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Classics Review – Dracula – Bram Stoker

draculaDracula
Author:
Bram Stoker

Narrators: Alan Cumming, Tim Curry, Simon Vance, Katherine Kellgren, Susan Duerden, John Lee, Graeme Malcolm, Steven Crossley
Run Time: 15 hrs and 28 minutes
Producer: Audible, Inc

Description:
The first and most terrifying of all vampire stories.

Jonathan Harker has a job to do. The young lawyer must go to the mysterious country of Transylvania to work for a man he knows as “the Count.” At first, Jonathan is excited by the chance to travel and meet new people. But after his arrival in Transylvania, he begins to wonder what’s going on. People act strangely upon hearing he is going to visit the Count. When Jonathan arrives at the Count’s dark, deserted castle, he too begins to feel afraid. Soon after meeting his host, Jonathan begins to feel trapped in a horrifying nightmare. Only this nightmare is real and he can’t wake up.

Why Dracula?
Nowadays you can’t enter a bookstore without running into a vampire novel of some shape/size/description. From books like The Historian (literary fiction), to the Paranormal Romances of Christine Feehan, Kresley Cole and Kerrelyn Sparks. Each author brings their unique perspective to answer the question what is a vampire. So it seemed like a good idea to go back to the beginning (or at least almost the beginning). And so, here I am…lol!

Review:
So I went into Dracula pretty much blind – I knew the basic premise (I mean who doesn’t) and the fact that it was told in an epistolary type format (which, BTW, i love that word!) Other than a vague recollection of character names, I didn’t know anything else. I will admit that I was expecting more of a horror novel than what I got. It turned out to be rather…academic (for lack of a better word) in the telling of the story. There was some emotion at times, but ultimately, it was very stark. But that isn’t to say I didn’t enjoy it…in fact there was something almost addicting about the story – whether it was the writing or the narration of the audiobook, i’m not quite sure. I do know that friends of mine have had issues getting going with it – but I was pretty much sucked in from the beginning.

I can also see why Dracula won the best audiobook category for Multi-Voiced Performance this year. While it wasn’t the one in the category that I picked, it was in my top 3. i really like the cast of narrations – with some of my favorites like Simon Vance who was the voice of Jonathan Harker and Katherine Kellgren, to more well-known movie stars, like Tim Curry. Each voice was unique (because they were pretty much done all by different people). the quality of the audiobook was great – I know that I will be checking out more books produced by Audible in the future. Overall, 3.5 stars, but rounding up to 4.

 
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Posted by on June 6, 2013 in Book Review, Classics Challenge

 

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Review – I’m the Vampire, That’s Why – Michele Bardsley (@michelebardsley)

i'm the vampireI’m the Vampire, That’s Why
Author: Michele Bardsley
Series: #1 in the Broken Heart Vampires series

Ebook provided by the author

Book Description:
Broken Heart is the city with the highest rate of divorce and highest percentage of single parents in Oklahoma. And I, Jessica Matthews, have been a member of that club ever since my husband dumped me for his twentysomething secretary and then had the gall to die in a car accident.

Now I’m not just a single mother trying to make ends meet in this crazy world….I’m also a vampire. One minute I was taking out the garbage; the next I awoke sucking on the thigh of superhot vampire Patrick O’Halloran, who’d generously offered his femoral artery to save me.

But though my stretch marks have disappeared and my vision has improved, I can’t rest until the thing that did this to me is caught. My kids’ future is at stake…figuratively and literally. As is my sex life. Although I wouldn’t mind finding myself attached to Patrick’s juicy thigh again, I learned that once a vampire does the dirty deed, it hitches her to the object of her affection for at least one hundred years. I just don’t know if I’m ready for that kind of commitment….

Review:
So, funny story how I came to get an ebook copy of this. I had seen it reviewed on Goodreads by a friend of mine and was intrigued, so I went looking. I saw that Amazon had later books in the series as ebooks, but me with my OCD likes to read all books in a series in the same format. So I emailed the author to ask her. she was super-nice, but told me that her publisher hadn’t negotiated ebook rights – however, she had a PDF of the book for her followers and would happily send it to me – I jumped on the opportunity. That was two years ago…somehow, the file got lost in the magical world that is my gmail account…and then a couple of weeks ago, I was searching for another email and came across the file – and decided what the heck and read it (plus it fit into like 3 reading challenges that I was doing).

I think there were several times where I about pee’d my pants, I was laughing so hard at Jessica’s (mis)adventures of becoming a vampire. The idea of blood being able to be flavored as chocolate was funny – I wonder if beer or coffee would work equally as well, if you like those? Guess it goes to prove that because of the amount of chocolate I eat, my blood probably would taste like it.

The conflict between the Vampires and the bad guys were interesting – but a bit more history would have been nice. I got to the end of that and was like, oh, i’m done…then realized I was only at the 60% point, so I knew that there was much more that was going to happen. But towards the end it started to get silly – it was like sequence after sequence of something bad happening…you would finish one part, think all was good, and then something else would happen. And the whole book took place over like a 2 week period (I think)…but that being said, I am intrigued enough that I am going to check out the second book, but I will likely get from the library, rather than buying. 3 stars overall.

