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review 2017-11-21 19:04
Spoonbenders by Daryl Gregory: Sorry I had to quit you @ 90%
Spoonbenders: A Novel - Daryl Gregory,Ari Fliakos

2.5 (it was okay) for me but I'll bump it up to a 3 because I'm such a sweetheart (said no one ever).

 

This is the story of a once famous family who were shamed when their patriarch screws up on national tv and exposes himself for a fraud. Except they’re not all frauds but try telling that to anyone after the public shaming. Now they have to eek out a living like the rest of us schulbs. I think I’m one of the few people who did not find this book exciting, humorous and a rip-roaring good time. I didn’t like the time jumps which I found confusing on audio, I did not care about any of the characters, nor did I care what they were doing, who they were dating, or what binds they were getting themselves into. I’m not going to write a review because I’m lazy and because I know this one is truly a case of my personal taste and my current “meh” mood. I think I’m going to have to quit reading for a bit or at least quit forcing myself through ARC’s because I have lost all the joy for books at this point in time.

 

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text 2017-11-21 18:20
Reading progress update: I've listened 722 out of 842 minutes.
Spoonbenders: A Novel - Daryl Gregory,Ari Fliakos

I think I may have to give up reading. Everybody seems to love this book but I'm not feeling it. I have two hours left before it's over and I'm dreading them.

 

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review 2017-11-20 23:12
The Ocean at the End of the Lane (Audiobook)
The Ocean at the End of the Lane - Neil Gaiman

Can a pond be an ocean?

 

This isn't the best that Gaiman's ever written, but it's still filled with his delightful prose and vivid imagination. The boy who is the POV character is more of a witness to the events around him, even while he's the unwitting reason for many of them. Leti, her mom and grandmother are as mysterious as they are fascinating. Since the boy isn't really given many answers, a lot goes unresolved or hinted at, but it's the adventure that this boy goes through that matters. 

 

Neil Gaiman narrated this and I could honestly listen to him read the telephone book, so full marks for the narration.

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review 2017-11-20 17:30
Every Story Was Monstrous Fun
The Monster Hunter Files - Larry Correia,Jim Butcher,Faith Hunter,Jonathan Maberry,Oliver Wyman,Khristine Hvam,Bailey Carr,Audible Studios
Fabulous audiobook, filled with excellent short stories perfect for travel, walking, sitting or just ignoring the people around you. The narration was very well done. I think this is the first anthology where I enjoyed all the stories and authors.
Two of my favorite authors were included in this monster hunter collection of short stories, Jim Butcher, and Faith Hunter. Both write fabulous characters and truly wicked monsters, so I was thrilled when I won a copy of this. Yes, both knocked it out of the park with their tales. Really I had no doubts they wouldn't. What surprised me was how much I enjoyed each of the other authors previously unknown to me. I think the last story was my favorite new to me author story, it was about a Golem, I love Golems.
I plan on reading each of the other authors from this collection.

 

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review 2017-11-20 13:13
#Audiobook Review: Stay by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy
Stay - Audible Studios,Elle Kennedy,Sarina Bowen,Jacob Morgan,Lucy Rivers

Hailey Taylor Emery co-owns a thriving startup “go-for” company with her ex. Hailey is a huge Toronto Maple Leafs fan, and is a bit flustered to discover her long-time celebrity crush, Toronto forward Matt Erikkson, is one of her clients. She is even more discombobulated when he refers to her as “hottie” and invites her to a game. 

 

Over 18 months ago, Matt’s wife insisted on a divorce, and he’s still feeling the impacts. His ex convinced him that being a professional hockey player and having a long-term relationship can never work. However, after meeting Hailey, Matt is considering putting his heart out there again.

 

I absolutely adore the Him/WAGs world that Ms. Bowen and Ms. Kennedy have developed over the course of three books. This is the first story that wanders away from the “original” characters and family, and the authors do a great job transitioning the focus to Wes and Blake’s teammates. Overall, I enjoyed Stay, and found Matt and Hailey to be an adorable and sexy couple. With that said, I also had a few hiccups with the story and Hailey, which made it not quite as amazing as the previous three books.

 

As I mentioned, I enjoyed Matt and Hailey together. Their playful banter, especially as translated through texting and messenger apps, is fun, and it allows the couple to get to know one another in a safe place. And once they become a couple, I loved watching them grow, especially Matt. I also love the WAGs supporting characters, who add dimension to the story. And there are some fabulously hilarious moments… just think “junk selfie in a public restroom”!  I do really like it when it’s just the two of them getting to know each other, spending time together and with the team. 

 

However, I did struggle a bit with the first half of the book. First because I didn’t care that much for the female narrator (discussion below). Second, I couldn’t get 100% behind Hailey. She’s unsure and uncertain, and it made it difficult for me to cheer for her. Third, the ex situation on both sides adds too much tension, making parts of the story very combative. Finally, I had a big issue with a conflict that came up regarding client confidentiality. It is a serious thing, and I felt Hailey, the OWNER of the business, took it way too lightly!

 

As far as the narration, Ms. Rivers excels when portraying Hailey, although it was a tab bit slow at 1.25x. And her female characters are good, but sometimes they felt forced - in that she was working too hard to create different voices from the norm. However, her male voices sound just like a goofy teenage character from a cartoon show I used to watch, and that is all I heard every time she performed any male character, to include the lead. That took me out of the story too often. On the other hand, the male narrator is the same who voiced Wes in both Him and Us. While it was a bit confusing at first (because I kept thinking it was Wes speaking), once the story progressed, it worked well. I really like Mr. Morgan’s voice, and felt he does a great job with a multitude of characters. He also brings solid emotion to Matt, who is struggling to figure out his life.

 

In the end, I’m giving Stay a B rating, whereas normally a book that has a few issues would get a B-. I liked Matt and Hailey together, especially for the second half, after she got over her nervousness and committed to the relationship. The couple clicked, creating a strong romance and finish to the book. I just adore this world, and hope the authors give us more stories soon!

 

My Rating: B

Male narrator: B+

Female narrator: C

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