how frightened he is of his grandfather, stoking the anger Avery barely holds in check. I feel for Braddock, especially after his decision.

The rainbow people are a hoot and one only has to wonder (ok, not really) what was in the water from Greensward that Avery gives the old dog and grandfather.

The story continues to move at a steady pace, new adventures each time for Avery, Braddock, Duncan and Bay. While each book has moved us closer to meeting Avery’s father … and we actually do this time …I cannot wait to see who wins the test of wills … father or daughter! My money is on Avery – there’s nothing more vicious than an angry woman who is protecting her home and family!

Well written, the plot moves forward in a satisfying manner. We’re given new insights into Braddock, the rainbow people, Duncan and the sisters! The characters are growing and changing with each book providing more comfortable and stronger connections. I cannot wait to see what Avery will be like once she comes fully into her own powers.

The dialog is realistic and smooth, including the aunts getting a cell phone! There are moments where laughter cannot be held back, there are times where the tears could flow easily and there are nail-biting, lip chewing times as well.

M.L. Hamilton has created a world that is both fascinating and riveting. Her narrator, Kelley Hazen once again performs the audio expertly and with a finesse that makes the listener fall into the story completely. She sounds just like I expect Avery Nolan would sound like if she were real. I cannot wait for the next book!

There were no issues with the production or quality of the audiobook.

Audiobook was provided for review by the author/narrator/publisher.

Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog.

[If this review helped, please press YES. Thanks!]

  • Aces

  • Book 1
  • By: Craig Alanson
  • Narrated by: MacLeod Andrews
  • Length: 8 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,082
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,015
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,009

Children are not supposed to rescue their parents, life is supposed to be the other way around. And rescues aren't supposed to be needed on the trip out to the new colony planet Valhalla. Slow, yes. Boring, yes. Dangerous? No, the trip is not supposed to be dangerous, never has been. When thieves attack the transport ship to steal an ancient alien artifact, and young Kaylee and her brother, Manny, are cut off from their parents, they have to stop the thieves from getting what they want.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • great book and great performance

  • By chris wessells on 01-02-18

Routine Trip Goes Wrong - Way Wrong

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

Reviewed: 08-15-18

“Aces” is the first book in what is to become an action-packed science fiction series which felt like a blending of the movies Gravity, Die Hard, The Poseidon Adventure along with a much darker version of Home Alone. Throw in a sprinkling of Jurassic Park dinosaurs and trust me, you have a fun and entertaining adventure story. The book is written by Craig Alanson who is well known for many of his other series such as “The Expeditionary Force” and the “Ascendant” series. The audiobook’s narration is expertly performed by MacLeod Andrews; a veteran to audiobook narration with over three-hundred books (many including my favorites) to his credit. If you enjoy deeply engaging science fiction stories where the cold and darkness of space is the least of your worries, you will enjoy listening to “Aces”.

For a book that starts out with a family boarding a space elevator (how cool is that), arriving at a docked cargo ship, and will shortly be off on a routine trip to a new planetary system. Things begin to go wrong, and in some cases very wrong when a rogue group of people are determined to get back a piece of technology that has the power to change the world, and they will go to any lengths to get it. The author does a very good job of describing the scenes along with the more futuristic technology. Everything felt believable in a near future scenario. Not only does this book take place on this large cargo ship, we are for a time, dropped down on a planet and see how harsh a place it can be to only survive. One thing the author does well is to show the determination of a parent for their children, and even the other way around. Yes, even teenagers, when put in the right situation, will express their love for a parent.

For a book that was filled with action sequences (some quite graphic), I was somewhat surprised that the prologue had less of a hook than I would have expected. This is not to say it was boring or drab, but lower key and less impactful than the rest of the book. If you are just starting the book and begin feeling it is not your liking, listen up to chapter seven at least and see if you can put it down then. The book really begins to open up and shine around chapter five. The author does a good job of using chapters one through four as story background and builds up. Starting at chapter five onwards, what seemed mundane quickly devolves into a tangled web of hide and seek along with multiple games of survival. Really, it is one very well-done serial novel.

