Audiobook Review: The Punch Escrow

Author: Tal M. Klein

Narrator:Matthew Mercer

Length: 8 hours 42 minutes

Publisher: Audible Studios

Released: Jul. 25, 2017

Genre: Tecnothriller

It’s the year 2147. Advancements in nanotechnology have enabled us to control aging. We’ve genetically engineered mosquitoes to feast on carbon fumes instead of blood, ending air pollution. And teleportation has become the ideal mode of transportation, offered exclusively by International Transport—a secretive firm headquartered in New York City. Their slogan: Departure… Arrival… Delight!

 

Joel Byram, our smartass protagonist, is an everyday twenty-second century guy. He spends his days training artificial intelligence engines to act more human, jamming out to 1980’s new wave—an extremely obscure genre, and trying to salvage his deteriorating marriage. Joel is pretty much an everyday guy with everyday problems—until he’s accidentally duplicated while teleporting.

 

Now Joel must outsmart the shadowy organization that controls teleportation, outrun the religious sect out to destroy it, and find a way to get back to the woman he loves in a world that now has two of him.

 

 

Tal M. Klein was born in Israel, grew up in New York, and currently lives in Detroit with his wife and two daughters. When she was five years old, his daughter Iris wrote a book called I’m a Bunch of Dinosaurs that went on to become one of the most successful children’s book projects on Kickstarter ―something that Tal explained to Iris by telling her, “your book made lots of kids happy.” Iris then asked Tal, “Daddy, why don’t you write a book that makes lots of grownups happy?” Tal mulled this over for a few years, and eventually wrote his first book, The Punch Escrow. It won the Inkshares Geek & Sundry Hard Science Fiction publishing contest, and is the first book published on the Geek & Sundry imprint.

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Narrator Bio

Matthew Christopher Miller, known professionally as Matthew Mercer or Matt Mercer, is an American voice actor involved in English dubs of Japanese anime as well as cartoons, films and video games. In anime shows, he voiced Levi in Attack on Titan, Kiritsugu Emiya in Fate/Zero, Kanji Tatsumi for episodes 13-26 in Persona 4: The Animation and Trafalgar Law in the Funimation dub of One Piece. In video games, he voices Leon S. Kennedy in the Resident Evil series, Jack Cooper in Titanfall 2, Chrom in Fire Emblem Awakening, McCree in Overwatch, MacCready in Fallout 4 and Yusuke Kitagawa in Persona 5. In addition to voice-over, Mercer has developed some live-action web series including a Nintendo character parody called “There Will Be Brawl” and the famous Geek & Sundry and Alpha Dungeons & Dragons gaming session show “Critical Role.” The Punch Escrow is his first audiobook.

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“The Punch Escrow” is one amazing adventure in a world beyond our imagination. Well, beyond my own imagination at least. And experiencing it in audio was worth it. I do not dive into a Sci-Fi book lightly, so for sure listening to the book was a major contributor to my final rating.

So the story is as described in the blurb, I will not insist upon that. In a way, the author uses this book to touch some delicate subjects like how the corporations influence our lives or how technology get in conflict with religion. The basic one is that we will become so depended of innovation that we will lose ourselves, we will lose our identity. However, the main character faces common issues in his marriage, which he tries to solve as 2017 people do.

There are some funny stories here and there, my favorite being a part describing McDonald’s Big Mac. These elements are told as if it was a known thing, something that is contained in the last…130 years or so.  The familiar tone is very enjoyable and the mix between technical terms and common explanations blends very nicely.

As for the quality of the narration, I can only say it was really really great. I have never heard a narrator sing J And he does it so well. He is so expressive and so funny. He is your best friend, the one who tells you his  crazy story. The audio format is definitely worth your time.

All in all, I liked it well enough to give it 4 out of 5 stars. The world building is amazing, the narration is amazing but for me there was something missing. Probably because I am not a Sci-Fi reader normally. Hope you like it and come back with your comments J

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

Q&A with Author Tal M. Klein
  • How did you select your narrator, Matthew Mercer?

