4.5 Stars for ORPHANS: ORIGINS by Mike Evans – AUDIOBOOK REVIEW


Title: ORPHANS – ORIGINS

Author: MIKE EVANS

Series: ORIGINS: Book One

Type of Book: Audiobook – Unabridged 

Narrator: Jack Wallen Jr.

Length: 11 Hours

Genre: Contemporary Science Fiction, Zombie Fiction 

Release Date: August 3, 2015

Publisher: Mike Evans

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
~ I received a free copy of this audiobook through Audiobook Blast in exchange for an honest review. 

I have read A LOT of zombie fiction and it takes quite a bit to impress me – ORPHANS: ORIGINS did just that. 

When the audiobook first started I was worried that there would be nothing new in this audiobook and that I would be bored listening to it. My concerns were quickly put to rest as the story began to unfold.

Frank Fox is a man who gave up his prestigious position as an army research doctor to raise his four-year-old son after his wife dies of cancer. Sounds noble right? 

Well, twelve years later, his son, Shawn doesn’t think so. All Shawn remembers from that time is that his father was not there for Shawn or for his mother. Shawn is angry and feels that his father abandoned them. Shawn was only 4 years old and was left to care for his dying mother alone. You can’t blame Shawn for feeling that way. Imagine a tiny four year old left alone to watch his mother (the Center of his life) wither and ultimately die. 

Obviously from what I just wrote, you realize that this book has much more depth than just your typical zombie story. 

I do not want to give too much of the story away, but I do want say that this book contains one of the most plausible explanations as to the circumstances of how the zombie virus originates that I have ever read. I think future readers will agree.

Not only is there lots of action and some very scary scenes, but it also contains very believable human drama. 

The characters are well written and it is easy to visualize the people in the book.

I rate this book as 4.5 out of 5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ and I highly recommend ORPHANS: ORIGINS Book One to all lovers of zombie fiction.

It is well written and the narrator does a terrific job and keeps listeners on the edge of their seats. 

The half star loss came from me being overly nit picky. There were a couple of pronunciation issues but nothing that was so glaring that it detracts from the story as a whole.

I will be looking forward to listening to the next audiobook in this series. I am very interested to know what happens next with Shawn and his friends. 
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 


MIKE EVANS lives in Iowa with his wife and children. He writes for character depth because he wishes for you to love the character, regardless if they are the villain or the hero. He likes to write from a unique perspective, doing things with books that no one has done before. He keeps his characters realistic, there are no superhero like events that will happen. There are no perfect characters in his books, everyone has their flaws much like that of life.

Visit the author’s website  

Facebook 

Twitter

ABOUT THE NARRATOR: 


The path to becoming a professional writer was certainly the one less traveled for Jack. 

Originally, Jack’s artistic bent led him to a career as an actor. Working on Broadway and with regional and Shakespeare theatres across the country, Jack is proud to have held his own as an actor for over twenty years.

Before the economy had a chance to completely destroy the theatre arts, Jack decided to take his final curtain call during a production with the heralded Stage One Theatre for Young Audiences. It was, however, during that long career that Jack discovered he had a knack for the written word. His first, full-length novel was written between 2000 and 2003. That book, A Blade Away, eventually became his first published work. It didn’t take Jack long to fall in love with the creative process of writing and he followed that first book up with the cult-favorite, Shero.

It wasn’t until Jack woke up one summer morning with a simple question on his mind, that he would finally dive into the craft of horror fiction tooth and nail. That question, “What would it be like to transform into a zombie?”, led Jack to pen the first novel in the I Zombie series — I Zombie I. From there, Jack dove into the deeper waters of horror and has never looked back.

You can follow the mis-adventures of Jack in a number of ways. 

Website 

Facebook 

Twitter 

Zombie Radio 

4 Stars for BOKO HARAM by Charles River Editors – AUDIOBOOK REVIEW 


Title: BOKO HARAM: The History of Africa’s Most Notorious Terrorist Group

Author: Charles River Editors

Type of Book: Audiobook – Unabridged

Narrator: Wanda J. Dixon McKnight 

Length: 1 hour and 19 minutes

Release Date: April 23, 2015

Publisher: Charles River Editors

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 

* I received a free copy of this audiobook through AudioBookBlast in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.

Boko Haram was not a group that was on anyone’s radar until one day in April of 2004, when the group kidnapped 276 girls from a school in Nigeria. It was not a coincidence that most of those kidnapped girls are Christian.

This audiobook explains the deeply religious ideology that Boko Haram espouses. Boko Haram members are Muslim and they believe that Sharia law is the only true law. 

The narrator of this audiobook was the perfect choice. Many of the African names and pronunciations are extremely difficult for most people to pronounce but Wanda J. Dixon McKnight was flawless in her performance.

