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Amiesbookreviews

Ontario, Canada
  • 132
  • reviews
  • 83
  • helpful votes
  • 146
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  • Mourning Dove

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

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

Coming-of-age Historical Southern Fiction

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

Reviewed: 09-18-18

MOURNING DOVE is a work of Historical Fiction set in the American South. The version I read was an Audiobook narrated by the author.

Mourning Dove by Claire Fullerton is a family saga. The book starts in the 1960s and follows the lives of Posey and her two children, Millie and Finley.

Posey grew up in Memphis, but left the South and lived in Minnesota. Returning to her childhood home is easy for Posey. She grew up immersed in the strange (at least it is strange if you did not grow up there) customs and lingo of Memphis. For her, it is like putting on a favorite dress that is pure comfort.

However, Millie and Finley do not fit in immediately. They find all the obscure social customs and rules bewildering at first. The children learn by watching their mother, but never really feel at home.

MOURNING DOVE draws the reader (or listener in my case) into a world of old, moneyed families during a time in American history when those things were considered of upmost importance to the elite of Memphis society.

The descriptions are exceedingly well written and readers are able to picture the time and place easily in their minds.

The author shows that no matter how much money or social status a family has, it will not insulate them completely from tragedy and misfortune.

I particularly liked the fact that the author did not shy away from the truth of the racism that was so abundant during the timeframe of this story.

This book is a coming-of-age story not only for the characters, but also for the nation. Anyone interested in Historic and/or Southern Fiction will enjoy this audiobook.

The narrator has the perfect accent for this audiobook and I give her full credit for increasing my enjoyment of this novel.

I rate MOURNING DOVE as 4 out of 5 Stars. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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.

  • Mind Machines

  • Human++, Book 1
  • By: Dima Zales
  • Narrated by: William Dufris
  • Length: 9 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 117
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 109
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 109

At 35, Mike Cohen lives the American dream. With billions in the bank and his own venture capital firm, he's succeeded beyond his Russian immigrant mother's wildest hopes. The only problem? A car accident that leaves Mike's mother with memory problems. Brainocytes, a new technology developed by one of Mike's portfolio companies, may be the answer to his mother's injury - and offer applications that push the limits of the human mind. Only Mike isn't the only one who sees its potential.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An exciting book, filled in

  • By Amiesbookreviews on 04-13-18

An exciting book, filled in

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

Reviewed: 04-13-18

MIND MACHINES obviously used to be called something else. It was called something like "People Plus Plus" which is a terrible name. I much prefer the new title; Mind Machines."

The technology talked about in this book is already in development and I hope it becomes widely available in my lifetime.

Imagine
... Being diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. You know it is a death sentence. BUT, HOLD ON, you just heard that the hospital closest to you has started using brainocites. Amazing. One injection and they go to work inside your brain, not only eliminating the tumor, but also boosting your intelligence and your energy levels.

Wouldn't that be amazing? No more people would need to die of cancer or other diseases, no more losing the person you love to the confusion of Alzheimer's Disease, no more people dying on the surgical table. There is NO DOUBT that these tiny robots are a modern miracle.

The problem is humans and humanity, or the lack thereof. New inventions often get appropriated by either the US Government, or by foreign powers who want to twist the miracle and to use it for nefarious purposes.

I loved this audiobook. The narrator had a great voice and was easily understandable. The pacing was as close to perfect as a person can get.

I rate this audiobook as 5 out of 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

*"I received a free copy of this Audiobook from the Narrator.*

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Real Life Evil

  • A True Crime Quickie, Book 1
  • By: Kim Cresswell
  • Narrated by: Jason Fella
  • Length: 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12

Real Life Evil is the first book in a compelling series of true-crime short stories for listeners who don't have time for a full-length novel.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Will we learn the lessons?

  • By Erryn Barratt on 08-20-18

Listeners will be fascinated and apalled equally.

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

Reviewed: 04-09-18

The details are in the subtitle. This is a True Crime Quickie. This Audiobook is only 52 minutes long and can easily be listened to during a person's commute to work or even on your lunch hour. Well...maybe not during your lunch hour since you might just lose your appetite.

There are two stories about serial killers contained in this audiobook, one I had never heard of before and one that I had.

The first story details the crimes of Jack Unterweger whose crimes took place in Europe during the time that everyone in North America was fixated on the OJ murder trial. This man, Jack Unterweger was a true sicko and listeners will be shocked at the failure of the justice system in his case. It is actually fascinating and well written.

The second serial killer highlighted in this audiobook is possibly scarier than the first one. Why? He (or she - but statistically probably a he) has never been caught. This is about the Gilgo Beach Murders, also known as the "Long Island Killer."

