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Julie S.

Texas
  • 63
  • reviews
  • 60
  • helpful votes
  • 73
  • ratings
  • The Hunted

  • Hunter Circles Series, Book One
  • By: Jessica Gunn
  • Narrated by: Shannon Condon
  • Length: 6 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 20
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars 20
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 20

I'm Krystin Blackwood, and I've only ever been good at one thing: killing demons of Darkness. But at 24, I'm about to face my toughest challenge yet: shifting from working alone to joining a team of three other Hunters. Newbie Hunters. They don't know their magik, they barely know their place in the world, and when they find out the secrets I've been carrying, they'll definitely decide it's safer if they don't know me. But unfortunately for them - and me - Darkness has other plans.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • New Urban Fantasy Series

  • By KRLGA @Smada's Book Smack on 10-28-18

Fast-paced new urban fantasy story with demon hunt

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

Reviewed: 10-19-18

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. My overall review is 3.5 stars.

The Hunted is a new paranormal urban fantasy story kicking off a series full of action, fast-paced scenes, and lots of angst. We have witches and demon hunters, and of course demons, but also additional magical powers. We have a cast of young hunters who each have a particular demon on their hit-list, for various reasons. And for good reason- Giyano is a parent-killing, son-kidnapping type of demon. But there is more than meets the eye with him.

Our main character duo - yep this is an alternating POV book - both have a backstory. Krystin is of the Blackwood line, and is prophesized to be "the one" and Ben's son was kidnapped as a baby and he's fighting to get him back before he is used as a pawn for evil darkness.

Sometimes it feels like there is a lot going on, but it happens so quickly. The book is full of fight scenes, ambushes, and angst. While we understand our main characters' motivations, I feel like there's more that we're not told yet. More depth that maybe the future books in the series will deliver.

This is the type of book that would make a fabulous episode arch in TV shows like Supernatural. Though my boys would have ended things differently I tell you, the sort of cliffhanger makes it so future books are possible. It definitely had a "battle's done and we kinda won" feel to it (thanks Buffy) but it wasn't fully satisfying because of the challenges and difficult decisions.

As for the narration, it was quite good! I will say I sometimes had a difficult time remembering who was narrating that chapter if I came back to it in the middle. But otherwise the narrator did a great job with the fast-paced action and the emotional angst felt by our characters and was pleasant to listen to.

  • Minutes Before Sunset

  • The Timely Death Trilogy, Book 1
  • By: Shannon A. Thompson
  • Narrated by: Sarah Puckett, Steve Campbell
  • Length: 9 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 13
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 13

Eric Welborn isn't completely human, but he isn't the only shade in the small Midwest town of Hayworth. With one year left before his 18th birthday, Eric is destined to win a long-raging war for his kind. But then she happens. In the middle of the night, Eric meets a nameless shade, and she's powerful - too powerful - and his beliefs are altered. The Dark has lied to him, and he's determined to figure out exactly what lies were told, even if the secrets protect his survival. 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Fun fantasy with interesting characters

  • By Julie S. on 08-29-18

Fun fantasy with interesting characters

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

Reviewed: 08-29-18

I received a copy of this audiobook from audiobooks boom.

Thank you for no cliffhanger! I mean, the story is not by any means done, this is book 1 of the trilogy, but it has an ending, a good pause, if you will.

I had a chuckle to myself when I first started the audio because one of the narrators is the same narrator as the book I had just finished. That doesn't usually happen. So let's talk about narration now. I enjoyed both voices, and I like when the books are dual POV alternating between the guy and girl. Both voices were easy to listen to, enjoyable, and meaningful. This makes it easier to know who's narrating the chapter and puts you in the right frame of mind.

The story was interesting, a bit of a twist on magical people. We have the light and the dark, and they are at war. And apparently, they are all waiting for this prophesized battle between their kids, which is about on par for most fantasy novels these days. But our first descendant doesn't know the whole prophecy, some has been kept from him to protect him. But since prophecies come true whether you know about them or not, he meets this mysterious stranger who changes everything.

So I gotta say I was irritated that they did not know each other between their night forms as "shades" and their day human forms.  I get that they look different, but I feel like our male protag should have figured it out way sooner. I mean, she's the only new unknown in this town! But I did like how their shade lives and their human lives intersected and they had formed a connection in both aspects of their lives.

Anyway, so book one does end in a pause, but it's kind of tragic in a way. I want to know how this resolves. I want to know if their love can survive the coming battle. I want to know if the light finds out about her even with the effects of her (sacrificial) decision. 

