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review 2018-10-29 17:28
Audio Book Review: Three Mages And A Margarita By Annette Marie
Three Mages and a Margarita - Annette Marie

 

Annette Marie has done it again! This was a fantastic start to what I can already tell is going to be an amazing series! I love how detail oriented the universe's she creates are. The narration and pace to the story were great and has left me wanting more.

 

Tori was a fascinating character to get to know. She has quite a temper and refuses to take anyone's crap. Those personality traits don't make it easy for her to keep a job until sheer luck and coincidence make an appearance. I liked seeing her relationship with the guys evolve and how the other patrons went from hostile to reluctantly respectful towards her.

 

If I'm honest I had a hard time telling the guys (Kai, Aaron, and Ezra) apart during the story. They didn't make a big enough of an impression on me, in the beginning, to make it easier to differentiate them throughout the story. Though by the end I can say that even though I like Aaron, I'm definitely on team Ezra.

 

The ending surprised me because, for a second there, I was sure this was going to end in a cliffhanger. I'm SO glad that it didn't. I'm excited for the next book now more than ever! 

 

The Audio Book:

 

Cris did an awesome job with the narration! She has a good range of female and male voices. I didn't get lost in conversations trying to guess which character was speaking.

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review 2018-10-07 20:52
Audio/Book Review of The Servants of the Storm (The Pillars of Reality Book 5) by Jack Campbell
The Servants Of The Storm - Jack Campbell

A Storm that will wreck a world threatens Dematr. Only Mari, one of the Mechanics who control all technology through their Guild, has a chance to stop it. She and Mage Alain have survived numerous attempts to kill them and have gained many more followers, but the Storm of chaos, born of centuries of enslavement, grows ever closer.

 

Mari leads an army now. She and Alain must fight together to bind back the Broken Kingdom and build a force strong enough to defeat the might of the Great Guilds. But the Storm has many Servants who seek to preserve or gain personal power or wealth, or fear the New Day that Mari seeks to bring to the world.

 

And Mari knows that victory will mean nothing if the precious knowledge brought long ago to their world is destroyed. In order to save it, Alain and Mari will have to pierce through the heart of their enemies' power and confront once more a place of ancient nightmare.

 

Review 5*

 

This story is the fifth book in a fantastic epic fantasy series called The Pillars of Reality. I absolutely loved it!

 

Mari is a fantastic character. I liked her immediately when I met her in the first book. I love her determination to do the right thing, even at the cost of her own life. A Master Mechanic, Mari has faced many threats to her life from the Guild Masters on the world of Dematr and survived. Foreseen by Mages to be 'The Daughter of Jules' and fated to free the world of Dematr from the tyranny of both the Guilds - Mechanics and Mages - and to unite the Mechanics, Mages and Commons against said Guilds, Mari finds herself fighting for their freedom.

 

Mage Alain is also a fantastic character. I liked him a lot from the start. He was one of the youngest Acolytes to achieve Mage status at the age of seventeen. He has been taught from a young age not to show or feel any emotions and that the world he lives in is an illusion, where nothing is real. I love how this character has grown as the series has progressed. He tries to show more emotion, even though his Guild had virtually beaten it out of him. He hides a dry wit under that emotionless mask.

 

I listened to this story in audio format, rather than read it. MacLeod Andrews once again narrates the story. He does a fantastic job of bringing the story to life. Even Alain, who's voice is meant to be flat and emotionless comes across with subtle hints. You would think that Alain's voice would be monotonous, but it's not so. I love the way he brings all the characters to life with different accents, inflexions and tones. He even makes the women's voices sound perfect for each character. As for his narration, he read the story clearly and concisely, and his pacing was perfect. I would listen to more books read by this narrator.

