THE MOON DWELLERS by David Estes – AUDIOBOOK REVIEW

Cover image obtained from www.audible.com

Cover image obtained from http://www.audible.com

THE MOON DWELLERS
The Dwellers – Book One

Author: David Estes

Type of Book: Audiobook – Unabridged

Narrators: Julia Whelan and Will Damron

Length: 10 hours, 34 minutes

Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopian Fiction

Release Date: May 12, 2015

Publisher: Podium Publishing

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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

This is a dystopian fiction story. This genre has become very popular over the past few years. There are a lot of this type of book on the market and it can be a daunting task to try to decide which titles are worth buying and which ones should be avoided. “The Moon Dwellers” is one that should be added to everyone’s “To Read” list.

After the surface of the Earth has become uninhabitable, an underground colony is established. As is always the case with human beings, a distinct class system emerges. Three underground levels are built and are called the Tri-Realms.

Closest to the Earth’s surface is the Sun Realm where the wealthy and powerful reside. The next deepest level is known as the Moon Realm (the supposed middle-class) and deepest of all is the Star Realm.

Tristan is the eldest son of the President.

The government of the Tri-Realms may consider itself to be democratic, but since positions are earned solely based on bloodlines, it is really a monarchy masquerading as a democracy.

Since he is the eldest son of the current President, Tristan is destined to be the next President of the Tri-Realms. Tristan’s father is obsessed with power and wealth. His father wants Tristan to follow in his footsteps, but Tristan is nothing like his father. In fact, he hates the way the people in the Sun Realm treat those that reside in the Moon and Star Realms, but he has no idea how to go about changing things.

Adele is seventeen and has spent all of her short life living in the middle class Moon Realm. Despite the fact that her parents do not make much money, Adele and her little sister have had a happy childhood and the family is very close-knit.

Since Adele is the daughter of two convicted Traitors the law of the Tri-Realms states that any child of traitorous parents is also guilty of treason and Adele receives a lifetime prison sentence. Since she is not quite eighteen years old she is sent to the youth prison known as “The Pen.”

Against all odds Adele must escape from the Pen and find her family while being hunted by a deranged killing machine named Rivet, who works for the president.

Adele makes friends with two other inmates in The Pen. Tawni and Cole each have secrets that they wish to leave undiscovered.

Other than her friends, the only thing Adele has going for her is the fact that she is an amazing fighter thanks to the combat training she received from her father.

Tristan’s best friend is also his personal servant. Roc has been with Tristan his entire life and they are more like brothers than employee and employer.

When a war breaks out within the Tri-Realms, Tristan is thrust into the middle of a conflict that seems to follow Adele as she searches for her family.

Author David Estes has created an entire society with distinct classes and a unique setting.

I thoroughly enjoyed this audiobook. Since the story is told from two different perspectives: that of Adele and Tristan, it was refreshing to have two narrators to tell the story. Julia Whelan does a great job as the voice of Adele and is able to perfectly convey both Adele’s strength and her vulnerability. Will Damron as Tristan is equally wonderful. Tristan’s character is conflicted and Will is able to use inflection to portray his character’s inner angst with flair. I give the narration of this audiobook a 5 out of 5 star rating.

This book is targeted and marketed as a Young Adult audiobook but I believe that adult listeners will also enjoy this story.

There are a total of four books in “The Dwellers” series. They are:
1. The Moon Dwellers
2. The Star Dwellers
3. The Sun Dwellers
4. The Earth Dwellers

I am definitely interested in listening to all four of these audiobooks. I rate “The Moon Dwellers” as 5 out of 5 stars. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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THE CANDLE STAR by Michelle Isenhoff — AUDIOBOOK REVIEW

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THE CANDLE STAR
Divided Decade Series – Book One

Author: Michele Isenhoff

Type of Book: Audiobook – Unabridged

Narrator: Fred Wolinski

Length: 4 hours, 32 minutes

Genre: Historical Fiction

Release Date: April 30, 2015

Publisher: Michele Isenhoff

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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

Fourteen year old Emily Preston has grown up on a plantation in the South. Her family is wealthy and they own over 200 slaves.

She is a wild and willful child and her parent’s decide to try to curb her behavior by sending her to live with her Uncle who owns a hotel in Detroit, Michigan.

Being raised by slave owners in the lap of luxury and never having to do anything for herself, Emily is in for a huge dose of culture-shock when she arrives in Michigan.