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Fragile Facade

  • Blind Barriers Trilogy, Book 1
  • By: Sophie Davis
  • Narrated by: Sarah Puckett
  • Length: 7 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14

When Raven Ferragamo finds a stranger’s diary, she has no idea it will catapult her into the mystery of diamond heiress Lark Kingsley’s disappearance. But Raven soon learns that Lark knew what was coming, and there was much more to her disappearance than the news headlines show. The more she discovers, the more Raven realizes that she and the girl born into Manhattan society aren’t so different after all. Now Raven can’t walk away from Lark’s pleas for help. But the deeper she goes, the more Raven realizes that she may end up ensnared in the dark secrets she seeks to unearth....

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Raven!! Great Mystery

  • By Victoria Haugen on 08-20-18

Started getting really good but then it ended

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

Reviewed: 08-16-18

I received this book for review from audiobook boom.

Let me just start out with this - I did not know this was a trilogy with cliffhangers!

Ok moving on. I really enjoyed the writing style. It was well done, elegantly stated, and I really felt like I understood the characters and their world.

I enjoyed the audiobook narration with the intonations that differed between our two main characters. I enjoyed the narration voice and would definitely listen to more audiobooks from this narrator. Her tone of voice, pacing, and speaking style were very pleasant and I truly appreciate a good narration.

I liked how the plot flipped back and forth between the two girls showing just a piece of their world and leading to the next point in the timeline for our clue hunter. The disappeared girl, well her timeline jumped around a lot and I'm quite a bit concerned about what's happening to her.

So let me get back to what I am not fond of in this book, and what affected the rating. It feels like the book was just getting started. That it was all set up to go great places when it just ends. I can't with that.

Raven took so long to figure out any of the clues, and I'm thankful for her neighbor and possibly boy interest who pushed her in the right direction and helped figure it out. Raven was starting to disappoint me.

Lark I really liked, she wasn't a pretentious heiress, but was hiding some real depth of character and started doing a bit of sleuthing on her own. But we don't know what happened. We only know she's in trouble, and she expected to be in trouble, which is why she set up this puzzle for Raven.

Why Raven? I don't know either.  Will Raven find Lark and solve the puzzle? I sure hope so!

But like I said just as it was getting good, the book stops. And I want to KNOWWWWW what happens NEXTTTTTT someone please get me the next book!

  • Rendezvous with Rama

  • By: Sir Arthur C. Clarke
  • Narrated by: Peter Ganim, Robert J. Sawyer - introduction
  • Length: 9 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,028
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 5,880
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,896

At first, only a few things are known about the celestial object that astronomers dub Rama. It is huge, weighing more than ten trillion tons. And it is hurtling through the solar system at inconceivable speed. Then a space probe confirms the unthinkable: Rama is no natural object. It is, incredibly, an interstellar spacecraft. Space explorers and planet-bound scientists alike prepare for mankind's first encounter with alien intelligence.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Disappointed in the narrator

  • By Brent on 06-01-12

Great story, terrible narration

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

Reviewed: 08-15-18

Text-to-speech software would have sounded more natural. The. narrator. does. not use. any... natural. rhythm. At all. Through the entire book, you're stuck listening to the most robotic, over-enunciated reading possible. A few of the character voices are done better, but the vast majority of the book will just make your ears sad.

The story itself is awesome, and a sci-fi classic.

  • Fury's Kiss

  • New England Furies, Book 1
  • By: Nicola R. White
  • Narrated by: Elizabeth Tebb
  • Length: 9 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 13
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 13
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13

Tara Walker dreams of more excitement than slinging plates of seafood for Cape Cod tourists, but as she learns when she is attacked and forced to fight for her life, fate sometimes has a funny way of giving you exactly what you wish for. Faced with strange new powers and embroiled in a murder investigation, Tara must now race to uncover the secrets of the ancient Fury that has woken inside of her - and of the evil that stalks her.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Fear the fury in the alley . . .

  • By The Book Junkie Reads . . . on 08-17-18

Exciting paranormal full of ancient magic

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

Reviewed: 07-16-18

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

I found Fury's Kiss intriguing and enjoyed the mystical aspect of it. Having our main character suddenly display special superpowers starts the book off with a bang, and it slowly unravels the mystery as Tara learns about the fury goddess inside her and her new abilities.

With the help of her "Scooby gang" group of friends and allies, including a young girl who is legit an oracle, our fury "snake lady" takes off after the big bad. 

I loved that the big bad wasn't revealed right away, and even when he was, there was so much more to the story. The truth was so much darker. And more epic, of course.

My main complaint is when stories have a romance like this one - one of them denying their feelings and being quite the jerk about it. The let me give into my primal urges right here in the backyard and immediately say oh no but we can't be together - it drives me nuts, especially since it's such a common romance trope. But the sizzle between them was serious and spicy. 

