Cherry Mischievous

for the love of SciFi/Fantasy

THE BATTLEMAGE (Summoner Book 3)

 

The Battlemage by Taran Matharu
Book 3 of the Summoner series
Read by Dominic Thorburn
Genre: epic fantasy
Format: ebook & audiobookAudiobook

 

 

About The Battlemage:

One boy’s ability to summon demons will change the fate of an empire … The epic conclusion to the fantasy trilogy described as ‘Harry Potter meets Lord of the Rings meets Pokemon’.

After the thrilling cliffhanger at the end of book two, we rejoin Fletcher and his friends in the ether, where they must undertake a mortally dangerous quest, all the while avoiding capture by enemies and facing foes more terrifying than anything they have yet encountered.

But this is nothing compared to what truly lies ahead for Fletcher, as his nemesis, albino orc Khan, is on a mission to destroy Hominum and everything and everyone that Fletcher loves.

Epic battles, dramatic revelations and breathtaking drama await in the third and final book in the New York Times bestselling Summoner series.

Source: Info in the About The Battlemage was taken from GoodReads at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31687423-the-battlemage on 09/05/2017.

 

Ignatius

Ignatious

My Thoughts:

I like the story telling quality of this author, the world building is beautiful and the character development is solid. What I do not like is the author’s tendency to have a cliffhanger ending and the good guys don’t necessarily win. However, this being the third in a trilogy, we got a nice ending. Hurray!! Having said that, there is another book in this series, I presume to be the first in another trilogy or so,
in this world. I like the thought that this book is not the end of it because I came to like this world so I am very happy to see more books coming out for this series and got an ending with this book at the same time! Kudos for this book!

There are a few issues in the story that I find a little too unrealistic, I had to force myself to turn a blind eye on them so as not to mar the beauty of the book… I mean, like, Zacharrias Forsyth and Inquisitor Rook are not stupid, and they could not immediately see that the staff could broadcast them to the entire nation?! So they condemn themselves and confess to boot, within earshot of the staff!! I mean… WTF! That is not just
a weak plot, that is ridiculous! And that is the main reason that this book did not get a 5 out of 5. But despite that, this book did give an enjoyable reading time… you just have to be good at “selective inattention” and ignore weakness in the plot like that. Besides, Ignatious took a front and center role in the story! Who could begrudge that!!

 

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 4.5
Character development = 4.5
Story itself = 3.5
Writing Style = 4.5
Ending = 4
World building = 4.5
Cover art = 5
Pace = 4
Plot = 3
Narration = 5

 

Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5 cherries

 

Books In The Summoner Series
Summoner 0.5: ORIGINSSummoner 0.6: A FINE WELCOME: OTHELLO'S JOURNEYSummoner 1: THE NOVICESummoner 2: THE INQUISITIONSummoner 3: THE BATTLEMAGESummoner 4: THE OUTCAST

 

The Author
Taran Matharu

Taran Matharu is a New York Times bestselling author. He was born in London in 1990 and found a passion for reading at a very early age. His love for stories developed into a desire to create his own during early adolescence, beginning his first book at 9 years old.

Straight after graduating with a First Class degree in Business Administration, Taran was keen to explore a new avenue and get inside the publishing world, landing an internship in Digital Sales at Penguin Random House, from June to September 2013.

Thereafter, while taking time off to travel, Taran began to write ‘Summoner’ in November 2013 at the age of 22, taking part in ‘Nanowrimo 2013’.

Thanks to Wattpad.com and updating daily, its popularity dramatically increased, reaching over 3 million reads in less than six months.

After being featured by NBC News, Taran decided to launch his professional writing career and has never looked back.

His SUMMONER series is published by Hodder Children’s (Hachette) in the UK, Australia and Commonwealth, Feiwel and Friends (Macmillan) in the US and Canada, Hachette Jeunesse in France, Heyne in Germany, Planeta in Spain, Crown in Taiwan, Record in Brazil, EKSMO in Russia, Jaguar in Poland, Ecliptic in Bulgaria, Alpress in the Czech Republic, Ithaki in Turkey and Unieboek in the Netherlands.

 


 

FTC Disclosure:
This book was purchased with private funds.
No money received for this review.

 

14/05/2017 Posted by | 4 cherries, audiobook, book review, Cherry's reviews, ebook, kindle ebook, review | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

THE INQUISITION (Summoner Book 2)

 

The Inquisition by Taran Matharu
Book 2 of the Summoner series
Read by Dominic Thorburn
Genre: epic fantasy
Format: ebook & audiobookAudiobook

 

 

About The Inquisition:

A year has passed since the Tournament.

Fletcher and Ignatius have been locked away in Pelt’s dungeons, but now they must face a trial at the hands of the Inquisition, a powerful institution controlled by those who would delight in Fletcher’s downfall.

The trial is haunted by ghosts from the past with shocking revelations about Fletcher’s origins, but he has little time to dwell on them; the graduating students of Vocans are to be sent deep into the orc jungles to complete a dangerous mission for the king and his council. If they fail, the orcish armies will rise to power beyond anything the Empire has ever seen.

With loyal friends Othello and Sylva by his side, Fletcher must battle his way to the heart of Orcdom and save Hominum from destruction… or die trying.

Source: Info in the About The Inquisition was taken from GoodReads at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25689056-the-inquisition on 14/02/2017.

