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Audio Book Review: Queen of the Night

Queen of the Night (The Revanche Cycle) (Volume 4) - Craig Schaefer

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

Once again what grips me at the beginning of this fantasy story is the descriptions. Wow. I know fantasy books are detailed, but Craig's ability to make these descriptions lifelike and unique is breathtaking. Craig does NOT linger on things, he describes them and moves on as they relate to what's in the moment and scene. The first description we open with is awe striking, the vision of the city and the crystal tear. The crystal tear is what gripped me.

Susannah. I want to applaud you. This is one amazing narration. Susannah has amazed me through out this series. Susannah may use subtle differences but they speak loudly. Each character has their own heart and drive and it comes through in Susannah's voice. One thing I find amazing in a narrator is when I don't hear them. That sounds wrong to say, but in the essence it's that their narration IS the story and the characters. Susannah does this. The story speaks loudly through her and she lets it. Amazing job.

The story is told from numerous POV's. BUT! Hold on. Don't let that discourage you. The story follows a straight line, giving you all the information that fits together even though it's from different view points. It's easy to follow and it's great to see all sides of a working plan. To see who's planning what and how it's affected by another's plan. We know the spokes of that plan wheel and see how it all pans out for all involved. And who wins and why. So awesome! Of the POV's he have, we get to spend lots of time with our favorites from the series - Amadeo, Livia, Cardinal Marchello Accorsi, Felix, Renata, Mari, Owl, and many more.

I was so excited to get back into this world and everyone's corrupted stories. I had to know who would fall the hardest, and to witness it all happen. I found I wanted to yell at the characters, telling the ones I love that it's a trap, he lied! But it wouldn't help.

For me, this book feels a lot like Renata's book. Dang that woman has grown. She's brilliant and full of ideas to sneak around. She's really learned quick and changed. Felix has really grown as well. We saw him start down his dark path in the last book, and he continues there. But there could be one light that keeps him from fully drowning in the dark, Renata.

We follow the characters through their lives. For many these are their darkest days. We lose a few along the way, but in the paths they follow it's the only ending they could have.

This book is...just... wow. Craig does an amazing job of taking us through the end of the book and then some, tying up all threads. I had to take a few days to digest all I experienced in this book. Wow.

Audio Book Review: The Malaise Falcon

Malaise Falchion (The Spade Case Files) - Paul Barrett

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

I was pleasantly surprised when listening to this story. Jack did a gruff, rough type voice for Spade and it feels to fit him and the story perfectly from the first word. Then when Crizlyk comes in I'm impressed with his voice. It's different, and feels to fit the size of the being. All the characters have their own tones along with personalities that fit them with the descriptions given in the story. Words and vocals work together to give us a complete feel for the characters in their situations. There was something small I noticed in the audio book through. There are times when Jack sounded different than his normal narration of the story telling. Almost like the section was cut out and a recorded section seamlessly spliced in. What I heard was a different tone than the story around it. It was a small catch and I'm not sure if that's what it is or my iPod, but I caught it in different sections through the story. But don't let this take away from the story as it's well done all around.

Okay. This story is plain fun. You have your fantasy beings - Orcs, Ogres, Dwarves, Elves and more. Then you have your noir mystery feel as Spade is a PI. Then you throw in skeletons and zombies! LOL! Yes! What a combo in one story! And there are the small jokes I enjoyed, like Crizlyk biting the Orcs. lol.

We get the adventure in Spade's case that includes fighting with wands, magic, and fists on ground and in the air. So much damage! lol. Awesome fights as we view the world.

Spade is a dwarf that has his own secret ability, but with the way it makes him feel he doesn't use it much. He also is one that loves to drink and maybe not shower as much. It also seems his brains fall when a beautiful woman is in sight. He missed the clues in a few scenes. I had picked up early on who the culprit was, and I was right.

There was a point in the book where I was waiting for the conclusion. Anticipation? Maybe. But I was ready to get to the end.

Something this book touches on is prejudice. The goblins and hobgoblins have been treated like the dark dirt that no one wants to even step on. They are tired of being treated so poorly with no rights. Though they go to an extreme that's not good, but it raises thoughts on the subject. And can be related to subjects in the world. I like that in the fun there was something solid tucked in there.

This story is different in that it's a fantasy with a noir mystery feel to it. I really like that blend! And there is spice to the characters. Spade is one that doesn't take or give bull. He's a straight shooter with a dry sense of humor. This was well done as his personality is one that's not going to be liked by many other characters. And we see that. But everyone still needs to work together because if not, things are going to get messed up with to many hands working in different directions because they all don't know what's going on. (Mostly Spade will be a problem if he's not told the truth because he's working his case.)

I would enjoy following Spade along on more adventures. I liked him and his friends. Plus, here are hints that there is more to a history of a friends people and I would like to learn more about that. I do hope to see more books!

