Tag Archives: Fantasy

Sam Green and the WhipEye Great Ones by Geoffrey Saign

Sam Green is a young girl hurting from the recent passing of her mother and isolation due to her father’s grief.  Seeking sympathy, she confides her feelings to a pet store parrot, Charlie.  Then the unthinkable happens and Sam finds herself thrust into a mystery and adventure that’s outcome rests on her shoulders. Then, Jake, her cute neighbor, becomes entwined in the adventure and together they help the Great Ones face off with the evil shopkeeper guardian who wants to kill Charlie for his magical powers.

Given a magical staff, Whipeye, Sam and Jake together must discover its secret powers, so they can defeat the evil creatures released by Magnar, the shopkeeper guardian, and defeat his plans as well.

Geoffrey Saign has created an adventure that is mesmerizing!  Vividly described, Saign has created a world that lures listeners of all ages in.  The story flows naturally and with ease; this is one of those rare books where the listener can sit back and enjoy it.  The characters have realistic qualities and personalities and depth that allows the listener to relate to them.

The audiobook allows one to hear Sam’s pain, Jake’s confusion, and angst and the evilness of the shopkeeper guardian.  While it’s not an emotional rollercoaster, one cannot help but feel the emotions.  There are multiple layers to the story.  There are no dull moments, it’s action and forward-moving from beginning to end.  The only thing difficult about this audiobook … is shutting it off before the end.

I highly recommend this book – it is the first in a series.  It is fascinating, entertaining as well as engaging!

The narrator, Lauren Holladay performed the story perfectly making each character unique.  She kept the story moving smoothly adding the appropriate amount of enthusiasm and doubt and anger and fear.  Holladay’s voice was calming and pleasurable to hear.

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

Star Rating:  * * * * 1/2

Click here to purchase via Audible

Click here to purchase via Amazon

You’re Going To Mars by Rob Dircks

Triplets named Paper, Rock and Scissors live in Fill City One with their father and grandmother.  Paper’s dream is to go to Mars someday.   Good news for Paper!  Zach Larson, a private entrepreneur is funding a private trip to Mars.  For one lucky person who competes on his TV game show and wins!  Much like Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Paper has to find the much sought-after prize, a red scarab.  If she’s lucky enough to find a winning scarab, she has to escape Fill City One; ride over 2,000 miles with her absentee mother, then she has to compete in Larson’s live TV show for three months and beat out 25 other contestants. Can she do it?  Thing is Paper is smart and strong but she’s not without feelings.  She has to decide to what depths she will sink to get to Mars …

Rob Dircks, the author, gives his audience an action-packed adventure full of twists and emotional highs and lows. Dircks creates characters that he gives depth to and cultivates them into likable (and hate-able) beings.

The plot is well structured and solid.  Each character is realistic as is the dialog.  The reactions of his characters are spot on as well.  Dircks has carefully and delightfully constructed a memorable story.  I would love to see it filmed!

I got this audiobook two days ago and I finished it within the 48 hours I had it.  It is captivating, interesting and creative.  I could not put it down!

Khristine Hvam performed the audiobook excellently!  She was comfortable with the story and characters, she made the audiobook pleasant and memorable as well.  This is the first time I have heard her; she is perfect!

I loved it this book.  I enjoyed the different messes Paper found herself; I found the emotional discoveries she made were insightful and at times painful.  This is an audiobook I will listen to again and again!

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

Star Rating:  * * * * *

Click here to purchase via Audible

Click here to purchase via Amazon

Deadlands: Ghostwalkers by Jonathan Maberry

Review by Nathan Tullis

Ghostwalkers is book one in a planned three-book tie-in to the Deadlands RPG games. And did they pick a great author to start it off. Jonathan Maberry is an exceptional storyteller, multiple Bram Stoker award winner, and a perfect fit for this world. Best known for his award-winning Pine Deep Trilogy, as well as his Joe Ledger series and his YA zombie series, Rot & Ruin. I’ve listened to all of them and they’re all great. It wasn’t a question of if I would read this, but when. Especially when you consider Ray Porter is narrating.

