FLASHBACK by Dan Simmons – BOOK REVIEW

Flashback by Dan Simmons

FLASHBACK

Author: Dan Simmons

Type of Book: Paperback

Genre: Dystopian Fiction, Science Fiction, Thriller

Length: 708 pages

Publisher: http://www.reaganarthurbooks.com

Re-Release Date: July 2014

Original Release Date: 2011

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

My response to reading this book is “Holy Moly”. Dan Simmons has quite the imagination and this fictional version of America’s future is truly frightening. What makes it so terrifying is it’s realism and potential for becoming fact rather than fiction. He has taken current events and foreseen a potential future. With the current focus on ISIS in the middle east this book becomes even more scarily plausible. Wow!

Not only is this book s commentary on where America could be headed, it is also an amazingly wonderfully written work of science fiction and a terrific mystery.

The character of Nick Bottom is so well realized that it is easy to picture him as a real person rather than just a character in a book. His grief over his wife’s death will draw readers in. Anyone who has ever lost a loved one can relate to his pain and to his wanting to retreat into the world of Flashback.

Flashback is a drug that allows the user to re-experience a moment (or moments) in their lives that they wish to revisit and relive. Who could resist the allure of being able to go back and live the happiest day (or days) of their lives over again?

FROM THE BACK COVER:

“Twenty years from now, the United States is in the midst of total collapse: economic, social and political. But most of the population doesn’t care – they’re addicted to flashback, a drug that allows its users to reexperience the best moments of their lives. After former detective Nick Bottom’s wife died in a car accident, he started going under the flash to be with her; now he’s an unemployed addict, estranged from his teenage son.”

“Nick may be a tortured soul, but he’s still a good cop, and when he’s hired to investigate the murder of a government advisor’s son, Nick becomes the one man who can change the course of an entire nation turning away from the future to live in the past.”

This book is the very definition of the word: THRILLER. Despite it’s length, this story never lags. There is non-stop action from start to finish.

Also, FLASHBACK will make you think! You will not be able to stop yourself from pondering the plausibility of this fictional future.

I absolutely LOVED this book. It is intelligently written, thoroughly engrossing and completely mind-boggling.

There are many facets to this story. There is the fictional drug “Flashback” along with the addiction aspect of the drug. There is an absorbing murder mystery. There is family drama. There is the drama and grief of a husband who has lost his wife and a son who has lost his mother. There is teen angst and the phenomenon of peer pressure. There are politics. There is warfare, both abroad and at home. There is prejudice and hatred, and much, much more.

Readers will not want to put this book down. Dan Simmons is a force to be reckoned with and even though this is the first novel of his that I have read, it will certainly not be the last.

I rate this book as 5 out of 5 stars. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Photos obtained from www.dansimmons.com

Photos obtained from http://www.dansimmons.com

Dan Simmons is the Hugo Award-winning author of Hyperion and The Fall of Hyperion, and their sequels, Endymion and The Rise of Endymion. He has written the critically acclaimed suspense novels Darwin’s Blade and The Crook Factory, as well as other highly respected works, including Summer of Night and its sequel A Winter Haunting, Song of Kali, Carrion Comfort, and Worlds Enough & Time. He lives in Colorado.

For more information visit http://www.dansimmons.com

To read more of my reviews visit https://amiesbookreviews.wordpress.com

VANISHED FROM DUST by Shea Norwood – AUDIOBOOK REVIEW

Image obtained from www.amazon.com

Image obtained from http://www.amazon.com


VANISHED FROM DUST – Book One

Author: Shea Norwood

Type of Book: Audiobook – Unabridged

Narrator: David Dietz

Length: 6 hours, 59 minutes

Production Date: November 25, 2014

Genre: Young Adult

Publisher: Shea Norwood

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

* I received a free copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.

Its the 1980s. Nintendo is the newest thing and small towns are still considered safe places for kids to roam free. Eric and Kyle are in the eighth grade and are best friends.

