Thursday, April 19, 2018

Audio Book Review & Prize Giveaway: Hunting in Bruges

Hunting in Bruges

By:  E.J. Stevens

Publish Date:  November 11, 2017, Audiobook Release April 3, 2018

Format:  Audiobook - 7 hrs 10 mins
Narrated By:  Melanie A. Mason & Anthony Bowling

Genre:  Urban Fantasy

Series:  1st in Hunters' Guild series

Impression:  Jenna's a focused hunter on a mission.

Synopsis:
The only thing worse than being a Hunter in the fae-ridden city of Harborsmouth, is hunting vamps in Bruges.

Being shipped off to Belgium sucks. The medieval city of Bruges is quaint, but the local Hunters' Guild is understaffed, the canals are choked with dead bodies, and there's no shortage of supernatural predators as likely suspects.

On second thought, maybe Bruges isn't so bad after all.

With a desire to prove herself, protect the innocent, and advance within the ranks of the Hunters' Guild, Jenna Lehane hits the cobbled streets of Bruges with blades at the ready. Someone, or something, is murdering tourists and dumping their bodies in the city's scenic canals. With the help of a mysterious stranger, Jenna begins to piece together clues that are dotted throughout the city like blood spatter.

Determined to stop the killings, Jenna delves into a bloody local history that only raises more questions—but some secrets are best left buried. Jenna must put her combat training to the test as she struggles to unearth the truth about an ancient enemy.

Hunting in Bruges is the first novel in the Hunters' Guild urban fantasy series set in the world of Ivy Granger.

First Sentence:
I've been seeing ghosts for as long as I can remember.

Purchase At:
Amazon  /  Barnes & Noble  /  Book Depository

Audible

My Thoughts and Summary:
*I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

Melanie & Anthony are the same duo that's voiced the Ivy Granger stories. I might have liked a new voice for Jenna and the people she meets then works with, but they do well. As always they have clean audio with two voices. They break the characters as female and male, as expected. It's nice to hear the male voices voiced separately from the original narrator. Some of the characters have accents, which is portrayed by the narrators. Nice.

We start with Jenna and why she feels she's sent on this mission so suddenly. And getting to Bruges. This gives us a transition from Harborsmouth and Ivy to Jenna and Bruges We also learn about Jenna's ability to see and hear ghosts.

This story gives us insight into the Hunters' Guild. Interesting group of people. We start to get to see more of them with Ivy, but now we are in the inner loop.

The story feels tightly written. The case of the multiple dead bodies is something Jenna is on. She's determined to find the monster doing the work. But she also has to deal with the hunters guild here in Burge. She's quick to get started when she arrives in town. Though, she starts to make the current hunters look as though they are slacking with her quick work.

E.J. has a few red herrings tossed in there to get us to wonder about who is behind these events, but I figured it out from the beginning. And I was happy to see I was right in my thinking when I got verification in the end.

I like the chapter headings. It is a line from in the chapter, but it points out Hunter ways or Jenna's "rules". It's a neat way to highlight them and give us a feel of Jenna and a few other characters. Jenna's focused. And I get a feel she's modest yet aware of her abilities. She very much tries to follow the rules and takes being a hunter seriously. I like this about her. In the beginning Jenna came across as though she reminded me of another Ivy. As the story went, Jenna became her own person and I found I liked her. I really like she doesn't talk about herself like Ivy does, like she has to explain who she is. Jenna just does and knows who she is. I think I enjoyed Jenna and her story much more than Ivy's.

Jenna's quickly meeting people and making friends... and enemies. Grrrr. There is one man who is against all women in the guild along with supernaturals. He's a real jerk. I couldn't wait for Jenna to knock him down a peg, or five. Then there's Ash, he's a joy. I love her time with him although I want to shack her as she should have picked up the signs and hints about Ash right away. However, there is something different about Ash when he's with Jenna. I'm hoping we get answers to this in the future. But I do love Ash. He's a cutie.

All in all, I enjoyed Jenna's adventures. And would like to hear more of her adventures with her new crew. Sounds like these adventures could be interesting.



****If you found my thoughts helpful, please click Yes at Amazon and/or Audible. Thank you!



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Happy audiobook birthday to Hunting in Bruges! We're celebrating the audio release with a giveaway.

