Audio Review: Second Son

For my next audiobook review I decided to go back to the Minstrel’s Song series by Jenelle Schmidt. Today I’m doing a review for the second book in the series. If you remember my past reviews I skipped this one because it was more of a prequel. If you would like, you can go back and check out my reviews for book one, King’s Warrior, or book three, Yorien’s Hand.

So now on to the second book, conveniently titled Second Son.

In an attempt to manipulate the future, a family and a nation are forced to decide between two brothers. Guided by a prophecy spoken hundreds of years before, the King and Queen of Llycaelon have set their course. Their goal: to fulfill the prophecy and save their nation from a dire fate.Rhoyan has always understood and accepted his own role as second born and perpetual prince. He looks forward to the day when he will be a warrior in his older brother’s guard. When Rhoyan is sent on a quest filled with unimaginable danger, nobody anticipates the greater repercussions.As Rhoyan journeys far across the seas on his appointed trial, he will battle creatures of legend, suffer shipwreck, endure captivity, and lay claim to a fallen star. When tragedy strikes, Rhoyan must struggle to return home believing his quest has failed. However, the home he left no longer awaits him and the true test of his strength and character has only just begun.Long before Aom-igh needed a champion, Llycaelon had a Second Son.

Dive-in Audiobook Review:

Second Son is the second book in the series, but since it focuses on the childhood of main character Brant, it actually comes first In the timeline. But don’t read it first. It will spoil the big twist at the end of King’s Warrior.

I had originally skipped this book because I wanted to follow the main story line. I see now that was a mistake.

Second Son dropped so much lore and had character development that would have added to my enjoyment of Yoran’s Hand. So I’m amending my opinion. You should absolutely read these books in publication order.

Brant’s character is so much deeper than I realized. He goes through so much in this book. He is royalty, he’s a slave, he loves, and he knows loss.

Second Son would be an interesting read on it’s own, even without the larger series to complete it. I believe it can standalone, but it also fits perfectly into the larger mythos that the author has constructed for it.

As always, Benjamin Fife is a joy to listen to. He really shows his acting chops in this one, where he gets to play many roles, all of which require deep emotion. And he delivers stunning performances for each.

*I would like to thank Jenelle and Story Origin for providing a free reviewer code.

Purchase links:

Second Son on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Second-Son-Minstrels-Song-Book-ebook/dp/B00L74XNAM

Find the whole series available on Audible: https://www.audible.com/author/Jenelle-Leanne-Schmidt/B008J4H9ZS

Or if you still prefer your books a bit more silent get them in paperback or ebook an Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B074C6DBH1

About the Author:

Jenelle first fell in love with stories through her father’s voice reading books aloud each night. A relentless opener-of-doors in hopes of someday finding a passage to Narnia, it was only natural that she soon began making up fantastical realms of her own. Jenelle currently resides in the wintry tundra of Wisconsin —which she maintains is almost as good as Narnia — with her knight-in-shining armor and their four hobbits. When she is not writing, she homeschools said hobbits and helps them along on their daily adventures… which she says makes her a wizard.

WEBSITE

FACEBOOK

INSTAGRAM

Thunder Girl an Audiobook Review

Welcome to July. you may not know it but July is one of three Novel Writing Months. The biggest one is of course November, but there are also April and July, called Camp NaNoWiMo. During Camp you can set any goal amount and even count editing rather than try to hit new word counts.

So while I work on editing Runaway Lyrics, I’m pulling out the audiobooks again. The first audiobook review I have for you is this quirky YA novel called Thunder Girl.

About the Book

All Cat wanted was an ordinary summer internship at the American Museum of Natural History. But when the fossils on display command her to use an ancient amulet to restore balance to the sacred lands out West, she and her robot companion Hermes find themselves journeying across an alternate-history 1890s America to set things right in the Native States. 

If that wasn’t enough, a powerful railroad tycoon also wants the amulet – which is rumored to be cursed. 

With danger always at their heels, can Cat and Hermes make it to the sacred lands and fulfill the fossils’ quest? 

From the bustling streets of Manhattan to the untouched plains of the West, one thing is clear: Cat’s summer will be anything but ordinary in this fun-filled, slightly nerdy steampunk fantasy Western.

Photo by icon0.com on Pexels.com

About the Author

T. K. Arispe has a nose and eats breakfast like at least some humans. She studied animation production at College of the Canyons, with an emphasis on storytelling and direction. Her writing and humor have been compared to Terry Pratchett and her worldbuilding to Hayao Miyazaki. T. K. likes interesting stories, well-crafted worlds, and memorable characters, and is passionate about creating quality, intelligent, slightly offbeat media that everyone can enjoy.

Photo by Marcus Lange on Pexels.com

My Audiobook Review

I was very surprised by this book. I was just not sure how these random elements could come together into a cohesive story. But they did, and I enjoyed it.

