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Alana Lee Rock

Austin, TX
  • 23
  • reviews
  • 45
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  • 425
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  • Sweet Blood of Mine

  • Overworld Chronicles, Book 1
  • By: John Corwin
  • Narrated by: Austin Rising
  • Length: 10 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 226
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 209
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 211

When Justin Slade discovers he has super strength, speed, and the ability to seduce women, life gets a lot more interesting. But as he learns the ropes of his new supernatural abilities, he soon realizes he's not alone.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • good story, weak mc

  • By kagan w on 07-15-18

Adore this Series in Print & Now Audio!

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

Reviewed: 04-09-17

This series holds a special place in my heart. Princess Bride references, nerdy little tidbits, urban fantasy, fun characters, even the slightly after-school special teen drama beginning - it speaks to everything I enjoy in books. I am smitten. This is a fun read that left me aching for the sequel. Sweet Blood of Mine is fantastic for adults and young adults alike!

As for the narrator, as I specified in the review title, I first fell in love in print so I had pretty firm inner voices for characters in my head. The narrator did a fine job - probably even deserves the full five stars... but his voices don't always match what my brain expectes to hear. Not his fault, my weird brain is totally to blame in this case. Though as I listen to more audio books in the Overworld Chronicles series I hope I can clear out my inner voices to fully enjoy the narration.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Morning Star

  • Book III of the Red Rising Trilogy
  • By: Pierce Brown
  • Narrated by: Tim Gerard Reynolds
  • Length: 21 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 27,389
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 25,533
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 25,482

Darrow would have lived in peace, but his enemies brought him war. The Gold overlords demanded his obedience, hanged his wife, and enslaved his people. But Darrow is determined to fight back. Risking everything to transform himself and breach Gold society, Darrow has battled to survive the cutthroat rivalries that breed Society's mightiest warriors, climbed the ranks, and waited patiently to unleash the revolution that will tear the hierarchy apart from within.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • It doesn't get much better than this!

  • By Audre on 03-24-16

Amazing Ending of a Great Trilogy -EPIC

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

Reviewed: 02-23-16

Epic. It's got everything: love, loss, death, war, laughter, bravery, surprises, space, planets, moons... it's just pure brillance. From the writing to the narration, it is just all this seamless machine that works together to knock my socks clear off my feet (this is a good thing).

I am just dumnfounded by how great this series was (though keeping track of some of those names was quite the challenge.) Seriously, I would recommend this to anyone and everyone (well, not children, as it's not a full-on children's book) because I can't see this series (and this final book in the trilogy) not appealing to everyone. It's got something for everyone and I'm still struck by how amazing it was.

Just DO IT. Seriously. EPIC.

  • Countermeasure

  • Countermeasure, Book 1
  • By: Cecilia Aubrey, Chris Almeida
  • Narrated by: Tim Gerard Reynolds
  • Length: 12 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 66
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 59
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 59

Trevor Bauer, an NSA analyst, is searching for answers to the mystery surrounding his parents' disappearance when he crosses paths with Cassandra James, an ex-CIA operative with a big chip on her shoulder. By a stroke of luck, he becomes the key to her own mission while she becomes the center of his attention. Fighting an attraction as intense as their overwhelming instinct to keep each other at bay, together, they embark on a harrowing adventure that leads them across the ocean.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The new sexy: Geeks & computers

  • By Maria Prieto on 02-12-13

Fun Accents, Romantic Suspense, Geeks, and Europe

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

Reviewed: 07-29-15

Alrighty, I think I should do a quick disclaimer here- originally I read this eBook in exchange for a honest review in 2012. BUT - this is the audiobook, which I did NOT get for free. So this is a cat of a different color.

First off - props need to be given to the narrator. Just a touch of Irish brogue and an overall delicious accent and he didn't even half bad with the female voices. Probably the one main issue I had was it being a little odd a few times when an 'American' character would be speaking but I still was hearing Irish brogue.