Audio Book Review: Laced in Lies

Laced In Lies: A Shelby Nichols Adventure (Shelby Nichols Adventure Series Book 10) - Colleen Helme

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

Shelby's life is always full with the kids and her work as a consultant for Uncle Joey and the police. Her clients cross when she takes a job to follow a friends husband, and ends up in a bar of a gang that's got an amicable deal with Uncle Joey. She calls for help from Ramos, and afterward finds out Ramos has something going on he doesn't want her involved in, but ultimately needs her skills to help him. Uncle Joey meets her family and wants Shelby to go with his son, Miguel, to New York for his audition in a Broadway musical.

Wow. Wendy is one amazing voice actor. She gives Shelby the full feel of a person. I love the lightness to Shelby yet the complete package that she's well aware of what's happening around her is not good (when in trouble). When Wendy slips into Shelby's persona I feel like I'm watching Shelby as she goes through her day and stumbles into troubles. A wonderful combination of Colleen's writing and Wendy's voice makes me giggle in the right moments and feel the excitement in Shelby. Wonderful job.

Shelby is amazing at getting into trouble. But the best part is, even through she's nervous, she works her way out with quick thoughts. She does have a small consulting business of her own and helps with the cops on special cases, and these sometimes cross into the life that's including Uncle Joey. But if Shelby ever gets in trouble she can call on Ramos for help, and she does.

Goodness! Ramos. He's amazing. If you love dark, sexy men you'll love Ramos. I love the time Shelby and him spend together. They tease each other so well, and mean some of what they say. lol. Harmless flirting...maybe? Sometimes I wonder if Ramos doesn't have his own dose of reading minds ability. He's great at knowing and reading people, and finding them in a crowd. He even makes me smile when that all is focused on Shelby. Oh, Shelby is amazing with her husband too. He's different from Ramos, yet just as sexy. I really love both men when Shelby is with them.

Being part of the family with Uncle Joey is growing to a new level for Shelby with her husband and kids. All starting with the family barbecue that they agreed to when at Miguel's musical. Things have really grown with Uncle Joey personally. This leads us to get to spend time with Miguel, which is really nice. The family feel really comes through strong. There are ties that are reconnected and ties that grow to bring a big family feel to the whole story.

Colleen is amazing at writing the characters so I love them and I'm drawn into every moment with them. There is something with each scene that keeps me listening to the words. Shelby has amazing chemistry with everyone she meets. Awesome job!

I absolutely love these books and will continue with Shelby and all the characters as long as there are books written!

Audio Book Review: Demon Magic

Demon Magic (Dragon's Gift: The Seeker Book 2) - Linsey Hall

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

Del learns she has bigger problems than she thought. Not only does she have to learn to control her powers for herself, but also to keep from taking other demon souls. She released one soul in the previous book, and now attracts other demons to her. The Order of Magica has picked up that a demon has died, but it's soul is still on Earth. The man that kissed her once and now is acting strange has an idea. Roarke has an acquaintance at Cambridge, in the magical University of England, who may be able to help her master her powers. Del agrees to go, with Roarke and her sisters, Cass and Nix.

I've grown accustom to listening to Laurel voice this world. I enjoy the voices she gives the men, and all characters. But the men with accents, yes ma'am. lol. There are accents needed for secondary characters as well, and Laurel voices them to give us a feel as we are traveling in those areas of the world.

Now, this book feels more Del than a Cass remake. Sure, there are similar patterns with the guy, learning her new magic, and soul stealing. We even meet a new character - Horatio - who reminds me much of Professor that Cass talks to for help. But the events around all that are very different and very Del like. I like the death magic associated with Del. It's different yet very believable system. Roarke even has his own system of contacts to call when things are needed.

We learn a secret of Roarke's when Del finally shares her big secret. Yes, the one about his brother. Though, it's a big thing for him and makes him who he is, it didn't feel that weighted as it was told to us. It is a terrible feeling he carries with him though and something that affects his thinking on their potential relationship. Roarke is a wonderful companion for Del. He feels to fit her well with the darkness of the Underworld in him, and Del.

I very much enjoyed this story as we learn about Del and her parents. Though we haven't met them we get a feel for how she grew up. This is interesting and I'm curious to learn more about them, and who they are. I really think they are special.

This book leads us to something (or someone) that will be who Del has to fight. There is a reason for the curse on her, yet no one knows it. This book leaves the hints of a possible next adventure for Del to learn about why the curse from who cursed her. And maybe a big battle with that person.

Audio Book Review: Perses

Perses (Nomad Series) (Volume 3) - K.A. Finn

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

Bray finds himself revisiting his past and family on Earth, after several years away, while hiding from the Foundation and trying to figure out what to do. He needs to get off Earth, but the Scientist brought his computer here. Bray saw it when leaving Alpha, Foundation's ship, and knows he needs to get it. The computer holds the information that could help save Gryffin from the malfuctioning implants, but he has to break into Foundation headquarters and get it then get off world. Bray will have to get word to others off-world about what Foundation has in weapons and man power that could destroy the place he's come to love like a home.

