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MelHay

Adamsburg, PA
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  • Flotsam Prison Blues

  • The Technomancer Novels Series, Book 2
  • By: M. K. Gibson
  • Narrated by: Jeffrey Kafer
  • Length: 10 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 64
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 64
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 64

A couple of months have passed since the cyborg smuggler known as Salem led a small team in the violent coup that brought down Abraxas, demon Archduke of New Golgotha’s central kingdom of Ars Goetia. From the destruction, Salem became a hero, whether he wanted to be one or not, and was appointed the first human baron in the demon-run supercity. But Hell does not like being made to look foolish - or weak. And Salem’s actions, while noble, have consequences. A victory for man means a defeat for Hell. A single question will be asked of Salem: How far can a hero fall?

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A good way to spend your time.

  • By cosmitron on 06-16-18

Humor, action & memory lane with morals remembered

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

Reviewed: 07-19-18

*I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

Jeffrey sounds like he slips into character and enjoys doing so as he voices this book. He's awesome at the dry humor that goes with Salem. A Chewbacca impersonation! Yes, Jeffrey had to do one and it was at the perfect place in the story with Salem and Grimm. It made me chuckle with the placement and hearing it. Jeffrey has voiced Salem and all his friends (and enemies) in the first book, so it's a great pleasure to have him back to carry on with their adventures. It feels Jeffrey breathes life into all for us to enjoy.

I totally have fun with these stories. Between the references and one liners used with the surprise events that happen, I just smile the whole way through the book. The characters interactions make me shake my head and chuckle. Oh dear! There are movies referenced in this book that I looooong forgot about. And it was a treat to remember them!

I wondered where this book could go after the ending of the first. There were a few threads that where left open in the first book that could easily be picked up on. Salem has created a new setting on his land for those that were displaced from the town of Midheim after the big battle there. This brings new troubles and frustrations to Salem's doorstep. And Jensen, there's something there...maybe? This all leads into the adventure Salem goes on, and drudges up past memories from other lives as he goes.

We get to see life in one of Salem's previous lives. You do remember that since he's long lived he switches identities through life so people don't know who he is. Salem's past surfaces when one of his hidden vaults is robbed. But, along with facing his past, he has to face a few things he has happening now and consequences.

Just as you think there couldn't be anything more intense to happen to Salem, something does. Don't ask the one question that the universe always seems to answer... What's next? There will always be something next. lol. And Salem sees it.

Salem and Father Grimm together. LOL! They are a team and they toss jokes off each other that the other one plays into and gets. They keep me smiling. Salem even finds a sidekick in prison! Yep, and it's a cool friendship too. I think it's Salem and his jokes that keep it going, how he plays off others and their different personalities.

What I love is the lessons learned and important points made that people need to remember through life. These are mixed in with crazy and funny moments, but in the end there is a huge point that hits home with the characters and with the readers. The way it's done, it feels as though a comic book fashion is used but in words. I love it!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Helios

  • Cerberus Group, Book 2
  • By: Jeremy Robinson, Sean Ellis
  • Narrated by: Jeffrey Kafer
  • Length: 9 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 43
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 42
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 42

A deadly swarm of earthquakes shakes the planet. In the sky above, the sun appears to stand still. While the world reels from the vast destruction, George Pierce and the Cerberus Group, a team of scientific and historical experts, uncover an imminent threat straight out of history that must be stopped. But not everyone wants them to succeed. An apocalyptic death cult, made up of suicidal martyrs and true believers who will do whatever it takes to ensure the destruction of all life on Earth, goes head-to-head with a billionaire tech genius commanding an army of robots on a quest to own the sun itself.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Robinson delivers as usual

  • By C. S. Shames on 07-17-18

Adventure to save the world from unknown weapon

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

Reviewed: 07-16-18

*I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

Jeffrey is one of my favorite narrators, especially for the adventures into dangerous places for the unknown. He's voiced these characters in the first book and continues with the same personalities in this one. Jeffrey never gives away what's to come in his voice. He's always in the moment with the characters, experiencing the event s as they would while bringing their reactions to life in voice. Always a pleasure to listen to Jeffrey.

Something I notice about the story is it feels as though we are getting to the end of what is causing the problems, just to learn it's the start of all troubles we are experiencing. Yes, the story starts off with a bang and doesn't slow, things become greater in stakes and action. This is a talent that comes through in the writing. They really thought out this story and all the connections to grow the dangers and connect everything together.

