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Erica Freeman
Deep in the Woods “I loved this tense little story. Justin M.Johnson has such style in the construction of this story that had you questioning which way is up and which is down, the story merely adding to the feelings of confusion and tension as the story progresses. Tom Jordan does a fantastic job of narrating this book bringing each character to life vividly with their own distinct voices.”
Harley Quinn 101 “OK so I get that female characters are treated very differently to their male counterparts, but why, for what possible reason can we need to know Harley Quinns weight?!?!? I don't remember Deadpools weight being included in the list of key facts about him. Is it a diffence between the way DC and Marvel treat and present their characters? Or just another demonstration of the toxicity (oh the irony of this isn't lost on me as its toxins that change harley and the most toxic man ever created that does it to her) surrounding female characters within the superhero genre? I felt this was actually a pretty poor study of Harley Quinn as a character and her different representations in different media's. The only real mention was the contrast of light, bubbly Harley of the animated shows to the much darker Harley of the comics. More of an exploration into these diffences would have been so interesting, looking into her different motivations and traumas that she suffers that cause her to be so reactive. A closer study of the portrayal of her friendships within the DC universe would have been interesting too and felt almost completely skipped over. F.C.McAllister deliver the facts in front of him in such a flat manner it was hard even making it through the 17 minutes of this book. Monotone and drawing, it felt like he had no interest in the character he was talking about. So this was sadly a very disappointing listen.”
Deadpool 101 “I loved learning more about Deadpools creation and his history in the comics and was surprised to hear he wasn't instantly a popular character bit despite of this became a prolific character throughout the different marvel series. The nods to his popularity through movies and particularly Ryan Renolds portrayal of the merc with a mouth and his anger at that being robbed from the character in the x-men movie, was nice as I think a lot of people came to the character through these movies. I understand that this book is packed with facts, dates, issue numbers and titles, character bios but the way they were read was just so depressingly flat. It sadly felt that C.J.McAllister totally missed the mark with the chaotic joy that is such a big part of the Deadpool story. He did a good job conveying all the facts in a simple, straightforward manner but it all just fell a bit flat.”
The Stalker “I love the family dynamics in this book. My heart goes out to Alison, who feels so alone despite being a part of the O'Connell family, admittedly she hasn't been a part of it officially for very long and they are all still finding their feet with the situation. So Alison is dealing with finding her place within this new family dynamic and trying to deal with the trauma of her life before it. It makes me sad to see Alison so clueless that she is important to her family, thinking that it would be so easy for them to hate her, resent her, turn her away. Yet time and time again her family show how loved she is, especially her father. One of the first interactions we see between them is he sees how her boss treats her at work and tell her 'use your words to set your boundaries or I will' followed with 'want me to fight your battles or teach you how to fight'. He's supportive and protective of her, offering advice but also allowing her to make her own decisions and take responsibility for them. He is the first to tell her that the resulting murders are not her fault just because she wrote down her feelings and someone else found them, read them and then acted on them, he tells her that writing down her feels is totally normal and a valid thing to do. Her uncle Marcus is also amazing to her, supportive and protective. He's the sheriff so has a lot more clout when it comes to saying who is to take responsibility for whats happening. I love that he makes it clear to Alison again and again that she is not responsible and that they are 'family so stuck with us. If you run and hide we're just going to run after you and if you don't know that by now then I'm really angry'. He's completely accepted her as family and is one of the first to jump to her defence when she starts being so cruel to herself. Even though she had no evidence that someone has been in her apartment the mere fact that she got a feeling about it is good enough for him. The women of the O'Connell family are amazing and supportive too. None of them blame her for what happens, even when one of their own gets hurt, they never hold Alison responsible for what happen and validate her feelings and encourage her to be more open with them. The silent conversations that they have when they discover that Alison spent a night in her own apartment with a chair wedged under the door handle, they are absolutely deverstated for her but also they have all known that fear. I really loved the way the men in this book stepped up to help and support Alison without being overbearing and controlling. They are an amazing family and I definitely intend to hunt down all the books about them. I love the way Lorhainne Eckhart writes, she has such a beautiful voice and conveys her meanings so well, at 120 book (at the time of this book) she is incredibly prolific and I can't wait to work my way through her back catalogue, I liked hearing a bit about her at the end of the book. John Mo is fantastic, I could listen to him read absolutely anything. His tone is just perfect for this book and definitely makes it so much more enjoyable. I also loved that at the end we were given a little insight into him and my absolutely favourite fact is that he prefers the company of dogs rather than people, which is completely correct.”