 

Athena

Image Source: chepren

My Thoughts:

I like the story telling quality of this author, the world building is beautiful and the character development is solid. What I do not like is the author’s tendency to have a cliffhanger ending and the good guys don’t necessarily win. What a bummer!

Annnd… I have a new favourite… Athena! Apparently she’s a Gryphowl.

The down side of reading the second part of the story after a year of reading the first part, is that I have forgotten most of the characters and/or the plot. I struggled to recall who is who for the first two-thirds of the book to keep up with the story. Consequently the flow was not very fast at all.

 

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 4.5
Character development = 4.5
Story itself = 3.5
Writing Style = 4
Ending = 1
World building = 4.5
Cover art = 5
Pace = 2.5
Plot = 4
Narration = 4

 

Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5 cherries

 

Other Books In The Summoner Series
Summoner 0.5: ORIGINSSummoner 0.6: A FINE WELCOME: OTHELLO'S JOURNEYSummoner 1: THE NOVICESummoner 2: THE INQUISITIONSummoner 3: THE BATTLEMAGE

 

The Author
Taran Matharu

Taran Matharu is a New York Times bestselling author. He was born in London in 1990 and found a passion for reading at a very early age. His love for stories developed into a desire to create his own during early adolescence, beginning his first book at 9 years old.

Straight after graduating with a First Class degree in Business Administration, Taran was keen to explore a new avenue and get inside the publishing world, landing an internship in Digital Sales at Penguin Random House, from June to September 2013.

Thereafter, while taking time off to travel, Taran began to write ‘Summoner’ in November 2013 at the age of 22, taking part in ‘Nanowrimo 2013’.

Thanks to Wattpad.com and updating daily, its popularity dramatically increased, reaching over 3 million reads in less than six months.

After being featured by NBC News, Taran decided to launch his professional writing career and has never looked back.

His SUMMONER series is published by Hodder Children’s (Hachette) in the UK, Australia and Commonwealth, Feiwel and Friends (Macmillan) in the US and Canada, Hachette Jeunesse in France, Heyne in Germany, Planeta in Spain, Crown in Taiwan, Record in Brazil, EKSMO in Russia, Jaguar in Poland, Ecliptic in Bulgaria, Alpress in the Czech Republic, Ithaki in Turkey and Unieboek in the Netherlands.

 


 

FTC Disclosure:
This book was purchased with private funds.
No money received for this review.

 

09/05/2017 Posted by | 4 cherries, audible, audiobook, book review, Cherry's reviews, ebook, epic fantasy, kindle book, review | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

TARAH WOODBLADE (The Bowl Of Souls book 6)

 

Tarah Woodblade by Trevor H. Cooley
Book 6 of The Bowl Of Souls series
Read by James Foster
Genre: epic fantasy
Format: ebook & audiobookAudiobook

 

 

About Tarah Woodblade:

A Bowl of Souls Novel

The war is over, but there is a void of power that must be filled and no shortage of souls eager to fill it.

Tarah Woodblade was the best guide and tracker in the land, but she ran away from the war. She returns to Dremaldria expecting to be labeled a coward, but finds herself lauded as a hero. It seems a hero is needed too, because someone is hunting rogue horses . . .

Source: Info in the About Tarah Woodblade was taken from GoodReads at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21422778-tarah-woodblade on 05/03/2017.

 

My Thoughts:

Here we are introduced to a totally new character (Tarah Woodblade) that this book seemed like a tangent series to The Bowl Of Souls, which of course it can be viewed as such, but it is at the same time a continuation of the old one, which to me is great! So new character and all,… reading this book was kind of anti-climactic after the big war in book 5, Mother Of The Moonrat. However, these books are also sequential so I have to read this book if I want to read the rest of the books in the world of Sir Edge. The other reason I wanted to read this book is that I was hoping to know what happened to Talon but there was no mention of her whatsoever in this book. (Bummer!) Fist however is still my favourite character. Of course by now I am a big fan of Edge‘s world and quite forgiving of it’s many little faults. In fact, I don’t see them anymore… faults? what faults?…

 

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 4.5
Character development = 4.5
Story itself = 4
Writing Style = 4
Ending = 4
World building = 4.5
Cover art = 4
Pace = 4
Plot = 3.5
Narration = 5

 

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 cherries

 

Books In The Bowl Of Souls Series:
 

Book 1: EYE OF THE MOONRAT   Book: 1.5: HILT'S PRIDE   Book 2: MESSENGER OF THE DARK PROPHET   Book 3: HUNT OF THE BANDHAM   Book 4: THE WAR OF STARDEON   Book 5: MOTHER OF THE MOONRAT   Book 6: TARAH WOODBLADE   Book 7: PROTECTOR OF THE GROVE   Book 8: THE OGRE APPRENTICE   Book 9: THE TROLL KING   Book 10: PRIESTESS OF WAR

 

The Author
Trevor H. Cooley

Since putting out his first book: Eye of the Moonrat in May of 2012, Trevor H. Cooley has sold over 200,000 copies of his books in ebook and audio formats.

He was born in South Carolina and has lived all around the United states, including Utah, New Mexico, Michigan and Tennessee.

His love of reading started in the second grade with Lloyd Alexander’s Chronicles of Prydain series. He couldn’t get enough and continued with David Eddings, Tolkein, Robert Jordan, Stephen King, and many others. Since then, all he wanted was to become a published writer.

