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Lomeraniel

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  • Ray vs the Meaning of Life

  • By: Michael F Stewart
  • Narrated by: Kevin Clay
  • Length: 7 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 4
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 4
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 4

Grandma's last will and testament names Ray to inherit the trailer park. It's a million-dollar estate with one hitch: To prove he's not as aimless as he seems, Ray must discover the meaning of life by the end of the month. (She left the answer in an envelope.) If he fails, the camp goes to his estranged family.  

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • THIS is what a YA book is meant to be!

  • By Hall Ways on 10-01-18

Quirky and endearing, a must read!

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

Reviewed: 10-04-18

The blurb of this book sounded felt so different from the mainstream for YA that I immediately became curious. Ray is part of a very dysfunctional and atypical family. They own and live in a caravan park, and his grandmother leaves him the park if he finds the meaning of life within a month.

The story is told in the first person by Ray, and the writing style is indeed the one of a teenager. It's quirky at times and reflexive at others. At the beginning of the story, I felt really annoyed about Ray's family and the way they treated him. I thought it was so sad how some people can behave during hard moments, almost mistreating their loved ones. It was good that the story picked my interest rather quickly because I was feeling so bad about Ray that I was not sure I wanted to read this book.

In the search for the meaning of life, Ray will count with the help of a famous guru, and in the middle of his grieving, he will learn that the best way of finding the meaning of life is not focusing on it. The characters in this book evolve great lengths thought the story, especially Ray. I found it easy to relate to him, and I laughed and cried in equal parts. 

This book is also a journey of self-discovery, and a great book not only for young adults. Sometimes we're obsessed with great tasks, just forgetting what we have in front of us. This is what I learned from this book, a good piece of advice at any age:

Imagine your better self.
Visualize your goals and achieve them.
Think you'd be dead tomorrow. What will you do today?
Create good habits.
Find what you truly love and focus your energy towards that.
Keep your promises.
Be kind.
I just feel like writing this in big letters and put it on my wall where I can see it every day.

Kevin Clay's narration was really enjoyable. He not only impersonated Ray but also gave different styles and voices to the other characters. His narration is what kept me going at the beginning of the book when I was not sure whether I was going to like it or not. It was simply perfect.

I think this is a great book, which I would recommend to all teens, but I think it will also be enjoyed by people of any age group since it deals with universal truths. I'd love to see this on the big screen.

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Michael F. Stewart. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

  • Bricked In

  • By: Max Wannow
  • Narrated by: Max Wannow
  • Length: 5 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    2.5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 2
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars 2

Bricked In is a disgusting glimmer of self-recognition. For many, happiness is found in freedom. After winning the lottery, a former gypsy becomes the queen of a dystopia. Newlyweds Bethany and Neil join this isolated society, which is devoid of common American laws. With no holds barred, experimental science takes place.  

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • All Over The Place

  • By Brian on 09-04-18

Poorly written

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

Reviewed: 10-01-18

A gypsy mother and her five-year-old daughter win the lottery and build a society where moral values are completely different from the outside world. People who lost everything in life can choose to go and live there since money doesn’t exist and there are other ways of living.

I’m not sure what to say about this book. At first, I was curious about what people were going to find within the walls of the city, and some things, I think, worked pretty well. The genetic experiments were a nice touch, just if they were not as absurd as they were. Somehow somethings didn’t make sense. The fact that they all grew a tail in order to sustain everyone was a fun idea, but I really doubt they could produce as much protein as needed.

The characters were not fully developed, and their actions didn’t make a lot of sense. I wonder why a nomad gypsy would decide to settle down just because she won the lottery. I was also taken aback due to the absence of a real plot. From a moment onwards, everything was all over the place. I don’t mind reading about people who have lost their values and have become completely depraved, but I need a minimum of a story to be able to go on. It didn’t help that the book was poorly written, and the dialogs seemed forced.

