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Search tags: Barks-Audio-Reviews
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review 2018-05-17 19:54
The Air He Breathes by Brittainy C. Cherry
The Air He Breathes - Brittainy C. Cherry,Brian Pallino,Erin Mallon

I’ve had this sucker downloaded to my phone for over a year so figured it was about time to get it done. Note to all: I knew nothing of the plot before going into it because I bought it a year ago and my memory is crap. The guy on the cover looked promising though. So what follows is likely ALL my fault. Or mostly my fault. I will not accept the blame for all of this. Namely the last ¼ when something I anticipated in the first hour comes true. This is the rare case that I will admit that it sucks to be right.


Tristan and Elizabeth do not meet cute. They meet when she hits his golden retriever (which is later described as a “small/med dog” so I am confused. My golden’s have both been large/x-large but maybe I fed them too many treats!). I will admit that I almost deleted the thing off my phone when this happened because I was not up for this, would never be up for this, truth be told. Elizabeth does the right thing and drives him to the vet since he’s running around town without shoes and the vet is a mile away. He verbally abuses her for most of the ride in front of her five year old daughter. Apparently she just ran into the town asshole. Of all the luck. He’s scared and I felt for him but he was being a real dick all the same. Fortunately the poor dog only has a fracture but what a completely crappy way to start out a romance! Tristan is so emotionally fragile that he breaks down into big heaving sobs when he hears that his dog is ok. Yikes. My heart was not ready for this level of heartbreaking sorrow and it only gets more crushing from there.


These two are so broken and so emotionally raw that it is painful to read their stories. Both have lost their spouses in a car accident. Tristan actually lost his 8 year old son and his wife. Neither are dealing with their grief very well. He has channeled his into anger and she is a walking zombie. The first half is so grief laden it is almost physically painful to read. They forge an unhealthy relationship based on sadness and sex. It’s frankly creepy and very freaking sad and it continues to hurt to read about these two. They eventually realize what they’ve been doing is not a good idea and forge a real friendship that turns into something more and I LOVED this. I was ready to give it 4 ½ stars. It was gorgeous and heartfelt and full of healing goodness. The book should’ve ended right here but sadly it didn’t.


Someone mistakenly thought that adding in some crazy plot twists, suspense and loads of unneeded drama were needed and turned the lovely ending into a shitshow of epic proportions before finally giving us a HEA in the epilogue. I’m bumping off a full point for all of this nonsense.


So anyway, if you want some drama in your reading life and need to shed a few tears then read this. The characters are very well written, well matched and the romance believably developed. The little girl, Emma, was the kind of child that I actually enjoy reading about in romance. She’s funny and loves scary movies and monsters and dogs. She is awesome and I want to read her book someday. There’s also an ongoing thread featuring feathers that will gut you every time they appear. It’s all worth reading. Just be warned that the first third, as my notes say, and my notes do not lie, is “so fucking depressing I may as well be reading a bleak horror novel.” The next bit is five star material and so beautifully cleansing after all of the pain but argh that last bit before the very end needed to be exorcised right out of the book!

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review 2018-05-16 18:25
Kill Creek by Scott Thomas
Kill Creek - Scott Thomas,Bernard Setaro Clark

A young internet tycoon lures four horror writers to the most haunted of haunted houses for a two-day interview under false pretenses. There’s some grumbling naturally, I mean who, besides me, would willingly want to stay the night at a scary old ghost filled place? But they all decide to do the right wrong thing and stay anyway and a whole lot of nothing too sinister happens. But just you wait!

 

The truly frightening things happen when they return back to their real lives and this is where the book excels. It takes that old setup and makes it fresh and new and terrifying. There was a lot of hype surrounding this book and everyone seemed to love it so I went in with very high expectations and a lot of fear that I would hate it or want to pick it apart because I can be a jerk like that. Fortunately, mostly all I can say is that it is amazing and the story will grab you from the beginning and if you like haunted house stories you NEED to read it next.

 

The four writers are all very different in style and personality and watching them interact was pretty fascinating in and of itself. Moore, the only female in the group, writes violent, in-your-face horror (the kind I honestly like best), Sam is your Stephen King type writing about the relatable good guys, Sebastian Cole is a Charles L. Grant quiet horror type and Daniel writes books for the tween/teen market with strong moral codes and little religious subtlety. Watching them struggle with their differences, rag on each other and later deal with their inner demons, secrets and tragedies was so interesting to me not just because I’m nosy but because they were so incredibly well written and believable.

 

Five star books are so hard for me to review. This one gets all five stars and it deserves each and every one of them. Kill Creek is the perfect blend of great characterization, growing dread, true terror and murderous bits. If you’re into audiobooks get the one narrated by Bernard Setaro Clark. He adds another level of fright to the terrors within with his professional narration.