Welcome to the Wild Weird West, “a country made for dying.” After The Great Quake in 1868; California has been shattered and released veins of a new, mysterious metal called Ghost Rock. Which is used in various steampunk weapons and gadgets, as well as some more devious uses that I will leave the reader to discover on their own.

Grey Torrance is running from ghosts as he sees a man being chased by six others. Torrance doesn’t like the odds and goes to help. He quickly discovers there’s more to the chase than meets the eye. As he’s – let’s say talking – with a couple from the group doing the chasing, he sees a blinding flash of blue light and quickly loses consciousness. When he comes to, he sees a man standing over him. This man, Thomas Looks Away, explains why he was being chased and what he’s trying to accomplish. After some entertaining dialogue, which Maberry is always good at writing, Looks Away hires Grey to help him save the people of a little town called Paradise Falls. After helping them reclaim their very own town well, Grey discovers what Ghost Rock can really do and it terrifies him. Looks Away and Torrance set out to stop the man responsible for this new hell, each obstacle more terrible and horrific than the last.

This was performed by Ray Porter, “‘Nuff said” as far as I’m concerned. However, the man deserves more than that. He is an exceptional narrator and is at the top of his field. He has read everything from horror and thriller to fantasy and non-fiction, always delivering a great performance. This was no exception. Jonathan Maberry and Ray Porter’s chemistry is astounding as if Porter can crawl into Jonathan’s mind and understand exactly how Maberry is hearing the words as he writes them. Listen to anything read by Ray Porter, the man is a force.

This has everything I wanted from it. It’s a Western, Fantasy-Horror weaved in such a way that it would be enjoyable for anyone who isn’t interested in any of those genres. It’s a story about a man who is haunted by guilt and grief trying to right past wrongs and a group of people who just want their lives back. It’s filled with horror, heartache, determination, and love. Written by a man who understands the art of storytelling better than most, and performed by a man who’s voice talent is one of the top reasons I fell in love with audiobooks.

Star Rating:  * * * * *

Click here to purchase via Audible

Click here to purchase via Amazon

Struck by Rachel Langley

Imagine being in love with your soul mate and everyone in your world knows it.  Then waking up the next morning only to discover your world is no more; everything has changed; everyone is … just gone.  Laney and her twin, Leela, travel to a distant place to try to set things right and rescue their friends/family but to do so means traveling in the light, a powerful and dangerous journey with a most uncertain outcome!  The girls are faced with serious consequences as they move forward with their plan, it becomes clear that not everyone will be coming home.

Rachel Langley, the author, weaves a delicate story of love and compassion, intrigue and betrayal, and morality.  The dialog, action, emotions are all genuinely young adult and realistic.   Langley builds each character slowly with detail both physically and emotionally.  There were a few twists that made the story more moving and exciting.  The story, the characters all flowed smoothly.  I liked the way in which we heard from both of the twins – seeing their perspective was satisfying.

The narrator, Jelyne Helms performed the audiobook wonderfully.  Her voices were realistic and comforting – just the perfect pitch and tone for each character.  She read the book comfortably and seemed very familiar with it.  Her tone and inflection gave weight to her characters sounding appropriate ages.  Plus she captured the personality of Leela and Laney perfectly.

There was only one small minor glitch in the publication.  Otherwise, the production quality of this audiobook was top-notch.

I thoroughly enjoyed listening to Struck.  I hope to hear the second part of this series.  I want to see how things play out.  The cliffhanger was perfectly timed and presented.

