Soulbound (Return of the Elves, #1)

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Title: Soulbound

Author: Bethany Adams

Narrators: Gabrielle de Cuir and Stefan Rudnicki

Series: The Return of the Elves Series, book 1

Publisher: Skyboat Media

Time: 10.9 Hours

Audio: Unabridged

Genre: Fiction/Fantasy

ISBN-13: 978-1-4417-0517-4

My Review:  5.0 Stars

Disclaimer: I received this book free of charge for a honest and unbiased review.

Soulbound revolves around Arlyn. Arlyn goes to Moranaia to meet her father Lord Lyrnis Dianore for the very first time. While Arlyn is in Moranaia a plot to kill Lord Lyrnis comes to light. Which also causes Arlyn and her soulbound Kai to encounter danger.

Bethany Adams did an excellent job of writing this book. She caught my attention and kept it through out the story without reverting to an over abundance of sex or mayhem. In fact this is such a great book I wouldn’t mind letting my younger niece listen to the story with me. I found myself listening to this book at every free moment I had.

Skyboat Media did a great job producing this story but, my only issue is with the two different narrators. Now before you think I thought Gabrielle de Cuir and Stefan Rudnicki did a horrible job let me stop you there. Gabrielle de Cuir and Stefan Rudnicki both did an awesome job. My issue is basically with the production. The reason is because multi-voiced audio books in my opinion need to be approached a certain way. inmy opinion it should be approached more like a play than a bookif you’re using multiple narrators. I would have had Gabrielle de Cuir do only female voices and Stefan Rudnicki only male voices not each do both male and female. Just picking one to do the whole book is a better option instead of having both just read different chapters. There were times when it got confusing on who was talking because the narrator had changed.

Now having said that there were also a few times when I got carried away with listening to Soulbound. I found myself lost in the book and not paying attention to things going on around me. It was great that those times didn’t happen when I was driving.

So now it comes down to two very important questions. First would I recommend this book? Yes, I would wholeheartedly recommend this book. Second do I think Soulbound By: Bethany Adams makes a good audiobook? That would have to be an another wholehearted YES! In fact Bethany Adams wrote this story in such a way that it felt like Soulbound was always intended to be a audiobook. I look forward to the next book in this series by Bethany Adams.

The Shell Game

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Title: The Shell Game

Author: Steve Alten

Narrator: Keith Szarabajka

Publisher: Blackstone Audio

Genre: Fiction/Thrillers/Suspense

Audio: Unabridged

Time: 15.0 Hours

My Review: 2.0 Stars

Disclaimer: I received this book free of charge for a honest and unbiased review.

The Shell Game written by Steve Alten is a novel based around Ashley “Ace” Futrell, an oil expert and the events leading up to and after the terrorist attack of September 11th. This book is in no way a history book. It is full of alternative thoughts and conspiracy theories. It does make reference to a lot of facts found in actual documents from investigations into the September 11th attack. Which leads a person to rethink the event of September 11th.

Steve Alten has an weird style of writing. Then again having said that I have never read any of Mr. Alten’s previous books. So with that knowledge I can’t say with 100% honesty if this book truly shows Steve Alten’s actual writing style or if this is the writing style he chose to use while writing this book.

As for Keith Szarabajka. He has a great voice for audio books. His tone changes from character to character which is always great. Personally I could listen to Keith Szarabajka read a very boring textbook on a very dry subject and would probably not get frustrated from listening to him.

Now for the reason I only gave this book 2.0 stars. In my personal opinion, Steve Alten used to many references for this book. There are points where that’s all you hear. Which is very annoying when you’re trying to listen to a work of fiction. In places it feels like Alten himself got lost in the references and goes completely off track of the story-line. While trying to jump right back into the original plot which caused me to lose the progression of the main character Ace Futrell. I found myself replaying parts over and over again because the references kept getting in the way of the story. Blackstone Audio did a good job at producing this book. Personally I feel like The Shell Game itself is very distracting and does not make for a good audio book. The points and opinions approached in this book can be interesting. If you’re interested in reading this book take my advice and get a digital or physical copy. Do not listen to the audio version. The audio version of The Shell Game will leave you disappointed and more confused then you were before you started the book.

