Saturday 5 December 2020


Year One by Nora Roberts
Book 1 of the Chronicles of The One
Read by Julia Whelan
Genre: dystopian urban fantasy
Format: ebook & audiobookAudiobook

About Year One:
It began on New Year's Eve.

The sickness came on suddenly, and spread quickly. The fear spread even faster. Within weeks, everything people counted on began to fail them. The electrical grid sputtered; law and government collapsed — and more than half of the world's population was decimated.

Where there had been order, there was now chaos. And as the power of science and technology receded, magic rose up in its place. Some of it is good, like the witchcraft worked by Lana Bingham, practicing in the loft apartment she shares with her lover, Max. Some of it is unimaginably evil, and it can lurk anywhere, around a corner, in fetid tunnels beneath the river — or in the ones you know and love the most.

As word spreads that neither the immune nor the gifted are safe from the authorities who patrol the ravaged streets, and with nothing left to count on but each other, Lana and Max make their way out of a wrecked New York City. At the same time, other travelers are heading west too, into a new frontier. Chuck, a tech genius trying to hack his way through a world gone offline. Arlys, a journalist who has lost her audience but uses pen and paper to record the truth. Fred, her young colleague, possessed of burgeoning abilities and an optimism that seems out of place in this bleak landscape. And Rachel and Jonah, a resourceful doctor and a paramedic who fend off despair with their determination to keep a young mother and three infants in their care alive.

In a world of survivors where every stranger encountered could be either a savage or a saviour, none of them knows exactly where they are heading, or why. But a purpose awaits them that will shape their lives and the lives of all those who remain.

The end has come. The beginning comes next.
Source: Info in the About Year One was taken from GoodReads at on 14/11/2018.

Buy Link(s):
  Audible Books

My Thoughts:
Year One being the fist book in the series, is typically a coming of age book. It introduces the reader to a dystopian world which just started to become dystopian and the memories of a normal modern life is still fresh in peoples' minds. The world of Year One reminds me greatly of the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews, a world shifting from tech to magic. And this kind of shift is not the first time and wouldn't be the last, and that this shift happens every so very, very many years. Sort of cyclic. That right now we are living in the tech cycle, so much so that magic is all but disappeared in our world. And in Year One, the magic cycle has begun.

This is my first Julia Whelan audiobook listen. I like the way she reads and her voice is not aggravating to the ears. Kudos to the narration!!

This is the first Nora Roberts book I've read that uses the "multiple thread" kind of format in telling a story. Where every other chapter follows a different thread of the story. I hate this format in a book!! I guess in this one it fits because the story tells of the different stories of the different characters. It is still annoying though...

Now, the plot.... what plot?! *sigh* ...yeah, there isn't much of one. The ending is not exactly a cliffhanger, but it is the prelude to subsequent books.

In the end, I did enjoy this book, but not as much as I expected to with Nora Roberts' name on it.

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 4.5
Character development = 4.5
Story itself = 3
Writing Style = 3.5
Ending = 3.5
World building = 4.5
Cover art = 4.5
Pace = (12 hrs and 20 mins)
Plot = 2
Narration = 5

Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5 cherries

Books In The Chronicles of The One Series:

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

Thursday 5 November 2020


Price Of Magic by Stephanie Foxe
Book 2 in the Witch's Bite series
Narrated by Laurel Schroeder
Genre: urban fantasy
Format: ebook & audiobookAudiobook

About Price Of Magic:
All magic has a price, and I’m paying it.

I was able to rescue my friend and save the vampire clan I work for, but my actions have attracted the kind of attention I’ve tried my whole life to avoid.

A dangerous vampire shows up at my house uninvited, and with an offer I can’t refuse. He has information on my mother, someone I’ve long believed to be dead. I find myself getting drawn further and further into his games that risk all my secrets.

When my future goes up in flames, literally, that’s only the beginning. All the ghosts from my past are here to haunt me. I’m learning that I can’t run from everything, no matter how hard I try.
Source: Info in the About Price Of Magic was taken from GoodReads at on 21/10/2019.

My Thoughts:
I first got hooked by this author with the Misfit Pack series. Seeking for more of my "drug of choice" I sought other books written by her. Thus this series was read. And I was not disappointed! My only complaint is that these books are very short! The first book was only 146 pages long while this one is 244 pages long. Sure, twice the lentgh of the first book, but still really short.

Halfway through the book I got so annoyed with the narration's singsong that I finished the book without listening to the audio version. Laurel Schroeder's voice though is pleasing to the ears, it is just the singsong that I do not like.

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 5
Character development = 4.5
Story itself = 4.5
Writing Style = 5
Ending = 4
World building = 5
Cover art = 5
Pace = 5
Plot = 3
Narration = 3

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 cherries

Books In The Witch's Bite Series:
Book 5: (No Title Yet)

Meet The Author

About Stephanie Foxe:
Stephanie Foxe was born and raised near Houston, TX. She grew up playing in the pond and woods in her backyard, and devouring every book she could get her hands on.

Her teen years were spent transitioning slowly from reader, to writer. She spent most evenings on the phone with her cousin writing the first few pages to many books that would never be finished.

Her adult years were spent toiling away at a corporate job until one fateful day when she heard about a little writing project called NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). From there, the idea of writing a book went from a fanciful dream to a finished manuscript. The first book in the Witch’s Bite series was written, and Stephanie was addicted.

Now, she has plans to publish everything from paranormal fantasy to science fiction.

One book at a time.

Join the Newsletter to be kept updated on any new releases. Sign up today to receive Unsteady Magic, the short story prequel to the Witch’s Bite series, for free!

The Narrator

About Laurel Schroeder:
Laurel Schroeder is a classically trained actor who received her MFA in acting from the University of Houston. She's narrated over 100 audiobooks, and although her genres vary widely, she's particularly fond of narrating young adult and mystery novels. When not in the booth working on her latest project, she can sometimes be seen in film or on stage, most recently in the world premiere of Good for Otto, by Tony Award–winning playwright David Rabe. A Colorado native, she now lives in Chicago with her boyfriend and their dog, the cutest little troublemaker you ever did see.

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

Monday 5 October 2020


Golden In Death by JD Robb
Book 50 of the In Death series
Narrated by Susan Ericksen
Genre: scifi crime fiction
Format: ebook & audiobookAudible Books

About Golden In Death:
In the latest thriller in the #1 New York Times bestselling series, homicide detective Eve Dallas investigates a murder with a mysterious motive ― and a terrifying weapon.

Pediatrician Kent Abner received the package on a beautiful April morning. Inside was a cheap trinket, a golden egg that could be opened into two halves. When he pried it apart, highly toxic airborne fumes entered his body ― and killed him.

After Eve Dallas calls the hazmat team ― and undergoes testing to reassure both her and her husband that she hasn’t been exposed ― it’s time to look into Dr. Abner’s past and relationships. Not every victim Eve encounters is an angel, but it seems that Abner came pretty close ― though he did ruffle some feathers over the years by taking stands for the weak and defenseless. While the lab tries to identify the deadly toxin, Eve hunts for the sender. But when someone else dies in the same grisly manner, it becomes clear that she’s dealing with either a madman ― or someone who has a hidden and elusive connection to both victims.
Source: Info in the "About Golden In Death" was taken from GoodReads at on 17/02/2020.

GOLDEN IN DEATH by JD Robb audiobook
Book 50 in the series. So that's what, at least 25 years running? Have you ever heard of such a thing? I haven't either, except this one. And I'm still a fan. However, by now, it is not as exciting as I seem to remember it to be donkey's years ago. Still, books in this series are an auto-buy and pre-ordered. And loving every single one of them. Even those I rated not so high. Now why is that?? I can only say that it gotta be the way the author tells a story. JD Robb is a masterful story teller. My greatest regret with this book is that I did not get to see Bella! Now, that one is a bit of a downer. However, it looks like we are getting two Bellas in the succeeding books, yay!! We'll see how bad-ass Dallas holds up to two sets of those big blue eyes and quivery lips!

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 & 50 mins listening time)
Plot = 4.5
Narration = 4.5

Overall Rating: 4.5 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 29 September 2020


Gabby by Sherry Foster
Book 1 in the Safe Haven Wolves series
Narrated by Jacq Ainsworth
Genre: urban fantasy
Format: ebook & audiobookAudiobook

About Gabby:
Shifter females have become scarce.

Protected at all cost.

When a strange young female shows up in his territory all alone Trey, and his pack are shocked. But Trey knows his duty, protect the female at all cost. Then he meets Gabby and finds she is his mate. Now he must find out where she came from, what she is running from and then convince her to stay. That may be easier said than done when he finds she has no knowledge of the shifter world.

Gabby found a place to stay. Something deep inside her insists the area is safe, but she has been on the run for five years, she knows no place is safe for long. They always find her. She doesn't know how, she doesn't know who, or even why, she just knows, they will find her. On top of that worry, she is sure she is going crazy, she has no explanation for the events occurring around her. And the wolves, they keep showing up around her cabin. Are they hungry?

Can Trey convince Gabby he is her mate, and she is not going crazy? And what will he do to keep her safe?

Gabby is book one of a series and was previously published under the same cover and title in July of 2018. Additional chapters were added to the book to enhance the story. (September 2019) The books each focus on one couple, but the books must be read in order for the over-all story. The books contain a dash of mystery, suspense, intrigue and humor with a touch of romance. No heat.

The reviews on the book do not reflect the current book. This book has undergone an extensive rework. The reviews were mistakenly pulled to the new version.
Source: Info in the About Gabby was taken from GoodReads at on 02/11/2019.

My Thoughts:
A promising start to a new-to-me series! The wolf theme has been used several times already, so the story is not that original. However, I like the premise and the way the author tells a story is not bad either. The world building is beautiful! The character development is quite good, except the main heroine. For some reason she feels stupid sometimes. **sigh!** Anyway, for an audiobook which is 5-hours long, this ought to be a short book. However, it took me longer than I expected to finish the book, even with the convenience of the audiobook format. The plot is quite straightforward, but at least there is a plot! It seemed to me that I have been reading urban fantasy books lately that did not have any which is sad. And of course it ended in a cliffhanger pointing to the story of the next book. However, there was a resolution to the plot in this book. Kudos! This is my first Jacq Ainsworth audiobook listen and I like the way she reads. Another Kudos for this book!

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 4
Character development = 3.5
Story itself = 3.5
Writing Style = 4
Ending = 3.5
World building = 4
Cover art = 3
Pace = (5 hrs and 42 mins listening time)
Plot = 3.5
Narration = 4.5

Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5 cherries

Books in the Safe Haven Wolves series:

Meet The Author

About Sherry Foster:
Sherry fell in love with reading when she was young and never lost her love of words on a page. She enjoys fantasy and science fiction along with a few other genres. She has two grown children and eight grandchildren who keep her on her toes.

She writes fantasy but has plans to branch out into other genres eventually.

The Narrator

About Jacq Ainsworth:
Jacq works as an actor and theatre director in the Vancouver area. She has done voice work for Knowledge Network and radio and internet commercials, and has acted in indies and commercials. Jacq works as a producer for Audible, is on the board of Bard in the Valley, and is often found entertaining select crowds at murder mystery events.

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