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Lindsay

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The Vigiles Urbani Chronicles: Year One audiobook cover art

Surprisingly new and interesting

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

Reviewed: 09-11-19

I went into this book pretty blind, having only barely skimmed a few lines of the summary. But I love urban fantasy and it looked interesting enough. I was impressed by the way the author took bits and pieces of many different mythologies and wove them together into something new and interesting. I especially enjoyed the Reaper portion of the storyline (and where we meet the 2nd Reaper in book 2!).There were several points in all 3 books where the mythology was explained so briefly I wasn't sure I followed it all, and I wish there had been more detail. The narrators weren't the best, but they weren't bad either, so performance gets only 3 stars. One quirk that irked me was the constant references to food and eating. The characters seemed to be eating for two-thirds of the book! There could have been more dialogue or character development, or even descriptions of the various settings instead and it would have made the plot more real.

Book 1 - Accession of the Stone Born was the best of the 3 and I would give the story 5 stars. The magical politics was actually interesting. This book felt more fleshed out since Gavin himself is discovering his new powers, the magical word, and his place in it.

Books 2 and 3 didn't feel like they were going any place important until near the end of Book 3. They weren't slow, they simply didn't seem to tie into one another. The pieces started coming together in the 2nd half of book 3 and we can see how random events might have been important. However, some details were too fast or glossed over to fully grasp. Thus, I'd give each of these books a 4 star rating.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Act of Mercy audiobook cover art

Read/listen to the previous series first

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

Reviewed: 08-16-16

This was a decent book. I found the heroine hard to be believable. For someone who's supposed to be a genius, she sure didn't show a lot of brain power, and I never was sure what her field was supposed to be - electronics? hacking? biomedicine?

Duke was awesome. From the very beginning scene we are shown his quirks when it comes to technology. I liked that he was finally paired with a woman who is his exact opposite. I do wish we could have seem them clashing more in this aspect.

I haven't read any of the other books, so I did feel lost at times. My overall rating is a 3.5 stars; however, I raised that to a 4 because I do think those who have read the previous series would get a lot more out of this.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

After audiobook cover art

A different kind of "zombie" story

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

Reviewed: 11-19-15

In spite of my love of apocalyptic stories, I'm not a fan of zombies. I have never read a zombie book with a good explanation for the actions and behaviors of said zombies (e.g. eating people), and that bugs me when I'm reading. "After" does what no other zombie book has. Okay, so they aren't real zombies in the traditional sense. No actual eating people. However, an explanation for both the change itself AND for the behaviors of the changed people afterwards had me cheering.

The story followed 3 primary groups of people as they escape from the changed people. Towards the end of this book, we see how all three groups will eventually come together (in a future book, I assume). At times, the story seemed slow, and the requisite prepper had a few too many explanatory soliloquies. Other than that, I mostly enjoyed the different characters and how their actions shape them.

The narrator of the audiobook was decent. He certainly didn't detract from the story in any way, neither did he do anything to really add to the story. I would listen to this narrator again.

I would definitely continue reading the series.

Audiobook provided by the author in return for an honest review.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Wormwood audiobook cover art

All flawed

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

Reviewed: 05-26-15

All flawed...

Nate seemed like he would be an interesting character, in spite of the fact that you don't have to have a panic/anxiety disorder to become a prepper. For the most part, I liked him. But I never bought his "panic attacks". Knowing what panic attacks feel like, it was obvious the author had never experienced a full-blown panic attack. Jeanette has a deformity, but it was hardly even mentioned after the first time. It should have hindered her in the new situations she was thrown into, but without a mention, I kept thinking she had fully functioning arms and hands.

I found myself critiquing all the characters' actions and motivations. Sometimes I couldn't figure out if the characters were really as stupid as they seemed. For instance, if you top a hill and see a huge pile of dead bodies at the bottom...what would YOU do? Naturally, you should get scared, be quiet, run away, perhaps duck down or find a hidden vantage point. You should NOT argue in loud voices, trot down to the pile of bodies in full view of anyone who might be watching, and never have the least fleeting fearful thought --> That's how you get yourself killed. That is not survival. But someone these characters managed to overcome their stupidity to survive anyway.

In spite of it all, I did find the characters mostly interesting. They each had unique traits and personalities, and none were flat stereotypes. The narrator did a good job, but ultimately couldn't save this book.

The book ended on a cliffhanger, but still fell a little flat. I probably won't read the rest of the series.

2.5 stars

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

Animals as Neighbors audiobook cover art

Detailed survey of our human history with animals

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

Reviewed: 05-01-15

A detailed survey of our human history (and prehistory) with animals who share our immediate environment

First off, a small warning. This book is an academic text and therefore some background in biology and/or anthropology is probably necessary to understand the concepts discussed as it is not written in layman's terms.

I loved this book. It is a good introduction into the field of anthrozoology. The author's discussions were extremely nuanced, never being able to reach firm conclusions due to the lack of research, historical records, or anthropological data. He points out many errors in logic that other (non-anthrozoologist) authors have made when talking about human's association with animals. For instance, he emphasizes many times that we can only make conclusions based at the POPULATION level and not at the SPECIES level. The same species may be a companion animal in one environment and culture, a commensal pest in another environment/culture, and a non-commensal, "wild" animal in a third. In relation, he also points out that commensalism is cultural - dependent on both human culture AND animal culture. Because one species is able to modify it's behavior not just across time but also circumstance, animals too have adopted and adapted to us.