Keith is one amazing narrator. I love listening to his work. I looooove his voice. Okay, serious stuff now. He voices the characters with their own voice through tone, accent, and heart. The inflection he puts in each character brings them to life as their own whole person. Wow. I'm drawn into the story and forget he's a narrator because the characters come to life as individuals. That's amazing work!

Bray and Garvan. Yes ma'am. And thank you. These two characters were growing to be some of my favorite secondary characters in the previous two books. Well, they aren't the only ones. So to get the treat of them together and fighting to survive along with learning about their pasts, sign me up! I was thrilled to get into this story with them.

This story is more emotional with memories of the past, and Bray working through everything from when he was young through now. The feelings he felt toward his parents and his brother were those of a child that didn't see or know the whole story. Then, he has to tell his uncle and cousin about his family in the here and now. I was touched by what Morgan told Bray of his mother and father. Bray didn't remember or see the adult side of things and it was touching to hear about them.

We get the story from Bray's POV on Earth. We also get sections from One's POV. These sections are very, very insightful. One is on the council that's behind all that's going on. We get to learn about their new colony they were trying to build. I'm not 100% sure about this colony and where it's at, but I'm sure it's going to be something mentioned more in the future. And the biggest piece of information.... One's behind Garvan being put in prison. Garvan knows something that could destroy One and everything he's working for. This puts a target on Garvan's head. We also get scenes from Garvan's POV, which are important moments when things start moving in their plans.

I think I mentioned in the previous book that I was growing to like Garvan quickly. And I was right. I absolutely love him as a character. There are times he brings a huge smile to my lips with his personality and responses. They aren't the quick clip one lines, Garvan is more one to talk and leave the hint in what he says, almost a genuine sarcasm. I do love him. Garvan knows a lot about the scans and equipment used on Earth to identify people. He really grew on me in the last book, and I really like him here. This is part of what his job was before he went to prison. And his story! We learn his back story here too. Oh Garvan...

The beginning felt slower, because there wasn't much Bray could do on Earth. I had an idea but wasn't sure how he was going to take on a huge Foundation headquarters on his own. But we get personal with Bray and Garvan. Then it all comes together and we get to what the Hunters do best. Fight.

This is another wonderful addition to the Nomad series. I always enjoy the writing and narration in the biggest way. I look forward to more books!

Book Review: Assassin's Victim

Luc Bertrand: Assassin's Victim (Deadly Studies Book 1) - A. F. Grappin

*I received this book from the author or publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Luc loves playing lacrosse but wishes he was taller and bigger. Maybe he'll have a growing spurt. Luc is then offered a chance to study with great players if he joins the Knights Templar, a place that the recruiter claims Luc's father works. A wedge of distrust starts between Luc and his parents, and Luc finds himself doing things he's never done before. Will Luc see the truth of the Templar before he's drawn in?

This book is Luc forming into the person he becomes. He's young, 15 years old, and given an opportunity in something that could help him in what he loves - lacrosse. But he learns it's a lie, to get to him. When his family life is destroyed, he vows to find the people who did this.

This is a short, quick read. The story felt like a prequel to me in a way because it starts at the beginning, telling us what happens in Luc's life. With doing this it's a slower read at the start. We get to see Luc in his life with an offer to help make it more. After I finished the book, I read the notes from the author and found out that this is the back story for a character in another series. So, it is sort of a prequel view into the characters life. I'm thinking now that I'm past this introduction, the remaining novella stories will move faster.

This book is of a Young Adult nature, as Luc is 15 years old. There are things that kids face - bullying, desire to be better at something, and more. Yet, there is a big fight that's deadly. We don't get the gory details but we do know the bodies are dead. And sadly there is a terrible event in Luc's life that's hard for Luc to digest mentally. I can't blame the kid.

I noticed that most of the book is Luc's thoughts and view of things. We get some interaction but most isn't. This fits with the feel of Luc and where he is in his mind after what he lives through. Like he's on the outside looking in which moves time by quickly.

Luc has interactions with Templars. The interactions grow in intensity each time Luc meets them. They are a great deal different than they originally lead on.

By the end of the story, Luc is ready to move into the next stage of his life. This leads us into the next novella story of Luc.

Book Review: Exiled

Exiled: Phoebe Meadows Book Three (Volume 3) - Amanda  Carlson

*I received this book from the author or publisher in exchange for an honest review.

We pick up right where FREED left off. Phoebe and her family and friends are returning to Asgard for her trial, and Fin's. For what? Phoebe faces the goddess mother of Baldur for her part in his death. Fin faces judgement for escaping where he was held captive. Phoebe knows she did nothing wrong and definitely didn't kill Baldur. However the justice system at Asgard is very different than she was expecting. But Phoebe has influences from high powers on her side. She makes a deal that if she can bring Baldur back from Hel's side in Helheim, she and Fin will be allowed back into Asgard. But the path isn't as smooth as she hopes.

