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Tuesday, 5 February 2019

TREECAT WARS


Treecat Wars by David Weber and Jane Lindskold
Book 3 of the Stephanie Harrington series
Read by Khristine Hvam
Genre: science fiction YA
Format: hardback, ebook, & audiobookAudiobook


About Treecat Wars:
New York Times and Publishers Weekly Best Selling Young Adult Series. Book Three by international writing phenomenon David Weber. Two young settlers on a pioneer planet seeks to stop a war and to save the intelligent alien treecats from exploitation by unscrupulous humans.

The fires are out, but the trouble’s just beginning for the treecats

On pioneer planet Sphinx, ruined lands and the approach of winter force the now Landless Clan to seek new territory. They have one big problem — there’s nowhere to go. Worse, their efforts to find a new home awaken the enmity of the closest treecat clan — a stronger group who’s not giving up a single branch without a fight

Stephanie Harrington, the treecats’ greatest advocate, is off to Manticore for extensive training — and up to her ears in challenges there. That leaves only Stephanie’s best friends, Jessica and Anders, to save the treecats from themselves. And now a group of xenoanthropologists is once again after the great secret of the treecats — that they are intelligent, empathic telepaths — and their agenda will lead to nothing less that treecat exploitation.

Finally, Jessica and Anders face problems of their own, including their growing attraction to one another. It is an attraction that seems a betrayal of Stephanie Harrington, the best friend either of them have ever had.
Source: Info in the About Treecat Wars was taken from GoodReads at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17334535-treecat-wars on 24/08/2017.

My Thoughts:
For some reason this little meerkat munchkin reminds me strongly of Survivor and this meerkat society of the Skinny Cat Clan, including two pups play fighting and another two little ones sleeping in a pile. They're very cute! If I had a photoshop software, I would give this little guy six legs, a more feline face and otter hands, and he will be Survivor!

Unlike the previous books, this one has a more layered plot this time. The authors threw in a couple of unexpected twists, which is great! So the character development and the world building has long been established a long time ago with the previous books. And also like the previous books, this one is also a very good read! This being the third installment in a trilogy, I was kinda hoping for a great grand finale to the Stephanie Harrington series... but it wasn't... it was just kind of another book in the series with lots of room for more to come. But this book having been published in 2013, I don't think there will be another installment in this series, like six years later, which is the greatest downer with Treecat Wars. Of course, there is always a hope that the authors will someday pick it up again and write another installment... hopefully.... As usual, the narration is fabulous! Can't complain with Khristine Hvam at all!

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 4.5
Character development = 4.5
Story itself = 4.5
Writing Style = 5
Ending = 4
World building = 4.5
Cover art = 5
Pace = 4.5
Plot = 4.5
Narration = 5

Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5 cherries


Books In The Stephanie Harrington Series:


The Authors
David Weber
David Mark Weber is an American science fiction and fantasy author. He was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1952.

Many of his stories have military, particularly naval, themes, and fit into the military science fiction genre. He frequently places female leading characters in what have been traditionally male roles.

One of his most popular and enduring characters is Honor Harrington whose alliterated name is an homage to C. S. Forester's character Horatio Hornblower and her last name from a fleet doctor in Patrick O'Brian's Master and Commander. Her story, together with the "Honorverse" she inhabits, has been developed through 16 novels and six shared-universe anthologies, as of spring 2013 (other works are in production). In 2008, he donated his archive to the department of Rare Books and Special Collections at Northern Illinois University.

Many of his books are available online, either in their entirety as part of the Baen Free Library or, in the case of more recent books, in the form of sample chapters (typically the first 25-33% of the work).

Jane Lindskold
Jane Lindskold is the author of more than twenty published novels, including the six volume Firekeeper Saga (beginning with Through Wolf’s Eyes), Child of a Rainless Year (a contemporary fantasy set in Las Vegas, New Mexico), and The Buried Pyramid (an archeological adventure fantasy set in 1880's Egypt).

Lindskold is also the author of the “Breaking the Wall” series, which begins with Thirteen Orphans, then continues in Nine Gates and Five Odd Honors. Her most recent series begins with Artemis Awakening, released in May of 2014. Lindskold has also had published over sixty short stories and numerous works of non-fiction, including a critical biography of Roger Zelazny, and articles on Yeats and Synge.

She has collaborated with several other SF/F writers, including Roger Zelazny, for whom, at his request, she posthumously finished his novels Donnerjack and Lord Demon. She has also collaborated with David Weber, writing several novellas and two YA novels set in his popular ”Honorverse.” She wrote the short story “Servant of Death” with Fred Saberhagen.

Charles de Lint, reviewing Changer, praised "Lindskold's ability to tell a fast-paced, contemporary story that still carries the weight and style of old mythological story cycles."[1] Terri Windling called Brother to Dragons, Companion to Owls "a complex, utterly original work of speculative fiction." DeLint has also stated that “Jane Lindskold is one of those hidden treasures of American letters; a true gem of a writer who simply gets better with each book.”