This audiobook will both fascinate and apal reads in equal measure. Be forewarned that this book is not for the faint of heart.

I rate this audiobook as 4 out of 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐. The book itself deserves a 5 Star rating, however, the reason I did not give this a five star rating has to do with the narration. It was good, but I believe it could have been better. When detailing the deaths of the women involved, the narrator's voice was flat. It did not seem to radiate the empathy one would expect to hear.

With that said, I do recommend this book to anyone interested in true crime and in serial killers in general.

*Thank you to the author for providing me with a free copy of this Audiobook.*

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Blue Bell

  • By: Roma Gray
  • Narrated by: Terry F. Self
  • Length: 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 15
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 15
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 15

Jasper is having a very, very bad day. However, after he meets an unusual clown by the name of Blue Bell, he soon realizes his day is about to do something he never imagined possible - it’s about to get worse.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Starts of like Pulp Fiction and ends as Annabelle!

  • By Ray Johnson on 02-17-18

Creepy and completely absorbing. I loved it.

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

Reviewed: 04-01-18

This short audiobook only lasts for 23 minutes, yet those few minutes are enough to hook any listener.

Firstly, the clown, Bluebell, on the cover of this audiobook is enough to have potential readers freaked out even before the story begins.

Readers are introduced to Jasper, a regular guy. Someone normal. With normal problems. Out of desperation to help his ailing father, he does something he normally never would.

This leads (somehow) to him discovering a clown doll named BlueBell. This doll will change his life...forever.

It is a difficult task to create characters and a storyline that will
grab and hold a reader's attention in only 23 minutes, yet author Roma Gray accomplishes this with ease.

I did not want this story to end and am thrilled that the story continues with her full length novel HAUNTED HOUSE HARBOR.

Bluebell is narrated by Terry F. Self whose enunciation and pacing are perfect for this creepy tale.

I rate BLUEBELL as 5 out of 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and I am very much looking forward to reading the rest of this series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Waiting for Aegina

  • The Gift Saga, Book 2
  • By: Effie Kammenou
  • Narrated by: Emily Lawrence
  • Length: 11 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 7
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 7

In 1961, five little girls moved into a suburban neighborhood and became inseparable, lifelong friends. They called themselves the Honey Hill Girls, named after the street on which they lived. As teenagers, they shared one another’s ambitions and dreams, secrets and heartaches. Now, more than 30 years later, they remain devoted and loyal, supporting each other through triumphs and sorrows. In Waiting for Aegina, the saga continues from the perspectives of Sophia and her friends as the story drifts back and forth in time, filling in the gaps as the women grow to adulthood.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The story continues!

  • By Susan C-K on 03-06-18

A terrific story with perfect narration

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

Reviewed: 03-26-18

This book is the second in a series, however, it can easily be read as a standalone novel (which is exactly what I did.)

The author, Effie Kammenou, has created a story that is compelling, believable, and entertaining.

The character building is terrific and the storyline will hold a reader’s attention with ease.

Narrator Emily Lawrence proves that she is a professional Narrator with her flawless voice and her impeccable timing.

I thoroughly enjoyed this Audiobook and I rate it as 5 out of 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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

  • Revolver

  • By: Michael Patrick Hicks
  • Narrated by: Patricia Santomasso
  • Length: 1 hr and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 17
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 17

Cara Stone is a broken woman: penniless, homeless, and hopeless. When given the chance to appear on television, she jumps at the opportunity to win a minimum of $5,000 for her family.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Absolutely, terrifyingly real

  • By Brian on 10-06-16

Speculative Fiction at its finest

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

Reviewed: 03-08-18

Although this Audiobook is not long in the length of time it will take a reader to listen to, it's storyline and content will remain on a person's mind for a very long time.

The thing that struck me most about this story was it's terrifying plausibility.

The story is set in the future United States where it is law to carry a gun openly. It is illegal to not carry a gun. Some people may scoff at this notion, but you only have to turn on the news to realize that this type of thing may come about all too soon.

Although this story was written in 2016, it seems like it was written this past month. Within the last few weeks there have been TWO school shootings and when discussing solutions, President Trump actually offered up the idea that maybe teachers should carry guns.

It is a short step from this to the dissolution of the United States, as happened in the book. They become instead, the Corporate States of America. Scary!

In the audiobook, Cara, who has struggled with depression is labeled "lower class." These citizens have no rights and horrible things can be done to them without fear of retribution.

The television show REVOLVER offered desperate people a way to help their families and would earn each participant a minimum of $5000. What do they have to do on the show? You need to listen to this audiobook to find out. I will say that it is Reality TV taken to the extreme.

From the very first minute, listeners will be drawn into the story. This book is so enthralling that you will find yourself tuning out the rest of the world and becoming completely immersed in this terrifying tale.