Amanda is known for writing books that keep moving forward with action. Exiled is no different. Phoebe has many obstacles to face before she gets to where she wants to be. And things don't always go as one plans or hopes.

Phoebe has some adventures with Fin, but there are many long moments she's without Fin. What I enjoy about this is she stands on her own and figures things out herself. Phoebe is growing stronger in her decisions and choices in this new world of gods and goddesses she's in. She needs to be able to function on her own, and she's learning to do just that. Phoebe retains her kindness towards others as she goes on her adventures. Well, with those who are kind to her too. There are a few new character we are introduced to. These characters are important with their individual destinies crossing with Phoebe's. You know with the gods, destiny is always a driving force and it's seen here.

Phoebe's family grows. Phoebe meets her grandmother. A formidable woman who lead the valkarie's in her time in service. Phoebe meets her father! He is like two different people - her father then the man that rules strong. But he has influences in the way of things as well. Somethings were put into motion years before Phoebe was born.

An old god appears in this book and is one Phoebe finds to be a strong adversary. Loki. Loki wants her for a very special reason. But can she out run him and complete what she needs to save herself? Then maybe she can talk to those that can help take care of Loki. And what about the three hags? They are still after her, and turning all of Asgard against her.

Phoebe's time in Helheim is very neat. I like that Hel is not as terrible a goddess as we could have seen. She's... different and seems as she's neglected or forgotten by others with her looks and being down here. Hel is tough and has to rule as she does, but Phoebe keeps working at her and at the souls down here. Oh! In mentioning the souls, there is one Phoebe gets help from. Interesting character. I really liked the connection with this soul.

At the end of the book we learn a bit about Phoebe's friend, Sam, while being in Asgard. She's a strong, fun character but there is more to her than we all suspected! You'll have to read to learn that, and I'm hoping to get all these details in book(s) to come!

I enjoyed this journey with Phoebe. Her time in Helheim was a great time. She has grown as a Valkarie and in her own abilities.

Audio Book Review: Steampunk Is Dead

Steampunk is Dead (The Feedback Loop) (Volume 2) - Harmon Cooper

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


I enjoy listening to Jeff. He really makes the story feel like a full cast of people. Jeff does extras as he's narrating to go with what the characters are doing. One example is a slightly different sound to the air when talking to someone on a phone. All these small extras and the voices creates a world and people for us. Jeff is not only talented in voice, but portraying emotions felt in these characters. Good grief does he make it lively and fun to listen too!

From the first paragraph we see that Quantum is struggling with living in the real world. He was in the digital world fighting for so long, that those habits have stuck. Living style and slang from the noir fantasy he was in are still what's fresh in his mind, so we still get the sassy one liners. Quantum seems to find a balance in his trigger happiness and jobs, though this doesn't happen right away. It's, actually, kind of brutal for all around him until he does. lol. But, eventually it seems like there is a balance, when he finally goes to one place where he feels at home.

Quantum still has his sense of humor with living people, though they don't seem to react as creative with him as the characters in the feedback loop do. He toys with people all the time. lol.

I was excited to get into this book. I enjoy steampunk! With Quantum's humor and view of things around him, I thought it'd be interesting to see him in a steam punk world. Seriously! The weapons that could be crafted here...imagination run wild with ideas for weapons... Is it terrible that I got excited when we got to a big weapons cache? lol.

Just like in video games, there is always trouble when you least expect it and from people you may not expect too. This, along with Quantum always attacking everyone, is what keeps the story moving with action.

I thoroughly enjoy the way these storylines are written in the gaming world. I know we are in a video type game, but Quantum and Frances interact as though they were associating with other people. The worlds are different but a pleasure to visit. It's like a treat when we get to dive into The Loop.

The title of the book. I'm shocked! It'll all make sense when you read/listen to the book. It's totally cool and the best title!

This story is a fun listen for me. It's full of action and off hand comments and sayings from Quantum. Quantum makes it fun with his trigger happy feel to kill anyone that tells him no or questions him and his snarky remarks.

Audio Book Review: The Book Of Dragons

The Book of Dragons - E. Nesbit, H.R. Millar, H. Granville Fell

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


Karen voices the story as one would reading to a young child, which is expected being the book is for children. She makes it sound fun with voicing the characters in different tones to fit their stature. I found I really enjoyed Karen's narration. She felt as though she was into the stories as she read to the children.

All stories are about 30-40 minutes long.

I had forgotten how far stretched children's stories were. They make me smile and shake my head at times, but they are enjoyable.

The Book of Beasts
Young Lionel becomes king. As a child himself, he wants a book read to him at bed. He finds The Book of Beasts in the library and is drawn out of curiosity to read it. A library full of books that his great-great-great-great-great grandfather filled, and was also thought to be a wizard. When Lionel opens the book, he's surprised to see the creatures come to life, even the one on the third page that could be very dangerous.

This feels like a great story to open with. Lionel is young and just learning the way of the world and he makes a mistake, but learns to be responsible from it. Also, it introduces us to the first dragon.


