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Audio Book Review: End of Days

End of Days (ARKANE Book 9) - J.F. Penn

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

I'm going to warn you up front. I've been loving this series, author, and narrator so my thoughts are probably going to sound like rambling praise.

The narration. Veronica is one of my favorite voice actresses. Her work feels to create a whole character in voice, emotion, and personality in compliment to the authors words of actions and personalities. This world of Morgan and Jake is wonderful while listening to Veronica. I find myself slipping into the world with the characters and don't even realize she's narrating. This is a hats off to the author and Veronica. An amazing bond between the words and voice, great pairing!

J.F. Penn has a way of writing senses that liven the book. The red sand or smelled of freshly turned earth... These sound like simple phrases, but I knew exactly what they looked or smelled like. And when used in the phrasing Penn uses to describe things, oh, they tell all and heighten the feel of the story. The use of senses so familiar gave me a quick reference to what is happening, drawing my senses with me to feel the emotions of the moment with the characters. And, being of a familiar reference, gives me time to focus on other things that are happening.

Penn has crafted her stories to give details of the most important moments, wasting no time in telling us about what we are looking for and the connection through history and religion. (Mind, the story is NOT preaching, it's actually an interesting twist on Religious beliefs and history.) Her characters, Morgan and Jake along with Martin and others, are well versed in the beliefs and legends so all their logical connections is explained. I love that there is always action or worry of danger when at different sites. The story is constantly moving forward with troubles and what we are searching for.

We are back with Morgan and Jake, on a dangerous mission before the groups out there seize the opportunity to bring the End of Days to pass. There are signs surfacing with the stars and tablet found.

The story is told for a few different POV's. But! Before you worry, Penn does an amazing job at dropping enough details or descriptions that you know exactly who's head you are viewing through. There is NO confusion. What you learn in each moment with different characters is spot on to the events happening and draw you in even more. You know what's happening on the inside of the troubles along with our agents trying to stop it from happening. Penn blends these in a way that you want to rush Morgan and Jake along to get there in time! Awesome!

As for the characters, I do love them. I enjoy them together as they have different strengths that is highlighted by the other on their missions. Morgan is starting to see her job in a new light. What about her family? After the last book, she fears that she's putting them in danger with her work. But, she seems to like the adrenaline and research blend of working for the ARKANE. And Jake too. We get to spend time with Martin and learn a bit about him, and see him out in the field. Yep, it's a little hard on him in this book but with working in this secret agency it can happen.

Another magnificent installment to the world or ARKANE. I'm curious about the next mission and what Morgan will decide.

Audio Book Review: Biscuit Witch

The Biscuit Witch: The Macbrides (The Macbrides: Crossroads Cafe) (Volume 1) - Deborah Smith

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

This is my first book with Misty Gray narrating. I found her interesting because we start with Delta who wrote the letter and get a Southern accent, then we get a section from Douglas with a Scottish accent. We end with chapter one from Tallulah's voice, which is different than the previous two. I was struck with these different accents and taken by them. Misty was clear and clean throughout the book, nothing to distract from the words of the story.

Delta feels like a strong woman with solid beliefs of all around her from her letter we read in the prologue. She sounds like a kind person based on that first line. From that letter, it feels that family is important to Delta. She keeps track of the family line as though it's important, and uses it. However, we only meet Delta at the beginning in the letter and at the end by phone.

For listening, the book is broken up strange and, at times, it's hard to pick up on. There are sections in each chapter with sub-titles instead of a new chapter. For audiobook, it doesn't always translate well because we don't see these titles, and sometimes sound to be part of the story. I did adapt and knew to keep an ear open for them.

Okay, in the beginning I wasn't sure where the story was going. We get Delta's letter then Doug's account with the sheep. I thought I knew where the story was going, but then we get into chapter one that's Tal's reminiscing about her family past. This felt like it was a huge info dump without leading us on the story. It was about her parents - who related to, who died, and what they did and how they died. Then we end the chapter right where Doug ended up with the sheep. The story took off from there.

The story is good. But it's not my style of writing and format. I like Tallulah and her story. She's on the go, trying to get away from the father of her child as he's not a good person or the lifestyle she wants for her daughter. She makes her way to the home town of her family roots. And here she finds a good man and good people. Tal even learns about her family heritage, which she didn't know with losing her mama so young.

The romance... Tal does find a man. But the relationship between her and him and him and her daughter seems to happen so fast. Like in two days fast. Okay, maybe three? I know it's a novella and looking past the quickness, it made for a sweet story.