The Truth About Love (Cynster #12)

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Title: The Truth About Love (Cynster #12)

Author: Stephanie Laurens

Narrator: Matthew Brenher

Publisher: Blackstone Audio

Genre: Fiction/Romance

Audio: Unabridged

Time: 16.5 Hours

My Review:  5.0 Stars

Disclaimer: I received this book free of charge for a honest and unbiased review.

This story is revolves around Gerrard Debbington and Jacqueline Tregonning. Gerrard is commissioned to paint a portrait of Jacqueline. At first Gerrard is hesitant because he only really does landscapes. It the rare opportunity to paint the splendor of the Hellebore Hall gardens, Jacqueline’s home, that finally gets Gerrard to do the painting. When Gerrard gets to Hellebore Hall he finds out exactly why Jacqueline’s father commissioned the portrait. People think Jacqueline killed her mother. Gerrard thinks differently.

The Truth About Love is written by Stephanie Laurens. Having never read any of Stephanie Laurens’ books before I was pleasantly surprised. The plot of this book was really well thought out and written. Stephanie Laurens had me wondering who really was at fault the whole time. I can honestly say I was not expecting the people Stephanie Laurens chose. Very nicely done. Blackstone Audio’s production of The Truth About Love was wonderful and picking Matthew Brenher as the narrator was perfect. Matthew Brenher has a great voice for audio-books. He has a way with drawing you into the story and make sure you can tell each character’s conversation apart. A wonderful experience. Now I have a new favorite author and narrator to add to my list. In fact I’m starting to think I might have a new favorite production company also.

Now the big question: Would I recommend this book?? Considering I did give this book a 5 star rating. The answer would have to wholeheartedly be….. YES! It was a wonderful addition to my commute to and from work. And since I can be honest here while I was at work also. It is a little long but considering it was interesting and entertaining well worth the time.

Viper’s Defiant Mate: Sarafin Warriors, Book 2

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Title: Viper’s Defiant Mate: Sarafin Warriors, Book 2

Author:
S.E. Smith

Narrator: David Brenin

Publisher: Blackstone Audio

Genre: Fiction/Romance

Audio: Unabridged

Time: 6.9 Hours

My Review:   4.0 Stars

Disclaimer: I received this book free of charge for a honest and unbiased review.

This book is about Prince Viper of the Sarafin and Tina St. Claire. Viper has been sent to earth by Vox, King of the Sarafin. Viper’s mission is to deliver important documents to the human authorities before kidnapping the sister and grandmother of Vox’s mate, Riley. What Viper isn’t expecting is the trouble that comes with dealing with Riley’s family. Tina, Riley’s sister also turns out to be Viper’s mate. Yet upon first meeting Viper Pearl, Tina & Riley’s grandmother, with the help of Tina shoots and drugs Viper. That’s when the story gets really fun.

S.E. Smith did a great job on this book. It was interesting and fun. IT makes for a great audio book especially with David Brenin as the narrator. David Brenin’s performance is what made this story great for me. Yes I say performance because David Brenin has such a way with reading the story that it makes it easy and fun to listen. This story also made a great book for audio but not one I would chose to listen to while driving. So I was glad I opted to listen while at home relaxing. Now I will admit I did find some places in the book where I felt S.E. Smith could have put better or more information but, all in all a good book. On the production side Blackstone Audio seems to be redeeming theirselves in my eyes. After this production I’m starting to think maybe Blackstone Audio should stick to new fiction and stay away from the classic’s.

So would I recommend this book? Yes for anyone that would like to hear a nice romance. This book is one romance that is nice and quick. Just under 7 hours a nice way to spend a relaxing afternoon/evening.

The Devil’s Evidence (Thomas Fool #2)

 

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Title: The Devil’s Evidence (Thomas Fool #2)

Author: Simon Kurt Unsworth

Narrator: David Rintoul

Publisher: Recorded Books

Genre: Horror/ Mystery/ Suspense Thriller

Audio: Unabridged

Time: 15h 30m / 13 CDs

My Review:  4.0 Stars

Disclaimer: I received this book free of charge for a honest and unbiased review.