Secondly - I like that the characters are flawed. You've got Cassandra: ex-CIA, stubborn, tenacious, and emotionally frigid. She totally makes mistakes but it's an endearing quality (for me at least.) And Trevor... lovely, geeky, Irish brogue NSA agent with hidden skeletons in his closet and a computer named Jack. He's the 'McHotpants' version of your average computer geek, but I'm not complaining about that at all. Though it all takes place over the time frame of a few weeks, the relationship development I thought was very realistic.

Why, you may ask, am I only giving this 4 stars instead of 5? It's a two part answer here... repetition - which I hadn't noticed as much in eBook form, but hearing it spoken in my ear really highlighted it. It's not a huge thing, just a minor irritation at times that make me want to quickly wave my hand in a movement of, "Yeah, yeah, we got that bit already - move on!" Even the high action scenes were almost so eager to give both sides of the events that I'd hear about the exact same action from two POV back-to-back, it seemed. Again, I really must stress how minor this was, but I had to mention it. Second part (I mentioned it was a two part answer) that was somewhat lacking for me was the descriptiveness of the various European locales. There are times where we get wondrous description (Monte Carlo comes to mind) but they spent at least a week or two in Paris and I never really felt I got a 'flavor' of the location in the writing. I must again stress how this is a 'small fries' issue in relation to the greater happy meal of the book. It just bothered me enough to drop a star.

Overall, if you're a fan of romantic suspense/thriller with some geeky overtones and a variety of locales, then I'd recommend giving this a try. I know I'm putting other books in this series on my TBR list and will happily continue.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Nice Girls Don't Date Dead Men

  • Half-Moon Hollow, Book 2
  • By: Molly Harper
  • Narrated by: Amanda Ronconi
  • Length: 10 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,055
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,043
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,028

Once a devoted children's librarian, Jane Jameson now works at a rundown occult bookstore. Once a regular gal, she's now a vampire. And instead of a bride, she's an eternal bridesmaid -- which leads her to question where exactly her relationship with her irresistibly sexy sire, Gabriel, is headed. Mercurial, enigmatic, apparently commitment-phobic vampires are nothing if not hard to read.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great series!

  • By Amy on 08-28-10

Sweet and Sassy Second Book ~ Just Plain Fun

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

Reviewed: 12-01-14

I don't know if it was just because of my love of the narrator Amanda Ronconi, or what... but I was a little on the fence after book 1. No longer. It's fun, it's funny, it's sassy, and has a fabulous narrator. Is is great, deep thought literature? Hell to the no. Is it entertaining and worth the purchase and listen? Hell yes.

My main caveat, or issue, or whatever you want to call it... Gabriel just hasn't crawled into my pants, er, heart yet. I'm just not sold on Mr. Tall, Dark, and Undead. I like Dick Cheney better, and that's REALLY saying something. Having read the Half Moon Hollow series, I was a little 'spoiled' on future events... but since these are really just meant to be fun read, I'm not too broken up about it. In fact, I almost have the urge to re-read (re-listen) to a few of those titles, so that basically a non-issue.

Overall, I will most definitely continue, if nothing else than to just find out about this Janine character (that's one spoiler I either don't know, or don't remember.) I like Jane. Though I'd like to kick her sister in her lily white behind.

  • Veronica Mars

  • The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line
  • By: Rob Thomas, Jennifer Graham
  • Narrated by: Kristen Bell
  • Length: 8 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,011
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 3,734
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,716

The first book in an original mystery series featuring 28-year-old Veronica Mars, back in action after the events of Veronica Mars: The Movie. With the help of old friends - Logan Echolls, Mac Mackenzie, Wallace Fennel, and even Dick Casablancas - Veronica is ready to take on Neptune's darkest cases with her trademark sass and smarts.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Mars Attacks, succeeds!

  • By Alison on 03-30-14

Oddly Named Must-Have if You're a Fan

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

Reviewed: 12-01-14

Hmm... well, if you're a fan of Veronica Mars, this is a slam-dunk. Especially in audio with Kristen Bell narrating... oh, yeah (damn skippy if she hadn't narrated I likely wouldn't have purchased the book.) I must also say, it fits really well in the 'Veronica Mars' universe. It's not like there are characters acting way out of their 'norm' or anything like that; it was comfortable without being boring.