Kyle had only moved to Dust, Texas the previous year. Eric had received the nickname “Crazy Train” several years earlier and was bullied and friendless until Kyle moved to town. On Kyle’s first day of school he had stood up for Eric when the school bully was taunting him. The two boys have been inseparable ever since.

Eric hasn’t seen them in a while, but for years he has seen phantoms with red eyes. No one else can see them. He had made the mistake of telling people about them when he was in third grade and that is when he earned the horrible nickname.

After not seeing the phantoms for years, Eric is suddenly seeing them with alarming regularity.

What are they? Why doesn’t anyone else see them? What do they want? What can Eric do about them?

This audiobook is targeted at a Young Adult/Middle School audience and I think the author has done a terrific job. Not only is it a much better story than I had expected, but since I am a child of the 1980s (born in the 70s) I enjoyed the references to the fads and styles of my youth. Remember leg warmers and banana clips? I do.

This book ends on a cliffhanger and listeners will want to know what happens to Eric and Kyle next. I know I will be adding the second book to my “To Listen” list.

Narrator David Dietz is a whiz with separate voices. The listener is able to easily distinguish not only between characters, but also between the characters and the narrator’s portions of this audiobook. Lately I have listened to a few books by this narrator and I have been pleased with the performance every single time. I rate the narration as 4.5 out of 5 stars.

The book itself deserves a 4 star rating when taking into account the intended audience. I truly believe that Young Adult and Middle Grade listeners will LOVE this series.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Shea Norwood is an emerging talent in the world of writing books. He lives in West Texas and you can find out more about him at https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7302191.Shea_Norwood

Readers can learn more at his Facebook page at:
http://www.facebook.com/sheanorwoodauthor, or by
following Shea on Twitter @Sheanorwood

ABOUT THE NARRATOR:

David W. Dietz is a writer, actor, director and producer from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

For more information about this narrator or his production company visit: http://dietzthethird.com

WITCHES by Kathryn Meyer Griffith – AUDIOBOOK REVIEW

Image obtained from www.audible.com

Image obtained from http://www.audible.com

WITCHES

Author: Kathryn Meyer Griffith

Type of Book: Audiobook – Unabridged

Narrator: Erica L. Risberg

Length: 10 hours, 50 minutes

Genre: Paranormal Fiction

Release Date: May 31, 2013

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

* I received a free copy of this audiobook from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Two witches living in the same town several centuries apart.

It is the 1700s and Rachel Cox is the talk of the town. They say she is a witch and they whisper whenever she walks by. It is a terrifying time to be accused of witchcraft. Witch hunts and burning at the stake are common.

Amanda is a modern day white witch. She is grieving the loss of her husband Jake and is just starting to try to figure out how to live without him.

There has been talk locally about a satanic cult practicing in the area. When murders begin happening the residents of the small town are scared. And, as always, scared people act irrationally. They start looking for someone to blame and despite living there for ten years, they chose her as their target.

Amanda must decide whether to permanently leave the house she loves and abandon the townspeople to the evil in their midst or whether to stay and fight to protect the town despite their hatred towards her.

This is a story of good vs. evil, but is also a tale of prejudice and the fact that people tend to fear anything or anyone they do not understand.

The author does a terrific job of incorporating the supernatural into the modern world. She also weaves history with present day.

The narration of this book was not as good as I had hoped. Much of the delivery is in monotone and the different characters do not have distinct voices. The voice used for Rebecca’s familiar (a mouse) was horrible and it was weirdly similar to the voice used for the character of Sebastian. However, there are stretches of time where the narration is very good. This is just a personal observation. I recommend listening to this book yourself and making up your own mind about the narration.

I rate this book as 3.5 out of 5 stars.⭐⭐⭐⭐

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Kathryn Meyer Griffith is the author of twenty-two published novels as well as novellas and short stories.

To learn more about her visit http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/889499.Kathryn_Meyer_Griffith

To read more of my reviews visit https://amiesbookreviews.wordpress.com

THE MERMAID’S CHILD by Jo Baker – AUDIOBOOK REVIEW

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THE MERMAID’S CHILD

Author: Jo Baker

Type of Book: Audiobook – Unabridged – MP3 CD

Narrator: Nicola Barber

Length: 8 hours, 46 minutes

Genre: Fantasy, Historical

Release Date: March 25, 2015

Publisher: Dreamscape Media

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

* I received a free MP3-CD copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review through AudiobookJukebox

From the very first few minutes of this audiobook I was enthralled. Narrator Nicola Barber has an amazing voice. She conveys a sense of wonder in every sentence and draws the listener into the story with such ease that you are instantly hooked. Whether the character is a young girl, an imperious teacher, an ill-tempered barkeep or a professional sailor the voice is nothing short of perfection.

The story itself flows seamlessly from day to day, year to year and minute to minute. Malin is a character that you cannot help but empathize with. This book is a re-release. It was originally published in 2004. The fact that this book was author Jo Baker’s debut novel is AMAZING. She is a talented author and I also immensely enjoyed her book LONGBOURN which was published in 2013.

Malin has always been different. Her father was a ferryman and he tells her that her mother is a mermaid who left to return to her own people.

When Malin’s father dies she is left in the care of her grandmother. The grandmother sends her off to work and live in the local pub. Malin is treated like an unloved and unwanted slave.

But everything changes when a mysterious stranger arrives at the pub and Malin makes a decision that will change her life forever.

This tale is strange but wonderful. It is full of interesting characters and Malin’s adventures are richly imagined.

Though much of this book is “dark” there is something inside Malin that does not allow her to give up. This book is a tribute to the inner spirit of a determined young woman. It is so vividly described that readers will not be able to stop listening to the story.

I highly recommend this book to all adults. It definitely contains many adult themes and scenes and is not appropriate for younger readers/listeners.

I rate this book as 5 out of 5 stars.⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Photo obtained from www.jobakerwriter.com

Photo obtained from http://www.jobakerwriter.com

Jo Baker was educated at Oxford and now lives in Belfast. She runs the Belfast Literary Festival. For more information visit http://www.jobakerwriter.com

ABOUT THE NARRATOR:

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Nicola Barber has appeared on stage in New York and across the country. She can be seen in the movie “The Nanny Diaries” with Scarlet Johansson. She has been performing voiceovers since 2001. For more information visit http://www.nicolabarber.com

WANDERINGS ON DARKER SHORES by Cora Pop – BOOK REVIEW

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WANDERINGS ON DARKER SHORES

Author: Cora Pop

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

* I received a free electronic copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*

This is a collection of short stories and poems with “dark” themes.

This collection had me hooked from the very first story. The author has done a truly stupendous job and is able to evoke an emotional response from the reader in a very short amount of words.

Most short stories I’ve read seem to be lacking that essential quality that is required for the reader to fully immerse themselves in the story. In “Wanderings on Darker Shores” the reader becomes not only immersed in the story, but also invested in it.

The small details are included that are necessary to fully flesh out her characters and the stories are wonderfully written.

Her gift for description is just that … a gift. “She was even more beautiful now than she’d been younger, her skin taut over high cheekbones, her narrow eyes the color of dark chocolate, the streaks of grey in her hair making me think of silver jewelries rather than time.” This description is exquisite. It is easy to form a picture in your mind’s eye of the woman she is referring to.

If you enjoy reading paranormal fiction, horror and “dark” themed fiction you cannot go wrong by purchasing “WANDERINGS ON DARKER SHORES” by Cora Pop.

I rate this collection as 5 out of 5 stars. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Cora Pop is a Canadian author. To learn more about her, visit her blog at Http://chickwithaquill.blogspot.ca

To find out more about this book visit: https://m.facebook.com/WanderingsOnDarkerShores?_rdr

Purchase a paperback copy of this book at Chapters online at http://m.indigo.ca/product/books/wanderings-on-darker-shores-a/9780993939303