Welcome to TRB Lounge. Today, I’d like to welcome author Lee Rozelle who’ll be sharing a couple of excerpts from their latest audiobook Ballad Of Jasmine Wills.
About the Book
Ballad Of Jasmine Wills
A zany twist on the Southern Gothic, Ballad of Jasmine Wills is a wild and heartfelt tale of abduction and revenge, body shaming and media fame. Lee Rozelle’s debut novel is the story of overweight banker Jasmine and her kidnapper, the enigmatic reality TV mastermind Preston Price. Trapped inside an egg-shaped studio in the secluded backwoods, Jasmine is tortured with haute cuisine, brainwashed with self-help videos, and badgered with cardio exercise routines for her growing mass of livestream fans. Filled with flashbacks of adolescent nuttiness and ennui in the 1980s, Ballad of Jasmine Wills goes bizarro to explore links between reality TV and the real, intervention and exploitation.
Author: Douglas Green (Director of The Hiding Place) Narrator: Kelly McNair Release Date: 3rd January 2021 Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Coming-Of-Age Series: Format: Audiobook Length: 4 hours and 17 minutes Publisher: Circuit Breaker Books Blurb: Born a runt, Rascal is destined to be an underdog. Despite what looked like an unbreakable bond with the daughter of the family who bred her, Rascal’s devotion is discarded when the mother loses her job, forcing the family into a financial crisis. Bitter and resentful toward a dog they can no longer afford to keep and who was never really wanted, the family throws out the young dog like garbage. Driven out to the country and left roadside, Rascal has nothing but a few pieces of kibble to help her survive the night.
Abandoned and alone, Rascal must learn to fend for herself and embark on a harsh and dangerous journey through wolf terrain in the mountain wilderness of Northern California. Along the way, she meets new families and strangers and is given many names. But will she ever settle with one family and one name? A Dog of Many Names is a courageous story of survival, seen through the eyes of a scared and desperate dog who just wants to love, be loved, and be given one last name.
Rating: 5 out of 5.
A Dog Of Many Names by Douglas Green is an inspiring yet gut-wrenching story of a dog who is abandoned and has to fend of herself until she meets new people and families and her journey to find herself and a new home continues.
This book elicited so many emotions in me that at one point it got very, very triggering for me. But I had to get through it as I wanted to know what happens with the story of the beautiful dog that Rascal is. Being an animal activist and someone who actively engages in the rescue missions for cats, I am well aware how people abandon their pets and leave them away from home not caring a lick about what they would do or how they’d survive. So it was deeply disturbing for me to read about it but I appreciated the author’s honesty because these are facts of life and have to be told to people so that they understand that doing so is not only wrong but also inhumane!
Coming to the book – the writing is great and had a very nice flow and the plot was crafted very carefully. Although it was a difficult read because of the concept and my close relation with the rescuing of animals, I am glad that I read this book. It is very informative and agonisingly real and I honestly think it is a must-read.
Author: Liane Moriarty Release Date: 14th September 2021 Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Adult, Contemporary Series: Format: Audiobook Length: 18 hours Publisher: Macmillan Audio Blurb: The Delaney family love one another dearly―it’s just that sometimes they want to murder each other . . . If your mother was missing, would you tell the police? Even if the most obvious suspect was your father? This is the dilemma facing the four grown Delaney siblings. The Delaney family is a communal foundation. Stan and Joy are the envy of all of their friends. They’re killer on the tennis court, and off it their chemistry is palpable. But after fifty years of marriage, they’ve finally sold their famed tennis academy and are ready to start what should be the golden years of their lives. So why are they so miserable?
The four Delaney children―Amy, Logan, Troy, and Brooke―were tennis stars in their own right, yet as their father will tell you, none of them had what it took to go all the way. But that’s okay, now that they’re all successful grown-ups. Well, that depends on how you define success. No one in the family can really tell you what Troy does, but based on his fancy car and expensive apartment, he seems to do it very well, even if he blew up his perfect marriage. Logan is happy with his routine as a community college professor, but his family finds it easier to communicate with his lovely girlfriend than him. Amy, the eldest, can’t seem to hold down a job or even a lease, but leave it to Brooke, the baby of the family, to be the rock-steady one who is married with a new solo physiotherapy practice . . . which will take off any day now. One night a stranger named Savannah knocks on Stan and Joy’s door. She says she chose their house because it looked the friendliest. And since Savannah is bleeding after a fight with her boyfriend, the Delaneys are more than happy to give her the small kindness she sorely needs. If only that was all she wanted. Later, everyone will wonder what exactly went on in that household after Savannah entered their lives that night. Because now Joy is missing, no one knows where Savannah is, and the Delaneys are reexamining their parents’ marriage and their shared family history with fresh, frightened eyes.