The story has a few different angles to it. There is a sweet love that blossoms, of course. But we also see more here. Tal has a daughter and some troubles she's running from. Tal gets a solution to those problems and grows as a character too. We also see the thread that will connect the stories in this series - Free Wheeler, a small town. There is a history here that Tal starts to dig into and learns.

As for the cooking reference, I was expecting more "magic" in the baking. There is love backed in those biscuits, and people love them but I thought there would be some spark related to the baking. It wasn't as much of a tie as I thought there would be, but that's okay.

It's a sweet story with Tal who's drawn to bake all sorts of goodies with heart and memories. Family and friends are everything, and will help you when you are in need.

Audio Book Review: Paying the Price

Paying the Price (Book 5 of The Empire of Bones Saga) - Terry Mixon

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


Veronica is a favorite narrator for me. She speaks clear with possession of each word. She voices each character with different tones, sounds, and even accents to differentiate each one for us. This is a blessing in audio with a larger cast of characters. Even to give an AI feel to some voices is an addition to the many talents Veronica has. Veronica breaths life into these character with each word she speaks.

It's been a little while since I finished the previous book. The beginning chapter was to get us caught back up with who's who and what the "plan" is to work towards. It seemed to happen quick with reacquainting myself with the names of characters, ships, and worlds or stations. I just made notes and went for the ride, I'd get them all back in line as we go because I trust Terry's writing. He's organized in a fashion that makes it easy to keep this large cast in order. I was correct to follow Terry. Terry ironed any questions I had quickly and people fell into place for me.

Was I to be making notes while listening for a review?!? Um... That's one thing with Terry's writing and world here, I get sucked into the beautiful universe and forget to breathe. Seriously, the things these character live through are amazing.

So, I got drawn in when we found a station orbiting a black hole. When a few of our characters find their way in, it gets worrisome on whether they will get out. Lets put that worry on the back burner for a moment because I love what we find here! Though, if you are this far in the series, you know Jared and his crew members are not going to wait and see with their friends locked in this station, so you can't forget about that worry. Then there's the project that Carl Owlet was working on before this happens. Totally cool! It's like Thor's hammer, all done with technology. Goodness is this cool! It's also more than a powerful weapon.

Oh you just have to read/listen to this story to get it!

I love that while the characters get tripped up on a few stones as they are readying to venture home, the thread of the ultimate goal of the day is not lost. There is a character that is not involved in the current dilemma that is working for the next - when Jared returns home and Crown Prince Ethan Bandar is approached. Yeah, that's not going to go over well...

When we return home, it's exciting to see the responses from all parties. We also get brief reminders of what's happened to everyone, what they've lived through, and what can be coming their way. Being the 5th book in the series, I think this was a great way to remind us of what we've seen. Though, Terry does NOT repeat everything by word. We are reminded of major events and it all comes rushing back in our minds.

I love how each book builds on the previous events yet it is its own story. This is not a repeat of what we've already read, it's more. This is what keeps me thirsty for this series, along with the amazing characters and writing.

If you haven't guessed, I'm TOTALLY ready for the next book and will gladly continue with this series until the end.

Audio Book Review: Hyperborea

Fantasy Online Hyperborea: A LitRPG Saga - Harmon Cooper, George C. Hopkins, Jeff Hays

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

Ryuk and Tamana have gamed together for years. At Tamana's request, they restart with new avatars in Titania. When they logout, Tamana is attacked and Ryuk watches her jump to her death in a train station. Then Ryuk is attacked by a Thulian warrior from the game. He knows it can't be real but seeing it makes it hard to believe. With the help of his human droid bodyguard Ryuk realizes it's not real. There are posts in gaming forums that people have been experiencing this, and dying. Someone's hacking their iNet. Ryuk is determined to warn others he once knew, and spend time with his lost friend in the world of Titania.

Jeff is always a treat for me to listen to. I have high standards going into one of his narrations, and he delivers! I expect to the characters to each have their own voice and life to come through as he acts them. I expect to have the characters easily differentiated in their voices and personalities. I expect to be entertained with the enthusiasm of the narrator. Jeff hits all these points and more with clear audio.

Harmon takes the world we last visited with Quantum and creates it's own series with it. Titania is the perfect world to play with as a spin-off. There are three layers to the world which you can only get to by reaching different levels in your character.