Lindskold was born in 1962 at the Columbia Hospital for Women, the first of four siblings and grew up in Washington, D.C. and Chesapeake Bay. Lindskold's father was head of the Land and Natural Resources Division, Western Division of the United States Justice Department and her mother was also an attorney. She studied at Fordham, where she received a Ph. D. in English, concentrating on Medieval, Renaissance, and Modern British Literature; she successfully defended her Ph.D. on her 26th birthday.

Lindskold lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico with her husband, archaeologist Jim Moore.


The Narrator
Khristine Hvam
Khristine Hvam is an award winning audiobook narrator, director, and voice over actress. Having studied acting for the theater and film, she soon discovered a love of voice over. You will hear her in TV/Radio commercials, video games, animated series, and most notably in over 200 audio book titles. Khristine has been honored with several Audio Publishers Association Audie Award nominations and in the summer of 2012 earned her first Audie Award in the fantasy category for her performance of Lani Taylor’s “Daughter of Smoke and Bone” and a second for “Astray” by Emma Donoghue. Khristine has also received five AudioFile Magazine’s Earphone Awards for her performances. Most recently she has begun directing audiobooks, a journey she never imagined taking, but one she is thrilled to be exploring. Khristine is a proud member of SAG/AFTRA.



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

Saturday, 5 January 2019

DEADLINES AND DRYADS

Deadlines & Dryads by Rebecca Chastain
Book 0.5 of the Gargoyle Guardian Chronicles
Genre: urban fantasy
Format: ebook


About Deadlines & Dryads:
Getting the scoop might cost Kylie and her gargoyle companion their lives...

Dryads are a reclusive, passive species — or they used to be. Overnight, the peaceful woodland creatures have turned violent, attacking travelers with crude weapons and whipping the trees of their grove into a ferocious frenzy.

When rumors of the dryads’ bizarre behavior reaches journalist Kylie Grayson, she pounces on the story, determined to unearth the reason behind the dryads’ hostile transformation. Accompanied by Quinn, her young gargoyle friend, Kylie plunges into the heart of the malevolent grove. But nothing she’s learned prepares her for the terrifying conflict she uncovers...
Source: Info in the About Deadlines & Dryads was taken from amazon at https://www.amazon.co.uk/Deadlines-Dryads-Terra-Chronicles-Prequel-ebook/dp/B077ZCW1CS on 17/09/2018.

My Thoughts:
Having been hooked and addicted to Rebecca Chastain's story telling quality, of course I have to read more of her books, thus this book got bought and read. The world building has long ago been established in the Gargoyle Guardian Chronicles and the goodness of it is carried over to this offshoot series. This book also have the same lovable character development which is getting to be a trademark of this author. This gargoyle image I have with this post may not be Quinn but he sure have the same mischievous grin there! Yes, lovable characters! Unfortunately though, the TSTL (too stupid to live) element also kind of carried over too. However, it is easy for me to wilfully ignore it in this book for the wonderful reading time that it gave me!

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 4.5
Character development = 5
Story itself = 4.5
Writing Style = 4.5
Ending = 4
World building = 5
Cover art = 5
Pace = 5
Plot = 3.5

Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5 cherries


Meet The Author

About Rebecca Chastain:
Rebecca Chastain has found seven four-leaf clovers to date, won a purebred Arabian horse in a drawing, and once tamed a blackbird for a day. She has been employed as a VHS sales clerk, bookshelf straightener, government pseudo-employee, professional finder of lost sporting goods, and strategy guide wrangler in the video game industry. Dreaming up the absurd and writing stories designed to amuse and entertain has been her passion since she was eleven years old, and she’s incapable of stopping. She lives in northern California with her wonderful husband and two bossy cats. To find out about new releases, sales, and freebies, sign up for Rebecca's newsletter: http://www.rebeccachastain.com/newsletter

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

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

MAGIC TRIUMPHS


Magic Triumphs by Ilona Andrews
Book 10 of the Kate Daniels series
Read by Renee Raudman
Genre: urban fantasy
Format: ebook & audiobookAudiobook


About Magic Triumphs:
Mercenary Kate Daniels must risk all to protect everything she holds dear in this epic, can't-miss entry in the thrilling #1 New York Times bestselling urban fantasy series.

Kate has come a long way from her origins as a loner taking care of paranormal problems in post-Shift Atlanta. She's made friends and enemies. She's found love and started a family with Curran Lennart, the former Beast Lord. But her magic is too strong for the power players of the world to let her be.

Kate and her father, Roland, currently have an uneasy truce, but when he starts testing her defenses again, she knows that sooner or later, a confrontation is inevitable. The Witch Oracle has begun seeing visions of blood, fire, and human bones. And when a mysterious box is delivered to Kate's doorstep, a threat of war from the ancient enemy who nearly destroyed her family, she knows their time is up.

Kate Daniels sees no other choice but to combine forces with the unlikeliest of allies. She knows betrayal is inevitable. She knows she may not survive the coming battle. But she has to try.

For her child.

For Atlanta.

