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Sunday, 5 December 2021

FESTIVE IN DEATH



FESTIVE IN DEATH by JD Robb
Festive In Death by JD Robb
Book 39 of the In Death series
Narrated by Susan Ericksen
Genre: scifi crime fiction
Format: ebook & audiobookAudible Books


About Festive In Death:
Personal trainer Trey Ziegler was in peak physical condition. If you didn’t count the kitchen knife in his well-toned chest.

Lieutenant Eve Dallas soon discovers a lineup of women who were loved and left by the narcissistic gym rat. While Dallas sorts through the list of Ziegler’s enemies, she’s also dealing with her Christmas shopping list — plus the guest list for her and her billionaire husband’s upcoming holiday bash.

Feeling less than festive, Dallas tries to put aside her distaste for the victim and solve the mystery of his death. There are just a few investigating days left before Christmas, and as New Year’s 2061 approaches, this homicide cop is resolved to stop a cold-blooded killer.
Source: Info in the "About Festive In Death" was taken from GoodReads at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20821249-festive-in-death on 16/02/2019.

FESTIVE IN DEATH by JD Robb
Re-Read Review:
I love that this book opens with Trina, who Dallas fear with something close to a phobia! What does that say for my psyche? Yeah, I know, sucker for a teddy bear!

As the title "Festive" denotes, this In Death episode centers around the holiday season, and Dallas does not like Christmases much! It is fun to see her squirm! Sadistic much?!

Another reason that this book is my favourite in the series, is because it is not only Lt. Eve Dallas who knows who the killer is. But it turns out that her favorite suspect is not it after all, which is a deviation from the usual pattern in these books. Kudos to this installment!

Susan Ericksen sound like she sort of have a cold with this book. I could hear the thickened sinuses. But, she still reads with her usual gomp. Blocked nose or not, Susan Ericksen is still a star narrator.


Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 5
Character development = 5
Story itself = 4
Writing Style = 5
Ending = 5
World building = 5
Cover art = 4
Pace = (13 hrs & 25 mins listening time)
Plot = 4.5
Narration = 4.5

Overall Rating: 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.

Friday, 12 November 2021

OFF LEASH

Off Leash by Daniel Potter
Book 1 in the Freelance Familiars series
Narrated by Jonathan Waters
Genre: urban fantasy
Format: ebook & audiobookAudiobook


About Off Leash:
When Thomas Khatt awakens to the magical world following the sudden, violent death of his elderly Archmagus neighbor, he doesn’t get the standard package of awesome power combined with a hero destiny. Nope, he trades his thumbs in for a tail, tawny fur and four feet with a very low co-efficient of friction on linoleum. His destiny as one of three talking mountain lions in the magical world? To be sold at auction and bonded to some pimply faced apprentice for life.

Thomas would rather eat dirty kitty litter.

Armed only with an impressive set of chompers and buckets of snark, Thomas faces off against a lightning-bolt throwing granny and a sexy union recruiter as he desperately tries hold the threads of his old life together. To stay off the leash he’ll have to take advantage of the chaos caused by the Archmagus’ death and help the local Inquisition solve his murder. A pyromanic squirrel, religious werewolves, and cat-hating cops all add to the chaos as Thomas attempts to become the first Freelance Familiar.
Source: Info in the "About Off Leash" was taken from GoodReads at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25906090-off-leash on 22/06/2020.

Buy Link(s):
  Audible Books

My Thoughts:
A fun romp in the magical modern world.

I like the way the magic system in this urban fantasy makes sense and is consistent. Kudos to the author! However, the whisper sync for this book is out of whack and it makes me cross-eyed every time I attempt to read with whisper sync. This was the main deterrent from reading this book. But eventually I finished it. It ended well but also left enough room for the next book to begin and left me wondering what happened to the giant tree... thus the second book got bought.


Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 4
Character development = 4.5
Story itself = 3.5
Writing Style = 3.5
Ending = 4
World building = 4.5
Cover art = 4.5
Pace = (8 hrs & 6 mins listening time)
Plot = 3
Narration = 5

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 cherries


Books In The Freelance Familiars Series:


Meet The Author

About Daniel Potter:
Daniel Potter has always been inspired by the mysteries of the world. His early interest lead him to become avid researcher as well as gamer and writer. After obtaining his PhD in vascular biology, he began exploring fictional magic and spiritualism using his own particular scientific lense. Daniel published the webcomic Walking the Lethe from 2010-2012 and is an active member of the East Bay Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Meet-up group. His debut novel, Off Leash, is just the first in his Freelance Familiar series.

When he's not chasing his imagination, Daniel works as a vascular biologist in the Bay Area. He shares an apartment with his wife, two cats, and a large collection of video games.


The Narrator

About Jonathan Waters:
Voice Over Artist · Voice Actor · Voice Talent · Actor · Professional Actor.

A classically trained actor with a degree in Theatre Arts from Boise State University and at present nearly 80 titles on Audible.com.

Voice talent for audiobooks, commercials, characters, animations, video games and beyond. Check out the links for both the list of audiobooks and YouTube page for demos.




FTC Disclosure:
The different formats of this book were purchased with private funds.
No money received for this review.

Tuesday, 9 November 2021

MINDSET

Mindset by Dr. Carol Dweck
Narrated by Bernadette Dunne
Genre: non-fiction: psychology
Format: ebook & audiobookAudiobook

About Mindset:
World-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck, in decades of research on achievement and success, has discovered a truly groundbreaking idea — the power of our mindset.

