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Sunday, 5 July 2020

TALLOW JONES


Tallow Jones by Trevor H. Cooley
Book 1 of the Tallow Mysteries series
Read by Andrew Tell
Genre: urban fantasy
Format: paperback, kindle ebook, & audiobookAudiobook


About Tallow Jones:
When Detective Douglas Jones' son goes missing under strange circumstances everyone assumes he ran away. The first break in the case comes when a long lost relative shows up with a new name and a strange tattoo on the palm of his left hand. His name is Tallow Jones. He is a private detective . . . and a wizard.

A wizard is needed too because, in Atlanta, strange abductions are just the tip of the iceberg.
Source: Info in the About Tallow Jones was taken from Goodreads at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36324291-tallow-jones on 29/07/2018.

Buy Link(s):
  Audible Books

My Thoughts:
This is the first book in the Tallow Mysteries which is an offshoot series from The Bowl Of Souls saga. Reading about the old world, Gaiana, made me miss the old characters like old friends.. like Death Claw and Fist!! It makes me wish that there would be more Bowl Of Souls books with Death Claw in it and more...

Andrew Tell sounds surprisingly so similar to James Foster that I thought I was listening to James Foster still, until about halfway through. Hah! My ears fooled me!

The author skated closely to destroying the plot. He had a lot of explaining to do to tie ends up nicely. Which he did... and skimmed through by the skin of his teeth.

The cover is not the best cover art in the world. If I hadn't known the author already, I don't think I would be picking up this book. It might be apropos to the story but it is not conducive to "book-buying" to my fantasy geek eyes.

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 4
Character development = 4
Story itself = 4
Writing Style = 4
Ending = 4
World building = 4
Cover art = 2.5
Pace = 4
Plot = 3.5
Narration = 5

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 cherries


The Author
Trevor H. Cooley
Since putting out his first book: Eye of the Moonrat in May of 2012, Trevor H. Cooley has sold over 200,000 copies of his books in ebook and audio formats.

He was born in South Carolina and has lived all around the United states, including Utah, New Mexico, Michigan and Tennessee.

His love of reading started in the second grade with Lloyd Alexander’s Chronicles of Prydain series. He couldn’t get enough and continued with David Eddings, Tolkein, Robert Jordan, Stephen King, and many others. Since then, all he wanted was to become a published writer.

The characters and concepts that eventually became the Bowl of Souls series started in his teens. He wrote short stories, kept notebooks full of ideas, and generally dreamed about the world constantly. There were several attempts at starting a novel over the years.

Not long after he was married, his wife told him to stop talking about the story and write it down. Many years and rewrites and submissions and rejection letters later, he finally put the books on Amazon. In August of 2013 he quit his day job and started writing full time.


The Narrator
Andrew Tell
I’m an actor and voiceover artist based in Los Angeles, California. I’m a versatile, articulate, and technically clean narrator with a strong background in improvisation and comedy. In audiobook narration, I’m an Audible-Approved producer audibleapproved._CB169116043_with thousands of 5-star performance reviews by Audible listeners. I work closely with independent authors and publishers to bring their books and characters to life.



FTC Disclosure:
This book was purchased with private funds.
No money received for this review.

Friday, 12 June 2020

THREE MAGES AND A MARGARITA


Three Mages And A Margarita by Annette Marie
Book 1 in the The Guild Codex series
Narrated by Cris Dukehart
Genre: urban fantasy
Format: ebook & audiobookAudiobook


About Three Mages And A Margarita:
Broke, almost homeless, and recently fired. Those are my official reasons for answering a wanted ad for a skeevy-looking bartender gig.

It went downhill the moment they asked for a trial shift instead of an interview — to see if I'd mesh with their "special" clientele. I think that part went great. Their customers were complete jerks, and I was an asshole right back. That's the definition of fitting in, right?

I expected to get thrown out on my ass. Instead, they ... offered me the job?

It turns out this place isn't a bar. It's a guild. And the three cocky guys I drenched with a margarita during my trial? Yeah, they were mages. Either I'm exactly the kind of takes-no-shit bartender this guild needs, or there's a good reason no one else wants to work here.

So what's a broke girl to do? Take the job, of course — with a pay raise.
Source: Info in the About Three Mages And A Margarita was taken from GoodReads at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41748044-three-mages-and-a-margarita on 01/05/2020.

Buy Link(s):
  Audible Books

My Thoughts:
Good start to a new-to-me series!

It started off slow but it picked up about halfway into the book. I like the premise. I also like the way the story is told. What I didn't like is the fight scene where the protagonist just stand there while people around her got beaten up by the bad guys. Makes me wanna scream like, "Pick up the damn frying pan and whack the bad guys with it!". But, other than that, the story building was solid.

The cover art is kind of misleading though, because our heroine is supposed to be human and has no magic. So that light thingie at the end of her fingers in the cover (which I presume is suppose to denote magic) is not true.

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 4
Character development = 4
Story itself = 4
Writing Style = 4
Ending = 3.5
World building = 4.5
Cover art = 4.5
Pace = (7 hrs and 14 mins listening time)
Plot = 3.5
Narration = 4.5

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 cherries


Meet The Author

About Annette Marie:
Annette Marie is the author of YA urban fantasy series Steel & Stone, its prequel trilogy Spell Weaver, romantic fantasy Red Winter, and sassy UF series The Guild Codex.

Her first love is fantasy, while fast-paced adventures and tantalizing forbidden romances are her guilty pleasures. She proudly admits she has a thing for dragons, and her editor has inquired as to whether she intends to include them in every single book.