Max Wannow narrated the book himself. It was mostly okay, with some noticeable audio edits, but overall a decent job. His female voices sounded a bit forced, but it could have been done on purpose to make the characters even more ridiculous than they really were.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

  • Exodus: Book Two: Last Days Trilogy

  • By: Jacqueline Druga
  • Narrated by: Rick Gregory
  • Length: 4 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 15
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 15
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 14

Following his successful experiment of extracting DNA to clone the image upon the Shroud of Turin, Dr. Marcus Leon faces a world torn asunder. The clone takes the name Devante and assumes a role of great power. His presence and deception bring about biblical-like destruction upon the Earth. While Devante seems unstoppable, only one person, his creator, Marcus Leon, holds the key to ending it all. But can Marcus survive not only the forces of nature, but the forces of Devante and build the army needed before it’s too late?

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Exodus from this book and series

  • By cosmitron on 02-28-18

Not my cup of tea

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

Reviewed: 09-29-18

This is the second installment of the Last Days Trilogy, where a scientist extracts DNA from the shroud of Christ with the purpose of cloning and research. This second part is about how Devante, this second Christ, plans to dominate the world.

I had my troubles with the first book, so I suspected that things were not going to improve for me on this one. Apart from the religious stuff, Devante turns out to be more a devil than a God. I found the story confusing and I was not too invested in it. I guess the book could work for those into demoniac stuff, but it’s just not my case.

Rick Gregory’s narration was adequate, with good character interpretations and a good pace. There were some noticeable audio edits that were a bit distracting, but it was still easy to follow the story.

I won’t be continuing with this series, as the second book didn’t succeed in picking my curiosity after the first one.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

  • Dragonia: Rise of the Wyverns

  • Dragonia Empire, Volume 1
  • By: Craig A. Price Jr.
  • Narrated by: Reuben Corbett
  • Length: 5 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 23
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 22
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 22

The Resistance struggles to find a way to defeat the Dragonia Empire; all hope seems lost against the dragon riders, until they discover an island full of wyverns. Devarius has lost everything. His parents murdered, his sister kidnapped, and the new village he called home: destroyed. The Dragonia Empire has gotten out of control, destroying everything in its path searching for the Resistance. Devarius is left with little choice but to find the Resistance, join them, and hope he can help them defeat the Dragonia Empire once and for all to bring peace to the land of Kaeldroga.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A fun adventure.

  • By cosmitron on 06-12-18

Entertaining little story

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

Reviewed: 09-28-18

A group of people, after suffering the oppression by their lords mounted on dragons, are in search for the sneaky resistance, but in their way, they found the wyverns.

This is a little and endearing story about how dragons and wyverns change the course of history. I'm ashamed that I didn't know about wyverns before now since they are the coolest and cutest creatures ever, at least as they are described in this book.

The story is entertaining. The places they visit and the way they bond and trained the wyverns was my favorite part. I have the feeling though, that this book could have been so much better and bigger. There were some repetitions along the story, like the encounters with the first dragon and the first wyvern. I found also some repeated expressions in the text, and a lot more tell than show than I would like.

I would have also liked the characters were more developed, and that there were more interesting female characters. There are only two in the book: one became a traitor quite at the beginning of the book, and the other one was kind of involved in a romantic relationship with the main character and was overprotected at all times.

Something that bothered me a bit, but it could have been just an homage, is that there were a couple of character names that felt like copies of two Tolkien's characters.

Reuben Corbett did a fantastic job with the narration, delivering very good character interpretations and showcasing a good deal of accents and styles in order to differentiate characters.

It was a light book, but I think it would have worked better as an extended and more elaborate version, with a bit more world building and character exploration. It was very enjoyable, though, and I am curious to see where the story is going in future books.

