Review: Social Skills by Sara Alva – I’m probably the only reader that likes Jared more than Connor.

Social SkillsSocial Skills by Sara Alva

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Ok – Jared is not the ass everyone seems to think he is.
I picked this one up randomly on audiobook and found it very readable, or listenable (?). The story is decent with some expected turns and I liked seeing young adults act in immature but age appropriate ways. I thought the narrator, Andrew Eiden, was really incredible. He managed to capture Connor’s painful shyness very well with just the right breaks in his voice and hesitation. He also gave the other characters enough differentiation in the voices and inflection that I never got confused between dialogue and internal musings, which can happen with a lot of audiobooks. Mostly I was pleasantly surprised with this one and although it’s not necessarily a story I’d want to read/listen to again, I’m glad I read it. Continue reading

Review: A Dangerous Thing by Josh Lanyon – still loving this series (surprising to me)

A Dangerous Thing (Adrien English Mystery, #2)A Dangerous Thing by Josh Lanyon

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’m going back and listening to the audiobook versions of this series and finally writing reviews for the individual books. I can’t believe I never wrote them the first time but suffice it to say my enjoyment has probably only increased since the first time I read this series. The narrator, Chris Patton, is really good and I’m often surprised by the nuance he manages to interject into the character’s voices. No question that audiobooks hinge greatly on the use of great narrators and Patton is a great choice. I find the books so engrossing that I literally can’t seem to stop listening. The stories themselves are solid but the narration makes them extremely difficult to put down. I’m nearly speed listening through this series. Continue reading

Review: Pressure Head by JL Merrow – Talky villains never win

Pressure Head (The Plumber's Mate #1)Pressure Head by J.L. Merrow

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Not surprising I’m late to the party in reading this series by JL Merrow but I’m here now! I liked this opener and found it enjoyable to read with entertaining characters and a decent whodunit. My only issues were that I never got a good feel for the character of Phil and the villain confesses in a nonsensical scene at the end. Neither issue bothered me enough to dislike the book and I think most readers won’t be bothered either. Merrow is a good writer with subtle humor and good pacing making her stories a joy to read with distinct British flair. Easy to recommend. Continue reading

Review: Gemini by Clancy Nacht and Thursday Euclid… sex next to a dead body never tasted as sweet

GeminiGemini by Clancy Nacht

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This is kind of a weird book that I’m not sure how to characterize. It’s a shoot ‘em up action style story with a lot of hot sex but the actual plot is convoluted and totally unbelievable. I can get behind a book that needs considerable suspension of disbelief, but Gemini stretches it too far. To accept the sequence of actions and villains in the plot, the good guys don’t come across so well. It’s certainly an attention grabber and I think for those readers that are instantly engaged and absorbed, the flaws may not matter. But as soon as the flaws are noticed, I think it’s a downhill ride to an unsatisfying finish unfortunately. Continue reading

Review: Fatal Shadows by Josh Lanyon – It’s still good the second time around

Fatal Shadows (Adrien English Mystery, #1)Fatal Shadows by Josh Lanyon

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

I’ve been re-reading books I quite liked previously and was excited to see that the Adrien English series from Josh Lanyon was on audiobook. So I dove right in. I was then even more surprised that I hadn’t reviewed this series before so here I am. I know I liked the series and that feeling has continued with this reading. I found more problems than I remember noticing but overall it was as good as I remember and I was absorbed right away. I definitely forgot more than I remembered about the series, characters, and mysteries so in some ways I’m reading with an open mind and no preconceived notions. I’m curious how I’ll feel about the series as a whole when I’m done. For now, I liked the opener book a lot but it had some glaring plot problems at the end. If anyone hasn’t read this series I easily recommend it and even more so recommend this particular narrator who is good. Continue reading

Throwback review: Body and Soul by Jordan Castillo Price (Psycop #3) New Audiobook Version

Body and Soul (PsyCop, #3)Body and Soul by Jordan Castillo Price

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Sadly this was the last of the audiobooks for the psycop series and I kind of want to wail and gnash my teeth. Please JCP, please make more! Please!? If not everything in your backlist (yes yes I’m greedy) then at least the psycop series. I feel bereft knowing there are no more and while I’ll be listening to these again, I long for the entire series. Can I beg again, please?

Enough of that though. I liked the third book in the series more this time around due again to the narrator, the fantastic Gomez Pugh, but the lack of coherent plot still stood out. I enjoyed the furthering of the relationship between Jacob and Vic and damn they have some extremely hot chemistry – something JCP has always been excellent at creating. However the plots do get better in the series and it’s evident the mystery portion was still finding its feet early on in the series. I’d forgotten key parts of the series, such as the zombies, and it made me roll my eyes at that part but this time around I focused on the relationship between the key players and Vic’s new partner. I especially loved the narrator’s voice for Zig, Vic’s new partner. It was so very UP/Minnesotan that I wished he talked a lot more. That’s one of the reasons I sometimes prefer audiobooks as they add another layer to the story. Sometimes in a good way and others not so good. It compensates for sometimes missing details and nuances when not physically reading. Overall the plot this time was barely there and not entirely good but the writing and solid characterization smoothes over any issues in my opinion. I’m still impressed how well this series has held up on re-reading and even better on listening. Highly recommended still !

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Throwback review: Criss Cross by Jordan Castillo Price (Psycop #2) New Audiobook Version

Criss Cross (PsyCop, #2)Criss Cross by Jordan Castillo Price

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I re-read the first book in the series, Among the Living, by listening to it and quite liked it so I continued with the series. You can see what I said about the first book and narrator HERE. Interestingly I had a similar reaction to the second book but not exactly the same. Whereas reading the book all those years ago in 2009 I found this book less interesting than the first, I actually liked it more upon listening to it. Partly is that I was now anticipating and enjoying the narrator’s voice even more so I just flat out enjoyed listening to the story. I am nearly in love with this narrator’s voice. I think it’s so good and I kind of want to hear anything he wants to read to me. I listen to a ton of audiobooks so when I find a great narrator I want to latch on. That said, I also started remembering more details about the series in general and could anticipate the story some to my delight. Not enough that I knew what dialogue or plot twists were coming but enough to think “oh yeah I remember they’re going to have really hot sex soon.” I still thought Vic made some idiotic decisions but it was easier hearing the missteps through the soothing tones of Gomez Pugh. I finished the story sorry that it was over already and extremely excited to start on the next one. I don’t have much to add to my previous review so I’ll leave it here for people to see but I would honestly elevate the rating up another half star if not a full star for the narrator alone.

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