Review: Lisa B.Thomas: Sharpe Shooter (Maycroft Mystery #1) – Audio

Lisa B. Thomas: Sharpe Shooter, narrator: Madeline Mrozek, 5:18h, audible audio

Synopsis: When Deena Sharpe loses her job as a teacher, she intends to get back to being a journalist — but that isn’t as easy as she imagined. Luckily for her, a deputy discovers the body of a cold case, and it turns out that the murdered man is her long lost uncle. Her family asks her to find out what happened to her uncle 50 years ago, and so Deena sets out to solve the mystery. A well-known author has his own theory, but Deena isn’t happy with his suggestions. And so a race for the wanted outcome begins.

What I think:

Sharpe Shooter is the first sequel in the Maycroft Mystery Series, and the first cozy mystery novel by Lisa B. Thomas that I listened to.
Madeline Mrozek did a perfect job with the narration, and I absolutely enjoyed the story. The characters were convincing, as was the story. I liked the way our heroine, Deena Sharpe, went about solving this very (c)old case. I like the fact that there is a loving and caring family, even if not all family members see eye to eye.

I love the conspiracy theory which is thrown into the bargain by another party.
The story is well written, and I’m curious about the next case.
It’s a clean story with lots of twists and turns which kept my attention throughout.
I like a good mystery story, and this one easily compares to other good mysteries I listened to.
I received this audiobook at no-cost from Audiobookworm Promotions. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

Rezension: Dinah Jefferies: Die Tochter des Seidenhändlers

Dinah Jefferies: Die Tochter des Seidenhändlers (orig: The Silk Merchant’s Daughter), übersetzt von Angela Koonen; Bastei Lübbe; broschiert, 416 S., 15€

Inhalt:

Vietnam in den 1950er Jahren:
Nicole, Tochter eines französischen Vaters und einer (toten) vietnamesischen Mutter, ist gerade 18 geworden. Sie bekommt einen kleinen Seidenladen, während ihre fünf Jahre ältere Schwester Sylvie komplett in das Familiengeschäft eingebunden wird.
Nicole verliebt sich, aber durch den Krieg der Vietminh gegen die französischen Besatzer weiß sie bald nicht mehr, wem sie trauen kann, und auf welcher Seite sie steht.

Meine Meinung:

Mit ‚Die Tochter des Seidenhändlers‘ ist Dinah Jefferies ein faszinierender Roman gelungen. Über die Zeit der französischen Besetzung Vietnams war mir vorher nichts bekannt, und so war ich dann sehr gespannt auf das Buch. Ich wurde nicht enttäuscht. Man erfährt einiges über die Kultur Vietnams, sowie darüber, wie es zu der Teilung des Landes überhaupt kommen konnte. Wie in so vielen anderen Ländern, beginnen die politischen Unruhen und Kämpfe damit, dass die Ureinwohner endlich die Fesseln der Besatzer abschütteln wollen. Natürlich stellt das eine Zerreißprobe dar, denn inzwischen gibt es viele Familien, die gemischt sind. So auch Nicole: über ihre vietnamesischen Wurzeln weiß sie praktisch nichts, lernt aber nach und nach, dass es neben der französischen auch eine vietnamesische Seite in ihr gibt, und sie muss sich entscheiden, wo sie hingehört.
Natürlich ist das nicht leicht, sie sieht die Fehler und Grausamkeiten beider Seiten.
Dass nichts nur schwarz oder nur weiß dargestellt wurde, betrachte ich als eine große Stärke des Romans. Entsprechend hin- und hergerissen ist Nicole auch. Sie fühlt sich zu keiner Seite 100% zugehörig, und wird von keiner Seite vollkommen akzeptiert.
Irgendwie muss sie ihren Weg in diesem zerrissenen Land finden, und das ist nicht leicht.

Die ersten beiden Drittel des Buches waren sehr spannend und anschaulich beschrieben, im letzten Drittel war die Luft jedoch raus.
Die Charaktere bleiben recht farblos, und Nicole bleibt trotz allem, was sie erlebt hat, sehr vertrauensselig und naiv. Das konnte mich nicht richtig überzeugen. Allerdings waren die Umstände sehr schwierig, so dass ich ihre Entscheidungen nicht gänzlich unverständlich fand. Die Absätze erscheinen zum Teil recht übergangslos, was abgehackt wird und den Lesefluss unterbricht.
Schön ist der kurze historische Abriss am Ende des Buches, welcher dabei hilft, die Geschehnisse zeitlich einzuordnen.
Insgesamt ein sehr lesenswerter historischer Roman, wenngleich ich mir gewünscht hätte, dass die Charaktere besser herausgearbeitet worden wären.