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Craig A. Price Jr.. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.\

  • Mourning Dove

  • By: Claire Fullerton
  • Narrated by: Claire Fullerton
  • Length: 9 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11

The heart has a home when it has an ally. If Millie Crossan doesn't know anything else, she knows this one truth simply because her brother Finley grew up beside her. Charismatic Finley, 18 months her senior, becomes Millie's guide when their mother Posey leaves their father and moves her children from Minnesota to Memphis shortly after Millie's 10th birthday. Memphis is a world foreign to Millie and Finley. This is the 1970s Memphis, the genteel world of their mother's upbringing and vastly different from anything they've ever known. Here they are the outsiders. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Profoundly moving

  • By Hugh Sinclair on 07-31-18

Trip down memory lane

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

Reviewed: 09-21-18

This is the story of two siblings, about their relationship throughout the years, from their childhood until a tragedy happens in the family. The reader is aware of this 'tragedy', and all events in the book lead inexorably to this end. The story is narrated in the first person by Millie, the youngest of the two siblings, but the main character is Finley, her brother. Millie is just a spectator in the whole story, where Finley is larger than life, and Millie is attracted to him like a moth to a flame. But Finley is intense like this flame, and due to a difficult childhood, several dramas, and a complex personality, Finley changes in a way that nobody could have predicted.

This is a very beautifully written book, with a rich language, complex sentences, and very vivid descriptions, not only of about what Millie sees but also about what she feels. The characters are very well depicted, and I was even able to see them with my mind's eye. They were all quite picturesque and unique. Contrary to what one could expect, Millie's character feels quite 'empty' and flat. She is a simple observer of the family dramas, and it seems all events in her life just happen because she was there, not because she had any intent at any time. This could bother some people, but I'm sure it was done on purpose by Fullerton. We have, one one hand, a very intense character, and on the other, a narrator and observer, but without a real life of her own.

The book is a success of events happening to the family, and especially Finley, who evolves and changes throughout the book. There are also things happening to Millie, but they seem to take, not a second, but even a third plane on the story, and it feels kind of sad how very serious episodes are narrated in the first person but just skimming the surface.

Even though I thoroughly enjoyed this book, I agree it's not for everyone. Some people would think that why all the long story, just to arrive at something that was hinted at the beginning of the book. There is no action or fireworks because this is a clear example where the journey is more important than the destination.

Claire Fullerton decided to narrate the book herself, and for somebody who doesn't make a living out of narrating books, she did a very decent job. I rejoiced on her Southern droll and character's interpretations and the way she had to enunciate the elaborate sentences in the book. It really felt like a trip down memory lane that other narrators would not have mastered in the same way. But there were a couple of setbacks too. From time to time there were some background noises that were a bit distracting, and the continuous mouth noises and breathing almost made me desist when I first started the book. I plowed through and I'm glad I did because it was a really good book that will be with me for a long time.

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Claire Fullerton. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

  • Body of Christ

  • By: Mark Matthews
  • Narrated by: Rick Gregory
  • Length: 1 hr and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 23
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 23
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 23

After his first Holy Communion, a boy secretly builds his own Jesus out of communion wafers and the flesh of his dad. On Halloween night, his Jesus shall rise. After a tragic death, a girl tends to the Cemetery of the Innocents, a memorial to the holocaust of abortion and children killed before their time. On Halloween night, the children shall live, and they need to be fed.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Deeply disturbing

  • By Spooky Mike on 02-16-18

Intense and satirical

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

Reviewed: 09-14-18

I was aware that this was not going to be your run of the mill horror book. There are two main characters in this story: Keagan, who lost his father in a violent way and is strangely obsessed with communion wafers and the possibility that they may bring; and Faith, who is experimenting her first menstrual cycles and believes that she needs to grieve about those lost eggs.

This is not a book for squeamish people. It is not the gore or the horror, but more the putrefaction and the smell that will almost make you vomit. It is also highly sacrilegious, so stay away if you can’t stand others satirizing your Bible. For the rest, it will be a hilarious and horrific story that will not leave anyone indifferent.

I have to clarify that this is a short novella, just over an hour an a half, who can be listened to in one go. It’s highly intense and there is not a moment of boredom. In a way, I was glad that it was a short one, since it could have been difficult to keep the level for a long time, and these strong stories usually work better in this format.

Rick Gregory’s narration was absolutely fantastic, not only delivering excellent character interpretations, but also providing with subtle variations in style and tone so that the listener was able to identify the characters in dialogs. I wonder how hard narrating this book might have been for him, and how many times he had to stop to take a breather. I’m sure this wasn’t an easy book to narrate!