I love how things come together. These stories bring things together I wouldn't expect to relate, yet they fit. Religion, gods, aliens, and so much more tie in threads to each other along with adventure. I get caught up and find I stop and listen, pausing to take it all in. It opens my mind to the possibilities the authors are creating with the characters and events. I can see the connections! Myths and the way things were related in stories for what could have been something people lived through.

There is a possibility these myths could relate to the current problems, with earthquakes all at once then a ticking clock at happening again. The ticking clock that could bring about the end of the world as we know it.

I enjoy these characters. They are like their own little X-men team on an Indiana Jones adventure. There are a few with their own abilities, which we get a quick explanation in this story too. I really like them, and their origin stories. Their personalities fit together to make a team that cares for each other and jokes in good humor. There are deeper ties with these characters that hold them together as a chosen family.

There are so many layers to this story. I would love to listen to it and the previous book again. There are connections to the Herculean group they are part of along with other ties. I have a feeling things mentioned here will come into play in the future too.

And I'm hooked on the series, with the characters and what we learn about the group they are part of. I'll have my eyes on the lookout for the next book!

  • Frostbite

  • An Ivy Granger Psychic Detective Prequel Short Story
  • By: E.J. Stevens
  • Narrated by: Melanie A. Mason
  • Length: 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 43
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 42
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 42

When a client claims her house is being haunted, Ivy tries to keep her mind open and her weapons handy. If her psychic gifts and recent cases have taught her anything, it's that you're better off arming yourself for the unexpected. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A haunting release

  • By MelHay on 06-21-18

A haunting release

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

Reviewed: 06-21-18

*I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

Melanie has been a voice of Ivy Grangers for several books and slips right back into character for this short story. It flows with a pacing that fits the story and the few events that happen. It's clear in listening.

Oh. It took me a moment to connect the title to the short story. I get it.

This story is quick. I didn't even realize it was 28 minutes (listening wise) when it was over. It's a case that takes a matter of moments when Ivy arrives at the residence. It gives us the details of the case then the history connecting it all along with how Ivy solves it.

This story is a quick one to read to introduce yourself to Ivy Granger and her world. You get hints of what is present in the world and city of Harbersmouth along with what Ivy can do. There is nothing here to give away the series secrets. Also, you wouldn't be hindered in not reading this before the series. It's a complete stand-alone short story.

It would work well for Halloween, I think. ;)

As always, it's a pleasure to get to visit Ivy Granger on cases in her neck of the woods, or harbor.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Tracing Shadows

  • Scout, Book 1
  • By: Alex Lidell
  • Narrated by: Hayden Daviau
  • Length: 6 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 16
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16

Orphaned and trained on a spymaster’s remote estate, Kali is a scout who works alone in the shadows. But when a terror group threatens the Dansil throne, the king forces Kali to accept a mission at the palace or forfeit her sister’s life. Suddenly thrust into the light, Kali must infiltrate high society as the royal Lady Lianna while penetrating the servant ranks as Kal, a male guardsman trainee. It doesn’t help that Trace, the harsh and enigmatic captain of the king’s guard, is soon assigned as both Lady Lianna’s palace escort and Kal’s commanding officer. 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A entertaining story.

  • By cosmitron on 06-30-18

A female scout living two lives to learn info.

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

Reviewed: 06-21-18

*I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

Hayden is a new narrator for me. She speaks with a pacing which I do not need to increase the speed of the book. Which is nice. This pace blended with Alex's writing of constant movement, keeping the story moving forward. There was one section that seemed to be a longer pause, which I'm not sure if it was meant to be there because a break in the section of the book or the audio part. At times, though, it feels as Hayden speaks fast to get through the book in a limited time frame, too fast. She does seem to fit the personality of Kali vocally though.

It's of a female playing a part of a Lady in royal court and as a guard trainee, as a male. It's a common story with two parts focused on one outcome. I listened on, and the more I did I liked the book. I'm curious as to what will happen in the next book with where we're left in a bit of an uproar and things that could happen.

The story is good, but I don't find it as catching as Alex's two other series. In the end we see there is something special going on with Kali but don't know exactly what yet. I think the catch of the story is the magic used with crystals and that Kali is something else in the magic spectrum. Also we have the kingdom the midst of rebellion with how things are going for their lives and the area they lost to another empire decades ago.

