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review 2017-11-12 19:31
An easily addictive and fascinating listen set in a ingenuously futuristic San Francisco.
False Hearts - January LaVoy

Book Title:  False Hearts

Author:  Laura Lam

Narration:  January LaVoy

Series:  Pacifica #1 (but reads as a stand-alone)

Genre:  Futuristic | Science Fiction | Mystery

Setting:  San Francisco

Source:  Own Audible Audiobook

 

 

 

Add to Goodreads

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Plot:  5/5

Main Characters:  5/5

Secondary Characters:  5/5

The Feels:  4.7/5

Pacing:  5/5

Addictiveness:  5/5

Theme or Tone:  5/5

Flow (Writing Style):  5/5

Backdrop (World Building):  5/5

Originality:  5+/5

Book Cover:  5/5

Narration:  5+/5

Ending:  5/5  Cliffhanger:  nope

Steam Factor 0-5:  4

Total:  5/5 STARS - GRADE=A+

 

 

 

A futuristic setting where we have flying cars, flesh parlors, and stasis for people who commit crimes. A seemingly meek society where there is virtually no crime…or is there?  There are so many intriguing aspects to this…from conjoined twins who are separated and given false (mechanical) hearts to cult living and so much more…a must read for anyone that likes a complex setting mixed with hidden corruption with a splash of romance. I was addicted to this marvelous narrator's voice, so much so, that I want to listen to more books she's narrated.

 

Will I continue this series?  Oh yes, this world that Laura Lam has created has me hooked.

 

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review 2017-10-13 21:50
WWII with a alternate ending...
Wolf by Wolf: One girl’s mission to win a race and kill Hitler - Ryan Graudin

Book Title:  Wolf by Wolf

Author:  Ryan Graudin

Narration:  Christa Lewis

Series:  Wolf by Wolf #1

Genre:  WWII, Alternate History

Setting:  All through many countries between Germany and Japan

Source:  Audiobook (Library)

 

 

 

Add to Goodreads

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Plot:  5/5

Main Characters:  5/5

Secondary Characters:  5/5

The Feels:  5+/5

Addictiveness:  5/5

Theme or Tone:  5+/5

Flow (Writing Style):  4.5/5

Backdrop (World Building):  5/5

Originality:  5/5

Book Cover:  5/5

Narration:  5/5

Ending:  5/5  Cliffhanger:  Total Cliffhanger…

Steam Factor 0-5:  0

Total:  5/5 STARS - GRADE=A+

 

 

 

I loved every minute of this book, and I'm so glad I listened on Audio because the narrator was phenomenal.  She had the accents down perfectly. Which is just enough of an accent, but not too much, that I couldn't understand her. 

 

From the alternate history to the skin shifting supernatural abilities, this had me hooked and I couldn't stop listening to it.  I especially embraced the stories behind each of her wolves that she has tattooed on her arm.  This story has such emotion to it, I was captivated.  The motorcycle race gave added depth to an already emotional story, with a feel to it, that actually reminded me of Iron Will.

 

Will I continue this series⇜  Most definitely!

 

 

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review 2017-06-17 20:56
The Breakfast Club meets…a twisty murder plot???
One of Us Is Lying - Karen M. McManus

 

 

Book Title:  One of Us is Lying

Author:  Karen M McManus

Narration:  Kim Mai Guest, MacLeod Andrews, Shannon McManus, & Robbie Daymond

Series:  Stand-Alone

Genre:  Mystery, YA

Setting:  Bayview High- Bayview, CA

Source:  Audiobook (Library)

 

 

Add to Goodreads

 

 

 

 

Book Theme Song

(this link will take you to my tumblr post with video)

Don't You (Forget About Me) by Glee  --A new take on an old hit…I thought there's only one song for this story, but I wanted something with a new spin, new feel and so this feels…just right.♫

 

 

 

⇝OVERALL RATING⇜

5/5 STARS

A+

 

 

My Thoughts

 

An ingenious take on one of my all-time favorite movies, The Breakfast Club.  Reconstructed and varied with a twisty murder plot.  Each of the original players are represented from the princess all the way to basketcase…but they're changed up a quite a bit. 

 

While listening to One of Us is Lying, I thought I had a fairly good idea of who actually killed Simon.  In part, my theories were right, but ultimately, I significantly missed the mark with this one, so props to the Author.

 

This is a bonus as an audiobook because each of the four main characters has a separate person narrating.  So, I wholeheartedly recommend Audio for this book.

 

 

Ratings Breakdown

 

Plot:  5/5

Main Characters:  5/5

Secondary Characters:  5/5

The Feels:  5/5

Addictiveness:  5/5

Theme or Tone:  5/5

Flow (Writing Style):  5/5

Backdrop (World Building):  5/5

Originality:  5/5

Book Cover:  4/5

Narration:  5+/5

Ending:  5/5  Cliffhanger:  Nope!

 

Will I read more from this Author?  I definitely would.

 

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review 2017-04-23 23:03
Proof of Concept
Proof of Concept - Gwyneth Jones

For such a short novella, Proof of Concept is packed to bursting with plot threads, thematic questions, and worldbuilding elements. The story takes place in a fascinating dystopian world where pollution and global warming have pushed the world's population into giant "hives" separated by toxic "Dead Zones" where impoverished non-citizens try to eke out their short existences. MegaCorps have a chokehold on culture and politic, and even scientific endeavor must be turned into pop-culture and seek the approval of the GAM (Global Audience Mediation AI). The issue of extreme population control is hotly contested, as is the future of the human race. The quest for hyperspatial travel is seen as humanity's last hope. To get funding, the serious scientists have partnered with the popular reality-show stars to live underground in isolation to create a proof of concept for hyperspatial travel.

The story is as packed with genre elements as it is with worldbuilding concepts: a Vernesque journey to the center of the earth, a coming-of-age story, a romance, and even a strong tang of mystery. There are so many ideas packed into this little novella; I just wish there had been a little more room for character development. The timespan of the story is so wide, the cast so large, and the worldbuilding is so broad that I think in some ways, the characterization and driving urgency of the plot got a little lost. I never got a real sense of the different characters, and while I think this contributed to the shock factor of the ending, I found it also rather unsatisfying. In particular, and quite at odds with the rest of the story, I felt that the end expected me to unquestioningly accept the author's definition of "good guys" and "bad guys" and accept that the "good guys" can do absolutely terrible things and yet remain the "good guys" by definition alone… more time spent on characterization of both the faceless antagonists and the tarnished protagonists would have helped greatly, I think.

One of the most interesting themes in the story involves Kir, a child "saved" from the Dead Zones to act as the "wetware" for an artificial superintelligence quantum computer. Is she a captive or a willing participant? Is she deluding herself when she believes the woman who cut her head open and installed an ASI inside sees her as a person rather than a tool? Is the thing who shares her head a being with its own identity or merely a sophisticated calculator, and despite the supposed firewalls, what influence does it have on her behaviour?

"You're going to put a supercomputer in my head. It's going to share my brain. Okay, I can't stop you. But what if he goes wrong and starts eating me?"


Overall, Proof of Concept is itself an interesting proof of concept for a world and idea that I think fully deserves a longer novel. If you're looking for a fascinating little novella, Proof of Concept is worth a look.


~~I received an advanced reader copy of this ebook through Netgalley from the publisher, Tor.com, in exchange for my honest review.~~

Cross-posted on Goodreads.

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review 2017-03-24 20:34
Undeniably one of the craziest books I ever read…
Illuminae - Jay Kristoff,Amie Kaufman

--Below is my review for this book in paperback format, I just listened to this in Audio format, and it was phenomenal, a full cast of characters for narration sets this apart from most audiobooks, if you've been thinking of trying an audiobook...get this one.  The only downfall is it could spoil you for regular audiobooks.

 

 

Book Title:  Illuminae

Author:  Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Series:  Illuminae Files #1

Genre:  Science Fiction, Deep Space, YA

Source:  Own on Paperback

 

⇝Add to Goodreads⇜

 

 

 

♪♫My Picks For Book Theme Song♫♪

 

♫Here's to the Heartache by Nothing More  --It's spooky, it's like it was written to go with this book.♫  & 

 

My Demons by Starset  --This is AIDAN'S song, for sure.  I believe that if they ever get around to making a movie for this, Starset could do the whole Soundtrack.♫

 

 

 

Ratings Breakdown

 

Plot:  5/5

Characters:  5/5

The Feels:  5+++

Theme:  5/5

Flow:  4/5

Backdrop (World Building):  4/5

Originality:  5+++

Book Cover:  5/5

Ending:  5+++  Cliffhanger:  No, but you can tell it's not over yet…

 

Will I continue this series?  H*** Yes!!!

 

 

 

 

My Thoughts

 

If I explained this book in one word it would be:  Intense

 

Some other words would be…

 

Raw, Graphic, Gut-wrenching, Teeth-clenching, Nail-biting, Wonder, Awe, Interstellar, Lol, Fearful, Doubtful, Suspenseful, Thrilling, Movie-worthy, a-pain-in-the-ass-to-read-at-times, and ultimately Satisfying.

 

I read this in Paperback form, and I need to say, I really don't like reading actual books.  The print is too small for me see, even with my glasses on, unless I'm in direct sunlight.  I also had a kindle version from the library, that I read on whenever it was too dark for my paperback.  I'm glad I had both versions; it helped immensely.  For this book…you need to read it in hardcover or paperback.  Not all of the parts of it are easily read from a kindle.  This is so interesting that I'm contemplating using a Audible credit to buy the book in Audio version. Side-note--I did that

Sex Factor:  There is only talk of sexual situations, but this book is definitely older YA; because of the intensity of the graphicness.

 

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