But! We also have a new trouble for the players several years after Quantum and his battles. Their iNet, a program in their eye, is hacked and they are seeing the evils from the world they just logged out of. It's getting them killed! Ryuk is a character that is not going to take this, especially after the girl he's known for years and asked out is now dead because of it.

It's neat how the game world is connected to the real person. See, if the person dies in the real world they will be reborn in their game - RPC (reborn player character).

There are mentions of Quantum and the characters from the original series. This book takes place years after Quantum has been through the game. We hear the name of the guild that Quantum started, Ryuk had been part of that guild before he reset to start over in the game. Then he goes in search of them, leveling up, to tell them what is happening in the world now. Ryuk is determined to help his friend in RPC form as it's the closest thing to her he can get, and wants. Ryuk's wants seem to go against what he should be doing in Titania. But this is his inner conflict with what has happened to his dearest friend. This is something he'll have to work through in order to move on to what the next step is.

We are introduced to Ryuk and his friends and family here. The new problems in the gaming world of Titania is strongly influencing the real world. We learn there is more going on and in the end we are anxious to get to the next book. It felt a bit like a cliffhanger with the leads on Kodai. I want to find out who he's working with and what the next phase is. There is something bigger than Kodai knows going on here, and I want to know what!

Book Review: Burn for Me

Burn for Me -  Ilona Andrews

*I read this book for my own enjoyment.

I love that Nevada has a great family. There are 2 sisters, 2 cousins, her mom, and her grandma all living together. They have strong and different personalities. But they are also the reason Nevada takes the job she does. She wants to take care of them all, being the oldest child... and maybe some guilt in there too. But she loves them and wants they cared for as best as possible.

Hahaha. Nevada and Mad Rogan. I love the banter between these two. Of course he gets off on a bad footing when they first meet, but Nevada won't take any of his crap. I love this as she's a strong personality. Mad Rogan has gotten under her skin though. She finds his eyes, and maybe other parts, attention holding.

Then there's the sexy yet "guilty" party that Nevada's to bring in. Adam Pierce. Oh he is a hoot. He's so full of himself. Then there's Mad Rogan. Oh my. He is a man to dream about. And what his magic can do... Well, it's dangerous. He's definitely got a few other issues though. But that makes him a good contrast for Nevada. It's like she's teaching him to be a human being as the story goes. I love how Nevada's view on these two different men are written and perceived from Nevada's eyes. This influences how we feel about them, though I do still smile at Adam's flirting as Grandma just loves him.

I enjoyed the story and the strong personality interaction with Nevada and Mad Rogan, after I let the kidnapping go in my mind. The kidnapping... ugh. It was rough, but it ended well. I *guess* Mad Rogan isn't as bad a guy as thought. But once I was past this, I can see why women are attracted to Rogan.

The book had a few great points to make that felt to hit the heart. Nevada is a strong willed woman. She sees things and points them out. Like the woman that still fall over Mad Rogan because of who he is, looks like, and can do even after he's cruel to them. Seriously. Nevada even points out the response to his mean actions and woman are better than that. That the woman should care more about herself and he doesn't need to act like that. Even family points, loving each other and caring for each other. Nevada's sisters and cousins are still in school (of some sort). It's great at advice that's given at times when those characters are in the scene. I love the family aspect.

The magic system is complex and we get to learn it as we go. This author team gives us the pieces we need of the system with each scene so we can learn it through the characters and world instead of dropping it all in our laps. This works better for me as a reader. And I know there's more to learn, which will come with each book.

The beginning felt like the story wasn't going anywhere. No, not that. It felt as the case Nevada was put on was going to go nowhere. There were no leads, no tips, nothing to work with. Nevada has contacts and makes things happen though. We still didn't get the whole picture of what's going on. We get a solution to Nevada's one purpose on the case, but we are left holding the bag wanting to know the BIG picture. The ending felt really fast for me. I'll have to reread the epilogue and last chapter again and pull it apart.

Am I excited for the next book? Absolutely! I enjoyed Nevada and her life adventures. I'm curious as to what the bigger picture is and what troubles will be in the near future. I'll be picking the next book up.

Audio Book Review: To beat the Devil

To Beat the Devil: The Technomancer Novels, Book 1 - M. K. Gibson, Shawn Purvis, Amber Cove Publishing

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


I'm a sucker for a narrator who does different voices with the characters. So when Shawn spoke as a hellion or a demon, I smiled. He had me. Each character had their own sound/voice. When Shawn read Salem I found his voice monotone-ish. There didn't feel to have a lot of feeling to the character, however this could have been the character that's written. Salem is more of an even keel type character and independent with the life he's living.

Baltimore's Inner Harbor is turned into Razor Bay. There are demons of all sorts present. And we get a feel for the city from the get go. Wow, really did an overhaul on things when God left and demons arrived.

Salem is a very special person. What he can do and why caught my attention when he started explaining it. I really like this creation and blend for Salem and the world. Cyborgs, technology, magic, Demi-gods, and demons. Totally awesome combination!

I found the story very interesting as it's taking place years after God left. There's a reason for why he left, you get to know it. I liked this concept and spin on the world. There is a lot of details to the world and drops of how it came to be. As much as I enjoyed learning the past, sometimes I found it dragging and my mind drifted.

The story is well written in that we are given all the pieces we need before we get to the moment we need it. It all fits the events and scenes we come through. I had moments where I knew when we learned a small detail that backed current scenes as I came across them in the story. I like that I can connect those dots when reading/listening.

There is more to life than simply getting through. To feel and live it in your heart is important and what keeps you tethered to humanity. I love this feel I got. I don't know if it's a theme for the book or not, but it really stuck out for me. Salem comes through on the other side of this story learning this lesson. He may be starting to change from the closed off man to opening to those around him. There is a hint that we could get more in this world with Salem. I'm curious with this small drop.

Audio Book Review: Greatshadow

Greatshadow: Book One of the Dragon Apocalypse - James Maxey

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

4.5 stars
A cool addition in listening to the audiobook for me, we get small sound effects! There's a noise that matches the waterfall, lightly in the background to give us the feel of the story with the narration. I enjoyed the sly or laid back, knowing voice of the clientele at Black Swan that he used. Very fitting of the characters! I found I really enjoyed Jake as the narrator for this book. He felt to bring life to the words and characters as he spoke. When listening to audiobooks, sometimes a wonderful thing happens - you don't even know you are listening. Yep, it happened here. Jake told the story with what felt to be the characters personalities and lived in their emotions. This brings a book to a whole fourth dimension that's enjoyable for us.

We start off with seeing Stagger and Infidel in their full character as they escape a lava pygmy temple. How they escape says a lot about their personalities and friendship. Also gives us a action start to bring us into the world with them. I totally loved it. I was sold on the daring characters from the opening.

Infidel is one brutal woman! I love it! She's magically strong and seems to have no fear with her strength as she does withstand some heavy events and keeps on going. Infidel comes to a realization early in the book and grows from it as we move through events. Infidel feels to have been a person in need of healing, and didn't realize it until she lost one person dear to her. Wonderful writing for Infidel and her growth.

I very much enjoyed the story from the beginning. It's told from Stagger's view of things happening. I was pleasantly surprised at how well everything fits as we watch and experience with him. We interact with many different beings from Ogre to dwarf and magic inclined people. And of course, dragons. Very interesting world.

The story plot has an overall slower pace like traditional fantasy. But it's what happens in those moments that are amazing. Even though the plot is slower, the story is far from it. We get to see the world and know the characters through adventure and danger. There is magic and different beings present that we get to meet through actions. I even found I got to smile and chuckle at this story. When you meet Reeker and get to witness what he can do, you'll be smiling too. lol.

I found it interesting how the characters on the journey to kill Greatshadow have their lives intertwined with this adventure. We learn a great deal about them and face dangers as we journey, and I didn't realize that we were still working to get to the dragon. I didn't feel as though the book needed to skip ahead or anything. I truly enjoyed the story from the view point we got it.

Audio Book Review: Beacon

Beacon: Lantern, Book 2 - Chess Desalls, Janine Haynes, LLC Czidor Lore

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

Serah Kettel interviews with Master Machin to be an apprentice, to tend to the lanterns and let him know when one burns out. Machin asks her which new lantern bulb she likes. When she touches the one she picks, it smokes inside and she feels a shock that lands her on the ground. She's to return for her position as apprentice. When she returns, she expects to learn Machin's secrets to the lanterns. She didn't expect to live it.

Janine is a new voice for me. I thought she did well with the accents of Havenbrim and where Serah ends up. Giving each land a different feel from each other. The audio book sounded seamless as Janine narrated.

Serah is from a time when Halloween is very different than it is now, or where she ends up. Halloween scares Serah with all the creatures, blood, and body parts we have at parties. Seeing this new world and the way things are done opens Serah's eyes to what's important in life, and what she really wants with her family.