In an audiobook whose length is just over one hour, I did not expect much in the way of world-building. I was WRONG. The world-building in REVOLVER is top-notch. In fact, I am hoping that author Michael Patrick Hicks has since written a full length novel, or at least more short stories about this same dystopian future.

I am rating this audiobook as highly as possible. The narration was quite simply PERFECTION. Narrator PATRICIA SANTOMASSO's voice and the emotion she is somehow able to instill in that voice, make the story seem even more realistic. Listeners will feel as if they are living in the story itself. I admit to being extremely impressed by both the author and the narrator.

I rate REVOLVER as 5 out of 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Blue Moon Luck

  • By: Linda Collison
  • Narrated by: Joseph John Raymond Rocca
  • Length: 4 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2

For his entire life, 22-year-old Chance Lee has been dreaming of greatness - something far beyond getting high in his mother's old farmhouse, and much more prestigious than playing in a West Virginia country band on the weekends. Unlike many other small-town boys with lofty dreams, Chance see his future of musical greatness, with his best friend, Tollie, by his side, as an undeniable fact. And when a reading from a local fortune-teller seems to affirm his unstoppable luck, it's not long before he's ready to break out of Falling Waters and put his plans in motion.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A terrific coming of age story set in the 1980s 4⭐

  • By Amiesbookreviews on 03-07-18

A terrific coming of age story set in the 1980s 4⭐

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

Reviewed: 03-07-18

Sometime in the 1980s, Chance and his best friend and band mate, Tully, visit a fortune teller on the night of the full moon. That night changes everything. Of course, they were unaware of the changes at the time.

Young men, a bit of weed, raging hormones, a lot of music, women, sex, rock'n'roll, friendship and a desire for something more all come together in the mish-mash of indecision which faces all youth.

Witty and engaging, this fictional memoir will have readers reminiscing about their own youth.

The narrator for this audiobook may be new to the profession, but he did an commendable job and his accent made the scenes come alive. The only issue with the narration was that at one point you hear him grunt which actually provided a bit of comic relief. Also, the pauses between chapters are a bit too long for my taste.

I rate the book itself as 5 out of 5 Stars, but the Audiobook as 4 out of 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

*Thank you to the author for providing me with a free copy of this audiobook.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Updrift

  • The Mer Chronicles
  • By: Errin Stevens
  • Narrated by: Sean Posvistak
  • Length: 8 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 26
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 24
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 24

Since her father died, Kate Sweeting's home life has been in the pits, her well-being on life support. Her future looks desolate until she and her mother, Cara, make another plan: abandon their shriveled existence for more promising prospects on the coast, where Cara can play small-town librarian-bachelorette and Kate can figure out what's up with that secretive Blake family from the beach.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Updrift

  • By MANI on 11-03-17

A unique and distinctive book on modern day Mer

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

Reviewed: 02-22-18

Firstly I would like to say thank you to AudiobookWorm for providing me with a free copy of this audiobook.

UPDRIFT is the first book in a series called THE MER CHRONICLES. There are literally thousands of books on mermaids on the market today and most have been written for a Young Adult readership, this is not so for UPDRIFT.

This audiobook drew me in right away and held my attention for the entirety of the eight and a half hours.

I was pleasantly surprised by the storyline - there is no Disney princess in this book. The Mermaids and Mermen in this book are also called Sirens and it even gives a bit of history and explains how and why ancient sailors got their information wrong.

The story centers on two "people." One is human (Kate) and one is a siren (Gabe). They meet at age five and the story follows the paths of their separate lives right up to the age of twenty-one. I don't want to give too much away with my review, so, suffice it to say that the waiting is worth it.

But of course, someone is always out to stomp on another's happiness.

There are several themes included in this audiobook that are taken very seriously by the characters. These themes persist throughout the book and I think they should also be important to listeners.

The first theme is FAMILY.

At the very beginning of the book we learn that Kate who is a toddler at that time, has lost her father to a farming accident. Kate's mother, who is only in  her twenties when she becomes a widow, decides to answer an advertisement for a small-town librarian. Her older sister, Dana, laments Kate's choice and cannot understand why she wouldn't pursue a higher paying and more prestigious career. Kate's reasons are both simple and admirable. She wants a job that she can enjoy and that offers her flexibility and working hours that allow her to spend as much time with her daughter as possible.
There are many more examples of the importance of family throughout this book. There is also an example of what the lack of a loving family can do to a person.

Theme #2 is COMMUNITY.

This Audiobook does a wonderful job of relaying the importance of community, not only for children, but also for adults.

Theme #3 is THE ENVIRONMENT.