The characters and concepts that eventually became the Bowl of Souls series started in his teens. He wrote short stories, kept notebooks full of ideas, and generally dreamed about the world constantly. There were several attempts at starting a novel over the years.

Not long after he was married, his wife told him to stop talking about the story and write it down. Many years and rewrites and submissions and rejection letters later, he finally put the books on Amazon. In August of 2013 he quit his day job and started writing full time.

 

The Narrator
James Foster

James Foster was born in Björk’s house in Iceland and grew up on Easter Island, where his parents were giant stone heads. He has the ability to fire beams of tacos out of his hands and he can turn his legs into tigers. On Sundays, James enjoys reading Family Circus and traveling through time. His favorite color is greenish-transparent and his favorite movie is the one you just watched. James is in charge of uploading the staff bios to the website, and no one has checked over his work.

 


 

FTC Disclosure:
This book was purchased with private funds.
No money received for this review.

 

06/03/2017 Posted by | 4 cherries, audiobook, book review, Cherry's reviews, ebook, epic fantasy, kindle ebook, review | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

THE BOWL OF SOULS books 2-5

 

Messenger Of The Dark Prophet by Trevor H. Cooley
Book 2 of The Bowl Of Souls series
Read by James Foster
Genre: epic fantasy
Format: ebook & audiobookAudiobook

 

 

About Messenger Of The Dark Prophet:

Justan’s dream of entering the Dremaldrian Battle Academy has been put on hold. His burgeoning magic powers have been deemed too dangerous to go untrained and he has been sentenced to two years at the Mage School. How is he supposed to fit in amongst the mages and wizards, a physically weak group of people he has never identified with? Can he learn how to control his new powers without losing his identity as a warrior? Can he stick to his plans while the mother of the moonrats tries to destroy the school from within?

Fist, the ogre who was estranged from his own people, has now found a home next to a friendly human settlement while Deathclaw, the raptoid who was changed into humanoid form, has left his homeland in search of his destiny. They escaped the wizard Ewzad Vriil’s grasp before, but his secret army grows as does his influence in the kingdom. What will they do upon coming face-to-face with The Messenger of the Dark Prophet once again?

Source: Info in the About Messenger Of The Dark Prophet was taken from GoodReads at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18919218-messenger-of-the-dark-prophet on 19/02/2017.

 

Hunt Of The Bandham by Trevor H. Cooley
Book 3 of The Bowl Of Souls series
Read by James Foster
Genre: epic fantasy
Format: ebook & audiobookAudiobook

 

 

About Hunt Of The Bandham:

Ewzad Vriil’s keep has fallen and Justan has been reunited with his friends. But the kingdom remains in turmoil. The mother of the moonrats still builds the Dark Prophet’s army of monsters in the mountains and the Battle Academy’s forces are weakened.

Justan’s bonds with Fist and Gwyrtha have made him stronger and faster, but the more he learns about his powers, the more questions he has. He seeks out the bonding wizard Master Coal, hoping that the man can teach him what he needs to know about his magic before he hurts his bonded and himself.

Deathclaw has freed Talon from Ewzad Vriil’s power only to find that she is no longer the sister he used to know. Meanwhile, a new creature is born; a beast designed to hunt dragons. Will they survive the Hunt of the Bandham?

Source: Info in the About Hunt Of The Bandham was taken from GoodReads at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15997724-hunt-of-the-bandham on 04/03/2017.

 

The War Of Stardeon by Trevor H. Cooley
Book 4 of The Bowl Of Souls series
Read by James Foster
Genre: epic fantasy
Format: ebook & audiobookAudiobook

 

 

About The War Of Stardeon:

The Battle Academy has been besieged by an army of goblinoids under the control of the mother of the moonrats. They bide their time, keeping the academy out of the fight while Ewzad Vriil prepares to unleash a force of mutated monsters.

Jhonate and Faldon the Fierce have begun to unravel the mystery of the mother of the moonrat’s identity, while Justan and Master Coal have learned the secret of Ewzad Vriil’s powers. Both groups scramble to find a way to help the academy, but neither of them knows the full extent of the forces they are up against.

Will they be able to gather the strength they need to win The War of Stardeon?

Source: Info in the About The War Of Stardeon was taken from GoodReads at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17750367-the-war-of-stardeon on 04/03/2017.

 

Mother Of The Moonrat by Trevor H. Cooley
Book 5 of The Bowl Of Souls series
Read by James Foster
Genre: epic fantasy
Format: ebook & audiobookAudiobook

 

 

About Mother Of The Moonrat:

The end is near.

The Battle Academy and Mage School forces have joined, but they are outnumbered by Ewzad Vriil’s army of mutated men and Mellinda’s forest of monsters.

There are spies on both sides, assassins on the hunt, secrets to be revealed, and Justan’s magic will be unleashed. But there is one thing they haven’t considered. Even if they can somehow overcome Ewzad Vriil, will they be able to destroy The Mother of the Moonrats?

Source: Info in the About Mother Of The Moonrat was taken from GoodReads at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18584576-mother-of-the-moonrat on 04/03/2017.

 

My Thoughts:

And of course, I have my favourite character, the ogre. No, his name is not Shrek, it’s Fist.