Of course we get a pleasant ending for Serah, after all. But the journey to the end is different through the globes. It's different for each person. I didn't expect the story to take the turn it did here, and I like it. The globe, the locket that's a door, and the delight to see who's where in the end. I know it sounds like I'm rambling, but it'll all make sense when you read or listen to the story.

Machin is always an interesting catalyst for stories. He creates the lanterns which lead these characters down their paths to where they need to be in their lives. I'm not sure if he finds them or if they find him, but he knows they will eventually find their happy ending.

It's a pleasant story that Young Adults can read/listen to and enjoy what the characters learn along the way about themselves.

Audio Book Review: The Dark Wife

The Dark Wife - Sarah Diemer

Veronica speaks as Persephone as she tells the story before all has happened, and as it happened. Veronica does cracking voices full of emotion when the book notes it. She feels to speak with such love and emotion that draws my heart into the story. A stunning vocal performance from Veronica as she relates all the emotions through her voice, and draws me into them.

The story is told from Persephone's view, after it's all happened. We learn this in the beginning of the story.

Sarah's writing feels as though it's poetic with emotions strong in her words. The cadence of the telling, along with Veronica's vocals, felt to fit the old sway of words with the Greek gods and goddesses. The details and emotions invested into this story feel to be strong. There is such love written here. And in the voice! Veronica relates the strength of all the emotions present.

Persephone grows fonder and fonder of Hades. In their small connections it seems that Hades is healing, along with Persephone in heart and mind. They have both suffered some loses or torment from others that starts to heal with each other's presence.

We get a feel of the flip of good and evil where we would think to see it. Zeus and Hades, evil and good. Which is the one that has more compassion for people and souls? We see things from a different angle that opens possible thoughts of it all.

This story is told as Hades as a female, as is Persephone. They fall in love and it's beautiful. This book is all emotion. I didn't get a feel of strong prejudice from everyone present. It's natural to love and it doesn't matter who that love is directed to. Love is an amazing emotion and all should feel it. Though, there is one that's not thrilled with it as it's not him receiving the love as he feels he should. He is also one that seems to look down on a relationship between two woman, but that is only briefly mentioned. The story is mainly a gorgeous telling of Persephone finding her way in the world and finding love.

The story is very drawing with the words and Veronica's voice. But the one scene that touched my heart the deepest was when the dead villagers met others. You'll know the moment and who the others are when it happens. Beautiful.

If you thrive on lush descriptions of all around you and feelings, this is a great read for you.

Audio Book Review: High Fantasy

High Fantasy: (Book Three) (Sci-Fi LitRPG Series) (The Feedback Loop 3) - Harmon Cooper, George C. Hopkins

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

Jeff returns to continue with the series as narrator. Cool! I've grown to know the voices he's assigned the characters and enjoy the vast cast he can voice in a book with this many characters that speak. Totally mind blowing! It's great to hear. He also has Quantum's personality locked down, along with all the characters we've grown to enjoy. Another amazing job in vocals and audio.

Quantum likes a challenge, like trying to attack and kill with unconventional weapons in the loop. lol. Him and Aiden have a great friendship. I have enjoyed Aiden, aka Morning Assassin from the first book. I'm glad we get to carry on with many of the secondary characters that are created for in games. You wouldn't think they would have personalities, but goodness do they have them. And Quantum's interaction with them brings them to life.

Frances isn't as highly present in this story as previous one. But she still knows how to play Quantum in what needs to be done. In listening to the audio book, we can hear and get the feel of the excitement of Frances on the pain medicines in the hospital. And see her interact with Quantum in the real world. But with her accident and not diving into the loop it opens the opportunity for us to meet and interact with other members of The Dream Team. We do get to spend time with Zedic Woods. Zedic seems rather cool when we meet him. And he's in a band, which we get to "see". I like him thus far.

Oh, the FDA guidelines for foods and drinks. lol. This is terrible. The government regulates types of food and amounts one should eat. Quantum doesn't follow these guidelines and hears about it constantly. It's a continuous battle for him to get what he wants. It would get on my nerves too. I feel Quantum's irritation when he reads these emails as I'm irritated for him.

Other than fighting with the FDA, Quantum seems to be settling into real life. He's not as sassy. He seems to have found the balance in fighting in the Proxima worlds and living. We get to see Quantum interact with more people, and he does well.

I feel we get a closure to one piece of the story with Quantum. With his Proxima world he's lived in for eight years and finding Strata Godsick. This book also leaves open the next mission started here, finding Strata's son. We are left looking forward to the next book with plans of what they are to do.

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.