I always knew I wanted Matt Mercer to narrate my book, the hard part was getting him to agree to do it. Between Critical Role and his various Nerdist responsibilities, he’s also an incredibly prolific voice actor. Recording an audiobook is a serious time commitment! There was also the challenge of getting Audible to agree to having Matt do the book because he’d never done an audiobook before. Ultimately I got lucky in that Matt read my book, liked it, agreed to do the audiobook, and Audible was easily convinced to sign off once they heard his voice acting reel. The rest is history!

  • How closely did you work with Matthew before and during the recording process? Did you give him any pronunciation tips or special insight into the characters?

Matt is a consumate professional. We did one session on pronounciation, but everything else was entirely in his court. I wanted him to make my book is canvas. He did an outstanding job.

  • How do you manage to avoid burn-out? What do you do to maintain your enthusiasm for writing?

The Inkshares community is incredibly supportive, so they are owed a lot of credit, but my wife deserves the lion’s share. She was my rock throughout the writing process and the book would have never gotten finished without her support and enthusiasm.

  • Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you?

I love audiobooks, though I tend to prefer listening to nonfiction. One of the reasons I was so particular about choosing Matt Mercer to do my book is because I knew he would give each chracter a unique voice. I feel like many fiction audiobooks lose me when they are narrated in monotone.

  • Is there a particular part of this story that you feel is more resonating in the audiobook performance than in the book format?

Nothing beats Matt Mercer singing Karma Chameleon. That alone is worth the price of admission in my humble opinion.

  • What do you say to those who view listening to audiobooks as “cheating” or as inferior to “real reading”?

I think the two experiences are distinctly different. As I mentioned, I rarely listen to fiction audiobooks, but when I do it’s usually after I’ve already read the book.

  • How did you celebrate after finishing this novel?

A bottle of expensive bubbly with my family and friends!

The Punch Escrow Giveaway: The Punch Escrow Prize Pack

Oct. 4th:
Dab of Darkness Audiobook Reviews
Brian’s Book Blog

Oct. 5th:
Buried Under Books
Lomeraniel
Lilly’s Book World

Oct. 6th:
It’s Novel to Me
Macarons & Paperbacks
The Bookworm Lodge

Oct. 7th:
Book Stacks Amber
Here’s to Happy Endings

Oct. 8th:
Lynn’s Romance Enthusiasm
Bookwormerz

Oct. 9th:
Canadian Book Addict
Audio Spy

Oct. 10th:
The Book Addict’s Reviews
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Book Review: Once A Rebel

Once a Rebel
by Mary Jo Putney
Genre: Historical Romance

My Review

Mary Jo Putney is one of my favourite writers, when it comes to Romance or Historical Romance. I love her writing, I love her stories and her characters, so I was expecting a lot from this book. It is my first from the series, but I had no issues understanding the context.

Best friends come together after years apart. History repeats itself when Lord George Gordon Audley rescues his childhood friend Callista Brooke. In a time when America and England are at war, Callie tries to do the best for her new family and the people around her, while Gordon does whatever is needed to solve problems, as he puts it. They connect on a level that exceeds the friendship area, facing their attraction… and war.

When it comes to history, the author has very well documented the events from that time and has combined the war against two countries with the war against slavery. I admired Callie and her determination to fight against abuse and how she treated everyone equally, be they slaves or people of color.

The two best friends start to explore the physical attraction that is quickly building. Gordon is offering her away out of all her problems if she marries him. Yes, his request is not based on love but on a long friendship and this should be enough, since neither of them has the illusion of love. Still, their story has some bumps along the way that will keep the reader focused.

However, there are some items that did not stand well with me. At some point, the action felt dragged and there were some pages sort of unnecessary. As well, all the name changing between Gordon and Richard (the name that Callie calls him, is a bit confusing. I was expecting a lot more emotions between them, a deeper connection, but it never came.

With all my complaints, I did enjoy „Once A Rebel” almost as much as other books by Mary Jo Putney. It had some funny moments and kept me quite engaged.