One thing that must be said... in terms of 'romance' it was on the lacking side. Great mystery, great snark, great Veronica... but very little to no romance. That's my sore point in regards to the reading experience. Also, though this totally goes against my usual M.O. and opinion, I like the 'screen' version better. I spent the entire book pretty much imagining what it would look like on TV, and really I think given a choice I'd prefer to still see it there. So, the book is not as good, IMO, but like I said this really goes against my normal preferce and opinion.

If you're a fan, it's a Must-Have, Must-Read. If you're not... why are you even looking at this review, you silly person!

  • The Testing

  • The Testing, Book 1
  • By: Joelle Charbonneau
  • Narrated by: Elizabeth Morton
  • Length: 11 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 937
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 843
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 844

The story in which a 16-year-old is chosen by her government to undergo The Testing, which decides if she gets to go to The University. The University is for the country’s best and brightest teens and puts the rebuilding and future leadership of the United Commowealth in their hands. During The Testing, extreme psychological and physical trials pit them against one another to determine which teens have what it takes to become a leader.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Narration is ruining this for me

  • By Robin on 03-30-14

Dark Dystopian that Doesn't Suck My Hope for Life

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

Reviewed: 11-12-14

YES! A new dystopian series to sink to teeth into that doesn't suck and doesn't destroy my hope for life. It was 'age appropriate' and not too hormone-ridden but still honest to the ages of the characters, but not so juvenile that I wanted to just smack around the kids and say, "grow up already!"

I feel I should warn readers though, along the lines of The Hunger Games- this is not a happy-go-lucky society. It seems a rather innocuous society at first; 'revitalizing' war-ravaged and fallout areas in the nation, limited technology for 'daily' use but knowledge of technology wasn't foreign, and they even had a coveted University for the chosen few students. Seems on the up-and-up and not sinister at all... that is, until Cia is chosen to BE one of those University candidates.

Enter the dark underbelly of their society, and the testing. It is NOT to be missed if you are a dystopian fan!

  • Frog

  • By: Mary Calmes
  • Narrated by: K.C. Kelly
  • Length: 5 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 374
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 362
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 361

Weber Yates's dreams of stardom are about to be reduced to a ranch hand’s job in Texas, and his one relationship is with a guy so far out of his league he might as well be on the moon. Or at least in San Francisco, where Weber stops to see him one last time before settling down to the humble, lonely life he figures a frog like him has coming.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Ah Weber, if only . . .

  • By Riva on 09-19-14

Sweet Feel-Good M/M Romance with a Southern Drawl

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

Reviewed: 10-10-14

It really deserves that extra ½♥. Really mello but still touching and hot m/m romance. Pride can be such a tricky bitch, keeping those lovers apart. It was an easy read over an afternoon, and really sweet.

The narrator has a lovely Southern drawl that was very appealing and easy on the ears. I thought he was a wonderful choice for Webber. Being from the South, I must say it worked well for me; I found it believable and more than comfortable to listen to. Like a tall glass of sweet iced tea on a hot day- only for my ears. OK, that's kind of a strange analogy, isn't it?

The only thing I wanted a little more of, and this may seem odd... but adversity. I suppose it's part of Webber's draw is that he can charm the pants of anyone... well, sort of, but there was a shit ton of acceptance going on. I hope that the world is filled with such loving, open-minded people out there, but deep down I found that hard to really believe that. But then again- this is fiction, suspension of disbelief and all that. It flirted with almost being 'too much' acceptance, but never quite crossed that line (it toed it, though).

This will most definitely be a re-read, it was just too easy to suck it down in a single afternoon.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • A Hidden Fire

  • Elemental Mysteries, Book 1
  • By: Elizabeth Hunter
  • Narrated by: Dina Pearlman
  • Length: 11 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,045
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 949
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 946

No secret stays hidden forever. A phone call from an old friend sets mysterious book researcher Giovanni Vecchio back on the path of a mystery that has eluded him for centuries. Little does he suspect a young librarian holds the key to an ancient secret, nor could he expect the danger Beatrice De Novo would attract. Now both will follow a twisted maze leading from the archives of a university library, through the fires of Renaissance Florence, and toward a passion that could destroy them both.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Not bad.....