Cat and Mouse: A Paranormal Romance Short “Although this is a short story it packs a lot of punch and the action moves swiftly. Johnathan is a vampire with intense feelings for someone who should be his mortal enemy, a hunter caught him and he escaped but rather than take the usual route of killing the hunter, Johnathan let her live and ran. Now she has found him again and he can't say he's unhappy about it. Within a very short space of time the two share an interesting exchange and come to an unusual arrangement much to Jonathan's joy. We never learn the hunters name and it really doesn't matter to him, all he's interested in is they get to play their game of cat and mouse again and again. Although the story is told entirely from Jonathan's point of view it is clear from the start that the nameless hunter is the one with all the power, if she rejected him he would die without fighting. She doesn't need a name, she is all encompassing, for she is the sole reason for his continuing existence now. Kevin Theis was a great narrator for this short story, he gave the two characters very distinct voices and carried the story along well.”
The Wishing Stone: Dangerous Dinosaur “My kids think dinosaurs are awesome, they're not wrong, their words and they really liked that this book was about dinosaurs and that they weren't made into the villain of the story just destroying things for the sake of it. I like books that make them look at situations differently, just as Spencer does when he finds himself in Arcos world and encountering a troubled dinosaur. Catching a child's imagination is the most important part of a children's book and this one did it perfectly, my kids loved it and I hope this book helps awaken a love of reading in other kids as it's encouraged mine to continue expanding the worlds they read about. I really liked the little snippet at the end about dinosaur facts and development in understanding of their fossils, I want more of that in books. Mark Wimmer is an excellent narrator, perfectly capturing the spirit of the book in his reading. I look forward to finding more books narrated by him.”
Merry Christmas, Henry “I really loved the magic of this short story, it was so sweet and honest and so very human. The relationships between Henry and other characters is really lovely to see, his family connections are tenuous and stressful apart from with his aunt lucy and her unending support and defence of him and that she is the only person he sends a hand painted Christmas card and his joy at imagining her face upon recieving it. I especially liked his friendship with Melinda and her daughter Katie. It felt so genuine the way it developed and his realisation that he loved the idea of her but not actually her and that this developed into a deeper, truer friendship is lovely. The magical twist at the end and Melindas understanding of her friend is so sweet. The only thing that threw me slightly was that sometimes they referred to him as Henry and other times as Hank, at first I wondered if they were different characters but by the end it became clear it was meant as the same person. I could listen to Tom Jordan narrate anything. I love his tone and cadence, he brings a genuineness and softness to the story that just made it a really enjoyable listen.”
Bela Lugosi’s Dead “brilliant”
Bela Lugosi’s Dead “I really loved this book, the concept was so fun and the characters were so interesting. Admittedly it took me two listens to sort out the time line in my head, I think it would be less chaotic to follow in the book as the time hops would be easier to see, but this in no way detracted from my enjoyment in the way the story unfolded. I enjoyed the use of classic characters that we know so well, and how they were almost completely inverted so we saw totally new sides to them and how they wove through the story. I think Samuel E.Hoke was the perfect voice for this book, he gives it just the right tone and really draws the listener in.”
Supercell “Absolutely loved this book! Watching a storm unfold in front of you is an awesome experience but there is always the unpredictability factor, no matter how well you know the science of how storms usually act, attempt to predict their behaviour and the path they may take, there is will always be the chance of something breaking the rule and taking you totally by surprise despite all your predictions and precautions. This is the situation Chuck finds himself in when he loses his career after the death of a couple who had paid for a ride along while storm chasing. His chance of redemption comes in the form of a film crew in desperate need of some epic footage of a monster tornado. Finding a chance to reconnect with his son Chuck accepts the assignment. Amongst the adrenaline fuled chases a darker human undercurrent is brought to life. A burglary ring is taking advantage of the confusion to hit neighbourhoods that have been caught in the path of the storm. When one of their targets results in murder Chuck is drawn into the hunt by FBI Agent Gabi Medeiros and we finally start to see his true redemption as he does all he can to help her catch the killers. I really enjoyed the character development and pacing of the action in this book. Drew Commins does an excellent job of narrating this story, really bringing strength and humanity to the characters.”