Rating: 3 out of 5.
This book was so perfect… till the last 4 hours ruined it entirely!
I love Liane Moriarty’s books because she is an excellent writer who can create genre-defying plots and build super amazing and realistic as hell characters. In fact, whenever I take a fiction writing class, I always ask my students to read any of her books to study her characteristics and notice the techniques she uses. And this book was no different, at least on the character front.
The characters in this book are near perfect and they are what brings so much life into this (almost) amazing story. The only thing that totally ruined it was the ending… and the flimsy motivations… and the superficial stakes.
Why, Liane? Why?
I feel so outrageously angry that the author botched up the ending for no more reason than a stupid girl’s hunger. I mean WTAF!! I get it she was being starved, but shouldn’t Savannah take revenge from her mother who starved her? Or her father who was partially responsible? Or her big-time brother who never took her seriously?
Why the hell does a person take such a meticulously planned revenge on someone whom she visited only for a brief period in a day 20 years ago? I mean… seriously????
Author: Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen Release Date: 9th January 2018 Genre: Dark Fiction, Psychological Thriller, Suspense, Mystery Series: Format: Audiobook Length: 12 hours Publisher: Macmillan Audio Blurb: When you listen to this audiobook, you will make many assumptions. You will assume you are listening to a story about a jealous ex-wife. You will assume she is obsessed with her replacement – a beautiful, younger woman who is about to marry the man they both love. You will assume you know the anatomy of this tangled love triangle. Assume nothing. Twisted and deliciously chilling, The Wife Between Us exposes the secret complexities of an enviable marriage – and the dangerous truths we ignore in the name of love. Listen for the truth between the lies.
Rating: 4 out of 5.
Woah! You will not know what hit you in the face when the big reveal is unravelled!
The book begins with a run-of-the-mill plot where you assume that a good chunk of the book is going to be about stalking in a revenge drama, but then the author leaves and omits certain details that make you question whether that is the case or not because you cannot be certain!
And then, after many twists and turns you realise that you have been wrong, or more likely mislead, but who cares! Because by then you are so taken aback that the entire plot was a set-up – for the readers! I know I shouldn’t be liking it as much because it is borderline wrong to mislead readers to this extent, but what the hell, Riley Sager and Alex Michaelidis use it all the time – and not quite this effectively I must add. I applaud Hendricks for plotting such a clever book because this kind of thriller cannot be written, it can only be plotted and I respect the author for it!
Author: Eliza Harrison Narrated by: Eliza Harrison Release Date: 2nd October 2020 Genre: Mystery, Historical Fiction Series: Format: Audiobook Pages: 9 hours 13 minutes Publisher: Blurb: Two women, two millennia apart, with seemingly unconnected lives – one from the English Lake District and the other from Bethany in Palestine. Neither is sure of their role or purpose, which leaves in them feelings of emptiness and uncertainty.
Martha of Bethany has Yeshua as friend and guide. From a place of tenderness and intimacy, she witnesses the last three years of his life and sees him embody the mystery and power of love. This leads her on a journey to the Sacred Isles where she finds her own pathway to awakening.
Martha from Borrowdale’s story begins in 2000 AD as she faces challenges that expose her deepest fears and insecurities. With her partner Ben, she discovers the mystical Aramaic teachings of Yeshua that offer her a pathway to Self-realisation and freedom.
These two redemptive stories weave alongside each other until finally they converge. It is a tale of revelation and mystery that uplifts and transforms.
Rating: 3 out of 5.
The Mystery Of Martha by Eliza Harrison is a unique kind of mystery novel that is set against the historical backdrop and inlaced with spiritualism that takes the reader on a surreal journey.
I was intrigued about this book from he start because spiritualism is a little hard to blend into a historical mystery and so I was curious to see how the plot unravelled. It was good for the most part and the writing was good. The narration wasn’t the best but it made for easy listening and I appreciated it a lot. The overall concept was a little out of my personal comfort zone, but it still made for a good and engaging read.