I had to laugh when things are going from boring to catastrophic, the kids at first were completely oblivious to the events happening around them. As things heated up, I liked the shifting from one scene to another and each was a mini-story all its own. Somewhat like side missions in a role-playing game that were taking place at the same the main storyline progressed. I quite enjoyed the ingenious ways some of the characters were able to get out of what seemed to be impossible situations. Often, the kids did not seem to want to save themselves (as many would), but instead were focused on the mission and the desire to save their parents. Even with the main focus being on the action and activities happening, the author did a good job of showing us some of the more emotional side of things. Not only are we shown the love between family, but one gets a sense of the weight and burden the kids carried to be successful at their task.

As stated earlier, I enjoyed some of the technology the author created for us. We are shown some rather unique missiles and hand weapons. The ship felt vast with many paths and tributaries I would imagine finding in a large modern-day seafaring cargo ship. We are also presented with an interesting and fun robot that often will make you laugh out loud when he scolds a “bad kitty” who gets into trouble.

With regard to the audiobook’s narration, MacLeod Andrews hits a home run in my book. The voicing is flawless. He is able to narrate the teenagers quite well, even when listening to the audio at a higher speed than normal. There were small added elements showing that the narrator is skilled in his ability by portraying subtle pieces of sarcasm. The characters all felt distinct with their own personalities. I know this is often an aspect of a book’s writing, but narration can help enhance this a great deal. There were also some light sound effects thrown is which provided a bit of ambiance to the book. The effects were not overdone, nor did they overpower the story for those who only like books containing strict narration.

For parents and younger readers, I have to give the author credit for not having to throw in vulgar language, sexual themes, or adult subject matter and still produce an exciting and action story. There are a few scenes where there is some rather graphic violence, but nothing that is included for shock factor or what would be outside of a science fiction novel. I’m not sure I would recommend the book to those younger than teenagers, but the book is easily enjoyable by both teens and adults alike.

In summary, if you are looking to fill your time with a new and exciting science fiction space survival story, I think you may want to have a look at “Aces” by Craig Alanson and MacLeod Andrews. At times it is light-hearted, other times it is intense, but all-in-all it is a well-crafted story narrated by an expert in his field. At the time of this review, only the first book in the series is available in Audiobook format (exclusive to Audible), but it is worth waiting for the rest after you listen to this one.

Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog.

[If this review helped, please press YES. Thanks!]

  • The Tunnels

  • A Harbor Secret, Book 1
  • By: Kristie Dickinson
  • Narrated by: Jack de Golia
  • Length: 4 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 12
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 12
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 12

Harbor Springs is a tiny resort town in northern Michigan that serves as the summertime playground of the wealthy, famous, and sometimes infamous. Starting a new business with her aunt, the fiercely independent Kylie Branson moves to town and unwittingly purchases for her home what had once been the summer stomping grounds of the notorious Purple Gang of Detroit. Soon she finds herself getting into predicament after predicament.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Enjoyed the mystery!

  • By Susan Patterson on 12-24-16

Romance, Tunnels, and More

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

Reviewed: 08-15-18

The premise of this book is intriguing. However, the plot could be stronger. The story transports you back to the 1930s, to a speakeasy named Club Manitou, run by the Purple Gang. Soon we discover that the maître d’ and employee of the Purple Gang, is having an illicit affair with a married woman, whose husband is a frequent gambler at the club. Just as the couple’s tête-à-tête begins, a gunshot sounds and they realize a raid is in progress.

Fast forward to present day where we meet Kylie, proud new owner of the old Gerhart place (Club Manitou), as she tries to find her lost puppy, Cupcake. The dog has found her way into an old air shaft and Kylie, unable to get the dog out herself, calls the fire chief, Jason, to help her. So begins her journey into discovering the tunnels and the building’s history.

Three love stories weave through this book, one in the present day between Kylie and Jason, and the other two from the thirties; Paul, the maître d’ and Phyliss, his married lover; and Willie, with the forbidden love of his young life.

I enjoy books that layer events from a past era with the current day and bring the two storylines together at the end. The time shifts in this book were sometimes a little confusing, and it was not always readily discernable what year it was for the first sentence or two. The love stories would be better with further character development. Willie, who was not the main character, and his sweetheart had the most fully developed love story of the three.

