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.

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.

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