The first strange element was the thunder stone that brings fossilized animals back to life. It was very mystical and was enough on its own to hold the story. But add a nice paleontologist robot and you have steampunk gold.

Then there was the addition of Iapetus, the grandson of Frankenstein’s monster. How is this a thing? But it worked. After that it was an easy transition from Frankenstein to adding a werewolf.

The only part that didn’t work was when the robot brought up evolution, and it was too much. You don’t get to have native spirits, magic stones, gothic monsters, and evolution. No. One of these things is not like the others. It was really minor and such a throw away line too. It shouldn’t have been as memorable as it was.

Anyway, I really loved this book, the humor, the quirky characters, and especially the narrator.

Benjamin Fife is a brilliant narrator. He does all the voices and even adds a tinny effect when he does the robot’s voice. I’ve featured a lot of book on this blog that have been narrated by him. In fact seeing his name on the project was the main reason I requested this book from StoryOrigins.

If you are looking for something different, and clever, then this is the book you need.

*I would like to thank the author T.K. Arispe and Story Origin, for providing me with a free audible code for this book. My opinions are my own honest opinion of the listening experiance.*

Thunder Girl is available on Amazon as an ebook, paperback, and an audiobook. It is also available in Kindle Unlimited.

White Wolf and the Ash Princess Audiobook review

If you are a long time follower of this blog you may remember a couple guest posts from author Tammy Lash. She wrote beautiful inspirational pieces that complimented her novels, White wolf and the Ash Princess, and Letter from a Dragon’s Son.

But I realized that I never actually reviewed either book.

So when Tammy offered me a free reviewer code for the new audiobook edition of White Wolf, I decided that it was good time to correct my error.

Memory loss prohibits Izzy from remembering her life before age seven when she suffered a terrible trauma that left her with physical scars. Crippling panic keeps Izzy from wandering beyond the stables but Tubs, the Gudwyne’s young stable boy, encourages Izzy to go beyond the property’s rock wall into a world that promises possible answers but also great danger.

While running to escape his past, Jonathan Gudwyne rescued Izzy and took her in, but who did she belong to before he became her guardian?

A mysterious cellar filled with secrets sets Izzy on a path to the New World where the Wendigo wanders and Water Panther swims. In the wilds of 17th-century America, Izzy and Jonathan discover the legends of the New World aren’t the fairytales of their library home in England.

My Review: Historical or fantasy? It’s a fine line.

White Wolf and the Ash Princess by Tammy Lash, reads like a historical novel. But some elements are certainly fantastic.

The time of this novel is hard to pin down. It feels like a historical novel but the ambiguity over the time gives it an almost fantasy like feeling. Unique steampunk gadgets and advanced firearms set it firmly in an alternative timeline. So don’t hurt your head trying to pick out the exact year it takes place in.

The novel is in two parts. The main character, Izzy, suffers from childhood amnesia. The first part deals with her attempts to discover her past.

The second part is the price paid for reclaiming her memories. It shows how Izzy will choose to handle her past and if she will embrace her true identity.

Izzy is a wonderful character. A grown woman who still has a very childlike sense of wonder. Then reality catches up to her, and she must go on a journey of self-discovery, to reclaim the memories of her past so she can truly grow up into the woman she needs to be.

Izzy’s journey to return to her father is an obvious metaphor for a Christian’s faith journey from selfish sinner to child of God.

I’m not sure how I feel about Johnathan. He does love Izzy and wants to protect her, but his secrets seriously hurt her. She should have been told the truth instead of tucked away like a china doll. I suppose I do ship them in that I can’t imagine Izzy with anyone else, but he really should have been more open with her. The whole “We’ll deal with it when her memories return,” attitude is exactly what enabled her to suppress her memories for so long.

I really loved the Native American lore that was mixed into the narrative. I am not sure how much is traditional and what the author invented to aid the story. It just adds to the blurry boundary between the story’s fantasy feel and our own world’s troubling history.

Adele Adler brings this beautifully written prose to life with her lovely voice. She has a talent for making each character unique and she reads narrative description engagingly with Izzy’s first person POV.

Seeped in Native American lore, shrouded in mystery, and full of adventure, White Wolf and the Ash Princess is a book that will keep you guessing until the last page. Or ’til the last minute of audio if you choose the audio edition.

Where to find it:

You can get a copy from amazon at the following link: https://www.amazon.com/White-Wolf-Princess-Tammy-Lash-ebook/dp/B073D93YZ6/

The audiobook is available on Audible: https://www.audible.com/pd/White-Wolf-and-the-Ash-Princess-Audiobook/B08XY67H64

Not subscribed to Audible? I recommend purchasing the eBook and adding audio through Amazon’s whisper sync program.

Tammy lives in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula near the shores of Lake Superior with her husband and three teen/adult children. Currently, they are working together on their “new” home just outside the Hiawatha National Forest she writes about in her stories. 