This book feels like a cozy mystery or romance. Even with the illicit affair, it is tame. Overall, I enjoyed this book. Some of the cons for me were the backstories of the main characters. I never felt connected to Paul and Phyliss and thought that the romance between Kylie and Jason left a lot of room for growth. Kylie and Jason’s “love” seemed contrived and too instant. We discover what happens to Paul and Phyliss, but there are not enough details or explanations. While part of me liked the idea presented in the epilogue it felt too convenient.

Jack de Golia’s narration was good. The men’s voices were distinctive, but the women’s voices were either too little-girl-like or old womanly. In the book, the protagonist refers to her dog as Cupcake, Cuppie, Cupcakie, etc. Every time the narrator read those words, my ears were annoyed. The combination of those words being read excitedly in a man’s woman-voice was like fingernails on a blackboard. It might have been better if a woman had read it – but then, the men’s voices might have been off.

To summarize my thoughts, the story premise is sound; the story needs additional character development, and the epilogue needs work to make it believable, and not just a convenient ending.

The production quality was excellent.

Audiobook was provided for review by the author/narrator/publisher.

Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog.

[If this review helped, please press YES. Thanks!]

  • The Mystery of Julia Episcopa

  • The Vatican Chronicles, Volume 1
  • By: John I. Rigoli, Diane Cummings
  • Narrated by: Cassandra Campbell
  • Length: 9 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10

In ancient Rome, a woman flees for her life. Hidden beneath her blue cloak are secrets men will kill for - forgeries that prove the newly self-appointed bishops are pretenders who will stop at nothing to shape this new religion to their own ends. Two thousand years later, classical archaeologists Valentina Vella and Erika Simone stumble across an ancient parchment buried deep in the Vatican archives. To reveal Julia's legacy will put them in the crosshairs of a venomous Vatican battle for power and supremacy; to stay silent would make them complicit in an ancient heresy.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • You won't want to stop listening

  • By Tiasdolls on 07-09-18

A Discovery that will ROCK the Vatican!

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

Reviewed: 08-15-18

Julia Episcopa is a mysterious woman whom many will continue to silence centuries past her death. She holds the secret that demonstrates proof of the true teachings of Paul, Magdalene, Peter and other apostles that greedy, ambitious men have manipulated enabling them to take control and change religion to suit their own needs and desires.

Julia is a strong female lead character who is wise beyond her years. Raising two girls, tolerating a husband who places his own ambitions ahead of her and their family, she discovers friendship and later truth in the teachings of Paul and Peter. Saving a scribe from certain death, she helps to protect the writings until she is murdered for her belief and ability to destroy a male-dominated role in the church. Two women in the 21st Century discover a new bishop and realize it is a woman! They move to expose Julia’s secrets and her very existence much to the horror of the Vatican and men who share the same ambitions to “keep women in their place” even today. From the discovery to the reveal, John Rigoli and Diane Cummings keep the listeners spellbound. There is more action in this mystery than in a James Bond movie!

Each character is well-developed, well-rounded and believable. The dialogue is steady and realistic. The shift between the two time periods – Julia’s and present day is smooth and effortless to follow.

Cassandra Campbell performed the audiobook splendidly! Her performance was strong, she projected the emotions in such a way that the reader felt the passion, anger, fear or compassion Julia was experiencing. I could listen to Ms. Campbell for hours! Her voice is hypnotic!

This was an unexpectedly moving mystery. I hope to hear more of the Vatican Chronicles! I cannot recommend this audiobook enough – truly an awesome listen. Not a dull moment!

There were no issues with the production or quality of the audiobook, Verity Audio did an amazing job.

Audiobook was provided for review by the author/narrator/publisher.

Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog.

[If this review helped, please press YES. Thanks!]

  • Pangea Online Book One: Death and Axes: A LitRPG Novel

  • By: S. L. Rowland
  • Narrated by: Justin Thomas James, Laurie Catherine Winkel
  • Length: 7 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 96
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 91
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 91

Everything has a price. Pangea Online is no different. Esil has spent the past year toiling in the mines of Pangea while the more wealthy traverse its myriad of gameworlds. His luck changes forever when he stumbles upon a legendary Developer's Chest, containing an invaluable Worldpass, which grants him unlimited travel to all gameworlds. Now, Esil isn't just stuck watching as others explore Pangea. He can finally level up. But his in-game actions have real-world consequences.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Gamer Maven Heaven