“Putney’s endearing characters and warm-hearted stories never fail to inspire
and delight.”
 —Sabrina Jeffries
A Rogue Redeemed
As Washington burns,
Callista Brooke is trapped in the battle between her native England
and her adopted homeland. She is on the verge of losing everything,
including her life, when a handsome Englishman cuts through the
violent crowd to claim that she is his. Callie falls into her
protector’s arms, recognizing that he is no stranger, but the boy
she’d once loved, a lifetime ago.
Lord George Gordon
Audley had been Callie’s best friend, and it was to Gordon she
turned in desperation to avoid a loathsome arranged marriage. But the
repercussions of his gallant attempt to rescue her sent Callie
packing to Jamaica, and Gordon on a one way trip to the penal colony
of Australia.
Against all odds,
Gordon survived. Finding Callie is like reclaiming his tarnished
soul, and once again he vows to do whatever is necessary to protect
her and those she loves. But the innocent friendship they shared as
children has become a dangerous passion that may save or destroy them
when they challenge the aristocratic society that exiled them both….
Mary Jo Putney is
New York Times and USA Today bestselling
author who has written over 50 novels and novellas. A ten-time
finalist for the Romance Writers of America RITA, she has won the
honor twice and is on the RWA Honor Roll for bestselling authors. She
has been awarded two Romantic Times Career Achievement Awards, four
NJRW Golden Leaf awards, plus the NJRW career achievement award for
historical romance. Though most of her books have been historical
romance, she has also published contemporary romances, historical
fantasy, and young adult paranormal historicals.
Mary Jo Putney,
Jo Beverley, Joanna Bourne, Patricia Rice, Nicola Cornick, Cara
Elliott, Anne Gracie, Susan King
 are the ladies otherwise
known as the Word Wenches. These eight authors have written a
combined 231 novels and 74 novellas. They’ve won awards such as the
RITAS, RT Lifetime Achievement award, RT Living Legend, and RT
Reviewers Choice award. Several of them are regulars on the New
York Times
 and USA Today bestseller lists.
Follow the tour HERE
for exclusive excerpts and a giveaway!
 
 
 

 

Book Review: Interviewing For Her Lover

 
Interviewing For Her Lover:
Six Nights of Sin (Book 1)
By Ellis Day
Genre: Erotic Romance
 
This is erotica with love. So, it’s only intended for those eighteen and
older.


Sarah wants a lover, but she wants one on her terms. She doesn’t have
time to date and picking a guy up at a bar is not only dangerous but
it doesn’t guarantee he’ll let her act out her fantasies. When
she hears about La Petite Morte Club—a place for willing males and
females to meet with rules and contracts so that all parties leave
satisfied—she knows it’ll be perfect.
She signs up with the club and starts the process of finding the man
who’ll be her lover for six nights. Six nights of fantasy—his and
hers. Six nights of sex and then they’re done. Simple,
uncomplicated and fun, but she doesn’t count on Nick’s ability to
make her desire everything he has to offer and more.
Warning:
This series has hot, steamy, sometimes kinky sex and is meant for
mature readers only (18 and older).

 

Interview with the Author
Q. – So, why should someone read the Six Nights Of Sin
series?
Because it’s hot – really, really hot and it’s well written.
The story is kinky and erotic but at the core is love. The two main
characters must journey to find that love but it’s there waiting
for them if they’re willing to take a chance. For Sarah, this is
her second chance and perhaps her last if she doesn’t discover how
to move on from the past.
This series also has a rich, alpha male and who doesn’t love to read
about handsome, billionaires with hearts of gold? I know I love
reading these kinds of books and writing them. I truly believe that
one of the cornerstones of a great relationship is fabulous sex and
my books have that and more.
On top of all those reasons, you’ll get your first glimpse into La
Petite Morte Club—a sex club where almost anything goes as long as
the participants are willing. There will be at least four additional
series surrounding this club and possibly more, depending on what
characters pop out of the woodwork as we wander deeper into the club
and its activities.

 

My Review

This is a good start for a series that kind of intrigued me, mainly because of the characters. Sarah wants an uncommitted relationship, short term, purely physical, at the end of which both partners will be satisfied. After some interviewing and negotiations, she selects Nick. I will not insist on what happens next because there are only 63 pages.

Being this the first book in the series, it just shows the beginning of their relationship. But we do find out a lot of the characters ‘personalities. Sarah is a strong woman, with traits that balance each other. She knows exactly what she wants, but in the same time, she has a low self-esteem when it comes to her looks.  We get the smallest glimpse into her past and we can see she has her own issues to deal with. Nick is a man who doesn’t let a woman in charge. But he knows when to give in as well. Maybe out of conviction that in the end he will win. He seems arrogant, not in a disturbing way. There is one scene where he is superficial and it almost unnerved me. But I guess it’s understandable, because of the building frustration and all.

63 pages are definitely not enough, as it feels more like a teaser then an actual book. I did not understand some aspects of the story, which I would gladly discuss, were they not spoilers. But I am waiting on book no. 2 and I am hoping for some answers there. For the moment, I liked what I’ve read. Because of the short length, I cannot say if the series will be a great one or not (not yet). Still, we have a good start, that made me curious about what happens next.

 

 

Q. – Who should read the Six Nights Of Sin series?
These books are packed full of kinky, explicit sex with some bondage, bdsm
and submission scenes. So, they’re meant for mature readers of 18
years and older. I don’t gloss over the emotions or the actions.
It’s all there in hot, graphic detail, so get your glass of wine
and a fan, and enjoy Sarah and Nick’s adventure. Anyone college age
and older who likes contemporary romance, new adult and erotic should
love this series.
FREE ON ALL PLATFORMS!
 
 
 
Ellis O. Day grew up with her nose buried in books and now enjoys writing
the kind of stories she loves to read. Romance—the steamier the
better. She believes that the cornerstones of all great romantic
relationships are: love and friendship, trust, attraction and
fabulous sex. Her stories contain all of these (especially the last one).
Get the first two books in the Six Nights of Sin series
FREE!
 
 
Follow the tour HERE
for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!
 
 
 

 

Book Review: The Mistletoe

mistle

About the book:

Title: The Mistletoe

Author: Patricia Catacalos

Published: November 14th 2014 by Smashwords Edition

Source: Received from the author in exchange for an honest review

Format: epub

Blurb:

England 1874…The irresponsible Marcus Brody is suddenly guardian to his recently deceased brother’s three little girls. Christmas is fast approaching and he needs feminine help from the children’s maternal aunt, a reclusive young widow, Lady Alyssa, who wants nothing to do with her nieces. But in soliciting Lady Alyssa’s help, is Marcus unknowingly drawing her into a paranormal encounter with Spirits warning of mortal danger.

Check it on: Amazon  & Goodreads

My Review:

My second book by Patricia Catacalos has not disappointed me at all. I loved every page and it held me captive between its lines. I was not quite quick to write my review though – kind of lazy.

The main characters evolve from the beginning till the end of the story and the beauty is they evolve together, helping each other, leaning on one another. Marcus meets Lady Alyssa at his niece’s birthday party and his interest in her is quite evident. Still, her being married and his lack of commitment make any kind of intimate relation impossible. However, time will do its magic and bring them close, unfortunately by means of a tragedy. What happens next? You’ll have to read through the book.

What I mostly liked about the story was how well the characters evolve together. Alyssa will overcome her fear of men and society with Marcus’ help, while he will start focusing on having a family, hopefully with the lovely Lady. But there are people who do not desire their happiness. There are traps, deceiving and there is envy.

Same as in her other book, “The Aura Of The Crescent Moon”, we have again a situation of abuse, this time we have a woman abused by her husband. The consequences are way beyond physical pain. The trauma is well presented, but the author has insisted more on the recovery process. I do appreciate when this subject is not treated lightly and I believe the author has done another great job.

A small spoiler alert: there is something that is not as believable as the rest of the book and that seems kind of out of theme. One of the children has some outwardly help and tips her aunt and uncle of the bad things to come. I cannot say I hated the idea, but it just doesn’t feel well. Other than this, no other complains.