Halloween Party 2 “A great little collection of Halloween stories perfect for helping setting the mood while Halloween crafting. Lovely having three different narrators JB Butgess, KC Wayman and Ryan Haugen do a brilliant job of bringing these stories to vivd life.”
Halloween Party “Really enjoyed listening to the short collection and so did my kids. It was nice having them playing in the background while we did Halloween crafts. It was nice having three different narrators to bring each book to life and helped with showing the different tones in the books. Michael Gilboe, Scott Bennett and Bryan Patrick Jones all did an excellent job with this book.”
Bones in the Basement: Surviving the S.K. Pierce Haunted Victorian Mansion – Edwin Gonzalez & Lillian Otero’s Story “It took me a little while to place the names, it was the events described that made me realise I knew some of this story thanks to various paranormal shows so it was nice to get a more indepths look at the story if this haunting. Knowing a bit about the story I did enjoy the book but the tone of the book felt a bit off to me, it's recounting supposed real events but in such a way that it reads as fiction, like the people that it's happening to are invented characters. The house is real, the people are real, they say that all the events of the haunting are real, so it feels very odd to hear them recounted in such a way that reads like a novel rather than a non-fixtion. Samuel E.Hoke did a decent job with the narration but again hearing him read it, the structure of the book and presentation of facts in this structure makes it feel like a fiction novel rather than recounting of true events.”
Fangs & Fins “I enjoyed this book the premise of vampires vs mermaid was an interesting one, how exactly does that work when one lives completely on land when the other is most comfortable in the water, how do these two species come into contact and where does the conflict orginate from. Telling the story from dual POV purely from the girls' perspectives is a great way to let the story unfold and see different sides of the situations they find themselves in. Although I enjoyed hearing only from the girls perspectives in this book it might be interesting to get a chapter or two from Dean and Calder, I would especially like a chapter from Orin the supposed neutral fae whose motivation is questionable. We meet our two leads, Ivy and Ember as they are still getting used to the very new idea of being family, their parents only getting married a week before the events of the book start to unfold. At first both girls notice the good looking mover who also happens to be a new guy at school and there's some nice exchanges between them that suggest the classic trope of the focus of the story will be these two new sisters battling over the one guy. Quickly however Ivy upends all our expectations of the genre by refusing to get involved in a squabble, if her new step sister likes the new guy he's all hers she has more important things to focus on, like studying and her little sister and adjusting to her new family. As the story progresses, we learn that both girls are being drawn into a war but on opposite sides. Ivy does everything she can to fight against this and find a way to get herself and Ember out of the situation safely, Ember however seems more keen to allow herself to be swept along in the romanticism of the idea of being destined for Dean and despite some niggling doubts in her own mind, she questions how old Dean actually is but argues to herself that in all the vampire media she loves the vampire is always older (often a lot older) than the girl and its an issue but not really (which is a question that does come up a lot when discussing the familiar tropes of the genre) and she questions some of the tactics of the vampires, it isn't enough to stop her giving up everything that seems to make her her at the beginning of the book and siding whole heartedly with the vampires. Ivy is portrayed as a lot more level-headed, questioning everything when it comes to the war and notion of champions. She refuses to just accept something that was forced on her and her sister and is determined to find a way to get them both out safely. Even after Ember chooses her side, Ivy still wants to fight for her, to try and keep her safe from the vampires. I definitely found myself liking Ivy a lot more than I did, Ember. I also found myself liking Caulder more than Dean, their approach to the girls being so different in tone. At first seems Caulder seems meek and kind of withdrawn, he's definitely reluctant to involve Ivy in the war or just being involved in the war at all despite the survival of his people depending on his actions. He respects Ivy's request for space to process her new reality, there is a definite sense that he really likes her but wants her part to be as much her own choice as possible, he clearly feels guilty about the initial agreement to be a champion for him as she can't remember it, he admits to her that the first time isn't necessarily done with concent and that doesn't sit right with him, as apposed to Dean who definitely seems to gaslights Ember into believing that she agreed to not only be his champion but his girlfriend. Calder carries a heavy weight of responsibility for his people and even changes schools in order to avoid unnecessary conflict with the vampires that are steadily taking over. Vampires are by their very nature dark, but there is something off about the vampires in this story. They keep things from their champion, and it feels like they manipulate her almost every instance. Orin is an interesting character as a fae he is an observer of the war, a neutral party. so he offers a sanctuary to both girls while they decide if they want to take up their positions of champion, Ember turns him down and is taken wholeheartedly into Dean's world of vampires only Ivy remains reluctant and accepts his help and advice and space safe away from the vampires and the mermaids. There is a sense that Ivy and Orin grow closer in their time together, having seemingly open and honest conversations about both sides and him telling her more about the situation. The first hint we get that he isn't as neutral as he claims is the way he watches the fight between the two girls, the choices of description making us question him. I enjoyed the epilogue where we saw the fall out from the fight which is usually skipped over in this type of book, and the questions that the authorities have finding unconscious teenagers after a supposed explosion and some half naked (the wrong half being naked) teenagers in the same vicinity. The family fallout is also really interesting to see as again this is normally something that is glossed over in this genre. Xoe Zen is a really excellent narrator bringing the characters to life and giving them some real emotion. Telling the story from the two girls' perspectives, it was cool hearing the contrast in tone between them and how they played against each other.”