 

The story continues six months from the end of The Pirates of Pacta Servanda and sees Mari and Alain heading a mixed army of Mages, Mechanics and Commons as the action heats up. Mechanic Caylou (not sure of spelling as I listened to the story so have no reference and have spelt it phonetically - it could be Kayloo or another variation) makes another appearance. He is one of Mari's friends from the Mechanics Guild, along with his girlfriend, Ally, who also makes an appearance. I love her constant use of 'Your Daughterness' when speaking to Mari just because it annoys her. Mage Asha also makes another appearance, as does Mage Dov, who is Asha's uncle, and Mechanic Dov (no relation) whose relative had once lived in Marandur. Cien, a princess of Tae, plays a significant role in this story, too. There are a few more characters added, but it would take me too long to mention them all.

 

I love the world building in this series. It is familiar though strange at the same time. It has a mix of steampunk and modern day technology, but this is due to the way the Guilds restricted people from creating new things. The story is full of action, adventure, and danger and I found myself an emotional wreck at times. In this story, the characters are gathering together for a showdown with the Great Guilds. They also make a dangerous journey back into the Imperial territory of Marandur to retrieve the mechanical texts left at the University. The action is ramping up further as the storyline reaches towards the climax, and I found myself holding my breath more than once as they faced several tricky challenges. Have you ever read or listened to a story and felt utterly emersed in it? It happened to me as I listened to this book. These characters have come to life for me and have become my friends. This book ends with a slight cliffhanger, which had me eager to listen to the next story in the series, The Wrath of the Great Guilds, as soon as possible.

 

Jack Campbell has written a fantastic science fiction series. I have added him to my favourite author's list, as he's found a fan in me. I love his writing style, which is fast-paced and descriptive, and the flow of the story is good too.

 

Although there is now some mention of scenes of a sexual nature, it’s not shown. I do not, however, recommend this book to younger readers under the age of 15 due to some violence. I do, however, highly recommend this book if you love dark or epic fantasy, steampunk or action/adventure and supernatural/paranormal romance genres. - Lynn Worton

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review 2018-08-16 21:03
Audio/Book Review of The Pirates of Pacta Servanda (Pillars of Reality Book 4) by Jack Campbell
The Pirates of Pacta Servanda - Jack Campbell

"The world feels oddly strained, like a line pulled too taunt and apt to snap, smashing everything in its path."

 

Master Mechanic Mari and Mage Alain have survived every attempt to stop them, but their enemies are determined to kill Mari, the only one who can save her world from a storm of destruction. As armies begin to gather and cities seethe with tension, Mari, Alain, and their friends must prepare to confront the storm in the place it first appeared: the broken kingdom of Tiae.

 

The dangers facing them demand perilous raids, tough battles, and more than a little piracy. Beating the Mechanics Guild and the Mage Guild that have controlled the world of Dematr for centuries will require an unprecedented alliance under Mari's command of rebellious Mechanics, Mages, and common folk who know that together they can change the world, but separately they will all lose.

 

Review 5*

 

This story is the fourth book in a fantastic epic fantasy series called The Pillars of Reality. I absolutely loved it!

 

Mari is a fantastic character. I liked her immediately when I met her in the first book. I love her determination to do the right thing, even at the cost of her own life. A Master Mechanic, Mari has faced many threats to her life from the Guild Masters on the world of Dematr and survived. Mari has been foreseen by Mages to be 'The Daughter of Jules' and fated to free the world of Dematr from the tyranny of both the Guilds - Mechanics and Mages - and to unite the Mechanics, Mages and Commons against said Guilds. This time, she finds herself on a dangerous mission on the sea in an attempt to reach the broken kingdom of Tay and walking in the footsteps of the legendary Jules of Pacta Servanda. Together with her friends, and Alain, she will have to dig deep to survive the oncoming storm.

 

Mage Alain is also a fantastic character. I liked him a lot from the start. He was one of the youngest Acolytes to achieve Mage status at the age of seventeen. He has been taught from a young age not to show or feel any emotions and that the world he lives in is an illusion, where nothing is real. I love how this character has grown as the series has progressed. He tries to show more emotion, even though his Guild had virtually beaten it out of him. He hides a dry wit under that emotionless mask.