We get most of the story from Kali's view as she lives as Lady Lianna and Kal. There are moments added in from other characters. Violet is added in to give a view from her side, though the first section by her feels to introduce the fact that she likes to cut herself to take the emotional pain away. At first meeting, it felt as though Alex had to have something in the story that is emotional and catching. As the story line moves on, we see how Violet falls into a group, where they comfort her in a way she needs emotionally, who are against what the King is trying to do. It's easy to do when there is a void in one's heart, like Violet feels. The first meeting of Violet set this up for us to see.

As the story goes on I started to understand the troubles in the Dansil kingdom. They are struggling with baring children. Many woman are having still born children or dying in birth with the child. This is affecting the kingdom and people in it. They are not thriving as they should to survive as a kingdom. They need help.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Agent Prime

  • By: Jake Bible
  • Narrated by: Andrew B. Wehrlen
  • Length: 7 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19

Denman Sno is Agent Prime! The best of the Fleet Intelligence Service's elite Special Service Division, Denman Sno will need to use all of his skills and resources to stop the galaxy from plunging into another war with the alien menace known as the Skrang Alliance. Sno's assignment: protect and deliver Pol Hammon, the galaxy's greatest dark-tech hacker, to Galactic Fleet headquarters. Hammon is in possession of new technology that can and will change the landscape of galactic life.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Its 007 meets the future.

  • By cosmitron on 05-04-18

Delivery mission via undercover.

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

Reviewed: 06-19-18

*I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

Andrew seems to be sure to pronounce everything properly. There are moments where speech slows to get all enunciated properly. Though, usually when a character is talking, the flow of the words is constant. I give him credit, there are a lot of words and names that could easily be pronounced wrong. I don't think I could do as well as he did. Andrew did give a physical feel to each character as he spoke for them.

The beginning is full of hints to the world and Denman Sno and his job. But it feels heavy with creation. There is a lot with being science fiction/space setting. There are many different beings and planets along with technology to pick up on. Jake dives right into the meat of it. There is a lot to create as this is a stand alone, so far.

The beginning feels agency/military strategically strong as Sno details out what he sees and does. I wonder if Andrew's voice compliments this feeling as it's how Sno sees things in his mind. He is an Agent after all, he gets paid to see things in this perspective.

One thing I'm learning about Jake Bible. He can write many different styles. Wow. But, I'm learning that with Jake, I'm invested or just along for the ride. For me in Agent Prime, I was along for the ride. I struggled with some of the connections as it seemed to appear as he went. The details were minor and hidden in text that you can connect them to what we know, but it felt like it could have been stronger for me.

I did love the ship that was used to travel, and was to be incognito for Sno and Pol. It was a luxury liner that's known for the passengers to find love. This was a fun twist to the story. Though, this is where majority of the story takes place. It might be a love ship, but Sno has to deal with being attacked in a whole different fashion.

I did come to like that the plot is thicker than expected the further into the book we went. There is more to Pol and others. There is a reason for what all transpires on the luxury ship. I liked the overall idea of the story with Pol.

I think some will enjoy this story while others will thinks it's good. It's hard to pick who would be who though. Take a look at the book and see if it's something you might like.

  • Power of Five: Reverse Harem Fantasy

  • Power of Five Series, Book 1
  • By: Alex Lidell
  • Narrated by: Victoria Mei
  • Length: 5 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 170
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 162
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 159

Orphaned and sold to a harsh master, Lera's life is about mucking stalls, avoiding her master's advances, and steering clear of the mystical forest separating the mortal and fae worlds. Only fools venture into the immortal realms, and only dark rumors come out... Until four powerful fae warriors appear at Lera's barn. River, Coal, Tye, and Shade have waited a decade for their new fifth to be chosen, the wounds from their quint brother's loss still raw. But the magic has played a cruel trick, bonding the four immortal warriors to... a female. A mortal female. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • No! It can’t end!

  • By sherry Christenson on 06-08-18

Delicious connection that draws sexual tension

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

Reviewed: 06-18-18

*I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

I've not listened to Victoria as a narrator before, but I hope she continues with the series. Wow. She did great with voicing the emotions of all present. This is extremely important for a read as sensual as this. The tension and emotions have to be there to make it believable when voiced. And she did. Oh her accents. She gave the men their own voices with accents, as they are fae.

I will say, the story starts off quick. It's a shorter story, so each word is important. We get to see our four male warriors and get brief information about the world. It's worded to give us info with their actions but doesn't bog down, we move swiftly to make us curious and drawn in.