 

Star Rating:  * * * * ½

Click here to purchase via Audible

Click here to purchase via Amazon

 

The Mage Destinies (Path of the Daydreamer) by Brett Galen

Review by Rox Burkey

This is a fun, intriguing young adult fantasy centered around the Colvin family who is made up of a widow, Tempest, and her teenagers. The focus is on the siblings, Bradley and Tessa, as they begin to realize their magic abilities, yet keep them secret from one another. How they are involved in some of the overarching issues and crimes occurring in town becomes interesting as the story progresses. Teenagers have so many things to deal with during high school – intense classes, discovering new feelings, and learning how to become adults.

Brett Galen creates a complete world that feels like hometown USA, with a subtle magical aura that makes it believable. Each character is well-developed, in a small town containing all the elements teenagers explore as they grow up.

Bradley, Mr. Atomic Avenger, seems to have learned some of his abilities in advance of his sister. The anticipation increases when Tessa hears a voice in her head that seems to be her but is unexplainable. Tessa is a daydreamer who sometimes lets her imagination take her into a different world. The idea of being a Mage is confusing, as Tessa learns she can manipulate energy at the atomic level at the same time she learns her future is at risk. Coming to grips with the reality of being magical is something difficult to share with friends or siblings. This makes it an intriguing hard to put down story.

The dialogue is spot-on for teens today, totally appealing. The combination of descriptions, compelling conversations, and the evolving storyline is brought to life by the narration. The twists and turns that occur in this story kept me totally engaged through to the surprise ending.

As a perfect Young Adult story narrator, Julie T Kinn brings a balanced cadence to the story. This fast-paced story moves delightfully forward with Julie’s light-hearted rendition, especially when speaking as Tessa. Kinn makes this fantasy come to life with the various, distinctive character voices woven into this delightful adventure.

As an adult, I totally enjoyed the story start to finish listening to a delightful narrator. I can easily recommend this fantasy as well-suited to teens and young adults; boys or girls. The rest of the series is expected to be just as compelling.

 

Star Rating:  * * * * *

Click here to purchase via Audible

Click here to purchase via Amazon

A Power Renewed, Sentinels of Creation #1 by Robert W. Ross

In the beginning, God created … then came the fall of Lucifer and other angels.  A bargain was struck – ok more of a teaching moment for God to show Lucifer he was a pompous and ungracious angel.  Unwilling to destroy Lucifer or allow him to destroy humans, God allowed for Sentinels to be selected.  They were to bring light or darkness beyond God or Lucifer’s vision.  They were to rescue or wreak havoc on humans but only through free will.  The angels Raphael, Michael help Micah ben Judah who willingly shouldered the responsibility to bring lightness where darkness rules and angels fear to tread.

Now in the 21st century, it is time for Micah to pass his sentinel duty to another.  Kellan Thorne is faced with skinwalkers wanting to rip him apart and a man with glowing emerald eyes and a glowing sword ordering him to stay put.  Thorne discovers he is to be the recipient of otherworldly powers and that he has free will to use those powers as he sees fit.

At first, I thought this book would be a fire and brimstone type book but instead after Kellan appeared it took on more of a superhero with a mouth type audiobook.  Thorne’s sarcastic wit and unique way of looking at things along with his female friends and the narrowmindedness of Raphael and Micah one cannot help but enjoy the story as it unfolds.  One has to wonder if Thorne will keep things in check or if he will let chaos have a little bit of reign.  Regardless, the showdown with the Prince of Darkness’s sentinel is intriguing and unexpected!

Robert Ross, the author, has written a wonderful book that leaves lots of room for more books just as interesting and engaging!  Clearly written, characters are well-developed and the imagery is vivid.  I enjoyed the pop culture references that kept popping up.  A fun story that makes you laugh, and scary at times that will make you gasp.

The narrator, Nick Podehl performed the story perfectly!  His ability to deliver a sarcastic witty comeback was spot on!  He nailed the angels as well!  I enjoyed his voice, it was smooth and clear.  He truly became Kellan Thorne!  And the female leads – he was perfect with the delivery of their smart remarks as well.  I am looking forward to hearing the other two books but know that he has a wealth of storylines here if he chooses to use them.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  It was not what I expected when I first started listening to it.  It was fun and light. I highly recommend this audio to anyone who enjoys witty books with adventure and supernatural.

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

 

Star Rating:   * * * * *

Click here to purchase via Audible

Drop Dead Gorgeous by Donald Allen Kirch

First let me say that very few people, including authors, can surprise me.  Donald Allen Kirch not only surprised me but totally blew my mind!  I was expecting an entirely different genre of book based solely on the title.  Imagine my surprise when I discovered through listening alone that it was straight up, spine-tingling, eye-crossing, mouth drooling horror!

Eve is a drop-dead gorgeous woman with an engrossing story to tell.  Of course, it helps that she has the ability to seduce a man with a single glance turning him into a blithering horn-dog.

Annabel, Steve’s wife, discovered that Steve committed adultery.  Now Annabel has become a vengeful, evil woman with the skill and drive to do dole out the most heinous, gruesome and shocking punishment on her cheating husband and his girlfriend ever imagined!

I LOVED this book!  Kirch took the characters to places they did NOT want to go but did it in a skillful and fascinating manner.  Each character introduced was thoroughly developed through rich and vivid details and dialog.  Everything appeared authentic – the dialog, medical and police terms, emotions, thoughts, actions – everything!  There was not a slow moment in the book, it was definitely an edge of your seat, nail-biting horror from beginning to end.

I wonder, will Eve just disappear off into the night or … guess only Kirch can answer that!  A definite five-star for the intense horror, gore, and sick twisted realism.

The cover is amazing and very accurate!

Kathryn LaPlante did an amazing job of narrating the story, bringing it to life with her talented voice and enthusiasm.  How she kept a straight face in some places while not cringing in others was amazing!  Her tones were spot on.  LaPlante added more dimension to each of the characters otherwise missed if just reading the story.

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

Star Rating:  * * * * *

Click here to purchase through Audible

Click here to purchase through Amazon

Inspector Hobbes and the Blood (Unhuman Book 1) by Wilkie Martin

Andy Caplet is a struggling reporter who is socially awkward and easily frightened.  Only because the normal reporter for the crime beat was injured by being thrown from a speeding car (implied that he had been gambling or a mafia encounter …) Andy is given the assignment to work with Inspector Hobbes.  From that moment onward, Andy is caught in a whirlwind of mystery and intrigue.  Of course, it does not help that Andy’s imagination runs away with him – he’s seeing trolls, ghouls, witches, and vampires at every turn. Then again, considering he finds himself in a freshly dug grave conversing with two ghouls and the inspector enjoys raw meat and bones, and then there is the housekeeper that collects teeth …  perhaps his imagination is NOT running wild… and it seems that perhaps Inspector Hobbes has a secret of some sort.

They have to work together to solve the mysteries and unusual circumstances surrounding the robberies and a murders that are occurring throughout the town.

Wilkie Martin writes a clever crime mystery with comedy and a good deal of fantasy mixed in.  One cannot help but laugh out loud at some of the antics Andy finds himself in!  This is the perfect pair of crime solvers and partners in law!  One cannot help but be charmed by the story and the characters.

Martin develops his characters fully, with a depth that enables the listeners to connect with them.  Martin is also vivid in his descriptions placing the listener into the book.

Tim Campbell, the narrator, was equally awesome in his talented reading.  Campbell became immersed in the book to the point that it was difficult to tell where he left off and the characters began.  His ability to give the appropriate voice and personality to the characters was spot on; I loved hearing how his voice would become squeaky whenever Andy found himself in hot water and how confident Hobbes sounded.

If you enjoy mystery and some fantasy characters, then this is the book for you.

I encountered no audio issues and the production of this audiobook was smooth.

Star Rating:  * * * * *

Click here to purchase from audible.com

Click here to purchase from amazon.com