Monthly Archives: April 2020

Terror in the Appalachia (Terror Series, Book 2) by J. Esker Miller

A stalking, four-legged monster lurks in the wooded areas of the Appalachia; well, more than one actually.  The terror induced by these creatures is almost tangible.  Night, morning or noon, one is not safe alone or even in small groups.  They are not timid at all especially when they are hungry and feeling territorial.  They have a plan to migrate.

The author, J. Esker Miller, has captured several different aspects of the Appalachia life.  The dialog is realistic and demonstrates a common approach to discussions.  On example is when the ranger questions when he can be considered a local.  The response is 100% spot on – “after at least three generations, nothing sooner.”  For small town, rural setting, this bit of conversation is real and which adds a realistic flavor to the book.

The characters in the book are well developed and easily relatable to their role.  Could there have been more character development?  Yes, but that can be said for any book.  I thought the plot flowed smoothly and I appreciated the subtle and steady build of suspense.

The narrator, Ward Paxton performed the audiobook perfectly.  He delivered a performance that was well-timed, expressive and moved the story along.  It is obvious that Paxton performs the action-packed, terrifying tale well.  As a voice actor, his voices are solid but like most male actors, he struggled with the female voice.

I did not experience any difficulties with the quality or production of this audiobook.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves horror and adventure.

Disclaimer: The audiobook was provided free of charge by the author, narrator, and/or publisher in exchange for a non-bias review.

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Sons of War by Nicholas Sansbury-Smith

Nicholas Sansbury-Smith is an excellent writer who knows how to weave an engaging yet terrifying story that the reader cannot help but connect it to what is happening today.  In a time where a pandemic situation could very easily bring about the economic downfall of the world, Sansbury-Smith could not have picked a better time to debut his newest novel, Sons of War.

Mixing mafia, politics, military, and paramilitary all into one novel was a bold move. One that I feel, as a reader, was brilliant.  It is exciting when an author moves from one genre to another and does it as well as Sansbury-Smith has done.

This story follows a small community within Los Angeles through a cataclysmic economic and political breakdown affecting the U.S.  A father and son bent on protecting not only their wife and daughter/mother and sister but their friends, the innocent, and their country.  The mafia intent upon building an empire based on drugs, sex/human trafficking as well as death and destruction; the paramilitary bent on removing the power of the US government into their own hands all while riots and starvation occur.

Vividly detailed, the plot and character development are flawless as are the plot twists! The dialog is realistic and well done. Sansbury-Smith has a knack for storytelling and does so in a riveting style.  Complete with action, adventure and edge of your seat moments, Sons of War promises to be all that listeners desire and you should know upfront that you will NOT be able to put it down until the end!  When you do reach the end, you are going to want more!

Ray Porter, the narrator, gives an excellent performance.  He masters the characters in a manner that leaves the listener thoroughly engaged and moves the story along at the appropriate pace.  I cannot think of anyone better for this performance.  With both Porter and Sansbury-Smith, this is another successful series.

If you have ever listened to a book by Nicholas Sansbury-Smith you already know he is a vivid and impressive storyteller, this book just drives that point home.

There were no issues with the quality or production of this audiobook.

Star Review:  * * * * *  (5-star)

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The Rose Diary by Curtis Maynard

Jacqueline finds herself dealing with death much more intimately than most her age would ever be expected to do.   First, it’s her childhood best friend, Chase who passes in a mysterious fire, and now it is her older sister, Sandra who is discovered dead in her bed.  Family rifts and accusations follow her throughout the book until she discovers her sister’s death was much more than an illness … so much more!

Curtis Maynard develops the story vividly and realistically through dialog, character development, and plot twists.  The author is meticulous in details, leaving nothing to chance.  Every movement of each character is carefully choreographed to make the story realistic and accurate.  The plot twists and supernatural occurrences resonate with many because of the simplistic approach used in the storyline. Maynard expertly communicated the story, emotions, and character relationships.

I had a difficult time stopping the book until I was free to listen again.  Maynard does not scratch the top of the story, but rather takes the listener deeper and reveals a much darker story.   I enjoyed listening to the book and hearing the plot and twists evolve with each passing second.  The cliff hanger at the end was a bit of a shock and well done but it makes me need to hear the 2nd book now.

The narrator, Jess Combs, performs the story with just the right amount of emotion.  Her performance engages the listener to vividly see the book and each step of the mystery until the end.  Her voice for the story was very well done – one would not believe she wasn’t 14 or 15 years of age!

There were no issues with the production or quality of this audiobook.

Star Rating:  * * * * 1/2

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