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Canitus “Canitus (Blackwoad, Book 1) by Joshua C Cook and narrated by Campy is an OK story overall- I didn’t love it, but also didn’t hate it. If you enjoy tech thrillers, this might be for you. What’s it about? James, an IT manager, discovers a new virus called Canitus while at work. As he searches for answers, he discovers more than he bargained for in a world of hackers, government agencies, and ex’s. I’ll leave it at that due to spoilers. There were a few times I was taken out of the story whether it was the writing or the narration (inaccuracies, not pronouncing a key word correctly, a tosser means something else entirely where I’m from but it did give me a chuckle). Campy reminds me of a certain well-known narrator and I do think he could achieve top narrator status down the road if he practices his craft (need distinct voices and less monotone). With this being said, I’d try another of Joshua’s stories/Campy’s narration. *I was given a free review copy of the audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review. Thank you for allowing me to listen and review the book!”
Species Savior “Species Savior (A Science Fiction Dystopian Novel (Species Traitor) by Kate L. Mary and narrated by Heather Firth is an enjoyable listen and a good ending for the series. If you enjoyed the first book, give this one a listen. 4 stars for story, 5 for narration. ***Contains small spoilers*** You’ve been warned*** *** * What’s it about? Ava and Finn are back and struggling with how to proceed with their future as it looks rather grim as tensions continue to climb between humans and Veilorians. It gets even worse when Ava is faced with betrayal, discovering she is pregnant, and Mayor Waters nefarious ways. I love the world connects to another world of Kate L. Mary’s. There are plenty twists and turns and new characters that keep it interesting. I wish there would have been a little more use of certain bad characters or learning about their histories in full detail and a tad less of repeat dialogue (ex. Veilorian facts). I’m not gonna lie, I would love one or two more books out of this series or a new series where they connect to the others in the world and team up to take the bad guys out. The narrator, Heather Firth, once again does a beautiful job. Her character voices are perfect, great pace, and adds to the overall story. Parental guidance/trigger warnings: violence/hatred against the Veilorians and humans who support them/live with them/etc., death, hunger, pregnancy, mother who was not a supportive or kind person, family betrayal, kissing, and other like situations that would arise in a dystopian society. Language used: Fx2, Sx9. *I was given a free review copy of the audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review. Thank you for allowing me to listen and review the book!”
Planet Z “Planet Z by Kristen Middleton and narrated by Maren McGuire is a good YA story with so-so narration. Would recommend if you enjoy YA sci-fi. 4 stars for story, 3 for narration. What’s it about? Alex and her family are sent on a mission to Planet Z which is said to be the last hope for humanity. However, the mission is not what they were led to believe and when the real reason becomes evident, the story unfolds quickly. You get aliens vs. humans, twists and turns (who can you trust is a theme throughout), friendships, and more. When I first start this, I honestly didn’t think I’d make it far into the book but glad I stuck with it because once the story unfolded it was a wild ride through space. The story itself is good and might have been great if there had been a different narrator. I struggled with the narration- character voices were not distinct and sometimes too monotone, but then there were times were it was OK. Perhaps this narrator just isn’t for me? With that being said, if the second book was out, I’d listen to it as I am interested to know how the story unfolds. Yes, the book is left open and is a semi-cliffhanger. Overall I recommend if you are looking for a YA sci-fi tale. Parental guidance/trigger warnings: *******Contain spoilers******* *************** ************** ******* **** *** * Aliens take over the humans bodies, drugging (a drug removes the aliens from the human bodies), child abuse (mother who is an alien attempts to strangle the child), erasing/implanting memories, kiss or a few between the two teen MC, use of a stun gun type weapon, physical fighting (self-defense), parents killed by aliens (mentioned several times). I do not recall any swearing.”