  • By cosmitron on 03-30-18

Not Your Normal Fantasy World

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

Reviewed: 08-15-18

“Pangea Online” is the first piece in the newly created “Death and Axes” series which I believe is the initial work from author S. L. Rowland on Audible at the time of this review. The audiobook is rightly classified as a LitRPG Novel, Literary Role-Playing Game, which often follows one or more characters as they travel and level up in a virtual world. Even though the book has much of what I have come to expect from this type of literature, there are enough differences to hook and bring you into the story. Another thing that sets it apart from many others I have listened is it use of two narrators instead of one. We have a male performing the male characters and a female voicing the female ones. And for me, it really worked well. I want to make note that audiobook produced by Soundbooth Theater guarantees one will receive the highest level of quality performances and audio out there. I have always been a big fan of Jeff Hays and his production work even when he is not directly narrating the book himself. If you enjoy LitRPG books, I would say this is one you may want to pick up. It has a deep and engaging storyline and it seems to flow quite well from its beginning to end. Be aware, this is the first audiobook in a series and the only one currently available. I look forward to more coming from this author in the future.

Let me say from the start that this audiobook is not the best and by no means was it the worst. It really fell in the middle for me by keeping me engaged along the way. The writing was a bit more a “Young Adult” (YA) style than I prefer, yet the story and narration helped me overcome that preference and enjoy the journey. Some of the language used by the characters felt childish and crude at times, yet the book tried to keep thing centered. As with most LitRPG stories, we have a young man who was orphaned, has limited social skills, and uses gaming to alleviate the pains of the real world. It felt like a coming of age, romance, and LitRPG all mixed into one; and that is not a bad thing. You have a low-class miner who is quite interested in being liked by a game-world princess along with a band of others.

The main driving force for our characters is to win a contest and utilize the prize money to cure a very sick person. Even though this is the main plot, there are many twists and turns the books takes along the way; much like side quests in a video game. There is bonding between the party, periods of highly emotional points, and just plain fun and adventure. The listener is also granted some character flashbacks providing good information on why our characters act the way they do. What I found funny was that even in this new and different world, one cannot escape the ever-present world of sponsorship and advertising. All of this on top of an organization saying “Keep on leveling” to drive people on while holding them in the game.

As with many fantasy books, you are presented with your normal trope of characters such as Goblins, Liches, dwarfs, and rainbow unicorns. You will also see some of the standard roles or classes such as miners, rogues, royalty, etc. Yet, the author did not simply stick to the norms of a fantasy world, nope. He instead blended many of the elements, so the characters could experience them together. There were a few special times when the characters met out of world and each was quite different from one’s in-game persona. I liked the use of various pets such as owls, wolves, and bears. Each had its strengths and weakness like one would expect from a role-playing game. I thought many of the spells or magic felt new and different from other books. Overall the book felt well thought out and that it always had a direction to progress towards.

If you have listened to other books in the genre, you will be familiar with the stats, inventory, skills, and quests found in this book. Yet, this book does a good job of dropping hints about the dystopian real world the characters must survive in. The author does a decent job of letting the listener see the gloomy and cruel world these characters must face when outside of the game. I really liked that, as the title suggests from Pangea, the characters had a plethora of worlds which they could enter and explore. This also makes for a great way of making more books as the listener is often only given a slight glimpse into some of the non-fantasy (steampunk, mythology, etc.) environments. This provides the author with nearly limitless direction they can go in future books from the series.

The quality of both the narrators and the audio production are what we have come to expect from Soundbooth Theater. Both of the narrators expressed great passion, excitement, and enthusiasm while reading their portion of the book. There was also a good use of sound effects enhancing the book, but not overly used so they ever become annoying. I liked having the two different narrators as this helped make the book feel more like a play or movie. There were no noticeable audio artifacts or issues with the book’s audio that I can recall. For the audiobook purist, there is one spot, nearer the end of the book where a sentence is repeated. Just a slight editing overlook, yet the rest of the book is flawlessly narrated.

For parents and younger readers, this book does contain both vulgar and crude language at times. There are some points involving sexual topics or subject matter which may not be appropriate for all audiences. The book has characters using alcohol along with a few pieces of graphic violence, but it is nothing that would be considered excessive. If any of the above items are offensive to you, I recommend you find a different series to enjoy.