Uncle James, or the Purple Stranger
When the one and only dog barks all night, Tom goes out to investigate. Tom finds a large purple dragon licking his wounded wing.

This is cute with the animals that are of opposite sizes we know them to be. There is a reason, history, given as to why which is quickly given. This history becomes a very important thing in this story at the end.

I rolled my eyes at the princess kissing Tom and how Tom had all the answers. But the story was still cute in it's world creation for children.


The Deliverers of Their Country
Dragons appear, of all sizes and take over the land. Though, they don't like the chill of night so the people adjust their living to sleep during day and come out at night. Until Effie and Harry want to find the dragon slayer of legend, during the afternoon.

Listening in order, I think this is my favorite story. Effie is more present in the actions against the dragons. Also, the story is a way to describe the reason for London's weather condition. I very much like the Tap Room.


The Ice Dragon, or Do As You Are Told
Jane and George see the Northern Lights and Jane wants to go see them up close. Walking across the grass, as they are told not to do, they head out on their long journey to the north pole. When they arrive they find trouble. But have made friends along the way who help.

You never know when you'll need a helping hand. Always help those around you when you are out, it could come back to help you. Jane and George help animals that are in unnecessary danger due to other humans, and those animals make a difference when Jane and George need it most.


The Island of the Nine Whirlpools
Returning from the witch's home, the Queen finds the baby she wanted. However, the King is not happy as they were given a Princess and not a Prince, as he wanted. When the Princess is old enough, she is locked away, awaiting the clever prince to find her.

This was a cute story. I liked the idea of how babies are brought to kings and queens here. Not by a stork but by a witch. But what I really liked is what the mother does to stay with her daughter. This is dear. And the witch is not portrayed as an evil one, but as a good one.

This story also shows how math is important to figure when the best time to rescue the princess.


The Fiery Dragon, or the Heart of Stone and the Heart of Gold
The princess's cruel cousin rules the land until she's of age. She's taken everything from her and she lives in the dragon proof tower, watching the land. On May Day she sees a dragon by the woods. When the children go in to pick their flowers, they come running out screaming. The cruel prince makes his way to kill the dragon.

This has a princess that has a great idea to help with ridding the kingdom of the terrible dragon. But she's also one that gives love so easily.

It's a neat twist on the dragon's at night and how to remove it from the land. It kind of explains the hot whirlpools that steam too.


The Dragon Tamers
John's a blacksmith in a town with a well known blacksmith already. Working in the ruins of a castle he finds a dragon in the dungeon one day. The dragon needs the help of a blacksmith.

This story tells how a dragon changes to a... I can't say. You have to listen to see where this domesticated animal comes from.

This story was a little slow for me. I didn't seem to enjoy it as much as the others, not that it's bad just not as the others were.


Kind Little Edmund, or the Caves and the Cockatrice
Edmund is an inquisitive young boy. He walks in the mountains by the caves where others won't because of strange noises. He created a lantern to take with him to investigate the caves, to learn what the strange noises were.

This one's okay too. Edmund is the type of child to question everything, and has a creative mind. I like that about him.


The Last of the Dragons
Dragons have grown rare for princesses to find and be rescued from. One dragon remains and the princess proposes that she save a prince from the dragon instead of being saved.

Aaaah. This is the story I was waiting for. I love the Princess in this story. And I love the way it ended. It's even better than I'd hoped.

 

These stories are all told as the old princess and dragon tales are told. Princess is in trouble and she's helped. Though, there are a few places where the princesses show they have brains and spark the ending of the story. I like that they have a glimmer of knowledge and use it.

Audio Book Review: The Society

The Society - Lilith Saintcrow

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


The story rotates from Rowan and Delgado's POV, female and male. Rayna does a nice job of giving a deeper tone when Delgado's speaking or when in his mind. It helps separate the characters for us. There is a description of Rowan's voice being a bit on the husky side, and Rayna's voice fits this for me. Rowan is a delicate person in this book. She's lived through some terrible things she's seen. This creates a vulnerable person to be voiced. Rayna voices Rowan in those moments when her hearts breaking and she sounds lost, as Rowan would. Even with Delgado, he's trying to be careful with Rowan but he's also falling for her, so there's a level of concern and thought in his voice that comes through with Rayna's tones. Very powerful emotions portrayed with talent.

From the moment he sees Rowan for the first time at that abandoned house, he's found her attractive and he's protective of her. The way he comes across as he's doing his job, watching her to find if she's with the government or maybe recruit her for her psi ability, does NOT come out stalker-ish and it very well could have. On the contrary, it comes out more protective. There is a draw there for him but it's gentle in feeling.

I found I liked Delgado and Rowan. Both are good people and do the right thing. Delgado though, he is afraid he'll scare Rowan because her psi is so sensitive and that most people are nervous of him. Why? To think so low of himself has me curious as to what he can do. And we do learn about why Delgado thinks this way.

Oh my. I'm just going to say it. I absolutely LOVE Delgado. He's that damaged character that's trying so hard. I fell in love with him more and more as the story went.