I think that if you are into spirituality and like reading experimental literature revolving around it then you’d appreciate this book a lot more than me and it would make for a really good read.
Today, we are featuring Eliza Harrison, author as well as narrator ofThe Mystery Of Martha, for our Narrator Interview feature.
About The Narrator
Eliza has had a lifelong passion for exploring different spiritual pathways in the East and the West and has been a teacher of meditation all her adult life. Alongside her work as a spiritual mentor and guide, she is a photographer and author and has produced several books on the life and landscape of Northern England, including The Light Within – A Celebration of the Spiritual Path, and the story of her own: In Search of Freedom – One Woman’s Journey. Now, with her husband David, she runs Sacred Meditation from their home in Cumbria.
Welcome to TRB! We are really excited to have you over. Please give our readers a brief introduction about yourself before we begin. Please feel free to share about your professional background.
I have taught meditation all my adult life, so use my voice to take people in and out of meditation and explain how the practice works. When teaching it’s important to speak with clarity and calmness, but with gentleness too. Over the years I have been told that my voice is soothing and relaxing, so a friend suggested I make The Mystery of Martha into an Audiobook and narrate it myself. I was daunted by the idea at first, but then rose to the challenge and enjoyed it!
Do you do other voice over work as well?
I make meditation videos so use my voice to guide people through the teaching process. I also do voiceovers for short films I make for Sacred Meditation.
How was your experience recording this audiobook?
Powerful and moving, but I think this was owing to the subject matter as each character goes through intense emotional experiences. Each chapter has a drama of its own and I found it easy to identify with each character. So while narrating, their stories resonated and affected me deeply.
Who is your favourite character in this audiobook and why?
My answer in the author’s interview was that my favourite character was Martha of Bethania. But when narrating it, this became Yeshua. Every time I read a scene when he appeared, especially if it included Aramaic, it seemed as though that he was present in the room. And occasionally at the end of a chapter, my breath was held and I seemed to have shifted into an expanded state of consciousness. This is why I felt narrating the novel a huge privilege and I shall always be grateful for this opportunity.
How long did it take you to record this particular audiobook?
I recorded it during the lockdown in 2019 in my meditation room at home. It took about 3 months including the edits and re-records. I live in a remote place in the countryside so all was quiet, except for the occasional tractor or sheep passing by.
What vocal techniques did you have to develop and hone while narrating this audiobook?
I went to drama school in my late teens where I received voice training and learned a range of exercises. This experience has always remained with me and I made use of doing some warm-up exercises before recording.
What is the one thing you love most about being an audiobook narrator?
I enjoyed feeling that I was reaching out to people all over the world through my voice, which felt intimate and profound.
Are you working on any other audiobooks presently?
Not at the moment, but I am using my voice to make videos and I will definitely create an audio from any new novel or writing I do in the future.
As an audiobook narrator what are the techniques you use or practice to care for your voice and condition it?
My meditation practice keeps me healthy, fit and well. I never get colds, flu or suffer from sore throats, so this is definitely the practice I would recommend to others. It also enables me to remain calm and collected while narrating.
Who is your favourite audiobook narrator and why?
I’m fortunate to know Anton Lesser, a British actor who is widely known for his audiobook recordings. He was my inspiration and gave me some invaluable tips, which you can see in my response to the question below.
What advice would you like to give to anyone who wants to become an audiobook narrator?
Anton told me it was important not to put too much expression or emotion into the reading, as this can colour the listeners’ experience and prevent them from engaging with their personal feelings and responses. So while I was reading, I tried not to act out the different parts, but read from my heart with calmness and clarity.
Thank you, Eliza, for your insightful answers!
About The Book
The Mystery Of Martha
Two timelines, one truth . . .
Two women, two millennia apart with seemingly unconnected lives – one from the Lake District in England and the other from Bethany in Palestine. Both experience loss and betrayal, which engender feelings of fear and uncertainty about what their future holds.
Martha from the Lake District faces challenge and change in 2000 AD as her deepest insecurities are exposed. But supported by her partner Ben, she discovers the mystical Aramaic teachings of Yeshua that offer her a pathway to Self-realisation and freedom.