Vielen Dank an Bastei Lübbe für das Rezensionsexemplar und die Leserunde.

Review: The Malaise Falchion by Paul Barrett

The Malaise Falchion by Paul Barrett, narrated by Jack Wayne, 8:33h

 

Synopsis:

Dwarf Spade is a private investigator in Mage City. He is not ambitious, all he needs are a few easy jobs to buy booze and pay for his living.

A beautiful elven woman offers him a job that sounds easy enough, and although her brother tries to scare Spade, he accepts the job.

Soon he finds himself in one dire and dangerous situation after the other, and without his partner Crizz, and his friend Liz, he’d be helpless.

Suddenly, they have to save the world from total annihilation.

 

 

My thoughts:

 

This book is very difficult to rate. I’d give it 3.5 stars, but since that isn’t possible, I mark it four.

When I volunteered to listen to the book for review, I didn’t know what to expect, but the synopsis made me curious. However, the book failed to draw me in from the start.

I can’t say why, though. To me, all the references to The Maltese Falcon felt just a tad too forced.
I don’t mind a genre mix, and the idea of a detective story set in a fantasy world appealed to me, but it didn’t work for me.
I found it entertaining in parts, but in other parts my mind drifted, the story couldn’t really keep my attention, and often enough, I had to wind back to listen again, only to find that I hadn’t actually missed anything.
I didn’t root for any of the characters, though I liked Liz and Crizz, Spade’s sidekicks.

What I liked, was the idea of the various races overcoming their animosities and prejudices and working together, even starting to like each other.

Jack Wayne did a fine job with the narration, which is no mean feat, because there’s quite a range of characters. The sound quality was excellent.

I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher. As always, this did not affect my review.

Anomalies – Sadie Turner & Colette Freedman

Anomalies, Sadie Turner & Colette Freedman, narrated by Lucinda Clare; Punch Audio, 8:04h

 

Synopsis:

Keeva lives in a peaceful world. After the great technology war which eradicated large parts of the earth, Sobeck rescued what was left, cleaned the earth and oceans from pollution, and built a peaceful society where everybody has his/her place and is happy. Or did he? …

Keeva is looking forward to being imprinted with her intended life partner — however, she’s sorted out as an anomaly, because said partner is no more. She and six other anomalies undergo a variety of tests, and all seems to turn out well after all. But then she suddenly finds that her life as it was has ended. She is in danger, and now she must find out why, and she must find help. But who to trust?

 

This is certainly a series to watch out for. I don’t think there’s a sequel yet, but I hope there’ll be.
This drew me in right from the start, and it kept me glued to my earphones until the end. Yes, it is a YA dystopie, so I’m not among the target group, but then I love YA novels, and this book is no exception.

The idea itself isn’t novel, I was reminded of other well-known novels with the same topic, but that doesn’t mean the story is old. On the contrary, it is a very refreshing tale of what happens if you don’t fit the norm. Keeva needs to find out who she is, what she is supposed to do, what is truth and what are lies, who is friend and who is foe. It’s a coming of age story, and so much more.
There are very many twists and turns, and some of the truths Keeva discovers are completely unexpected.
Lucinda Clare did a fabulous job at narrating the story, bringing all the characters to life, as well as the world. It was like watching a film (I can absolutely imagine this on the screen).
The authors as well as the narrator were new to me, but I’ll watch out for other books by them, and I really hope I won’t have to wait for the sequel very long.

I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher. As always, this did not affect my review.

Review and Giveaway: Darkside Blues by Ambrose Ibsen (Audio)

Author: Ambrose Ibsen

Narrator: Jake Urry

Length: 5 hours 43 minutes

Publisher: Ambrose Ibsen⎮2017

Series: The Ulrich Files

Genre: Horror

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„Ghosts don’t simply latch onto places, investigator. People can become haunted, too.“

A missing person. A city plunged into unforgiving winter. A dangerous spirit.

Though enjoying an increase in business following his last case, life isn’t all roses for private investigator Harlan Ulrich. His newest job, another missing person’s case, is unlike any other he’s ever taken on.

Local businessman Michael Poole hires Ulrich to find his estranged daughter.

The problem?

She’s been dead for a decade.

Join Ulrich on a trip into the darkness, into the frostbitten underworld, as he seeks out a hateful phantom with only a cat and a thermos of good coffee on his side.

This is the third sequel of the Ulrich Files that I listened to within a relatively short time span.

Maybe I’m getting used to it, because it didn’t feel as creepy as the previous two volumes.

However, that doesn’t subtract from my enjoyment of the story in the least!

But before I go on, let me tell you, that just like the first two sequels, this can be read, understood and enjoyed without knowledge of the previous novels. Each can easily be read (or, preferably listened to) as a stand-alone novel.

As for the cover: this is not as bloody and gory a story as the cover makes us believe, which only goes to show that that old advice of not judging a book by its cover has its merit.

Jake Urry is the perfect narrator for this type of story, he absolutely manages to convey the atmosphere of this cold and bleary winter, and the horror Ulrich once again faces. In my opinion, the occasional sound effects didn’t add to the story, but then I don’t like sound effects in audio books at all, and I can only forgive it here because it isn’t too loud, too obtrusive, occurs only a few times, and doesn’t drown out the narration, and because Jake Urry does such a great job.

Now that I got that off my chest, let me talk about the book. I’d like to put my focus this time not so much on the content, but more on the characters.

At book #3 I feel as if I know Ulrich quite well, and I can relate to his love of coffee (although I’m by no means a coffee connoisseur),and his abhorrence of alcohol. I’m not teetotal, but I’m very moderate when it comes to alcohol intake, because I know how easily one can slip into an addiction, and I can see the consequences of that on a daily basis.

Ulrich is not fond of cats (another thing I can relate to), but he does his best to accommodate a cat whose owner can no longer care for it. This is something I really like about Ulrich, and I think he is becoming quite fond of the cat, even though he probably wouldn’t admit it.

Ulrich isn’t a person who is outgoing and friendly, and I feel that suffering from real or imagined wrongs is part of his character. His streak of bad luck seems to be broken, however, and he is on the up for once. He isn’t even the person without any social contacts I took him for in book #1 (The Sick House).

All in all, Ulrich is a person with all the weaknesses and strengths that make a character believable, and his initial reactions to his otherworldly encounters are absolutely understandable and convincing.

The next character with a personality is Beardsley, the cat. I can just picture the havoc it wreaks in Ulrich’s apartment, and it makes me smile.

The other characters in this story are of no great import, except for Vivian Poole, who has been dead for ten years. What happened back then, and why? Why does Michael see her, and what is his second wife’s role in this? Though no main characters, they don’t remain completely pale, we (i.e. Ulrich) find out quite some truths about them all.

I have to admit that I suspected something far more sinister than Michael claims — but I won’t let you know whether I was right.

Conclusion: A great story about negligence, lies, revenge,and friendship. Possibly not the strongest book in the series, but nonetheless very enjoyable.

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Jake Urry. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

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Limited copies of the first two installments of The Ulrich Files audiobook are available for interested reviewers on The Audiobookworm’s Adopt-An-Audiobook page.

 

Once upon a time, a young Ambrose Ibsen discovered a collection of ghost stories on his father’s bookshelf. He was never the same again.

Apart from horror fiction, he enjoys good coffee, brewed strong.

Ambrose Ibsen has penned numerous horror and thriller titles, including The Ulrich Files, Transmission, The Demon-Hearted Series and the Winthrop House Series.

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Jake Urry has been narrating and producing Audiobooks since February 2016, and in that time has released 17 titles, including The Cryptic Lines by Richard Storry, White is the Coldest Colour by John Nicholl, and the PI Harlan Ulrich series by Ambrose Ibsen. His narration work is often dark and suspenseful, and he developing a reputation for Mysteries, Thrillers and Horrors. In 2017 Jake will be working on more work by John Nicholl and Richard Storry, along with a sprinkling of Fantasy adventures.

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Darkside Blues


May 31: Reading for the Stars and Moon (Spotlight + Audio Excerpt, Giveaway)
Audio Audits (Spotlight + Audio Excerpt)

Jun. 1: Book Lover’s Life (Review & Giveaway)

Jun. 2: Lomeraniel (Spotlight + Audio Excerpt, Giveaway)
Seitenwinde (Review & Giveaway)

Jun. 3: Dab of Darkness (Review & Giveaway)

Jun. 4: Ronelle Antoinette (Spotlight & Giveaway)

Jun. 5: CGB Blog Tours (Spotlight + Audio Excerpt)

Jun. 6: Blogger Nicole (Spotlight + Audio Excerpt, Giveaway)

Jun. 7: A Book and A Latte (Review)

Jun. 8: The Book Addict’s Reviews (Review, Spotlight & Audio Excerpt)

Jun. 9: Read Day and Night (Review)

Jun. 10: Ali the Dragon Slayer (Review & Giveaway)

Jun. 11: Spunky-n-Sassy (Spotlight & Audio Excerpt)
Jun. 12: The Autumn Bookshelf (Spotlight + Audio Excerpt, Giveaway)
Shhh I’m Reading (Spotlight & Audio Excerpt)

Jun. 13: Life at 17 (Review)

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Jess and Tina’s Audio Book Bingo Challenge

Jess and Tina’s Audio book Bingo Challenge

 

Apparently, June Is Audio Book Month, and so I was challenged yesterday. I like challenges, and maybe so do you, so I thought I’d spread the word.

Check out either website for more information. Tina’s explained it well here.

This challenge runs for all of June 2017, so if you start today, you have 30 days.

I’m now off to check out which of my audio books suit the challenge. If you’re interested, you may find some suggestions for great audio books on my blog. A good one will be posted tomorrow, so watch this space.

 

Mid June, and I’ve listened to:

 

Assassain’s Fate (released within the last month)

Funny in Farsi (narrated by the author)

Brat Farrar  (narrator who has the same first initial as me)

That’s it. I listened to more books, but none that fit the above mentioned criteria. I’m currently listening to Christina Ricci’s rendition of ‚Little Women‘, which would fit the ’narrated by a famous actor‘, but I won’t finish it this month. I’m job-hunting, so my listening time is somewhat reduced.

 

 

 

Review: Medicine for the Dead by Ambrose Ibsen (audio)

Medicine for the Dead by Ambrose Ibsen, narrated by Jake Urry, Ambrose Ibsen; audible: 5:32h

Synopsis:

Harlan Ulrich seems out of luck, but then he meets a former high school pal who offers him free lodging for a week in Exeter House. All Harlan is supposed to do, is doing a couple of rounds through the still empty house, which is being renovated, to make sure that no squatters ruin the place.

Harlan moves into the model apartment which is fully furbished, and he thinks himself in heaven — until strange things happen. Harlan soon feels threatened, and although he tries hard, there is no logical explanation for the goings-on in the house come night.

With nowhere else to go at such short notice, Harlan decides to figure out what is happening, and faces the evil spirits.

 

My thoughts:

I already thought The Sick House (The Ulrich Files #1) was creepy, but I was glad that I listened to about half of Medicine for the Dead in plain daylight!*

And then I made a mistake: I did what is my habit: I went to bed, listening to the book. And naturally, I couldn’t fall asleep. The story is super creepy, and I’m not just referring to the ghosts, or apparition, spirits or just visions — the things happening in real are what took my breath away and kept me from falling asleep. Oh, my, Harlan! There was absolutely no chance to fall asleep, or even stop listening until I knew the outcome! Let me give you one advice: don’t listen (or read) this book in bed! Jake Urry’s narration adds greatly to the effect, the creepy atmosphere, the terror Ulrich feels. It’s once again an excellent narration, transferring all the horror directly into your head. Well,maybe I’m especially susceptible, I don’t know. However, I think there’s an inherit fear of all things unknown and/or inexplicable in each of us, and Ambrose Ibsen’s story appeals to that fear — while Jake Urry does his best to make it seem real.

This is another great occult thriller, and I look forward to listening to book #3 (Darkside Blues) in that series. Watch this space, it will be part of a blog tour, and I’ll post my review on 2nd June.

Disclosure: I received this audiobook at no-cost from Audiobookworm Promotions. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

 

*Although this is part of a series, each book can be read as stand-alone, no knowledge of other books in that series is required to understand and enjoy them.

 

About the Author: Ambrose Ibsen

Once upon a time, a young Ambrose Ibsen discovered a collection of ghost stories on his father’s bookshelf. He was never the same again.

Apart from horror fiction, he enjoys good coffee, brewed strong.

Ambrose Ibsen has penned numerous horror and thriller titles, including The Ulrich Files, Transmission, The Demon-Hearted Series and the Winthrop House Series.

About the Narrator: Jake Urry

Jake Urry has been narrating and producing Audiobooks since February 2016, and in that time has released 17 titles, including The Cryptic Lines by Richard Storry, White is the Coldest Colour by John Nicholl, and the PI Harlan Ulrich series by Ambrose Ibsen. His narration work is often dark and suspenseful, and he developing a reputation for Mysteries, Thrillers and Horrors. In 2017 Jake will be working on more work by John Nicholl and Richard Storry, along with a sprinkling of Fantasy adventures.

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