When Delgado gets to explain things to Rowan, I found I really liked how he did it. He was honest with her and didn't hold things back. But he did it with a gentle feel, trying to keep her emotions in mind.

This is more of a romance read. There is a bit of action and urgency to what the characters do. BUT this is a story told from the characters minds as they meet and get to know and even fall for each other through their actions.

Lilith gently draws us into the world of psi with Rowan and Delgado. There are things happening that make us curious, but also builds the characters as people for us, and in doing this she builds the world through them. We aren't blindly thrown into a new world, we learn it with Rowan.

Okay. All that being said. I found I slipped into their relationship and the growth of it. How they became so intimately entwined emotionally. Wow. I feel that audio really elevated this feeling for me. Lilith with the words and Rayna with the voice, together they were seductive.

Before the end of this one, I knew I needed the next book. At the end, I NEED the next one. lol.

Audio Book Review: Lucifer's Star

Lucifer's Star - C. T. Phipps, Michael Suttkus

3.5 stars

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

Eric is a new narrator for me. From the first sentence Eric had a positive, hopeful sound to his voice for me. I can hear his deep breaths between lines. There is a short (about 3 or 4 words) that didn't follow character tone in the beginning, I caught only because following the book at that time. Eric does do different tones for characters, giving them a sound of age and their own voice. I did pick up on one small repeat, I almost missed it as it was quick.

I just love that first sentence! What a sight that would be. The sentence really drew the picture for me.

We start with Cassius in a big battle in his life on Crius. This battle is one that lingers in Cassius's mind, and what he's trying to escape from. There are sections that are memories, though with this being audio you don't see the italics that indicate it's different than the here and now. It sounds like two conversations happening at the same time. Then Cassius doesn't talk to himself as much and is easier to catch as the book goes on. The book is focused on Cassius and his time on his current ship. The people are also residing on this ship are not who they seem to be.

As we learn these people aren't who they say they are, we see much more in this unstable universe. The different groups in the universe are all working at different angles. Even the people in the organizations have different angles they are working. So much to play with here!

Cassius grows through the book, as he grows to realize he has friends. Cassius is running from who he is. He wants to be someone that's not of the Archduchy to live his life with the guilt he feels. Through what he learns in the events he lives through, and the connections made, Cassius learns of details he didn't know before. I love the moment when Cassius gets a...closure with someone from his past. Cassius confronts feelings he'd been holding in.

Cassius grows attached to people which helps him along in his journeys. We learn a few have rather heavy pasts as well. The crew on the ship he finds himself on has many who are fugitives in their lands or pasts that aren't of the best actions. There are moments that feel drawn out with details of histories of people and descriptions, but the story comes together and the ending is non-stop.

I found that the AI take in this book was very interesting. There is also cloning in this book. Biodroids were a neat creation. I know we haven't heard the last of these. I don't want to give to much on this as it's a big play in the book. You have to read or listen to the book to get the details. We learn details that all come to a head at the end of the book with a special type of AI.

This wouldn't be a fun space story if we didn't get action scenes. We get just that, in space and on planet action. Even among the crew on the ship.

The world feels vast and full with crew that Cassius has acquired. I look forward to continuing with Cassius and what is in store for him next.

Book Review: Deadly Spells

Deadly Spells - Jaye Wells

*I read this book for my own enjoyment.

Kate and Morales are called in as consultants at a crime scene. A body with his limbs cut off. Kate knows the victim, Charm, from her days in the coven. Uncle Abe's enforcer. Charm's death could be the very excuse the covens need to start a coven war in Babylon city. Kate and the MEA force need to act fast to find the real killer before war breaks out, destroying the city. Kate also is distracted as Charm's death stirs old memories of her mother's death. Then there's life with making sure Danny is taken care of. He is a teenager, and troubles do pop up.

I love going into this book that I know each chapter and scene has something big in it. It may be dealing with Danny or it may be Kate's job. Or, if we are lucky something with John Volos or Morales. Oh John Volos. That usually involves a double whammy of work and sparks. And the same could be said of Morales. I love that Kate is working her way through raising her brother, which gives her a family feel as she stumbles through parenting like many of us do. Family and work are hard to balance, and choices need to be made. Kate does just that.

Speaking of family. Kate learns more about her mothers death. Wow. That's a punch to the gut. I like how Jaye left us with hints about Kate's mother at the end of Cursed Moon, and with this case Kate is drawn to the memories. Kate is determined to know what happened with her mother. I'm not saying any more because you need to read to learn what Kate learns. Oh, and what we learn from John Volos and Morales. Interesting!

Then there's Kate and her own personal life. She feels there's really no time for it with Danny and work. But Kate starts to open up a little bit here, for herself.

This book feels as it expands the world for us. There are other suppliers and covens that we learn about. These expand outside of Babylon city, but are a threat to Kate's home city and the way of life here. This opens up the series for us in a big way.