In Brattleboro, Vermont, a long-forgotten doorway opens, to a land beyond living memory, where two lifelong enemies must journey as allies, to save two worlds, or destroy them.
In 30 AD Martha of Bethany has Yeshua as a friend and guide. From a place of tenderness and vulnerability, she witnesses the last three years of his life as he embodies the ultimate mystery and power of love, which inspires her own journey to awakening.
These two stories weave together seamlessly until finally they converge in a hauntingly beautiful tale of revelation and redemption.
Author: Heather Morris Narrated by: Richard Armitage Release Date: 11th January 2018 Genre: Historical Fiction Series: Format: Audiobook Pages: 8 hours Publisher: Bolinda/Bonnier Audio Blurb: A tale based on interviews that were conducted with Holocaust survivor and Auschwitz-Birkenau tattooist Ludwig (Lale) Sokolov.
In April 1942, Lale Sokolov, a Slovakian Jew, is forcibly transported to the concentration camps at Auschwitz-Birkenau. When his captors discover that he speaks several languages, he is put to work as a Tätowierer (the German word for tattooist), tasked with permanently marking his fellow prisoners.
Imprisoned for over two and a half years, Lale witnesses horrific atrocities and barbarism—but also incredible acts of bravery and compassion. Risking his own life, he uses his privileged position to exchange jewels and money from murdered Jews for food to keep his fellow prisoners alive.
One day in July 1942, Lale, prisoner 32407, comforts a trembling young woman waiting in line to have the number 34902 tattooed onto her arm. Her name is Gita, and in that first encounter, Lale vows to somehow survive the camp and marry her.
Rating: 4 out of 5.
Tattooist Of Auschwitz by Heather Morris is the real-life story of Lale Sokolov, a Slovakian Jew, who was imprisoned in the infamous Auschwitz Concentration Camp during the holocaust. Although the story is mainly about how he met his wife, Gita, and fell in love with her, the details and the insights of the concentration camp were horrifying and agonisingly insightful. The horrors of the camp were told from a very neutral perspective and therefore gave the readers a chance to feel things on their own without clouding their judgement. And for me, that was the best part of the book.
The romantic part was not particularly appealing to me, but the rest of the story was pretty good. I really thought that the character of Gita wasn’t done enough justice in the book, especially considering how the book was actually written for her. Male ended up dominating the story far more and it felt like his tale alone.
Though I did like the epilogue by Lale and Gita’s son as it lent an air of eery realism tot he book. I’d definitely recommend it to all historical fiction lovers and to all holocaust enthusiasts.
Lowland Way is the epitome of the suburban dream. Every house and yard is carefully maintained for maximum curb appeal, and everyone knows one another and gets along. One homeowner, Sissy Watkins, runs a successful B and B from her house. Two brothers and their families live next door to each other. It’s the picture-perfect neighborhood. When Darren Booth and his girlfriend, Jodie, move in across from Sissy, it doesn’t take long for them to begin making trouble. They’re loud, rude, messy, and don’t play by the community rules. They blast music at all hours and have started an unsightly renovation on their house. Before long, guests don’t want to stay at Sissy’s B and B, and everyone is fed up with the new neighbors. An all-out war is brewing on Lowland Way. When a person is killed, accusations start flying. Someone is dead, and everyone has something to hide….
Rating: 3 out of 5.
This book was a legit BOMB that… is… until… the…. ………. END!
I mean WTF happened there???
I had to read the last 3-4 chapters THRICE to be sure that I listened to it correctly and didn’t actually miss out a chapter or two!!!
The book just ended abruptly! The saddest part is that is was such a delicious and sensational story right until the last third of the book and then god knows what happened!
This satirical view of college professors features a philosophy professor who believes logic will solve all problems from bringing justice to everyone to personal relationships. His problems include convincing his colleagues to unionize and dealing with a history professor who believes he is the 21st-century version of Henry VIII and an English Lit professor who believes she can become Ann Boleyn.
The Optimist by Roy E. Schreiber is basically a recording of a play released as an audiobook as I learned from the author himself during one of our emails. I was really excited to listen to it as I have never before listened to anything like this before, though being a fan of audiobooks, I simply couldn’t have passed on this opportunity anyway.