After two books by this author, I find myself enjoying Patricia Catacalos’ writing and her stories. Even if I liked more “The Aura Of The Crescent Moon” (review can be found here), I did enjoy “The Mistletoe” and I hope You’ll give it a try as well. Enjoy J

 

About the Authorpatricia

Patricia Catacalos holds a BA in Theatre from Seton Hill University and a MA in Theatre from the University of Denver. Years ago, when still single, she acted in and directed plays in the Philadelphia area but suffered the fate of many artists, struggling financially. So, she entered a career in sales but her creative spirit needed to express itself. So approximately eight years ago, she started writing historical romances. Many of the historical romances have a subgenre of mystery and/or the paranormal. She discovered that writing historical romances and ultimately, mystery/intrigue is her passion. Currently, she has written twenty novels and novellas.

She has been happily married for twenty-eight years to a loving and supportive man with a Greek heritage (which influenced a couple of her novels) and they live in southern New Jersey.

Book Review: The Mortal Falls (Undercover Elementals Book 1)

About the book:themortalfalls

Title: The Mortal Falls (Undercover Elementals Book 1)

Author: Anna Durand

Published: March 24th 2017 by Jacobsville Books

Source: free copy received from Book Unleashed, in exchange for an honest review

Format: ebook

Blurb:

A pragmatic human thrown into a world of magic…

Lindsey Porter fled from her traumatic past, determined to lay low, but now someone has framed her for murder. The quest for answers leads her into a parallel realm where magic reigns, and with a hostile sheriff and a shapeshifting assassin on her trail, she must place her life in the hands of a seductive, supernatural man who tempts her like no one else.

An immortal sylph enslaved by magic…

Nevan is trapped by a desperate bargain struck a century earlier, yet the beautiful, spirited Lindsey has enticed him to abandon his magically enforced duty. As forbidden passion flares between them, they’ll risk everything to uncover the truth and find what they both need the most—redemption.

When two worlds collide…

The fates of the elemental and mortal realms depend on the star-crossed lovers. As dark secrets from their pasts threaten to shatter the fragile trust between Lindsey and Nevan, a shocking revelation holds the power to deliver salvation or destruction.

Check it on: Amazon  & Goodreads

My Review:

„The Mortal Falls” was a great read for me. I liked the funny lines between the characters and I even liked how the tension was building until the great reveal. However, there are some items which were not to my liking. All arguments are detailed below.

So here we have Lindsey and Nevan’s story. An apparently quite normal mortal, who’s had an unhappy encounter with the supernatural and an immortal being. They meet while she trips on a dead body in the forest, a body that soon disappears. Being the sheriff’s number one suspect, Lindsay is adamant in finding out who did it and most importantly, why are they trying to frame her. In the meantime, her encounter with Nevan causes quite some trouble for him. His soul and actions are enslaved by Skeiron, because of a deal he had to make some time ago. As the blurb says, both their world will collide and they will have to rely on each other in order to solve their issues.

As I was mentioning, this was a really nice read for me. I spend some good time between the pages of this story. Both characters have personality and the way the author has adapted the language for Nevan (him being from another world) was very interesting as well. I even enjoyed the romance that gradually builds between them and how committed he was on not offending Lindsay in any way.

Now, there are some items that I did not like. I was not quite convinced about how Nevan got to work for Skeiron. It was not enough for me, can’t explain it more because of spoilers. Also, I did not like the magic system that much. I would have preferred a better introduction into Nevan’s world. Lindsay was just thrown into it and had to adapt on the way. And she did, quite easy I must say. I could also add that the action was a little dragged, but it kept me there so… I cannot list it as a bad thing.

All in all, even if there are some items that did not feel well to me, I kind of liked this book. It was not a difficult read, it made me relax for a while and remained me of why I like reading so much.Anna Durand is quite a lovely author and for sure I will try more books by her.  So 3.5 stars (let’s round this to 4) and hope you’ll enjoy it at least as much!

About the Authorannadurand

Anna Durand is a multi-award-winning author of sizzling romances, including the bestseller Dangerous in a Kilt, which earned a 2016 National Readers’ Choice Award for erotic romance. She loves writing about spunky heroines and hunky heroes, in settings as diverse as modern Chicago and the fairy realm. Making use of her master’s in library science, she owns a cataloging services company that caters to indie authors and publishers. In her free time, you’ll find her binge-listening to audiobooks, playing with puppies, or crafting jewelry. She’s also a member of Romance Writers of America and its Published Authors Network.

You can find her on her website or Twitter  – TheAnnaDurand

Audiobook Review: Play Right By Me

Title: Play Right By Me

Author: Patrice Wilton

Narrator: Rita Page

Length: 8h 6m

Publisher: Patrice Wilton

Series: Paradise Cove, Book 3

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Play Right by Me is a new riveting romance that will steal your heart and make you sigh with pleasure.

Brittany Holmes, heartbroken and pregnant, leaves the touring dance troupe and the glamorous life she led in Miami for home in Paradise Cove. Her mother and sisters are like a beacon at the end of the road, and their unconditional love and support is what her bruised heart craves.

Ashley Jordon Chase, New York advertising exec, is in Paradise Cove to pursue his lifetime dream of being a playwright. Family circumstances thwarted his earlier writing ambitions and his lucrative career doesn’t satisfy him.

When Brittany loses her baby, Chase offers comfort. Having experienced the same tragedy in his first marriage he knows how devastating a miscarriage can be. Brittany hides her insecurities behind a wall, but Chase breaks past it to see her most vulnerable side. Their friendship becomes more, and she trusts that he won’t let her down. Yet a family emergency pulls him away, leaving her alone. Again. Was she a fool to let him into her heart? Or can they turn their brief affair into a lifetime of love?

 

 


Patrice Wilton knew from the age of twelve that she wanted to write books that would take the reader to faraway places. She was born in Vancouver, Canada, and had a great need to see the world that she had read about.

Patrice became a flight attendant for seventeen years and traveled the world. At the age of forty she sat down to write her first book—in longhand! Her interests include tennis, golf, and writing stories for women of all ages.

She is a mother of two, has four lovely grand-daughters and one grandson, and a wonderful man at her side. They live in West Palm Beach, Florida, where he teaches her golf, and she teaches him patience.

She has twenty-five books published on Amazon, and is a NY Times and USA Today best selling author.

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Here we are with my review for Book 3 from the „Paradise Cove” series. I would have wanted to be the book I most enjoyed, but I am still a big fan of Book 1.

„Play Right by Me” is the story of Brittany, the last of the three sisters owning Paradise Cove resort. After being deceived by her boyfriend and manager, she returns home pregnant, hoping to heal her heart next to her family. She meets Ashley Jordon Chase, who books a room for a month, hoping to find inspiration to write a play. Chase’s kind words help her go through losing her baby and so a beautiful friendship is born. Definitely this is different than the other two stories and I couldn’t wait to see if the rebellious sister would settle next to her sisters or if she will pursue her dreams elsewhere.

The relationship between our main characters starts off quite nice and normal, but when Brittany makes her intentions to sleep with him more than clear, Chase pushes her away. He is the maturity she does not yet hold. His intentions are more than honorable, while she is a wild spirit looking for a short time of fun. The image we have of her from the other two books is cleared in this last part. We are also offered an understanding of why she is or was acting like that.

To be honest, I did not like her that much. She seemed a little slutty. The guy wanted to maintain her dignity, yet she feels insulted the first time he refuses her advances.  Also, I noticed the same tendency to appreciate designer clothes and good money. My entire appreciation for the way the author has built the relationship between the sisters and their mother. The constant support they always have for one another is something that should exist in any family.

The narration was quite ok, though there were moments where it felt a little overreacted. Rita Page did a great job anyway and it was nice to listen to her voice. The accent he used for Chase was also a job well done.

All in all, I think this is an ok book. As I was mentioning, the first book in the series is definitely my favorite one, but I cannot say I disliked the other two. I am going with a 3.5 (4) stars for “Play Right by Me” and I am looking forward for more stories by the same author and, why not, narrated by the same narrator. Hope you have enjoyed the series at  least as much as I did and please feel free to leave your comments below.

