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The Journals of Octavia Hollows: Books 1-6

Narrated by: Brenda Scott Wlazlo
Length: 14 hrs and 22 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (10 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

With a touch of her hand, Octavia Hollows can restore life. Yet, she couldn’t save the man she loved from the horrific accident that stole him from her. Octavia thought she could outrun the pain, but ghosts from the past refuse to be silenced. Out of options, she chooses to retrace her wayward journey across the country in search of answers. Surrounded by baffling mysteries of the undead, what she learns about herself along the way might become her greatest weapon. 

This six-novella series chronicles Octavia's adventures in:
Wake the Dead
Dead Man's Hand
Caught Dead
Drop Dead Gorgeous
Dead Ringer
Dead as a Doornail

"This is Rourke at her finest: sassy and completely unapologetic. Proving again why she's a powerhouse in this industry." (USA Today best-selling author Rue Volley) 

"This book has it all: a kickass heroine, loads of action...and a pig named Bacon." (New York Times and USA Today best-selling author Karen Lynch)

©2019 Stacey Rourke (P)2019 The Audio Flow, LLC

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Good fun

Books 1-6. Thank goodness you get them all as it's basically one story. Well narrated and written. Sea monsters, reanimated pig, sirens and a plethora of other folk make this a charming treat. Looking forward to more journals of Octavia.

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

Fun, but Not for Serious Fantasy/UF Readers

This book is a light take on urban fantasy that, while entertaining, may not be to the taste of some. The pacing of the stories is good, but the author tries way too hard to be funny. It got to the point where the characters couldn’t even have a normal conversation without someone trying to crack wise or an animal farting. This was the most troubling for me because I prefer a serious world that I can imagine visiting, with characters behaving realistically. As it is, I was continually caught in moments of, “Really? Who says that? Who does that?” For example, There are situations where people are dying, or in threat of death, and for some reason that’s the moment when characters feel the need to make a joke. It became tiring after a while. It reminded me of people playing Dungeons and Dragons where characters entered dangerous situations acting as they had no real threat of personal loss or injury.

This book also lacks explanations for how powers work. Complex magical feats performed with little to no effort “Oops, I tripped, fell, and brought someone/something back from the dead.” (as much as I hate to say it, this actually happens), chant a sing song nursery rhyme banish undead etc. I didn’t get the feeling that the magic abilities and/or powers in this book took any effort.

Again, the book is entertaining, but not for serious fantasy fans that wants complete world building with realistic emotions.

Finally - I’d likely give this collection a higher rating if not for the author’s lack of sensitivity and poor research on a number of issues.

#1 – Real world religions. Wiccans are portrayed as experts on satanic monsters, and people who practice necromancy. I’m not Wiccan, but even I know that the Christian devil isn’t in the same cosmology, and know that the Wiccan rede wouldn’t condone necromancy. It would have been very easy to just call the characters witches (a generic term) rather than referring to them as Wiccans. It’s like… why include a religion if you don’t know anything about it?

#2 – People with disabilities. Speaking as someone who is very close to someone who has albinism in real life, it was really bothersome to hear a guy with albinism called “The Albino” and “Powder” both of which are the disability specific equivalent to dropping an N bomb in the USA (which is where the story takes place). This scene didn’t even do anything to advance the plot it was like “Hey let’s make fun of the really white guy and move on.”

15-20 minutes of internet research on both of these topics (Wicca and albinism) would have educated the author, but instead it was full steam ahead and who cares if people are demeaned if it can sell some books, right? It was just a very insensitive, lazy, and ignorant approach to storytelling. If you’re writing a book that you expect people to pay money for, take the time to know stuff you are writing about before publishing. If the author didn't want to take the time to research, it would have been so easy to just call the characters witches without pinning them to (and thereby misrepresenting) a specific real world faith.

Finally, there are times when the book strays into territory that is very close to political preaching which is not what I look for in a UF novel. Topics that are mocked include the Me Too movement, sexual harassment, addiction, etc.

Actual rating: 3.5 (Would have been 4-4.5 if not for the last few things mentioned above.)

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing stories

The Journals of Octavia Hollows books are full of action, amazement, magic, supernatural beings, quirky characters and most of all a snarky heroine. The storyline are well developed and funny as hell. I love Octavia's snarky comments and comebacks. Bacon is simply one smart adorable little pig that is slightly mischievous.
The narration is phenomenal with Brenda Scott Wlazlo at the helm with her many voices she brings the book to life. I can't wait to read Octavia's and Bacon's next adventures. I received this audio book at my request. I am leaving my honest review here voluntarily of my own volition.