Dweck explains why it's not just our abilities and talent that bring us success-but whether we approach them with a fixed or growth mindset. She makes clear why praising intelligence and ability doesn't foster self-esteem and lead to accomplishment, but may actually jeopardize success. With the right mindset, we can motivate our kids and help them to raise their grades, as well as reach our own goals-personal and professional. Dweck reveals what all great parents, teachers, CEOs, and athletes already know: how a simple idea about the brain can create a love of learning and a resilience that is the basis of great accomplishment in every area.
Source: Info in the "About Mindset" was taken from amazon at https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mindset-Updated-Changing-Fulfil-Potential-ebook/dp/B01M036N60 on 09/11/2021.

My Thoughts:
This book was not written to entertain. It was written to elucidate a point. Several points. It would have been better if in the process of explaining things a little bit more clearly, that the narrative would be a little less tedious. A little bit less circuitous... But, it was not to be. So there we are! However, that did not make the points any less important.

I think the first two chapters of this book is the bulk of what this book is all about. The rest are more of tedious explanations than anything else.

And of course, Bernadette Dunne is now Dr. Carol Dweck's voice in my head.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 cherries


Meet The Author

About Dr. Carol Dweck:
Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D., is widely regarded as one of the world's leading researchers in the fields of personality, social psychology, and developmental psychology. She has been the William B. Ransford Professor of Psychology at Columbia University and is now the Lewis and Virginia Eaton Professor of Psychology at Stanford University and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Her scholarly book Self-Theories: Their Role in Motivation, Personality, and Development was named Book of the Year by the World Education Fellowship. Her work has been featured in such publications as The New Yorker, Time, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Boston Globe, and she has appeared on Today and 20/20. She lives with her husband in Palo Alto, California.


The Narrator

About Bernadette Dunne:
Bernadette Dunne has been narrating for Books on Tape since 1997. She has been twice nominated for The Audie Award and has won six Golden Earphones awards. She studied at the Royal National Theatre in London and The Studio Theatre in Washington, DC. She has appeared at The Kennedy Center, The Washington Shakespeare Company, and Woolly Mammoth in Washington, DC. As a playwright, her work has been produced in New York, Seattle, and Washington, DC. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.



FTC Disclosure:
The ebook and audiobook were bought with private funds.
No money received for this review.

Friday, 5 November 2021

DEATH IN THE DARK


Death In The Dark by Emily Kimelman
Book 2 of The Sydney Rye Mysteries series
Narrated by Sonja Field
Genre: chick flick crime fiction
Format: ebook & audiobookAudiobook


About Death In The Dark:
When the fugitive, Joy Humbolt, accepts her new identity as the Private Detective, Sydney Rye, she must learn to control her emotions and her out of control dog, Blue. With the help of an expert trainer Sydney learns to fight with her mind as well as her body. However, when the daughter of her close friend is brutally murdered in the desert Rye turns away from her trainer to seek revenge. Sydney's quick temper and deadly intentions lead her into a trap that she will need all of her new skills to survive.
Source: Info in the About Death In The Dark was taken from GoodReads at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34219229-death-in-the-dark on 03/03/2019.

My Thoughts:
In this book our protagonist got too stupid to live (TSTL)...WTF?!! Royally annoying! Brought the character development rating down to the boots. And the plot... the plot hinged on our heroine getting stupid so that she can show off and save the world. In the end I was cheering for the bad guys to get her! Like, let her get what she was jumping hurdles for to get. I thought that the first book was not the best in this series but still held promise. This book killed it!

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 3
Character development = 1.5
Story itself = 2.5
Writing Style = 2
Ending = 2
World building = 2
Cover art = 3
Pace = (2 hrs & 39 mins listening time)
Plot = 1
Narration = 4

Overall Rating: 2 out of 5 cherries


Meet The Author

About Emily Kimelman:
Emily Kimelman not only writes adventure, she lives it every day. Embodying the true meaning of wanderlust, she's written her Sydney Rye mysteries from all over the world. From the jungles of Costa Rica to the mountains of Spain, she finds inspiration for her stories in her own life.

While living under communist rule in the former Soviet Union, the KGB sprinkled her with "spy dust", a radioactive concoction that made her glow and left a trail they could follow. She was two.

She was destined for amazing things after that, and she continues to find adventure to inspire characters like the badass Sydney Rye.

Download the first Sydney Rye Thriller, Unleashed, for FREE on all major ebook platforms and join the adventure!


Meet The Narrator

About Sonja Field:
Sonja is an American voice and accent coach based in London.

After graduating with a BFA in Acting from Carnegie Mellon, Sonja worked for several years as a professional actor in theaters across the U.S. She then obtained an MFA in Voice Studies from the Royal Central School of Speech & Drama.

She has coached both students and teachers at Eton College, The National Opera Studio, the Royal College of Music, and professional theatre productions in London. She has worked with professionals across industries: from civil servants in Leeds, to founders of successful Silicon Valley start-ups, to Broadway performers.

Sonja has taught voice and accents at drama schools such as Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, ALRA, London College of Music, and E15.

In addition to coaching, Sonja is a professional voiceover artist and audiobook narrator.


FTC Disclosure:
The different formats of this book were purchased with private funds.
No money received for this review.

 
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