At this point this series is beginning to look like Robert Jordan‘s The Wheel Of Time series, as in, there is no end in sight. Having said that, the Messenger Of The Dark Prophet seems to have the best ending in all of the books in this series thus far. At least it ended on a positive note, well, until Book 5, that is. Mother Of The Moonrats ended the first 5 books’ story arc. My advise would be not to start reading this series until you have all 5 books because you would want to dive into the next book as soon as you hit the cliffhanger ending.

I was looking for an epic fantasy read, I was glad that I stumbled onto this one.

 

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 4.5
Character development = 4.5
Story itself = 4
Writing Style = 4
Ending = 4
World building = 4.5
Cover art = 4
Pace = 4
Plot = 3.5
Narration = 5

 

Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5 cherries

 

Books In The Bowl Of Souls Series:
 

Book 1: EYE OF THE MOONRAT   Book: 1.5: HILT'S PRIDE   Book 2: MESSENGER OF THE DARK PROPHET   Book 3: HUNT OF THE BANDHAM   Book 4: THE WAR OF STARDEON   Book 5: MOTHER OF THE MOONRAT   Book 6: TARAH WOODBLADE   Book 7: PROTECTOR OF THE GROVE   Book 8: THE OGRE APPRENTICE   Book 9: THE TROLL KING   Book 10: PRIESTESS OF WAR

 

The Author
Trevor H. Cooley

Since putting out his first book: Eye of the Moonrat in May of 2012, Trevor H. Cooley has sold over 200,000 copies of his books in ebook and audio formats.

He was born in South Carolina and has lived all around the United states, including Utah, New Mexico, Michigan and Tennessee.

His love of reading started in the second grade with Lloyd Alexander’s Chronicles of Prydain series. He couldn’t get enough and continued with David Eddings, Tolkein, Robert Jordan, Stephen King, and many others. Since then, all he wanted was to become a published writer.

The characters and concepts that eventually became the Bowl of Souls series started in his teens. He wrote short stories, kept notebooks full of ideas, and generally dreamed about the world constantly. There were several attempts at starting a novel over the years.

Not long after he was married, his wife told him to stop talking about the story and write it down. Many years and rewrites and submissions and rejection letters later, he finally put the books on Amazon. In August of 2013 he quit his day job and started writing full time.

 

The Narrator
James Foster

James Foster was born in Björk’s house in Iceland and grew up on Easter Island, where his parents were giant stone heads. He has the ability to fire beams of tacos out of his hands and he can turn his legs into tigers. On Sundays, James enjoys reading Family Circus and traveling through time. His favorite color is greenish-transparent and his favorite movie is the one you just watched. James is in charge of uploading the staff bios to the website, and no one has checked over his work.

 


 

FTC Disclosure:
This book was purchased with private funds.
No money received for this review.

 

04/03/2017 Posted by | 4 cherries, audiobook, book review, Cherry's reviews, ebook, kindle ebook, review | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

EYE OF THE MOONRAT (The Bowl Of Souls book 1)

 

Eye Of The Moonrat by Trevor H. Cooley
Book 1 of The Bowl Of Souls series
Read by James Foster
Genre: epic fantasy
Format: paperback & audiobookAudiobook

 

About Eye Of The Moonrat:

Justan was raised on the outskirts of the Dremaldrian Battle Academy. He watched his father ascend the ranks within the academy to become one of the most respected warriors in the kingdom. The only thing he has ever wanted is to become an academy student and follow the path of his father. Unfortunately, only the best can enter the academy and Justan is a horrible fighter. Everyone tells him that he is more suited to scholarly work than swordplay. In desperation he hurls himself into training, eager to overcome the doubters and walk into the academy triumphant, unaware that secretive powers plot to disrupt his plans.

Meanwhile, an evil wizard of immense power is using magic to twist the bodies of the creatures of the land and transform them into monsters. With these creatures and the peoples of the wilds, he is building an army . . .

Ogres and dragons, warriors and wizards are destined to clash, their fates guided by The Bowl of Souls.

Eye of the Moonrat is book one of The Bowl of Souls series.

Source: Info in the About Eye Of The Moonrat was taken from GoodReads at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15752127-eye-of-the-moonrat on 19/02/2017.

 

My Thoughts:

I like the way James Foster reads. The words are clear and distinct which brought the rating of this audiobook a couple of notches up!

When I first started reading/listening to this book, it seemed like this author is one of those who makes the characters act or be stupid to create a situation where they could save the world… a version of “too stupid to live” (TSTL) kind of writing style… Justan, our main protagonist, sounded like a know-it-all, obstinate learner. That didn’t endear him to me at all… I wasn’t enthralled, to say the least. However there was nothing better to read and the book was in my phone already so I continued listening to it. I was glad I did because as it turns out, Justan wasn’t TSTL but just make mistakes like any of us does. It was annoying at first but it also made the character more real and enabled the reader to connect with story more firmly. However, the super-villain on the other hand is all evil which bears no semblance to reality and is so much like Dr. Evil in Austin Powers instead. The character is painted more of a parody of evil than a real evil. This has the effect of the story having a clear cut delineating line between good and evil. It follows that the plot is quite straight forward as well. A formulaic bad guys attack, good guys defend, and there ensues a fight between good and evil. Then the book ends in a cliffhanger. The end. However, the world building is good enough that I wanted to keep on reading. Kudos to the author for achieving that much! The only thing marring that world building is it’s slight middle grade tone. In its portrayal of the evil villain, it gave this book a middle grade slant. I’m not really a fan of middle grades. I was looking for an epic fantasy, the likes of Tolkien. In that score, I was a bit disappointed.