Hunting in Bruges Urban Fantasy Audiobook

Hunting in Bruges (Hunters' Guild #1, Ivy Granger Psychic Detective #3.5) by E.J. Stevens.  Narrated by Melanie Mason and Anthony Bowling.

The only thing worse than being a Hunter in the fae-ridden city of Harborsmouth, is hunting vampires in Bruges.


The medieval city of Bruges is quaint, but the local Hunters' Guild is understaffed, the canals are choked with dead bodies, and there's no shortage of supernatural predators as likely suspects.

On second thought, maybe Bruges isn't so bad after all.

With a desire to prove herself, protect the innocent, and advance within the ranks of the Hunters' Guild, Jenna Lehane hits the cobbled streets of Bruges with blades at the ready. Someone, or something, is murdering tourists and dumping their bodies in the city's scenic canals. With the help of a mysterious stranger, Jenna begins to piece together clues that are dotted throughout the city like blood spatter.

Determined to stop the killings, Jenna delves into a bloody local history that only raises more questions—but some secrets are best left buried. Jenna must put her combat training to the test as she struggles to unearth the truth about an ancient enemy.

Will monster hunter Jenna Lehane stop the paranormal predator behind the city's brutal murders before it's too late?

Start Listening Now

Learn more on Goodreads, Audible, and the author's website.  Keep reading for a chance to win a Hunting in Bruges prize pack.


Audiobook Release Party Giveaway

Enter to win a Hunting in Bruges Prize Pack, including a pen, custom earbuds, a Hunting in Bruges mini poster signed by the author, and a Passport to the World of Ivy Granger signed by the author and the audiobook narrators!

To enter, use the Rafflecopter form below.  This giveaway is open to the US/UK/CA.  Giveaway ends April 30, 2018 midnight EST.

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Want more fun?  Take a trip to Bruges with monster hunter Jenna Lehane in this Hunting in Bruges animated book cover video.  Watch a few times to find all of the effects!  Things to look for...
  • Sword
  • Jenna's hair
  • Clock
  • Jenna's arm and face
  • Clouds
  • Lights in Windows 
Did you find all of the special effects?


Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Comic Review: Void Trip #4

Void Trip #4

Words By:  Ryan O'Sullivan
Illustrations By:  Plaid Klaus

Format:  PDF

Series:  3rd in Void Trip series; Episode #1Episode #2, Episode #3

1st Impression:  Preparing for the end.

Synopsis:
Now, finally alone in the universe, Ana has to confront her past, her future, and an old friend returning. All the while, the Great White edges closer and closer, now with an ally of his own in tow.

Purchase At:
Amazon  /  Void Trip Site


Thoughts:
*I was given this free review copy at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

Ana shows her hippy side in fashion at the beginning of this episode. (**Note: Adult Content based on nudity.)

Ana's upset, and has every right to be. Again, I can't say why as it'll give away the surprise. But Ana knows she's being followed. How are they being followed? How do you beat society? We get an explanation from AI that it can't be done. But! There are stories of organic groups transcending before destroying themselves. Is it possible?

We learn a little about Gabe and Ana's past. Hunter is still on the search with contacting his connections.

Things feel to be getting heavy, preparing for the end.


****If you found my thoughts helpful, please click Yes at Amazon. Thank you!

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Audio Book Review: The Tethered Mage

The Tethered Mage

By:  Melissa Caruso

Publish Date:  October 24, 2017, Audiobook Release November 9, 2017

Format:  Audiobook - 14 hrs 15 mins
Narrated By:  Saskia Maarleveld

Genre:  Fantasy

Series:  1st in Swords and Fire series

Impression:  Quick moving fantasy where life styles are questioned.

Synopsis:
In the Raverran Empire, magic is scarce and those born with power are strictly controlled -- taken as children and conscripted into the Falcon Army.

Zaira has lived her life on the streets to avoid this fate, hiding her mage-mark and thieving to survive. But hers is a rare and dangerous magic, one that threatens the entire empire.

Lady Amalia Cornaro was never meant to be a Falconer. Heiress and scholar, she was born into a treacherous world of political machinations. But fate has bound the heir and the mage.

War looms on the horizon. A single spark could turn their city into a pyre.

First Sentence:
"Here, my lady? Are you sure?"

Purchase At:
Amazon  /  Barnes & Noble  /  Book Depository

Audible

My Thoughts and Summary:
*I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

I found Saskia to be a pleasure to listen to from the first words. She adjusts her tones for the characters, male or female, and age. What really drew me in, the infliction of personal thinking and feeling in words. She becomes the characters and world as she speaks. Saskia feels to fit this part well. The characters speak with words as their standing in the city. Saskia also adds the personality and attitude that goes with station in the world as well. Together they fit perfectly, drawing the story into a fourth dimension in audio.

The story is well done at drawing me in at the beginning, drizzled with details of the world and city we are in yet making me curious as to what is happening. When the first chapter ends, I worry and wonder what it is that has happened to Lady Amalia Cornaro. Is she drawn into something unknowingly because she's helping save the city?

This story is weaved together as the world and people are one. They influence each other and live off each other, thriving or fighting depending on what's happening around them. There is more than one thing going on in Amalia's life and she has to face it all. I like that she has this pressure from many sides and deals with all, and it's not done as one thing at a time. This makes the story so much more interesting and keeps me invested.

My thoughts align with Zaira when she talks of the Empire having the falcons at the Mews. Zaira has a strong feeling on this. The Empire make sure the mages are taken care of, in order to use them. Zaira makes many great points in this debate, yet no one listens. Many see the system as a way to work and protect the mages. Yes, it's true, but I understand what Zaira is saying as well. It makes me wonder if there's a better way to have this set up, and if anyone would do it as I'm sure the Empire loves having the power they have at their command. I liked seeing that other characters start to see the system is flawed and will think about changing it, but it takes time.

Amalia makes a small growth changes in this book, and it's in the way she sees things I felt was detailed and shown to her through actions of others. I feel the reason is Amalia is more open minded and kind to everyone. She starts to see the way of things as being complicated but the rules are the rules. Amalia is learning as she goes, readying to be on the Council of Nine when her time comes. In the end, Amalia seems confident in herself to make decisions and grows in her thinking even more. Zaira is the one that makes the greatest character growth for me. She's hard, and still hard in the end, but she starts talking to Amalia about the way things are, opening eyes of a few to how things appear to others. These two do make a great team, even though they couldn't be more different. I love them working together.

This is fantasy and for me it moved faster than some fantasies I've read. There is always something happening or to learn in each chapter. Events happen and are all related to each other. I love how they feel natural in this world! I'm intrigued by what I learn in each chapter. I wasn't 100% sure who was behind the attacks and planning of sparking a war between Ardence and the Empire's main city of Raverra. I wanted to know everything Amalia came across and who was responsible.



****If you found my thoughts helpful, please click Yes at Amazon. Thank you!

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Comic Review: Void Trip #3

Void Trip #3

Words By:  Ryan O'Sullivan
Illustrations By:  Plaid Klaus

Format:  PDF

Series:  3rd in Void Trip series; Episode #1, Episode #2

1st Impression:  Euphoria isn't as expected.

Synopsis:
Having now discovered the hippy-paradise super-planet Euphoria, our space hobos finally learn that age-old truth: the worst thing that can happen to a person is having their dreams come true.

Purchase At:
Amazon  /  Void Trip Site


Thoughts:
*I was given this free review copy at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

Euphoria. They have found and arrived there. It's not what they think it is though.

Robots. With guns.

The reason Euphoria is as is now, well it makes sense. Sadly. You have to get here and read the story to know. I don't want to giveaway what we find because that's the adventure. I did get a kick out of the robots and their choice of red or blue though.

I'm enjoying this comic because it has the elements in it that's related to people and what we do without knowing it. Why not get back to the basics and enjoy the journey to where ever it is we are going?

Ana, Gabe, and AI are here. Ana feels as though killed the dream. I still enjoy AI's dress choices for the "occasions". I watch for him on the screen/page to see what he's appearing as. Hunter is still after them, and closer than expected. 

You know things can't go as expected but I was surprised a little at the end.



At the end, we get the continuation of The Glimmer Society comic from previous episode. 
This group seems like one I'll enjoy, diverse in personality yet get along so well. They feel like old friends as they know what's coming from each other. 

And there's zombies! 

At the end, I fear for their professor.



****If you found my thoughts helpful, please click Yes at Amazon. Thank you!

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Sunday Post #195

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~ It's a chance to share news ~ A post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received and share new about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

How's everyone doing? I hope well. I'm, once again sounding like a broken record, sorry I didn't get to visiting last week. Some days I really wonder about hanging up the keyboard and retire from blogging. I love doing it and want to be on more, but it seems life has grown bigger in the last few years. I thought I'd have more time once kiddo went to college. And in a sense that's true. But I've filled that time with other things. I've started seeing old friends again, going out more, and taking photos. All these things take from the time I would be putting into my blog. I love reading and writing and won't stop that. I just wonder about the hours of a day anymore. This is NOT me saying I'm leaving, just babbling about how I wish I could put the hours together better to do everything I want to do. *sigh*

Sorry for the venting. It's so hard to do all the things.

But, how are you? I want to know what awesome things are happening for you. I'm hoping to get on this week to visit and respond. Last week started well. I did one hour a day for Camp NaNoWriMo and planned on visiting blogs on Thursday. It didn't happen as I remembered I had a friend who had an art opening, so I went to that. Then Friday was ladies night with two friends from high school. I hadn't seen them in years and we spent hours talking and catching up. Yesterday I had plans, that fell through. lol. Kiddo was in a dodge ball game that benefited Dementia and wanted me to take pictures. So I did.

I think this week will be more relaxed. I do have three hours of Camp NaNoWriMo work to get caught up on and blog visiting to do. I'm going to get there this week. I'm determined.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Fit Booker:

Goal:  Workout in any form of exercise (or on Wii Fit) 2x's a week. (to feel better and hope to drop a few pants sizes)

How did I do last week... Ummm... I've become bad at this.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
What's Happening in Books:

Current Read:
Volatile Bonds by Jaye Wells


Current Audiobook:
Will start new one on Monday.


Current Podcast Book Listen:
Alone by Scott Sigler (You can listen for free too! Go to Scott's website.)


Finished Last Week: 
Books:
Starsigns by A.F. Grappin
Void Trip #3 by Ryan O'Sullivan & Plaid Klaus
Void Trip #4 by Ryan O'Sullivan & Plaid Klaus
Void Trip #5 by Ryan O'Sullivan & Plaid Klaus



Audiobooks :
The Tethered Mage by Melissa Caruso


Finished Podcast Book Listen:
None.


DNFed:
Stonebriar Casefiles: Bad Alchemy by Laura Nicole Spencer (You can listen for free too!) - Author's stopped posting it.
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Last Week on the Blog:


Cover Reveals: (click titles to go to post & learn more)




Guest Posts:


Posts:

Around the Internet...



Reviews:




Podcast Review:




Mama Bitchstress Reviews:



GIVEAWAYS:


~~~~~~~~~~

This Week to Come on the Blog:


I will finished up two reviews for you this week.



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Received For the Last Month:
(Note: Links to Amazon are buy links where I could earn commission, in case you are interested.)


For Review Consideration:




Audio Books Requested for Review:
Hunting in Bruges by E.J. Stevens
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
The only thing worse than being a Hunter in the fae-ridden city of Harborsmouth, is hunting vamps in Bruges.

Being shipped off to Belgium sucks. The medieval city of Bruges is quaint, but the local Hunters' Guild is understaffed, the canals are choked with dead bodies, and there's no shortage of supernatural predators as likely suspects.

On second thought, maybe Bruges isn't so bad after all.

With a desire to prove herself, protect the innocent, and advance within the ranks of the Hunters' Guild, Jenna Lehane hits the cobbled streets of Bruges with blades at the ready. Someone, or something, is murdering tourists and dumping their bodies in the city's scenic canals. With the help of a mysterious stranger, Jenna begins to piece together clues that are dotted throughout the city like blood spatter.

Determined to stop the killings, Jenna delves into a bloody local history that only raises more questions—but some secrets are best left buried. Jenna must put her combat training to the test as she struggles to unearth the truth about an ancient enemy.

Hunting in Bruges is the first novel in the Hunters' Guild urban fantasy series set in the world of Ivy Granger.




Purchased/Winnings/Gifts:
Book:





Audio:






Free Ebooks:
(On my Kindle and Nook App) Links to books under title. They may or may not be free at this time.
20 Shades of Shifters
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
20 Shades of Shifter is a limited edition collection of new and exclusive paranormal romance novels guaranteed to suck in you from page one. 

A shape-shifting dragon must win over his reluctant mate and stop Jack the Ripper. A Fae trucker becomes allies with an MC member when trying to deliver magical motorcycles to the Fae Queen. A wolf shifter is held captive in a human research lab where he is tortured until he meets one sexy scientist. An angel risked it all to steal the elixir of life and save his mortal love’s life and over two millennia later must get her to remember she once loved an angel. These stories and many more are included in this steamy, hot collection. 

Don’t wait to read this set. It is only out for a short time before it will be gone forever! 

Demelza Carlton 
Evelyn Lederman 
ML Guida 
Aidy Award 
Carmen Fox 
David Adams 
Sascha Illyvich 
Lynn Best 
Lilly Cain 
Emma Alisyn 
Vonnie Davis 
Brenda Trim and Tami Julka 
Nina Croft 
K.L. Bone 
Natalie Jones 
Kailin Gow 
Moxie North 

Awaken by Michelle Bryan
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
Imagine a world devastated by The Shift. The cities left in ruins and the people all gone. Technology now nothing but the subject of folklore. Each and every day a struggle to survive. This is Tara's world.
Raised as a survivor in the harsh, lawless sand lands, Tara is no stranger to hardship. But when her village is destroyed and the young people taken by the merciless Prezedant, she quickly learns how much of a fighter she really is.
Now on a quest to rescue her only remaining kin, she is joined by the most unlikely of companions. Finn, an orphaned boy who has a devil Cat as a pet. Tater, the dwarf storytelling trader who seems to know more than he is willing to admit. And Jax, a surly young man who seems to hate everything about Tara. Together this little band of adventurers will face dangerous adversaries on a journey into the unknown. Nothing will ever be the same.

Bitterwood by James Maxey
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
Bitterwood has spent the past twenty years hunting down dragons, one at a time. But he is getting old and the hate that he has carried in his heart since a group of dragon-soldiers killed his family is beginning to fade. When he kills the royal prince dragon, the king decides the only retribution is genocide of the human race. Bitterwood is forced to enter the Free City, the grand trap designed to eradicate mankind, with thousands of others. Can he lead from within, or can a select few dragons unite to stop the king's madness from becoming reality. Full of rich characters and drama, this is an amazingly astute vision of our own culture by way of a feudal kingdom where dragons rule, and humans are used as workers or pets. 

Let Me by Cecy Robinson
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
Once he was broken beyond repair. Now this MMA contender is fighting to be a better man—for her. RT Book Reviews proclaims that the O’Brien Family series from award-winning author Cecy Robson “has the hottest brothers ever!” And in Let Me, it is Finn’s turn to discover how love can heal the deepest wounds.

A mixed martial arts star on the rise, Finn O’Brien dismantles his opponents with brutal precision. And yet beneath his fierce persona, Finn is raw from a trauma he’s buried for years . . . until the day his deep-rooted rage erupts and lands him in court-mandated therapy. Finn’s not one to bare his soul, but if talking it out means meeting beautiful women like Sol Marieles, he’ll give it a shot.

Sol is working toward her masters degree in psychology, and already she feels like she’s in over her head. With an important internship on the line and a scary family situation demanding her attention, the last thing Sol needs is Finn around to distract her. The man is ripped and seriously sexy yet it’s his troubled side that warns her to keep her distance. But their attraction is intense, and he clearly has the heat to see how far and fast their passion takes them.

Alone, Finn and Sol have been fighting to find happiness in their lives. Together, there’s no stopping them as they face their greatest challenges—not in the ring, but in their hearts.

All Systems Red by Martha Wells
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
In a corporate-dominated spacefaring future, planetary missions must be approved and supplied by the Company. Exploratory teams are accompanied by Company-supplied security androids, for their own safety.

But in a society where contracts are awarded to the lowest bidder, safety isn’t a primary concern.

On a distant planet, a team of scientists are conducting surface tests, shadowed by their Company-supplied ‘droid — a self-aware SecUnit that has hacked its own governor module, and refers to itself (though never out loud) as “Murderbot.” Scornful of humans, all it really wants is to be left alone long enough to figure out who it is.

But when a neighboring mission goes dark, it's up to the scientists and their Murderbot to get to the truth.



Free Audio Books/Stories:


~~~~~~~~~~
Reviews to Come:

Soulless by Skyla Dawn Cameron
The Sentinel by Chris Lester
The Muse by Chris Lester
Metamor City: Making the Cut by Chris Lester
Metamor City: Whispers in the Wood by Chris Lester
Lex Talionis by Starla Huchton
Spark by Starla Huchton
Heir to Kale by K.L. Bone
Tales from the Archives Vol 4 #5 - Old Sinner's Bones
The Death of Dulgath by Michael J. Sullivan
Danger's Halo by Amanda Carlson
The Tethered Mage by Melissa Caruso
Starsigns by A.F. Grappin
Void Trip #3 by Ryan O'Sullivan & Plaid Klaus
Void Trip #4 by Ryan O'Sullivan & Plaid Klaus

Void Trip #5 by Ryan O'Sullivan & Plaid Klaus

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Audio Book Review: I Was a Teenage Weredeer

I Was a Teenage Weredeer

By:  C.T. Phipps & Michael Suttkus

Publish Date:  September 26, 2017, Audiobook Release February 13, 2018

Format:  Audiobook - 9 hrs 54 mins
Narrated By:  Arielle DeLisle

Genre:  Urban Fantasy

Series:  1st in Bright Falls Mysteries series

Impression:  A fun, relaxing mystery in a shifter town.

Synopsis:
Jane Doe is a weredeer, the least-threatening shapechanger species in the world. Blessed with the ability to turn furry at will and psychically read objects, Jane has done her best to live a normal life working as a waitress at the Deerlightful Diner. She has big dreams of escaping life in the supernatural-filled town of Bright Falls, Michigan, and her eighteenth birthday promises the beginning of her teenage dreams coming true.

Unfortunately, her birthday is ruined by the sudden murder of her best friend's sister in an apparent occult killing. Oh, and her brother is the primary suspect. Allying with an eccentric FBI agent, the local crime lord, and a snarky werecrow, Jane has her work cut out for her in turning her big day around.

Thankfully, she's game.

Set in the same world as Straight Outta Fangton.

First Sentence:
I was a teenage weredeer.

Purchase At:
Amazon  /  Barnes & Noble 

Audible

My Thoughts and Summary:
*I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

Arielle has a young voice that fits Jane Doe. She also pulls off Jane's sarcastic humor of stating the obvious in a dry tone. Totally works and sounds like a young adult. Arielle also voices each character in different tones when they speak. The audio is very clear and clean listening. Arielle's pronunciation of words is clear. No distractions from the story.

Jane has a dry sarcastic humor about her, stating the obvious in a dry tone. And it totally works. Especially in audio format. Oh the deer puns. lol.

As in true C.T. Phipps fashion, we have references to t.v. shows and more throughout the book. It's not done in the Supervillainy humor but in an undertone to give a feel of what Jane is seeing as happening or a description. This is always something I find fun, as I get to see if I can pick them out and know the references.

Off the bat we get a lot of information. Wow. The first chapter is packed full of names and world info. It almost feels like an info dump. I don't think I'm going to remember all the names as they hit me so fast here. Once you read through this, and you are great through the remainder of the book.

Being a shifter is dangerous now. The world knows of vampires and shifters, but fears them all. It's set in the same world as Straight Outta Fangton, but you don't have to read it to understand the world here. (I haven't, yet.) This story is in Bright Falls, Michigan where Straight Outta Fangton is in New Detroit. But what happened with the vampires there affects the shifters here, and we hear about some of that, which then also makes me curious for the vampire book. People, states, and government have not taken well to the reveal of vampires and shifters. It's dangerous to go other places because of the laws.

A mystery! This is a shifter town where a murder has happened. Actually, we find out this is the third murder. Jane has the ability to read items with a touch, so she becomes important in helping with the case. Her mom and her best friend (who's sister was murdered) want her to help with the case, and clear her brothers name. Jane's visions help point her in directions, but don't give her the complete answer. So she works the case, looking for answers with the clues she finds.

I look forward to Jane "reading" items when she wants. She gets enough to send her in a direction, but learns there is more to the vision than she saw. Cool. I'm glad things aren't always black and white. Jane also has a new friend that's not really a friend or alive. It's the gun. It's actually cool, and reminds me a bit of the gun from Wynonna Earp. Jane also seems to find herself with new friends she never expected; Lucian and Alex. Lucian is the towns bad guy and drug dealer, but there maybe more to him. And Alex is new to town. We have Jane's long time friend Emma, who's part of the powerful family in town. It's a neat little group of people here. I even like Maria who finds herself as an ally.