Throne of Winter “Throne of Winter (Dark Court: The Fire Fae, Book 1) by Sophie Davis and narrated by Sarah Puckett is an enjoyable YA story with tons of potential. Recommend if you’re looking for a YA story with magical elements. 4 stars for story, 3 for narration. What’s it about? Maybrie (Brie), who is of Fae blood, was captured when she was younger and has been fighting in the pits in order to gain her freedom. She has become a well-known fighter over the years but despite this, she is still considered to be of the lowest caste (Casters, Shifters, Fae, and Vampires). She moonlights as a waitress to give money to the resistance. She meets Prince Kai one night who asks her on a date. Brie is asked to spy on him by the rebellion, however, her feelings soon get in the way and she is torn on what to do and who to trust. The world is set as a dystopian with tech and magical elements. There are things I absolutely love about this book, then there are parts lacking details (hopefully in future installments?) or too much detail on unimportant things that would keep the story moving. If you find yourself saying meh to the beginning, please stick with it as once it picks up, it gets better. The narrator, Sarah Puckett, was not my cup of tea in the beginning, but she did grow on me and improved as the story progressed. I turned the book off several times before making it to a point where I wanted to listen and not put it down. The beginning is rough (story too), but as it goes on, she gets better (not so monotone, not so meh). With this being said, I would listen to the second book in the series and hope it’s in production.”
Tribe of Daughters “Tribe of Daughters by Kate L. Mary and narrated by Nikki Zakocs is a powerful story not for the faint of heart. Highly recommend if you are new to Kate’s books or looking for a darker dystopian story. What’s it about? Jameson is on a business trip when he is abducted by a group of women. They are unlike any women he has met before- they live in the forest, have no contact with outsiders, hunt their own food, build their own shelters, the men’s only purpose is to serve the women and provide variations into their offspring (the background is given not too far in as to why things are the way they are). If the men fail to do as asked or fail to follow the rules, they are beaten or killed depending on the crime. As Jameson acclimates to a new way of life, he is picked by the tribal leaders daughter Wilderness, to be hers. They grow fond of each other resulting in challenges to long held traditions and when the group is threatened, the men and women must come together or face death. Yes, there is a lot more but keeping spoilers to a minimum. Some parts were difficult to listen to, while some were heartwarming, and some heartbreaking. There are lessons to be learned if you chose to take that route, otherwise just sit back and appreciate the story as it is well-written and absorbing. The story changes viewpoints between Jameson and Wilderness and you will have no problem knowing whose turn it is. I finished this story five days ago and I’m still thinking about it and trying to figure out how to review it in a way that will give it justice. With that being said, I highly recommend and you should definitely give this book a listen. This would also be a good choice for a book club as many discussions can be had. The narrator, Nikki Zakocs, was good overall. It took me a couple chapters to adjust to Jameson’s voice, but when I did, it was fine in the long run (could just be me and my preference). 4 ½ stars for narration. “She is everything I am destined to be but so much stronger than I am in every way and I have no idea how I will ever be able to walk in her footsteps without falling.”~ Wilderness thinking about her mother. A couple of the thoughts I had while listening: power corrupts regardless of gender, if women did the things men do (relax folks, I’m not saying all men or all women), and how our actions and choices set events in motion and how they shape our society. Parental guidance/trigger warnings: This is not a story for the faint of heart. It contains violence, death, drugging of males for sex, sex trafficking, hunting animals for food, whippings, a dog fight, kidnapping, rape, casting aside children due to gender, and similar elements.”
The Grumpy Fairy “The Grumpy Fairy (A Grumpy Fairy Tale, Book 1) by Elizabeth Dunlap and narrated by Sophie Stone is an OK listen. Didn’t love it, didn’t hate it. Kind of wish there was a different narrator (sorry Sophie)- sounded old lady-like vs. a young fairy (book is for teens). The summary is pretty accurate but I felt it was more along the lines of an angry, disgruntled fairy who hates everyone but Alfred (her bird). Maybe this one just isn't for me?”
The Sweetest Torment “The Sweetest Torment: A Post-Apocalyptic Zombie Novel (Oklahoma Wastelands, Book 3) by Kate L. Mary and narrated by Heather Firth is another good addition to the series (hoping it's not the last). Recommend if you’ve been listening to this series and if not, you should def start! What’s it about? Kellan and Regan are back and dealing with the psycho Andrew while encountering new crazies of the religious variety (don’t worry, there’s a couple normal folks too). When Kellan and Regan become separated, a harsh reality sets in for Regan. There are heavy loses and gains, a good amount of focus on their relationship development, and some surprises. I LOVE this world overlaps with her other books (nope, not saying who, listen to the series). There is bonus content at the end for one of the new characters back story, which was a nice surprise. The narrator, Health Firth, was fabulous (yet again!). Great voices, pacing, and overall adds to the book. “I knew I was living in a twisted world when I found myself rooting for a zombie, but I couldn’t help it.” Parental guidance/trigger warnings: It’s the zompoc so things like violence, death, torture, PTSD, or like situations occur. Some sex (nothing too graphic). Language used: F x1, S x28.”