In summary, for an author’s first published audiobook, I enjoyed the journey and I think you will too. I hope the same narrators will perform the series of books as this appears to keep things joined. Additionally, I would like to see some more complex writing in future books, but this often comes over time with experience. If you are looking for a new LitRPG series to jump into, this one is a good one to start with.

Audiobook was provided for review by the author/narrator/publisher.

Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog.

[If this review helped, please press YES. Thanks!]

  • The Room Beyond the Veil

  • By: C. H. Foertmeyer
  • Narrated by: Alan Philip Ormond
  • Length: 6 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 17
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 17
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 17

Twenty-one year old Tom Jewett has embarked on a new career. His new job as a cub journalist with the Traber Herald sends him and his wife, Sally, to Traber, Colorado, the birthplace of Tom's great grandfather. Almost immediately after settling into their new Victorian fixer-upper, Tom's dreams begin. But, are these dreams of an old room decorated with antiques and dimly lit with kerosene lamps -- simply dreams? Maybe, just maybe, the room does exist.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Truly Unique, Totally Unexpected

  • By Simone K on 08-23-17

Moving day can be very scary!

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

Reviewed: 08-06-18

It’s moving day for newlyweds, Tom and Sally Jewitt. Tom, a recent college graduate, purchased an old Victorian fixer-upper, sight unseen, with the down payment money his father gave him as a graduation gift. The couple moves from Nebraska to Taber, Colorado for Tom’s new job as a journalist for a local newspaper. Although Tom has never lived here, his ancestors lived in the area near the house; very near.

From the first night staying in the house, Tom has dreams of a secret room and sees a woman in the dream who is from an earlier century. She acknowledges him but calls him by the name Ulysses. Night after night, Tom continues having this dream. He begins looking for a secret room, confident that the room in his dreams, is a real room in his house.

The story travels back and forth in time from the late 1990s to the late 1880s in a paranormal manner. Tom goes back in time, and eventually, Sally also goes back in time. While the story kept me interested throughout, there was some unanswered foreshadowing. One example is when Sally finds a key in the kitchen that is on a string. She wears it around her neck so that she can figure out what it unlocks while she is going through the house, unpacking boxes and getting the house set up. We never find out what lock the key fits. They discover a hidden safe, but the key didn’t go with it – it had a combination lock. There was a padlock on the cellar doors, but the key didn’t fit it either. It was such a great hook to keep me curious, but it left me hanging.

The ending was not as clear-cut as I would have liked it to be. It was vague about what happened to Tom and Sally. Loose ends were not neatly or believably tied up. I enjoy books about old houses, writers, and the paranormal, so this book had it all – but there was not as much focus on the house or the fact that Tom was a writer, even though he has a cool office in a turret of the house, and the paranormal was not developed enough – especially at the end.

Overall, it was an interesting story and had me scavenging for an extra five or ten minutes here and there, so I could keep listening to see what would happen next. The narrator, Alan Philip Ormond, was outstanding. I loved his voice as he brought the story to life. Between Foertmeyer’s storytelling and Ormond’s narration, I was able to envision myself right in the middle of the action.

Audiobook was provided for review by the author/narrator/publisher.

Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog.

[If this review helped, please press YES. Thanks!]

  • Waypoint

  • A Game of Drones
  • By: C. F. WALLER
  • Narrated by: J. Scott Bennett
  • Length: 12 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 48
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 46
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 46

Stacy’s life is in free fall. She finds herself clutching a handgun, searching for a sign that tomorrow will be any better than today. Her cell phone rings, bringing an offer that may postpone her soul searching. The discovery of an airplane graveyard containing a dozen commercial airliners is shocking. When the salvage camera reveals them to be virtually undamaged under in the Indian Ocean, theories abound. Who put them there? How are they still in one piece? What reason could there be? Stacy is about to learn the answers to those questions, as well things she’d prefer to forget.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A book of action, adventure, mystery, and Tech...

  • By Quella on 05-02-18

Fast-Paced; Drone Horror/Mystery!

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

Reviewed: 08-06-18

Waypoint: A Game of Drones is an exciting mystery that will keep listeners waiting for the next shoe to drop! Stacy is a woman who is struggling to make sense of a world gone mad – losing her husband and daughter to a drunk driver, and her spiral downward spin into the depths no human should ever have to go finds herself saved at the last moment. Called in to help recover a mystery briefcase from an underwater plane graveyard gives her enough to keep herself going. Teamed up with Lydia/Kara the two solve the mystery.