Tammy enjoys hiking, kayaking, beach wandering,”hunting” for birch bark, and spotting migizis.

She is the author of White Wolf and the Ash PrincessLetters from the Dragon’s Son, and the short story Eagle Eyes from the Descendants of White Wolf series. 

Facebook- https://m.facebook.com/tammylashauthor/

Instagram- http://instagram.com/tamlash5

Blog- http://tammylash.wordpress.com

Audio review: Yorien’s hand

Last November I did a month of audio book reviews. One of those reviews was for a book called King’s Warrior by Jenelle Schmidt, you can read that here: https://cobonham.com/2020/11/09/audiobook-review-kings-warrior/

If you were interested in that book then you will be pleased to hear the next three books in the series are now available on Audible for your binge listening pleasure.

The book I’m reviewing today isn’t book two. No, it’s actually book three. Book two is a prequel book so to get back to where the action left off we must look to book three.

About Yorien’s Hand

The years of Oraeyn’s short rule have been peaceful, but now ominous nightmares plague his sleep and cling to him during his waking hours. When two of his most trusted advisors disappear without a trace and not even the power of dragons can locate them, the fell promise of the king’s nightmares becomes reality.

From the furthest reaches of the world, an ancient enemy stirs. Stretching beyond his crumbling prison walls, this foe seeks to bring life to the darkest of shadows. His army marches towards Aom-igh with deadly intent, threatening all Oraeyn holds dear.

Aided by dragons, and with the warrior Brant and Princess Kamarie at his side, Oraeyn must journey into the wilds of a forgotten realm. Trusting in the wisdom and skill of the enigmatic minstrel, Kiernan Kane, the companions race against time in search of Yorien’s Hand, a relic that may hold the power to save them all.

My Audio Review

This is book three in the Minstrel’s song series, but you can read it second if you want.
The true second book, Second Son, is a prequel. This makes Yorin’s Hand the true sequel. So if you enjoyed King’s Warrior, and want to continue the story of those characters, you have my permission to skip book two and read this book.

If I have one complaint, it’s that the bad guy isn’t as rounded out as the one in the first book was. Grimdorack is generic evil. Sauruman to the main Sauron, if you will. He was just evil for evil’s sake.

But we get more Dragons in this book, so I guess it evens out.

I really liked Kamarie in this book, I was afraid her character would have been less proactive after the events of the first book, but she is as stubborn and insistent as ever. Not taking no, for an answer. Even her relationship with Oraeyn is nicely balanced between deference to her king, and not letting him boss her around just because he’s a man.

The Character Yol is back and is a second favorite of mine. He reads a lot older in this book and we learn about his family so more. I reall wish we had spent more time with Yol but this was already a long book.

Like most epic fantasy Yorien’s Hand, features a lot of POV characters. Maybe more than the first book, if that’s possible.

Thankfully Benjamin Fife is back, a seasoned narrator who is good at distinguishing between characters. He does the voices beautifully and is very good at reading description. He is quickly becoming one of my go to narrators.

I was given a free copy for the purposes of review. I was not required to leave a review, but I did because I’m cool like that. This review was my own honest opinion.

Series Blurb:

From time immemorial a world has endured the struggles of the mighty.  Creatures of myth have been hidden away for centuries waiting to take their place.  But will they be conquerors or protectors?  

The Minstrel’s Song chronicles the story of heroes pitting their will and strength against the hidden, personal, and ancient foes seeking to dominate a world poised for a new era.

Find the whole series available on Audible: https://www.audible.com/author/Jenelle-Leanne-Schmidt/B008J4H9ZS

Or if you still prefer your books a bit more silent get them in paperback or ebook an Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B074C6DBH1

Your best option price wise is to buy the eBooks and add the audible for $7.49. You still come out paying about half the Audible price.

About the Author:

Jenelle first fell in love with stories through her father’s voice reading books aloud each night. A relentless opener-of-doors in hopes of someday finding a passage to Narnia, it was only natural that she soon began making up fantastical realms of her own. Jenelle currently resides in the wintry tundra of Wisconsin —which she maintains is almost as good as Narnia — with her knight-in-shining armor and their four hobbits. When she is not writing, she homeschools said hobbits and helps them along on their daily adventures… which she says makes her a wizard.

WEBSITE

FACEBOOK

INSTAGRAM

Audio Review: Vincent in Wonderland.

Hello, I know this is a little late but honestly I forgot today was Monday. Between NaNoWriMo and lockdowns the days just kind of blend together. But it’s alright because I will only be posting once this week since Thursday is Thanksgiving here in the states. So this post is going to be another two for one.

Today I’m reviewing both books in the Worlds Next Door series by C.E. White.