 
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Posted by on December 9, 2012 in Book Review

 

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Audiobook Review – Timeless – Gail Carriger

Timeless
Author: Gail Carriger
Series: #5 in the Parasol Protectorate

Narrator: Emily Gray
Run Time: 11hrs and 29 minutes
Producer: Hachette Audio

Book Description:
Alexia Tarabotti, Lady Maccon, has settled into domestic bliss. Of course, being Alexia, such bliss involves integrating werewolves into London High society, living in a vampire’s second best closet, and coping with a precocious toddler who is prone to turning supernatural willy-nilly. Even Ivy Tunstell’s acting troupe’s latest play, disastrous to say the least, cannot put a damper on Alexia’s enjoyment of her new London lifestyle.

Until, that is, she receives a summons from Alexandria that cannot be ignored. With husband, child, and Tunstells in tow, Alexia boards a steamer to cross the Mediterranean. But Egypt may hold more mysteries than even the indomitable Lady Maccon can handle. What does the vampire Queen of the Alexandria Hive really want from her? Why is the God-Breaker Plague suddenly expanding? And how has Ivy Tunstell suddenly become the most popular actress in all the British Empire?

Review
This has to probably be one of my favorite series that I had read/listened to in the recent past. I loved all 5 books and while various ones had their ups and downs, like can be expected in a series, overall, they were well worth my time. I can’t wait to see how the spin-off series featuring Alexia’s daughter is going to turn out, as well as the other series pending that is set in the same world, but 20-ish years prior. But I digress. Timeless picks up 2+ years after the end of Heartless – but not much has changed in the world. There are still vampires and werewolves roaming loose in London, but Alexia isn’t just having to cope with that, she also now has a toddler to chase after. Adding a twist to this installment, Alexia travels abroad to Egypt (and all that entails). I really want to say more, but it could easily turn spoilish and I don’t want to ruin this series for anyone.

As I was listening to Emily Gray’s narration, I realized that sometimes, it felt like the author had just reached into a hat filled with various sounds and pulled several out to make names of some of the characters. I also loved Lord Ackeldama – he has been one of my favorite characters through-out the whole series and I can’t wait to see the influence that he has had on characters in the later books. I have to admit to being a bit disappointed by the Biffy/Professor Lyall scenario – I don’t think that it really added anything to the book overall – but maybe it will be needed in the future.

Emily Gray’s narration for all 5 books was spot on – I felt that she managed to capture the British accents perfectly and I felt like I was there. Her narration of Lord Maccon was great and well, Lord Ackeldama…all I could do was laugh because it was perfect. I highly recommend her for future narrations and will be looking out for her when I pick audiobooks in the future. Overall, 4 stars and a high recommendation

 
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Posted by on November 9, 2012 in Audiobook Review

 

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Review – Nice Girls Don’t Have Fangs – Molly Harper

Nice Girls Don’t Have Fangs
Author: Molly Harper
Series: #1 in the Jane Jameson series

Narrator: Amanda Ronconi
Run Time: 9 hours and 24 minutes.

Book Description:
Maybe it was the Shenanigans gift certificate that put her over the edge. When children’s librarian and self-professed nice girl Jane Jameson is fired by her beastly boss and handed twenty-five dollars in potato skins instead of a severance check, she goes on a bender that’s sure to become Half Moon Hollow legend. On her way home, she’s mistaken for a deer, shot, and left for dead. And thanks to the mysterious stranger she met while chugging neon-colored cocktails, she wakes up with a decidedly unladylike thirst for blood.

Jane is now the latest recipient of a gift basket from the Newly Undead Welcoming Committee, and her life-after-lifestyle is taking some getting used to. Her recently deceased favorite aunt is now her ghostly roommate. She has to fake breathing and endure daytime hours to avoid coming out of the coffin to her family. She’s forced to forgo her favorite down-home Southern cooking for bags of O negative. Her relationship with her sexy, mercurial vampire sire keeps running hot and cold. And if all that wasn’t enough, it looks like someone in Half Moon Hollow is trying to frame her for a series of vampire murders. What’s a nice undead girl to do?

Review
I’m going to preface this review by saying I came to Molly Harper’s writing later than many other people who have read her stuff. And, I read/listened to her Naked Werewolf series prior to listening to Jane Jamison which were her earlier works. So I think I went into Nice Girls with higher expectations because I had previous enjoyed her works. Don’t get me wrong, I liked it, I just didn’t love it like I was expecting to.

From the get-go you could tell that this was one of her earlier works and if you read later books, you can see how her writing style has improved (it is still the same quirky that I enjoy, but the Naked Werewolf books were a bit tighter writing, which made them flow better). However, I did enjoy Jane’s antics (because there really is no other way to describe them). Although, I did solve the mystery element fairly early on (or rather, I had a pretty solid idea of who is was, so the reveal didn’t add that much to the story for me). But I will be looking forward to checking in on Jane again in the future (and luckily for me, I have 5 other books in the series to read!)

Amanda Ronconi, the narrator, is probably one of my top 5 that I have discovered in the last year, along with Xe Sands. I know immediately picking up anything narrated by her, that she is going to hit on the quirky/humorous nature of the writing without too much difficulty. While her male voices, are occasionally, only so-so (but they grow on you), I love her female ones and feel that she had a good range to work with. I’ll be watching for more stuff narrated by her in the future.

Nice Girls Don’t Have Fangs (Paperback)
Nice Girls Don’t Have Fangs (Kindle)

 
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Posted by on September 6, 2012 in Book Review

 

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