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review 2016-11-05 13:02
Audiobook Review: Archangel's Heart (Guild Hunter, #9) by Nalini Singh
Archangel's Heart: Guild Hunter Series, Book 9 - Tantor Audio,Nalini Singh,Justine Eyre

My review and an extended sample of the audiobook are posted at Hotlistens.com.

 

This is a favorite series of mine. I just love it. It is a cross between a paranormal romance and an urban fantasy. The reason I say that is because the first few books all follow a single couple, Elena and Raphael. Then it starts having a different couple with each book, but still goes back to Elena and Raphael every now and then. In this book, we are back with our “main” couple of Elena and Raphael. They spend very little time in New York in this story, so we don’t see many of the other favorites from the book, but we do get some time with Blue Bell and Dimtri.

 

If you’re not familiar with this series, it features angels, archangels and vampires. There are usually 10 archangels that are alive and awake at any given time, but right now, there are 11 because of the Cascade which is increasing the power of angels and wreaking havoc. These archangels each have their own territory that they rule. Raphael is the archangel of New York and his territory is North America. There are angels underneath the archangel. Angels and Archangels can turn humans into vampires. These vampires have to sign a contract to serve their angel for at least 100 years. The Guild, for which this series is named, will track down vampires who try to skip out on their contract. They also help with rogue vampires and even angels if needed. They are humans. Some are “hunter born” which gives them extra senses to make them extraordinary trackers. Elena was in the Guild, but is now the consort to Raphael, but she still does some stuff with them.

 

In this story, Raphael and the Cadre, the group of archangels, have been summoned to meet by the only group that can summon the Cadre, the Luminata. Everyone is required to attend or they could lose their territory. Raphael is permitted to bring his consort and a guard. Aodhan, aka Sparkle for his beautifully sparkling wings, is the guard that is chosen to go with them.

 

This is the first time we’ve heard about the Luminata. They are a very secretive group. They were robes most of the time that even hide their wings. They are seeking perfect luminesces. From the description, they remind me of a group of monks. They are also the collector of the art for the angels. They have an extensive library and art gallery, but because they are so recluse, no one gets to appreciate these treasures.

 

This was a great addition to the series. I loved the story about Lumia (the stronghold of the Luminata that is located in Morocco). There is also a town outside of Lumia that had a great story with it. I love that we got to learn more about Elena’s ancestors, which we know little about until this point. We also learn more about Aodhan. There’s a reason that he is the way he is (I really hope that he might be the next story *pretty please*). This story was full of suspense, more than we are used to in this series, and lots of politics, which is more common. If I had read the book, I would call it a “page-turner”, but since I listened, I will just say that I was finding reasons to keep listening. I wanted to glue the earbuds into my ears.

 

I don’t know that I would say that this book had a cliffhanger, but I will say that it left you wanting more. There are some plot threads that are not wrapped up. It does make me wonder if the next book will be another Raphael/Elena book or where the story will go from here. No matter what comes next, I’m really excited to see where the series goes. I love Nalini Singh and the Guild Hunter series (Psy-Changeling too for that matter). If you haven’t tried this series, I highly recommend it.

 

Narration

This is a series that I started off reading and the eventually changed over to listening. Now, I’m a listener only. I just love Justine Eyre’s narration. She does a great job with all the voices. There are so many different personalities in this series and she nails all of them. I love the men and women’s voices, and there are a lot of men’s voices in this series. She does a great job with her pacing, speeding up or slowing down depending on what the scene needs. If you haven’t tried Justine Eyre, I highly recommend her.

 

**I like to thank the publisher for providing me with a copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.

Source: www.hotlistens.com/archangels-heart-audiobook-by-nalini-singh-review
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review 2016-11-05 12:57
Audiobook Review: Away from the Dark (The Light, #2) by Aleatha Romig
Away from the Dark - Erin deWard,Audible Studios,Aleatha Romig,Kevin T. Collins,David LeDoux

My review and an extended sample of the audiobook are posted at Hotlistens.com.

 

This is a very hard review to write. There are SOOOO many spoilers from book one. I will do my best to keep it spoiler free. So, in book one, Into the Light, we meet Sara. She has just woken up from a horrible injury. Her eyes are bandaged and she is badly bruised, but remembers nothing. She is told that she is a member of The Light. She lives in a remote Alaskan village where everyone else that lives there is part of The Light too. She also learns that she is married to Jacob. Now, because this series is told from multiple POVs, the reader learns very quickly that Sara is a new initiate and that she is being forced into this new life. Many brides are “acquired” this way and brought into The Light. We learn this from Jacob’s POV.