  • By Cheri on 02-14-15

Not Bad ~ But Smokes More than Burns

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

Reviewed: 10-10-14

I was having a really hard time rating this one...

About the only thing that gets 5♥s - the description of Rothko Chapel. Anyone that has been there and not appreciated the swirling complexity of the paintings and the lovely serenity and spiritual feeling the space imparts: you're missing out and my soul weeps for you.

But, beyond that and the metions of the humid air and maybe Buffalo Bayou- I wasn't as jazzed about reading about my old stomping ground. I thought, for some reason, that being set in Houston it might influence me to like it more... No. I instead felt somewhat frustrated. Driving anywhere seems to take forever and a day. Granted -creative license, and who wants to read about traffic and all that - but I just didn't get a nostalgic and really spot-on peek into Houston to relate to the story in that fashion.

The characters... now this is approaching more of a personal thing for me. I just felt that "Bea" ... *uugghhh* on one hand, there were MANY things I have in 'common' with her. I've tried to follow that rule, "If you don't have anything nice to say don't say anything at all." *crickets chirping* And there were some swoony elements of Gio... I guess I just found myself more interested in the side characters. Her grandma- she freakin' rocks (where can I find a grandma like that?). The fashion-challenged vampire priest. Oh, yes, I'd have a barrel of laughs around him. But 'Gio' and "Bea"... honestly, their 'non-relationship' had me bored most of the time. *Yawn*

One more thing: the ending. It's not a HEA, it's not even really a HFN. It's not a 'bad' ending, and not even a cliffhanger. It just kind of fizzled out in this unknown future void. Not bad, not good - just is. Where is the passion? Where is the burning desire to continue the series? Where is ... I don't know - just something that seems more like a real ending? It's like the different between songs that have a solid end, last note, no question- the song ends here versus those songs that just fade away into nothing still playing the chords over and over... Even in a series, I prefer books not to just fizzle out.

Do I want to continue the series? Yes. Will I pick the next book in the series up today, this month, or maybe even this year? Probably not. I'm not in any great hurry to continue, but I eventually will. Rolling all of these points into one rating... I'm going to have to go with 3½♥'s. I'm rounding up to 4... but even that was a close thing.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Half-Off Ragnarok

  • InCryptid, Book 3
  • By: Seanan McGuire
  • Narrated by: Ray Porter, Emily Bauer
  • Length: 10 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 623
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 567
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 566

What do gorgons, basilisks, and frogs with feathers all have in common? They're all considered mythological by modern science, and some people are working very hard to keep them that way. Alexander Price is a member of a cryptozoological lineage that spans generations, and it's his job to act as a buffer between the human and cryptid worlds - not an easy task when you're dealing with women who have snakes in place of hair, little girls who may actually be cobras, and brilliant, beautiful Australian zookeepers.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • *Hail* Meet the Price Family and Monsters

  • By Alana Lee Rock on 09-02-14

*Hail* Meet the Price Family and Monsters

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

Reviewed: 09-02-14

I'll be the first to admit I'm a shameless Seanan McGuire fangirl. Just accept it. So therefore, by virtue of my 'office' I tend to love everything she writes. I have yet to find an exception to this; though I will admit there was a thing or two that left me a wee bit wanting (but I think it's just because I'm abnormally attached to odd side characters.)

One of the things that ended up being a source of amusement, and simultaneously an irritation: it was ever so slightly predictable in spots. Now, that sounds worse than it is- it's like telling a 'good guy' that "I just want to be friends. It's not you, it's me." Sounds like the kiss of freakin' death when that's not the impression I want to give. Basically, there was more than one aspect that was not a shock or surprise at all, and that's not always a bad thing. There is some comfort in that fact, there is not such a huge 180 slap-to-the-head that makes you thing WTF? On the other hand, a little more flabbergasted shock might not have been such a bad thing to experience.