I definitely enjoyed the audiobook narration. The different accents and voices given to each character were great, and the voices fit each character's mood and age well. One to add to the listen again list for sure.

  • Oshun Rising

  • Trinity Forest, Book 2
  • By: Jennifer Alsever
  • Narrated by: Moira Todd
  • Length: 8 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10

Oshun has everything a young pop star could ever want - fame, fortune, and beauty to spare. But there's something dark inside of her, rising like the tide, fighting to be heard. Something that terrifies her. Because once she lets it out, she knows there's no going back. Ember is drowning. Fighting for consciousness, struggling to make sense of the strange dreams she's been having - prophecies of murder, deception, and blackmail. Maddie is barely staying afloat with her best friend Ember still missing, presumed dead. Then she learns a pop star may be involved in Ember's disappearance....

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Beware, more questions than answers - need book 3!

  • By Jenn Crouse on 07-04-18

Great continuation, gotta know what happens next

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

Reviewed: 06-30-18

I received these audiobooks as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Jennifer Alsever. The gifting of these audiobooks did not affect my opinion of them.

Oshun Rising is the second book in the series, you can read my review of Ember Burning.

The second book shakes things up by being a multiple point-of-view compilations, giving us the story from every angle. We hear from Oshun, the new pop star that is eerily similar to the girl who disappeared, Ember. We also have glimpses of Ember, as she tries to figure out where she is and why she is always blacking out. We get to learn what the evil plan is from the villainess herself and find out more about this ancient Egyptian witchcraft. 

What was awesome about the multiple POV presentation was how well each character was narrated. Each person had their own sound, accent, voice, and mood. Props to our narrator for this book.

The book continues to have the lovely writing style and descriptions of the first, while building on in style with the changes in perspective.  

This book ended with a "let's get them" from both sides, so I'm super curious to see how it all ties up. A great listen, enjoyable and exciting and keeps you wanting to know what happens next.

  • A Barrel of Whiskey

  • A Whiskey Witches Novel
  • By: S.M. Blooding
  • Narrated by: Kalinda Little
  • Length: 10 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5

After breaking the treaty between the shifters and the witches - in order to save the shifters, mind you - this could be the invitation Merry Eastwood needed to start a new war, putting the shifters and the Whiskeys in danger. But going home isn't that easy. There's a lot of trust that needs to be rebuilt, but with the stakes so high, Paige has to try. If that wasn't enough, her grandmother is going senile. Also, her fire-starter niece is hitting puberty, her nephew still hasn't learned how to control his voice, and her demon-hunting boyfriend is still learning how to control his shift.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I LOVE this Series

  • By Michelle Titherington VanDaley on 02-09-18

Mixed feelings about the betrayals in book 3

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

Reviewed: 06-30-18

I received a complimentary copy of this book.

So I reviewed the first two books in the Whiskey Witches series, and am now having the chance to listen and review the third. This is my "I liked it but" review. It started out strong and exciting, with a best friend's murder, and a special baby to be protected and hidden from those who would do harm. Then there's the but. About half of the book was dealing with Paige's wallowing in self-pity and lots and lots of family drama. It was getting to be too much. But finally, in the last couple of hours of the book, it got exciting and intense. Kidnapping, family attacks, death threats, the ultimate test, and learning more about their magic. It ends with a "we're coming for you" attitude but I'm not super convinced we should forgive or team up with those that were behind it all. So I kind of have mixed feelings but it sounds like the fourth book is going to be epic. I'm enjoying the narrator like I had in the previous book. Overall 3.5 stars.

  • Ember Burning

  • Trinity Forest, Book 1
  • By: Jennifer Alsever
  • Narrated by: Moira Todd
  • Length: 8 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 14

Author Jennifer Alsever delivers an addictive story about a teen grieving over her parent's tragic death who becomes entangled with a mysterious forest teeming with urban legends of strange disappearances and witchcraft. Ember Trouve used to be alive, driven to become a musician and on a path to college. That was before her parents died. One day, after venturing into the fabled Trinity Forest, she goes missing. Now, Ember must confront the truth behind her parents' death - or lose herself to the forest forever.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A Fascinating Paranormal YA Story

  • By Isabel Robles on 03-14-18

Enchanting paranormal tale

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

Reviewed: 06-19-18

I received these audiobooks as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Jennifer Alsever. The gifting of these audiobooks did not affect my opinion of them.

What an enchanting book that drew me in and kept me curious.

The story begins with a melancholy teenager, who we learn is depressed because she just lost both her parents in a car accident. Throughout the book, she blames herself for their death, but we still don't really know the exact circumstances. She just wants the pain to end and wants to disappear, and that we understand.

So she starts falling into dangerous behavior - drugs, hanging out with the bad boys, and continues to spiral into her depression. Until the one day, she decides to go camping in this forbidden forest. Where suddenly, the pain inside her goes away, and she finally feels light again.