It was a great listen, although a very weird and irreverent one. One of those books that I’ll never forget.

I received a copy of this book in audio format from the narrator in exchange for an honest review.

  • Death Theory

  • By: John D. Mimms
  • Narrated by: Joe Messina
  • Length: 7 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20

Following the violent death of his parents, Jeff Granger seeks reassurance that they have moved on. After recording what he believes to be his mother’s voice at the site of the accident, Jeff’s obsession throws him into paranormal research. Realizing that most people are doing it just for fun, Jeff forms his own group. He is joined by Debbie Gillerson, a schoolteacher; Aaron Presley, a mortician; and Michael Pacheco, a grocery store manager. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great listen

  • By Pamela M. Neumann on 03-07-18

Enjoyable book but a bit long-winded

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

Reviewed: 09-12-18


Jeff Granger is convinced that he can hear his mother’s voice recorded at the place where she died in a car accident. In need of seeking answers, he decides to form a group to discuss paranormal events and maybe formulate a death theory.

This is my second by John D. Mimms. I loved The Tesla Gate, and even though I knew this was going to be a different book, I perhaps expected some of the details that made me fall in love with that book. If you have read The Tesla Gate, be warned, this is a completely different book. Death Theory is a mix of paranormal, humor, romance, and thriller. It was an enjoyable book but I think the mix of genres didn’t sit very well with me. I could have done with humor and thriller, and maybe a bit of paranormal, but there was just too much romance thrown into the mix for me. It’s true that the romance in the story contributed in part to the outcome, but it also made it slow at times.

It was a good story, and the end is unexpected, but it dragged a bit at times, and I found it, in general, a bit long-winded.

Joe Messina’s narration was really good, with excellent character interpretations and a decent voice range. I didn’t know this narrator and I see just a few books on Audible narrated by him. I’m looking forward to hearing more from him.

I received a copy of this book in audio format from the author in exchange for an honest review.

  • The Hidden Village

  • By: Imogen Matthews
  • Narrated by: LIAM GERRARD
  • Length: 9 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 8
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8

Deep in the Veluwe woods lies Berkenhout, a purpose-built village of huts sheltering dozens of persecuted people. But the Germans can find no proof of its existence. The whole community pulls together to help the Berkenhout inhabitants adjust to a difficult new life and, above all, stay safe. Sofie, a Jewish Dutch girl, struggles to adapt to living in Berkenhout, away from her family and friends. As weeks turn to months, she’s worried they’ll abandon her altogether.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Educational & charming

  • By DabOfDarkness on 09-26-18

Historical value but missed character development

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

Reviewed: 09-11-18

The book tells the story of the inhabitants and refugees living in the fictional village of Berkenhout during WWII. In the prologue, the author mentions that the book is a compilation of stories told by a relative. I was interested in this book since I've visited the Netherlands several times since I lived in Belgium for some years. 

It was an enjoyable tale, with likable characters and heartbreaking stories. I think historical fiction is one of the best ways of learning about history, and this is a good example of it. There has been a good amount of research in writing this book, and I do appreciate the few words in Dutch scattered throughout the book.

Even though I really enjoyed the story, there were some aspects that prevented me from granting it a 5-star review. I think the book would have impressed me a lot more were the characters more developed. They were many, with a very brief introduction for each of them, and at times they blended a bit into each other. I was not able to connect with them, and I didn't much care about their luck. I think the book would have worked much better if told from the perspective of one of the characters, providing more insight and more character development.

Liam Gerrard's narration was quite good, providing with different voices and styles to the characters, and bringing them to life through great character interpretations. Gerrard really helped in creating more vivid characters and adding interest to the story. His pronunciation of the Dutch language was quite decent but I spotted a couple of mispronounced words, and the fact that Brabant is pronounced in two different ways (one right, one wrong) just caught my attention. Nevertheless, Dutch is not an easy language to pronounce, and I think Gerrard did a very good job dealing with it.

