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review 2018-12-10 05:51
Days Without End (Audiobook)
Days Without End - Sebastian Barry,Aidan A. Kelly

Narration: 5 stars

Story: 3.5 stars

Final rating: 4 stars

 

It was my week for strange stories. This isn't even a story in the traditional sense. This reads more like a rambling memoir but with language so intimate and lush that I could easily forget that I was only really getting broad brushstrokes for the bulk of the story. This is mostly a summation of a young man's life as he figures out some hard-won truths.

 

Told from the POV of Thomas McNulty, an Irish immigrant, as we follow him and his friend turned lover John Cole across America in the mid-1800s. Survivors of the famine, they come to America with nothing, practically starved to death, and start to figure out how to survive from one day to the next, whether that's playacting as girls in a stage show or joining the Army to fight in the Indian Wars and eventually the Civil War.

 

This book doesn't shy away from the harsh reality of this time period in American history, nor does it give us safely and comfortably progressive-minded MCs to filter that reality through. Thomas and John Cole might not be outright hateful of anyone but they don't stop to ask why they're being given the orders they're given nor do they spend much time if any contemplating the morality of the slaughter of the First Peoples. Not at first. As Thomas notes at one point, no soldier fully understands the war he fights in; he only knows his one part in it. 

 

I was most interested in Thomas's and John's non-Army days, while they were living together and eventually with their adopted daughter Winona, a Sioux orphan, but those parts were sparse safe harbors in between all the violence and war of those times. The ending, such as it was, is more open-ended than anything else. 

I would have preferred a reunion between Thomas, John and Winona instead of just Thomas looking forward to it.

(spoiler show)

 

The narration by Aiden Kelly was truly amazing. He captures Thomas's bewildered voice perfectly and truly makes this oddly mesmerizing story come to life. 

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review 2018-12-10 04:58
One Night in Boukos
One Night in Boukos - Corinne Demas

This is an odd one. I guess this is historical AU, since it's set in an alternate world, but doesn't have any fantasy elements. The world-building is sprinkled throughout, and is largely accomplished by the culture clash of the Sashian embassy staying in the Pueschaian town of Boukos to open trade routes between the two countries, so it comes across more naturally than the info-dumping one might come across in other AU novels.

 

During a party, the ambassador to Zash goes missing but this isn't noticed until the following morning. His personal secretary Bedar and Bedar's friend Marzana, the captain of the guard, go on a discreet manhunt through Boukous as they try to follow the crumbs of the ambassador's trail after his disappearance. To complicate matters further, the city is preparing for the annual festival to honor their god of debauchery, Psobos, a most un-Sashian ritual. Along the way, they meet a couple of citizens of the town and slowly fall in love over the course of a most unusual night.

 

This is a charming little tale. I had no idea what I was getting into when I picked it for my Prime loan, and that just added to the charm. Despite the urgency of Bedar and Marzana's mission, this story unfolds at a leisurely pace. There's a spattering of humor, a little action, but mostly it's just two men out of their depths as they navigate an unknown city full of people they don't understand only to discover they're not so different after all.

 

I thought I had the endgame figured out at one point, but I was only right about part of it. Chereia and Pheres were a great supporting cast and just as fully fleshed out as Marzana and Bedar. The m/f and m/m couples get equal page time to develop and are respectfully handled in the difficulties that faced both pairings. That makes one a little less satisfying than the other, but certainly still an HFN. (To be clear, this isn't Romance and there's no on-page sex.)

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review 2018-12-10 01:06
The wonderful characters more than make up for the implausible elements of the plot.
Unloved, a love story - Katy Regnery

๏ ๏ ๏  Book Blurb ๏ ๏ ๏ 

 

 

My name is Cassidy Porter...

 

My father, Paul Isaac Porter, was executed twenty years ago for the brutal murder of twelve innocent girls.

 

Though I was only eight-years-old at the time, I am aware - every day of my life - that I am his child, his only son.

 

To protect the world from the poison in my veins, I live a quiet life, off the grid, away from humanity.

 

I promised myself, and my mother, not to infect innocent lives with the darkness that swirls within me, waiting to make itself known.

 

It's a promise I would have kept...if Brynn Cadogan hadn't stumbled into my life.

 

Now I exist between heaven and hell: falling for a woman who wants to love me, while all along reminding myself that I must remain...

 

Unloved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

๏ ๏ ๏  My Review ๏ ๏ ๏ 

 

At first, the narration took some getting used to, especially for Cassidy's voice, with his Maine accent.  Eventually, I did get used to it, which is probably due to the insane amount of love that I had for this guy.  The feels, OMG!  (Maybe, I was partial to Cassidy because I really love that name, after all, I named my daughter Cassidy.)

 

Seriously, I loved these characters, both Cassidy and Brynn pull at the heartstrings, and I was totally rooting for them...and then the twist at the end comes about and I kind of felt like it was a little too much to believe.  But all in all, I couldn't let it take my love for this story away.  

 

 

๏ ๏ ๏  MY RATING ๏ ๏ ๏ 

 

4.3STARS - GRADE=A-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

๏ Breakdown of Ratings ๏ 

 

Plot⇝ 4.2/5 
Main Characters⇝ 5/5
Secondary Characters⇝ 4/5
The Feels⇝ 4.3/5
Pacing⇝ 4/5
Addictiveness⇝ 5/5
Theme or Tone⇝ 4.3/5
Flow (Writing Style)⇝ 4/5
Backdrop (World Building)⇝ 4.7/5
Originality⇝ 4/5
Ending⇝ 4/5 Cliffhanger⇝ Nope.
๏ ๏ ๏
Book Cover⇝ It's a bleeding heart...for crying out loud.
Narration⇝ ☆4☆ for Maxine Mitchell & Joe Arden, I definitely liked the female voice more than the male voice.
Setting⇝ Mount Katahdin, Maine
Source⇝ Audiobook (Scribd)
๏ ๏ ๏
Goodreads
Amazon
Booklikes

 

 

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review 2018-12-09 23:35
For Seven Nights Only
For Seven Nights Only (Chase Brothers) - Sarah Ballance

Kelsie is the maid of honor at her sister's wedding and she desperately doesn't want to go alone (the best man is her ex and the groom's brother). Sawyer is an upstairs neighbor with an revolving door of women. They come to an agreement that he will help her land a date to the wedding.
Firstly, who invites a blind date- someone they have NEVER met to their home?! They've conversed online only. Yeah, no, that was stupid. I was ambivalent about Kelsie (aside from inviting a stranger to her home). I outright didn't like Sawyer. He was a man-whore who get jealous whenever Kelsie would talk to another guy. That was the whole point of taking her under his wing. But, wait! Kelsie is different!! I think what drew Sawyer to Kelsie was she didn't fall at his feet. I just couldn't get into the romance.

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review 2018-12-09 19:12
Hark The Herald Angel Falls
Hark the Herald Angel Falls - Michele Hauf

This was a little different. Luke and Merit are celebrating their 1 year wedding anniversary when they are attacked by vampires. Merit dies, leaving Luke a vampire. He mourns her. A year later, she Falls. His inability to let her go is keeping her from getting her halo.
This was nice, but had a lot of insta-love. I say that because Merit had no memory of Luke or her life from a year prior, but is drawn to him. Nice resolution. I also liked the tie-in with Francois (a homeless man Luke helps) at the end.

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