 

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 4
Character development = 4
Story itself = 3
Writing Style = 3.5
Ending = 2
World building = 4.5
Cover art = 4
Pace = 3
Plot = 3
Narration = 5

 

Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5 cherries

 

Books In The Bowl Of Souls Series:
 

Book 1: EYE OF THE MOONRAT   Book: 1.5: HILT'S PRIDE   Book 2: MESSENGER OF THE DARK PROPHET   Book 3: HUNT OF THE BANDHAM   Book 4: THE WAR OF STARDEON   Book 5: MOTHER OF THE MOONRAT   Book 6: TARAH WOODBLADE   Book 7: PROTECTOR OF THE GROVE   Book 8: THE OGRE APPRENTICE

 

The Author
Trevor H. Cooley

Since putting out his first book: Eye of the Moonrat in May of 2012, Trevor H. Cooley has sold over 200,000 copies of his books in ebook and audio formats.

He was born in South Carolina and has lived all around the United states, including Utah, New Mexico, Michigan and Tennessee.

His love of reading started in the second grade with Lloyd Alexander’s Chronicles of Prydain series. He couldn’t get enough and continued with David Eddings, Tolkein, Robert Jordan, Stephen King, and many others. Since then, all he wanted was to become a published writer.

The characters and concepts that eventually became the Bowl of Souls series started in his teens. He wrote short stories, kept notebooks full of ideas, and generally dreamed about the world constantly. There were several attempts at starting a novel over the years.

Not long after he was married, his wife told him to stop talking about the story and write it down. Many years and rewrites and submissions and rejection letters later, he finally put the books on Amazon. In August of 2013 he quit his day job and started writing full time.

 

The Narrator
James Foster

James Foster was born in Björk’s house in Iceland and grew up on Easter Island, where his parents were giant stone heads. He has the ability to fire beams of tacos out of his hands and he can turn his legs into tigers. On Sundays, James enjoys reading Family Circus and traveling through time. His favorite color is greenish-transparent and his favorite movie is the one you just watched. James is in charge of uploading the staff bios to the website, and no one has checked over his work.

 


 

FTC Disclosure:
This book was purchased with private funds.
No money received for this review.

 

25/02/2017 Posted by | 4 cherries, audiobook, book review, Cherry's reviews, ebook, review | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

ECHOES IN DEATH

 

ECHOES IN DEATH by JD Robb

Echoes In Death by JD Robb
Book 44 of the In Death series
Narrated by Susan Ericksen
Genre: scifi crime fiction
Format: ebook & audiobookAudible Books

 

 

About Echoes In Death:

This chilling new suspense novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author J.D. Robb is the perfect entry point into the compelling In Death police procedural series featuring Lieutenant Eve Dallas.

As NY Lt. Eve Dallas and her billionaire husband Roarke are driving home, a young woman—dazed, naked, and bloody—suddenly stumbles out in front of their car. Roarke slams on the brakes and Eve springs into action.

Daphne Strazza is rushed to the ER, but it’s too late for her husband Dr. Anthony Strazza. A brilliant orthopedic surgeon, he now lies dead amid the wreckage of his obsessively organized town house, his three safes opened and emptied. Daphne would be a valuable witness, but in her terror and shock the only description of the perp she can offer is repeatedly calling him “the devil”…

While it emerges that Dr. Strazza was cold, controlling, and widely disliked, this is one case where the evidence doesn’t point to the spouse. So Eve and her team must get started on the legwork, interviewing everyone from dinner-party guests to professional colleagues to caterers, in a desperate race to answer some crucial questions:

What does the devil look like? And where will he show up next?

Source: Info in the “About Echoes In Death” was taken from GoodReads at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31384635-echoes-in-death on 10/02/2017.

 

BROTHERHOOD IN DEATH by JD Robb audiobook

My Thoughts:

By now, Susan Ericksen‘s voice is firmly entrenched in my head as Eve Dallas‘ voice, just as Johanna Parker‘s is Sookie Stackhouse‘s. Flaws and all. So it no longer matter what previous dislikes I might have for the narration, it is all good now.

The plot is just a little on the side of fantastical rather than crime fiction this time. Or maybe it has always been like that and this is just the first time that I really let myself see it. I do have the tendency to want to keep my fantasy bubble and be obstinately blind. Or maybe I am becoming less enamoured by this series and start getting cynical (I hope not). Anyway, it is still a flipping good read.

 

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 5
Character development = 5
Story itself = 4
Writing Style = 5
Ending = 5
World building = 5
Cover art = 4
Pace = (13 hrs & 43 mins listening time)
Plot = 4.5
Narration = 4

 

Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5 cherries

 


 

FTC Disclosure:
Ebook and audiobook copies of the book were purchased with private funds.
No money received for this review.

 

11/02/2017 Posted by | 4 cherries, audiobook, book review, Cherry's reviews, ebook, review | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

THE HARVESTING by Melanie Karsak

 

THE HARVESTING by Melanie Karsak

The Harvesting by Melanie Karsak
Book 1 of The Harvesting series
Read by Kristin James
Genre: urban fantasy | zombie apocalyptic
Format: ebook & audiobookAudiobook

 

 


About The Harvesting:

It’s all fun and games until someone ends up undead.

Layla Petrovich has spent her whole life running away from her hometown of Hamletville. Raised by the town’s medium, and dubbed the “weird” girl for her fascination with swords, the last thing Layla wants is to go home.

