logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: 4review
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-11-13 16:36
A light, silly read - The Half-Assed Wizard by Gary Jonas
The Half-Assed Wizard (Volume 1) - Gary Jonas

This was a fast-paced, fun, and snarky wizarding tale. Brett Masters is way more interested in sleeping, attempting to make music with his band, and drinking than he is in family wizarding politics. He comes from a rich and powerful family and has never had to work for his keep. Things are about to be upended!

I could totally picture Brett. I’ve known a few people like him stuck in that place of not contributing to anything so it was easy to get a feel for this main character right away.  The entire story, I was rooting for him, hoping he’d get his feet under him and finally save the day.

His cousin, Sabrina, showed a polar opposite to Brett. She hails from the same rich and powerful family, is an accomplished wizard herself, and is a motivational power, constantly pushing Brett to do something… anything, really. While she’s not our only female character, she is the main one. More than once she has to be rescued but she also spends a third of the time kicking butt.

The shark men! Ack! These guys were a bit creepy. No one wants to tango with shark men… unless you’re a half-assed wizard that is pretty drunk and out of good options (like running away and hiding for half a century).

There’s also Brett’s band. Michael was the one that stood out the most to me. He has dreamy vampire eyes that can melt the panties off of almost anyone. Unfortunately, his charm doesn’t work on powerful wizards like Brett’s dad or his main adversary. Michael does give Brett some much needed advice about living in the real world, but I think Brett was too drunk to take much of it in.

There’s plenty of rock and roll references. I only caught some of them. I’m sure others will recognize songs, musicians, and the like. The enchanted guitar pick was a fun little tidbit.

Overall, this tale is enjoyable. There’s not much character depth and the plot is pretty straight forward but the characters make it excellent brain candy. I look forward to the sequel! 4/5 stars.

I received a free copy of this book.

The Narration: Joe Hempel makes an excellent slacker Brett Masters. He has this perfect don’t give a flip attitude for this character. I also really liked his drunk Brett voice. His female voices were sometimes feminine and sometimes needed a little boost to sound like a woman. All his character voices were distinct. 4.5/5 stars.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-11-13 16:19
Excellent mashup! Legion of the Undead by Michael Whitehead
Legion of the Undead - Michael Whitehead

Legion of the Undead really hit the spot; I need a second helping! First, I love Roman Empire stories and I’ve come to love zombie fiction in the past few years. Now we have the perfect mash-up. Hungry zombie horde, meet the Roman legions! Cue evil laughter!

Often with ancient Roman historical fiction, I don’t see too many female characters and the few that are present are usually only there to act as someone’s love/lust interest. Not so with this book! Yay! The ladies are true to accepted Roman Empire gender roles but they also get plot-relevant stuff done. Even the minor but evil Sevillia did something that affected the plot. And I love Lucia, who is a 16 year old thrown into the midst of this zombie uprising. She’s not a cliched uber-tough zombie stomping heroine but she is practical, saves the day a time or two like the other heroes, and doesn’t fall to pieces when she needs to be rescued.

Of course Vitas Protus is my favorite. He’s an archer that is catapulted up into the ranks as the zombie issue becomes a real problem. He keeps his wits about him, takes advice from those around him, and gets stuff done. I loved how he watched out for Regulus, the 14 year old lad that was forced into the military. Then there’s big Antonius too. He’s also a practical sort, giving the soldiers orders to aim for the heads if they want to take out the zombies.

Starting out on the outskirts of Germania where the Roman legions were pushing back the German tribes, Vitas has to get his little band to safety. First, it’s to the their encampment and then on to the estate of Governor Clemmons. There Vitas gets his orders to head to Rome with a dire note and Lucia, who can speak to her merchant father’s home being overrun with these Risen (as the zombies are called in this book). Not everyone makes it out unscathed. In fact, a character I had gotten a little attached to takes one for the team before the end. There’s also a touch of intrigue and betrayal!

Anyway, it’s just a really good book and since we’re in November, I can safely say it’s one of my favorites of the year. Legion of the Undeadhas set a new bar for zombie Roman Empire historical fiction! 5/5 stars.

I received a free copy of this book.

The Narration: Terry Self really out did himself with the narration. Just a great performance all around. He has distinct voices for all the characters and his female character voices are feminine. There’s a few accents as well (Spain Spanish, Gaulish, and Chinese) which he pulls off quite well. In fact, Terry Self sounded like he was really into the story, it never being a dull moment. There were no technical issues with this audiobook. 5/5 stars.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-11-08 00:39
An elephant trap! Sneaky elephant! Tembo Makaburi by John Isaac Jones
Tembo Makaburi - John Isaac Jones

This novella is set in the days before the ban on ivory. Walter Cravens is out to get his fortune by hunting elephants and taking their tusks. Abasi is a servant, guide, and translator to Cravens who is set on bringing ‘progress’ to Africa. An old woman tries to give him some advice, warns about the elephant graveyard. Of course, Cravens won’t be warned off.

I liked the mouse and cat game that Cravens plays with an old bull elephant as they go ever deeper into the wilds. Cravens comes off a little strong in his pompous attitude but it serves the plot well. He’s dead sure that no animal could outsmart him and he’s got the imperious attitude to prove it – ha!

Meanwhile, Abasi and the porters do all the work. In some ways Abasi is the true center of this story. He gathers all the intel (chatting up locals, doing the tracking) and lays it at the feet of the great White hunter Cravens. I liked that Abasi makes mistakes too and isn’t really averse to killing elephants even if he gets a bit spooked later on in the story. He’s not perfect but he’s not the hero of the tale either.

As the story progresses, the tension builds. Something a little supernatural is going on here, right? Or is it just that Cravens and Abasi are making idiot choices and Nature eventually wins out? It’s left up to the reader to decide and I really enjoyed this slant to the story. 5/5 stars.

I received a free copy of this book.

The Narration: JD Kelly has one of those rich voices that makes you want to listen to darn near anything that he reads. I loved his voice for Cravens and he also had a distinct voice for Abasi with a believable Swahili accent. Abasi’s fear and skepticism and placating charm all came through loud and clear even as Kelly made Cravens sound like a pompous jerk as he’s meant to be. 5/5 stars.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-11-08 00:16
Cute, cuddly, & educational - The Case of the Cursed Dodo by Jake G. Panda
The Case of the Cursed Dodo (The Endangered Files) (Volume 1) - Jake G. Panda

This was so cute! It’s got some detective noir feel to it with the period phrases but none of the real violence since this is for kids. There’s humor all over the place; you can’t help tripping over it. As a biologist, I loved seeing all the endangered animals, like the macaroni penguin, tucked into the story.

Jake Panda was a fun detective, trying to be all tough and grumpy and yet sweet talking his bamboo plant. I kept picturing him in a hat and trench coat even though he doesn’t wear a hat. While working at the Last Resort hotel as the house detective, he gets a postcard from his friend The Professor, a hare (not a rabbit!), seeking his aid. He runs off to do so and gets tangled up in this nefarious underground animal ring. Jake Panda won’t stand for that! Yay! Even though this is for kids, the mystery was still fun to watch unravel.

The story sometimes included stuff like ‘and we fade in to whoever doing whatever’, etc. This seemed a little odd at first but I soon got used to the stage directions being there. I really liked that the tale took place in more than one place around the world and yet more places were mentioned. In fact, this whole story is full of little learning moments – the various types of animals, locations around the world, small interesting bits about the animals themselves. I think this is great for kids interested in biology or science in general.

There’s really only 1 main female character, Daisy Condor, and she comes into the tale half way through. She’s a romantic interest and while she gets to take part in the grand finale, I felt that this story needed some gender balancing. There were a handful of ladies briefly mentioned but all with small tiny roles. Meanwhile, we have The Professor, the Dodo, the guy who double crosses Jake, etc. How are all these endangered animals going to reproduce if there’s no ladies?

All told, it was a delightful tale and fit fora family road trip with young kids. 4/5 stars.

I received a free copy of this book.

The Narration: So many awesome narrators came together to make this story alive! All the character voices were distinct and I loved that the voice actors made each voice sound a little like the animal they are portraying. There was a snorting hog, a laughing hyena, and Jake Panda often had a little growl to his voice. There were plenty of sound effects and they added to the story, though there was once or twice when the sounds over-shadowed the voices for a moment or three. 4.5/5 stars.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-10-25 22:02
A vampire dragon zombie? Yes! Attack on the Overworld by Danica Davidson
Attack on the Overworld: An Unofficial Overworld Adventure, Book Two - Danica Davidson

Note: While this is Book 2 in the series, it works just fine as a stand alone story. Also, you don’t have to be a Minecraft fan to enjoy this tale.

Maison and Stevie return for another adventure! Though, admittedly, this isn’t one either signed up for. While Maison is visiting Stevie in the Overworld, she realizes her computer was hacked by some cyberbullies and they are most definitely up to no good! Destiny and her cousin wreak zombie havoc in Stevie’s home village.

This was quite a bit of fun and I liked it a little better than Book 1. The stakes were higher as people Stevie knows and cares about are turned into zombies by the bully TheVampireDragon555, who I will just call Vampire Dragon. It was both funny and a little disturbing for Maison and Stevie that Vampire Dragon was turned into a thinking angry zombie. Yep, you got that right – a Vampire Dragon zombie loose in the Overworld! Cue evil laughter!

I liked that the cyberbullying issue wasn’t a simple thing in this tale. Davidson does a great job of showing multiple facets to this real-life problem. Through the characters of Destiny and Vampire Dragon, she shows us a few reasons why bullies do what they do. Then through Maison and Stevie she shows what those targeted by the bullies can do. Sometimes it takes a few choice kind words and sometimes greater actions, perhaps using a sword, are needed.

While there is an obvious underlying message about bullying, the story works really well in the action and plot department. Maison really shines as a character as she feels very responsible for the bullies making their way into the Overworld and yet she doesn’t give up hope in saving the zombified villagers. She also has to make a leap of trust that could turn the tide one way or another.

Over all, it was a fun listen and makes me want to check out Minecraft and see what adventures I could go on.

I received a free copy of this book.

The Narration: Dan Woren is the perfect vampire dragon zombie! His voice for that character was excellent – a bit raspy, a bit evil, and a bit wannabe ruler of the world. I loved it! His character voices were all distinct and his female voices were definitely feminine. He sounds totally engaged in the plot as well, easily pulling off all the emotions the characters go through.

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?