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review 2018-10-17 21:28
Hush little baby, don't say a word and never mind that noise you heard...it's just a beast under your bed...in your closet, in your head.
Pack - Mike Bockoven

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~BOOK BLURB~

Pack

Mike Bockoven

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Cherry, Nebraska, population 312, is just off the highway between the sticks and the boonies. It’s where Dave Rhodes and his friends have lived all their lives. They own businesses, raise families, pay taxes, deal with odd neighbors, and, once or twice a month--just like their fathers before them--transform into wolves.

 

It’s not a bad life, but when one of the group members goes astray, it sets in motion a series of events that will threaten to destroy the delicate balance that has kept Dave and his clan off the radar. Between a son getting ready for his first transformation--called The Scratch--a wife with sordid secrets, a new sheriff who knows nothing of the creatures in his midst, and a mysterious man in a bow tie with a shady agenda, the middle of nowhere is about to get very dangerous.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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I don't like most of the Shifters novels out there, but this one is different.  I like that it was different.  This felt like it came from the real-world with a supplement of paranormal elements…rather than coming from the paranormal world supplemented with real-world elements.  If that makes sense…it's also very graphic, especially the shifting scenes. 

 

Overall though, I felt like it lacked heart, or maybe it just needed a tad less testosterone…I'm not really sure.  Also, there are a few plot inconsistencies where things didn't get fully explained.  Other than that, while not as terrific as Fantasticland, Pack is still a mostly enjoyable listen.  The dialogue was easily digestible and well done in Audio format, but it would have been even better with additional narrators.   Oh yeah, there is also a shout-out to Metallica...gotta love that.

 

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~MY RATING~

3.3STARS - GRADE=B-

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 3/5

Characters~ 3.3/5

The Feels~ 3/5

Pacing~ 3.2/5

Addictiveness~ 3.5/5

Theme or Tone~ 3.5/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 3.7/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 4/5

Originality~ 4/5

Ending~ 3.2/5 Cliffhanger~ hmmm…sort of…

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Book Cover~ Love it!

Narration~ 4 for Peter Simonelli, he wasn't half bad…I just wasn't really into his exceptionally deep voice.

Setting~ Cherry, Nebraska

Source~ I Own Audible Audiobook

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I used this for Shifters Square in Halloween Bingo 2018

 

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text 2018-09-30 17:45
September Re-Cap
 All the Ever Afters: The Untold Story of Cinderella’s Stepmother - Danielle Teller
Any Man - Amber Tamblyn
Something in the Water - Catherine Steadman
City of the Lost - Kelley Armstrong
A Geek Girl's Guide to Murder - Julie Anne Lindsey
Sea Witch - Sarah Henning
Burying the Honeysuckle Girls - Clara Emily Carpenter
Anna Dressed in Blood - Kendare Blake
FantasticLand - Mike Bockoven
Contagion - Erin Bowman

 

 

I read a total of fourteen books towards Halloween Bingo, a decent month worth of books.  No Bingo's yet, but I'm close to having a few.  Only one book that I didn't like...and that was Burying the Honeysuckle Girls.  One freaky AF book...that one is Any Man, although, Fantasticland could probably fit into that category as well.  I also loved the first book in what I think will be a duology, with Contagion.  I'm still finding myself listening more than reading, it seems to be my new normal now. 

 

 

 

(Audiobook) All the Ever Afters: The Untold Story of Cinderella's Stepmother by Danielle Teller

Finish Date:  09/04

☆4.2☆STARS - GRADE=B+

 

(Audiobook) Any Man by Amber Tamblyn

Finish Date:  09/05

☆4.5☆STARS - GRADE=A-

 

(Audiobook) Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman

Finish Date:  09/07

☆3.5☆STARS - GRADE=B-

 

(Audiobook) City of the Lost by Kelley Armstrong

Finish Date:  09/09

☆4.3☆STARS - GRADE=A-

 

(Kindle eBook) A Geek Girl's Guide to Murder by Julie Anne Lindsey

Finish Date:  09/09

☆3.5☆STARS - GRADE=B-

 

(Audiobook) Sea Witch by Sarah Henning

Finish Date:  09/12

☆3.5☆STARS - GRADE=B-

 

