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.

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)

 

 

 

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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Review: Daughter of the Sun by Barbara Wood

Barbara Wood: Daughter of the Sun, narrated by Rebecca Roberts, 15:24h

Publisher’s Summary

Seventeen-year-old Hoshi’tiwa had a simple life. The daughter of a humble corn grower, she planned to marry a storyteller’s apprentice. But her world is turned upside down when she is captured by the powerful and violent ruler of an infamous city with legends of untold wealth and unspeakable acts of violence to its name. Hoshi’tiwa is suddenly thrown into the court of the Dark Lord, and as she struggles for power, she begins an illicit affair with the one man who has the ability to destroy her.

Best-selling author Barbara Wood has crafted a sweeping saga of one woman’s struggle to survive within the dangerous and exotic world of the Toltec court. Set against the backdrop of Chaco Canyon and the mysterious Anasazi people, Daughter of the Sun is an unforgettable novel of power, seduction, murder, and betrayal.

My Thoughts:

When I discovered this book on the ‚Up for Adoption‘ page of Audiobookworm Promotion, I absolutely had to listen to it. I remembered having devoured another novel (Virgins of Paradise) by Barbara Wood many years ago, and I remembered how fascinated I had been, even though my memory of the plot is hazy. So, I didn’t even read the summary, hence I didn’t know what to expect.

Let me tell you, this is a great story that made me think. I wondered about the old religions and beliefs, asking myself whether they weren’t preferable to today’s religions. But my first impression of a peaceful religion was soon shattered, because, as is so often the case, those believing in cruel deeds to please their gods oppress all the others.

What puzzled me, was the focus on female virginity before marriage, and the idea that they were makai-yó (outcasts) if they were found out. Somehow, I had always connected this anti-female behaviour with Christendom. However, the book seems extremely well researched, and whether or not this virginity thing is due to poetic licence or actually took place, it doesn’t really matter to me — although it does matter to our main protagonist, Hoshi’tiwa, whose life takes a turn for the worse when she is claimed by the Dark Lord — from then on, she is makai-yó.

This book contains everything you could wish for, especially a lot of information about the religious beliefs, rites, traditions, clothing, food, drink, and daily life of the Toltecs shortly before they perished. All this information isn’t easily found on the www, so much about these people is still shrouded in myth, with few facts known.

Barbara Wood masterfully crafts an engaging story that you won’t want to put down. It is great that this novel is now available as audio book, and the narrator, Rebecca Roberts, does a fantastic job at narrating it. Her voice in my head was never obtrusive, she simply drew me in, and I was there, on center green, seeing it all before me, suffering with the slaves, connecting with Jakál even.

There is only one character who is truly ugly inside and out, all the others have many facets, and though you may not like them, you can understand them.

The combination of a great story and a wonderful narration makes for a very enjoyable 15.5 hours of listening time.

As mentioned above, I received this audiobook at no-cost from Audiobookworm Promotions. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

Check out the author: Barbara Wood

 

Check out the narrator: Rebecca Roberts

 

Review: The Sick House by Ambrose Ibsen

The Sick House by Ambrose Ibsen, narrated by Jake Urry, 06:48h

   Synopsis:

Harlan Ulrich is an unsuccessful, lazy private investigator. He doesn’t like his clients, he is bored to tears with the cases that come his way –mainly observations of cheating spouses.
Enter Jerome, the nephew of Dr. Klein who has gone missing in the Sick House near a small place called Moonville.
Ulrich doesn’t want this job, but he needs money, not least to be able to buy special coffee, which is his passion.
Payment arranged, he sets out to search for the missing doctor.
The inhabitants of Moonville are very hostile, and the Sick House has a very bad reputation.
Soon, Ulrich feels watched and haunted, and he doubts what he experienced, but is inclined to go back home. However, he is too curious and too proud to drop the case, and so he returns to the Sick House to find all his nightmares come true. Weiterlesen

Review: White is the Coldest Colour (audio book) by John Nicholl

White Is the Coldest Colour Audiobook
John Nicholl: White is the Coldest Colour, narrated by Jack Urry, John Nicholl (p), 9:19h, $21.36

 

Overview (book blurb)

The Mailer family are oblivious to the terrible danger that enters their lives when seven-year-old Anthony is referred to the child guidance service by the family GP following the breakdown of his parents‘ marriage. Fifty-eight year old Dr David Galbraith, a sadistic predatory paedophile employed as a consultant child psychiatrist, has already murdered one child in the soundproofed cellar below the South Wales Georgian town-house he shares with his wife and two young daughters. Anthony becomes Galbraith’s latest obsession, and he will stop at nothing to make his grotesque fantasies reality. The novel is entirely fictional, but draws on my experiences as a police officer, child protection social worker, manager and trainer. During my career I was faced with case after case that left me incredulous as to the harm sexual predators chose to inflict on their victims. The book reflects that reality. The story is set in 1992, a more naive time when many found it extremely difficult to believe that a significant number of adults posed a serious risk to children. The book contains content that some readers may find disturbing from the start. It is dedicated to survivors everywhere.

Review:

 

This book is a harrowing tale of organized child abuse. The author set the story in the beginning 1990s, but except for the fact that parents are better informed nowadays, and have all the information they need at their fingertips (so they could have checked out how psychiatric sessions should be held, for instance), I’m afraid not a lot has changed.
Just look at how the Catholic church and some sects hush up child abuse in their ranks, or look up Marc Detroux, who sexually abused and killed several children in Belgium in the 1980s and ~90s. It’s a scandal never to be forgotten. Read the report and watch the video of a surviving victim of a pedophile ring.
I live in Germany, and child abuse, raping of women, and domestic violence are crimes that are still being punished lightly, if at all, and the clear signal to the perpetrators is, that they get away with it. And that seems to be a global attitude.
I read only today that a British judge ruled that a cricketer who had admittedly beaten his wife with a cricket bat and made her drink bleach does not need to go to prison.

So, nearly 30 years on, and nothing has changed. In light of all these true cases, John Nicholl’s fictional story really hits home. The trouble is, that it is absolutely believable.
It drew me in right from the start, and I couldn’t put it down, so I spent a sleepless night, rooting for Anthony,while being really afraid for him at the same time. This story is a nail-biter, and I’m very glad that I’m not in the habit of actually biting my nails, or none would be left.

Narration:

Narrator Jake Urry was a perfect fit for the story. His gritty voice when speaking the character of Dr Galbraith made me shiver, and he managed perfectly, to make it clear, what was spoken, and which were the (unuttered) thoughts.

All the characters and accents were well done.

If you are of a sensitive nature, you might reconsider before buying this (audio) book, because somewhere in the world something similar to the goings-ons in the story is taking place at this exact moment, and honestly, it doesn’t bear thinking of — then again, it is crucial to raise awareness.

I got a free copy of this audio book via the audio bookworm.

The Audiobookworm