Much of the initial information in this audiobook is quite ‘dry’ but it was necessary to include it in order to really understand the African region and its complicated history. 

I found this audiobook very interesting although at times it came across less like a “book” and more like a university lecture. 

I rate this book as 4 out of 5 stars. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 


Charles River Editors is an independent publisher of thousands of ebooks on Kindle , Nook , Kobo , and Apple iBookstore & provider of original content for third parties.

To find out more visit https://m.facebook.com/pages/Charles-River-Editors-LLC/184364271587581 

To find out more about Boko Haram and the kidnapping of the schoolgirls visit the following links: 

Multiple Articles from Newsweek

ARTICLE FROM THE GUARDIAN: The night Boko Haram kidnapped our girls: a Chibok resident remembers

FACT SHEET FROM THE COUNTERTERRORISM GROUP 

3 Stars for THE KILLING COUSINS by Jack Rosewood – AUDIOBOOK REVIEW

  

Title: THE KILLING COUSINS: The True Story of the Slaying Cousins 
Series: True Crime by Evil Killers, Book 11

Author: Jack Rosewood 

Type of Book: Audiobook- Unabridged 

Length: 3 hours and 8 minutes

Narrator: Miles Taylor 

Genre: Non-Fiction, True Crime

Release Date: February 9, 2016

Publisher: Wiq Media

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 
~ I received a free copy of this book through AudioBookBlast in exchange for an honest review. 
Description by Audible.com: 

When Killing Cousins David Alan Gore and Fred Waterfield realized as teens that they shared the same sick, twisted sex fantasies of raping helpless, bound women who were completely at their mercy, Florida’s quiet Vero Beach would be never be the same.

 

DAVID ALAN GORE

 
Some of the least remorseful of all American serial killers, the deadly duo stalked their victims, often hitchhikes they believed would never be missed, using Gore’s auxiliary deputy badge as a ruse to lure them into their vehicle. After that, they were most likely to be driven to their deaths. 

Their evil, sadistic story from the annals of Florida history is one that will chill even longtime fans of true crime murder, especially after reading excerpts from the letters Gore wrote from prison, in which he shared deplorable secrets that made him one of the most demented sex criminals of all time. 

Gore once told a psychologist that “the devil made me do it,” but those who came in contact with Gore – including the law enforcement officials that ultimately put him on Death Row – believed he was the devil due to his depraved levels of cruelty.

Among the psychopaths and sociopaths that have walked the earth, Gore was one of the worst, although those who knew them say that it was Fred Waterfield, the more popular cousin who always played the good guy to Gore’s bad, who was the true brains of the outfit. As it happens, he probably was, because Waterfield almost got away with murder.
MY REVIEW: 

 Before listening to this audiobook I had never heard of Cousins David Alan Gore and Fred Waterfield which is surprising since their crimes must have garnered a lot of media attention. I assume the reason for my lack of information on the subject is due to geography. I live in Ontario, Canada and the cousins’ crime spree took place in Florida. 

I have listened to and read many True Crime books over the years and they all tend to follow a particular pattern. First, you learn about the killer’s childhood and family life; any early signs of psychopathy are outlined. This leads to the telling of the escalation of the killer’s crimes.

In “The Killing Cousins” this formula is only partially used. Other than learning that both David Alan Gore and his cousin, Fred Waterfield both had violent and deviant sexual fantasies during their adolescence, I did not feel that their early histories were adequately examined. 

I did find the story interesting, but felt there were a few problems with the way it was presented to the reader/listener. 

It was lacking in cohesiveness and the story came across as disjointed. For example, the listener learns that David Alan Gore was executed before they learn the details of his crimes. I believe that the author assumes that his readers will have previous knowledge of this criminal duo, but that is not always the case.

Another issue I had was with the recording quality. In two separate places the narrator repeats himself. I believe is probably when he took a break and went back to it later and a few words ended up being said twice; either that or whoever did the editing made the errors. 

I also would have liked to hear more about the victims. While there were a few details given, such as their ages, I felt that not enough details were given for the reader to feel any true empathy for them. They came across as victims in a story, rather than real people.

Based on the comments above, it would seem that I did not enjoy this audiobook, but that is not true. I found it interesting and I have to admit that the psychopathic mind is fascinating to me. What turns seemingly ordinary people into depraved monsters? I guess we will never really know.

If you are looking for a shortened version of the story of David Alan Gore and Fred Waterfield this audiobook is perfect for you.

I rate this audiobook as 3 out of 5 stars. ⭐️⭐️⭐️
If you are interested in more information about this crime spree, visit the following links:

THE PALM BEACH POST ARTICLE OUTLINING GORE’S CRIMES:

TAMPA BAY NEWSPAPER ARTICLE ABOUT DAVID ALAN GORE’S EXECUTION

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

  
Jack Rosewood is the author of many books on True Crime.