 

There is also a third POV, Stella. She is an investigative reported. She’s also looking for her best friend who’s gone missing. Stella lives in Detroit. She’s dating a cop and has a fish named Fred.

 

Now, this story picks up right where Into the Light ends. It ended with a big cliffhanger end to it. We start to get answers right from the beginning of this book. Many of the questions that come up in book one are answered relatively quickly, but there are also new questions. Jacob has know from the beginning what he was a part of. However, things to take a turn for the worse, not just for Jacob, but also Sara and others in this cult.

 

In the first book, everything takes place at the Northern Light, the Alaska camp. In this book, we get to see more of the Eastern Light, that is located in Detroit. It is also the place where The Light does a lot of it’s “recruitment”. Some people do join willingly, though most of those are men. We also learn a lot more about the leader of this sect, Father Gabriel.

 

I know that I haven’t given much detail on this book. I really can’t without giving HUGE spoilers of book one. Just know that this series is a twisted tale of a cult and the people within it and some people who aren’t in it at all. This entire series is full of suspense with several twists and turns. Things seem to go in a completely different direction that you think they will go.

 

This is a duology, so this is the last book in this series. While most things are answered, there are a few strings left open. Not so much that it feels unfinished or unsatisfied. More like, there is an opening for a spin off. Aleatha Roming could also be allowing readers to come to their own conclusions about a few things. Whether or not there is another book set in this world, I’m happy with how this series played out. I loved the entire journey.

 

Narration

This book did have a change in one of the male narrators. That didn’t hurt the narration of this story at all. We did get different POVs in this story, so the second male narrator got more page time than in the first book. I think the trio did a great job with the entire story. I loved the voices, pacing and tone. All fit well with the current scene. I would highly recommend this series on audio.

Source: www.hotlistens.com/away-from-the-dark-audiobook-by-aleatha-romig-review
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text 2016-11-05 12:51
Audiobook Review: Bloody Acquisitions (Fred, the Vampire Accountant, #3) by Drew Hayes
Bloody Acquisitions: Fred, the Vampire Accountant, Book 3 - Tantor Audio,Drew Hayes,Kirby Heyborne

My review and an extended sample of the audiobook are posted at Hotlistens.com.

 

Once again, we are back in the world of Fred, the Vampire Accountant. This series continues to be a lot of fun as Fred and his gang of friends go through his utterly interesting and adventurous tales. In this series, each book has five shorter stories that all come together to tell a larger story about Fred.

 

A Hunter in the Streets
In this story, Fred meets up with a vampire hunter and the first vampire, besides his creator, that Fred has ever met. He learns that he is quite infamous amongst the other vampires.

 

A Sheriff in the Country
In this story, Fred and the gang travel outside of Winslow, Colorado to Boarback, Texas. Borback is a small town that isn’t well known to humans. In this town, paranormals live out in the open. Many live there because they can’t live anywhere else without exposing themselves. It was really interesting seeing all of these other creatures of legend.

 

A Lawyer in the Mansion
Here, Fred is invited by an old friend, which we met in an earlier book, who needs help settling a dispute between two siblings. Their father had died and the estate was to be divided amongst the two. However, figuring out the even distribution was difficult. The siblings couldn’t get along, so Fred was called in to do his accountant thing to assess the value of everything, including the business.

 

A Spy in the Company
There are new vampires in town and they offer one of their clan to Fred as a “gift”. She works as his intern for a while. Fred doesn’t want her to like the job, so he takes her on what he thinks will be very boring cases, but nothing around Fred is ever boring.

 

An Accountant in the City
This one was my favorite. The new vampires want to takeover the city. Fred, being a single vampire and not involved with a vampire family, is at a disadvantage. I loved watching Fred flex his muscles as on he can.

 

This series continues to be a very fun series. I love spending time with Fred. He is such a nice guy and doesn’t want to hurt anyone. Just wants to live his life and keep himself and his friends safe. Oh, and he wants to grow his business. Business is very important to Fred, but not in a greedy way. Fred would never be so rude as to be greedy. To learn more about this series and the author, check out this great interview with Drew Hayes from The Reading Frenzy.