The town is neat with all the shifters. Many shifters have abilities that come in handy. They have a social structure based on their were-animal as well.

Something that pops up through the book is prejudice. Jane sees it with the social structure of the weres and she even sees herself referencing it as that's what has been drilled into her from the old ways. Jane is working past the prejudices though.

I found this mystery story to be relaxing with Jane's personality and small jokes and puns. I look forward to Jane continuing to learn magic and spending time with her friends. Also, there are a few visions she had that may, or may not, come to pass. I'm curious if they do.



****If you found my thoughts helpful, please click Yes at Amazon and/or Audible. Thank you!

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Audio Book Review: Blood of Assassins

Blood of Assassins

By:  R.J. Barker

Publish Date:  February 27, 2018, Audiobook Release February 13, 2018

Format:  Audiobook - 15 hrs 8 mins
Narrated By:  Joe Jameson

Genre:  Fantasy

Series:  2nd in The Wounded Kingdom series; 1st Book ~ Age of Assassins

Impression:  Three kings, one seat. A five year war will decide who takes the crown.

Synopsis:
THE KING IS DEAD, LONG LIVE THE KING . . .

The assassin Girton Club-foot and his master have returned to Maniyadoc in hope of finding sanctuary, but death, as always, dogs Girton’s heels. The place he knew no longer exists.

War rages across Maniyadoc, with three kings claiming the same crown – and one of them is Girton’s old friend Rufra. Girton finds himself hurrying to uncover a plot to murder Rufra on what should be the day of the king’s greatest victory. But while Girton deals with threats inside and outside Rufra’s war encampment, he can’t help wondering if his greatest enemy hides beneath his own skin.

First Sentence:
A ground mist was rising.

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My Thoughts and Summary:
*I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

I am so glad Joe Jameson returns to voice Girton. I really enjoyed his work in the first book, and the same holds true for this book. He voices each character differently in personality. And they hold the same voice as they did in the first book, but they have aged in the five years since Girton's been to Maniyadoc. They have fought and learned over the past few years and their spirit and tone shows it. Joe brings these characters to life. I don't hear Joe, I hear the characters speak. Joe gets a great opportunity to voice different people in a town periodically through the book. Great to hear he gives a different voice to each.

It seems Girton is stuck in the past. He's having a hard time accepting how people have changed, and the one that was once an enemy could be an ally. This is something Girton has to learn to accept. But he is an assassin with no friends and sees trouble in everyone, but one person. Rufra is the only friend he has. However, Rufra in his current standing as king makes it hard to do as they once did - act as friends and enjoy their time together, like kids.

Girton came looking for help for Master, only to find another convoluted war happening at Maniyadoc. Girton is asked to look for a traitor or assassin, to help the one person he never thought he'd help, and to find who killed an disliked priest. Girton has to go through all the facts while his personal feelings get in the way. Girton left Maniyadoc with one view of the people, to return five years later to see things have changed. And Girton's going to have to change too.

Master isn't as active in this book as she was in the first. She's severely hurt and not able to do much. Girton also has a grudge from the last book that he holds against his master. He cares for her as he always did, but things have changed with him magically. This wears on Girton greatly. He has two ways to deal with the magic, the blade to his skin or control it. Ultimately, Girton will have to learn to control his magic. This is a huge thing for him. He's been having his master carve marks in his skin to hold the magic at bay, but with her being hurt and unconscious, he has to learn what to control it.

Girton struggles being alone and with many feelings he's not use to. Jealousy, distrust from past actions, and loneliness. The way Girton lives, alone as an assassin, seems to spark a childish feel from him more in this book than previously. I'm thinking his time with those he's come to know at Maniyadoc is good for Girton. He learns more about people and his own feelings. He's an assassin, and is not close to anyone but his master. But he needs to learn more about people and the feelings he feels other than observing and reading people through actions before his work is done.

Girton experiences many things, good and bad, on the road but Maniyadoc feels to be the place where Girton grows up. It seems different feelings surface for him when he visits. Feelings for people he cares about. This brings new experiences into his hard lived life.

Girton learns he needs to look closer and not let his feelings interfere when investigating. Girton knows what it's like to personally fight and kill as an assassin, now he sees what it's like in battle of war. It's very different from what he knows and use to. And, people really can change.

Once again, I was drawn into the world with Girton. Seeing things as he sees them, and then again as they should be interpreted as. Skillfully written story.



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