This story is about Thomas Fool the Commander of the Information Office of Hell. Horrible fires and murders are happening in Hell which leads to Thomas Fool being ordered to investigate. While in the midst of the investigation in Hell. Thomas Fool is sent to Heaven as part of a political delegation. While in Heaven Thomas’s help is needed to investigate an unexplained mystery that is taking place in Heaven. There is murder in Heaven. As Thomas tries to investigate he is met with opposition and troubles. While in the middle of finding the truth Thomas tries to stop a war between Heaven and Hell from happening.

Simon Kurt Unsworth has a very interesting writing style. Having said that I’ll explain why it took my over a month to listen to this audio book. The first part of this book just seemed to drag for me and then closer to the end it jumped pace. I came into this series blind. In fact I’d never even heard of the author Simon Kurt Unsworth. This was an interesting book and David Rintoul did a great job narrating but on a personal note I think it would have made more sense to me to have read the first book in the series before I listen to this one. I look forward to the next book in the series and have high hopes to not be disappointed.

Would I recommend this book? Yes,Recorded Books did a great job with this production but I would like to say that The Devil’s Evidence is not a good book for a commute. If you’re the one doing the driving. I found it was a book you really had to pay attention to and could be distracting at times.

That Darkness (Gardiner and Renner #1)

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Title: That Darkness (Gardiner and Renner #1)

Author: Lisa Black

Narrator: Kirsten Potter

Publisher: Dreamscape Media

Genre: Fiction / Mystery & Thrillers / Suspense

Audio: Unabridged

Time: 9h 4m / 8 CDs

My Review:  3.0 Stars

Disclaimer: I received this book free of charge for a honest and unbiased review.

This story is based around Maggie Gardiner, a forensic investigator and Jack Renner, a detective. But Jack isn’t your typical detective he’s also a murderer. While Maggie tries to solve the cases Jack committed. Jack is trying not to get caught before he completes the one goal he had when starting his revenge killings.

Having never read or listen to a book written by Lisa Black before I was glad I was listening to the first book in a series. At first when I started listening I was trying to figure out why so many people liked Lisa Black. After getting into a few chapters I understood. Lisa Black has a very engaging writing style. Which Kirsten Potter did a great job of narrating. This Darkness does make for a good listening experience. After reading what I just wrote you might be wondering why the 3 star rating. Well, honestly for me it just didn’t grab and keep my attention. It was a little hard for me to get into the story. I also felt it was a little rushed towards the end.So based on my preferences all in all a solid 3 stars. Would I recommend? Yes, it’s a good story but it just didn’t stick with me but it made a good addition to my commute.

An Untimely Frost (Lilly Long #1)

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Title: An Untimely Frost (Lilly Long #1)

Author: Penny Richards

Narrator: Christine Williams

Publisher: Blackstone Audio

Genre: Fiction/Mystery & Detective

Audio: Unabridged

Time: 7.5 hrs • 6 CDs

My Review:  4.0 Stars

Disclaimer: I received this book free of charge for a honest and unbiased review.

My last run in with Blackstone Audio left a bad taste in my mouth. I was hesitant at first but wanted to see for myself if it was possibly a one time thing. I am happy to note it seems to be just that. This book was great and the narrator is even better. I really enjoyed listening to Christine Williams. She made this book very enjoyable. Penny Richards book An Untimely Frost is written in a way that makes it great for audio. It was nice being able to sit back and just enjoying the story. Penny Richards caught my attention and kept it through out the story. I honestly would have been finished with this book a long time ago if life hadn’t kept getting in the way. The pace of this audiobook is great especially with Christine Williams as the narrator. The pace is not to fast and not to slow but just great for listening. It’s like Christine Williams is talking and sharing a personal story with you.

This story revolves around Lilly Long. Lilly Long is an actress turned Pinkerton detective. Her job is to find the owner of an abandon house and see if he’s willing to sell. Along this journey Lilly finds out things that most people want left alone. Lilly is able to make a little advancement into her own personal mystery from her past. Yet in doing so she causes problems for herself in the present by attracting some danger.

Having now listen to a few Mystery audiobooks.  I can say that I like this format in audio. It makes it easier to let my imagination roam and create it’s own little movie. I was pleasantly surprised to see that this was the first book in Penny Richards new series. I look forward to the next book and hope it’s as great as this one has been.