 

Narration

Kirby Heyborne continues to do a great job with narration of the series. He has a very calm voice that really portrays Fred to a tea. When I listened to book one, I wasn’t in love with his women’s voices, but I think they have gotten a lot better or I’ve gotten used to them. I can’t imagine anyone else being the voice of Fred or anyone else in the gang.

 

**I like to thank the publisher for providing me with a copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.

Source: www.hotlistens.com/bloody-acquisitions-audiobook-by-drew-hayes-review
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review 2016-11-05 12:46
Audiobook Review: Part & Parcel (Sidewinder, #3) by Abigail Roux
Part & Parcel: Sidewinder, Book 3 - Audible Studios,Abigail Roux,Brock Thompson

My review and an extended sample of the audiobook are posted at Hotlistens.com.

 

This series is a spinoff of the Cut & Run series. It is also the last book of the spinoff (the main series has already ended :-(). This is a series that really should be read in order. Both the main series and the spinoff are a M/M Romantic Suspense series that follow the main couple of each across several books, 9 for the main series with Ty and Zane and 3 for the spin off with Nick and Kelly. Truthfully, you need to read both of these in chronological order to really get the most from both series. RedHotBooks did a reading order for both series, I recommend you check it out if you’re just starting the series.

 

This final book is different from the previous books in both series. Both series are a true Romantic Suspense series, in the suspense aspect. This book doesn’t not have the Sidewinder gang getting into nearly as much trouble as they have in previous books. That didn’t make it any less interesting. The characters in these series are so well developed, that I enjoyed traveling on this journey set to them by a fallen comrade, Elias Sanchez.

 

Sanchez died and at his funeral (not in this book but died several years ago), Nick’s mother gave him a package of stuff that Sanchez wanted Nick to have. Nick was very much in grief and put the package away to look at later. Now, Nick is dealing with his dad’s death (a man that Nick hated and for good reason). Nick is also dealing with his relationship with Kelly. Nick is also dealing with the fact that Kelly has been treating him more like a patient than a boyfriend (if you’re not familiar with this series, Kelly also goes by Doc because he was the medical guy on their team. He was also the only one from the Navy, versus the others who were all Marines). Nick decides to take a look into this box from Sanchez.

 

The letter to Nick from Sanchez is a pretty emotional one. He talks about “if you’re reading this, then I must be dead.” Sanchez wants Nick to get the entire team together and to go on a roadtrip. There are several letters with different tasks and they weren’t allowed to read the next letter until they had completed the previous task. Oh, and Sanchez declared no sex while on this trip. For several of the guys, that was not a huge problem, but for Nick, Kelly, Ty and Zane (yes Zane is on this pilgrimage, even though he was not part of Sidewinder), it was tough.

 

This was a fun listen, even it if was so different from the other books in the series. I loved seeing the softer side to all the guys. I think Zane really liked learning so much about his lover and friends through this process too. This book doesn’t have the disasters and action that the all the others do, but that didn’t make it any less fun.

 

If you’re a fan of Ty and Zane and the Sidewinder gang, this is a must read. I really enjoyed my time back with all of them. The story now does feel like it has been brought to a close, which the final Cut & Run book, Crash & Burn, didn’t have. There are some things that are brought up at the end. Huge spoilery type issues. Makes me wonder why these things were brought up at the end of the series. Things I didn’t expect to come. I don’t know if she is going to write anything more about these guys (I didn’t think so, but the ending has me wondering).

 

Narration

This is my first time listening to Brock Thompson. This series is now on it’s forth narrator (if you include the Cut & Run series). The first narrator Sawyer Allerde was a narrator that I didn’t like. It was one of the first books I’ve ever returned to Audible. He does the first two books. Sean Crisden then does the next three (which I listened to and really loved.). Then there is J. F. Harding who does the rest of the Cut & Run books (I read these books, because it appeared that they weren’t coming out on audio. They didn’t until the series was complete). Brock Thompson does all the Sidewinder books. I thought he did a great job. I read the first two Sidewinder books and listened to this one, since it was only one I hadn’t read yet when the audios came out. This isn’t a series that I will tout as a “must-listen”. I think the many changes in narrator make it one that some might enjoy more reading. I didn’t dislike the two narrators I listened to, (and I’ve heard good things about J. F. Harding narrating this series), but I know I’m less connected with the number of changes. I always disappointed when publishers change out narrators frequently.

 

I enjoyed Brock Thompson’s narration. I thought he did a good job with all the guys. I can’t remember if there were any women at all in this book. If there were, the parts were really minor, so I can’t comment on his voices for women. I liked the pace and tone he used. I thought he did a good job with the mannerisms for the guys.