The book has all the elements I enjoy in one place and constantly has me glued to the words. I have enjoyed this book, world, and characters.

Audio Book Review: Heart of Gold

Heart of Gold (Clans of Shadow) (Volume 1) - J. A. Cipriano, J. B. Garner

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


Frank is running late on his deliveries. At Doctor Gabriela Perez's office his military experience kicks in as the Doctor is attacked by a group called The End Society. Frank is hurt severely and Gabriela saves him. Now, the ancient artifact that functions as his heart also makes him untouchable by magic or spells. Not only is he targeted as being wanted by both societies, but he could be the only one to help Gabriela and the Whites to stop The End Society from removing magic from the world. And all Frank worries about is his mom.

I've listened to Joe before and enjoyed his work. Actually, listening to him voice this story and a few small threads with Frank remind me of the another series he voiced that I listened to. Joe gets to do a few slight accents for characters, bringing them to life as more than characters on a page. Again, the audio sounds clear and seamless as I listen.


Frank... well, he is thrown into a mess that he didn't ask to be in. How does one handle that? Sometimes with a bit of not-so-nice snark. Frank kind of comes across as a jerk in the beginning. There is something about Frank that just doesn't strike me. I don't know what it is, but he doesn't feel likeable to me. Not a bad person, but like he's missing something in how he's written or trying to hard to make him a tough guy.

There are a lot of quick toss ins that are to be jokes that reference movies and such. Frank does say he has a love for movies and music, so it fits him. But they come so fast it's easy to miss them and their reference.

Frank does worry about his mom. There's a reason and you learn it. But, Frank is all she has left in the world and she is his mother. Who wants their mother to suffer for some mess they end up in? No one.

I found my mind wondering while listening to this story. I didn't connect much with Frank in the way to care what happens to him. And the magic, though sounds neat, I didn't feel was shown and expressed to easily understand. It felt as there is a larger world that we are just stepping into, which I believe we are. But the story felt to be missing the magnet to pull me in.

I'm sure this book will be enjoyed by others, but it just didn't impress strongly on me. So please don't let my thoughts change yours if you like the sounds of the book.

Audio Book Review: Villain's Rule

Villains Rule (The Shadow Master Book 1) - M. K. Gibson, Raffaele Marinetti, Valerie Kann

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


Jeffrey performs with heart, stepping in to the characters minds which breathes life to them. When stories are performed with the emotion the characters are feeling, and the narrator feels as to be having fun, the book is brought to a new level of awesome. Jeffrey accomplished that in this work. Jeffrey speaks with different infliction and personality for each character, which makes it easy to know who's who along with keeping my attention.

At the end of the first prologue, I had to smile. Really. This was something I always thought about, how easy it would be to take down a hero when he's having his "moment". I got a feel of a twist of Grayskull (You know what Grayskull is, from He-Man.) here with other elements mixed in. I like what I get, and it's only a prologue!

Oh my the references of all the great science fiction and fantasy tales!! Really! Even in the titles we get great one lines that we know reference so many. lol. I love listening and pointing out references and what I get the feel of. I'm sure others would pick up on others I've missed. This is the kind of story I would love to listen to with someone who I could talk to on the potential influences. You know, listen at the same time and go geek on what we pick up on! lol.

Okay. The story. I enjoyed how the rules of heroes and villains are viewed and understood in the world. And they still stand and function. M.K. has created a story with a villain that sees those rules and uses then in a way to do what all villains want. And he's talented at his work. M.K. tells us these rules and we see the predicament that Jackson ends up in, and has to find his own way back to his place in the world. M.K. writes a well crafted story of fun while still in the guidelines and takes a villain in the outs and brings him back. Totally awesome work.

I felt I could believe Jackson's thinking and I really liked him. I want to watch movies with Jackson. He would be a hoot at pointing out the flaws in plans, hero and villain. I laughed at the obvious observations pointed out by Jackson in this book. So good and so true! Jackson's written in a way that I liked him even though he wasn't the clean cut good guy. I even felt the fluctuation of praise and irritation of Randy with Jackson - all thanks to Jeffrey's vocal talents and M.K.'s writing.

At my first big surprise in events, I wanted to give M.K. Gibson a big high five. He told me what not to do. He drew me into doing just that. And I was surprised when he used that. AWESOME JOB!! M.K.wrote it so well, I was drawn into the web.

This book is a modern setting with Jackson but it's also in a fantasy world, or worlds as he goes along, because of the different realms of villains. It's so easy to understand and enjoy. I loved the play on different fantasy themes as it made me smile.

As Jackson goes through the fantasy world he's in, working to get to the ruling villain, he points out the fantasy tropes present. And he hits on them all! Totally awesome and fun summary of characters in fantasy tropes. And I can say I read about that. It was great as it was fun in how it's portrayed. M.K. has taken fantasy, brought what we know to our attention, then twists it to his world and makes it fun.

Enjoyable story to listen to. It kept me entertained.

