Tag Archives: audiobook

Fast Money review

Fast Money: A Shelby Nichols Adventure (Shelby Nichols #2)Fast Money: A Shelby Nichols Adventure by Colleen Helme

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This series would make a great present for my mother. I’m finding it harder and harder to find things to read that my mother would also enjoy. I hate that awkward feeling I get when she asks me what I’m reading and if she can read it when I’m done. Fast Money has everything she enjoys in a story – a relatable female protagonist, minimal explicit language, a bit of humour to keep it light, implied violence, a mystery to follow, and no graphic sex scenes – WINNER!

Fast Money has just enough humour to balance with the mystery to make this a great holiday read. The protagonist is a mother and wife. Such a different sleuth from what I usually read. I think I would enjoy this series more my children were a little older so I could empathise with Shelby more.

I hadn’t read the first book so some parts were a bit confusing. I suggest reading the synopsis of the first book, Carrots, before reading Fast Money. There were a lot of characters and at times I was confused with who was who but a strong series needs a range allies and villains. You do need to suspend belief a little bit to truly engage with this series. I found that there was quite a bit of repetition in the novel due to its stream of consciousness style. This is good if you like to read small passages over a period of time or if you often put a book down and come back to it later.

I read the audiobook edition. I really liked the narrator. She really embodied the character of Shelby. Fast Money is written from Shelby’s perspective in almost a stream of consciousness style. Through Shelby we hear what the other characters are thinking, this meant that while the narrate or differentiated character voices, she didn’t attempt any rediculous accents – YAY!

There are several plot lines that intersect in interesting ways. The novel’s conclusion sets it a promising premise for the rest of the series

Next time I’m looking for a holiday read, I will pick up the next one.

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Dream Student (Dream, #1)Dream Student by J.J. DiBenedetto

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Only the brave should listen to this book before bed and risk Sarah’s nightmares meeting your own.

The premise of this novel is interesting. Sarah is able to view other people’s dreams. However, as we all know, not all dreams are happy ones.

This is where the story turns into a mystery. Sarah and her friends must uncover the identity of the dreamer in order to try and stop him perpetrating again. The mystery was a real let down for me. I really enjoy trying to work out the mystery and love a few red herrings. However, I worked this one out really quickly. If you like to be able to follow the clues and unlock the mystery then you might enjoy Dream Student.

In my opinion, Dream Student could have been 15-20% shorter. I found that there was a lot of repetition and some scenes that did not seem to propel the narrative or drive character development. I also found that the audio narration was quite slow. This is the first time I have ever listened to a book on a faster speed. I found it worked quite well at 1.25x without sounding robotic.

I really wanted to like this book more but it was a lot slower paced from what I am used to reading.

Dream Student would make a good book for an occasional read. I’m sure many of you are like me and have multiple books on the go at once. The print version would be suitable for that book that you pick up every now and then to read a chapter or two. It is suitable for this casual reading because there are only a few characters, one main plot line rather than a series of intertwining subplots, repetition and a patterning of events.

 

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My new favourite series book 1

Magic Bites (Kate Daniels, #1)Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Kate Daniels is just my type of protagonist – tough, smart-mouthed, attracts trouble and knows how to hold her own. This paranormal, urban fantasy, mystery really took me by surprise. The authors have created a well-rounded world that I easily fell into and followed the story. The story had unpredictable twists and turns that kept me interested and wanting to find out what happened next.

The chapters are really long and the first few are heavily laden with descriptions of the setting which was required to develop such a believable world. I will admit that I was assisted by a rundown given by another reader on Goodreads who explained concisely about the Magic versus the Tech; The Order versus The Guild; and The Pack versus The People. She also directed my to http://www.ilona-andrews.com/kate-daniels which really helped. I also downloaded from Smashwords a companion to the series where one of the authors has written some of the scenes from Curran’s perspective. There is only on scene from Magic Bites but it is well worth the read.

I really would have preferred to have read the ebook rather than the audiobook of this one. It isn’t often that I say this but it would have helped to be able to see the spelling of some of the names and to be able to go back and reread passages after revelations were made later in the novel. Luckily I read this as a buddy read on Goodreads so the other readers were able to fill in the blanks for me.

There is a subtle humour in Magic Bites which really won me over. I always appreciate fantasy authors who don’t take themselves too seriously “Here kitty, kitty” 🙂

Thanks to the sense of humour, encompassing world, feisty Kate and the fearsome Curran that Kate Daniels may just become my new favourite series!

(I’m 40% through the second book already!)

 

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Feed by M. T. Anderson

FeedFeed by M.T. Anderson

3.5 stars

Feed establishes an intricate and believable future world where technology and corporations dictate the lives or Americans while the world’s natural habit is quietly destroyed.

M. T. Anderson successful achieves an integrated vernacular littered with jargon and slang that enhances the narrative rather than distracts from it. Each word in this sociolect is used without the explanation that other authors feel is necessary. The language is easily understood through its use in the context.

The first few chapters had be enthralled. Actually, the first lines peaked my interest: “We went to the moon to have fun, but the moon turned out to completely suck.” However, as the story progressed and turned into a more serious commentary on consumerism, technology and environmental destruction, I became less involved.

Even though, Feed is one of those novels that all teenagers should read.

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ONCE – Once I read a heart-wrenchingly innocent Holocaust narrative

Once (Once, #1)Once by Morris Gleitzman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The audiobook of Once is enchantingly narrated by the author, Morris Gleitzman. He brings to life the naivety of the unreliable narrator, Felix, as he searches for his parents in Nazi occupied Poland.

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Must listen/read: The False Prince

The False Prince (The Ascendance Trilogy, #1)

Who are your favourite narrators?

Which books have you stayed up all night to finish?

The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I stayed up into the wee hours of the morning to finish this audiobook. It was worth it! The False Prince was a surprisingly good tale. I had downloaded the audiobook a while ago and I reluctantly put it on one night for lack of anything else to listen to. I will admit that it took me a few chapters to get involved in the story.

The False Prince has the right mix – just enough intrigue, twists, predictability, surprise revelations and cunning plans to keep you engaged and eager to discover what happens next.

Charlie McWade is a brilliant narrator. His interpretation of the characters is brought to life by his dramatisation through the dialogue. He gives each character a voice that represents their personalities and role in the narrative. Often I would forget that I was listening to a narrator and not a cast representation. I also really appreciate it when narrators make you forget that you are listening to someone imitate the opposite sex – Charlie McWade achieved this. My only disappointment is that, according the Goodreads, he has only narrated a few books but I will be putting all of them on my To Listen list.

After my sleepless night, I also pleasantly surprised to discover an additional scene like a secret track on an album. What a fantastic idea! Usually when I finish a book I’m bitterly disappointed either because it is finished and I wanted more or because I had just wasted so many hours of my life. This additional scene was the perfect remedy. The additional scene that was a bit of an origin story was like an after dinner mint with my coffee – I don’t really need it but it makes the end of a meal just a little bit sweeter.

My greatest fear with The False Prince is that I cannot see how the rest of the trilogy could possibly live up to the first installment. Where does Jennifer A. Nielsen have to go with this story?

The False Prince is the thrilling first audiobook in a brand-new trilogy with danger, deceit, and hidden identities that will keep listeners hanging on to the edge of their seats.

From <http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12862980-the-false-prince>
Happy reading 🙂 

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For The Birds (A Tall Pines Mystery) by Aaron Paul Lazar

For the BirdsFor the Birds by Aaron Paul Lazar

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

For The Birds makes a great holiday or travelling listening. While the plot has a few twists and turns, it is easy enough to follow while driving or relaxing on a trip. There isn’t an overwhelming number of characters to confuse you if you’re multitasking while listening. Instead you will be utterly enchanted by Ruby, a sassy, talking parakeet, who is brought to life by Hannah Seusy, the narrator.

Marcella was a character that I found myself empathising with her in one passage then being frustrated with her in the next when she acts as an impetuous child. I actually liked this and I wonder if Lazar has done this purposefully. Characters need to be flawed to make the reader relate to them and for plots to progress. Marcella’s selfish and irresponsible decisions reengaged me with the story as I almost yelled at her not to go alone or to call for help. It has been a while since I have been invested enough in a story to want to give the characters advice.

For The Birds makes a great holiday read because no matter what hiccups and delays you encounter on your trip, they will be nothing compared to what Marcella, Quinn and Thelma have to endure on their weekend escape to the bird show.

This is a mystery with a sense of humour that keeps the story enjoyable and balances well with the drama and light violence. This humour is evident in character names, the lavish bird motel, some of the plot twists and the dialogue of Thelma and Ruby.

I highly recommend that you give it a listen. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Aaron Paul Lazar – “You da man!”

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Synopsis

When her audacious mother, Thelma, is kidnapped, it is up to Marcella – with the help of her husband, Quinn, and parakeet, Ruby – to find her and unravel a fifty year-old mystery.

Have you read anything by Aaron Paul Lazar?

What is your favourite mystery series?

Happy reading 🙂

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