(Audiobook) Burying the Honeysuckle Girls by Emily Carpenter

Finish Date:  09/14

☆2☆STARS - GRADE=D

 

(Audiobook) Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Finish Date:  09/17

☆3.7☆STARS - GRADE=B

 

(Audiobook) Fantasticland by Mike Bockoven

Finish Date:  09/18

☆5☆STARS - GRADE=A+

 

(Audiobook) Contagion by Erin Bowman

Finish Date:  09/20

☆5☆STARS - GRADE=A+

 

(Kindle eBook) The Lost Codex by Heather Lyons

Finish Date:  09/23

☆3.5☆STARS - GRADE=B-

 

(Audiobook) In A Handful of Dust by Mindy McGinnis

Finish Date:  09/24

☆4☆STARS - GRADE=B+

 

(Audiobook) Mud Vein by Tarryn Fisher

Finish Date:  09/26

☆4☆STARS - GRADE=B+

 

(Audiobook) A Killer's Mind by Mike Omer

Finish Date:  09/28

☆4.3☆STARS - GRADE=A-

 

14 Books Total, 12 of them Audiobooks and 2 Kindle eBooks.  A Total of 4,897 pages (including Audio).

 

Since I tend to pick books based on there covers...my pick for the best cover of the month goes to...

 

...it's actually a tie between Sea Witch and Contagion. 

 

 

 

 

 

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review 2018-09-19 23:15
Fantastic narration sets this horror-if-ic story apart from the others...
FantasticLand - Mike Bockoven

 

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~BOOK BLURB~

Fantasticland

Mike Bockoven

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Since the 1970s, FantasticLand has been the theme park where “Fun is Guaranteed!” But when a hurricane ravages the Florida coast and isolates the park, the employees find it anything but fun. Five weeks later, the authorities who rescue the survivors encounter a scene of horror. Photos soon emerge online of heads on spikes outside of rides and viscera and human bones littering the gift shops, breaking records for hits, views, likes, clicks, and shares. How could a group of survivors, mostly teenagers, commit such terrible acts?

 

Presented as a fact-finding investigation and a series of first-person interviews, FantasticLand pieces together the grisly series of events. Park policy was that the mostly college-aged employees surrender their electronic devices to preserve the authenticity of the FantasticLand experience. Cut off from the world and left on their own, the teenagers soon form rival tribes who viciously compete for food, medicine, social dominance, and even human flesh. This new social network divides the ravaged dreamland into territories ruled by the Pirates, the ShopGirls, the Freaks, and the Mole People. If meticulously curated online personas can replace private identities, what takes over when those constructs are lost?

FantasticLand is a modern take on Lord of the Flies meets Battle Royale that probes the consequences of a social civilization built online.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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Luke Daniels has essentially become my favorite male narrator after listening to this.  He and Angela Dawe were phenomenal.  They narrated several characters between the two of them, giving each voice its own sound.  Daniels did the majority of them.  He had different accents, inflections…this felt like it was a full-cast narration.

 

Fantasticland asks the question…what would a few hundred young adults do when completely cut-off from their phones and social media accounts and with no one left to tell them what to do…It's outlandish that something of this magnitude would happen, but it's laid out in a very real, very plausible way.  Seriously, this totally freaked me out, on several levels.  It was so intense and scary…if I was ever in a position to have to evacuate because of a hurricane…I'd be out.  Especially, after listening to this.

 

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~MY RATING~

5STARS - GRADE=A+

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 4.5/5

Main Characters~ 5/5

Secondary Characters~ 5/5

The Feels~ 5+/5

Pacing~ 5/5

Addictiveness~ 5/5

Theme or Tone~ …on a horror scale, I'll give it a 5/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 4.3/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 5/5

Originality~ 5/5

Ending~ 5/5

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Book Cover~ It's perfect.  (Although a giant question mark laying on the ground would've been better…)

Narration~ 5+ for Angela Dawe & Luke Daniels

Setting~ Fantasticland Theme Park, Florida

Source~ I own Audible Audiobook

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I used this for Creepy Carnivals Square in Halloween Bingo 2018

 

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