Book Review: Cursed Moon

Cursed Moon - Jaye Wells

*I read this book for my own enjoyment.

Halloween's in two weeks. The full blue moon is the double full moon this month and has people acting all sorts of crazy. The police have their hands full so MEA, Kate's team, is helping to subdue events. Then things take a turn for a scary future. Aphrodite Johnson has one of her Houses of Worship robbed, $50,000 of powerful sex magic potions stolen. The hint of the Raven, new thief in town, they are looking for comes from Kate's Uncle Abe. The big show from this new threat is planned to happen on Halloween when the blue moon is at it's fullest.


No more introduction. We know Kate and her close friends, or those that she doesn't consider friends, well and get right into work. Yes! This is what I want. Jaye does remind us of events in the previous book as the story goes because those events affect current places of the characters mentally and physically, but we are fully focused here in this book.

I feel for Kate in this book. She's working hard to keep her family and dear friends safe along with keeping her big secret from them all. The guilt over the secret has her feeling worse and worse with everything that happens, and seeing John Volos getting all the admiration and love from her littler brother... which is part of her secret. It's eating Kate from the inside out. It seems like no matter how hard she tries, everything just keeps piling on.

This is what I wanted! Kate's anxiety and internal stress is growing and I can feel it. It's terrible to watch life as people react to what you did, but they don't know it was you. The good and the bad that resonate from it, the love and hate that's felt.

Kate and her friends. Her relationship with her brother Danny is cracking. Danny's upset with her not being around like she use to be, but there's more to it too. Pen knows something is up with Kate, she's been drinking more and gets a feel for something else. John Volos... oh he's a slippery slope for Kate. She hates him, yet there's something else. I guess that first love never really leaves, but you know it's not a good relationship. John's not as prominent in this book but he's here, a shadow in Kate's life and mind. Is he holding the secret over Kate's head? Will he act against her uncle? Or will John get in more trouble? Only time will tell. Then there's Morales. I really enjoy him and Kate together. They have an easy banter and sixth sense as partners when it comes to work. They trust each other and know how to work together.

Kate feels the temptation to read potion signatures and cook. This is the withdrawal from cooking in the first book. Just that one time has a pull on her. And she likes it. Kate fights herself and pulls through, but she'll realize that magic is a part of her. She has to figure out how to handle that. For me, I loved this part of the book. Kate faces her demons in magic and who she is. This makes Kate stronger to me.

Another demon Kate faces is her uncle. I love seeing her go toe to toe with the man verbally. I just hope she can stay ahead of him because there is a lot of work to do in order to not fall under his thumb.

We learn more about Adepts. We know they aren't suppose to be affected by potions. But in this book we see it happen. The double blue moon causes the immunity usually seen to not be as strong, and Adepts are struck with the same results as humans.

Yes! This is what I want. Police in a world that uses potions (magic-ly made). I am once again taken with how closely related the magical potions run to drugs in our world. The magical potions gives the story an urban fantasy feel but it could very easily be replaced with drugs from our world. The world is a bit grittier here too. A feel I really enjoy.

Audio Book Review: Hound's Bite

Hound's Bite - E.J. Stevens

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

Ivy, Ceff, and Torn have returned from Faerie, with the Wild Hunt on their heels. Opening the door and going to Faerie has it's consequences, and the Wild Hunt is one for Ivy.

By now you know I'm a sucker for the extras in audio. The first thing we hear are the howls that Ivy hears as she speaks, questioning what the howls are. This has me liking the audio from the first moment. We get a female and male voice team for this book. All feminine voices are performed by Melanie and all male by Anthony. It adds a nice flavor and contrast to the characters as we listen. I like the sound that they give to Herne's voice.


The refresher was shorter in this book, thankfully. Though when we meet someone we get their back story as of now. I'm one for working this into the story not just giving it to me at seeing the person in the beginning of the book. But that's my preference, not everyone's.

At times I found sentences that were more poetic than others. There are also sentences that made the story feel as though it was for a young adult crowd (which it's really not) because it told what was implied the sentence before, instead of letting the impression for the reader be all that was needed. I like how the writing has improved as well. Ivy doesn't just point something out about herself, the events and others guide to that moment of a bigger feeling.

Ivy has grown into a strong woman. She has to do the things that are hard, and stop someone that's dangerous. She's written more in what she's doing than just telling us how she is. Ivy also has to face consequences of what's been done in the past.

This book feels to be deeper in the plot. There is more reason to the Wild Hunt being here than originally thought. And I like the connections to the reasons. They feel on the larger scale than the previous books. There is more to come and more going on outside of Ivy's little world than we knew.

Jinx has her own drive in this book. She's working to free the streets of the dangerous drug Ice. It was something that was used on her and killed another, but that story can be found in Club Nexus. This is a wonderful tie in and building of the character that we've seen through the stories.

I very much enjoyed this story. It felt to tie a bunch of strings from the previous books together here. Everything leads up to something. What the characters have lived through and why the events have happened. I like this connection as the story feels to have a great depth to it.