Dissclaimer: C.E. White is a personal friend of mine and she offered me the opportunity to receive reviewer codes for both of these audiobooks recently. My opinions are honestly given and I wasn’t obligated to review either of these books. I fact she doesn’t even know that her books are being featured today.

About the book:

Image: Cover for Vincent in Wonderland by C.E. White.

11-year-old Vincent van Gogh discovers a curious new world through a tunnel on the moor. A mysterious white rabbit introduces Vincent to Alice, and their quest begins—defeat the dreaded Jabberwock before it consumes all of Wonderland.

A slithy tove, an ill-tempered caterpillar, and the Cheshire cat meet them along the path as their adventures take them through fields dancing with flowers, tangled forests, and looking-glass pools.

But all is not what it seems in Wonderland, and Vincent may not have— and may not want— what it takes to succeed. Destroying the Jabberwock may cost more than he’s willing to give.

My Review:

Vincent in wonderland is, as you would expect, a retelling of Alice In Wonderland. But it is also a companion tale to C.E. White’s other children’s book, The World’s Next Door. I say companion, because even though this is chronology a prequel, they can be read completely separate and in either order.

Rather than Alice the main character of this story is Vincent Van Gogh. Yes the famous painter Vincent Van Gogh went to wonderland as a boy. Alice is there too. Only like Vincent she is also a historical person. Alice Liddell, the inspiration for Carroll’s Alice.

I normally disagree with using historical people in fiction because you can Google them and it ruins the illusion. This is sufficiently fantastical enough to not be confused for fact.

But the brilliant life loving young man we meet in this story is somewhat over shadowed by the unfortunate way that Van Gogh’s real life ended. Interestingly enough the story also seems to account for that darkness and maybe explains it a little.

This is such a neat story, it plays on the wonderfully whimsical art of Van Gogh while also keeping the logic based whimsy of Carroll’s children’s book.

So many references to Alice in wonderland appear that you will want to go back and read the classic just to be sure you got them all.

David Pickering, is a wonderful narrator. He reads clearly and makes each word understandable. He also differentiates his voice between characters so that you can tell who is talking just by his voice alone. He also has an amazing british accent that is really soothing to listen to.

This would be a great story for a family reading night. Enjoyed best after a family read along of the OG Alice books for maximum reference catching.

Buy it here: https://www.amazon.com/Vincent-Wonderland-enemy-threatens-Worlds-ebook/dp/B07TBCCTR7

And if you are curious about her first book, The Worlds Next Door:

Image: Cover of The Worlds Next Door by C.E. White

Twelve-year-old Janie Rutland somewhat grudgingly befriends Reggie Rankin—the weird new kid at school—and finally has someone to investigate her curious sightings in the abandoned house next door. When they find there’s an impossible world in danger of total destruction, they face a choice. Do they have what it takes to save it? An eccentric fellowship gathers as they embark on a perilous quest in a race against time and their own fears. Traveling in what can only be described as a pirate hover ship, they’re threatened by monsters and storms, shipwrecks and death. Can they find the answers they need to save Sian—and maybe all worlds?

My Review:

The Worlds Next Door by C. E. White, is a great fantasy adventure that doesn’t dumb down its children protagonists. Not only are these twelve year olds smart, but so is the story. The world building is so thorough and actually fuels the plot rather than just become set dressing. The story and the Characters tackle hard philosophy questions such as free will and fate.

The Narrator was amazing Danny Montooth is one of those voice actors who can put on multiple voices and make an audiobook sound like a full cast audio drama.

Both the writing and performance combine to make this audiobook a necessary addition to your library.

Buy it here: https://www.amazon.com/Worlds-Next-Door-mysterious-terrifying-ebook/dp/B077TFN79Y

About the author:

Image: Author C.E. White

C.E. White is an author, artist, and entrepreneur living in the mountains of North Georgia. Her works are fueled by a lifetime love of both reading and Jesus, and she longs to inspire others with words of hope and imagination. When she’s not penning her next book, you can find her creating collage art, renovating her house, conquering mounds of paperwork, or RVing with her husband and two cats.

Find her online at: https://www.cewhitebooks.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cewhitebooks

Audio Review: The Realms of Elestra Prequels.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Okay I’m back again because surly you didn’t think I would let a week go by without dropping an audiobook for you?

To make up for Monday not being about an audio book, I’m dropping two audios today.

Once again these are codes I request through Story Origins. If you would like to get into the audio or E-book reviewing game check them out here.

The first book:

Saved from the streets by the mysterious George Whipple, Parker and Lydia grew up in the Whipplehouse Orphanage. After being fitted with a magical monocle, Parker finds he has the ability to stop time. With his new power, he spends his days tinkering and inventing intricate doodads. Life is grand until the night Elias comes to town.

Parker’s life is turned upside down when tragedy stikes on the night of the winter solstice of his 18th year. He risks losing the one thing he loves most: Lydia. But will his newfound power be able to find her? And what about the perplexing machine in the cellar workshop?

My Review:

I feel like Timekeeper is one of those prequel novellas that really needs to be read after the main book in a series for it to matter.

The story starts off interesting with Parker and Lydia as a sort of brother sister item. They get taken in by two older men who have magic and things get more interesting, then when things are the most interesting the story just ends and we get a summary of what Parker has been doing for the last two decades. It is a let down to be sure. Not even a proper cliff hanger. I suspect that summary is probably where the actual first book takes place. I fully intend to read more of this series so it wasn’t a total disappointment just anti climatic.

Parker and Lydia are good characters. You root for them because they are orphans, you ship them because they care about each other so much. And you don’t understand the ending at all because . . . we’ll I won’t spoil it for you.

Photo by Miguel u00c1. Padriu00f1u00e1n on Pexels.com

The steampunk aesthetic was light but there, with cogs and tesla coils and Victorian clothing galore.

The narrator Andrew McDermott has an incredible Irish accent that I absolutely enjoyed listening to. But since the story takes place in Missouri and not Ireland, I was also a little unsure of why literally everyone has an Irish accent.

In conclusion Timekeeper is a prequel to what I’m sure will be an amazing steampunk series. The audiobook is short and easy to follow. So check it out if you need something to get you through a long lunch hour. Or if you just can’t get enough Irish accents.

The Second book:

Ripped away from Whipplehouse and the only family she had ever known, Lydia ekes out a living in the barren wasteland of Oregon as a prisoner of a family who never loved her. When Parker finds her at the county fair, Lydia can hardly believe her luck as she agrees to travel through time with the boy she once loved. They finally settle in the mysterious land of Elestra, a world like their own with magical powers, steam-powered devices, and even dragons.

Abruptly left to her own devices on the shores of Sea City, Lydia embarks on a dangerous adventure with fast cars, accompanied by the infamous and quite exiled pirate-turned-mechanic Matthias Cross. When the tables turn and she begins to see Parker for who he really is, how can she escape the darkness buried in his heart? What will become of Lydia now that she knows there are more worlds than these?

My Review:

Lydia is an odd little prequel novella. it comes before a book titled Clock city, but after another novella titled Timekeeper.

Do read Timekeeper first. This novella explains the bizarre epilogue of Timekeeper, basically the timeline is not linear and it’s all messed up with time travel and nothing takes place when you thought it did.

Lydia is an orphan sent out west on the orphan train. Her new family treats her like a slave, so when her childhood friend shows up to whisk her away she jumps at the chance.

what follows is a montage of literary references that will make book nerds smile.

Photo by Miguel u00c1. Padriu00f1u00e1n on Pexels.com

As a story this book is very disconnected, It just doesn’t stand on it’s own very well. You need to read Timekeeper first. But I also feel like I need to read Clock City first too. Interestingly enough, this book is not listed on the amazon series page for Elestra. Only Time Keeper and Clock City.

The character of Lydia is a scared girl who keeps getting shuttled from one scary situation and abusive relationship to another. As a result I feel like she never really gets a chance to grow up. She follows the trail of many classic heroines of constantly settling for the “Safe” relationship instead of the “right” relationship.

As a prequel this book certainly made me eager to read Clock City. I am curious about how this all ties together.

Once again Andrew McDermott narrates with his soothing Irish accent. he does a fair job of distinguishing one character from another, and he does a great job of reading description, making it engaging and active.

Disclaimer:

*I was given Audible codes for these books and the above reviews are my own honest evaluation of the provided audio and stories.*

About Rebekah Dodson

Rebekah Dodson is a prolific author of over 30 romantic suspense, fantasy, and science fiction novels. Her works include the series Postcards from Paris, The Curse of Lanval, Life After Us, California Express, and several stand-alone novels. She has been writing her whole life, with her first published work of historical fiction with 4H Clubs of America at the age of 12, and poetry at the age of 16 with the National Poetry Society. With an extensive academic background including education, history, psychology and English, she currently works as a college professor by day and a writer by night.

Connect with Rebekah:
Facebook: www.facebook.com/realrebekahdodson
Twitter: @AuthorRDodson (This interface is not liking twitter links, I don’t know why, So please just search for her if you are interested in giving her a follow.)
Website: www.rebekahdodson.com

Purchase links:

This time it’s cheaper to buy the audio books for $6.08, than the e-book and narration together. But if you really want to go the cheap route the e-books are only 99 cents each.

Buy Timekeeper here: https://www.amazon.com/Timekeeper-Rebekah-Dodson-audiobook/dp/B07SZ9L2R7/

Buy Lydia here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B081ZH98PD?plink=jdecFSEweTaz86tH&ref=adblp13npsbx_0_0_im

Book three? Book One? I’m not sure how this prequel stuff works really. Anyway if you are interested in continuing the story you can find Clock City here: https://www.amazon.com/Clock-City-Realm-Elestra-Book-ebook/dp/B07QPRP2Z3/

It’s sadly not in audio yet.

Audiobook Review: An Unexpected Adventure.

Today’s audiobook is one that I have reviewed on this blog before. You can read the original review here: https://cobonham.com/2018/09/19/an-unexpected-adventure-a-dive-in-review/

The Myth Coast Adventure’s series by Kandi J. Wyatt

An Unexpected Adventure is the first book in a middle grade fantasy trilogy by author, Kandi J. Wyatt, called the Myth Coast Adventures. It recently released in an audio format, and the author was kind enough to ask if I would like to review the Audiobook edition.

Before I get to my review here’s a refresher of what the book is about:

Harley will do anything to keep his new pal safe. But a hungry dragon needs to eat. And the government is hot on their tail.

Harley Maegher’s seen E.T. and knows what the government will do to mythical creatures. There’s no way he’s about to let his new-found friend fall into the hands of an NSA agent. When the dragon starts setting fires and eating livestock, the choice may be taken from him.

Steria is only interested in filling her tummy and spending time with Harley and his friends. After all, they’re the ones who woke her and called her from her egg. When the agent tries to capture her, she’s confined to the farm where she’s safe but without sufficient food. She’ll do anything to protect herself and Harley, even if it means she’ll go hungry.

An Unexpected Adventure is the fun first book in the middle grade fantasy Myth Coast Adventures trilogy. If you like clean entertainment full of adventure and mischief, then you’ll love Kandi J Wyatt’s unique trilogy.

Explore An Unexpected Adventure to embark on a family-friendly adventure today!

You can buy it from amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/Unexpected-Adventure-Myth-Coast-Adventures-ebook/dp/B07H6RXLTS/

It’s available in Ebook, Paperback and Audio.

Image by Lilawind on Pixabay: https://pixabay.com/users/lilawind-6389091/

Dive in Audio Review:

Some kids aren’t the chosen one, they don’t find lands inside wardrobes, or get called to rule kingdoms. Sometimes they just have to go to school, or get summer jobs. They must do these normal activities no matter what weird fantasy creature falls into their life.

That is the magic of An Unexpected Adventure. The boys; Harley, Will and Chase, are just regular kids. They do regular things, while also hiding a dragon from a scientist who seems determined to capture it. They could someone you know, they could even be you.

The Narrator Dave Cruse does a great job of reading this book. He uses voice differentiation. So each character sounds a little different, but it’s not too out there where the voices start to sound cartoonish. His Narration is smooth and soothing, never monotone nor does he get too loud, even when characters are yelling.

Hearing this book was an entertaining experience, even having read it before I enjoyed going back and getting to know these characters all over again.

Author Bio:

Even as a young girl, Kandi J Wyatt, had a knack for words. She loved to read them, even if it was on a shampoo bottle! By high school Kandi had learned to put words together on paper to create stories for those she loved. Nowadays, she writes for her kids, whether that’s her own five or the hundreds of students she’s been lucky to teach. When Kandi’s not spinning words to create stories, she’s using them to teach students about Spanish, life, and leadership.

Where to find her:

Website: http://kandijwyatt.com/

Facebook: http://facebook.com/kandijwyatt/

Google: http://plus.google.com/u/0/+KandiWyatt/

Twitter: http://twitter.com/kandijwyatt

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/kandijwyatt

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13817774.Kandi_J_Wyatt

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Kandi-J-Wyatt/e/B00ZTC4T10/

Audiobook Review: King’s Warrior

Today I bring you another audiobook in my November Audiobook reviews. Today’s post also corresponds with a blog tour for the fantasy novel, King’s Warrior by Jenelle Leanne Schmidt.

King’s Warrior is now an audio book!

An exciting adventure, now available in audio format!

Note from the author:

Enter the realm of Aom-igh, embark on an adventure with Princess Kamarie to save her kingdom. Battle dragons alongside the young squire, Oraeyn and the mysterious warrior, Brant. And experience the adventure in the way it was always meant to be experienced: out loud.

As many of my dear readers already know, when I wrote King’s Warrior, it was intended as a story that my dad could read out loud to my siblings each night. I always dreamed of getting it turned into an audio book, and now I am pleased to announce that this dream has come true.

Many readers have told me that they feel this is a story that “reads aloud” well. And that is no surprise to me, since I wrote it expressly for that purpose. So I am excited for the opportunity for more people to get the chance to have this story read out loud to them by a master at his craft, Benjamin Fife. It was a true pleasure to work with someone who was even more excited about this project than I was (if that were possible!) Not only that, but Benjamin truly “gets” the heart of this story, and he does ALL the voices.

-Jenelle Leanne Schmidt

About the story

The hope of their world rests on the steel at his side….

Threat of invasion looms. Oraeyn dreams of glory on the battlefield. Instead, he must engage in a battle of wills with a headstrong princess while ushering her to safety (and boredom) in a small village. But they must put aside their differences to save their homeland and complete the second part of their mission: seek out the legendary King’s Warrior to persuade him to take up arms once more. 

When their journey leads them to the lost realm of the dragons they get more adventure than either of them bargained for!

Sound like something you might enjoy? Listen to a sample:

Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/Kings-Warrior-Minstrels-Song-Book/dp/B08KTYTZ25/

Audible:
https://www.audible.com/pd/Kings-Warrior-Audiobook/B08KTYGNYR

My Dive in Review:


*Review of Audiobook Edition*

King’s Warrior begins as most fantasies do, with a threat and a quest. The dark country is going to invade and only one man can stop it. Sounds familiar right.

Well it’s not, because for every hackneyed trope, Schmidt adds a twist. The ending is not what you expect and everyone ends up where they are needed most. Wait a minute, ending up where you are needed most is a hackneyed fantasy trope. I guess not all tropes can be subverted.

I really enjoyed the group dynamic of their questing party, the girl who would be a knight, the boy would would not be king, the innocent child who is more then he knows, the man who has lost everything, and the enchantress who is supremely unhelpful.

The character work in this novel is where is shines the most. Not just the characters as individuals but how they interact with one another and how they work together.

You have noticed that this is a five book series and are worried about getting into anything too big. I want to assure you that the ending of this book is complete, no cliff hangers or set ups. continuing on with the series is entirely optional and up to you. But I for one will.

This audiobook is narrated by Benjamin Fife. He always does a fantastic job with voice work. But did you know he can sing? This is the first time I’ve heard him sing and he did a great job on that too.

*I was given an code to redeem for a review copy of this book, All opinions are my own and are provided honestly.*

About the Narrator:

Benjamin Fife has always had a passion for learning. With a mind that remembers all sorts of numbers and useless trivia, he regularly wins local radio shows and enjoys confusing people with sci-fi quotes. Fife grew up in Southeast Idaho. He attended college at Idaho State University, where he met his future wife in their music theory class. They have been married nearly 20 years and now have six children and a whole menagerie of animals.

When his oldest daughter was three or four years old they started reading aloud from novels every night at bedtime, and have continued the tradition ever since. The family loves exploring various worlds and topics through Fife’s wonderful reading skills, which get better every year. They all have his Christmas Carol voices memorized (and the older kids are known to quote along with portions), since he has read it to them every December. 

Benny enjoys all kinds of sci-fi and fantasy – both books and shows, is an extreme eclectic music lover, and prefers his chocolate to be of the 90% cocoa variety. Above all, he loves to be with his family. He loves recording audio books, and is delighted to tell people, “I’ve finally found what I want to be when I grow up!”

WEBSITE

LISTEN TO A SAMPLE OF KING’S WARRIOR

About the Author

Jenelle first fell in love with stories through her father’s voice reading books aloud each night. A relentless opener-of-doors in hopes of someday finding a passage to Narnia, it was only natural that she soon began making up fantastical realms of her own. Jenelle currently resides in the wintry tundra of Wisconsin —which she maintains is almost as good as Narnia — with her knight-in-shining armor and their four hobbits. When she is not writing, she homeschools said hobbits and helps them along on their daily adventures… which she says makes her a wizard.

WEBSITE

FACEBOOK

INSTAGRAM

Drop back in mid week, Wednesday or Thursday. when I’ll have another audio review up for you.

Dive in Review: All Made of Hinges

I know this is an off day for me to be posting on but I needed to let you know about a fun anthology that I just finished listening to on audible.

Cheerful in the face of dark opposition. Innovative to improve a backward world. Industrial as a cure for oppressive conditions. Unyielding beneath all who seek to bind and control them. Faithful until they conquer the fear of death and rise to great acts of heroism and service. Mormons and steampunks are two faces of the same coin.

Twelve authors spin tales of true believers facing impossible odds, risking this life in the hope of gaining something better after. Mormon Battalion soldiers fight an airship, a bounty hunter crosses Porter Rockwell, cultists attempt to reanimate Brigham Young, and missionaries run into Cthulhu. These are just a few of the amazing tales by award winning, bestselling, and premier authors – D. J. Butler, John M. Olsen, Steven L. Peck, Elizabeth Mueller, Scott E. Tarbet, Jay Barnson, Joe Monson, Amanda Hamblin, Christopher McAfee, Jace Killan, John D. Payne, and Lee Allred.

All Made of Hinges is the first installment in the incredible four-part Mormon steampunk series by Immortal Works Press. If you love these stories, look for more in Put Your Shoulder to the Wheel and Press Forward, Saints.

Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.com/All-Made-of-Hinges-audiobook/dp/B07R92TBMC

Embeded preview of ebook edition of All Made of Hinges.

If you want a deal, get the ebook edition, and add on the audio for only $7.49. Much cheaper than spending $17 on audiobook alone.

Now I guess this is where I tell you what I thought of it.

Dive in Review: All Made of Hinges.

Steampunk what now?

If you are like me, then you are still hung up on the sub title. A steampunk Mormon anthology? What on Earth is a steampunk Mormon?

Well it turns out that answering that question is easier than expected. These are steampunk stories where at least one character is a Mormon.

And like all anthologies, it’s a sampler of different styles, tones, voices and plots. Most are light hearted with a humorous tone, but one or two are a little intense. The real surprise were the ones that were philosophical without talking about religion at all. Not what I expected from a Mormon anthology.

These stories are all alternative history, so expect historical persons to make cameos and for some historical events to not have happened the way you thought. Some stories are just westerns with airships and others are Clockwork dystopias with zombie hoards.

The steampunk elements were all really well done, and in most stories the Mormon element was barely noticeable. So I wouldn’t let that hold you back from trying this anthology out. In fact if you’re still holding back because of religion, don’t. The characters that have the most faith are machines. And the only story that has angels is theologically incorrect. (If you ever meet two angels that contradict each other, one of them is not an angel. That is just a fact.)

Narrator Benjamin Fife, is one that I’ve heard a lot from. He always brings a unique voice to every book he reads. Nowhere is that more evident than in this anthology, where you can hear his reading style change for each story. Fife is also really good at accents, and these stories give him a wide range of accents to play with. His French and Japanese accents are new ones I got to hear.

If you like steampunk everything then this anthology is sure to delight. Just don’t go in expecting a deeper understanding of what it means to be Mormon. This is not a religious book.

*I was given a code for a review copy of this audio book. The above review is my own honest opinion and is provided willingly.*

Lucid a Dive-in Audiobook Review

So a while ago I let you in on my secret for how I get audiobooks. So I am going to start featuring more audiobooks in addition to the other books I spotlight.

Today I am featuring Lucid by L. E. Fred.

Lucid coverDevon Alexander is a 15 year-old teenager coping with the monotonous reality of his average life. His life receives an interesting reprieve as he has his first realistic dream of a spaceship. The strangest thing about the dream is that he seems to be the only one on board who isn’t in a dream-like trance. Before he can figure out anything about the dream or his strange shipmates, he manages to wake up. The next day, Devon catches a news story about inexplicable comas taking place all over the world. Devon’s life becomes increasingly interesting as he recognizes some of the victims from his spaceship trip.

Devon and an unlikely group of other teens start devising a plan to find out who is behind the strange dreams and the comas. Their plan is not only successful but immerses them in to the fantastical world that only resides in dreams. While in the dream world, the teens learn about the power of teamwork, a new world of culture, and their hidden potential to be heroes.

Suspenseful, funny at the worst times, and just a hint of teenage romance, Lucid takes a group of young adults and throws them into a fantasy world that they only thought could exist in their dreams. In a sense, they’re right.

My Dive in Review:

Lucid by L. E. Fred, asks the question, what if lucid dreaming could transport you to another world?

People all over the world are being trapped in comas. and only Devon knows why. Because every night he dreams of the space ship that is stealing them away. Until one night he meets another Lucid Dreamer.

The build up in this book is amazing, the first half is really good at hyping up the mystery and keeping you guessing at what is really happening. But once you have the answers you realize your only about half way through.

The second half is all action and adventure and ancient prophesy. There is so much going on here. There’s not just running and fighting and creating fantastic things from dreams. There is a whole world that exists on the other-side of consciousness. There’s the Nightmares and the Dreamers, and secrets yet to be discovered.

The ending though is unfinished, this is only the first book in a series. While I wouldn’t call it a cliff hanger, that ending leaves me wanting more.

I was surprised the narrator was a woman, as the main characters are all male. The main male character Devon is fifteen so I guess that was the reasoning. After awhile I forgot the narrator’s gender and just got sucked into the story.

Rebecca Roberts does a great job and she uses variation in her voice for different characters, as all good narrators should.

All together Lucid is an entertaining experience and I look forward to checking out further books in the series.

*I was given a copy of this audio-book via Story Origins for the purpose of review. All opinions are my own.*

 

Buy the book on Amazon and check that little box for audio narration here: https://www.amazon.com/Lucid-L-Fred-ebook/dp/B00L96KPNQ/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

LEFredL. E. Fred is a perpetual dreamer who writes about worlds both within and without this realm. With a degree in psychology, she tends to get lost in the mind, the greatest adventure of all. L. E. Fred just returned from a tour of Japan, and hopes to have many more adventures to inspire new tales of dreams and beyond. She currently lives in New Orleans, seated at her messy writing desk with her red furred dog at her feet.

Previous Older Entries

%d bloggers like this: