Tag Archives: audio book

Review of Deadmen Walking (Deadman’s Cross #1), by Sherrilyn Kenyon

I borrowed a copy of Sherrilyn Kenyon‘s Deadmen Walking through Hoopla.

Description from Goodreads:

Deadmen tell their tales . . .

To catch evil, it takes evil. Enter Devyl Bane―an ancient dark warlord returned to the human realm as one of the most notorious pirates in the New World. A man of many secrets, Bane makes a pact with Thorn―an immortal charged with securing the worst creations the ancient gods ever released into our world. Those powers have been imprisoned for eons behind enchanted gates . . . gates that are beginning to buckle. At Thorn’s behest, Bane takes command of a crew of Deadmen and, together, they are humanity’s last hope to restore the gates and return the damned to their hell realms.

But things are never so simple. And one of Bane’s biggest problems is the ship they sail upon. For the Sea Witch isn’t just a vessel, she’s also a woman born of an ancient people he wronged and who in turn wronged him during a centuries long war between their two races―a woman who is also sister to their primary target. Now Marcelina, the Sea Witch, must choose. Either she remains loyal to her evil sister and almost extinct race against Bane and his cause, and watches humanity fall, or she puts faith in an enemy who has already betrayed her. Her people over the totality of humanity―let’s hope Bane can sway her favor. 

Review:

Sigh. Do you know what one of my biggest book pet peeves is? It’s when Sequels and spin-offs aren’t well labeled. What’s more, I honestly believe that authors and publishers do this purposefully so that readers who might not pick up a books 5 or 15 or 25 in a series will be tricked into picking up a book one in a poorly labeled spinoff that is actually book 5 or 15 or 25 in a previous series. 

That’s how I feel about Deadmen Walking. I’ve long wanted to try a Sherrilyn Kenyon book. But Haven’t really known where to start, since there are so many of them. But when I saw book one of a what I thought was a new series, I gave it a go. Big mistake. 

Deadmen Walking has no world building, a confusing muddle of mythologies and several characters (of which there are far too many) were barely introduced. It felt enough unlike a standalone book that I finally did some investigation to discover that it’s a spinoff of the Dark Hunter series. 

Outside of the spinoff series issue, I also just didn’t think it was very good. It wasn’t complete shite, but it felt VERY formulaic and shallow. I saw no reason why characters who’d lived together for centuries suddenly saw each other in a different light and finally accepted love. There was no development in the romance, (again, they’d lived together for centuries). There were too many characters to keep straight and several were basically pointless. A second romance was tacked on at the end that hadn’t been developed at all. (And it felt like the female character was originally meant to be the primary love interest until Kenyon changed her mind, so she had to be matched up somewhere.) I didn’t understand the villains motivation or how she got so powerful. Bane seemed to develop abilities randomly and the pacing is inconsistent and the pacing seemed super inconsistent. 

I no longer fear I might be missing out having never read a Kenyon novel.

Review of The Right Swipe (Modern Love #1), by Alisha Rai

cover of the Right Swipe

I won a paperback copy of Alisha Rai‘s The Right Swipe through Goodreads. However, since I seem to be listening to a lot more books than reading lately, I borrowed an audio copy through Hoopla to listen to . I’ll put the paperback in the Little Free Library next time I swap books.

Description from Goodreads:

Rhiannon Hunter may have revolutionized romance in the digital world, but in real life she only swipes right on her career—and the occasional hookup. The cynical dating app creator controls her love life with a few key rules: 

– Nude pics are by invitation only 

– If someone stands you up, block them with extreme prejudice 

– Protect your heart 

Only there aren’t any rules to govern her attraction to her newest match, former pro-football player Samson Lima. The sexy and seemingly sweet hunk woos her one magical night… and disappears. 

Rhi thought she’d buried her hurt over Samson ghosting her, until he suddenly surfaces months later, still big, still beautiful—and in league with a business rival. He says he won’t fumble their second chance, but she’s wary. A temporary physical partnership is one thing, but a merger of hearts? Surely that’s too high a risk…

Review:

I have to give a caveat that contemporary romance isn’t really my jam. I love me some romance, but I’d rather it be set on Mars or in some fantasy realm with Elves or dragons. But interesting looking contemporary romances keep falling in my lap and I’m reading them. 

There seems to be a trend lately of writing romances that correct for all the harmful BS that the genre has suffered from in the past (and a lot of why I’ve avoided it). They’re sex positive, inclusive, diverse and feminist. And I cannot tell you how strongly I am here for that shift in tone! The Right Swipe has that in spades. Samson basically offers to hold Rhi’s purse while she works toward world domination. I loved it. 

I did think Rhi was overreactive at times and the book bordered on didactic on several fronts. But I loved Samson and generally enjoyed the story. Plus, Morton and Pallino did great jobs with the narration.

Review of Imperfect Match, by Jordan Castillo Price

I received an Audible credit for a copy of Jordan Castillo Price‘s Imperfect Match.

Description from Goodreads:

Lee Kennedy’s destiny is controlled by the Algorithm. It’s the reason he’s still in college, regardless of his good academic performance. He’s switched his major repeatedly and stalled on his Master’s thesis, but there’s only so much longer he can hold out. Because once he graduates, the Algorithm must be triggered.

Everyone in Lee’s family has allowed the Algorithm to match them with a spouse. As has everyone on his block. His neighborhood. In fact, everyone he’s ever known. Pairing with his own chosen match seems inevitable…until, at his sister’s wedding, he meets Roman.

The waiter lives in the Taxable District, a run-down neighborhood that’s only a brief train ride away, but feels like another world. The seedy District is governed by different standards—different expectations—so it’s not exactly a surprise that Roman isn’t married. But it’s definitely a shock to taste his lips.

One forbidden encounter has Lee reeling. He questions everything. His past. His future. And especially the Algorithm. He longs for the freedom to choose not only his own partner, but his own destiny. 

When defying the Algorithm will cost everything—family, home, and even livelihood—is Lee strong enough to take another path? 

Review:

It took me a surprisingly long time to settle into this relatively short story (novella). I caught on fairly quickly that the Boomer and Taxable districts were adherents to different economic and dogmatic systems. But it wasn’t until Lee started to identify his own privileges and the restrictions that came with them that I really started to appreciate the story. Watching him struggle with his responsibilities, searching for a way to meet them while being true to himself was a pleasure. The romantic subplot was sweet, but I felt almost unnecessary. I don’t mean I wish it wasn’t there. It was integral to the story Price was telling. But I also think the rest of Lee’s experience was substantial enough all on its own. 

I don’t know if the term Boomer was chosen specifically to create parallels to the Baby Boomers. But I do think that this story could easy be read as representing the divide between them and Millennials (leaving Get X out as always). Certainly, the difference in opportunities, mind set, and mores fits. All in all, a satisfying read. And Joel Leslie did a good job with the narration.