There is an instant attraction between the men and Leralynn. It seems to be the magical bond is what intensifies these feelings. And I had no problem with the attraction that's present. It felt to fit the characters and the feel of the story. And it never let up. There is always something there. And it felt to be deliciously written! Beware, this book is hot with sexual tension and more details.

With the magical bond, all are attracted to Lera, and Lera to them. Although, by the details of the males, they would be hard to NOT be attracted to. There is many sensual moments with Lera so near the fae men. Be prepared for the attraction to grow stronger from page one. This is a reverse harem fantasy story, one woman and four men.

I like romances that are written with a story and plot entwined with the growing sexual tension. And this story has it. There is more to why this Quint is together, we haven't learned the reason yet though. Magic has called them all together to fight the nightmares of Mor that escapes into the fae realm, before they hurt anyone or get to the human realm. Though, when first learn of a female mortal being their fifth, the male fae think this is wrong. They will learn there is more to what they think is a frail human female as they face challenges on their way to the Citadel where the Elders are. We get to see how and what they fight, a glimpse here which prepares us for what could be seen in the future.

Also, Lera is strong. She resists the attraction to the men at the beginning. I actually enjoyed her and Shade, in wolf form, as he tries to claim the bed as his and she won't give it up the first night they stop at an Inn.

All are damaged in their own ways. Each of the four males have something they are working through. Well, Tye doesn't seem to have anything, but there is something there that we learn about toward the end. Lera along with the men are damaged inside, whether from death of their fifth a decade ago or to their family history, or what they lived through before coming to the Quint. All have a side they are working to forget or get past.

We get most of the book from Leralynn's view point but there are chapters sparsely throughout the book from one of the male fae's view. Oh to see how they feel and what they are seeing. This is a great way to show the attraction from their side as well, to show what is meant in their actions and why they are doing what they do.

Did you ever want a fae man of your own? Well, you'll want ALL four of these. I know I do.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • An American Weredeer in Michigan

  • The Bright Falls Mysteries Series, Book 2
  • By: C. T. Phipps, Michael Suttkus
  • Narrated by: Arielle DeLisle
  • Length: 9 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 27
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 27
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 27

Life is not easy for the world's first weredeer detective. A simple hike turns into a media circus when Jane Doe, her best friend Emma, and a pair of monster hunters find a mass grave. Determined to find the parties responsible, Jane soon discovers a sinister cult leader has decided to make Bright Falls, Michigan the home of his corrupt religion.   

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I was a deer Caught in the Headlights!

  • By Ray Johnson on 04-26-18

Fun urban fantasy mystery.

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

Reviewed: 05-17-18

*I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

Arielle returns to voice Jane in this second book. She does have a younger sound to fit Jane. Arielle voices Jane's dry humor and jokes with what sounds like a straight face and with intensity behind it as Jane would. There is a touch of sarcasm and humor in it, and Arielle vocalizes this well. She also brings personalities out in the voices of other characters. She does voice them with slight differences in tone, but the feel of the character is in the annunciations and attitude.

We got introduced to characters in a timely manner and reminded of what happened in the first book to place the characters in their lives now. And we come across the new mystery that makes us curious. This beginning flowed smoothly for me, introducing us back to the world.

I love the small references to movies, shows, and all fun items. There's references to Harry Potter, Back to the Future, and more. I had to laugh when Wynonna Earp was mentioned in the book. LOL! It's exactly what I related the Merlin Gun to when we first came across it in the first book! The characters are fantasy fans and talk about Star Wars and more throughout the book, it really makes for fun moments. It's something I enjoy keeping an ear (or eye) out for in the story.

We get a few mysteries to solve. The pit of baby skeletons, Dr. Jones who brings a world of trouble with his desires, and Robyn's search. But we also have personal interests and conflicts. Jane's got two potential relationships brewing, which does get resolved. We also meet new characters - Robyn, Larry, and Yolanda. Robyn is an interesting addition and we spend more time with her than the others.

What surprises me, how the authors manage to connect all these problems into one conversation. It's awesome. I wouldn't have pictured the conversation going as it did, but it fits the characters and the story. It all works together!

All the personal connections makes things a little edgy when the characters interact. It's a small town, and you feel it. It all starts to wash out in the end of the book, truths are shared and emotions are a little better. It feels things are moving in the direction they should for the characters personally.