Emily meets Malachi who is a black boy that is almost the same age as Emily. Never having met a free black person, she is shocked to discover that not only can Malachi read, but he also attends school.

Emily had always been told that black people were not capable of learning the way white people can.

As she spends more and more time in the company of her uncle as well as Malachi and a terrific cast of characters who work in the hotel, Emily starts to question everything she has ever been taught about black people.

But, being so young, what good will her changing attitudes be? Does it even matter?

This book is thoroughly researched and I absolutely loved the description of Emily’s trip to the Michigan State Fair.

The period of time this book is set in was a volatile time in American history. I liked the fact that the book is written from the perspective of a fourteen year old privileged white girl. I have read many books set during this era and this is the first time I have read a book written from this point of view, and I found it extremely well done.

The author has done a commendable job of describing the conflicting emotions that Emily goes through and I enjoyed listening to this audiobook.

Narrator Fred Wolinsky has a very expressive voice. Initially the simpering, whiny voice he used for Emily grated on my nerves and I thought it was a bit overdone. However, as I learned more about Emily’s spoiled and indulged childhood and her superior attitude I realized that the voice perfectly matched her character. I also have to give the narrator kudos for being able to perform multiple accents including both Yankee and Southern ways of talking. He also does a great job of using different accents for Zeke (the elderly black slave) and Julia and Malachi (free blacks living in Michigan).

I rate this audiobook as 4 out of 5 stars.⭐⭐⭐⭐

THE LADY OF DEVICES by Shelley Adina – BOOK REVIEW

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LADY OF DEVICES
A Steampunk Adventure Novel
Magnificent Devices Series – Book One

Author: Shelley Adina

Type of Book: eBook

Genre: Science Fiction, Steampunk

Release Date: 2011

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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

The cover of this book is a stunning treat for the eyes. It was this cover which caught my eye and made me want to know what the book was about. I must give kudos to Kalen O’Donnell for the cover design. The cover art is by Phat Puppy Art and the images are from Shutterstock. All images and artwork are used under license.

The year is 1889. The setting is London, England. Victoria is Queen of England and Charles Darwin’s son is the Prime Minister. Their world is powered by steam.

Seventeen year old Claire Trevelyan, the daughter of Viscount St. Ives attends St. Cecelia’s Academy for Young Ladies.

The book begins with Claire causing a minor explosion during her “Chemistry of the Home” class. Her professor punishes her by assigning her the task of writing out a phrase one hundred times. The phrase she is to write is: “I will obey instruction and curb my unladylike curiosity.”

Readers learn quite a bit about Claire just based on this single incident. The professor had told Claire not to add peppermint to an infusion of dandelion and burdock, but had neglected to tell her why. When he asks her why she mixed the chemicals after specifically being told not to, she replies with complete and utter honesty: “To see what would happen, sir.”

Claire is curious and inquisitive, but neither of those traits are deemed as desirable in a young woman. Claire is expected to want nothing more than to marry a rich man and to be the perfect wife, but Claire wants to attend University to study engineering.

A tragic turn of events changes Lady Claire’s life forever.

This book is full of amazing and surprising twists and turns. I loved the characters she included and the world she has created is vivid and believable.

I am very much looking forward to reading the entire Magnificent Devices series.

I rate this book as 4.5 out of 5 stars.

The Magnificent Devices Steampunk Adventure Series consists of eight books. In order they are:

1. Lady of Devices
2. Her Own Devices
3. Magnificent Devices
4. Brilliant Devices
5. A Lady of Resources
6. A Lady of Spirit
7. A Lady of Integrity
8. A Gentleman of Means

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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Shelley Adina is an author, a copyeditor, and a teaching writer in the MFA in Writing Popular Fiction program at Seton Hill University. She also writes Amish fiction under the name of Adina Senft. Her “Magnificent Devices” books have been on the Amazon bestseller list.

To learn more about this author visit http://www.shelleyadina.com

REMEMBERERS by C. Edward Baldwin – BOOK REVIEW

Cover image obtained from www.netgalley.com

Cover image obtained from http://www.netgalley.com

REMEMBERERS

Author: C. Edward Baldwin

Type of Book: eBook

Length: 350 pages

Genre: Thriller, Paranormal Fiction

Release Date: June 1, 2015

Publisher: Ink and Stone Publishing

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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

Have you ever experienced Deja Vu? What if that Deja Vu actually meant something? Something potentially life altering? How would you know? And what could you possibly do about it?

Kallie Hunt seems like a typical college student. She isn’t sure what she wants to do with her life and hasn’t even chosen a major in college yet.

The death of her mother a year earlier from brain cancer had left Kallie with her grandmother as her only relative. Well, she has a father, but since she’s only spoken to him three times in her entire life, he does not count.

When Kallie begins experiencing almost daily feelings of deja vu, she is understandably concerned that she might have inherited brain cancer from her mother.

Dennard Bennett is an ICE agent. ICE stands for Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. His job entails investigating anything he or his department believes could be a threat to national security. ICE is a direct result of the passing of The Patriot Act that came into being after 9/11.

Father Frank McCarthy is a Catholic priest who gave up what could have been an extremely profitable career in the NBA to follow his “calling” to God.

Reverend Johnny Swag is the charismatic preacher for the New Vibe Community Church located near Kallie’s college.

What ties these people together will surprise you. Together they are all needed and will ultimately save or destroy hundreds, if not thousands of lives.

You will need to read “Rememberers” to find out how!

This is quite the book. I’m not sure what I initially thought this book would be like, but it turned out to be an even better read than I had hoped.

This book is intelligently written and will challenge the reader’s beliefs in many ways.

I do not want to give away too much of the plot with this review, but I definitely recommend this book to lovers of many different types of fiction. There are historical aspects, religious aspects, mysterious happenings, shades of the paranormal, romance and more.

I rate this book as 4 out of 5 stars.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Cover image obtained from the author's blog

Author photo obtained from the author’s blog

C. Edward Baldwin is originally from North Carolina. He is a married father of two. He published his first book in 2013.

To find out more about this author visit his blog at https://cedwardbaldwinblog.wordpress.com

FRACTURED MEMORIES by Jo Schneider – BOOK REVIEW

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Cover image obtained from www.xpressobooktours.com

Cover image obtained from http://www.xpressobooktours.com

FRACTURED MEMORIES
Jagged Scars Series – Book One

Author: Jo Schneider

Type of Book: eBook

Genre: Dystopian, Post-Apocalyptic Fiction, Young Adult

Length: 204 pages

Release Date: May 20, 2015

Publisher: Just Add Peril

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

* I received a free copy of this book from Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.

Wendy, her sister, Kenzie and their father live in a wilderness Compound referred to as “The Den.” They are vigilant about security and avoid both other people and “The Skinnies.”

The Skinnies were created by The Starvation. “The Starvation came when a person ate bad food. After a few months the person’s body would stop taking in nutrients. They could eat until they burst, but they would still slowly starve to death. Raw meat was the only thing that curbed the hunger. This usually led to insanity and packs of Skinnies roaming around looking for anything they could find to eat, including other people.”

The Den is attacked by Skinnies. Wendy is shoved into a crate during the fighting and passes out. When she awakes she realizes that she is the sole survivor.

A group of regular people arrive and they force Wendy to come with them away from her compound. Her injuries are so severe that she passes out again and does not wake for several days.

Awaking alone, in a locked room, in some sort of medical ward, Wendy is wary and suspicious of the people who ‘rescued’ her. As far as she can tell, they are the ones who unleashed the Skinnies on her home and she vows to take them down.

How she will go about it she isn’t sure, but she is determined.

What follows is a heart stopping, action-packed adventure in a post-apocalyptic world where trusting the wrong person can get you killed.

I was sucked into this story from the very beginning. I was intrigued by the Skinnies. They are very different from zombies. They are not dead. These are sick human beings whose hunger drives them crazy. What an interesting concept.

The character of Wendy is well developed. She is 16 years old, but since she looks like a 12 year old people are constantly underestimating her. I like that she is strong and doesn’t take crap from anyone.

I am definitely enthralled by this series and am very much looking forward to the release of the second book.

This book has done a great job of setting up the “Jagged Scars” series. I can’t wait to learn more about “The Primate” who is mentioned in this book, but the reader does not receive much concrete information about him/her. I also am interested in seeing how Wendy fits in with the people who rescued her after how she behaved the first time she spent time living amongst them.

I give the author an A++ for both character building and world building. This is my first experience with this author, but it will definitely not be my last.

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

If you are a fan of the Dystopian Fiction genre you are sure to love this book.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Author photo obtained from www.goodreads.com

Author photo obtained from http://www.goodreads.com

Jo Schneider grew up in Utah and Colorado and now lives in Salt Lake City with her husband, Jon.

To learn more about the author and to find out about her other books visit her website at http://www.joannschneider.com