The audiobook is narrated by a number of narrators, which was obvious, but what really took me by surprise was how amazing it all came together. I’ve read a number of dramatic readings, and this one, right from the start itself felt like a very engaging read. I loved listening to this book almost as I loved listening to Narnia audiobooks!
Coming to the story itself, I felt that the plot was a bit complex for such a short narrative. Had it been longer, I think, it wouldn’t have been an issue as many aspects would fit nicely, but at it was a little over an hour, in my honest opinion, it felt a little crammed together. I did like the story, though I cannot say, unfortunately, that I loved it. Though it was pretty evident that the story and the book itself had a lot of potentials, I guess it just lacked in a couple of places in terms of clarity and plotting. Though, given the length of the book, I think it was worth reading.
I’d recommend this book to anyone who likes satirical works and doesn’t mind experimental stories.
Author: Anne Lamott Narrator(s): Susan Bennett Date Of Publication: 12th June 2013 Genre: Non-Fiction, Writing Guide, Reference Series: Duration: 7 hours (unabridged) Publisher: Audioble Audio Blurb: Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report on birds written that he’d had three months to write. It was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books on birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him, put his arm around my brother’s shoulder, and said, “Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.”
So now I’ve read this book twice and after the second read, I’ve dropped another star from my rating. I feel that this book is a bit depressing with the author repeatedly highlighting the downside of writing and publishing. I, as a writer, do understand what she means to convey and get it that writing should not be over-glorified especially to the new writers, but at the same time I also feel that that you simply cannot portray only the negative side of the coin to someone who is new and eager as it would end up only demoralising the reader.
I am fully aware that the entire world, for whatever reasons, absolutely adores this book, but if I am being honest, this book made me feel depressed about writing, just the way it did when I first read it. It made me feel hopeless and gave me the feels of being stuck in an endless pit because according to Anne Lamott that’s what writing is. And publishing? Well, I would beg to differ to the opinions of the author and say to the new writers that getting your work published is a great joy and one should enjoy it as much as they possibly can! Maybe for someone who was born in a household of an established writer and who had an agent even before she wrote anything worth reading writing might feel like a mundane thing and getting it published may feel like a task, but for those writers, including me, who learn the craft on their own and bust their asses trying to write something worthwhile, it means a whole lot more than anyone can ever understand.
To be honest, I find it funny how people read this book and even feel ‘motivated’ or ‘inspired’ to write at all! It made me, an already established full-time writer, feel frustrated. No inspiration for me there.
I would definitely not be recommending this book to anyone, least of all to the young and new writers who are just beginning their writing journey. I consider myself lucky that I did not read this book when I was starting my own writing adventure because I am pretty sure this book would have put a damper on it for the worse.
For those who are genuinely interested in reading something that would actually help them in their writing go for:
These books will teach you and motivate you far more than this book ever can. They will not only make you understand the writing process better but also teach you the right ways in which you can write better without outright feeling shitty about your work so far. These books are the best writing books out there and have greatly helped me in my writing journey, so I speak from experience.
Author: Blake Crouch Narrator(s): Jon Lindstrom and Abby Craden Date Of Publication: 11th June 2019 Genre: Science-Fiction, Thriller Series: Duration: 11 hours Publisher: Random House Audio Blurb: A mind-bending new thriller from the New York Times bestselling author of Dark Matter and The Wayward Pines trilogy.
Barry Sutton is driving home from another long shift as an NYPD detective when the call comes in. A woman is threatening to commit suicide, and someone’s got to try to talk her down. Only as he stands on the rooftop, mere inches away from her, does he realize that the woman is infected with False Memory Syndrome, a mysterious disease that drives its victims mad with memories of a life they never lived. When Barry is unable to save her, he’s rocked to his core–not only by her death but the fear that he’s been exposed to this devastating illness.
Helena Smith is a brilliant but frustrated neuroscientist. If she could only get the funding, she’s sure she could build the ambitious device she’s long imagined–one that would allow people to preserve their most intense memories and relive them whenever they want. So when a billionaire entrepreneur offers to bankroll her project, she jumps at the opportunity–even if there are some strange conditions attached.
As Helena’s efforts yield stunning results, Barry investigates the mystery behind the woman he failed to save. He finds himself on a journey as astonishing as it is terrifying, ultimately revealing the true danger posed by Helena’s invention–and a plot that could bring about the end of reality as we know it.
Weaving together Barry’s story and Helena’s in ways even the savviest reader will never guess, Recurson is a brilliant science fiction thriller about time, memory, and the illusion of the present, built on our inability to escape the flashbulb moments that define us.
This is my 5th book by Blake Crouch and I loved all the four previous books and so obviously I expected a LOT from this one. So the moment I was able to I bought the audiobook and dove right in. But then the reality hit me hard like a patch of a dry concrete wall in the face…
What the actual f**k?!
I wanted to LOVE this book and I was so sure about it being good that the thought that it might not be good never even crosse my mind for a second. But as I started this book, it felt like slow torture and I lost interest in it in only about 2 hours.
Not sure if I’ll even try to listen to this one again as the lead characters were very, very bland and kind of felt like a poor replica of the other characters in Blake Crouches previous books. The concept, although felt like had a lot of potential initially, started to feel too abstract and I wasn’t able to go any further. I am a very impulsive person and that reflects in my reading tastes so if I have to commit to a book I better like it in the first hour of reading or listening otherwise I abandon it no matter how many good reviews it has because I hate wasting my reading time (as little as I have because of my writing) on trying to like books that my heart and mind seem to dislike. SO basically if a book fails to grab my attention within an hour or the first 50 pages then I don’t bother with it. And unfortunately, this was one of those reads.
Release Date: 19th May 2015 Genre: Science Fiction Fantasy, Apocalyptic, Post-Apocalyptic, Speculative Fiction Series: Edition: Audiobook Length: 32 hours Publisher: Brilliance Audio Blurb: What would happen if the world were ending?
A catastrophic event renders the earth a ticking time bomb. In a feverish race against the inevitable, nations around the globe band together to devise an ambitious plan to ensure the survival of humanity far beyond our atmosphere, in outer space.
But the complexities and unpredictability of human nature coupled with unforeseen challenges and dangers threaten the intrepid pioneers, until only a handful of survivors remain…
Five thousand years later, their progeny — seven distinct races now three billion strong — embark on yet another audacious journey into the unknown … to an alien world utterly transformed by cataclysm and time: Earth.
Seveneves by Neal Stephenson book was too heavy for me. The narration was slow and the story progressed so slowly in the first hour that when I realized the book was 30 something hours, I stopped it right there. You really need to like the narration enough if you plan to spend another 30 hours listening to it. And that was not how I felt, so I abandoned it. I have other books that I can read and enjoy in that much time (pretty sure I can read a good number of other books in that much time.)
Author: Dan Brown Narrator: Paul Michael Release Date: 3rd October 2017 Genre: Thriller, Mystery, Suspense Series: Robert Langdon Book #5 Edition: Audiobook Length: 19 hours Publisher: Random House Audio Blurb: Robert Langdon, Harvard professor of symbology and religious iconology, arrives at the ultramodern Guggenheim Museum Bilbao to attend a major announcement—the unveiling of a discovery that “will change the face of science forever.” The evening’s host is Edmond Kirsch, a forty-year-old billionaire and futurist whose dazzling high-tech inventions and audacious predictions have made him a renowned global figure. Kirsch, who was one of Langdon’s first students at Harvard two decades earlier, is about to reveal an astonishing breakthrough . . . one that will answer two of the fundamental questions of human existence.As the event begins, Langdon and several hundred guests find themselves captivated by an utterly original presentation, which Langdon realizes will be far more controversial than he ever imagined. But the meticulously orchestrated evening suddenly erupts into chaos, and Kirsch’s precious discovery teeters on the brink of being lost forever. Reeling and facing an imminent threat, Langdon is forced into a desperate bid to escape Bilbao. With him is Ambra Vidal, the elegant museum director who worked with Kirsch to stage the provocative event. Together they flee to Barcelona on a perilous quest to locate a cryptic password that will unlock Kirsch’s secret.Navigating the dark corridors of hidden history and extreme religion, Langdon and Vidal must evade a tormented enemy whose all-knowing power seems to emanate from Spain’s Royal Palace itself . . . and who will stop at nothing to silence Edmond Kirsch. On a trail marked by modern art and enigmatic symbols, Langdon and Vidal uncover clues that ultimately bring them face-to-face with Kirsch’s shocking discovery . . . and the breathtaking truth that has long eluded us.