Of course we see the story through Jane's eyes and thoughts. But we get to spend time, through Jane, with Emma, Lucien, and Alex along with all we meet in the first book. I am glad Jane got a big thing cleared up with Alex and Lucien. They are both amazing men, in different ways. Though, Lucien does have a bad streak in him. Jane feels to be more mature in this book. She's faced many things in the first book and learned a lot. She's still learning and becoming more with her shaman ability.

We also see the town of Bright Falls is growing and changing. But I'm thinking the outside world is changing some too, pushing Bright Falls to expand and grow. It's something Jane struggles with in a small way. Even the need to sell her family diner... That's something Jane is not ready for, but maybe needs to do...

I enjoy the fun and humor written through Jane and the story. The story is a fun, relaxing read for me and I look forward to more in the future.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Exile: A Jade Ihara Adventure

  • Jade Ihara Adventures, Volume 3
  • By: David Wood, Sean Ellis
  • Narrated by: Jeffrey Kafer
  • Length: 8 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 20
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20

Jade Ihara is caught in a centuries old power struggle between a slave cult who believes she might be the incarnation of the goddess of liberty, and a secret cabal with plans for world domination. Can she unravel the mystery of the Cult of Veritas and find their sacred relics before it’s too late? David Wood and Sean Ellis deliver another action-packed thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat! Fans of Indiana Jones, Tomb Raider, Rogue Angel, and Dane Maddock will love Exile!

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Indiana Jones the female version

  • By cosmitron on 04-21-18

Another hair raising adventure

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

Reviewed: 05-17-18

*I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

As always, Jeffrey Kafer narrates the story with perfection. I know, it seems strange for a man to narrate a woman, but that does not defer from Jade's story in the least. I don't even hear that it's a male voice. Jeffrey has a way of carrying the suspense, adventure, and curiosity in his voice for the characters. He retains the calm the characters feel in stressful, scary moments. Although, there is some worry and nerves that creep through in this story for Jade and Professor, and Jeffrey enunciates them. We get the feel of the characters emotions, feelings, and personality through Jeffrey's tones and attitude voiced.

Wow. Jade spends most of the book on the run! She's running for her life in Rome, Italy along with on a slave boat. Jade is a handy woman on her own. Almost a female McGyver!

We start with Jade having been kidnapped, possibly being sold as a slave. We see a darker side to Haiti with Professor doing all he can to find Jade. This is where Jade gets nervous. What can she really do? Jade is determined to fight, and fight she does. She will do anything if there's a sliver of hope to survive.

This story is focused on Jade. She's grown as a character and in her skills, and it shows here. Even Professor notes it several times to himself. She may not need him around to protect her any longer. And that bothers him a bit. Jade has grown stronger. Some of the things she has to do... Ugh. *stomach drops* She's a bit more of a daredevil than I would have thought. Wow. Professor even has his extraordinary events here. But he refuses to leave Jade fend for herself.

I love Jade with Professor. They get under each other's skin, but they're a great pair with all they know and can do. They could even, someday in the future, be a great couple. They challenge each other but are great friends and work companions.

This story touches close to home for many people and brings up a heated topic. Slavery. This is not just about the past slaves but also the human trafficking that still happens in the world. There is even a brief touch on what people consider liberty and freedom. Even how some feel about America and immigrants is touched on here. All amazing topics to discuss and think on. This book opens a door to these subjects for people to think on. It's not meant to begin an argument or upset anyone, but hopefully to open eyes and ears to bring the subjects in the open so people can understand and work to stop slavery. This was the impression I got from the characters.

We get sections that are detailed in explaining. There are true history pieces used to create the fiction from. I love how the minds of David Wood and Sean Ellis use history to create their stories. It makes the story feel so much more invested for me.

Another hair raising adventure for Jade and Professor. As always, I look forward to more with them.

  • Dark Watcher

  • The Watcher Series, Book 1
  • By: Lilith Saintcrow
  • Narrated by: Jack Wayne, Rayna Cole
  • Length: 6 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 11

Theodora Morgan knows she's a little strange. Her talent for healing has marked her as different all through a life spent moving from town to town when someone notices her strangeness. Now, she has a home, and she doesn't want to leave, but she's been found. The Crusade wants her dead because she's psychic; the Dark wants to feed on her talent; and then, there's Dante. Tall and grim and armed with black-bladed knives, guns, and a sword, he says he's here to protect her. But what if he's what Theo needs protection from most?

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • New view of the magic world with a blooming love.

  • By MelHay on 05-17-18

New view of the magic world with a blooming love.