 

I listened to this story in audio format, rather than read it. MacLeod Andrews once again narrates the story. He does a fantastic job of bringing the story to life. Even Alain, who's voice is meant to be flat and emotionless comes across with subtle hints. You would think that Alain's voice would be monotonous, but it's not so. I love the way he brings all the characters to life with different accents, inflexions and tones. He even makes the women's voices sound perfect for each character. As for his narration, he read the story clearly and concisely, and his pacing was perfect. I would definitely listen to more books read by this narrator.

 

The story continues from the end of The Assassins of Altis and sees Mari and Alain joining with several new characters as the action heats up. Mechanic Caylou (not sure of spelling as I listened to the story so have no reference and have spelt it phonetically - it could be Kayloo or another variation) makes another appearance. He is one of Mari's friends from the Mechanics Guild, along with his girlfriend, Ally, who also makes an appearance this time. Mage Asha also makes another appearance, but there are also several other new characters that are now integral to the plot. There is Mage Dov, who is Asha's uncle, and Mechanic Dov (no relation) whose relative had once lived in Marandur. Sien, a princess of Tay, plays a significant role in this story, too. There are a few more characters added, but it would take me too long to mention them all.

 

I love the world building in this series. It is familiar though strange at the same time. It has a mix of steampunk and modern day technology, but this is due to the way the Guilds restricted people from creating new things. The story is full of action, adventure, and danger and I found myself an emotional wreck at times. In this story, the characters travel to the Sea of Backer, where pirates, traders and Imperials rule the waves and danger threatens on all fronts. The action is ramping up as the storyline reaches towards the climax. Have you ever read or listened to a story and felt utterly emersed in it? It happened to me as I listened to this book. These characters have come to life for me and have become my friends. This book ends with a slight cliffhanger, which had me eager to listen to the next story in the series, The Servants of the Storm, as soon as possible.

 

Jack Campbell has written a fantastic science fiction series. I have added him to my favourite author's list, as he's found a fan in me. I love his writing style, which is fast-paced and descriptive, and the flow of the story is good too.

 

Although there is now some mention of scenes of a sexual nature, it’s not shown. I do not, however, recommend this book to younger readers under the age of 15 due to some violence. I do, however, highly recommend this book if you love dark or epic fantasy, steampunk or action/adventure and supernatural/paranormal romance genres. - Lynn Worton

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review 2018-08-07 10:00
Release Week Review! Shadow's Bane (Dorina Basarab #4) Karen Chance!
Shadow's Bane - Karen Chance

 

 

Half-human, half-vampire Dorina Basarab is back–and facing her biggest challenge yet in the next urban fantasy in the New York Times bestselling series.

 

Dorina Basarab is a dhampir–half-human, half-vampire. As one of the Vampire Senate’s newest members, Dory already has a lot on her plate. But then a relative of one of Dory’s fey friends goes missing. They fear he’s been sold to a slaver who arranges fights–sometimes to the death–between different types of fey.

 

As Dory investigates, she and her friends learn the slavers are into something much bigger than a fight club. With the Vampire Senate gearing up for war with Faerie, it’ll take everything she has to defeat the slavers–and deal with the entirely too attractive master vampire Louis-Cesare….

 


Dorina has a lot on her plate being one of the Vampire Senate’s newest members but when a relative of one of her friends goes missing, Dory investigates a slaver and it’ll take everything she has to defeat them and deal with Louis-Cesare.

 

The “Dorina Basarab” series is a well-developed and fascinating world full of strong, charismatic characters that readers are easily drawn to and certainly can’t get enough of. Each and every story is fast paced with thrilling and daring battles, intriguing events, magical weaponry that sparks the imagination and plots that keeps readers hanging on to every word and that’s not to mention that witty dialogue that produces chuckles even as the kick a** heroine puts enemies in their place. Dorina is one tough chick but she also has a vulnerable side and readers can easily connect with her while enjoying her adventures.