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

Paradise Series Giveaway: Amazon Echo Dot

 

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Audiobook Review: Aranya

Aranya Banner

Aranya Tablet/iPhone

Author: Marc Secchia

Narrator: Shiromi Arserio

Length: 14h 33m

Publisher: Marc Secchia

Released: April 05, 2015

Series: Shapeshifter Dragons, Book 1

Genre: Fantasy

Chained to a rock and tossed off a cliff by her boyfriend, Aranya is executed for high treason against the Sylakian Empire. Falling a league into the deadly Cloudlands is not a fate she ever envisaged. But what if she did not die? What if she could spread her wings and fly?

Long ago, Dragons ruled the Island-World above the Cloudlands. But their Human slaves cast off the chains of Dragonish tyranny. Humans spread across the Islands in their flying Dragonships, colonising, building and warring. Now, the all-conquering Sylakians have defeated the last bastion of freedom–the Island-Kingdom of Immadia.

Evil has a new enemy. Aranya, Princess of Immadia. Dragon Shapeshifter.

Marc Secchio

Marc is a South African-born dragon masquerading as an author, who loves writing about dragons and Africa, preferably both at the same time. He lives and works in Ethiopia with his wife and 4 children, 2 dogs and a variable number of marabou storks that roost on the acacia trees out back. On a good night there are also hyenas patrolling the back fence.

He’s the author of 21 fantasy books in 3 languages (2 more languages coming this year – watch this space!), including 8 rip-roaring dragon fantasy bestsellers. Dragonfriend won a Gold Award for Fantasy in the 2016 IPPY Book Awards. Look out for Whisper Alive, his latest release. The 4th tale in the Dragonfriend series, Dragonstar, is coming soon!

When he’s not writing about Africa or dragons Marc can be found travelling to remote locations. He thinks there’s nothing better than standing on a mountaintop wondering what lies over the next horizon.

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Narrator Bio

Shiromi Arserio

A native of London, England, Shiromi Arserio is a stage actor, voice talent and audiobook narrator. She holds a B.A. in Theatre from Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance. In addition to narrating dozens of audiobooks, her voice can be heard in documentaries, e-learning projects and video games such as Nancy Drew: The Shattered Medallion. Shiromi currently resides in the Seattle area with her husband and her two furbabies.

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A magical tale of dragons, under many shapes. We have real dragons, dragon ships, dragon shape shifters, dragon riders. And I love dragons! Needless to say, if you are a fan of such magnificent creatures this is the book for you.

It all starts with a princess daring to escape her captors, cheating death. Or maybe not, because the Sylakias may have tossed princess Aranya of Immadia off a cliff, but dragon shape shifter Aranya came to life. And from here, most of the story is centered on coming to terms with her new ability, learning to control her powers. Later on, we see a more determined princess ready to face an Empire.

The author managed to create a fabulous world, with kings and magic and inserted images into the reader’s mind with his detailed descriptions. I must admit that at some point I got a little bit lost between the abundance of characters and the places described. But definitely the most important aspect in this book is regarding the different types of relationships. We have family, friendship, love, but also hate and the desire for power.

Princess Aranya has to learn hoe to tame her inner dragon and to embrace it as a part of herself, of her family. I also appreciated how well the author described the relationship between a dragon and the rider, we see how such relationship is formed and the difficulties they both face. As a general aspect the women seem to be the strong point, which is not bad at all 🙂

The narration was not so much to my taste, but I did appreciate the narrator’s accent. As I was mentioning in my other reviews, i am not s native English speaker, so at some point it was hard to follow the words. Still, I got used to it and i must admit i like it more like that than not having one at all. It emphasizes the atmosphere from those lands. For most part of the book, the narration felt more like a whisper than spoken. While this accentuates the sweet and gentle Aranya, it also makes the understanding a bit difficult.

I believe we all have a dragon inside. We all have our own secret powers: love, determination, optimism. That’s why I like this book so much. It brings out the strength. And it has dragons!

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

 

 

Aranya Giveaway: $50 Amazon Gift Card

 

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