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

Reviewed: 05-17-18

*I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

Two narrators for one book. I always love when we have a blend of male and female voices for a book. Rayna voices the chapters from Theodora's (Theo) POV. Jack voices the chapters from Dante's POV. I've enjoyed Rayna's voice previously, and do again. She has a calm about her tones that make me feel relaxed, which fits the character of Theo. Jack is new for me, but while listening it didn't feel that way. He voiced Dante's view with the feelings as the character would. I had to stop and think about the two voices after three chapters to realize they were voicing two different views of people. This is cool because we also get a feel for the POV's view of those they are talking to. The tones and innuendos from those around them and how they treat each other come out through the two different people. When Theo hears a voice or remembers hearing it, we get that voice from when Jack spoke it in Dante's chapter. This is a nice extra to get in audio.

Theo has a feeling something is off and when she sees a man who's following her, she acts with caution. She's anxious and worried. This is how she should be. But she's smart too. She thinks on what she's seen and felt. Her mind is always pondering and she asks questions, learning along with us about the creatures after her and The Circle Lightfall. This is a smart character. There's more to learn, I'm sure, but we get a strong feel of things here. Theo does have an insecurity though with relationships, like many people. But Theo is determined in life and will go where she's called to help others.

Lilith is great at lacing actions and characters with details that tell us of the world and why things are as they are. We gradually learn about the world through Dante's actions, the reason he's watching over Theo. The world and characters are formed as one as they are action and reaction to what's around.

This is the blooming of a love between Theo and Dante. It's intertwined with the action of the story and why Dante is here. We have the sweet moments where we can see there could be more between them. But they have to live through much more to get there, getting to know each other. We also have our action and fights as Dante protects Theo and the other witches.

I'm liking Dante. He's a big strong man who kills bad things for a living. Yet he's such a gentleman as well. He's like the bad guy girls love rolled together with the good guy you should be with. He's not perfect, but he's a great combo. But, Dante's had his share of trouble in the past, something he has to live with.

Such a great story. It's known what the characters want or don't want, and what they fight for. Then ultimately what the sacrifice is. But, what they get in the end feels as though it's more than what they wanted to begin with. It's going to be a difficult life, and I'm ready to follow them through the rest of the series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • 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 90
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 87
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 87

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

Playing the game to help a friend.

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

Reviewed: 05-07-18

*I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

Two narrators, for the story and male characters then a female for female voices. I started listening to the audiobook and never thought twice about the voices. There was no distraction from the story or characters as Justin narrates. I felt Justin was an excellent pick as Esil's voice along with the story. The female voices are voiced by Laurie and it fits. I liked hearing a woman voice the female characters as the story went. Both added accents or different enunciation to the characters to differentiate them. The best part, there was NO delay in the audio. The pacing felt to fit together as Justin and Laurie voice the characters. Maybe they acted out those scenes together? I don't know but it was done!

I love how Esil is new to the adventure field, even though watches streaming of adventures. He's a miner in the Pangea world, and when he gets to go on adventures, he's gun ho but he's a bit green around the edges. Not only does he have to level up and learn, but he's not done this before. This is perfect for me! This gives a feel to the book that newbie players or those that don't game as much can listen and feel for Esil.

This is a cool arrangement with the gaming world. The real world is described for us to know why people work in the game. Sometimes the game gives something special back. Esil is one of those fortunate enough to find it, a chest of valuable items.

The first chapter mentions what Esil will work for through the book. I wasn't sure if it was a strong motivator in the book, but the more I got to know Esil the more I realized what a great person he is. And the drive to help works extremely well for him. Esil is a nice person. I like what he brings out in those around him. By helping others, he creates great friendships. He doesn't ask for anything in return, he's just an honest and kind person. This is the kind of person you like to see improve in life.

Esil surrounds himself with great people who feel the same in return. Buzz, Grayson, and Aleesia and her band of dwarves. All are great and kind to him, even if they have similar or different stations in life. I feared one would turn on him and take all he had or would give, but things aren't that way with the people Esil finds and confides in. Buzz is a great friend for Esil, not wanting anything but a friend and to help Esil because of the help Esil is offering him. Grayson is an old miner that has experience in some things around the game world. Grayson gives great advice. Aleesia, she's a great character and new friend for Esil. She could even be a romantic interest for Esil, in time. (I'm so thankful we didn't jump into romance but let them get to know each other.)

The story is a gentle one as we go. It's Esil meeting people and getting to know them along with learning how things go in learning to play quests in Pangea to get to his end goal.