There is never a dull moment to be found in the fourth book – “Shadow’s Bane” as one thrilling event after another takes place during this fast paced plot which is also interspersed with emotional turbulent scenes that ensures the readers get a well-rounded view of Dory and the multiple issues taking place throughout the story including her romance with Louis-Cesare and her relationship with her father. Her and her friends not only have to deal with the slavers which is much more complicated than they originally thought, but Dory is faced with tons of houseguests, the coming war with the Fae, Mircea’s past and her inner struggle with her “twin”.

 

The plot is a bit complex and is so full of twists and turns that readers will need to pay attention in order to keep up but the plot plays out so that it adds to the anxious atmosphere of the story which really keeps readers glued to the pages and I can’t wait to find out what happens next in Dorina’s world.

 

 

Shadow’s Bane

 

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24104482-shadow-s-bane

 

BookBub – https://www.bookbub.com/books/shadow-s-bane-by-karen-chance

 


is the 4th book in the Doriana Basarab series

 

Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/series/45661-dorina-basarab

 

Which includes
.1 Zombie’s Bite
.3 Dragon’s Claw
.5 Buying Trouble
1 Midnight’s Daughter
2 Death’s Mistress
2.1 In Vino Veritas
3 Fury’s Kiss
3.5 Lover’s Knot
4 Shadow’s Bane

 

& is connected to the Cassandra Palmer series.

 

Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/series/49237-cassandra-palmer

 


This timeline gives the reading order for both the Cassandra Palmer and Dorina Basarab series. It also shows the reading order for the novellas and shorts connected with the books.


http://karenchance.com/timeline.html

 


Shadow’s Bane is available in print & ebook at:

 

Penguin - http://www.penguin.com/book/shadows-bane-by-karen-chance/9780451419064

 

Amazon - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0451419065?tag=randohouseinc7986-20

 

B&N - https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/shadows-bane-karen-chance/1127456869?ean=9780451419064

 

BaM - http://www.booksamillion.com/p/9780451419064?AID=10876509&PID=8373827&SID=PRHEFFDF5A7F1--9780451419064

 

Hudson - https://www.hudsonbooksellers.com/book/9780451419064

 

IndieBound - http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780451419064?aff=penguinrandom

 

Powells - http://www.powells.com/book/-9780451419064

 

iBooks - https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1312463723

 

Kobo – https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/shadow-s-bane

 

GPlay - https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Karen_Chance_Shadow_s_Bane?id=Jzk-DwAAQBAJ

 

 

Karen Chance is the author of two New York Times bestselling series, plus a number of novellas and short stories, all set in the Cassandra Palmer universe. A full-time writer since 2008, she was previously a university history teacher, which comes in handy when writing the time-travel aspect of Cassie’s crazy adventures. She loves Las Vegas, the main setting for her novels, but currently lives in Florida near her family home.

 

Website - http://karenchance.com/

 

Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/38066.Karen_Chance

 

BookBub - https://www.bookbub.com/authors/karen-chance

 

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/#!/KarenChanceBooks

 

Twitter - https://twitter.com/CasPalmerSeries

 

 

 

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review 2018-07-15 23:01
Audio/Book Review of The Assassins of Altis by Jack Campbell
The Assassins of Altis - Jack Campbell

Trapped within the dead city of Marandur, Master Mechanic Mari and Mage Alain must escape both merciless barbarians and the pitiless Imperial Legion. Beyond those dangers lie the mightiest and most unforgiving powers in the world of Dematr: the Great Guilds that rule the world with iron fists.