Origin by none other than Dan Brown is a gripping thriller which was both enjoyable and gripping. This book is the 5t instalment in the Robert Langdon series and, unlike lost key, was more in sync with the author’s impeccable sense of modern-day controversies. I enjoyed it a lot and was happy to note that this book differed from the last one (which is one of my favourites in this series, Inferno) greatly.
The characterisation was spot on, the twists and turns were really good and made the mystery more interesting (though it was a bit predictable, maybe that was because of the fact that by the 5th book you generally know what the author is capable of doing) and the plot-line was excellent. The only complain I had from this book is that it had hours of exhaustive descriptions and backstories and crazily lengthy dramatics. This has been my problem since the first book, Angels & Demons, but this book took it all to another level entirely. Now it might be because this is the only book I have read (listened to) as an audiobook, but the descriptions felt too long even for Dan Brown’s standards – out of 19 hours more than 9 might have been the descriptions, so that is a LOT! Because of that, I zoned out a lot while listening to it and even fell asleep.
Still, overall it is worth a read if for nothing else than for the story itself and I’d recommend it to all Dan Brown readers and to those who are interested in conspiracy theories and such.
Author: Kate Douglas Wiggin Narrator: Ann Richardson
Release Date: 8th December 2017 Genre: Classic, Children’s Fiction
Series: – Length: 8 hours 11 minutes Publisher: Post Hypnotic Press Inc.⎮2018 Blurb:
Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm has delighted readers for over 100 years. Published in 1903, when girls were inevitably depicted as pretty, gentle and proper, Rebecca Rowena Randall burst onto the scene of children’s literature. Sent to live with her prim and proper Aunt Miranda, who is expecting her much more demure sister, Rebecca is a “bird of a very different feather”. She has “a small, plain face illuminated by a pair of eyes carrying such messages, such suggestions, such hints of sleeping power and insight, that one never tired of looking into their shining depths….” To her Aunt Miranda’s continual dismay, Rebecca is exuberant, irrepressible, and spirited – not at all “proper” or “demure”. She wins over her aunt soon enough, and the whole town, and thousands of readers and listeners everywhere.
In 1904, author Jack London wrote Kate Douglas Wiggin: “May I thank you for Rebecca?…. I would have quested the wide world over to make her mine, only I was born too long ago and she was born but yesterday…. Why could she not have been my daughter? Why couldn’t it have been I who bought the three hundred cakes of soap? Why, O, why?” And Mark Twain called Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm “beautiful and warm and satisfying”. This recording, narrated by Ann Richardson, whose sweet voice has a facility for accents and character voices, is a satisfying listening experience you’ll want to revisit. Upcoming from Post Hypnotic Press is a new annotated print/eBook edition of this book, with illustrations from the original publication and a new introduction, as well as a work-book f…
Rebecca Of SunnybrookFarm by Kate Douglas Wiggin and narrated by Ann Richardson is a beautiful audiobook that is a must read (must-listen?) for everyone.
It is a beautifully sweet book with a lovely young girly-girl character at its heart who will win your heart by the end of the first chapter itself. Unlike many other readers, I have not yet read Anne of the Green Gables (a reference I came across in many reviews for this book while deciding whether to accept this book for review or not) so I can’t offer any comparison, though what I can say is that this is a very thorough book full of moral lessons and hearty anecdotes of a time that is long gone and is always remembered. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this book because of the colourful narration which was fun to listen to.
I’d recommend this audiobook to everyone who loves reading (or more specifically, who loves listening to audiobooks.)
Author: William R Todd Narrator: Ben Werling
Release Date: 30th March 2018 Genre: Horror
Series: – Length: 4 hours Publisher: William Todd | 2018
Blurb: Dead of Night is a compilation of turn-of-the-century-era horror stories with a Victorian flair and traditional horror story plots with unexpected endings. If you like ghosts and ghouls and demons and werewolves, these stories are for you.
Dark Of Night by William Todd is a gripping and scary horror story that was narrated in a way that took the spook factor to an entirely new level.
I loved this book, more than many other horror books I’ve read (that have totally failed to spook me.) This book was everything the short blurb promised – dark and macabre. I love reading short stories (the main reason why I picked this one up) and, to my relief, in this book all the short stories were good, some very good and some plain good, but good nonetheless.