I think the book is what it is: a collection of stories and anecdotes from terrible times, with lots of interesting information for the history aficionado. 

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Essential Audiobooks. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

  • The Handmaid's Tale

  • By: Margaret Atwood
  • Narrated by: Claire Danes
  • Length: 11 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 29,284
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 26,626
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 26,622

Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead, serving in the household of the enigmatic Commander and his bitter wife. She may go out once a day to markets whose signs are now pictures because women are not allowed to read. She must pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, for in a time of declining birthrates her value lies in her fertility, and failure means exile to the dangerously polluted Colonies. Offred can remember a time when she lived with her husband and daughter and had a job, before she lost even her own name....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • My Top Pick for 2012

  • By Emily - Audible on 11-30-12

The Handmaid's Diary

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

Reviewed: 08-14-18

I've recently listened to a book that was compared to this one, which became famous when the TV series based on the novel came out. Being dystopia is one of my favorite genres, this book has been in my TBR pile for a while now. I have to say that it was entirely a different book than I expected. More than The Handmaid's Tale, The Handmaid's Diary would suit it better, in my opinion. It's a story told in first person by one of the handmaids or surrogates assigned to a family. The world hasn't changed not many years ago, and she still remembers her old life.

The pace of the book is slow, but I think it's on purpose, just to show the idleness this woman experimented every day. The style is not very polished but this is also on purpose, since the book is her diary.

It was very interesting from a sociological point of view, but heart-breaking and very hard at times, for a feminist. All the things these women and their defenders had to bear was inhuman, and there was no way out.

To be this a sci-fi book there is little technology mentioned in the story, apart from how money was just before the regime. It's understandable, since this is the tale about Gilead after technology has been banned and forgotten out of obligation.

I missed some more world building and background history to be able to understand how this society came to be. I would have liked to have more details, and also understand why nobody opposed this regime. We've seen 'similar' situation in several countries in the past, but there is usually an armed conflict at some point. I want to think that we don't get much information on this because this is her tale, her diary, and if we've gotten all this information, this would have been a totally different book. Better? Worse? I don't know, just different.

Claire Danes' narration was really moving. It was like listening to this handmaid, where pauses sometimes had more meaning than the words surrounding them. Her tone and cadence were just perfect, and she transmitted all those emotions multiplied by ten. There are some subtle breathing noises that make the tale more real. I totally recommend this version of The Handmaid's Tale audiobook.

  • Deadlocked Dollhouse

  • Locked House Hauntings, Book 1
  • By: Mixi J Applebottom
  • Narrated by: Joe Hempel
  • Length: 3 hrs and 53 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

Mark's always been a bit insecure as a father; his own childhood sucked. He's been terrified he will ruin his perfect daughters. So he buys them presents and hopes he won't screw them up. They certainly won't forget this dollhouse. He doesn't know how to stop it, and all he wanted to do was be a good father. He was worried they'd grow up to hate him; now he's worried they won't grow up at all.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Watch out for this doll house . . .

  • By Tatiana on 08-01-18

Creepy but not scary

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

Reviewed: 08-11-18

Mike just wants to provide for his family and be a good father. Definitely a better father than his. He finds this perfect little dollhouse at a thrift store for almost nothing, and buys it for his girls. Shortly afterwards strange things start happening and it seems that there is no way of escaping the curse put on the dollhouse.

This was an entertaining book. It’s clear from the start where the problem resides, and the reader witnesses each character’s irremediable decline. I think it would have worked better if the characters were a bit more developed. It was easy to connect with Mike, but more character development would have made me care more about him and his family.

There are some creepy scenes but overall I didn’t find the book really scary. It was a bit predictable, and I would have liked more character development and more details. I think I would have enjoyed it as a longer and more polished book.

Joe Hempel, as always, did an excellent job narrating the story and bringing the characters to life. The book was made better by the narration, since Hempel is great at creating the right atmosphere for this kind of stories. Hempel gave each character a voice and a distinctive style, creating the illusion of having several real people.

I received a copy of this book in audio format from the narrator in exchange for an honest review.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful