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review 2019-08-19 18:45
THE DRAGON FACTORY by Jonathan Maberry, narrated by Ray Porter
The Dragon Factory - Jonathan Maberry,Ray Porter

Together, narrator Ray Porter and author Jonathan Maberry form an unbeatable team!

 

I'm not going to write a full review because I'm way behind the times on this book, (it was published back in 2011.) Military/Action type books aren't really my thing, but with Ray Porter narrating, and Maberry writing-now they ARE!  So much so, that I'm starting the next book in this series right now!

 

*Thank you to my local library for the digital loan of this audiobook. Libraries RULE!*

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review 2019-08-03 14:36
THE BEDEVILED by Thomas Cullinan
The Bedeviled - Thomas Cullinan

 

THE BEDEVILED was a nice romp through the 70's satanic cult paranoia, with a pinch of witchcraft and rituals tossed in for good measure. To be honest, I don't know WHAT or who this group was worshiping, but there was an upside down cross and it was creepy as hell!

 

The Caine family loses an aunt who leaves them her old home, (more like a warehouse, really), and soon they're off to explore their inheritance. They meet the creepy neighbors, the husband falls and breaks some bones, and soon their temporary stay turns more permanent. Shortly thereafter, their son starts acting strangely, weird things begin to occur and Maggie, the mom, begins to wonder if she's losing her mind. Will the Caine family ever go back home? Will their son ever get back to normal? And why does Maggie start to think she's actually someone else? You'll have to read this to find out!

 

THE BEDEVILED definitely feels dated, but that didn't bother me. Well, there was an incident that everyone took to be nothing, but today would have caused a huge ruckus and rightfully so. (It was hard for me to get my mind around the fact that this act wasn't even viewed as serious back then.) I enjoyed the slow burn of this tale, and how it incorporated elements and themes that are tropes of the genre today. It was fun to see how these things became tropes in the first place.

 

I do think the last third of book lost a bit of the momentum and while I did enjoy the shocking denouement, I would have enjoyed actually seeing what happened, rather than looking back on it even more.

 

Mostly slow burning, THE BEDEVILED was a lot of (70's style) fun, with an interesting cast of characters, and a few genuinely creepy moments. I never guessed what was coming and the end was a pretty big shocker which made up a bit for that little loss of pacing.

 

Recommended!

 

*Thanks to Valancourt Books for the e-ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review. This is it.*

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review 2019-07-30 18:45
SMOKE & DAGGER: A SPECTRA FILES PREQUEL by Douglas Wynne
Smoke and Dagger: A SPECTRA Files Prequel - Douglas Wynne,Thomas Fitzsimmons

 

THE SPECTRA FILES books have all been a pleasure to read. Now with SMOKE & DAGGER, we get a peek behind the scenes at the beginning of it all. What fun!

 

In New York City, feeling far from her seaside home in Massachusetts, Catherine Littlefield haunts the local museums when she's not studying for her college courses. She especially likes to sit and gaze at a certain meteorite. It gives off some kind of...signal, a kind of...hum, which she can actually feel. She notices an elderly gentleman, often on the bench opposite from where she sits, and she wonders if he feels it too. Soon the two meet, one thing leads to another, and then she's working for the man and off to California to investigate! There are reports of black magic, sex magic, spells and singing-all with the intent of bringing through the Old Gods. Who are the people so devoted to doing this? What and who exactly, are the Old Gods? Lastly, will this group be successful? You'll have to read this to find out!

 

I loved the trilogy of SPECTRA FILES books, and thought the author was finished with those tales, until I saw the beautiful cover of this book on Twitter. Not only is the cover gorgeous, but there are a number of lovely illustrations inside, though many of them are of monsters and the Old Gods themselves. Some are renditions of ancient spells and chants from grimoires devoted to the black arts. These illustrations added another level of "cool" to this tale. (I'd love to see this book come out in a signed/limited edition including the drawings.)

 

I've come to expect a level of satisfaction from Douglas Wynne when it comes to his SPECTRA FILES books. They combine Lovecraftian type story telling, (dark, ominous and atmospheric), without the flowery language, racism and other distasteful portions of Lovecraft's actual writing. What I really love about Wynne's work though, is his characters. They are always so devoted to protecting the world from the Old Gods all while being unable to claim the credit for doing so. In this book, however, things are a little different. I wasn't sure about Catherine Littlefield's inner motivations, and it was her adventure that kept my eyes glued to the page. I'd love to read more about her in the future, and more about the Order to which she was initiated. In short, I just want more!

 

You do not need to have read the trilogy in order to appreciate SMOKE & DAGGER, though I recommend you do anyway, because...FUN. This volume can stand alone, tickling your sense of adventure and your curiosity. Combining those things with a brave, admirable heroine, and some Old Gods action, I just cannot see how you wouldn't have a good time!

 

Highly recommended!

 

Available everywhere August 20th; you can pre-order here: SMOKE & DAGGER

 

*Thanks to Douglas Wynne for the beautiful paperback ARC of this book in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it.*

 

**Also, thank you, sir, for the wonderful inscription that made me both blush and smile.**

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review 2019-07-27 01:00
THE LAST ASTRONAUT by David Wellington
The Last Astronaut - David Wellington

THE LAST ASTRONAUT took all my thoughts about "First Contact", (I'm a Trekkie), and turned them on their heads.

 

This book deserves a better review than I have time available to give right now, so I must keep it brief. This was science fiction with a bit of humor and a big bunch of tension. It was fast-paced, with well drawn, deep and fascinating characters. I especially loved Sally Jansen. This woman was one of the bravest characters I've ever read about it. She wasn't perfect and everyone knew it, which is what I think made her so special to me.

 

I'm a bit of a space nerd, so all the science was fun and interesting to me. The situation into which these astronauts were placed was such a tough one the odds were heavy on their failure. Being that this year is the 50th anniversary of our landing on the moon, my respect has risen for all those who ever took that chance in real life, whether or not they made it. They are all winners to me, the real men and women, and those in this book.

 

All I can say is that I'm so glad I'm friends with readers who read and appreciated this book. If it were not for all of their rave reviews, I'm sure THE LAST ASTRONAUT would have passed under my radar. Thanks to all of you guys, you know who you are.

 

My highest recommendation!

 

*Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the e-ARC of this book in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it.*

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review 2019-07-27 00:42
3.2 Out Of 5 STARS for Necessary People by Anna Pitoniak
Necessary People - Anna Pitoniak

 

FEATURING⇢

 

A Study In Friendship
The Needs of People...
Psychological
Semi-Thrilling
Broadcast News...& Drama
Murder-ish
Narration Performed by Vanessa Johansson

 

LINK TO SYNOPSIS (AUTHOR'S WEBSITE)

 

 

 

MY RATING 3.2STARS - GRADE=C+

 

 


MY THOUGHTS⇢

 

This is more a study in friendship than a mystery thriller. Two girls who couldn't be more opposite of each other and the way they connect with one another--what it's like to be necessary to someone, right up until your not necessary to them anymore...

 

Necessary People is more the type of story to stimulate your thoughts than one to throw shock (mystery & action) and awe (twists) at you. Despite that, some or most, readers found this to be a great read. I want to say that I agree with them...but, the slowly developing plot left me bored most of the time, even though the writing is totally there. This reminded me of a Megan Abbott book, (Give Me Your Hand) that I listened too...it really has a similar feel to it, so if you like that, then you might really like this.

 

Lastly, the narration was excellently executed by Vanessa Johansson. She had a way of making you forget that only one person was telling the story.



THE BREAKDOWN⇢

 

Plot⇢ 3/5
Narration Performance⇢ 5/5
Characters⇢ 3.3/5
The Feels⇢ 2.5/5
Pacing⇢ 2.8/5
Addictiveness⇢ 3.5/5
Theme or Tone⇢ 3/5
Flow (Writing Style)⇢ 3.3/5
Backdrop (World Building)⇢ 3/5
Originality⇢ 3/5
Ending⇢ 2.7/5
_____

 

Book Cover⇢ It's different...kind of cool...I guess.
Setting⇢ New York mostly...but also Maine and London for a bit, too.
Source⇢ Audiobook (Library)
Length⇢ 10 hours, 35 minutes

 

 

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