But when she receives a desperate call to return just as a mysterious outbreak sweeps the country, Layla’s instincts urge her to go. Good thing, because the dead are rising.

Layla, however, isn’t entirely on her own. With her psychic powers growing, surely everything will turn out okay, right?

Not so fast. Just when Layla believes she might survive the apocalypse, a sinister and ancient force rises from the shadows to finish mankind for good.

Because the truth is, we were never alone in this world.

Source: Info in the About The Harvesting was taken from GoodReads at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31675361-the-harvesting on 05/02/2017.

 

THE HARVESTING by Melanie Karsak audiobook

My Thoughts:

Zombie apocalypse. The theme been around the block a few times. Despite being in a congested genre this book managed to be an enjoyable read.

The first thing that attracted me to this book is the kick-ass cover. However it seems too dark though that the beautiful details are lost in the darkness. That is s shame! But, it still did it’s job as a marketing tool… it attracted a reader. It lured me in.

This book is a slow start for me. But once it got going, it picked up the pace. So worth it , plodding through, the first volley.

The best thing about this book though is the world building. It stays with you long after you have read the book. That, to me is a great kudos!

I have a tiny, tiny issue with the “details” though. For a knowable kick-ass heroine, Layla never cleaned her sword! I mean we all know that if you slice something with a knife in the kitchen, the knife always retain a little bit of a debris from whatever it is you are slicing. But the narrative never mentioned her cleaning her weapons. Once, it mentioned that Jamie cleaned her knife for her before handing it back to her but Layla never did. However I like to keep my fantasy, so I did what any prudent fantasy reader does, I added it to the story in my head whether or not it is in book. It just makes the character of Layla a bit more real to me.

This is the first time that I have listened to a Kristin James audiobook. And it was interesting. I like her reading style even though I disagree with a point or two with her interpretation. Lovely narration!

 

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 4
Character development = 4
Story itself = 4
Writing Style = 4.5
Ending = 3.5
World building = 5
Cover art = 4
Pace = 4
Plot = 3.5
Narration = 4

 

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 cherries

 

Other Books In The The Harvesting series:
Book 1.5: MIDWAY   Book 2: THE SHADOW ASPECT   Book 2.5: WITCH WOOD   Book 3: THE TORN WORLD

 

The Author
Melanie Karsak author pic

Melanie Karsak is the author of The Airship Racing Chronicles, The Harvesting Series, and The Celtic Blood Series. A steampunk connoisseur, zombie whisperer, and heir to the iron throne, the author currently lives in Florida with her husband and two children. She is an Instructor of English at Eastern Florida State College.

 

The Narrator
Kirstin James

Kristin James aka Candace Pauline Camp was born on May 23, 1949 in Amarillo, Texas, U.S.A.. The youngest of three children born into a newspaper family — her mother, Lula Mae (Irons) Camp, had been a reporter and her father, Grady Camp, was the business manager of the Amarillo, Texas, newspaper — some of Candace’s earliest memories are of making up stories which she played out on the floor of their den with whatever objects were handy. She cannot remember a time when she was not interested in creating stories. She began writing down her stories when she was about 10, and from then on writing was her favorite form of relaxation. Explains Candace: “I was always very shy and did not talk much. However, in written form, I could express all my thoughts and feelings.”

Writing remained only a hobby, though, as Candace attended college at the University of Texas at Austin and West Texas State University, then became a secondary teacher in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. She later moved to North Carolina, where she worked in the trust department of a bank. It was there that she discovered the romance novel in modern form and started to write her first romance. She also began law school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and while she was there, she finished her first novel, entitled Bonds of Love, that was published by Jove Publishing in 1978, under the pseudonym Lisa Gregory. Candace credits the rigorous training of law school with teaching her the discipline necessary to finish a book. She gave up the practice of law to devote her time to writing. Two pseudonyms later (Kristin James and Sharon Stephens), Candace writes under her own name Candace Camp — and still loves creating stories.

Candace is married since 1980 with Pete Hopcus, and they had a daughter Anastasia Hopcus in 1982, who had started on her own career path in the field of acting and now also writes young adult novels.

 

 

FTC Disclosure:
This book was purchased with private funds.
No money received for this review.

 

05/02/2017 Posted by | 4 cherries, Cherry's reviews | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Review: PRICELESS

 

 

Priceless by Shannon Mayer
Book 1 of the Rylee Adamson series
Narrated by Emma Galvin
Genre: urban fantasy
Format: ebook & audiobookAudiobook

 

 

About Priceless:

“My name is Rylee and I am a Tracker.”

When children go missing, and the Humans have no leads, I’m the one they call. I am their last hope in bringing home the lost ones. I salvage what they cannot.

I’m on the FBI’s wanted list.

I have a werewolf for a pet, a Witch of a best friend, and have no need for anyone else in my life.

But when a salvage starts to spin out of control, help comes from a most unexpected direction. One that is dangerously dark, brooding, and doesn’t know a thing about the supernatural.

One whose kisses set me on fire.

Source: Info in the “About Priceless was taken from GoodReads at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18048164-priceless on 13/04/2016.

 

Buy Link(s):
  Audible Books

 

My Thoughts:

Emma Galvin reads in a sing-song voice which is not to my liking. This considerably reduced my enjoyment of the audiobook version.