Far from Home “Far from Home (Far Series, Book 1) by Kate L. Mary and narrated by Nicole Jones is a good start to a new series- looking forward to where it goes. 4 stars for story, 3 for narration. What’s it about? At the beginning of the outbreak, Rowan and Kiaya are trying to make their way home but end up in a small town and meet up with Devon. From there, it’s life or death as they move (or not move) through the newly infested zombie world. They meet some new folks along the way (some good, some not so good). Love that it ties into Agnus’s world. Yes the characters do some not-so-wise things at times but it’s the beginning of the outbreak and the full dangers aren’t known yet. The narrator, Nicole Jones, was ok. Sometimes there was a lack of emotions and monotone. With that being said, she has potential to become a great narrator, but needs a bit more practice. I recommend this is you are a fan of Kate’s work or are looking for a new zompoc series.”
The Brightest Darkness (Oklahoma Wastelands, #2) “The Brightest Darkness: A Post-Apocalyptic Zombie Novel (Oklahoma Wastelands, Book 2) by Kate L. Mary and narrated by Heather Firth is a great second for the series. Recommend if you are looking for a new z series (make sure to listen in order) or have listened to the first and wondering about the second. What’s it about? The group is dealing with the fallout from the previous events while trying to move forward, only it’s not so easy to trust in this harsh post-apocalyptic world. Those immune to the virus are no longer able to keep their secrets hidden as Andrew hunts them down. New members shake things up and the Z’s are getting smarter. The result is a fast-paced story with a good amount of action. There is a bit of romance between a few couples with the main focus on Regan and Kellan. The book ends in a cliffhanger of sorts (I need the next book ASAP please!). I love it’s set in the same world as Agnes James (another must listen for z lovers)- nice to have it all tie in. The narrator, Heath Firth, was marvelous- love her narrations! She brings the characters to life and helps pull you into the story. Between her narration and Kate’s writing, it’s a perfect team. Overall, I recommend, especially if you are new to Kate or Heather. “If there’s no goodness, no humanity left in the world, we deserve to follow the dinosaurs into extinction.” Parental guidance/trigger warnings: It’s the zompoc folks, so things like death, weapons, and not nice people doing not nice things. Threats of rape, reliving the trauma that occurred in the previous book, PTSD, some sex (semi-detailed). Language used: Sx49, Fx2.”
Redemption (Moonchild #3) “Redemption (Moonchild, Book 3) by Kate L. Mary and narrated by Heidi Drennan is another good addition to the series. I recommend if you’ve been following this series. What’s it about? Scarlett, Asher, and the gang return with Scarlett and Layla going out for a night on the town where bad things take place resulting in Layla needing to hide from the law. Asher brings a small group of their people out west to a town where it’s safe from the automatons but not safe from the people as no rule or law exists. As they try to settle in, things become dangerous when they find themselves helping to stop the more sinister dealings taking place. While the current events wrap up at the end, it is left open for another book, which I’m hoping will be an epic battle against ___(listen to the book if you want to know who 😊). Redemption is the perfect title for this book. I like that the characters are relatable in the sense they struggle with real problems such as PTSD, they are not perfect people, and the world is not all sunshine and rainbows. The things I didn’t like were (which is my first time ever writing this about Kate’s work): the focus on the weather was mentioned a few times too many and the pace/action was slower than the previous books, but want to note it may have seemed slower to me because I just finished Kate’s The Brightest Darkness, which is chock-full of action. The narrator, Heidi Drennan, did a great job again. She brings the characters, new and old, to life perfectly. Overall I recommend, especially if you’re looking for a new YA series with steampunk elements to it. *I was given a free review copy of the audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review. Thank you for allowing me to listen and review the book!”