I greatly appreciated the discussion of cats too, as many researchers question whether they are true domesticates (or are more of commensal animals).

The narrator was excellent. It is hard to make an academic text sound not boring, but Andrea Emmes did a wonderful job, never sounding monotone or flat. I would definitely listen to anything else she narrates.

This book was fascinating and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to learn more about humans' interactions with animals.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Impossible audiobook cover art

Not bad

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

Reviewed: 03-16-15

Like Claudia, I was fascinated by Sean from the beginning. What an intriguing mix of traits he revealed ever so slowly to Claudia. He never reacted like you'd expect a gangster to react.

Overall, a good trilogy. The focus was much more on the emotional side of BDSM than on the details, but both aspects were fairly accurate.

There was a plot hole that bugged me. Near the end when Claudia is kidnapped and Sean's father is trying to drug her, he says it will look like a suicide. But Claudia is a doctor with absolutely no history of drug use, so why would anyone think a drug overdose would be a suicide? Why didn't Claudia at least THINK this point, if not SAY it out loud? It just didn't make any sense to me.

Lynn Barrington does a fantastic job narrating "Impossible". I always love Lynn's work, but this has to be one of the best I've heard so far. Her voice is the perfect fit for the erotica genre.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

A Thirty-Something Girl audiobook cover art

a moving story

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

Reviewed: 02-06-15

4.5 stars

Thirty-Something Girl is a moving story of how one woman overcomes depression and a series of bad choices.

I liked this story because the author truly understands depression. The reader is thrust into the bodily experience through the detailed descriptions. The lack of motivations, the loss of time, the repeating negative thoughts that you just can't get out of your head. All these things made me feel and understand the character and why she makes the choices she does.

There were a few parts that were very, very slow, and the ending was quite abrupt. Those are the only reasons I can't give it a full 5 stars.

The narration was good too. Even with so many female characters, I was almost always able to tell them apart.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Touch Me audiobook cover art

Didn't keep my interest

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

Reviewed: 01-03-15

There wasn't anything really wrong with this book. It simply didn't have a hook to keep my interest. Another annoying detail was the lack of contractions, which made the dialogue sound stilted. I don't know any mid-20 year olds that speak that way.

As usual, Meghan Kelly does an excellent job as narrator. Honestly, it was her terrific ability that lessened the annoyance of the lack of contractions.

Emma's Story Series Box Set: A Night to Forget & The Day to Remember audiobook cover art
  • Emma's Story Series Box Set: A Night to Forget & The Day to Remember
  • Emma's Story, Books 1 and 2
  • By: Jessica Wood
  • Narrated by: Lynn Barrington

Not typical of most NA books

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

Reviewed: 12-04-14

This NA story is not typical for the genre; it's not full of angst or rebellion or pain. It is a simple story of love at first sight. While the characters do face certain obstacles to their happiness, the characters continued to feel a little naive to me and I never felt they grew as characters or people very much.

The first book is written in first person and is entirely from Emma's POV. The second book was still written in first person, but suddenly the author starts head hopping. Thankfully, each change of POV is titled with whose head we are in. But after spending an entire previous book hearing only Emma's POV, every single switch jarred me out of the story. I never did feel like I understood the other characters. Please note that the narrator did a great job of differentiating the voices; it wasn't her fault that I couldn't get into the other POVs.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Botanicaust audiobook cover art

Unique and thought provoking

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

Reviewed: 11-25-14

First off, let me just say that if I had realized there was a big religious undertone to this book I probably wouldn't have picked it. Let me tell you why this book is different from any other one you've read though.

Botanicaust is a post-apocalyptic thriller that is unlike any others. It starts off a little slow and, frankly, is hard to connect to because the reader is not told what actually happened to destroy civilization until halfway through the book. The tension the "not knowing" created is what kept me reading though.

The Holdout is an old religious order (Christian based) that survived the Botanicaust. They are mostly cast as the "good guys" even though the protagonist, Levi, a resident of the Holdout, begins the story by defying the order of his leaders to stay within the fence of their compound. During his journey and subsequent trials in the outside world to find a cure for his son, who has cystic fibrosis, he constantly questions his religious beliefs. Yet even until the end of the book, the Holdout members are portrayed as good. Meanwhile, there are 3 forms of "bad guys" - cannibals, people who genetically altered themselves with plant DNA so that they could photosynthesize, and people who genetically altered themselves to stop aging. As each of the characters reveals their true selves through their actions and behavior, the lines between good and bad begin to blur for the reader just as they do for Levi.

The arguments Levi makes to himself and to others about the place of religion in society were thought-provoking and powerful. This was not your usual uninspired and conventional arguments for or against religion. Neither were they out of context or preachy. All the religious talk was done strictly within the context and confines of the plot. It was refreshing to be able to read a Christian(ish?) book that didn't sound like a moral judgment on me personally.

There were a couple of other things that set this book apart from other post-apocalyptic ones. First, this one is set several hundred years AFTER the created apocalypse. This setting changes the tone of the book from one of basic survival to one of creating a BETTER world. Second, the stated apocalypse is totally unique from anything else I've ever read, and thus the societies and characters are new and interesting. Third, there aren't really any stereotypes or flat characters like you often see in this genre. As I mentioned, each character shows growth or reveals hidden motives that make them real.

All of these things make for a great book. I highly recommend this book if you enjoy post-apocalyptic stories. Also recommended for adult Christian readers who are looking for something a little different (warning though - there is a little bit of sex and cursing in the book).

1 of 1 people found this review helpful