For the world.
Source: Info in the About Magic Triumphs was taken from GoodReads at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17333180-magic-triumphs on 29/08/2018.

My Thoughts:
I was dreading going into this book, knowing that this is the last book in the series. I thought that beloved characters would die! Well, there was death... but the ending, though finished the story arc in the series, still left room for more stories to come and I am hopeful! Because this is really a beloved series! I want to read more of it. I am also hoping to read more of Conlan in future books in off-shoot serieses. Who doesn't want a cuddly little kitten version of Curran!! There is also an element of predictability in the story. Normality this is a downer for me. But in this book, I can totally ignore it for the wonderful reading time I get out of it!

As usual, Ilona Andrews did not disappoint! There are advantages and disadvantages to that. The advantage is, that we get a wonderful reading time! The disadvantage is that, now the post-wonderful-read depression sets in


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

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 cherries


Meet The Author

About Ilona Andrews:
Ilona Andrews is the pseudonym for a husband-and-wife writing team. Ilona is a native-born Russian and Gordon is a former communications sergeant in the U.S. Army. Contrary to popular belief, Gordon was never an intelligence officer with a license to kill, and Ilona was never the mysterious Russian spy who seduced him. They met in college, in English Composition 101, where Ilona got a better grade. (Gordon is still sore about that.)

Gordon and Ilona currently reside in Oregon with their two children, three dogs and a cat. They have co-authored two series, the bestselling urban fantasy of Kate Daniels and romantic urban fantasy of The Edge.


Meet The Narrator

About Renée Raudman:
Renée Raudman is a multi-award-winning audiobook narrator. She has earned a number of AudioFile Earphones Awards, including for The Last Secret by Mary McGarry Morris and Wesley the Owl by Stacey O'Brien, as well as a Publishers Weekly Listen-Up Award for Joe Schreiber's Chasing the Dead. She has also performed on film, TV, radio, and stage, including the recurring roles of Jordon on ABC's One Life To Live, Phyllis on NBC's Passions, and guest-starring roles on prime-time TV. She has been heard in cartoons (The Simpsons, Billy & Mandy), videogames, and on the E! channel. Her narration of Homer's Odyssey by Gwen Cooper was selected by Library Journal as one of the best audiobooks of 2009, and her reading of Marthe Jocelyn's Would You was selected by the ALA as one of the best young adult audiobooks of 2009.



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

Monday, 5 November 2018

WINTER'S DEMON


Winter's Demon by Eric R. Asher
Book 3 of the Vesik series
Read by William Dufris
Genre: urban fantasy
Format: ebook & audio


About Winter's Demon:
Some things can never be undone. The horrors I've defeated — or even caused — with my own hands … they are nothing compared to what’s coming. Philip Pinkerton has brought his madness upon my family, my own blood. His army of necromancers is on the move, harbingers of a great darkness. I fear the war has begun ... and damn, I don't get paid enough for this.
Source: Info in the About Winter's Demon was taken from GoodReads at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22404543-winter-s-demon on 15/01/2018.

Buy Link(s):
  Audible Books

My Thoughts:
It took me a long time to finish this book despite the convenience offered by the audiobook format. It just seems like our group of heroes and heroines are just running around from fight to fight with not much of a plot... wtf?!... In the end the good guys didn't even win, they just survived. And now they are in even deeper pickle than when the book started... But here's the kicker, a beloved character died. It took me a year to mourn her before I could continue reading/listening to this book again. And that contributed much to the lagging pace of this book. On the up side, the narrative is still peppered with humour which I like. Specially when William Dufris squeaks it out to imitate a girly scream. Kudos to the narration! And from this book pans out the plot of the next four books in this series, or so I presume... there is so much plot lines hanging from here and from the titles of the rest of the books, I can guess what the next four books is all about... I hope I am wrong though because I like surprises.

In the end, I would still say that this book was an enjoyable read despite the lagging pace.


Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 4
Character development = 4.5
Story itself = 3
Writing Style = 4.5
Ending = 3.5
World building = 4.5
Cover art = 4
Pace = (10 hrs & 4 mins listening time)
Plot = 3
Narration = 5

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 cherries


Books In The Vesik Series:
Book 1: DAYS GONE BAD   Book 2: WOLVES AND THE RIVER OF STONE   Book 3: WINTER'S DEMON   Book 4: THIS BROKEN WORLD   Book 5: DESTROYER RISING   Book 5.5: WHISPERS OF WAR   Book 6: RATTLE THE BONES   Book 7: WITCH QUEEN'S WAR   Book 8: (No Title Yet)


About Eric R. Asher
Eric Asher
Eric is a former bookseller, guitarist, and comic seller currently living in Saint Louis, Missouri. A lifelong enthusiast of books, music, toys, and games, he discovered a love for the written word after being dragged to the library by his parents at a young age. When he is not writing, you can usually find him reading, gaming, or buried beneath a small avalanche of Transformers.
www.daysgonebad.com | facebook | facebook author page | twitter | goodreads | pinterest | google+




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

 
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