Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Book of Obeah by Sandra Carrington-Smith Narrated by, Dave Fennoy~Armchair Audies

I am once again participating in the ArmchairAudies this is my first post with many more to come as I am listening to the Thiller/Suspense category and Mystery. and Honestly this one will be a hard one to beat I am in love with this man's voice!

The Book of Obeah (Crossroads #1) by Sandra Carrington-Smith Narrated by, Dave Fennoy
Thriller/Suspense Audie Nominee
Length: 10 hrs and 10 mins
Publisher: Cherry Hill Publishing

I really liked this book; however I am not sure I would have liked it as much if I had read it in print. But since I did listen I really enjoyed it, it was suspenseful and kept me on the edge of my seat. This is paranormal suspense about Voodoo and Hoodoo.

Melody’s grandmother dies and asks that Melody take her ashes back to the Louisiana Bayou, but what her grandmother doesn’t tell her is the inheritance of “The Sight” that she also passed on and that there is an old book that she needs to take care of as there are many willing to kill for. Melody didn’t know anything about Voodoo or Hoodoo but soon finds out her grandmother did which comes as a shock to Melody. When she gets to Louisiana things get even weirder plus she is threatened by a man who says the book her grandmother stole is his and he will get it back no matter what. So we have a mystery a family story with some ghosts and hoodoo going on!

This isn’t a story I would have been drawn to but since it is up for an Audie Award I listened to it and am glad I did, it had just the right amount of suspense and the paranormal add a little Catholic Church baddies to the mix and this made for a good story. I was glad a certain someone didn’t end up being a bad guy (you’ll know if you read it) and I am curious if that relationship will go on to the next book (which there is not an audio  and that needs to be remedied!). I am curious if certain characters will carry over and which ones that will be. I liked Melody I thought she took everything in stride and it was a lot to take in and I’d love to see how she goes forward and what becomes of ‘the Sight’. This book grabbed me enough to want to continue on with the series.

 Even though our heroine is female it didn’t bother me at all that this one was narrated by a man because he was amazing and added to the spookiness of this book. Dave Fennoy has this voice it’s the voice of every scary Voodoo witch doctor that’s ever been heard or read he was perfect for this book. His voice is a cross between Barry White & Dion Graham and I really liked it and was very surprised to find out this was his only audiobook on audible so did some digging and found out he is a voice over actor and has some impressive credits to his name in commercials, animations, games and documentaries. I for one hope he narrates the second book in this series because it won’t be the same without him! I also hope he will narrate more books because I could listen to him all day! There were times the music between chapters was annoying and times it felt like it fit in so just a warning to those of you who don’t like music in your audiobooks. 

4 Stars

5 Star narration

To learn more about Dave Fennoy HERE is his website

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Guests on Earth by Lee Smith Narrated by, Emily Woo Zeller

Guests on Earth by Lee Smith Narrated by, Emily Woo Zeller

I enjoyed parts of this book and thought other parts (the ending especially) weren’t as good. I like the character of Evalina and my second favorite was Dixie, I felt these two were the most fleshed out of all the characters. However Evalina’s love life was confusing to me and I didn’t really understand her attraction to Pan and didn’t really understand why she was leading these men on. Also it was never fully explained how she ended up back at the hospital and what really happened to her in Paris and after she went to her father’s house again which is part of the "more" I mention later!

There were times the story jumps and it was jarring and made me feel like I missed something I went back on the audio a couple times thinking I zoned out and missed something but that wasn’t the case.  This book starts out with the news report about the fire at the Ashland Hospital but when the time came for the fire it was rushed and very anti-climatic the story of the fire was in the last 9 minutes of the book, it was pretty much there was a fire and these people died, the end.

This book mixed real and fictional people including Zelda Fitzgerald, I am not a big F.Scott Fitzgerald fan so the inclusion of Zelda was just another famous person to me, I actually wanted to know more about Mrs.Carroll tutoring Nina Simone in music but that was just talked about in passing.

I guess what I wanted in the book was more, more info about the characters, more about the hospital which actually seemed like a very good institution especially for this time period.  Of course the insulin shots and shock treatments were awful, but they mentioned that they were not doing lobotomies which is something, and these women do seem to have been treated well and not abused, plus given arty things to do singing, art, playing music etc. so this was a different look at institutions in this time period then I’d read before.

I recently re-read Maggie O’Farrell’s The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox and now after reading this one I really wanted to know the various reasons women were institutionalized so I have now checked out the book ‘The Female Malady’ which explores some of the reasons women have been institutionalized throughout history. So in that aspect the book did its job it made me curious about why a lot of these women were put away.

Emily Woo Zeller was a good narrator although our lead character didn’t have a southern accent (and I thought she should) the only one that did was Dixie which was overdone but it did fit with Dixie’s personality she was very over the top herself. But overall she did a decent job and I would listen to her again.

At times this story bogged down and at other times I enjoyed the story so for me this is a 3 Star book barely 3 but 3 nonetheless.

3 stars

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon narrated by, Cassandra Campbell & Kathe Mazur

The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon narrated by, Cassandra Campbell & Kathe Mazur

This book had me on the edge of my seat the entire time and I don’t think I took a breath for the last hour or so. I did not want to put this book down, I needed to know what exactly was going on with everyone in the book!

This is a great story, atmospheric, haunting, and addictive. I loved how all the stories came together and all the timelines were very well written and flowed beautifully with each other. The past & present stories were both great. I also really liked the characters especially Sara because I think she went through the most emotionally.

This is a hard book to review because the way the story wraps around it would be so easy to spoil it for someone and I wouldn’t want anyone to not get the full effect of how this story plays out. So much of the story leaves you guessing and wondering what is real and what is not and I enjoyed the parts of Sara’s diary that gives so many clues as to what is really going on but also leaves much unsaid or lost. The craziness of the first big reveal caught me totally off-guard it wasn’t something I expected at all and that makes for a great book!

Cassandra Campbell & Kathe Mazur were the narrators and I thought they did a wonderful job even if their voices are very similar you still knew who was telling the story. I thought they were able to bring a softness to the tale when warranted and creeped me out just enough!(which is a good thing)

This is so much more than a ghost story it is also a story  of family and what that means and how you treat people may come back to haunt you (heehee see what I did there?).  But the ending OMG the ending in reference to Katherine did she?? Didn’t she??? And poor Ruthie I feel bad for her. Sorry, but just had to have my say on that and make it spoiler free, when you read the book you will understand and Yes you really do need to read this book!

Lesson #1 from this book let the dead stay dead!

5 stars

Monday, February 17, 2014

Sunrise (Ashfall #3) by Mike Mullin

Sunrise (Ashfall #3) by Mike Mullin

The hardest thing for me in most apocalyptic / dystopian stories is what human beings become ; The inhumanity of man, towards man.

What Alex and Darla go through in this book is harrowing it's so awful to think that human beings could treat each other this way, it is horrifying and as Alex says (paraphrasing to avoid spoilers) “I had always believed that the human race would survive the massive volcanic eruption at Yellowstone, would surmount this disaster, just as we had surmounted so many lesser disasters before. But after… (NO SPOILER), I wondered did we deserve to survive?”

One other quote that made me giggle in this very serious story …

“Didn’t he used to be a flenser?”
“Yeah and I used to be a High School student.”
Uncle Paul turned toward me, a sad smile creasing his cheek,” Same thing, but with less cannibalism?”
I snorted. ”Yeah pretty much.”

 Alex’s mom pissed me off in this book, I understand she had a lot to handle but she didn’t handle it well at all! I thought it was so neat that the younger generation is the one that took over and took care of everybody no matter what age. Darla was amazing she is a mechanical genius and I don't think Alex could have ever survived without her, or anyone else for that matter to me Darla is the hero of this little community. I loved how they brought out the best in people and made this safe place.

This series addicted me immediately to me it is a more realistic than other apocalyptic /dystopians because this could actually happen, I live only a couple states away from Yellowstone Park and this series scared the heck out of me, I even researched where the ashfall would be and needless to say I would be screwed and I honestly don’t know that I would survive as well as Alex and Darla in fact I’m sure I couldn’t.

Oh and when you get to the part where the cover makes perfect sense oh my just be prepared!

This was a great ending to this series however I wish it could go on because I would read more, the only thing that I was left wondering about; was the rest of the country/world in the same boat as the people in this book or were there places that were unaffected? Was this little part of the world just forgotten?

But I will be content with this ending and will look forward to anything else this author writes.

5 Stars

Full Disclosure: I received this book from Netgalley and the publisher(Tanglewood) for a far and honest review

My review of Ashfall Book #1  

My review of Ashen Winter book #2