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review 2018-03-04 02:36
Audio Book Review: Hunter, Healer
Hunter - Healer - Lilith Saintcrow

*I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

It's been three months since Delgado was taken. Rowan and the Society have been on the move, staying a hairs breath reach away from Sigma's fingers. Delgado did something to his mind, and he can't remember. He does know that Sigma has been drugging and beating him, asking where some girl named Rowan Price is. They want this girl. Bad. He doesn't know who she is, but if she's staying ahead of Sigma then he potentially trained her, and maybe she could help him.

Rayna is back for book two! Yes! I thought her voice fit Rowan perfectly in the first book as it fits the descriptions given of Rowan's voice. Rayna carries Rowan's emotions so well in her voice. Along with Delgado when we are in his head. There are moments that are italicized in the book to represent thoughts, which can be hard to relate vocally so the listener doesn't think the character is talking. Doing it with a slightly lower volume or whisper helps us differentiate these moments. I'm amazed at the talent Rayna has in jumping from Rowan's emotions to Delgado's emotions. They are both on a different feel, and it's portrayed in the quick scenes with grace from Rowan.

I was waiting for this audio book. I wanted to know how things would go after the ending of the first book.

Where Delgado kept his ability hidden and reserved in book one, we see him in action here. He's a killing machine when Sigma needs him to be. Or when he wants to be. We also get to see Rowan starting to understand her powers. She does more with them now, knowingly.

Rowan has grown stronger. In her ability and in character. She was weaker in the first book and still looks for her rock and love, Delgado, but she can function on her own. As a matter of fact, she can help run the team. She doesn't realize she's stepped into the position Delgado held, and she's doing an amazing job at it. Rowan is a complicated character. At times she seems like she should be weak and dependent, but she's not. There is so much more to her that makes her stronger and caring.

Delgado trained her to fight, in case this happened. In case he was taken and turned against her. He pushed Rowan past her limits when they were last together in the training room, but he knew he had to in order to keep her safe. Delgado's worst fears came true, and now Rowan is strong enough to survive against him. But she's more than that. She means the world to Delgado and he will find his way back to her.

What Delgado had to do to himself to protect Rowan from being found has lingering flickers for Delgado. Things are a tad rocky with him and Rowan as they find each other again. We see Rowan and Delgado as they are attracted to each other, but they are afraid of how things have changed. The story is more romance of how they find their way back to each other than what happens in bed, although that is present as well. This is more of the growing love they have.

The book feels to have a balance of romance and action. There is more story with Rowan and Sigma and Delgado and Sigma, as we get POV's from Rowan and Delgado. The story comes to an end, but there is an opening to possibly continue with these characters. I'd be up for it if it happens, but I'm happy with the way this ended as well.

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review 2018-03-04 01:59
Audio Book Review: Boneyard
Deadlands: Boneyard - Seanan McGuire Deadlands: Boneyard - Seanan McGuire

*I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.


Emily is a new voice actor for me. I found I liked her early on. She tells us the story as though I'm sitting and listening to a talented story teller. When she comes to the voices of the characters she puts added tones and innuendos into the voices that fit for the characters. Each character had their own voice and emotion to fit their personality and the moment they are in. She even voices a little girl as young as she should sound. Emily did a great job with voicing all characters differently. Wow. She's one great voice actor. Emily's tension grew with the story as we went. In the darkest moments, her voice was strong with emotion, tension, and worry. I felt all the emotions and was drawn to keep listening. Amazing work. I enjoyed her voice acting very much!

I've not read or listened to any of Seanan's books yet. This is my first. And I liked how she hints at things with details instead of just saying what the obvious is. Like the description of bruises and seeing ribs, instead of telling there was abuse or lack of food. This gives me a feel rather than just knowing what has possibly happened.

We start the book with the Blackstone Family Circus traveling and get a feel for the people in the circus. It's a bit slower paced as we meet the characters in their surroundings.

As the story is told, we get it mostly from Annie's view point. But there are times we get the view from Nathanial's mind along with a few others. It's a graceful shift in the story that you don't realize it right away that you are seeing the story from another's view. It keeps the story going forward with a smooth transition.

I think if I was reading this book, I would have stopped. It felt slow moving for me. But, Emily's narration kept me holding on. And I started to grow curious about The Clearing. Chapter seven is about when I started getting interested in the story. The reaction of the town to the circus people and Oddities Annie cares for. Things picked up for me in the book when we got to The Clearing. When we got into the woods, oh yes, this is what I was looking for. But before all this, it felt slow.

When we get to The Clearing, we start to see the personality of the people who live here. They are... unkind. And the things that could go oh so wrong with what the circus has and the way these town folk are... oh so wrong can happen. Though, when out on the search I get lost in Annie's thoughts as she's walking through the forest. I just didn't feel to connect with this character. I felt as though it was more character driven and I just wasn't into it. I wanted more events to happen.

The cover depicts some of the Oddities that Annie cares for very well. I really like this cover.

These characters have internal battles they are fighting before they come to the external ones. They grow in their experiences and understandings along with fighting what's after them. Great parallel here with both. Sometimes external battles help make the internal ones clearer. Annie has more baggage she's carrying along, more battles she'll have to fight with what and who is after her.

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review 2018-03-04 01:44
Audio Book Review: The Half-Assed Wizard
The Half-Assed Wizard (Volume 1) - Gary Jonas

*I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.


