Monday, March 31, 2014

Audio Review: Coven by Tony Ruggiero

Audiobook: Coven (Unabridged)
By: Tony Ruggiero
Narrator: Lisa Cordray 
Length: 12 hours 30 minutes
Published: November 7, 2013
Published by: Tony Ruggiero

Description: Little towns and secrets: a guilty pleasure for some and a harsh reality for others. Witches have secretly been in control of the town council for years and the town has prospered...until now. As they search for the truth behind the mysterious death of one of their shop owners, they uncover disturbing secrets about an ostracized witch and their own coven leader, making it unclear which one may have been using black magic to murder.

My Thoughts:  This audiobook was provided free of charge in exchange for an honest review by Audiobook Jukebox.

I had high hopes for Coven. I haven’t read a witch book in a while and I was excited about getting started. This one though, was unlike any other I have read.

Told in multiple POV’s, we begin following Bob, a regular human who purchases an antique store after its prior owner dies in a vehicular manslaughter accident, an interesting fact considering he accidentally hit a drunk pedestrian many years ago, though the two pedestrians are not connected.  The store he purchases is in a strange little town that has secrets of its own.  He soon learns that sometimes, things are too good to be true, because it’s not a coincidence that he arrives. This town is full of magic, and everyone is connected in some way. This is a dark story, aimed toward someone who enjoys mysteries with supernatural elements.

The narrator, Lisa Cordray though great at the beginning, begins to make the story feel sort of choppy and extremely slow. There seem to be unnecessary pauses and stops mid-sentence that slowly began to grate on me the further I delved into the world. Her various character voices also seem a little off.

The story itself, though not completely bad, also seemed to be a bit off. There were unnecessary scenes and boring conversations that I found myself wanting to skip over, and there wasn’t much dialogue outside that which the speaker had internally.

Coven is the story of witches, some of who walk the correct path, and others who do not, and their interactions. I often like witch books, but this one in particular just wasn’t for me, it just didn’t feel put together enough, and though it was meant to be a mystery, I knew the result from nearly the beginning. I give it 2 stars.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Audio Review: Crown of Midnight by Sarah J Maas

Book: Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2)
By: Sarah J. Maas
Published: August 15, 2013
Published by: Bloomsbury USA Children’s

Description: An assassin’s loyalties are always in doubt.
But her heart never wavers.

After a year of hard labor in the Salt Mines of Endovier, eighteen-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien has won the king's contest to become the new royal assassin. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown – a secret she hides from even her most intimate confidantes.

Keeping up the deadly charade—while pretending to do the king's bidding—will test her in frightening new ways, especially when she's given a task that could jeopardize everything she's come to care for. And there are far more dangerous forces gathering on the horizon -- forces that threaten to destroy her entire world, and will surely force Celaena to make a choice.

Where do the assassin’s loyalties lie, and who is she most willing to fight for

My Thoughts: If you're reading this review without having at least purchased the first book in the series, Throne of Glass, then SHAME ON YOU!. Stop reading and go purchase it already.

That being said, if you're here and havent yet read Throne of Glass, what the heck is taking you so long. this series is just so awesome. You need to read it as soon as possible.

Okay so on to the review, though I doubt you can expect a bad review after that declaration, and you'd be right. This book was awesome. We pick up Celaena after she's won the competition and become the champion for the King. I can't say too much about this one without spoiling the first. All I can say is that we learn a lot about Celaena in this one. Like a whole lot, some of which makes youa bit disappointed in her bravery, and yet we love her even more. I just feel so many things. It's an amazing book and things are certainly building up for the next one.

5 Big giant stars for this one. Go read it already.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Audio Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas

Book: Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1)
By: Sarah J. Maas
Published: January 1, 2012
Published by: Bloomsbury USA Children

Description: In a land without magic, where the king rules with an iron hand, an assassin is summoned to the castle. She comes not to kill the king, but to win her freedom. If she defeats twenty-three killers, thieves, and warriors in a competition, she is released from prison to serve as the king's champion. Her name is Celaena Sardothien.

The Crown Prince will provoke her. The Captain of the Guard will protect her. But something evil dwells in the castle of glass--and it's there to kill. When her competitors start dying one by one, Celaena's fight for freedom becomes a fight for survival, and a desperate quest to root out the evil before it destroys her world.

My Thoughts: You know you like a book when you hold off doing everything but listening to it/reading it. You know its great when it causes you to laugh out loud in a room full of people doing real life things, and they look at you like you’re crazy, and you look back like they must be doing something wrong not to understand the amazingness that is your current read.

The thing that makes Throne of Glass so great is that its so unlike what I normally find in YA. This isn’t some book about some innocent little girl, afraid to say what’s on her mind and allowing some man to protect her and make everything okay. No this is about a strong woman who took all life gave her and grew with it. She’s not afraid to say what’s on her mind, no matter who’s on the other side of her often rude/shocking remarks. She doesn’t need to be rescued, and she’s not some lovesick puppy just waiting for a guy to look at her. She’s dealt with things that made her hard, and she is still able to be sexy and appreciate womanly things.

Speaking of womanly things, I absolutely love her style. She likes dresses, and being pretty, and yet always has a place for her weapons somewhere on her body. She also has some sort of power we know nothing about, but what I think I can guess. There are hints in the book, but never enough to be completely certain.

Magic exists in this story, only it doesn't because it's been taken away somehow. The Fae exist, though no one has seen one in forever. People worship the Gods, and demons also exist, somewhere. I don't want to repeat the synopsis, because that basically explains this story and what happens in it, but I must add, that it doesn't explain how freaking awesome this story is. I will read it again in the next few weeks I think. It had everything I like and I just love it.

There's a hint of love triangle without overpowering the whole story, but more on the part of the guys and less on the part of Celaena. She could care less, though she frequently uses her appeal to her advantage. She's so cocky I love it.

There just isn't enough I can say about this story. Do yourself a favor and read it. I love it so much and I can't wait to read the next story, so I'll just stop here so I can get to it.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Audio Review: Steel's Edge by Ilona Andrews

Book: Steel’sEdge (The Edge #4)
By: Ilona Andrews
Published: November 27, 2012
Published by: Ace

Description: The Edge lies between worlds, on the border between the Broken, where people shop at Wal-Mart and magic is a fairy tale—and the Weird, where blueblood aristocrats rule, changelings roam, and the strength of your magic can change your destiny…

Charlotte de Ney is as noble as they come, a blueblood straight out of the Weird. But even though she possesses rare magical healing abilities, her life has brought her nothing but pain. After her marriage crumbles, she flees to the Edge to build a new home for herself. Until Richard Mar is brought to her for treatment, and Charlotte’s life is turned upside down once again.

Richard is a swordsman without peer, future head of his large and rambunctious Edger clan—and he’s on a clandestine quest to wipe out slavers trafficking humans in the Weird. So when his presence leads his very dangerous enemies to Charlotte, she vows to help Richard destroy them. The slavers’ operation, however, goes deeper than Richard knows, and even working together, Charlotte and Richard may not survive...

My Thoughts: We finally get to the book that started it all. The one that caused me to get hung up on this series. As I said in the first one, I accidentally bought this one first, and later, realizing it was the fourth book in the series, I had to stop and start from the beginning. Now, I'm glad I did. It helped me really appreciate this book the way I should.

As is the usual with this series, the carryover character is Richard Mar, one of the family members of Cerise Mar (from book 2) and Kaldar Mar (from book 3). He's been trying to end the operation of some slavers, and gets injured, which is when he  runs into Charlotte de Nay, a healer running from her past.

As you can expect from healers, they not only possess the power to heal, but the power to infect if they let themselves get out of control. Charlotte understands all too well the temptation this offers, and has run away after her marriage crumbled, hoping to hide in the Edge. Unfortunately, Richard brings danger with him when their paths cross, and her world is turned upside down.

With no other choice than to stick with him to seek her revenge on those who hurt her, Charlotte and Richard begin to grow closer together, and he begins to see just how strong her power is, and just how intoxicating it can be, and he is attracted to he because of it. Soon they're on the path to take down an entire operation, and nothing, or no one can stop them, except themselves.

I loved this one almost more than the first one in this series. In terms of ranking, I would put On the Edge first, followed by this one, then Bayou Moon, and finally Fates Edge. That being said, just as the others were rated with 5 stars, this one gets the same.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Audio Review: Fate's Edge by Ilona Andrews

Book: Fate’s Edge(The Edge #3)
By: Ilona Andrews
Published: November 29, 2011
Published by: Ace

Description: Audrey Callahan left behind her life in the Edge, and she's determined to stay on the straight and narrow. But when her brother gets into hot water, the former thief takes on one last heist and finds herself matching wits with a jack of all trades...

Kaldar Mar-a gambler, lawyer, thief, and spy-expects his latest assignment tracking down a stolen item to be a piece of cake, until Audrey shows up. But when the item falls into the hands of a lethal criminal, Kaldar realizes that in order to finish the job, he's going to need Audrey's help...

My Thoughts: My obsession continues with this one. Fates Edge. Like the previous one, we have a carryover character that makes this story part continuation, part new story. Kaldar Mar is the brother/cousin (or something like that) to Cerise Mar from the previous story. He's definitely a kleptomaniac of the highest order, and he also has a strange power that I've never read about before. It's related to gambling, but I won't say more because it will spoil the surprise.

Audrey is am amazing lock picker and, with their backgrounds, its easy to know why these two would be perfect for each other. They're both just dark enough to make light when they're together (hope that makes sense...probably doesn't.)

They meet as Kaldar must search for an object Audrey stole, and she's forced to help him or risk her life if someone else searches for it faster. She wants to stay away from Kaldar, but he begins to grow on her, and soon, they fall for each other. Meanwhile, they are going up against strong enemies. and it's great to watch. This wasn't my favorite out of the group, but I still loved it a bunch.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

2014 Audiobook Challenge Update – February

This challenge is hosted by one of my fav bloggers, The Book Nympho. If you want to enter into this challenge you're welcome to do so anytime. Just go here and sign up. Here are the rules (copied from the sign up page):

  • Runs January 1, 2014 – December 31, 2014. You can join at anytime.
  • The goal is to find a new love for audios or to outdo yourself by listening to more audios in 2014 than you did in 2013.
  • Books must be in audio format (CD, MP3, etc.)
  • ANY genres count.
  • Re-reads and crossovers from other reading challenges are allowed.
  • You do not have to be a book blogger to participate; you can track your progress on Goodreads, Shelfari, Facebook, LibraryThing, etc.
  • If you’re a blogger grab the button and do a quick post about the challenge to help spread the word. If you’re not a blogger you can help by posting on Facebook or Tweeting about the challenge.
You can choose whatever level you want to reach, and then start reading. I signed up for :

  • My Precious (I had my earbuds surgically implanted) 30+
This month I delved deeper into mu challenge, making it look like I'll definitely be able to complete my challenge. I listened to 7 audiobooks in January, and this month I've read 14 audiobooks.  They're listed below. The narrators were okay. I'd suggest reading the actual books for Grave Mercy and The Testing instead of picking up the audios. Here is the list of the books I read:

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J Maas (1/30/14-2/4/14)
Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers (2/8/14-2/10/14)
The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau (2/10/14-2/12/14)
Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire (2/12/14-2/15/14)
Walking Disaster by Jamie McGuire (2/15/14-2/18/14)
A Beautiful Wedding by Jamie McGuire (2/18/14-2/18/14)
Hollowland by Amanda Hocking (2/18/14-2/19/14)
Captive in the Dark by C.J. Roberts (2/19/14-2/20/14)
The Devil's Reprise by Karina Halle (2/20/14-2/21/14)
The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter (2/21/14-2/22/14)
Vampire Academy by Rachelle Mead (2/22/14-2/24/14)
Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi (2/24/14-2/25/14)
Frostbite by Rachelle Mead (2/25/14-2/28/14)
Nice Girls Don't Have Fangs by Molly Harper (2/28/14-2/28/14)

That brings my total to 21 total audiobooks so far. If that isn't a sign that I will reach my goal, I don't know what is. 

Lets not talk about what this means in regards to my social life.