 

Mari's Mechanics Guild and Alain's Mage Guild have always been enemies, but they are united in wanting to kill their rogue members before Mari can fulfill the ancient prophecy of being the one who will finally overthrow their power. Mari and Alain must risk those dangers because halfway across their world lies a place where truth has long been hidden. A place that could explain why their world's history begins abruptly, with no hints of what came before. A place where they might learn how the Mechanics Guild came to control all technology and how the Mages manage to alter reality temporarily. A place that might tell them how to achieve a task that appears to be impossible.

 

Never before have a Mage and a Mechanic worked together, and their combined talents offer their only hope. But she and Alain must first survive the deadly and implacable Assassins of Altis.

 

Review 5*

 

This story is the third book in a fantastic epic fantasy series called The Pillars of Reality. I absolutely loved it!

 

Mari is a fantastic character, and I liked her from the moment she was introduced. I love her determination to do the right thing, even at the cost of her own life. She is now a nineteen-year-old Master Mechanic, though her guild is determined to take her life as she poses a threat to their hold on the world of Dematr. Mari has been foreseen by Mages to be 'The Daughter of Jules' and fated to free the world of Dematr from the tyranny of both the Guilds - Mechanics and Mages - and to unite the Mechanics, Mages and Commons against said Guilds. As she tries to accept her role, she finds herself on another dangerous mission while trying to avoid death at the hands of assassins.

 

Mage Alain is also a fantastic character. I liked him a lot from the start. He was one of the youngest Acolytes to achieve Mage status at the age of seventeen. He has been taught from a young age not to show or feel any emotions and that the world he lives in is an illusion, where nothing is real. I love how this character has grown as the series has progressed. He tries to show more emotion, even though his Guild had virtually beaten it out of him. He hides a dry wit under that emotionless mask.

 

I listened to this story in audio format, rather than read it. The story is once again narrated by MacLeod Andrews. He does a fantastic job of bringing the story to life. Even Alain, who's voice is meant to be flat and emotionless comes across with subtle hints. You would think that Alain's voice would be monotonous, but it's not so. I love the way he brings all the characters to life with different accents, inflexions and tones. He even makes the women's voices sound perfect for each character. As for his narration, he read the story clearly and concisely, and his pacing was perfect. I would definitely listen to more books read by this narrator.

 

This book continues a few weeks after the end of the second story and sees Mari and Alain travelling to the island of Altis, where a long-hidden secret has been kept. With both the Guilds chasing them and now the Imperial Legions for their incursion into Marandur, Mari and Alain face many dangers, including a deadly snow storm. However, what they find on Altis will change everything.

 

This story introduces a couple of new characters into the series. One is Mechanic Caylou (not sure of spelling as I listened to the story so have no reference and have spelt it phonetically - it could be Kayloo or another variation). He is one of Mari's friends from the Mechanics Guild, along with his girlfriend, Ally (who is mentioned in book two but not introduced). Another character introduced is, Mage Asha; this is a character who is hard to explain without giving spoilers. Suffice it to say, she was a friend of Alain's from their early acolyte days, before all the emotion was beaten out of them.

 

I love the world building in this series. It is familiar though strange at the same time. The reason for this becomes apparent as this story unfolds. The story is full of action, adventure, and danger and I found myself an emotional wreck at times. Have you ever read or listened to a story and felt completely emersed in it? This happened to me as I listened to this book. These characters have come to life for me and have become my friends. This book ends with a slight cliffhanger, and the audio version has a preview of the next book in the series, which I am now looking forward to reading/listening to. I will be listening to The Pirates of Pacta Servanda as soon as I can.

 

Jack Campbell has written a fantastic science fiction series. I have added him to my favourite author's list, as he's found a fan in me. I love his writing style, which is fast-paced and descriptive, and the flow of the story is good too.

 

Although there is now some mention of scenes of a sexual nature, it’s not shown. I do not, however, recommend this book to younger readers under the age of 15 due to some violence. I do, however, highly recommend this book if you love dark or epic fantasy, steampunk or action/adventure and supernatural/paranormal romance genres. - Lynn Worton

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