Jack lives in Jupiter, Florida with his wife, two kids and their golden retriever, Vincent. 

Jack Rosewood has been a full time author for the last 15 years and he wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world!

His father was a journalist and wrote about some of the worst crimes you could ever imagine, and that’s where Jack’s interest from serial killers and other horrible crimes comes from. Just to hear his father talk about the evil acts of Ted Bundy as they were out fishing when he was a kid are some of his best memories.

Join His Newsletter and get a FREE E-Book and more deals: http://jackrosewood.com  

Facebook Fan Page   


ABOUT THE NARRATOR:

Miles Taylor is a voice actor from Upstate NY. He specializes in adult romance, fantasy, mystery & thrillers. 

4 Stars for DEATH’S DRIVER by Jack Larson – AUDIOBOOK REVIEW

Deaths Driver Audiobook Cover

Title: DEATH’S DRIVER: The Life of a Body Transporter

Author: JACK LARSON

Type of Book: AUDIOBOOK – Unabridged

Narrator: J. SCOTT BENNETT

Length: 1 hour and 49 minutes

Genre: NON-FICTION, MEMOIR

Release Date: December 18, 2015

Publisher: ZA Productions

Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars ****

~ I received a free copy of this book through AudioBookBlast in exchange for an honest review.

PUBLISHER’S SYNOPSIS:

My career in the death care profession spanned a decade but encompassed the industry from several perspectives. What tied all these together was my role as a driver for the dead.

Sometimes I was a funeral driver, other times I picked up from morgues, and in another capacity I picked up the deceased from the scenes of car accidents, shootings, hit and runs, and worse. Finally, I cleaned up after homicides, accidents, and suicides as a side business.

I could have organized it in a logical, linear fashion, but that’s not how I remember it. My experiences varied widely and the pacing of the job was frenetic, fascinating, heartbreaking, and strangely edifying. Like death itself, it was always unpredictable.

MY REVIEW:

This audiobook is just under two hours in length and in it, Jack Larson relates short anecdotes about his time as “Death’s Driver.” Most of his anecdotes are about picking up bodies at accident or crime scenes and at times he goes into gory detail about the condition the body was in when he arrived to transport it to the morgue.

This audiobook is definitely not suitable for listeners under the age of 18 as I believe it would give children nightmares. It may even give some adults nightmares, but at least adults know what to expect when they read the synopsis, so, if it causes them nightmares, that is their own fault.

All of the anecdotes in this audiobook are very short. I found this frustrating at times. I guess I wanted a bit more of the backstory for each anecdote. Without the backstory I never really felt connected to the stories. But, I assume that author Jack Larson had to stay unattached and dispassionate to be able to do his job, so I guess this detachment is to be expected.

I really liked the narrator. He did a great job of describing some horrific situations with just the right mix of reverence for the dead and clinical dispassion. He never allowed his own personal feelings about any of the situations to show in his voice and if you choose to listen to this audiobook, you will realize just how difficult that must have been for him. I rate the narration as 5 out of 5 stars. *****

Overall, I found some of the anecdotes interesting and I found some of them just ridiculous. I just wish there was more personal detail so that I would have felt some connection to the author.

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

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Jack Larson is an artist based out of Albuquerque, New Mexico. His work is displayed in private collections around the world.

Several of his paintings have been published as book covers and one has been featured as an “Easter Egg” within Android smartphones. His work has been excoriated in reviews, exorcised by fundamentalist preachers, and appreciated by art collectors since he started painting zombies in 2009.

Click here to visit Jack Larson’s blog.

Follow him at: Instagram @zombiemarketing  

Click here to visit his Facebook Page.

 

ABOUT THE NARRATOR:

1a1 J Scott Bennett narrator pic

Scott was a Minister for twenty years, and also served in the United States Airforce as a Spanish translator before becoming a Middle School English and Language teacher. He is fairly new to the world of audiobook narration since he only began narrating audiobooks in July of 2015. However, in that short length of time he has narrated over 40 audiobooks

In high school and college he was active in drama and forensics even competing at the state and national level. He has years of public speaking experience, especially since he is a sixth grade reading teacher. He loves to do “read-alouds” with his students on a daily basis.