Annette lives in the frozen winter wasteland of Alberta, Canada (okay, it’s not quite that bad). She shares her life with her husband and their furry minion of darkness — sorry, cat — Caesar. When not writing, she can be found elbow-deep in one art project or another while blissfully ignoring all adult responsibilities.

Find out more about Annette and her books at www.annettemarie.ca.


The Narrator

About Cris Dukehart:
A graduate of Johns Hopkins University, Cris Dukehart has recorded over 300 audiobooks across genres.

An Audie Nominee and Earphones Award Winner, she lives with her daughter and a hairy white monster dog, dividing her time between a little Post-it Note Cottage in Pennsylvania and a mountaintop house in the Caribbean.


FTC Disclosure:
The ebook and audiobook copies of the book were purchased with private funds.
No money received for this review.

Friday, 5 June 2020

KEYSTONE


Keystone by Dannika Dark
Book 1 of the Crossbreed Series
Read by Nicole Poole
Genre: urban fantasy
Format: ebook & audiobookAudiobook


About Keystone:
Raven Black hunts evildoers for fun, but her vigilante justice isn’t the only reason she’s hiding from the law. Half Vampire, half Mage, she’s spent years living as a rogue to stay alive. When a Russian Shifter offers her a job in his covert organization hunting outlaws, dignity and a respectable career are finally within her grasp. The catch? Her new partner is Christian Poe - a smug, handsome Vampire whom she’d rather stake than go on a stakeout with.

They're hot on the trail of a human killer who will stop at nothing to get what he wants. One misstep during her probationary period could jeopardize Raven’s chance at redemption, and her partner would love nothing more than to see her fail. Will Raven find the courage to succeed, or will she give in to her dark nature?

Dark secrets, unexpected twists, and a blurred line between good and evil will keep you on the edge of your seat.
Source: Info in the About Keystone was taken from GoodReads at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33869571-keystone on 07/08/2018.


My Thoughts:
This is a new-to-me series, and I was excited to discover a "possibly" another great read(s)... This is also my first Dannika Dark book so I am not familiar with this author's voice before I started reading this book.

I like the way Nicole Poole reads. It's not aggravating to the ears.

The promise of possibilities in the world building is exciting. There are vampires and shifters and magic. It started with good narrative and believable scenes. Then it was kind of downhill from there.

I do not like inconsistent magic rules. All along the narrative it says that clothes don't change with the shifter. Then all of a sudden Blue flies off as a peregrine and her clothes magically disappear... WTF! If you make up the rules, stick with them! Inconsistency destroys the believability in the story!

After all that moaning, the book wasn't all that bad. It has its moments. However, I do not think I would be buying anymore books in this series.

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 4
Character development = 3.5
Story itself = 3
Writing Style = 3
Ending = 3.5
World building = 3.5
Cover art = 4
Pace = (10hrs & 15mins listening time)
Plot = 3
Narration = 5

Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5 cherries


FTC Disclosure:
The ebook and audiobook copies of the book were purchased with private funds.
No money received for this review.

Tuesday, 5 May 2020

AWAKENED BY FIRE by Erin Kellison


Awakened By Fire by Erin Kellison
Book 2 of the Dragons Of Bloodfire series
Read by Bernard Setaro Clark
Genre: urban fantasy
Format: kindle ebook & audiobookAudiobook


About Awakened By Fire:
Billionaire dragon shifter and Bloodkin Triad member Warrick Voclain is no stranger to power. But when his trusted steward’s beautiful granddaughter — all grown up and successful in her own right — seems to be using illegal magic in his presence, he is thrown for a loop. And the fact that she’s doing so to protect him? Alarming.

Samantha Vine needs to stay under the radar, or her secret gift will get her and her granddad killed. She didn’t intend for her quick visit home to stretch into weeks in Warrick’s company, but anyone striking at Warrick would also hurt her granddad. Only she has the ability to see what’s coming… though she’ll need Warrick’s help to stop it.

The use of such magic is punishable by death, and Warrick’s position on the Triad requires that he adhere to the rule of law. But the attraction between them is electric, stirring his blood and straining his control.

Adversaries wait in every shadow, and the easiest way to strike down a powerful dragon is to go for the heart… in Warrick’s case, Samantha. With fire and blood, he’ll reshape the world into one that’s safe for her. And those that don’t bend to his will? They will burn.
Source: Info in the About Awakened By Fire was taken from GoodReads at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27802060-awakened-by-fire on 15/07/2018.


My Thoughts:
I enjoyed the first book in this series a lot, so of course the second book got bought and read!

This book is a whole lot longer than the first one. Ten hours worth of listening time as opposed to the four hours of listening time with Tempted By Fire. With the first book, I was dazzled with the fantastic world building and marvellous story telling quality. With this one, the novelty kind of started to wane already. I had time to digest and the character development was not as good as I first thought it was. Also like the first book, I like Bernard Setaro Clark's narration, even though, Thane and Warrick now have the same growly voice.

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 5
Character development = 4
Story itself = 4
Writing Style = 4.5
Ending = 4
World building = 5
Cover art = 4.5
Pace = (10 hrs and 16 mins listening time)
Plot = 2.5
Narration = 4.5

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 cherries


Books In The Dragons Of Bloodfire Series:



FTC Disclosure:
The ebook was downloaded for free, as a freebie item on amazon. The audiobook copy of the book was purchased with private funds. No money received for this review.

 
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