The story is told in first person from the protagonist’s point of view, and sometimes from another character’s perspective. The author told the story in such a way that the first person perspective played well in the story. What I didn’t like was the constant self-berating of the protagonist. As if the author could not hammer it enough into the readers how stupid the protagonist is. That gets old real fast!

On the bright side, I like the story telling quality, the world building and the character development. Such that I bought books 2 through 6 already. It also helps that they are cheap right now on sale price.

 

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 4
Character development = 4
Story itself = 4
Writing Style = 4
Ending = 4
World building = 4
Cover art = 5
Pace = (19 hrs and 29 mins listening time [omnibus])
Plot = 3
Narration = 2

 

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 cherries

 

Books In The Rylee Adamson Series:

Book 0.25: TRACKING MAGIC   Book 0.5: ELEMENTALLY PRICELESS   Book 1: PRICELESS   Book 2: IMMUNE   Book 3: RAISING INNOCENCE   Book 4: SHADOWED THREADS   Book 5: BLIND SALVAGE   Book 5.5: ALEX   Book 6: TRACKER   Book 6.5: GUARDIAN   Book 7: VEILED THREAT   Book 8: WOUNDED   Book 8.5: STITCHED   Book 9: RISING DARKNESS   Book 10: BLOOD OF THE LOST

 

About Shannon Mayer
Shannon Mayer

A long time ago, in a galaxy far away, I was born into a family of Star Wars nuts. I have a lot of siblings (somewhere I lost count but I think there was more than could be numbered on one hand) and being one of the young padawans I was subjected to Star Wars marathons, on a regular basis. If you’ve read any of my books you’ll see there is often a reference to said movies as a small homage to my upbringing. May the force be with you and all that jazz.

I started writing when I realized I didn’t want to grow up not believing in magic, or not believing in creatures everyone else said didn’t exist. That being said, I have never seen a fairy, unicorn or dragon. I had a neighbour who swore they fed the leprechauns in their garden, but I never caught the little buggers no matter how long I lay in wait. (And consequently had to help the neighbours plant new flowers to replace those I killed waiting for the leprechauns to show their faces.)

Along the way, I found my husband who is the rock that keeps me from floating away into my dreams, and we have a little boy who is the centre of our world. Living on a farm keeps us busy (as if the writing wasn’t enough) and I have more than my share of stories about wrestling with cows, helping birth calves and ending up in the creek during the process, falling in the mud (we’ll call it mud but we all know that on a farm, mud is rarely mud) and chasing escaped livestock in the hopes the four legged convicts don’t make it to the highway.

I’ve taken up archery, and the goal is to move into horseback archery in time (you know, when I can hit the target on a consistent basis) and when no one is looking, I love to bake (this doesn’t happen often as it’s hard to keep the sweet treats in stock with two boys in the house.)

As to what’s coming next for me? More stories (since those never stop inside my head, I might as well share them with all of you!) and more adventures. Pretty much, when the fancy strikes, I’ll jump on it. Leap before you look I’m sure that motto was created for me.

Or was that . . . think big and dream bigger, ready, set, pull the trigger . . . yeah. That one is a good one too. But only if you have a gun. And are hunting elephants. Which is not cool because of so many reasons. Let’s stick with the first one with an addendum.

Leap before you look and let your dreams carry you on their wings. And that, my friends, is me in a nutshell.

 

Book Trailer:

 


 

FTC Disclosure:
This book was purchased with private funds.
No money received for this review.

 

08/06/2016 Posted by | 4 cherries, audiobook, book, book review, Cherry's reviews, ebook, kindle, review | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Review: JUSTICE CALLING

 

Justice Calling by Annie Bellet
Book 1 of The Twenty-Sided Sorceress series
Narrated by Folly Blaine
Genre: urban fantasy
Format: ebook & audiobookAudiobook

 

 

About Justice Calling:

Gamer. Nerd. Sorceress.

Jade Crow lives a quiet life running her comic book and game store in Wylde, Idaho. After twenty-five years fleeing from a powerful sorcerer who wants to eat her heart and take her powers, quiet suits her just fine. Surrounded by friends who are even less human than she is, Jade figures she’s finally safe.

As long as she doesn’t use her magic.

When dark powers threaten her friends’ lives, a sexy shape-shifter enforcer shows up. He’s the shifter world’s judge, jury, and executioner rolled into one, and he thinks Jade is to blame. To clear her name, save her friends, and stop the villain, she’ll have to use her wits… and her sorceress powers.

Except Jade knows that as soon as she does, a far deadlier nemesis awaits.

Justice Calling is the first book in The Twenty-Sided Sorceress urban fantasy series. Readers who enjoyed The Dresden Files or The Iron Druid Chronicles will likely enjoy this series.

Source: Info in the About Justice Calling was taken from GoodReads at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22825711-justice-calling on 04/04/2016.

 

Buy Link(s):
 

 

My Thoughts:

The book ended the current plot but left a lot hanging. Also the book is thin, worth two and a half hours listening time. An average length paperback is about roughly ten to fifteen hours long, so two hours is really thin. This shouts to us that there are more books in the series (as if we’d miss that glaring fact). The ending is a start of the next book which, although closed the plot, left off as a cliffhanger. I am not fond of cliffhangers, so that garnered a low rating with me. I like the story telling quality though. It’s not as masterful as Ilona Andrews‘ but good enough to hook me as a reader. The world building is great too! It got shapeshifters and witches. Maybe we’ll see elves and dwarves a few books down the line. Elements that catches my fantasy geek’s attention. And I love the narration! The voice quality is not as soothing to the ears as Therese Plummer‘s but I love her narration anyways. In the end, it was a good read, seeing that it is a very short book. I would give it an overall entertainment value of four out of five.