Visit Scott’s Narrator page on Goodreads

Visit Scott’s Page on Audible

4 Enthusiastic Stars for AFTERSHOCK by Valerie & Daniel Lioudis – AUDIOBOOK REVIEW

 

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

 
Title: AFTERSHOCK: A Collection of Survivor Tales

Authors: Valerie and Kristopher Lioudis

Type of Book: AUDIOBOOK – Unabridged 

Narrator: Daniel Rose

Length: 7 hours and 28 minutes

Genre: Horror, Post-Apocalyptic Fiction, Zombie Fiction

Release Date: August 27, 2015

Publisher: Valerie Lioudis 

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 
~ I received a free copy of this audiobook through AudioBookBlast in exchange for an honest review. 

**This book contains explicit language and violence and is not suitable for listeners under the age of 16**

This audiobook alternates between the survival stories of several people after a virus decimates the world’s population. Most people are either dead or have turned into “Moaners” (zombies). 

This is the same storyline that almost every zombie novel adheres to; at least that is what I thought at first. 

Then comes the twist. Several survivors have one thing in common and that trait may just be the key to humanity’s survival. 

There are problems however. The survivors may be able to either outrun or outgun the Moaners, but what about other survivors? 

It is unfortunate, but there is one universal truth that is highlighted in apocalyptic fiction. Not unfortunate that it is included in the story, but because it is so realistic. That truth is that there are always people who will exploit any situation to their own personal benefit. This is as true in real life as it is in fiction. You need only to look at the price gouging that took place after Hurricane Katrina to find a real-life example of this concept. That is a very mild version of people doing bad things – the instances in this book are worse, much worse.

Each section or chapter of this book focuses on a specific survivor. My favourite parts were those that told the story of Max and Rocky. Max is a pre-teen and out of necessity he has had to grow up almost overnight. Fortunately for him, his dog Rocky is his constant companion. It is impossible as a parent not to root for the child to survive. And, of course, I love dogs so I wanted Rocky to survive as well. It is obvious that the authors are dog lovers because they really nailed the bond that develops between a boy and his dog. 

This audiobook stands out from other zombie novels because of the author’s incredible character development. There is a priest who has lost his faith. This to me makes him seem more real. In other books of this genre you often see religious characters that are so devout that even the walking dead are unable to shake their faith. Pardon my French, but BULLS**T. How could anyone not question their belief in a higher power when people are returning to ‘life’ after death and are attacking and eating anyone who is not yet infected with the virus?

Then, there is Daniel. He’s a soldier who was left behind by his unit. I guess the “No Man Left Behind” credo does not apply in the Zombie Apocalypse. There are other terrific characters, but I don’t want this review to be too long, so you will have to buy a copy of this audiobook to find out about the rest of them.  

The narrator for this audiobook, Daniel Rose, did an absolutely outstanding job of narrating the male voices. In fact, he did such a great job that I would recommend to the author that he keep this same narrator throughout the series. However, the one complaint I do have regarding the narration is that the chapters that focused on female survivors were also narrated by the same person – a male. Daniel Rose has such a wonderfully rich, deep and masculine voice that it would have have been preferable to have a second narrator; a female, to read those particular chapters. I think that if there were both a male and a female narrator that this audiobook would be a chart-topper in it’s genre. 

My favourite quote from this book is: “You can have all the supplies in the world, but if you can’t trust the group you’re with; you’re dead. It’s that simple.”

I enjoyed this audiobook and I do intend to listen to the next book in the series, especially since the ending of this one was a cliffhanger. I am interested to see what direction the survivors are headed and if all the separate groups and individuals will eventually end up together. 

I rate AFTERSHOCK as 4 out of 5 stars. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ The only reason I did not rate it as 5 stars was due to the lack of a female narrator. 

  • ABOUT THE AUTHORS: 

KRISTOPHER LIOUDIS

   

Father of six from the South Jersey Shore, Kris has always had a love for writing, horror and zombie fiction, and absurd, inappropriate humor. He co-wrote his first full-length novel, Aftershock: A Collection of Survivors’ Tales, with his total MILF of a wife Valerie. The two now live in the Pine Barrens with their pile of children and enough stockpiled Nerf weapons to take down an army of the undead.

More information about him and his books can be found here:

http://www.amazon.com/Aftershock-Collection-Survivors-Valerie-Lioudis-ebook/dp/B00QO04KCY/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1418845543&sr=1-1&keywords=aftershock%3A+a+collection

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/10684738.Kristopher_Lioudis

https://twitter.com/NotUnamused
VALERIE LIOUDIS  

Valerie was born and bred in New Jersey. She is what people refer to as a “Creative Soul”. 

Valerie is afraid of just about everything so she turns to zombie movies and books to hash out what she would do to survive if the apocalypse ever hits New Jersey. 

Valerie is the mother of SIX (yes, you read that correctly) kids. They range in age from a newborn to teenagers so she has had to become a multitasking master. 

More information about her and her books can be found here:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/10684737.Valerie_Lioudis

https://twitter.com/valeriebougher