THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS by M.R. Carey – 5 Star AUDIOBOOK REVIEW

Cover image obtained from www.amazon.com

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

THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS

Author: M.R. Carey

Type of Book: Audiobook – Unabridged

Narrator: Finty Williams

Length: 13 hours and 4 minutes

Genre: Post-Apocalyptic Fiction

Release Date: June 10, 2014

Publisher: Hachette Audio

Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Holy Moly! What a terrific audiobook! I would give this a 6 Star rating if it were possible!

Narration is simply perfect and the story grabbed and held my attention from the very first sentence.

Just when I thought the post-apocalyptic genre and especially zombie fiction held no more surprises, along comes THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS!

Did I mention that I LOVED THIS AUDIOBOOK?

Well, even if I did say it already, I will say it again … I LOVED THIS AUDIOBOOK.

Melanie is the best young heroine I have read about in quite a while. She is definitely not the typical young girl that readers/listeners have come to expect. She may be different, but she is terrific.

I usually write a synopsis of each book or audiobook I review, but I am going to break that tradition for this review because I do not want to ruin the story for potential readers or listeners.

The setting is post-apocalyptic England and the author does not go into detail about what happened. She gives the listener enough information for them to figure it out on their own. As an avid reader I appreciate the fact that the author assumes her readers/listeners have enough intelligence that they do not need every tiny detail spoon-fed to us like idiots.

The character development in this audiobook is simply superb. As the story progresses, the listener cannot help but sympathize with Melanie’s situation. The same thing can be said about the character: Miss Justineau.

Dr. Caldwell is a terrific villain. It is also interesting that she can be seen as either a heroic figure or an evil monster depending on who is judging her character.

This book is not just pure entertainment (although it is extremely entertaining). It is also a treatise on what it means to be human.

This would be a terrific book to read as part of a book club. There are so many topics and scenarios that take place that are worthy of the “What Would You Do in that Situation” discussion, that this single book could be discussed at multiple book club meetings. Discussions could also arise on ethics and what actions can be justified “for the greater good.”

The narrator has an English accent, which, due to the setting of the audiobook is appropriate. There are many variations of English accents depending on which region of the UK the speaker hails from. Some accents are difficult to understand, but the accent of the narrator of this audiobook is very clear. She is quite simply brilliant and whoever it was that chose her to narrate “The Girl With All The Gifts” deserves to recognized for making the perfect choice. I will definitely be adding Finty Williams to my list of favorite narrators.

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

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Photo obtained from www.goodreads.com

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

M.R. Carey is a pen name for author Mike Carey. Mike Carey is a British writer whose work spans comics, novels, film scripts, and TV shows. After writing shorts for British sci-fi comic 2000 AD and a few one-shots for Caliber Comics during the 1990s, he was offered DC/Vertigo’s Lucifer — henceforth the longest running and most successful Sandman-related spinoff to date. While continuing to work with DC on Vertigo series like Crossing Midnight and graphic novels like God Save The Queen, he took over as lead writer for Marvel’s X-Men (now X-Men: Legacy) in 2006. His work includes DC/Vertigo’s Hellblazer, Marvel’s Ultimate Fantastic Four, the Felix Castor novels, The Steel Seraglio (with Linda and Louise Carey), and DC/Vertigo’s The Unwritten (with Peter Gross).

To find out more about M.R. Carey visit his official website at
http://www.mikeandpeter.com

ABOUT THE NARRATOR:

Photo Credit: Clara Molden

Photo Credit:
Clara Molden

Finty Williams is a 41 year old actress living with her 18 year old son, Sam in London, England.

Finty is the daughter of award-winning actress Dame Judi Dench and actor Michael Williams. She spends her weekends visiting her mother at her childhood home near Reigate in Surrey.

In a newspaper interview with “The Telegraph” Finty said “I wanted to be a dancer – which is why I’m so thrilled to be the voice of Angelina, in Angelina Ballerina – but I grew the wrong way and, when I was about 13, my leotard stopped fitting and I was turfed out of ballet class. I sort of fell into acting when I was doing my A-levels, and got offered a TV series, and then I did the whole drama school thing at Central.”

To read the entire article (written by Anna Tyzack) go to: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/mother-tongue/11031677/Judi-Denchs-daughter-to-compare-me-to-mum-is-ridiculous.html

Photo Credit:  Jonathan Hordle/Rex Features

Photo Credit:
Jonathan Hordle/Rex Features

Perhaps it is not surprising that Finty Williams became an actress since both her mother (age 80) and her father (deceased) were/are in show business, but Finty has never needed to rely on her pedigree to land roles. She has worked hard and paid her dues and landed roles based solely on her own incredible talent.

Going by her narration of “The Girl With All The Gifts” I am extremely impressed with her skills as a narrator.

PREDATORY INSTINCT by Michael McBride – AUDIOBOOK REVIEW

Cover image obtained from www.audible.com

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


PREDATORY INSTINCT

Author: Michael McBride

Type of Book: Audiobook – Unabridged

Narrator: Scott Thomas

Length: 9 hours and 3 minutes

Genre: Thriller

Release Date: April 27, 2015

Publisher: Michael McBride

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Image obtained from author.michaelmcbride.net

Image obtained from author.michaelmcbride.net

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

When I read the synopsis of this story I thought it would be similar to movies I have seen of people trapped in an Arctic station and stalked by a primitive beast, but I was pleasantly surprised to be wrong.

The fossilized remains of a species never before documented is found in the Altai Mountains. The discovery causes a rush of scientists to converge on the frozen location in hopes of proving that there was a third protohuman ancestor. It would be the discovery of the century if the theory could be proven.

The unthinkable happens and the exploration team is attacked (this part is very predictable).

I do not want to give away too much of the plot, so I will not go into detail. However, I very much enjoyed listening to this audiobook.

Scott Thomas was the perfect choice to narrate this audiobook. His pacing was great and although he could have rushed when the action gets intense, he kept his voice modulated. He was able to convey urgency without rushing. I rate the narration of this audiobook as 5 out of 5 stars. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

This book is a thriller and offers the listener a “thrilling” listening experience.

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

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Author photo obtained from http://author.michaelmcbride.net

Author photo obtained from http://author.michaelmcbride.net

Michael McBride is the author of multiple award-winning thrillers.

Michael McBride is the author of more than twenty novels and novellas. His short fiction has been featured in Cemetery Dance, Dark Wisdom, Dark Discoveries, and various anthologies. He lives in Westminster, Colorado with his wife and children.

To learn more about him and the books he has written visit his official website at http://author.michaelmcbride.net

ABOUT THE NARRATOR:

Narrator photo obtained from www.amcstudios.com

Narrator photo obtained from http://www.amcstudios.com

Scott Thomas has been a voice-over professional for over twenty years. He is the founder of AMC Studios in Jacksonville, Florida.

The name AMC stands for Alex/Maddie/Carolyn – Scott’s twin daughters, and wife of over 20 years.

Scott has been performing voice-overs for over 25 years, with a wide range of styles and deliveries, from video narrations to character acting. Clients and agencies from coast-to-coast have sought Scott out for his talent, professionalism and attention to detail.

Radio and television commercials, business narrations, audio books, amusement park characters, documentaries, video game voices, website narrations, video presentations…Scott has worked with scores of recognizable names such as Disney, The Jacksonville Jaguars, General Dynamics, Coca Cola, Safetouch Security, Gate Petroleum, Lexus, Burger King, Sally Corporation, Dalton Agency, DR Horton, and so many more.

For projects that require multiple voices, Scott has a network of widely diverse talent, ranging from children to mature adults.

To learn more about Scott Thomas and to listen to many samples of his work visit http://www.amcstudios.com

THE GIFT by Simone Pond – BOOK REVIEW

Cover image obtained from www.simonepond.com

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


THE GIFT

Author: Simone Pond

Type of Book: eBook

Length: 24 pages

Genre: Young Adult Dystopian Fiction

Release Date: February 26, 2015

Publisher: Ktown Waters

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Image obtained from www.simonepond.com

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

This short story is part of Simone Pond’s Voices of the Apocalypse series. There are ten stories in this series.