All the stories were well-written and maintained a good pace. They all had a good beginning with a really good hook, a good middle point and a nice ending – even if it was an open ending. I enjoyed reading all the stories and plan to read more (or listen to more audiobooks) by the author.
The narration was really good and I loved the deep and dark voice of narration that leant this book a constant eerie air. My only complaint is that in some stories (especially in the first one) the background music seemed a bit funny at times and I felt that the audiobook could really do well without it.
I’d recommend this book to all horror readers and to anyone who’s looking for a nice spooky read around Halloween.
Author: David A. Willson Narrator: Tanya Eby
Release Date: 30th March 2018 Genre: High Fantasy
Series: – Length: 10 hours 7 hours 25 minutes Publisher: Seeker Press Blurb:
Join Nara and Mykel on a journey through the Great Land….
Fifteen-year-old Nara Dall has never been good at keeping secrets. Yet it seems that her life has been filled with them, from the ugly scar on her back to the strange powers she possesses. Her mysterious adoptive father refuses to say anything about her origins, and soon, she and her best friend must attend the announcement ceremony, in which youths are tested for a magical gift.
A gifted youth has not been announced in the poor village of Dimmitt for decades. When Nara uncovers the reason, she uses her own powers to make things right. The decision sets her and her friend on a path of danger, discovery, and a search for the divine. In the process, she learns the truth about herself and uncovers the biggest secret of all: the power of broken people.
Looking For Dei by David A. Wilson is an interesting new high fantasy read with a believable storyline and an impressive world-setting. I was pulled into the story right from the start and was kept engaged till I hit the middle part of the story, and that was when I kind of hit a brick wall. After about 45% I started to struggle because of the pacing, which was pretty good until that point but then suddenly slacked and the story started to feel like a drag. Fortunately, after a while, the pacing picked up again (albeit a bit slowly) and I was happy to reach the end of the story without any further pacing issues. The story picked up in the ending again and overall I was glad that I picked this read.
I was fortunate enough to get this book in both the formats – e-book from NetGalley and audiobook from Audiobookworm. I started this with the e-book but when I got the audio, obviously I listened to the entire story because that just saved me a hell of a lot of time! Also, the narration was pretty good and I loved the different variation the narrator used especially of the old crone, Ann.
I’d recommend this book to all the fantasy lovers, and even to those who rarely read fantasy and are looking for a new fantasy series to explore.
Author: N.E. Conneely Narrators: Jeff Hays and Laurie
Release Date: 16th January 2018 Genre: Paranormal, Supernatural, Urban Fantasy, Magic Realism
Series: A Witch’s Path, Book 4 Length: 7 hours 25 minutes Publisher: N.E. Conneely Blurb:
Michelle has been figuring out what her life is like now that the demon has been killed and Sylvia and Varro are dead. Even the clans of witches trying to attract her to their way of life have backed off and given her a chance to grieve. Her relationship with Elron is stronger than ever, but there are things left unsaid.On the way to her parent’s wedding, the delicate calm she’d been living in is broken. Witches are out for her blood, her family is caught in the crossfire, and friendships are threatened. Work doesn’t let up either, and she partners up with Elron to deal with magic gone wild. Michelle finds that her problems are larger than one clan of witches, and is forced to choose between the people she holds dear and the way of life she loves.
A Witch’s Concern by N.E. Conneely is a refreshing and highly entertaining read, revolving around a young witch and her adventures.
I loved this book; the plot was unique, the characters and their conflicts felt real and the sub-plots were very interesting. I enjoyed listening to the story from start till the end, and even though this is the 4th book in A With’s Path series, I didn’t have any trouble getting into it. So this book can safely be read as a stand alone as well, but I am considering reading all the previous parts before going for the next ones.
The characterization was good, if not brilliant, and even though I wasn’t able to connect to the main lead, Michelle, in a very strong way, I liked her quite a lot and that was enough for me to read about her and her adventures (or misadventures.) Elron’s character felt a bit shaky initially but by the end of the book, he proved to be a strong male lead.
The narration was good for the most part. It took me some time to get into Elron’s (Jeff Hays) narration, though I did love the female lead’s narration a lot! Lauri’s voice and expressions were really good and made listening to this audiobook a very pleasant experience.
I’d recommend this book to all the paranormal and supernatural lovers, along with those who love reading about witches, elves and magic.