Luna Rising: Book 1 “I really enjoyed Luna Rising. It was nice getting to know the character of Ruby purely through her personality and interactions with other characters. The reinvention of some of the werewolf lore is interesting too and very different from most books of the same genre. Although we know nothing about Ruby's past, we are given scattered hints throughout the story but nothing concrete, we are still shown a strong, competent young woman who is smart enough to get herself a scholarship to college and find a job she is competent at and clearly fits well with the small team there if the few conversations we see between them are anything to go by. She also warm, funny with a touch of snark but not cruel,theres also an odd mix of brave and incredibly vulnerability to her character, she will fight against attackers and slap a werewolf all the while wanting nothing more than to be allowed to study and make a life for herself. The lack of background to Ruby just makes her so much more interesting to see the young woman she is, the strength she has, and what she has had to go through to get there? When she has a troubling encounter with Xavier, what situation has she been in the past that makes her think he's going to hit her because he's angry? There are so many questions about why she is so used to fending for herself, why when she is in trouble even though she fights does she expect no one to help her, why does it seem she has been alone all her life? These are questions I hope will be explored in later books. Ruby isn't scared of the werewolves, which is no surprise, considering the hints of her past and her outlook on the world that pretty much everyone has the right to exist. Seeing the friendships start to develop between her and some in the pack is nice, the conversation with Randal being the main one, seeming so open and honest and I hope that Ruby noticing the scars of bitemarks on his neck doesn't have significance later in the books. The development of feelings between Ruby and Xavier is nice yo watch too his wolf knew they were mates but the human part of him wanted to give Ruby a choice, to let her come to care for him on her own terms, to decide for herself. He wants his Luna to be an equal to him, to support him and the pack and by allowing Ruby to explore her feelings about Xavier and the pack in her own time he's allowing her to make that choice and form her own bond. The playfulness that grows between them is sweet, especially seeing the bonding between Ruby and Xaviers wolf, telling him off for growling at her and threatening never to kiss him again made me smile, it felt like a natural progression in their relationship. I really enjoyed Sara Snows way of telling the story from multiple view points, it really drew you in and helped you warm to the characters in a very short space of time. The pacing of the book was great. You just wanted to keep going and find out what happens next. Yes, darn you, you cliff hanger ending you! The curiosity this story fills you with is excellent, like Ruby you find yourself wanting to learn more about this new realm of shifters and myths come to life, add to that the mystery of our protagonists past and you have the recipe for a really great series and I can't wait to devour the rest of the books. Meg Price is an absolutely brilliant narrator. Each characters personality comes through in her reading, and you really share in the emotions of the characters.”
Raspberry Truffle Murder “I really liked this book. It had a lovely balance between its cosy, mysterious humours and crime themes. I'm looking forward to more books in this series. Our main character Nikki is rebuilding her life after divorce from her husband of 20 years left her blindsided. The relationship between her and her son Seth is great to see, he may be leaving for college but he is super supportive of his mom and her new venture away from everything they've both known, the banter between them feels genuine and fun and his encouragement of his mum both in her self confidence and wishing her success with her shop is nice to see. Nikki is quickly drawn into the investigation of a hit and run that occurred outside her shop on opening day, with her being new in town and her shop the last place that Steven Denforth visited before his accident she at first pooled on with the list of suspects. So she sets to work using her skills as a former reporter and FBI consultant to sort the truth from the rumours and clear her name and protect the place she has quickly come to call home from being lost. Becky Boyd is a fantastic narrator, giving spirit and joy to the character of Nikki in particular but also bringing all the side characters to life in a way that really makes you warm to them, well most of them anyways. I was given this audiobook for free from audiobooks unleashed and have left this review voluntarily.”
