The Sparks

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Title: The Sparks

Author: Kyle Prue

Narrators: John Eric Preston

Series: The Feud Trilogy, book 1

Publisher: Cartwright Publishing

Time: 9 hrs 14 mins

Audio: English, Unabridged

Genre: Sci-Fi & Fantasy

My Review:  3.0 Stars

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

The Sparks by Kyle Prue is a book based on three major families with special traits. These three families have been at war for so long they can’t even remember what they are fighting about the only thing they remember is that they are supposed to protect the kingdom. The King has other plans.

Kyle Prue has a unique writing style that tends to show his age. Even if I hadn’t know before reading this book that he was young. It clearly shows in his writing. Kyle Prue weaves a very ungrasping tale. I personally felt a few chapters could have been skipped and no harm would have come to the storyline or plot in fact it might have helped.

Now for narration John Eric Preston did a great job narrating this story. He made the story a little interesting and worth listening. His representation of each character was good and I wouldn’t mind listening to other books narrated by John Eric Preston.

So why only 3 stars? This story had no staying power. That for me as I have mentioned before is a big issue. I cannot bring myself to give The Sparks by Kyle Prue more than 3 stars. I liked it but will I go out of my way to try and pressure my family and friends to read this book? Sadly the answer is no. If I can’t find myself going into detail trying to explain a really great part of the book to you. I feel disappointed and let down. If I feel passionate about a book and want my friends and family to experience that book then that story deserves 4 or 5 stars.

Now for the big question would I recommend this book? Honestly not really.

Murder In G Major

Murder In G Major

Title: Murder in G Major

Author: Alexia Gordon

Narrators: Jessica Carroll

Series: Gethsemane Brown Mystery, book 1

Publisher: Dreamscape Media

Time: 8h 10m

Audio: English, Unabridged

Genre: African American / Detective / Fiction / Paranormal

My Review:  3.0 Stars

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

Okay I’ve been sitting here for over a week trying to figure out what kind of review I wanted to write about Murder in G Major.  I’m finding this review difficult for a few different reasons.  I did enjoy Murder in G Major. In fact Murder in G Major is about Gethsemane Brown and Eamon McCarthy. Eamon McCarthy is the ghost haunting the cottage where Gethsemane just moved. Since Gethsemane could see and speak to Eamon. Eamon asked Gethsemane for help in finding out who murdered him and his wife.

Now for my first issue. Alexia Gordon has great writing style. A very nice fun to read and good for the whole family type of  writing style. The only problem for me is that it seems to not have any staying power. I pride myself in trying to remember everything or a general plot of everything I’ve ever read. This book I just can’t seem to remember. I know I enjoyed it but I just can’t keep in mind anything except for the general plot I listed above. This is not a good thing in my opinion. This book did not move me or really grab my attention. It was a nice way to spend an afternoon if you just wanted to relax and not think about anything. Which makes it tend to fall into the fluff category in my mind.

Now for my second issue. In my opinion a great audiobook is created by a great narrator. Sorry to say but for me that is not Jessica Carroll. Now don’t get me wrong Jessica Carroll did a good job as narrator. She really tried but I just couldn’t get engrossed in the story and for me that is a major downside. Now as for production Dreamscape Media like always did a great job in producing this book. It was set at the right pace and was easy listening.

So all in all my issues lay in the fact it was not an engrossing story for me and that I found it easy to forget. Yet I still enjoyed it. See my dilemma? No for the big question would I recommend this book? My answer would be yes but not for some one looking for an engrossing story with twist and a plot that makes you concentrate to follow. If you’re looking for that type of book then pass this one by.

The Beautiful Dead

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Title: The Beautiful Dead

Author: Belinda Bauer

Narrators: Andrew Wincott

Publisher: Dreamscape Media

Time: 10h 38m

Audio: English, Unabridged

Genre: Fiction / Mystery & Thrillers / Suspense

My Review:     4.0 Stars

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

The Beautiful Dead written by Belinda Bauer is a story about Eve, a news reporter who’s job is to cover murder/death and the serial killer who becomes obsessed with her. The story was very well written. I was pleasantly surprised The Beautiful Dead‘s story-line was very well thought out and written. I love how Belinda Bauer has multiple side characters but they never seem to overshadow the main characters.  Like so many other authors have had happen in the past. Which really makes this story easy to follow and enjoy.

Andrew Wincott was the narrator for this book and I think he did a wonderful job. He  made each and every character distinctive. Dreamscape Media did a great job at producing this story and for picking Andrew Wincott for the job. All around a great audio book experience. The production was great. Andrew Wincott didn’t read to slow or to fast but at just the right pace. I really enjoyed listening to this book while I was at work. It does grab your attention at first but I found myself from time to time being distracted. Which is one reason why only 4 stars instead of 5.

Now the big question, would I recommend this book? Yes, but not for someone to listen to in front of small children. I work in a very public area with constant children/young adults coming through. I did not listen to this book unless I was behind closed doors in my office. So for the other reason why only 4 stars instead of 5. There was to much cursing to make it safe for everyone’s ears. Yet yes I would still recommend it. I did enjoy this book. Belinda Bauer wrote a great book with a wonderful plot. It is worth a read but if you’re working around children might I suggest you get the book format instead of the audio.

Die Like An Eagle

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Title: Die Like an Eagle (Meg Langslow #20)

Author: Donna Andrews

Narrators: Bernadette Dunne

Series: Meg Langslow Mysteries, book 20

Publisher: Dreamscape Media

Time: 8h 47m

Audio: Unabridged

Genre: Cozy Mystery / Fiction / Humorous / Mystery & Thrillers

ISBN-13: 9-781520-017181

My Review: 4.0 Stars

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

This book is centered around Meg Langslow, Biff Brown, baseball, and murder. Die Like An Eagle is the 20th book in the Meg Langslow Series. I have over the last few years started to accumulate a lot of Meg Langslow mystery books but in all honesty I haven’t read any of them. So after listening to this audiobook. I think I might start this series from the beginning and continue from there.

Donna Andrews has a great writing style which makes for wonderful audiobooks. The story is well written. I found myself just relaxed and enjoying the story. It wasn’t rushed or to fast paced. Which is always a great fine in audiobook and in books in general. The mystery in this story is not all consuming or involving.

Bernadette Dunne is a great narrator. There was one point where the voice of two different characters sounded the same. I blame that mix-up more on production than the narrator. Bernadette Dunne has a very mild but engaging voice. Which made this audiobook a great listening experience.

Having listened to a few audiobooks by Dreamscape Media. I can say that Dreamscape is quickly becoming on of my favorite production company to look for in audiobooks. From my point of view if seems they take pride in making great audiobooks. Except for that one place I mentioned before Die Like An Eagle was well produced and directed.

Drum roll please…. just kidding.

Now would I recommend this book? Yes, this audiobook is so easy to listen to I would recommend it to anyone that wants to listen to a very lite mystery. It’s actually a mystery I wouldn’t mind having been overheard by school aged children. There’s nothing written in Die Like An Eagle I haven’t recently heard coming out tv shows that are suppose to be formated for children. So I wouldn’t have a problem listening to this book around them. Then again this is just my personal opinion.

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. My opinion is that multi-voiced audiobooks should be approached more like a play than a book. 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.