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review 2018-03-09 02:11
Anna & Charles
Burn Bright - Patricia Briggs,-Penguin Audio-,Holter Graham

Finished the newest Alpha & Omega listen on audible. These books are my favorite books by Patricia Briggs. This was slow in places, although still a good listen.  Holter Graham changed the character voices from past narrations, I thought “wha?..” but got over the difference quickly. Definitely worth a listen, intrigue, good characters and entertaining can’t ask for much more. 

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review 2018-03-09 02:11
#Audiobook Review: Burn Bright by Patricia Briggs
Burn Bright - Patricia Briggs,-Penguin Audio-,Holter Graham

With Bran away, Charles is charged with looking after his pack. Danger strikes close to home, endangering the Wildlings, lone wolves who are too wild to be part of the pack, but remain under Bran’s protection. Unable to reach Bran, Charles and Anna are left of save and protect the Wildlings while trying to uncover who within the pack is a traitor.


While Burn Bright is the continuation of Charles and Anna’s story, the series on whole is deeply connected to its sister series, the Mercy Thompson series, and this story takes place following and refers to the events in Silence Fallen. Bran remains away after helping Mercy escape her captors in Europe, but lied about his location to Charles. So when things go sideways and Bran is unreachable, Charles begins to suspect more is going on than a random attack on isolated wolves.


I mostly enjoyed the story as it alternates between Anna and Charles’ POVs, revealing bits and threads that begin to show something larger happening around the pack. The series is at its best when Anna and Charles are in sync, working together to solve a bizarre mystery. And although Charles and Anna work separately for a bit, the trust and love they share makes the pair much stronger than the individuals. And watching them try to figure out who is attacking the Wildlings while trying to understand what secrets Bran has hidden for them to uncover was exciting and engrossing. We meet several new characters that I hope turn up in books down the road.


Unfortunately, there is one part of the book that really bothered me, even though I tried hard to understand why Ms. Briggs would have included it. Specifically it has to do with the relationship between Bran and his foster daughter, Mercy, who doesn’t even make an appearance in the story. Anna and Charles discuss the bond between Bran and Mercy, and the impacts to Bran’s own mating bond with Leah. The implications are upsetting and disturbing, and I feel there was no reason to include it. However, I did enjoy learning more about Leah (later in the book) and her motivations. It made her character more relatable and three-dimensional.


The story is narrated by series-veteran, Holter Graham. I have always enjoyed his performances, although I felt sometimes he had a stereotype-Native American accent for Charles. However, in Burn Bright, Mr. Graham changed up his voice for Charles quiet a bit. So much so, that it sparked a big discussion among my friends on Twitter. While the change was distracting at first, it didn’t take me too long to settle into the new voice and enjoy the performance. Overall his voices remain solid and character appropriate, adding in a touch of emotion when needed.


In the end, I enjoyed finally getting back to Anna and Charles after a three-year break. It doesn’t seem like the story was as strong as previous tales, but that may have more to do with the shift away from the Fae, giving the book a transition feel. The story builds upon what I love most about this series - the dynamic between Anna and Charles, their bond and love. I liked getting more about Leah; I liked understanding her and her feelings a bit more. The Wildlings piece was interesting, and I hope well see more of them in future titles. 


My Rating: B 

Narration: B 


Review copy provided by Penguin Random House Audio

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text 2017-06-09 17:27
The Girl Before - DNF
The Girl Before - Rena Olsen,Brittany Pressley,Penguin Audio

This is one of the books my mother picked using our Audible credits. She loved it, and apparently a lot of other people did, too. I stuck with it long enough to realize that the awful first-person-present-tense style was not just for effect in the prologue, but a stylistic choice for the entire book. 


And unlike the last book I just reviewed, it is not compelling enough to allow me to look past the FPPT. DNF. Didn't listen to enough to rate it.


Audiobook, via Audible. Brittany Pressly's reading seemed okay, but the quavery voice she's using likely would have annoyed me over the course of an entire book, if she doesn't move on from it once her character is out of the immediate situation. 

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review 2017-03-23 18:11
#Audiobook Review: Etched in Bone by Anne Bishop
Etched in Bone: A Novel of the Others - -Penguin Audio-,Anne Bishop,Alexandra Harris

Etched in Bone is the fifth and final book in the utterly amazing, wholly original The Others series by Anne Bishop. The story picks up just after the conclusion of powerful events of the previous book, and is the culmination of everything learned since Meg arrived in the Lakeside Courtyard way back in the first book. 


Etched in Bone deals with the limited transportation and food shortages created when the Elders culled many humans and took back human-controlled towns. The new living situation brings out a different kind of human "predator,” and the Elders must determine how much human they want to keep in the world. Having two Elders observe the Lakeside Courtyard places Simon in a precarious situation; he must allow a dangerous human (Officer Montgomery’s shady brother, Jimmy) to stay in near the Courtyard so the Elders can figure out what makes him a bad type of human (and therefore they will be able to destroy those humans that are a threat). Simon, along with the other Terra Indigine and some of the more astute humans like Burke and Monty, recognize that the fate of all humankind depends on what happens in Lakeside. This sets up a number of situations that endanger the lives and wellbeing of many of the Lakeside Courtyard residents, weaving a sense of urgency around the moments of everyday living.


Like all the previous books in the series, readers (listeners) are privy to an unpleasant series of events that unfold over the course of Etched in Bone and witness how the Terra Indigine react. Although is it evident where the story is headed, it's still gripping. This time around, I liked how well the Others and humans worked together, but I also like that the Lakeside residents are now able to recognize a human predator. The introduction of Monty’s mother, Twyla, adds a missing human/pack grandmother component. She is able to understand the ways of the the Others and put her own way of handling a situation into their framework. Her presence is calming, knowing that she is able to handle the craziness with a firm but caring hand.


Additionally, Etched in Bone progresses the unique relationship between Simon and Meg. By now, it is evident to all, expect Simon and Meg, that the pair are in love. Because love between a human and Other hasn’t existed before, and due to Meg’s abusive history, the couple’s dilemmas are different than expected. I absolutely love that Simon gets advice on how to navigate his relationship with Meg through "kissy books!” 


After messing with the speed over the course of the series, the narration works best for me at 1.25x speed, and I will freely admit that I am now a huge fan of Ms. Harris’s performance in the series. I've grown to love every voice Ms. Harris performs, each as familiar as the characters themselves. The narrator continues to keep the joy and nativity of Meg, and the gruff predator of Simon. She nails the creep factor of mooch Jimmy, the whine of Jimmy's wife, and the confidence of Burke and Kowalski. 


Etched in Bone is another wonderful story in The Others series. The characters have grown so much, and I adore all the Courtyard residents. I've come to think of them as friends and have such an interest in seeing them succeed. I loved just listening to the day-to-day details and life of the Lakeside Courtyard, along with the new experiences for Meg, the Others, the Elders, and everyone in the mixed community. The author ended the series with many (if not all) of the outstanding details wrapped up, yet not completely finalized. After finishing Etched in Bone, I am hopeful for the future of the people/creatures of this interesting world (and really want more!).


My Rating: A- 

Narration: A-


Series: A-


Review copy provided by Penguin Random House Audio


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review 2017-03-11 11:41
The Aeronaut's Windlass: The Cinder Spires, Book 1 - Jim Butcher,-Penguin Audio-,Euan Morton

This is truly an excellent book. Awesome story, clean story-telling, little to no swearing which was surprising but very pleasant. I listened to the audiobook and it did seem a little long but I wonder if reading it would have felt different... I will read the next one in the series when it comes out.

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