In one scene, Carmen (Gabe's Mother) is reading a magazine article regarding the effects of climate change on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and she becomes so upset that she has to stop reading.

All of the Mer wear belts that hold knives while they are in the water. The reason for this is so that if they become entangled in a fisherman's net, they can cut themselves free. They can escape unlike whales and dolphins who often drown from being stuck in a net and unable to surface and take a breath.

There are several other themes in this audiobook and I encourage potential readers/listeners to return to my blog after finishing the book and to post the themes they have discovered.

The narration was terrific and even though it was a male Narrator, he did an excellent job of voicing characters of both sexes.

I rate this audiobook as 4 out of 5 Stars.

  • The Repatriation of Henry Chin

  • By: Isaac Ho
  • Narrated by: Anthony Lee
  • Length: 7 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 7
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 7
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7

Amid the growing hostility between the United States and China, an executive order authorizes the creation of repatriation camps to safely secure Chinese Americans. Mild-mannered pharmacist Henry Chin goes on the run with his mixed-race teenage daughter and is relentlessly pursued by an ICE agent who will stop at nothing to capture these potential domestic terrorists. 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Too Close For Comfort...

  • By Teresa on 07-12-18

A terrifyingly possible future This is a MUST READ

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

Reviewed: 02-16-18

THE REPATRIATION OF HENRY CHIN is terrifying in its possibility, especially with someone like Donald Trump in the Whitehouse. Plus, America has already forced one ethnic group into internment camps in the past. Don't think so? All a person needs to do is look back in American history to WWII when all Japanese Americans, despite where and when they were born, endured "...forced relocation and incarceration in camps in the western interior of the country of between 110,000 and 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry, most of whom lived on the Pacific coast. 62 percent of the internees were United States citizens. These actions were ordered by President Franklin D. Roosevelt shortly after Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor...Those who were as little as 1/16 Japanese and orphaned infants with "one drop of Japanese blood" were placed in internment camps."

So, if it has happened once, with a President who was much less volatile and elitist than the current President, why couldn't it happen again? I don't think it will take long for the current American racial tinderbox to explode. What that will look like? We have no idea, but Isaac Ho has obviously thought the issue through.

Tackling important issues such as racism and domestic terrorism, this audiobook should be required listening.

Henry Chin is an ordinary guy, in fact, his life would be considered boring by most people. He has Chinese blood, but he is an American and always has been. In fact, eight generations of his family have lived in the United States. Eight generations in America is more than many white people can claim.

With The United States and China on the brink of war, racial divides in America begin to focus on an "Us vs. Them" mentality. On one side of that divide is anyone with even a single drop of Chinese blood and on the other side is the rest of the American citizens. The President decides to place all Chinese people into camps "to keep them safe."

Henry Chin wants no part of those camps and he and his daughter break out in spectacular fashion.

One gung-ho Immigration Agent decides that Henry must be a terrorist and fixates on capturing the father/daughter team.

Meanwhile, Henry is struggling to bond with his teenage daughter and hiking through a National Park is probably not the best way to do it.

This audiobook takes off like a rocket and the story gets more and more tense until listeners are literally on the edge of their seats.

Narrator, Anthony Lee was a superb choice for this story. His pacing is 100% perfect and his ability to voice different characters with varying accents is unparalleled. It is easy for the listener to distinguish between characters since each voice is unique and distinctive.

I rate this audiobook as 5 out of 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and I will be recommending it to my friends and followers.

To read more of my reviews, visit my blog at Amiesbookreviews dot wordpress dot com


** I received this audiobook at no-cost from the narrator. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion in any way.** 

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Fellside

  • By: M. R. Carey
  • Narrated by: Finty Williams
  • Length: 15 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,188
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,021
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,016

Fellside is a maximum security prison on the edge of the Yorkshire Moors. It's not the kind of place you'd want to end up. But it's where Jess Moulson could be spending the rest of her life.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Almost Great

  • By David Shear on 04-08-16

An audiobook with more twists than a Twizzler. 5 S

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

Reviewed: 11-21-17

I first encountered author M.R. Carey with the bestselling book THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS and I was mightily impressed with the writing.

This story is completely different from the first book I read by this author and yet I was not disappointed. The story was unique which is an almost unheard of. The characters are 100% believable and the setting is perfect.

Narrator Finty Williams does an incredible job and I never had to wonder which character was speaking since they all had their own unique voice. I give 5 out of 5 Stars to the narrator as well as to the story.

I highly recommend this audiobook to readers 18+. It does include adult situations and drug abuse, LGBTQ sexuality are included, which makes this a book that is unafraid to broach subjects that many writers shy away from. Reading THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS and listening to FELLSIDE has turned me into an avid M.R. Carey fan.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful