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jstep

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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-15-18

Cyberpunk Handmaid's Tale anyone?

The Sigma Surrogate by JT Lawrence is the prequel to the When Tomorrow Calls series. I really enjoyed this book. It is definitely reminiscent of The Handmaid's Tale, where infertility has become rampant and young girls become surrogates for the wealthy population who have trouble conceiving. It seems odd (some of these girls are pretty dang young), but innocent enough at first, as it's just how their society works nowadays, but the whole Sigma Surrogates thing quickly blows wide open and Keke discovers that there is much more than meets the eye. Keke and her cast of hackers/misfits work to solve the mystery behind what is actually going on with the Sigmas. It's fast paced and a great prequel to the series. I haven't read the next book in the series, but I'm definitely looking forward to it!

Jean Ann Douglas did a good job with the narration. I felt that at 1x speed, the narration was a little slow for me, but popping it up to 1.5x seemed to work perfectly for me. I would have liked to have heard a bit more differentiation between a few of the characters, but overall, the narration was done well and I would listen to more of her work in the future without hesitation. I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher for an honest review.

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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-14-18

Another great listen by Ibsen and Hempel!

The House of Long Shadows, Book 1 of the House of Souls series by Ambrose Ibsen is what you've come to expect from this author. You're guaranteed a totally unique horror novel, or at the very least a completely unique spin on something that has been done before but is now done so differently that there's not that many similarities in the stories once you get into the book. The House of Long Shadows is no exception. Kevin Taylor just wants to be famous and get his own DIY fixer upper TV show. He's SO close. The he comes to Detroit, and nothing goes as planned.

This was a completely unique spin on the classic haunted house tale and I loved some of the Detroit references that Ambrose put in regarding Detroit. I will admit that I'm biased right there with the extra references to some things Detroit, as I live in Metro Detroit, and love the city. Regardless, I don't want to give anything away, but The House of Long Shadows is an entertaining listen and I loved every minute of it. I can't wait to listen to the other books in the series when they come out! Also, this is part of a series, but is basically a standalone novel, as there are no cliffhangers and you can finish it and not be frantically waiting for the next one to get some resolution for some of the characters and conflicts.

If you look at my other reviews, you'll see that I'm a huge Joe Hempel fan. Also a hug Ambrose Ibsen fan. I just love the two of them together, but this part is about Joe. Basically, all you need to know is that you can't go wrong with Joe's narration. His performances are always spot on and he add the perfect amount of emotion to bring each character to life. Take a good story, like pretty much any of Ambrose's books, add Joe's narration, and you're pretty much guaranteed a winner and an enjoyable listen. I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher for an honest review.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-14-18

Full of dark humor but too long winded...

The resort by Bentley Little was entertaining. The craziness of what these poor vacation-goers went though and the unbelievable things that they encountered and saw and were encouraged to do made me laugh out loud at times. This is dark humor folks. Like spontaneous abortion in the toilet next door dark humor. I enjoy some dark humor, so that didn't bother me at all. I mean, this story was just funny. Why didn't I give it five stars then? Well, to be totally honest, I had a difficult time getting through this novel. As much as I enjoyed the humor in it, it just went on and an and there were some parts that really dragged. For a thirteen hour book, that's rough. I think that there was a lot of stuff that could have been taken out to have made this novel really move along without taking away from the story at all. That being said, if you like Bentley Little and/or dark humor horror books, then I would definitely recommend this book. I wouldn't hesitate to listen to another Bentley Little novel if I had the chance to read some of the reviews to make sure that they didn't have tons of what I felt was extra filler in them.

David Stifel did a good job with narrating this story. I found his voice to be the perfect accompaniment for this wacky tale. I think they did a great job choosing him to perform this book and I would definitely listen to more performances by him. I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher for an honest review.

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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-14-18

Really fun listen-Can't wait for the next one!

Nick, Book 1 of the Brothers in Blue series by Simone Carter, was a quick, super fun listen. Oftentimes I've found that many of these shorter novellas somewhat lack in a good, solid storyline. That wasn't the case at all with Nick. There was a strong storyline that brought Nick and Darcy together and Ms. Carter created a really strong, believable set of secondary characters as well that had purpose in this story, and are characters whose stories I want to learn in the other books in the series. This was more of a crime type romance and the story was driven by the crime aspect and didn't go heavy on the steamy romance part, which is nice, because the story held it's on without tons of sex scenes and the romance part felt natural. I'd definitely recommend this book and I can't wait to listen to the other books in the series!

Lissa Blackwell did a good job with the narration of Nick. She was able to bring the characters to life and it was enjoyable listening to her narrate. I'd listen to other performances by her in the future. I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher for an honest review.

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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-13-18

Simply unbelievable how beyond cruel people can be

Torture Mom by Ryan Green left me pretty speechless. The fact that it's a true story is just...wow. I know the book has a warning that if you're sensitive to descriptive account of abuse and violence then you may not want to listen to this story is a well placed warning. I love true crime, horror, suspense, etc. and this was just over the top. Gertrude Baniszewski is pure evil, plain and simple. What she did, and allowed and encouraged others to do to poor Sylvia and Jenny Likens is just reprehensible beyond anything I can even describe. While listening, I was thinking of the psychological affect that she had on her children and the other kids that she allowed and encouraged to torture Sylvia and I'm just speechless. It's difficult to listen to, but if you want a true crime story that will really get under your skin, this is the book you want to listen to.

Steve White did a good job narrating this audiobook. I simply don't have a complaint. Did his narration blow me away? No, but this wasn't a book where the narration allowed the reader to really show off narration skills. He did a good job and I had no problem following along and enjoying the listen, as well as one can "enjoy" this type of story. I'd listen to narrations of his in the future. I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher for an honest review.

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3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-01-18

Warm and fuzzy, quick holiday listen...

A Christmas Eve in Captain's Point, Captain's Point Stories, Book 61 by Annie Acorn writing as Charlotte Kent was a cute, quick holiday listen. This installment of the series takes place over Christmas Eve, and mainly follows three couples over one snowy evening. It's a sweet listen, and it's as trigger free and as warm and fuzzy as can be. It reminded me of a cute little Christian short story without it technically being a Christian story. Though it was cute and I'm sure that people will love it, it just wasn't really for me. It wasn't a bad or poorly written story, it was just a little to cutesy and fluffy for me. I'm sure that it will be a popular with many listeners though!

Lisa Leslie did a good job narrating this short story. There were a variety of different characters throughout and she did a good job handling them all. As the listener, I was easily able to keep the characters in order because of her narration. I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher for an honest review.

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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-31-18

Entertaining, unique paranormal novella...

There Was a Crooked Man, He Flipped a Crooked House by David Erik Nelson was a fun, entertaining quick listen. Though this is classified under horror, I felt that it was a bit more of a comedic horror story. There's nothing really scary about it at all, and everything and all of the various characters are handled quite lightheartedly in this story. It was a very unique tale though, and I really enjoyed it. It's short, running just over two and a half hours, so I won't go into any more details. If the summary sounds good though, give it a listen!

David Sadzin's narration was really pot on for this short story. He handled the various female and male voices really well and his narration fit the tone of the story. I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher for an honest review.

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3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-26-18

It's just okay...

Finding My Forever by Shevawn Michelle is the story of Allie and Braxton. Allie goes off to school and Braxton, her best friend, doesn't have the nerve to tell her that he loves her. Allie's at school and stops talking to Braxton. Braxton is wondering what in the world is going on, as Allie would never act like this. Allie has a secret and once she tells Braxton and he confesses his undying love for her, they face things head on. I won't give the whole story away, but this is a clean, older YA type novel that, though fairly predictable, shows how true love can save people. I thought Allie was pretty terrible with the way she acted and I found a lot of how she was acting because of her secret to be quite unbelievable. Braxton was the poor puppy dog that kept on coming back after his "owner" kept on scolding him. It's lovely that they got their HEA in the end, but this just wasn't a story that drew me in and left me feeling all fuzzy and warm.

Giselle Lumas did an okay job with the narration. I could listen to it, but it left a bit to be desired. There were a number of mispronunciations that were words that should have easily been pronounced correctly. In addition, her performance was inconsistent, as sometimes she would read fine, but other times there would be weird pauses and stuff that kind of brought you out of the story. I'm not sure if she had read or reviewed the story ahead of time or not, but I don't feel that this was her best performance, as I've listened to other books narrated by her and I think she has done a better job on some of the others. I think I will likely pass on future books narrated by her until some of these issues are fixed. I do think that with more practice she could be a pretty decent narrator. I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher for an honest review.

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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-25-18

A haunting and unique, entertaining listen!

Horror Story: Volume VI: Bedtime Story by G.M. Hague is just a fun ghost story. It's a unique spin on your typical haunted antiquity tale. The premise reminded me a bit of the old Friday the 13th television series where each episode revolves around a different haunted antique that they have to get back before it destroys whomever is in possession of it. Well, in Bedtime Story, that antique is an old bed that a witch named Rose once slept in. The author mentions that though his books don't typically involve a lot of sex, it was necessary for this tale, and it really was. The sex scenes are not super graphic, but the story wouldn't work without them. Other than that, I don't want to give away any spoilers, as the story is a bit on the shorter side, coming in at just under 2.5 hours. I'm definitely looking forward to listening to more of Mr. Hague's work!

G.M. Hague did a very good job narrating this story. He did well with both the male and female voices and I really appreciated his authors note at the beginning of the story letting the listener know that there may be a bird sound or two and explaining his situation, which I found charming. Most of the time authors make terrible narrators. This isn't the case with Mr. Hague! I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher for an honest review.

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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-24-18

Drew me right into the story...

Lightning in the Desert, The Specific Heat of Water, Book 1 by J Ferrigan was short, with a running time of eighteen minutes, but Ms. Ferrigan definitely made good use of those eighteen minutes! If I have one complaint, it's that I didn't want it to end and wished that it would have been longer!. This is book one of a three part short story. I'll definitely be waiting to listen to the other two parts, as I want to find out what happens. The story is fast paced and descriptive and really drew me in pretty much right from the beginning. With this being such a short listen, I'm not going to get into describing anything, as I don't want to give away the story. I'd definitely recommend it though!

Amy Wisenfeld did a great job with the narration of this short story. Her voice was pleasant and easy to listen to and the audio quality was great. I thought she had the perfect amount of emotion in her voice and I would happily listen to more stories narrated by her. One point of note is that the intro and the ending (as narrated by Ms. Wisenfeld) plays twice in a row for some reason. I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher for an honest review.

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