Tag Archives: unabridged

Review: Dark of Night – Flesh and Fire

Dark of Night - Flesh and Fire
Dark of Night – Flesh and Fire by Jonathan Maberry narrated by Ray Porter

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

*I received a free copy of this audio book for review via AudiobookJukebox.com*

I cannot get enough Jonathan Maberry, so you could imagine my enthusiasm when I found out about this book. It takes three of Jonathan’s worlds and melds them together. Joe Ledger, from his bestselling thrillers, meets Des Fox of the Dead of Night series. That series leads into his run of hit Post-Apocalyptic zombie tales, Rot & Ruin. Rachael Lavin makes her debut as well laying out the adventure of Rachael; a cosplayer who, out of necessity due to the new world in which they now live, turned real life superhero. Having read virtually all of the books from those three series, save maybe a novella or two, I put this at the very tip top of the queue. I also was very excited to see how well Jonathan and Rachael work together. I have very high hopes as Jonathan Maberry is a proven editor, and exceptional one. These ingredients mixed with Ray Porter performing is a recipe for a hit.

The story starts off six months after the events of Fall of Night. Des Fox sets off in hopes of finding somewhere more secure for her people and ends up running into some major trouble, Joe and his dog are doing their best to save a girl from some thugs and ends up running into a situation he may have been better off avoiding, and Rachael sets off to find more survivors to bring back to her base and ends up coming across something only a hero can handle. In a world where the word “safe” has almost no meaning, the three take seperate paths as they battle their way through the dead and the living culminating in a thrilling and intense conclusion fit for a Maberry novel.

Jonathan Maberry’s writing was never in question of course; the man knows how to tell a story and tell it extremely well. Not to mention the fact he can write a very intense and completely enthralling fight scene. Rachael Lavin’s debut was a home run in my opinion. She has a very similar style of writing to Maberry, probably due in part to her time in his writing program, Writing for Teens. That said, she absolutely has a voice all her own and she knows how to use it. She channels her inner hero, intertwines it with her apparent love of comics, through her writing and delivers an enthralling tale. For any that may be concerned with jumping into this book without having previously read any of his other work, do not be deterred. The author does a great job of including backstory and easter eggs for his characters through very well done dialogue. Dialogue delivered with precision by Ray Porter.

Ray Porter is without a doubt my favorite narrator. Every book is a stellar performance. Despite the fact that he reads his books cold (he does no prereading, just jumps in), or maybe because of it, he reads with passion and precision, and speaks as if he knew the characters personally. Very few writer/reader combos can compete with Maberry and Porter; I’m convinced Ray is in fact Jonathan’s “writing voice” come to life. The fact that Rachael Lavin has such a similar writing style to her predecessor made for a seamless and stellar narration of all points of view in the novel. For fans of Jonathan Maberry and/or Ray Porter this audio book is an absolute must have. It brings the authors world together in epic fashion and explores new facets of the characters. It’s an outstanding debut for Lavin and a collision of awesome for Maberry.

More by the narrator    More by the author

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Audio Book Review: Sick by Brett Battles

Sick
Sick by Brett Battles, Read by MacLeod Andrews

4 of 5 stars

*I received a free copy of this audio book for review from Audiobookreview.com*

This was my first Brett Battles book and I must admit, I’m a bit upset I haven’t tried his work before. I had no idea what to expect outside of the description. I am a sucker for a good techno thriller or post-apocalyptic story so I assumed I would enjoy it and plugged in my earbuds.
Captain Daniel Ash and his family had only lived here for just a few months when he woke from a nightmare to find his daughter burning hot, and though his son seemed fine, his wife was dead in bed. They were separated, put into containment trucks, and hauled off to a secure facility. After hours of being held Ash is informed by Dr. Littlefield that his daughter and son had fallen to the illness, but that he was immune to the virus.

The Virus being KV27A, an airborne virus that can seep into the eyes, nose, mouth, or any other open wound or orifice. Its fatality rate nearly 100%. Due to the fact that Captain Ash seems to show immunity, Dr. Littlefield plans to kill Ash and examine his body in hopes to make a vaccine. After eight weeks in the cell, Daniel Ash finds himself escaping, with the help of some new friends, from an exploding building. Though they saved his life, the strangers had Daniel drugged and tied down.

Upon waking he offered food and no longer restrained. He was introduced to a man named Matt Hamilton who runs an underground militia known as The Ranch. Matt informed him that his bloodline carried the immunity and that his children were, in fact, alive. He was also told the Virus was man-made and the name of the person responsible for the virus, and his wife’s fate, Nathaniel Karp. Doctor Karp is part of a secret government agency who has a extreme, and insane idea to “save” the human race.

Meanwhile, the virus spread farther than expected due to an oversight by the cleanup team causing the quarantine zone to expand and infect a group of students on their way home. Battles goes on to introduce you to a few characters: Paul, a teenager who tries to escape and witness something horrible instead. Tamara, a reporter trying to make her career but makes enemies instead, as well as Martina and Ben, who are among the group of stranded students. All interesting characters who seemingly have a larger role in the following books, which are already added to my “to-read” list.

This intriguing thriller is brought to life my MacLeod Andrews, who is quickly becoming one of my favorite narrators. He is actually what drew me to this book in the first place. After hearing him do STEELHEART by Brandon Sanderson, I was hooked. This was no different than his other performances. If anything, he’s gotten even better and I will continue to follow him.

All in all this was a very engrossing story. Battles makes you care about the characters and unravels the tale at a great pace. There wasn’t constant action, nor was there a lot of dull dialogue. I’m extremely anxious to try more of his work, in and outside of the Project Eden series. I would suggest this techno-thriller to anyone who likes the Wayward Pines or Joe Ledger series.

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The Sleep Police by Jay Bonansinga

Originally posted to Audiobookreviewr.com

The sleep police

My only previous experience from Jay Bonansinga, as many others I’m sure, is THE WALKING DEAD novels. If you read them, or heard the audio version, the work speaks for itself, it’s very good. I got offered to review this for Audiobookreviewer.com by Paul, the man behind the great site, not even knowing it was available. I snagged it up, ready to get started.

The story focuses on Frank Janus, a veteran homicide detective with a troubled passed. He grew up with a crazy mother who warned her children that the Sleep Police came for young boys who stayed up too late. Having lost their father early, Frank and his brother became accustomed to seeing a string of “uncles” come through their mother’s bedroom. One night Frank walked in on his mother sitting at the ended of the bed, mumbling to herself, with a dead body laying in her room. Mrs. Janus was committed to a psychiatric facility. This drove Frank Janus to pursue a career in law enforcement and he devoted his life to it, becoming destined to carry the badge.

Ten years ago, a young Detective Janus come across a case that would haunt his life for the following decade, The Thumb Sucker killer. The case went cold, but not before it really messed with Janus’s mind; causing blackouts and forcing him to start seeing a psychiatrist. Now in his late thirties, he’s walking into an all too familiar scene with his partner, Sully Deitz, with a woman curled in the fetal position, a thumb in her mouth. The Thumb Sucker was back, and Frank thought he might be breaking. While working the case, Janus comes across a videotape that sends his world spinning. It was the killer, confessing everything to Sully Deitz, even his name. He called himself…The Sleep Police. After a long talk with therapist, Dr. Pope, Janus starts investigating himself in hopes he’s wrong. Things get worse for Frank; he finds another tape, gets arrested, escapes, blacks-out again, and has to call his ex-wife.

The narration was great in this book, as was the audio quality. I was unfamiliar with Paul Heitsch prior to this book but, he brought the story to life. He fit the story perfectly with good voices, easily identifiable, and read at a good speed (this may seem silly but if you’ve ever heard a slow narrator, you’ll understand it can be a bit tedious). I hope I come across some more of his work soon.

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The Rookie by Scott Sigler

Originally posted at Audiobookreviewer.com

the rookie

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I got offered to review The Rookie for Audiobookreviewer.com. I have only heard one other story by him, HIPPO from V-Wars: Blood and Fire, and I can honestly say that I’ve never read anything like it. I’m a huge fan of football and Sci-Fi both. Galactic Football? During off season? Yes please!

Scott Sigler tells the story of Quentin Barnes, a rookie from the PNFL, a Tier 3 team…There is a really cool set up for Sigler’s 3-Tier Galactic Football League, but I think it would be better left discovered on your own… At 19 years of age he is a prodigy who can throw the ball over 80 yards, and is faster and stronger than any other human QB. He was raised in the Purist Nation, a radical religious group of humans known for their racism and fear of all other races. Quentin’s dreams start to become reality when his contract is bought out by a Tier 2 Team, the Ionath Krakens. In a league where players death is a regular occurrence, he must battle his ingrown prejudice with his need to win. In a league filled with races that can jump 3 times as high as humans and bench press over 1000 pounds, Barnes may find it better to stop thinking himself infallible, sooner rather than later, if he hopes to make it to Tier 1.

In a story self-described as “…a story that combines the intense gridiron action of Any Given Sunday with the space opera style of Star Wars and the criminal underworld of The Godfather.”, Quentin goes up against threats on his life, personal strife, and crime lords. There is so much more than great football here, and there is a lot of great football. It’s packed full of story, from death threats on the field, to crime lords running the GFL, and a trip through personal discovery that was brought to life by Scott Sigler himself.

The quality of the audio book was fantastic. I had never heard Mr. Sigler’s narration and was a little surprised, and extremely pleased. Complete with fantastic character voices, all identifiable, and sounds effects that fit the story perfectly, this is a must listen.

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Review of The Enemy of an Enemy by Vincent Trigili up at Audiobookreviewer.com

Originally posted at audiobookreviewer

Enemy of an Enemy

The Enemy of an Enemy by Vincent Trigili, Read by Jack de Golia

I had looked into getting this book more than once in the past but never bit the bullet. When an opportunity arose to review it,  here at Audiobookreviewer.com, I took it. The term Science-Fantasy jumped out at me as I am an avid fan of fantasy. Though I do only dabble in Sci-Fi I’ve always really enjoyed the  genre and have wanted to experiment with the melding of the two. Vincent Trigili does a pretty good job of doing it.

This story focuses on Vydor. A young officer in the Imperial Navy who gets signed on to a mission that is all but suicidal, by the emperor himself. He is granted a ship, the Black Talon,  and a squad of Dark Knights, the best warriors in the Empire. Upon arrival to their destination they were attacked by a group of Magi, the very people they  were sent to find. The Magi over powered Vydor and the Dark Knights. Only Vydor made it out alive despite the help of the Black Adders, a group of black ops group thought dead. Soon after, the Black Adders meet a mysterious man names Mantis. Mantis tells the tale of a war between Wizards and Sorcerers and the sad truth that the Adders universe is being dragged in and it’s up to them to stop it.

This book surprised me. It started off very  slow,  it was mostly mediocre dialogue the first half of the book, most of it relevant and some not. Right around halfway through it really got interesting. The first bit of combat erupted and the story started to unfold alot quicker. Introducing new powers, conspiracies, and hidden agendas that surprise and will change Vydor’s life forever. My only real complaint about the story is everything falls into place almost too easily, with people agreeing without question and immediately.  Seems too easy. The story is really cool, however the story telling leaves a little to be wanted.

The narrator of the book is Jack De Golia. This was the first I’ve listened to his work. His production quality was very good, no background noise,  breathing, or any other real distractions. His reading was a little slow and choppy. I got past this by speeding up the playback  speed to 1.2x. On the other hand,  he did a very good job creating voices that are easily identifiable with their respecting characters and consistent throughout. I wouldn’t hesitate to listen to others work by him.

I say give it a try. It has a good price tag, especially when utilized with the whispersync feature. Plus,  it’s a fun mix of fantasy  and Sci-Fi. From space ship and Ensign, to telepathy and magic wands,  Mr. Trigili has you covered.

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I have a new review up – Mystical Realms by ZP Dala

I have a review up over MYSTICAL REALMS by ZP Dala that I did for Audio Book Reviewer. If you have a minute go check it out.

MysticalRealms_30Jan15

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I grabbed this book for review. I’m a huge fantasy and always looking for new, good stories and authors. Before I started this story, I did a little research on the author Zainub E. Dala. Of course when I say research, I mean I typed her name into Google and discovered after one click that she has been nominated as one of the top authors of 2015 by The Sunday Times in South Africa. My curiosity sated, I dove in.

This novelette is book 1 of THE SECRET OF THE MYSTICAL REALMS TRILOGY. It Features a young woman of 18, Zahra, who has been forced into the life of a recluse by her father, Delphi, to protect her from the past. One night a member of the Yaadennii Dynasty paid a visit to their home, much to the disdain of Delphi. Upon overhearing some surprising news from the Yaadennii, Zahra demands to be told the truth by her father. Delphi proceeds the tell the tale of Magic, Life, Love, and sadly, death…full review posted at audiobookreview.com

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