Don't let the length full you. It's a shorter read/listen, but we quickly get into Brett's world of wizards that's he's worked to NOT be part of and the band life he enjoys as it all crashes together in trouble.

Joe is a narrator I've listened to before. He fits Gary's characters well with their dry sense of humor. Joe voices the characters with tones that fit their standing and personalities. There is a twist to the characters and they (or the narrator) acts their parts well. Nicely done.

Brett doesn't want to do magic. The pain of the blood price is something he's not into.

Brett is a younger man and feels to fit the part of a band member. He's a stereo type where he doesn't like wordy explanations, but at times he shows how smart he really is. He comes across as a slacker, but is still the star of the show in the book as he knows what to do and it's easy for him when he applies himself. He's surrounded by strong secondary characters thanks to his family's reputation.

Sabrina, his cousin, is a strong and smart character here. She has no problems using magic and yields it with perfection. Then we have Michael, a band mate of Brett's. He's special and had my attention from the moment we met him. The author did well in how he "spoke" of Michael through Brett before we met Michael, and it drew my attention to him when first walked on the page.

Brett then grows more responsible as the story goes. He is distracted with the people working to get to him and the tarot cards.

Want to talk magic? Do it in six words or less - that's Brett request, as he doesn't want to deal with it. He might be lazy, but we repeatedly see he's not dumb. Now, Brett being lazy is not all bad. It gives a little spice to the book and Brett's character. At times it feels as though he doesn't know what to do, but then all the sudden he does. More a smart aleck than anything. I enjoyed his flavor of spunk.

I enjoyed the way Gary plotted this story to come together in the end. Crafty. There was a twist to who's connected to who and what the ultimate goal is. I was surprised at one twist to the story. I enjoyed the power we find in Brett and curious to see what he may do with it in the future, along with his friends too.

I would enjoy listening to the rest of the series.

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review 2018-02-28 19:14
More 'Enhanced' more Nick J. Russo...
Who We Truly Are - Victoria Sue,Nick J. Russo

and Karen's a happy girl...again!

 

Ok, I'm not sure how much more I can rave about the talents of Nick J. Russo so I'm probably going to keep it short and sweet when I say "I love Nick J. Russo. He's totally one of my favorite narrators' and for me he's totally rocked this series and as long as he's the narrator this series for me without a doubt is an auto-buy."

 

I thoroughly enjoyed the first book so needless to say when "Who We Truly Are" came out on audio needless to say I was on board for this and I really enjoyed this one as well. While there was a sameness at the heart of the story...which, good thing because it's a series and for me part of what I enjoy about a series is that underlying note of sameness that I get from book to book but I also like it when there's something unique about each book, a slightly different touch to the story and with "Who We Truly Are" I got that little bit of difference from the stories focus. 

 

I the first book things seemed a bit more centered around the overall story and characters, building the world of the 'Enhanced'. So while we did get the beginnings of Talon and Finn's relationship, we also got to meet the rest of their team and there was a mission to be accomplished. Don't get me wrong I loved that first book or I wouldn't be here now. But I was more than happy when i realized that while there is yet another mission to be accomplished here there is also a stronger focus on building Talon and Finn's relationship and on Talon and Finn as individuals and I really, really loved this. 

 

Finn's starting to come into his own as an agent. He's becoming more confident and others are beginning to realize that while he may not be an enhanced he still has something to bring to the team and he's proving himself to be a valuable asset. Meanwhile Talon's struggling with things, he wants to be supportive but his desires to be supportive are also battling with his instincts to be protective and keep Finn safe even a the price of his self-esteem. He loves Finn but can he reconcile what Finn needs from him with what his instincts are telling him to do before he totally looses him and just to complicate things Talon's struggling with changes that are happening to his enhanced powers...changes that no really seems to understand.

 

While both men are struggling with their own inner turmoil they've still go a job to do as young enhanced boys are disappearing and Finn begins to realize that he may well be the solution to this particular mystery. 

 

I really like Talon and Finn for me they seem to bring out the best in each other. Each of them making the other look at who they are and who they could be.  I loved that both Talon and Finn had to look at their role in their relationship and it wasn't a case of 'it's his fault'. For Talon and Finn it's not just a matter of making their relationship work on a personal level because they work together on the same team they need to work on a professional level as well because when you work with the person you love how good your relationship is or isn't affects people on a more direct level and it added another level to things when other team members weighed in on things between Talon and Finn. 

 

At the end of it all I think we're left with Talon and Finn in a better place as a couple but I'm hoping that future stories will let us touch base with this pair while giving stories about the other members of Talon's Enhanced team as they continue to make their world a better place for both enhanced and regular people. 

 

I'm really enjoying the unique flavor that this series has while it's in the same genre as some of my favorite series it's still got a unique flavor that's all it's own and I'm looking forward to enjoying more of it with 'Beneath This Mask' the third book in Victoria Sue's 'Enhanced' series.

 

*************************

An audiobook of 'Who We Truly Are' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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text 2018-01-31 14:30
DNF
Of Angels and Men: A Paranormal Urban Fantasy (The Archangel Wars) (Volume 1) - Jonathan Yanez

It was too easy - the insta-attraction with the tgtbt superhero was too much.

A pity, the beginning was very promising, especially the world-building.

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