Only to realize the forest is a vortex where some unknown sorcery keeps them there, suspended in time, while the world goes on spinning around them. Try to leave? Bad things happen to your family. Finally give in? Well, then you'll be reborn. But what does that even mean?

I loved the narration. Moira Todd has a lovely speaking and singing voice too, and I enjoyed that there were actual songs included in the audio. I thoroughly enjoyed her audio interpretation of this story and will be looking for other books she narrates.

The storytelling is lyrical and lovely and the effect this witchcraft has on our character is so well-described. I am enjoying Jennifer Alsever's writing and story weaving.

The story ends in a slightly open did it or did it not happen, which knowing the title of the second book gives us our answer. I can't wait to dive into it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Dragon Shadow

  • By: Alicia Wolfe
  • Narrated by: Emma Lysy
  • Length: 7 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 33
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 32
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 32

Jade McClaren is a thief with a mission...and a secret. Jade makes a living stealing magical items from bad guys in magical New York, but she's no ordinary cat burglar. She's only half human. The other half is...something else. But when she steals a magical item from the wrong man, she attracts the attention of powerful enemies as well as the pursuit of the relentless Fae Knight, Davril Stormguard.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • So exciting!!!

  • By rachel pohler on 03-21-18

Fun urban fantasy, but not too deep

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

Reviewed: 04-26-18

I received a complimentary copy of this book. It's a fun little book, just the right length to be enjoyable as a romp through urban-fantasy land. The characters are interesting, but not very deep. It didn't have time to really develop the characters yet or to really make me care about them. There's just enough to keep my interest though. The main character is a firey (pun intended) chicka who is on a mission to take the baddies down a notch, and maybe get her fire back one day. She gets into some dangerously fun situations and works with the fae to solve the main problem and rescue her kidnapped sister.  The audio narration was great, good voices and pacing. The book is set up for an interesting series with the big bad spanning multiple books. This one set up a new partnership in our main character's life Final verdict: Fun urban fantasy, but not too deep.

  • Slumber

  • Beauty Never Dies Chronicles, Book 1
  • By: J.L. Weil
  • Narrated by: Caitlin Kelly, Gary Furlong
  • Length: 8 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 80
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 72
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 72

There is no such thing as happily ever after. Everything Charlotte Winston thought she knew has been thrown out the window. From the moment she opens her eyes, the world she remembered ceases to exist, and in its place is a post-apocalyptic realm filled with unimaginable dangers. And one very smoking hot guy who has an uncanny ability to make her blood sing, then boil in a blink of an eye.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent YA Paranormal Fantasy!

  • By Adriana B on 02-24-18

Dystopian faery tale, but not

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

Reviewed: 04-17-18

I received a complimentary copy of this audiobook in exchange for my honest review.


Slumber is a book that both intrigued me and infuriated me and then left me needing the next book.

It is set in a dystopian future, where a toxic mist has deformed and mutated the earth. Somehow, and I wish this was explained better, people were frozen in slumber for a hundred years, to wake up the same age as when it first happened. Yet, the world is in shambles and tech is gone, there was the tech to "freeze" everyone. I'm confused but intrigued. 

Our protag Charlotte (aka Freckles) awakens with a kiss to a world she was not expecting and is being sort-of rescued, sort-of brushed off by the guy that wakes her up, Dash. And here starts their we-can't-be-together-because-I-say-so romantic tension that comes and goes in waves through a few somewhat steamy scenes throughout the book. That's the infuriating part, Dash always seems to do something that is very Dash. 

The romance building between them pulls most of the plot along, as otherwise, this is a "journey" book where they are out there running and hiding from the Institute guards while trying to find their families, Charlotte having convinced Dash to help her in searching for her kid sister and parents. During their adventures, we find out the "gifts" Charlotte has gained from the mist. Her abilities are quite exciting and help them out of a pickle or two or three. Dash's ability is lethal and quite useful though he sure broods and is weighted down by all his guilt. 

I very much enjoyed the audio production. The narrator has a lovely voice that is so pleasant to listen to, and I've heard my share of voices. She has the perfect YA princess but I'm still a strong woman tone for Charlotte, and her voice for Dash worked for me as well. We had a few scenes completely from Dash's POV (one at the start, and one at the end) are narrated by someone else, and it would have been interesting to hear all the voices done this way, but this still worked well to differentiate the POV and character's internal voice.

By "journey" I do mean the end is EPIC. All the bombs are dropped, all the feelings felt, and oh yea of course betrayals occur.  The book ends with Charlotte and Dash in trouble and I have to know how they get out of this, and will they finally get together. So, next book, please?