Empty Branches “I really wasn't sure what to expect from a story described as a Christmas dystopia short story, but I've had a few books by Kayla Krantz and really enjoyed her way of story telling which is why I chose to listen to this book and I'm really happy that I did. Dystopian stories are usually dark and bleak and whilst this story has that sense, with the descriptions of the destruction outside of the dome, the overarching tone is of hope and love in the face of loss and learning to be brave and finding inner strength and companionship. The friendship between Caroline, one of the younger residents of sector one, Anita is the oldest resident of sector one and the only one left who remembers the world before the end times, Caroline loves talking with Anita and listening to her stories, despite their visits being less frequent since Caroline was assigned a job, the closeness between them is evident in their conversation as though they had still been seeing each other every day. So Anita tells her of the magical Christmases she had with her family before everything changed, she talks of the lights, the gifts, the laughter and the magical feeling that is Christmas. The loss of the friendship is devastating to Caroline, but as she remembers her conversations with her friend she is filled with a new hope of things to come and as her relationship develops into something stronger with her closest friend she begins to think of a future with love, not just survival. I really liked the tone of this novel I think Tessa Compton reflected this brilliantly in her narration of this book. I was given this audiobook for free and have left this review voluntarily.”
The Box “I loved this story. It really felt like the beginning of something epic, a sprawling tale of myths across worlds. Panea is a wonderful lead, she is brave standing up to bullies in her new school and kind when faced with a chimera she doesn't want to hurt it but to find a way they can both get out of the situation alive. I really hope she gets a full series and we get to explore her magic and get to look more into the magic system within the context of the story. also the different mythical monsters she may encounter i wonder if they would all be from greek myth as with the chimera and pandora or if other world mythilogies will be drawn upon as well, only a deeper explorationof the world xould give us that so i look forward to news of more books in this vein. Panea certainly deserves an expansion on her story, and I really hope we get it. Kay Mack is a lovely narrator, giving a gentle strength to the character of Panea. The only thing that I don't like about this book is the thumbnail/choice of cover art as it just doesn't feel like it connects to the story much at all, the face being pulled is an odd choice and the box is badly photoshopped onto the hands not even sitting on them as if it's being held. I also think that the swirls of what I can only guess are supposed to be magic around the face and the box should be purple, not blue, to match with the magic described in the story. I was given this audiobook for free and have left this review voluntarily.”
Stained “Kayla Krants is definitely an expert in the construction of short stories, which are fast-paced with well thought out characters and a sense of intrigue, which leaves you wanting more of that world. Stained is no exception as it hooks you from the very beginning where within just a few lines we come to care about our protagonist Melissa as she tells us about her nightmare and then the reality of a missing girl next door. We sympathise with her as she desperately reaches out to her absent parents only to be rejected, we learn from her once again by her mom, and only curt conversation from her father. Melissa instantly paints herself as the victim in the breakdown of the relationship between herself and her mother telling us she has no idea what she ever did to her but that her mother has always been cold and distance, often making her feel as if she wasn't even her child. Her father tries to placate her, saying her mother just needs time, leaving us questioning from what, all we know is there was an 'incident' of some sort between mother and daughter that has left the mother unable to be alone with her daughter, she won't even speak to her on the phone. We are given the sense that this is a very broken family. Melissa tells us she was only a kid and that she was sleepwalking. This sounds harmless enough, but then she asks, "Why can't she just forgive me!?' Aside from the horrific dreams she has, this is the first sense we are given that all isn't as it seems with Melissa. What did she do that she would want her mom to forgive her for it? also, if she has no idea what the 'incidental' is, why does she want forgiveness for it? There is a definite sense of resentment from Melissa towards her mother for how she's made her feel since the 'incident' or possibly even before that. As the story progresses at an unrelenting pace we are made to wonder more and more if there isn't something darker to Melissa, the way she chooses to relay certain details feels slightly off and the narrative is skewed in her favour when perhaps there is more to it than we see. Jessie Caruso gives a brilliant performance in the reading of this book, lending a very human aspect to the character of Melissa, even as she gives us hints at the possibility of darker intents. I was given this audiobook for free and have left this review voluntarily.”
Haunted Tampa “This was a nice listen, I really enjoyed the explanation of the history of an area and the events that happened that could provide an explanation for the haunting. There was nothing really scary about these ghost stories. They were more interesting than unnerving and tracing the history of the people, events, or land, giving the stories a sense of being grounded in something. Lawrence Locke was a good narrator for this book, lending the stories a touch of realism, especially in the way he described the history of the area. I was given this audiobook for free and have left this review voluntarily”
The Disallowed “I really enjoyed the family dynamics in this book and the way they supported and cajoled each other through the various situations they found themselves in. Melanie Crawley is a lovely narrator for this book, adding to the gentle, almost cosy tone of the story. I was given this audiobook for free and have left this review voluntarily.”
Ghost Stories: Unexplained Mysteries of Occult, Supernatural and Paranormal Activity “I do love a collection of short stories, and the ones contained in this book are great fun. To me, none of them were scary, but they were definitely interesting and felt like they could be true to the person who experienced them. Jack Roughman is an interesting narrator. He is over the top and zealous in his readings and gives the stories a real sense of looking at you and daring to not believe them while maybe not wholeheartedlybelieving them himself but giving wholehearted belief in the events of the perople whoses story he is telling. He definitely brings a sense of fun to the stories. I was given this free audiobook and have left this review voluntarily.”
Paws in the Action “I loved this book! Jaz is sweet and smart and totally adorable as a lead, her warm personality just shines through and I found myself really liking her, and then we met Luffy, who totally steals the show and my heart, I want a goofy, loving talking dog, I love him so much. The pacing of the book was really good as we were introduced to a wide cast of characters and events proceed at a decent speed whilst keeping some of the tension and mystery of who committed the murder and why. Ann Richardson is a lovely narrator and perfect for the feel of this book, with her sweet tones for Jaz and pretty decent deadpan or just deeper voices for the male characters, she really brought life to each character. I was given this as a free audiobook and have left this review voluntarily.”
Merry Christmas & Murder “I really enjoyed this book, its a cute little listen, with warm, enjoyable characters and a fast paced storyline. although it's part of a series using preestablished characters, you do not need to have read or heard any of the books before this one to enjoy the story. it is a well written stand alone story. The characters and well rounded feel like the sort of people you could really meet in this sort of setting. The warmth of the main character and her growth of overcoming her preconceived ideas about some of the people she meets is a nice development. I liked that the cast of characters were older but still youthful, although Anna Caputo does a great job of narrating the book and bringing the personalities to life within the story, it is a shame that an older voice wasn't used to give it a bit more resonance with the characters in the story. Caputo is a wonderful narrator and definitely brings out the sense of mischief that the main characters have. I was given this audiobook for free and have left this review voluntarily.”
True Ghost Stories and Hauntings 10 Spine Chilling Accounts of True Ghost Stories and Hauntings, True Paranormal Reports and Haunted Houses “the thing I loved most about this book was the clear enjoyment that Kevin Theis clearly had whilst narrating it. He brought humour and fun to some slightly kooky tales. There wasn't much horror, if any, in the stories in this collection but they are told in such a joys way that that doesn't even matter, you just enjoy listening to them. I was given the audiobook for free and have left a review voluntarily.”
Inside the Prophecies of Mothman Selected Letters from Paranormal Witnesses and Researchers “Well I picked this book cos I really enjoyed the film ' the mothman prophesies ' and was intrigued by the promise of a study into the truth behind it, where the myth originated from, what were the circumstances that brought it to light and if there was any evidence to there being any truth behind the story. What I got was 7 hours of the worst ramblings and conspiracy theories I've ever heard. Mass shootings are the fault of government mind control experiments or a deliberate plant by the government to distract from bad political stories rather than poor gun control laws. This book does not live up to its blurbs promise and the narrator reflected this with a monotone drawl throughout that often made it hard to follow who was saying which conspiracy theory. i was given this as a free audiobook and have left this review voluntarily.”
Alien House “I wasn't sure what to expect when I started this book, but it certainly wasn't what I got. The actual story is incredibly heartfelt, it's about a man who is doing everything he can to make a life for himself and his wife, except go to his family for help as his pride won't allow him. When faced with admitting to strangers his current homeless situation, his life slowly begins to change, as does he, for the better. Through encouragement and cojoling from his new friends he reconnects with his past passion of designing and building and in doing so reconnects with his family. It is actually a very sweet story about how a little act of kindness can help change someone's future. The only drawback to this audio version was the narrator, he was very flat, expressing almost no emotion throughout, the whole story was told in the same plodding monotonous tone, which did at times detract from the quality of the story. "I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review."”
Girl on the Brink “I had to take a bit after finishing this book just to process the story I heard unfold before me. The struggles, the pain, the elation and the deverstating lows felt all too real. The book is fiction but the situation it depicts is not. Chloe is our protagonist and she is very bubbly and ambitious at the beginning of the narrative, excited about her internship and the possibility of summer romance. When that romance starts to turn sour she does everything she can to fix it and save the person she has come to care so much about, she blames herself and when her abuser turns her arguments on her, making her out to be the problem she starts to accept it. She loses her spark, allows herself to be isolated from her friends, made to look bad at her place of work. As the story progresses you come to care more and more about Chloe and her situation, so many times I found myself going 'nope', 'well that's weird' or 'nah that is not a good sign'. The warning signs were there from the beginning and it's scary how easy it is to ignore them or write them off as a person's little quirks. 'as women we aren't taught to see the warning signs of abuse' This is the standout statement of the whole novel because it's true. We aren't, we are sold the 'fairytale' from a very young age and when it starts to go wrong we try to hide it, pretend everything is ok, blame ourselves for the failure. Chloe doesn't even think of herself as a victim of domestic abuse, even after everything she's been through. I think it was a very powerful choice to tell this story through the eyes of a teenager, as it's so easy to swept along by the 'whirlwind' romance of it, it's hard to spot the signs and I think girls and women of all ages and backgrounds should be taught the warning signs that could, possibly, one day save their life. it's a hard conversation to have but it is incredibly important. This is a book that everyone should read, repeatedly. They should talk to their friends about it, they should talk to their kids about it, it should be on every reading book and book club list of must reads, it should be on school curriculum as a means to bring the subject up with teenagers, to help make them aware and open to talking about the red flags and warning signs of relationships such as the one depicted in the novel. The author has done a fantastic job of opening up an incredibly difficult topic of conversation and I have to say the narrator gets the pitch and tone of the piece absolutely spot on, she is bright and bubby to start, then we hear her brightness slowly chipped away at, she conveys to us Chloe's feelings to a point where, we feel them ourselves. Such a powerful book, I can't say enough positive things about it. Read it, listen to it, talk about it. Make others aware, open up that conversation. "I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review."”
The Lost Island “I knew I would enjoy this book from the blurb, it sounded like the best creature feature on a Friday night. The characters are well defined and I really liked that the two lead characters weren't forced into becoming love interests. it makes a nice change to let characters like that stand in their own right. I thought the narrator did a brilliant job. I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.”
The Other Side of Midnight “I really enjoyed this book, it started off feeling like a typical teenage coming of age romance with touches of the supernatural, unexpected psychic abilities, freak wolf attacks, the popular boy liking the unpopular girl but not wanting to say so cos status is a big thing to high schoolers. but as the story progresses it doesn't take long to see there is actually depths to all of the characters, they all have hard choices to make and their own paths to follow. I enjoyed that we got a glimpse of their future too, things didn't just stop as teenagers, the decisions they made then and the impact it had on them is a nice change to see. I also felt the narrator had great time for the majority of the book, yes all of the male voices sounded pretty much the same, but it didn't impact on the flow of the narrative at all, it was still really enjoyable and i would definitely reccomended this book as worth a listen to anyone looking for something just a bit different. I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review”
The Moon Warriors: A Novella “I enjoyed this book, I liked Thalia and her determination to get answers but also her openess to hearing and accepting uncomfortable truths. My favourite character is mushroom the familiar, she's adorable and quirky and fistey in her own fierce little way. I could easily listen to a whole series of mushrooms adventures. I think the narrator did a fantastic job bringing each character to life with their own tones and personalities. I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review”
Haunted Cannock Chase: True Ghost Stories from the Uk’s Spookiest Location “I enjoyed this book but there was nothing chilling about the ghost stories within it, instead they were rather silly but very entertaining. The premise of the book is that they are true stories and experiences but there is very little evidence to back up any of the claims. I did like the little bits of history that were included with each story in a possible attempt to add some credence or explanation to the events. Rain Corbyn gave an excellent performance and clearly had fun giving voices to the various witness accounts, there was a definite sense of skepticism to the way he read the stories which just added to the entertainment value for me. I was given this free audiobook and have left this review voluntarily.”