 

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 4
Character development = 4
Story itself = 4.5
Writing Style = 4.5
Ending = 3
World building = 4.5
Cover art = 4.5
Pace = (2 hrs and 35 mins listening time)
Plot = 4
Narration = 5

 

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 cherries

 

The Author
Annie Bellet

Annie Bellet is a full-time speculative fiction writer. She holds a BA in English and a BA in Medieval Studies and thus can speak a smattering of useful languages such as Anglo-Saxon and Medieval Welsh.

Her books include Avarice (Pyrrh Considerable Crimes Division: Book 1), A Heart in Sun and Shadow (Cymru That Was: Book 1), The Gryphonpike Chronicles series, and the Twenty-Sided Sorceress series.

Her interests besides writing include rock climbing, reading, horse-back riding, video games, comic books, table-top RPGs, and many other nerdy pursuits.

 

The Narrator
Folly Blaine

Folly Blaine writes fiction, narrates short stories and audiobooks, and shoots pictures in the Pacific Northwest.

She attended the Clarion West Writers Workshop in 2014.

 

Books In The Twenty-Sided Sorceress Series:
 

Book 1: JUSTICE CALLING   Book 2: MURDER OF CROWS   Book 3: PACK OF LIES   Book 4: HUNTING SEASON   Book 5: HEARTACHE   Book 6: THICKER THAN BLOOD   Book 7: MAGIC TO THE BONE   Book 7.5: HARPER'S TALE: TRIBES   Book 8: DUNGEON CRAWL

 


 

FTC Disclosure:
This book was purchased with private funds.
No money received for this review.

 

25/05/2016 Posted by | 4 cherries, audiobook, book review, Cherry's reviews, review | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Review: THE VAGRANT

 

The Book

 

The Vagrant by Peter Newman
Book 1 of the The Vagrant series
Read by Jot Davies
Genre: post-apocalyptic fantasy
Format: ebook & audiobookAudiobook

 

 

About The Vagrant:

Years have passed since humanity’s destruction emerged from the Breach.

Friendless and alone he walks across a desolate, war-torn landscape.

As each day passes the world tumbles further into depravity, bent and twisted by the new order, corrupted by the Usurper, the enemy, and his infernal horde.

His purpose is to reach the Shining City, last bastion of the human race, and deliver the only weapon that may make a difference in the ongoing war.

What little hope remains is dying. Abandoned by its leaders, The Seven, and its heroes, The Seraph Knights, the last defences of a once great civilisation are crumbling to dust.

But the Shining City is far away and the world is a very dangerous place.

Source: Info in the About The Vagrant was taken from GoodReads at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23559647-the-vagrant on 25/03/2016.

 

Buy Link(s):
    Audible Books   Buy from Google Play  

 

My Thoughts:

This book is a slow start for me and it didn’t really pick up until about two-thirds through. The slowness is not because of the story telling quality (which I like), but more of me having issues with some of the protagonists’ actions than anything else. Some authors can carry insensitiveness and idiocy through with aplomb. This one hit a bit of a snag. Not big, mind. But a snag none-the-less. That brought the character development a few points down. But on the plus side, a factor which made me plod on with this book is the tantalizing idea of Vesper as hinted at in Book 2. I want to read more about Vesper but to do that I gotta read Book 1 first. Thus this book got read through. Now, post-apocalyptic worlds are not my kind of thing, but this one was woven beautifully. That brought the rating of this book up considerably.

I like Jot Davies‘s narration, but I think his reading is just a tad bit slow. No problem! I can set the reading to go faster in the audible app. Problem solved! Do I like the app? Heck, yeah!

 

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 4
Character development = 3.5
Story itself = 3.5
Writing Style = 4
Ending = 4
World building = 4
Cover art = 4
Pace = (13 hrs and 25 mins listening time)
Plot = 4
Narration = 4

 

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 cherries

 

Books In The Vagrant Series:

 

The Author
Peter Newman

Peter Newman lives in Somerset with his wife and son. Growing up in and around London, Peter studied Drama and Education at the Central School of Speech and Drama, going on to work as a secondary school drama teacher. He now works as a trainer and Firewalking Instructor. He sometimes pretends to be a butler for the Tea and Jeopardy podcast, which he co-writes, and which has been shortlisted for a Hugo Award.

 

The Narrator
Jot Davies

Jot Davies is a television and voice actor who recorded dozens of audiobooks, including Ben Goldacre’s Bad Pharma and multiple works by Charles Cumming and Paul Strathern. In reviewing his narration of A Foreign Country, AudioFile magazine praises, “Davies’s narration ushers you in” and his “pacing fits the narrative,” calling his voice “a steady presence through the disparate events from the beginning to the satisfying conclusion.” Outside of narration, his acting credits include television shows Casualty, New Tricks and Hotel Babylon and the video game Haze.

 

FTC Disclosure:
This book was purchased with private funds.
No money received for this review.

 

11/05/2016 Posted by | 4 cherries, audiobook, book review, Cherry's reviews, ebook, review | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment