Tag Archives: Humorous Fantasy

2036: The Year Trump Stepped Down! by Michael Sandels

Review by Rox Burkey

Michael Sandels delivers a politically incorrect fiction that will make you laugh, chuckle, and think. He creates an imagined 2036 life in a place filled with injustice. The conversations and interactions are positioned as relating to the distortion of the world’s future, due to social and political choices. You can enjoy this book regardless of your political preferences but only if you have a sense of humor.

2036 is laid out with a focus on people and communities that remain.  One of the chapters, Above Myrtle Beach, June 4, 2036 introduces listeners (readers) to Ted and Bob.  Their conversation takes you on a serious, yet whimsical tour of life at that time with creative license.

Ted and Bob were both smiling and feeling like they were floating in the sky. “This is the life.”

            “Oh, yeah,” responded Ted, “You kidding?”

            “Just checking.”

            (They relaxed and drank from cups with paper umbrellas.) “So no more saying anything?” Ted asked Bob.

            “Nope.”

            “About it?”

            “Nope.”

            “Abut Him too? Can I even say ‘Him’?”

            “just probably don’t,”

            “And this is not the law?”

            “That’s what I hear.”

            “From the Administration?”

            “Well, yes. And Facebook.”

            “Can I even say that now? ‘The Administration? Without getting’ a look-see from above? From ‘Space Force!’?”

And on these guys go while applying their 147 sunblock. Each area of the remaining world highlighted in each chapter provides those characters’ viewpoint and highlights the errors made that resulted in this new world, while Facebook watches everyone and everything.

Michal Sandels provides a fabulous rendition of the story using distinct voices and specific accents in a non-stop manner that kept me fully engaged. Michael is closest to the story he created and effectively uses his voice to make this an enjoyable experience. I can say with confidence that no one would subscribe to this as the outcome of our world, so it will give you pause.

Star Rating: * * * * *

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The Splendid and Extraordinary Life of Beautimus Potamus by Peggy Wheeler

Peggy Wheeler identifies herself as an author of fantastical fiction and she most definitely is!  I listened to The Splendid and Extraordinary Life of Beautimus Potamus and was captivated right away.  It is a story about a 300-year-old hippo who lives on the planet Rendaz and moves through life teaching earth history and interacting with others such as her good friend Sam, the praying mantis, her mentor and high priestess who is a blue crane, a gorilla named Rufus who tells bad fart jokes and a host of other fantastical creatures who live and interact as humans.  In one history class, she shares how the Egyptians and other cultures came to worship animal gods – yes, coincidentally, animals who visited earth from Rendaz!

Beautimus is lacking in the self-confidence area but when she finds love – watch out!  In her gaining confidence, she manages to unintentionally set off a revenge-fueled hatred that will leave the listener on the edge of their chair.

Wheeler creates a world, much like earth where her characters mirror humans in actions and beliefs.  I found the audiobook interesting and couldn’t stop listening.  Between the wordplay, satire, social situations that are political and religious peppered with puns and other jests and the excellently developed plot and characters, this book is awesome.  When I first started listening to the book I thought, “OMG really?  A hippo as the main character???” But then Wheeler sucked me in and I fell in love with Beautimus, Sam, Lucas, and all the other delightful characters.

Kelley Hazen deserves an A+++ for her narration.  She did a fantastic job of keeping up with the voices and tempo of the book.  She was just amazing!  I would love to hear more of her.  I cannot imagine anyone else doing as magnificent a job as she did.

There were no issues with the audio or production of this book.

 

Star Rating:  * * * * *

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A Crucible of Order: Sentinels of Creation Book 5 by Robert W. Ross

Thankfully Robert Ross finally told us where Kellan Thorne ended up once he assumed the role as Sentinel of Chaos!  I know it’s not been all that long in the grand scheme of things, but the wait was well worth it!  Kellan Thorne, Sentinel of Chaos formerly of Order is in Rome, specifically 50 A.D. where he is a fashionable gladiator!

In true Kellan form, his sardonic wit and inner dialog that sometimes leaks out into the world, his life is entertaining and engaging.  We meet two new mantles and poor James loses his job – not nearly as momentous as other moments in the book but I didn’t want to give out any other spoilers.

Ross is an exceptional writer.  He takes his fans to varying degrees of intensity and plot twists.  This is an edge of your chair type of book.  Ross creates a dialog that is realistic and is his character – for instance, Kellan can ramble and argue with himself, Shannon never loses her brogue accent or Lucifer’s charmingly deceptive twist of words.  Ross has the knowledge and experience to create the characters in a manner that is solid and realistic.

I truly enjoy the places that Ross has taken each of his characters and the insight he has given us into each one’s personality.  He is deliberate in his writing; nothing is truly a waste of reading/listening – each word takes the story somewhere.

Nick Podehl does a magnificent job of narrating the story.  To me, he has become Kellan, Shannon, Megan, Sera (aka Ares), etc.  I love how he can roll out the Scottish brogue and then fall immediately back into the American slang that Kellan uses then to the formal speech of Ares.  Podehl moves the story along as he performs engaging the listener to stick around.

“Ah teel ye thes fur nathin’” Ross and Podehl is a winning combination!

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

Star Rating:  5

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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:   * * * * *

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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:  * * * * *

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