This is a fast-paced listen with characters that are unique and have depth. It is reminiscent of the movie/book War Games from the 80’s or so, but it is much better; stronger. Stacy is a character that allows us to see her flaws. As listeners and the skill of CF Waller’s character development, we bond strongly with Stacy through experiences we can all relate.

Well developed, Waller gives his listeners a strong mystery that is vividly described through details. Nothing like having nightmares about flying given how the mysterious planes at the bottom of the ocean still have their passengers safely tucked inside … dead!

J. Scott Bennett, the narrator, performed the audiobook expertly building connections through the tone and emotion in his voice as well as capturing the essence of the characters. His performance was flawless. His voice was smooth and easy.

I highly recommend this audiobook to anyone who enjoys fast-paced, full-blown mysteries!

There were no issues with the quality or production of this audiobook.

Audiobook was provided for review by the author/narrator/publisher.

Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog.

[If this review helped, please press YES. Thanks!]

  • Thread of a Spider

  • By: D.L. Gardner
  • Narrated by: Lee Brophy
  • Length: 7 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 15
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 15
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 15

Following an ambush at the Upton Rail Station in 1921 Ireland, British troops burn Ailis' home to the ground and arrest her fiancé, Liam, for murder. She and her younger brother Paddy flee to an enchanted glen. Lured by a haunting song, Paddy is abducted by forest folk. Perilous obstacles and a questionable stranger hinder Ailis' attempts to find her brother or free her fiancé, until her only hope for survival rests on the magic of the fae.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Don’t miss this exciting story❤️

  • By JMMAdams on 05-05-18

Wee Folk, Pixies and the Irish Resistance

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

Reviewed: 08-06-18

Thread of a Spider is a beautiful, haunting tale. Set in the 1920s in Ireland, it mostly reads as a historical fiction yet there are these fantastical elements with the faeries and their magic. Tensions are high between the Irish and English as Ireland struggles to become completely autonomous from England.

Ailis Kilpatrick is a compelling character that captured my attention from the beginning and held it all the way through the story. Her family’s home has been burned to the ground by the English and her fiance Liam arrested. Meanwhile, her younger brother Paddy is missing. She’s torn about what to do and up pops Garett who has ideas about what should be done. There’s also Danny, Liam’s good friend, who is trying to keep Ailis out of the worst of the trouble even as Garett pulls her into it.

Paddy’s adventure with the Wee Folk was fun. Periwinkle, the grand dame of the faeries, has her own brand of wisdom to impart on the humans. Paddy wants them to join in the Irish resistance but Perriwinkle and her people don’t want to be part of such violence. And yet they seek Paddy’s help with their own confrontation with the pixies. I really liked that both the humans and the faeries had something to learn from each other by the end of the story.

While there’s no sex and much of the violence is implied, people still die. I appreciate that the author kept things real, giving the story weight. Ailis was no shrinking violet, holding her own among the men, knowing how to use a Webley, ride a horse, and much more. Perriwinkle not only contributed her wisdom but also her magical healing abilities. All around, an enchanting tale.

The Narration: Lee Brophy was a joy to listen to. He had such an engaging voice, one that I could listen to for hours at a time. He performed a light Irish accent throughout the story. He even sang Perriwinkle’s song, which was haunting. There was a little bit of Gaelic, which sounded good to my untutored ear. I did notice that Brophy gave the word ‘breathed’ 2 syllables instead of the usual single syllable but it was done so smoothly that I suspect that’s how the Irish pronounce it (but I could be wrong). Brophy had great voices for Ailis, ancient Perriwinkle, and young Paddy. There were no technical issues with this recording.

Audiobook was provided for review by the author/narrator/publisher.

Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog.

[If this review helped, please press YES. Thanks!]