While there are new characters to learn about and love, there are still some of my favorites from previous books in the InCryptid series: (please excuse my spelling now, as I've primarily listened to the books and that doesn't give any clue if I'm spelling something right) Sarah, even a cameo from Verity, and one cannot forget the Aisling Mice *Hail*. I simply adore those mice, and really, really want a colony of my own. Even if I might go broke on baked goods.

It all boils down to this: Half-Off Ragnarok is a lovely addition to the series, but ultimately not my favorite so far in the series. It was nice hearing more from the male of the Price family, but Verity already danced her way into my heart as my favorite, I think. Besides, he really is quite the geek, and while I love me some hot nerdy men, 'tweed as a valid lifestyle choice' just redlines those warp drives despite the objections from the head engineer. I smidge up from 4♥'s and eagerly await more from the Price family!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Fire Me Up

  • Aisling Grey, Guardian, Book 2
  • By: Katie MacAlister
  • Narrated by: Barbara Rosenblat
  • Length: 10 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 612
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 432
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 431

The USA Today best-selling author of You Slay Me, Katie MacAlister is a resounding hit with fans who find her vivacious heroine, Aisling Grey, one hot ticket. After making some amusing on-the-job blunders, Aisling squirms out of a sticky situation using her powers as a Keeper to the Gates of Hell. As if her list of new duties wasn't already a drag, she's got to keep her career as a courier on track - and lately things haven't quite gelled on that front either.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Can't get enough of Katie and Barbara!

  • By Leigh on 03-23-13

Steamier than Book #1: Hot. Dragon. Sex.

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

Reviewed: 09-02-14

In terms of hot dragon smut, let's quote When Harry Met Sally, "YES! YES! YES!" and "I'll have what she's having."

In terms of the end... NO! NO! NO! My heart plummetted at the end, deflated. I wanted to stomp my foot. I wanted Jim to go bite or drool on someone on behalf of Aisling, I wanted to curl up and cry a little. Although, props to Katie MacAlister on making me seriously consider spending an audible credit for the next book.

The mystery: kept me guessing on this one. My theories would change chapter-to-chapter, I have to admit it kept me on my toes. However... there are a few things that bugged me. I'm not sure if they are included as a 'red herring' to throw the reader off the scent of the real killer, or if it was just one of the plot threads whose end didn't get woven into the overall carpet. Although- one teensy wheensy little thing, that wasn't overly important and such, I did figure out. WAY in advance; but like I said, it was a 'small fries' bit of the book, not a major plot issue.

Narrator: I have a love/hate thing going on with this narrator. I like so much of what she does, except for these freakin' weird pauses. Like pauses that give the feel of being in the middle of a paragraph, but then 'announcements' of which Chapter you're on rides the coattails of the previous sentence like an automatic rifle. What's up with that? It's like someone in post production thought- let's add seconds of silence here, and take it away from there, just to mess with the audio book readers. Seriously. It must not affect me too much, however, because I still want to continue the audio version of the next book in the series.

Did I mention the hot dragon sex? It deserves mentioning twice. Maybe even three times. Maybe shouting it from the rooftops: HOT. DRAGON. SEX. Is it hot in here? I LOVE green dragons.... *shudder* I'm about to totally 'date' myself here... but anyone who is familiar with Fast Times at Ridgemont High, and the scene where Phoebe Cates is coming out of the pool - OK, same water-dripping sex-on-a-stick slow motion action but only it's a hot, wet, male dragon. Oh, yeah... if I was equipped to pitch it, there would totally be a tent after reading that part of the book (reading/listening, tomato/tomato). I swear, the music (from Fast Times at Ridgemont High) was practically playing through my head like a soundtrack for that part of the book. I could play that part of the audio book on repeat... One more time: hot dragon sex. Ok, it's out of my system now, really.

If you're a fan of PNR or Urban Fantasy with steam, and especially if you're a 'dragon' fan- then you need to check out this series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful