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Twisted Faith audiobook cover art

Spare the rod

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

Reviewed: 04-30-18

Sixteen-year old Abigail Stein’s parents belong to an extreme fundamentalist Christian sect that embraces corporal punishment, extreme spiritual cleansing and, of course, chastity.

When Abigail becomes pregnant, her parents subject her to all of the above, and brow-beat her into agreeing to allow them to adopt her baby and raise it as their own. Abigail, in despair, decides to flee with the infant and is considering killing the baby and herself in order to escape a life that has no hope and no freedom.

The book begins with Abigail’s tortured telephone call to Pastor David Owens, outside of whose church she has parked. Schwimley deftly alternates between the Pastor’s and Abigail’s points of view as she gradually lifts the veil on the teen’s tragic story.

When does physical and emotional cruelty trump freedom of religion? And, when does self-preservation take precedence over the commandment to “Honor thy father and thy mother?” These are some of the questions posed by Author Victoria Schwimley in Twisted Faith. This is a thought-provoking novel, which offers the reader a glimpse into what can happen when the practice of a faith - whether Christian or otherwise - is taken to an extreme.

I enjoyed the nuanced and professional performance of narrators Conner Goff and Kelley Mack, who handed off smoothly to each other as the point of view shifted between David and Abigail.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Finding Miranda audiobook cover art

Even better the second time around

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

Reviewed: 12-01-17

I read the ebook and jumped at the chance to listen to the audiobook.

Joshua Bennington's well-paced narration is a perfect match for Iris Chacon's storytelling.

Finding Miranda is peopled with loveable (and some not-so-loveable) characters who will make you laugh and make you cry. Whether you read with your eyes or with your ears, you will enjoy Finding Miranda.

The Secret of Berry Brae Circle audiobook cover art

Gripping story, inspired narration

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

Reviewed: 09-04-17

The Secret of Berry Brae Circle is a perfectly charming (and charmed) sequel the The Phantom of Faerie Mountain. I read the ebook when it was first released, and found myself wishing that author E.M. McIntyre would hurry up and release the third book in The Red King Trilogy. I want to find out what the future (the past?) has in store for Abby, Rory, and Findlay.

Narrator Joshua Young did an inspired piece of work in bringing to life the entire cast of characters, adding depth to this well-conceived and well-written YA novel.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Fight for the Kingdom audiobook cover art

A charming bedtime story

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

Reviewed: 05-06-17

What boy doesn't dream of becoming a hero, rescuing a damsel in distress or saving a kingdom? Aiden and Tristan live that dream in Fight for the Kingdom, a charming children's story by Victoria Schwimley.

Schwimley has succeeded in stitching together a delightful fantasy adventure while conveying a series of life lessons. Narrator Vicky Ring's expressive delivery helps to bring the characters and the story to life.

I received a free copy of this audiobook with no obligation to leave a review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Capturing Faith audiobook cover art

A good story

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

Reviewed: 10-26-16

Capturing Faith, by Victoria Schwimley is a YA novel with a Christian message. Now, I am neither a Christian, nor young (although, I hope I can be considered an adult), so I started to listen to this audiobook with some trepidation.

The book opens with an episode of verbal bullying that those of us who were not part of the ‘in crowd' in high school can relate to - a clique of girls taunting one of their classmates because she is ‘different.’ In this case, the difference is Amber’s open and unabashed practice of her religion. As the plot develops, Chelsea, the leader of the clique, becomes drawn to Amber’s faith and, in consequence, is ostracized by the other members of her clique.

To my relief, I discovered that Capturing Faith is about far more than belief in Christianity. It addresses several issues that confront young adults: bullying and being bullied; dealing with peer pressure and the pressure of parental expectations; and coping with tragic loss. Most importantly, the story is about taking responsibility for, and bearing the consequences of, one’s errors and actions.

Author Victoria Schwimley has drawn a portrait of a youtht will be familiar to many young adults, and narrator Randi Larson has done Schwimley’s story justice. My only quibble is that Amber was too good to be true: a Pollyanna without flaws or doubts.

I received a free, no-obligation copy of this audiobook from the author.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

The Phantom of Faerie Mountain audiobook cover art

A Profile in Courage

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

Reviewed: 10-15-16

A telepathic green dog, a pair of evil faeries and a magic sword are just some of the ingredients in the enchanting fantasy world of Faerie Mountain created by E.M. McIntyre.

Against her will, 13-year old Abby has moved from Nebraska to Scotland with her widowed father and her older sister, Sage, leaving behind the only home she has known. When she encounters a phantom - a glowing, green dog with telepathic powers, Abby is determined to investigate. In a manner reminiscent of Alice following a rabbit into Wonderland, Abby’s search for the meaning of the phantom leads her to stumble into an enchanted world, where she lands - literally - on Rory, a 16-year old orphan.

Abby and Rory join forces in a mutual aid pact. She promises to help Rory find his father’s sword - stolen from him by a pair of rascals. He, in turn, agrees to help her find the Red King, who, according to prophesy, will overcome the evil faeries and release the green dog from their spell. Both teens show courage and ingenuity in overcoming numerous obstacles. I like that author E.M. McIntyre has drawn Abby as a determined, courageous young adult, a well-matched partner to Rory.

I read the book a year ago, and found it very enjoyable. To my delight, Joshua Young’s narration was a perfect match to the pace of the novel, and made a good story even better. I am looking forward to reading, and listening to, the second installment in The Red King Trilogy.

I received a free, no-obligation copy of this audiobook.