Source: www.hotlistens.com/part-parcel-audiobook-by-abigail-roux-review
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review 2016-11-05 12:40
Audiobook Review: Feedback (Newsflesh, #4) by Mira Grant
Feedback (Newsflesh Series, Book 4) - Seanan McGuire

My review and an extended sample of the audiobook are posted at Hotlistens.com

 

I started listening to Mira Grant’s Newsflesh trilogy last year, so I was very late to the party. That’s really good news for me, I didn’t have to wait for her to decide to tackle the other side of the campaign.

 

The first three books in this series follow Sean and Georgia Mason as they follow Senator Ryman’s presidential campaign. There are three books and an anthology devoted to the characters. In the continuation of the series (this could’ve also been marketed as a spinoff series), we follow Aislinn (“Ash”), Ben, Mat, and Audrey as they follow Governor Susan Kilburn’s bid for the same presidential campaign. This book’s timeline is the same as book one, Feed.

 

So, this world is set about 20 years after “The Rising” when the dead decided to get up and keep walking. While things with zombies are bad, there is government, technology and systems in place to help keep the outbreaks down. Zombies still exist, but they aren’t the problems you’re used to seeing in most zombie books/movies/TV shows. People have learned how to live with them. The other interesting thing about this world, animals turn into zombies. People had to give up their dogs or risk them “amplifying” and attacking you. The same is true of livestock. Very little meat is eaten anymore, aside from eggs, chicken and fish, as larger animals can amplify and contaminate the meat.

 

So, this story is narrated by Ash. She is an Irish woman who fled Ireland, which isn’t as easy as it sounds. To do so, she married Ben, who is nothing more than a friend and now a co-worker as they work on the same blogging team. Ash is the Irwin (Irwins are named for Steve Irwin because they never saw a zombie they didn’t want to poke with a stick). Ben is a Newsie. Newies tell the factual truth and basically replaced journalists of our day because they lied to the public about the zombies during The Rising. Then there is Audrey. She is the team’s Fictional, which is exactly as it sounds. She is also Ash’s girlfriend, remember how I said Ash just married Ben for the greencard. She is a lesbian. Ben is okay with this infidelity because they were married in the legal sense only. There is a love between Ben and Ash, but it is the love of two really close friends. Last, but certainly not least, is Mat. Mat is genderfluid and the team’s techie. Mat also has a great following as a makeup artist. Mat prefers pronouns of “them” and “they”.

 

This team of bloggers isn’t in the big leagues of the Mason’s, whose parents started the whole blogger as journalist thing. They just want to be able to make their way in the world. Ben really wants to fix up the house that was left to him and protect his sister. When they get asked to go on the campaign trail following Governor Kilburn, they had no idea what was in store for them. This story is filled with as much plotting and political intrigue as Feed, as we watch our bloggers try to stay alive while also reporting on the news of the political campaign.

 

This story has diversity in spades. I applaud Grant for creating a diverse book. Ben is black, married to a lesbian Irish white girl, who’s dating an Asian woman. Add in Mat, and that is an extremely diverse group of bloggers all working together on this campaign. There is also meetup with another candidate on the trail who worked as a stripper at one point and used her beauty to win over the people of Nevada. She worked hard to legitimize the sex worker trade and to get them better working conditions.

 

I loved this story. I was so glad to get back into the Newsflesh world. The characters that Grant has created as just wonderful. Those characters, paired with a very unique zombie world, that has made this series so great in my mind. If you’re a fan of The Walking Dead or zombies in general, I can’t recommend this series enough. You can start with this book if you want, but you must know, that because this book takes place during the same time as Feed, you will learn some spoilers about Feed if you choose to go back and read it later.

 

Narration

If there is anything I could fault in this series, it is the fact that each book has different narrators. The original trilogy has both male and female narrators for each book, which is not the case here. We have only one narrator for this story, Georgia Dolenz. I started this book not having any idea who the narrator would be. I will say that they picked a great choice for this book. Since Ash is our main storyteller and is from Ireland, this narrator must be really good as Irish accents. I can say that she nailed it. She did a great job with not only Ash’s voice, but with all the voices of this story. There are a lot of voices, both male and female, and she did a great job with all of them. I will be on the lookout for more books by Dolenz.

 

**I like to thank the publisher for providing me with a copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.

Source: www.hotlistens.com/feedback-audiobook-by-mira-grant-review
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