 

I have nothing here to bitch about. Nothing at all. I know, I can hardly believe it myself!

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review 2018-05-10 19:24
In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
In Cold Blood - Truman Capote,Scott Brick

This does not read like a true crime novel. It almost reads like a historical fiction novel but unfortunately all of the horrible events that take place happened. I recommend having something light and fluffy nearby to read when you're finished because this book will drag you down into a pit of despair.

 

The Cutter’s are a farming family and pillars of the community. Dad Herb is fair and liked by almost everyone. His daughter selflessly gives her time to everyone and his son, well, I don’t know much about him but he seems like a fine kid. The only one with issues is poor mom who suffers from depression and social anxiety and spends most of her time in her room.

 

They are just going about their lives with no idea that two thieves are planning to rob and murder them.

 

There is so much detail here, a little of it a wee bit unnecessary, and I had to force myself to stick with it in the beginning. Then I switched to audio and it went much smoother. It’s such a sad story but the author does a spectacular job of piecing together all of the historical details and making you feel a whole range of emotions, mostly anger and sorrow for the senseless loss of life. This isn’t a play-by-play emotionless retelling of a crime, Capote fills in the gaps with conversation and private thoughts. How accurate are they? I haven’t a clue but it makes the book go down a whole lot easier. I’m not a big fan of dry true novels and this wasn’t one of those. It’s a riveting story of a beloved family, two criminals with stories of their own, and the aftermath of that one terrible night.

 

Scott Brick narrated the version I read and his voice, strong and serious, is perfect for recounting this tragic story.

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review 2018-05-03 19:42
1984 by George Orwell
Nineteen Eighty-Four - Simon Prebble,George Orwell

This book is quite terrifying. I think most everyone but me has read it or was forced to read it in high school. I was a delinquent student and missed out on this book somehow and decided to read it now. Don’t ask me why. It is perhaps a very bad time to decide to read this book about a world where Big Brother is watching your every move, history is being re-written on the daily and replaced with lies and where most everyone is just another cog in the wheel and basically a Sheeple obliviously going along with things.

 

Anyway, this book was pretty chilling and very readable except for the long winded section where the “hero” is reading the journal/book provided to him about the way of the world. I think that could’ve been tightened up as it repeated much of what the reader already knew but if you need to know all the details you’ll love this part. I wasn’t a fan of the “Newspeak” section at the end where it explains in great detail how language is being slaughtered to control the masses. I also didn’t like the “hero” but I don’t think I was supposed to. In this world no one can be trusted and he is a rather weak and loathsome creature. He’s married, hasn’t a clue where his wife ended up and doesn’t really seem to care, he cheats and he sees a young woman and fears her because she is part of the Thought Police but secretly he wants to hurt and rape her. Ugh, what a loathsome creature. Did I say that already? Despite his distasteful personality and all of my complaints, I think you should read this if you haven’t already because it tackles the absolute absurdity of allowing government complete control over every aspect of your life.

 

The audiobook version I listened to as narrated by Simon Prebble who does an excellent job.

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review 2018-05-02 19:02
Into the Black Nowhere by Meg Gardiner
Into the Black Nowhere: An UNSUB Novel - Meg Gardiner,Hillary Huber

I gave Unsub three 1/2 stars and this one will be getting three minus the 1/2 and I will be stopping with the series right here. It’s just not one for me. Everyone else seems to love it so I think it’s a case of personal taste. And, to be totally honest, I wasn’t really in the mood for it when it arrived in from Overdrive but I plunged in anyway because I had waited so damn long for my turn.

 

This is book #2 in the Unsub series and follows FBI profiler Caitlin Hendrix as she tracks down a serial killer inspired by true life murderer Ted Bundy.  I’ve come to realize recently that I’m not a huge fan of police procedural type books unless the serial killer is given his/her own POV like the most excellent The Fourth Monkey by J.D. Barker. I love getting into their heads and seeing what makes them tick. I think I’m spoiled for all serial killer books now that I’ve read that one. This is my problem and not the fault of this book. This story was told mostly from Caitlin’s POV and while she’s a determined, single-minded, strong woman, she wasn’t the killer and when the killer was caught halfway through the story (are you kidding me?!), my attention began to wane pretty quickly and it just devolved into something that I didn’t like. A supposedly meticulous killer suddenly goes batshit crazy and starts a-killing willy-nilly? Seriously? Nope, that just didn’t work for me.

 

I listened to the very end but it was only “meh” for me. The narrator Hillary Huber is very professional sounding but I definitely felt as if she were reading to me in many spots (something I didn’t notice in Unsub) and it would pull me out of the story which didn’t help the book go down any easier for me.

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