  • The Method

  • By: Jerry Bader
  • Narrated by: Marc Bonilla, Heather Graham
  • Length: 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 2
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 2

A down-and-out LA actor with a knack for impersonations finds his circumstances completely reversed by a chance meeting with a look-alike stranger. After a night of drinking with his new friend discussing the possibilities made possible by their similar appearance, the stranger offers the actor a ride home. On the way there is an accident and one of them is killed. The survivor finds himself in the hospital with amnesia and everyone assuming he's the stranger, the right-hand man for a mob boss.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Vintage Gum Shoe and Mobsters

  • By AudioBook Reviewer on 08-06-18

Vintage Gum Shoe and Mobsters

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

Reviewed: 08-06-18

The Method is reminiscent of old black and white gumshoe mobster movies. It’s entertaining because all of the characters are walking cliches. As the description says, a talented impressionist actor and a mobster guy ended up in the same car that had a bad accident. Now no one, including the Survivor, is sure which man survived and which didn’t.

The Survivor is having memory issues, understandably, but the clues leave little doubt to the reader who has survived the car accident. No matter who he is, he needs to act like the old Arnie Bernado to get his mobster job done and keep his boss, crime lord Carmine, happy. Yet others notice small changes in him. Vito, a fell mobster, finds the new improved Arnie quite a bit funnier and Lonnie (Arnie’s sexy girlfriend) appreciates that he’s more tender in the bedroom.

There are very few ladies (just 2?) and they are sex objects. While this holds true to most of the dated mobster genre, it did make me roll my eyes a bit. So many of their lines were cringe-worthy because of their predictability. The ladies didn’t really add anything to the story.

Carmine pushes Arnie back into work, ordering his men to keep an eye on him. There’s also all the fancy parties these well-to-do mobsters are expected to attend. Sooner or later, the Survivor may well run into someone who can say definitively who he really is. This particular point was the most interesting and added the most suspense to the story.

In all, the tale is short enough to be entertaining with all its cliches. It does end on a total cliffhanger, very abruptly. I felt like nothing was resolved.

The Narration: Marc Bonilla and Heather Graham do a good job narrating this book. Bonilla gave voice to the bulk of the story as it’s told through the Survivor’s eyes. He did a fine job with the expected Mobster accent and I appreciated his more insightful presentation of the inner thoughts of the Survivor. He also showed some real talent with his voice impressions of famous actors, as called for in the story. Graham voiced the few lines the ladies had. She did well with them but it often felt like her lines butted into the recording. I expect they were recorded as stand-alone lines and inserted into the final recording as needed.

Audiobook was provided for review by the author/narrator/publisher.

Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog.

[If this review helped, please press YES. Thanks!]

  • Blood Loss

  • The Magnolia Series, Book 2
  • By: Ashley Fontainne, Lillian Hansen
  • Narrated by: Rebecca Roberts
  • Length: 6 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 8
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8

Karina and LiAnn worked hard to put the awful memories behind them of the nightmare they walked into at The Magnolia and all the death and destruction caused by the former owners. As they settled into their new roles as managers of the upscale independent living facility, LiAnn reconnects with her true love and Karina continues to explore the new relationship with a sexy cowboy named Bo. Each are haunted by the atrocities committed at The Magnolia and how close Karina came to dying at the hands of mafia monsters.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • So good!

  • By erobbins33 on 10-12-17

Riveting! Nail biting pot twists and Mystery.

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

Reviewed: 08-06-18

Blood Loss by Ashley Fontainne and Lillian Hansen is book 2 of the Magnolia Series which further drives home the strong connections between the mob and the hometown residents who have deep dark secrets. Back once again, Karina, LiAnn, and Karina’s grandparents discover their closest friends’ deepest darkest secrets that have deadly outcomes even decades later. Everyone has secrets, including Karina’s new love interest Bo. Determined to make the Magnolia work and save everyone, the plot twists are riveting and the ultimate ending is breathtaking.

The plot is well-developed and full of twists and turns that will take the listeners breath away at times with each new revelation. Once you start the audio, there is no stopping it until the end!

Descriptions are vivid and realistic. The development of each character is rich and complete. The storyline has the potential to be confusing but Fontanne’s skill keeps everything smooth and clear while also keeping the listener on the edge of their chair.

The narrator, Rebecca Roberts brings the book and characters to life. Her ability to capture and project the spirit of each character is mesmerizing. Excellent job!

I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys mysteries, fast-paced action, and well-developed stories! I love Ashley Fontainne's writing!!

There were no issues with the quality or production of this audiobook.