Ransom Sherman is a sixty-three-year-old retired farmer who lives deep in the woods of Ohio. He lost his farm years earlier when the bog corporations seized control of the Midwest’s farming industry. He was forced off his own land, but didn’t let that stop him from stealing back some of his own chickens. Now he sells their eggs at the local farmer’s market.

In fact, he met Keyla Johnson on his way to the market one morning. The first thing he noticed about Keyla was not her black skin, it was how small and scrawny she looked. He knew she couldn’t be much older than twelve years old and just from looking at her, he knew she was all alone in the world.

Both Keyla and Ransom have had it rough for a long time, but, maybe this unlikely duo will find solace from being together.

Twenty-four pages should not be enough space to fully develop a single character, so it definitely should not be enough to develop two characters. Yet, somehow Simone Pond has managed to exceed my expectations.

I rate THE GIFT as 5 out of 5 stars. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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Simone Pond is an award-winning author of dystopian fiction. Her current series includes The City Center, The New Agenda, The Mainframe, and The Torrent. She also has a short story series called Voices of the Apocalypse.

She grew up in Kensington, Maryland – a small town just outside of Washington D.C. As a young girl, she loved writing in her journal and making up stories, but after reading S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders, everything changed. Amazed that a woman could write so convincingly from a teenage boy’s perspective, Pond became determined to become a writer as well.

Pond currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband and their Boston Terrier. Follow her blog at Simone Says… http://www.simonesaysblog.com

EDMUND KEMPER: The True Story of the Co-ed Killer by Jack Rosewood – BOOK REVIEW

Cover image obtained from www.amazon.com

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

EDMUND KEMPER: The True Story of the Co-ed Killer

Author: Jack Rosewood

Series: Historical Serial Killers and Murderers – True Crime by Evil Killets: Volume Two

Type of Book: eBook

Length: 72 pages

Genre: Non-Fiction, True Crime

Release Date: June 22, 2015

Publisher: Wiq Media

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐

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

Edmund Kemper is probably the sickest serial killer ever to have walked the Earth. His crimes are still talked about today and his deviant behavior both fascinates and appalls many people still to this day.

Edmund Kemper was born in Burbank, California in December of 1948. His was a troubled childhood with a mother that should have never been allowed to procreate.

Edmund was always awkward. His body was massive; weighing almost 300 pounds and reaching a height of six feet, nine inches.

His deviant thoughts started long before his killing spree did. He harbored gory and elaborate fantasies full of rage.

This book is his story. Readers need to be warned that this is not a story with a happy ending, and those who have sensitive stomachs should not read this book.

Kemper began his decapitation fantasies as a child and practiced by beheading the dolls of his sisters. This was soon not gratifying enough for this twisted psychopath and he moved on to torturing and killing the family’s pet cats. “Kemper’s rage against women – revealed first through the dolls with long, blond hair, and later through the cats – was a result of his abysmal relationship with his mother.”

He would eventually kill ten people; including hitchhiking co-eds, his mother and both his grandfather and grandmother.

To learn how he became the vicious psychopath that he is today, you need to read this book.

I have mixed feelings about this type of book. While I find deviant psychology fascinating, I hate that the killers get so much more attention than their victims. However, it is a sad truth that people are more interested in the killer than the killed.

I would have liked it if there was a bit more detail about each of the victims.

Despite that, the author has done a good job of condensing the story into only 72 pages.

There are some editing/proof-reading errors, but once I pointed them out to the author, he has assured me that they will be fixed immediately.

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

THE LAST SUMMER AT CHELSEA BEACH by Pam Jenoff – BOOK REVIEW

Cover image obtained from www.pamjenoff.com

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


THE LAST SUMMER AT CHELSEA BEACH

Author: Pam Jenoff

Type of Book: Softcover

Length: 373 pages

Genre: Historical Fiction, Historical Romance

ISBN: 978-0-7783-1754-8

Price: $14.95 US / $17.95 CAN

Release Date: August 2015

Publisher: Mira Books

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

* I received a free softcover copy of this book through the Goodreads Giveaway program. A review was not a requirement of receiving the book, but I love receiving free books and I think reviews are important to both writers and to potential readers.

This book is set in America, both before, and during the Second World War.

It begins in 1941 when seventeen year old Adelia Monteforte is taken from her home in fascist Italy by her mother and placed aboard a ship headed to the USA. Adelia had no idea she was going and had no possessions with her. Also, despite her pleading, her parents do not accompany her on the journey.

She was met at the port in Philadelphia by an Aunt and Uncle she had never met before. They took her into their home despite the fact that they had no children of their own.

Her Aunt and Uncle spent summers at the shore and Adelia had no choice but to go with them.

It is at this ‘summer home’ that she meets the Connally family. She didn’t know it at their first meeting, but knowing the Connally family changes her life forever.

Adelia falls in love at first sight with Charlie Connally. Charlie was the oldest of the four Irish-Catholic boys. Adelia is an immigrant Italian whose family is Jewish. Obviously, Addie and Charlie would make a unique couple, but their religious differences don’t seem to matter at all.

Just when Charlie and Addie seem to have their futures together all figured out, tragedy strikes and everything changes.

Addie is grief-stricken and does the only thing she can think of; she flees. She heads to Washington and works as a typist for the newspaper. But, when her past shows up in Washington she runs away again – this time she ends up in war-torn London, England where she lands an amazing job at a highly regarded newspaper.

It is in London that Addie begins to realize that running away did not solve anything. She finds herself torn between the love of two terrific men.

Eventually, she realizes that, in order to find herself, she needs to return home.

I had expected this book to be like dozens of other war-time romance novels and I thought I knew the plot before I even started reading. However, this book is not like other books of the same genre – in a very good way!

I found myself drawn into the lives of Addie and the Connally boys immediately. The author has a gift for making the characters come alive for the readers.

This book is set in the early 1940s and it is the perfect setting for this story.

THE LAST SUMMER AT CHELSEA BEACH is a book that readers will literally be unable to put down. This book is so well written that I was completely engrossed in the story. In fact, when tragedy strikes I actually got teary-eyed and that does not happen to me normally.

A writer that can make a reader cry, laugh and hope throughout the course of the story is a very talented author. Kudos go to author Pam Jenoff for achieving this rare feat.

I also like the fact that included at the back of the book are two pages of “Questions for Discussion.” This will give Book Clubs a starting point for their discussions.

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

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
(Information and photo obtained from http://www.pamjenoff.com)

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Pam Jenoff was born in Maryland and raised outside Philadelphia. She attended George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and Cambridge University in England. She received her master’s in history from Cambridge, and afterwards accepted an appointment as Special Assistant to the Secretary of the Army. The position provided a unique opportunity to witness and participate in operations at the most senior levels of government, including helping the families of the Pan Am Flight 103 victims secure their memorial at Arlington National Cemetery, observing recovery efforts at the site of the Oklahoma City bombing and attending ceremonies to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of World War II.

Following her work at the Pentagon, Pam began work at the State Department. In 1996 she was assigned to the U.S. Consulate in Krakow, Poland. It was during this period that Pam developed her expertise in Polish-Jewish relations and the Holocaust. Working on matters such as preservation of Auschwitz and the restitution of Jewish property in Poland, Pam developed close relations with the surviving Jewish community.

Pam left the Foreign Service in 1998 to attend law school and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania. She worked for several years as a labor and employment attorney in Philadelphia and now teaches law school at Rutgers.

Pam is the author of The Kommandant’s Girl, which was an international bestseller and nominated for a Quill award, as well as The Winter Guest, The Diplomat’s Wife, The Ambassador’s Daughter, Almost Home, A Hidden Affair and The Things We Cherished. She also authored a short story in the anthology Grand Central: Original Postwar Stories of Love and Reunion. She lives outside Philadelphia with her husband and three children.

To find out more visit http://www.pamjenoff.com