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Wednesday, 10 January 2018

FIRE SEASON


Fire Season by David Weber and Jane Lindskold
Book 2 of the Stephanie Harrington series
Read by Khristine Hvam
Genre: science fiction YA
Format: hardback, ebook, & audiobookAudiobook


About Fire Season:
Fire in the forest — and a cry for help from a trapped and desperate alien mother! Unfortunately, this is one cry no human can hear. Stephanie Harrington, precocious fourteen-year-old Provisional Forest Ranger on the planet Sphinx, knows something is wrong from the uneasy emotion that is flooding into her from her treecat friend, Climbs Quickly. But though Stephanie’s alien comrade shares a tight bond with his two-legs, whom he knows as Death Fang’s Bane, he cannot communicate directly to her the anguished call from one of his people.

Still, their strong and direct bond of feeling may be enough. Stephanie and fellow ranger Karl Zivonik respond to Climbs Quickly’s rising waves of distress. Fire season on the pioneer world of Sphinx has begun. But there are those who want to use the natural cycle of the planet for personal gain — and to get rid of the one obstacle that stands in the way of acquiring even greater land and power on Sphinx: the native treecats.

Now it’s up to Stephanie, Climbs Quickly along with their friends, family, and allies to prevent disaster and injustice from befalling a treecat clan. But in the process Stephanie must be certain to preserve the greatest secret all. It is the knowledge that the treecats of Sphinx are not merely pets or servants, but are highly intelligent in their own right — that they are a species fully deserving of rights, respect, and freedom. And keeping the secret that will allow the treecats time to develop a mutually beneficial relationship with humankind.

It all begins with the friendship of a girl and her treecat.
Source: Info in the About Fire Season was taken from GoodReads at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13547274-fire-season on 23/08/2017.

My Thoughts:
I'm not sure why this second book in the Stephanie Harrington series got an additional author in it, but there you go. However, it doesn't seem to make any difference to the quality of the book. It is still the same very good read! The world building and the character development has been established in book one already and continued on in this book. And maybe I've just gotten used to the voice of the author or gotten more immersed in this world, that this book seems to go faster than the last one. Or maybe, this book is just more fast-paced than the first one. Either way, this book was a quick read. I still love the narration and gives it 5 out of 5! The only down side to this book is the cliffhanger ending, even though it did end the plot in the book. I just do not like cliffhangers! Other than that, this book is a wonderful follow-up to A Beautiful Friendship.

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 = 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.

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

POCKET FULL OF POSIES


The Book

Pocket Full Of Posies by Angela Roquet
Book 2 of the Lana Harvey, Reapers Inc. series
Read by Hollie Jackson
Genre: urban fantasy
Format: ebook & audiobookAudiobook


About Pocket Full Of Posies:
Not Your Grandma's Afterlife…
The promise of peace in Limbo City is threatened once again, but this time the terrorists have a more specific target in mind: Lana Harvey. The up and coming reaper thought passing her classes at the Reaper Academy was going to be her biggest challenge, but when a rebel demon sends her apartment up in flames, she realizes that her victories from the previous year haven’t gone so unnoticed after all…

To make matters worse, the Afterlife Council has taken notice of Lana too. The Egyptian god Horus is blackmailing her into joining the Posy Unit so she can do an illegal side job for him, and Cindy Morningstar, Lucifer’s daughter, insists that she take a two week training course with the devilishly tempting Beelzebub, much to her angelic boyfriend’s chagrin.
Source: Info in the About Pocket Full Of Posies was taken from GoodReads at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16039808-pocket-full-of-posies on 27/12/2017.

Books in the Lana Harvey, Reapers Inc. series:
Book 1: GRAVEYARD SHIFT   Book 2: POCKET FULL OF POSIES   Book 3: FOR THE BIRDS   Book 4: PSYCHOPOMP   OFF THE BEATEN PATH 1: EIGHT TALES OF THE PARANORMAL   Book 5: DEATH WISH   Book 5.5: SEASON'S REAPINGS   Book 6: GHOST MARKET   Book 7: HELLFIRE AND BRIMSTONE


Review

My Thoughts:
The title is only marginally related to the book.... **sigh** ...not much meaning there. But... there's a lesson there somewhere, however after the holidays, I haven't got that much energy to dig for it...

The plot is quite straight forward. Go from A to B. Dodge hazards and done. No detours. No twists. And for a moment there, the main protagonist displayed a hint of TSTL (too stupid to live) behaviour, which hopefully will not be repeated. And of course, it's another cliffhanger...

On the up side, the story telling quality and the world building are still as wonderful as ever! And the narrator, Hollie Jackson, has gained a new fan in me.

Book 1 can be read by any age. This one however, I would recommend to 18 or older only.

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 4.5
Character development = 4.5
Story itself = 3.5
Writing Style = 4.5
Ending = 3
World building = 5
Cover art = 4.5
Pace = (7 hours and 4 minutes listening time)
Plot = 4.5
Narration = 5

Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5 cherries


The Author

About Angela Roquet:
USA Today bestselling Angela Roquet is a great big weirdo. She collects Danger Girl comic books, owls, skulls, random craft supplies, and all things Joss Whedon. She's a fan of renewable energy, marriage equality, and religious tolerance. As long as whatever you're doing isn't hurting anyone, she's a fan of you, too.

Angela lives in Missouri with her husband and son. She's a member of SFWA and HWA, as well as the Four Horsemen of the Bookocalypse, her epic book critique group, where she's known as Death. When she's not swearing at the keyboard, she enjoys painting, goofing off with her family and friends, and reading books that raise eyebrows.

GRAVEYARD SHIFT, the first novel in Angela's Lana Harvey, Reapers Inc. series, is now available for FREE on Kindle, Nook, Kobo, & iBooks. You can find Angela online at www.angelaroquet.com


The Narrator

About Hollie Jackson:
With over 200 audiobooks narrated and produced, Hollie Jackson has worked with both indie and USA Today bestselling authors across a wide range of genres. Hollie's voice brings characters of all types to vibrant, compelling life, allowing the listener to sit back and enjoy the story.

Growing up in a military family, Hollie found herself lost in the world of poetry and prose, and truly enjoys sharing that joy with others through spoken and written word. As an author, she understands the importance of drawing the reader into the world of the story. As a voracious reader, she enjoys an eclectic range of genre and carries that over into the studio: from contemporary romance to paranormal thrillers, historical fiction to epic fantasy, from erotica to tamer New Adult/Young Adult titles.

Everyone has a story to tell, and Hollie loves to bring those stories to life, one word at a time.
The information about Hollie Jackson was taken from https://tantor.com/narrator/hollie-jackson.html on 25/12/2017.



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

Saturday, 30 December 2017

BEDDING THE ENEMY

The Book

Bedding The Enemy by LaQuette
Genre: erotic interracial romantic suspense


About Bedding The Enemy:
Masaki Yamaguchi has lived by one rule: Bend the world to your will, and break those that refuse to comply. This motto has served him well as the head of the Yakuza family in Canarsie, Brooklyn. However, when he meets a soulful beauty with locs from Brownsville with her own set of rules, things aren’t as clear, or easy as they used to be.

Oshun Sampson has worked hard to clean up her beloved Brownsville, Brooklyn. She's sacrificed everything, including her own happiness, for the cause. She’ll be damned if she allows anyone the chance to destroy the progress she and her community have made. With the looming threat of the Canarsie Yakuza family closing in, the sexy new patron with the captivating eyes is a dangerous distraction she can’t afford.

Two powerful leaders with one distinct line drawn between them. Will their passion be enough to hold them together? Or, will bedding the enemy result in a bloody war that tears them and their communities apart?
Source: Info in the About Bedding The Enemy was from the press kit from the publicity team.

Buy Link(s):


The Author

About LaQuette:
LaQuette is an erotic, multicultural romance author of M/F and M/M love stories. Her writing style brings intellect to the drama. She often crafts emotionally epic, fantastical tales that are deeply pigmented by reality's paintbrush. Her novels are filled with a unique mixture of savvy, sarcastic, brazen, and unapologetically sexy characters who are confident in their right to appear on the page.

​ This bestselling Erotic Romance Author is the 2016 Author of the Year Golden Apple Award Winner, 2015 Swirl Awards Bronze Winner in Romantic Suspense, and 2015 Georgia Romance Writers Maggie Award Finalist in Erotic Romance. LaQuette — a native of Brooklyn, New York — spends her time catering to her three distinct personalities: Wife, Mother, and Educator.

Writing — her escape from everyday madness — has always been a friend and source of comfort. At the age of sixteen she read her first romance novel and realized the genre was missing something: people that looked and lived like her. As a result, her characters and settings are always designed to provide positive representations of people of color and various marginalized communities.

She loves hearing from readers and discussing the crazy characters that are running around in her head causing so much trouble. Contact her on Facebook, Twitter, @LaQuetteLikes, her website, www.NovelsbyLaQuette.com, Amazon, her Facebook group, LaQuette's Lounge, and via email at LaQuette@NovelsbyLaQuette.com.



Tuesday, 26 December 2017

GRAVEYARD SHIFT


The Book

Graveyard Shift by Angela Roquet
Book 1 of the Lana Harvey, Reapers Inc. series
Read by Hollie Jackson
Genre: urban fantasy
Format: ebook & audiobookAudiobook


About Graveyard Shift:
The Inferno has Evolved…

Lana Harvey is a reaper, and a lousy one at that. She resides in Limbo City, the modern capital of the collective afterlives, where she likes to stick it to the man (the legendary Grim Reaper himself) by harvesting the bare minimum of souls required of her. She’d much rather be hanging out with Gabriel, her favorite archangel, at Purgatory Lounge. But when a shocking promotion falls in her lap, Lana learns something that could unravel the very fabric of Eternity. If the job isn’t completed, there could be some real hell to pay.
Source: Info in the About Graveyard Shift was taken from GoodReads at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16082905-graveyard-shift on 25/12/2017.

Books in the Lana Harvey, Reapers Inc. series:
Book 1: GRAVEYARD SHIFT   Book 2: POCKET FULL OF POSIES   Book 3: FOR THE BIRDS   Book 4: PSYCHOPOMP   OFF THE BEATEN PATH 1: EIGHT TALES OF THE PARANORMAL   Book 5: DEATH WISH   Book 5.5: SEASON'S REAPINGS   Book 6: GHOST MARKET   Book 7: HELLFIRE AND BRIMSTONE


Review

My Thoughts:
The Graveyard Shift book... This is a world between the living and the dead. An interesting world building. However, it has all the mundane inanities as our own modern living has... so why is this world an intriguing read while real life is not? I would put that down to the fantastic way the author tells the story. We have a master weaver here. And then of course it ended in a cliffhanger....

Another thing good about this book is that the plot is solid. There is actually a plot! Which a lot of the urban fantasy books seem to forget especially on the first book where all the book does is world building and introduce the readers to the series... This one does that too, and managed to have a plot at the same time! Now, fancy that! Yeah, after reading so many flimsy/flighty urban fantasy, I got jaded... those flighty books sucks the life out of a reader. Not this one though!

This is the first Hollie Jackson book that I've listened to and I like the way she narrates. And I also agree with her interpretations. With her input as the narrator she gave this book an added "flavour" that the book would otherwise would not have, had it not been for her particular brand of narration.

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 4.5
Character development = 4.5
Story itself = 4
Writing Style = 4.5
Ending = 3
World building = 5
Cover art = 4.5
Pace = (7 hours and 22 minutes listening time)
Plot = 4.5
Narration = 5

Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5 cherries


The Author

About Angela Roquet:
USA Today bestselling Angela Roquet is a great big weirdo. She collects Danger Girl comic books, owls, skulls, random craft supplies, and all things Joss Whedon. She's a fan of renewable energy, marriage equality, and religious tolerance. As long as whatever you're doing isn't hurting anyone, she's a fan of you, too.

Angela lives in Missouri with her husband and son. She's a member of SFWA and HWA, as well as the Four Horsemen of the Bookocalypse, her epic book critique group, where she's known as Death. When she's not swearing at the keyboard, she enjoys painting, goofing off with her family and friends, and reading books that raise eyebrows.

GRAVEYARD SHIFT, the first novel in Angela's Lana Harvey, Reapers Inc. series, is now available for FREE on Kindle, Nook, Kobo, & iBooks. You can find Angela online at www.angelaroquet.com


The Narrator

About Hollie Jackson:
With over 200 audiobooks narrated and produced, Hollie Jackson has worked with both indie and USA Today bestselling authors across a wide range of genres. Hollie's voice brings characters of all types to vibrant, compelling life, allowing the listener to sit back and enjoy the story.

Growing up in a military family, Hollie found herself lost in the world of poetry and prose, and truly enjoys sharing that joy with others through spoken and written word. As an author, she understands the importance of drawing the reader into the world of the story. As a voracious reader, she enjoys an eclectic range of genre and carries that over into the studio: from contemporary romance to paranormal thrillers, historical fiction to epic fantasy, from erotica to tamer New Adult/Young Adult titles.

Everyone has a story to tell, and Hollie loves to bring those stories to life, one word at a time.
The information about Hollie Jackson was taken from https://tantor.com/narrator/hollie-jackson.html on 25/12/2017.



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

 
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