Showing posts with label Audiobooks. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Audiobooks. Show all posts

Tuesday, 15 September 2020

Audiobook Review - The Murder Room

I'm surprised that this is the first review am writing for the new Pewter Wolf. As you know, from my Sit Crooked And Talk Straight post, the last few months have been a bit of a struggle so am trying to find a new medium of writing the blog and having fun with it, so am trying things out. The next few months are going to be very trial and error. 

But this is a book reviewing book, so I should write a few bookish things on here, right? Something to reflect my, hopefully, new change in direction. Something fun, light, hopefully in these dark times, something - *checks notes* - nope, let’s talk murders, shall we? 

  • Title And Author: The Murder Room by PD James
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber
  • Physical, eBook or Audiobook: Audiobook
  • Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Bought
  • Length: 560 Pages or 12 Hours 39 Minutes
  • Buy From: Book Depository - Foyles - Waterstones - Audible UK

Commander Adam Dalgliesh knows of the Dupayne Museum in Hampstead. He took one of his friends there one Friday. He knows about niché museum’s commitment to preserve the history of the interwar years, including its sinister murder room. Now, he and his team are asked to investigate the murder of one of the trustees. Petrol was thrown on him and his car and set alight. With news that the this trustee was refusing to sign a new lease, meaning the museum would close, it now looks like his death was targeted. 

But what makes the murder more creepy is how similar it is to one of the murders in the Murder Room. A coincidence? Or is the killer using the Murder Room for inspiration and, if so, what murder are they going to do next…?

Wednesday, 2 September 2020

#re3 - Illuminae

Ok, I did warn you that I might mix things up on the Pewter Wolf and on my Goodreads ( for the next few months, till I find my groove back with reading and blogging (this is a strange new time!), but after listening to the audiobook of Illuminae (a reread, as first read it back in 2018), I knew I wanted to talk about this so, let me get the typical “Here’s all the Info/links” rubbish out of the way and we can talk! 

  • Title And Author: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
  • Publisher: Rock The Boat
  • Physical, eBook or Audiobook: Audiobook
  • Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Bought
  • Length: 608 Pages or 11 Hours 40 Minutes
  • Buy From: Book Depository - Foyles - Waterstones - Audible

Now, I’ve already read this so this is a reread and I know most of you guys have read this as you are much better readers than me, but if you haven’t, Illuminae is a bit of a weird one. But in a good way. Stay with me with this as I try (and fail) to explain this. 

The year is 2527 and two megacorporations are at war over a tiny, ice-speck of a planet. Shame no one thought to warn the people on the planet. As enemy fire falls down on them, Kady and Ezra must make their escape to the evacuating fleet. There, they will be safe. Right? 

Wrong. A deadly plague has broken out on one of the ships and is mutating, the ships’s AI has gone AWOL and the enemy ship that was destroying the planet is chasing them, wanting to kill them all. And no one is saying or doing anything. Kady knows her way round computers so she decides to hack their computers to find the truth, but soon realises that she needs one person’s help: Ezra. Yet, there’;s a problem with that: they broke up mere hours before all this crazy started and she’s not sure she wants to talk to him…

Saturday, 29 August 2020

Best Reads/Audiobooks Of The Past Two Months...

As you probably noted, I haven't really talked about what I read/audiobooked via the past few months. July was a surprise blog break and then, to ease self back into blogging this month, I took on a bunch of blog tours (which were fun as this made look into books and series, some of which I wouldn't have noticed till I was asked and now am going "I need to put this on my radar, if I have time/space on my TBR") to help me ease back into blogging.

But that didn't mean I have stopped reading. Oh no. I have still been reading. And, for the most part, I have been reviewing them on my Goodreads ( But there were a few I wanted to reference on here as they were SO GOOD, that I wanted to share with you guys. I hope you don't mind...

Thursday, 13 August 2020

Revisiting the Old Kingdom

During COVID-19 lockdown/self-isolation, I read and audiobook a lot! And, as you probably see from a month or so back, I hit a reading wall and was on verge of reading slump and blogging slump. So, I decided to reread Sabriel, the first book in the Old Kingdom series by Garth Nix. This is usually my Go-To book when I'm on the verge of or in a reading slump as I adore this book!

Plus, me rereading this series is a long time coming as, for the past 18 months, I have openly said that I would reread Lirael, the second book in the series. I've been wanting to reread this for such a long time as, while I adore Sabriel, Lirael has a soft spot in my heart as does Goldenhand (I will explain why a little further down).

So, the past few months, I finally sucked it up and reread the whole series. Expect, I've not reread them. I have audiobooked them, and while I've only ever audiobook Sabriel, so this is a new experience for me, and yet, not quite at the time same.

So, what do I class this? A Reread Post (aka re3 post) or a new post? A mix of both? An experience post?

Not sure where to start, so let's talk about rereading these books and me falling back in love with this world.

I suppose I should explain what the series is about, though that is a little of a hard one to explain. The Old Kingdom series is a high fantasy series which, primary, is set in the Old Kingdom, a kingdom where magic exist (well, two types. Charter Magic and Free Magic) and the Dead can walk, pulled back into Life by nercomancers or Free Magic adapts. Only the Abhorsen can lay the Dead to rest and force them into the cold river of Death and, hopefully, through the Nine Gates.

I suppose I should, also, explain reading order and history as, even as a fan, this is a weird one. Sabriel is the first, published in the UK in 2002 but published in Nix's homeland of Australia in 1995. This was, originally, a standalone so you can easily read this and you would be perfectly fine. Lirael and Abhorsen was published in 2003 and 2004. Set around 20 years after the events of Sabriel, this is one story told over two books, so you have to read this duology together. Clariel is a tricky one - almost the black sheep of the family - as it's a prequel, set around 300 years before the events of Sabriel and things happen in there that have an effect on the series. And Goldenhand takes place six months after the events of Abhorsen.

Which leads to reading order. There are, to my knowledge, three ways you can read this series, if you wish. You can read it in publication order (Sabriel, Lirael, Abhorsen, Clariel and Goldenhand with the two novellas, Nicholas Sayre and the Creature in the Case and To Hold A Bridge before Goldenhand - yes, there are short stories set in this world, but not gonna touch on them in this post!), you can read in timeline order (Clariel, Sabriel, Lirael, Abhorsen and Goldenhand) or you do publication order but flip Clariel and Goldenhand about so the order would be Sabriel, Lirael, Abhorsen, Goldenhand then Clariel.

I know, that last order sounds weird, but it does work and make sense. Because Clariel is a prequel and hints at one or two things to come, you can either read it before or after Goldenhand. You can read it before and go "Oh, that's what happened" or you can read it after and go "Oh, that's what happened!"

But, in either way, I do say read Sabriel first as it sets up the world and magic system and Lirael and Abhorsen is one story told over two books and, if possible, read Clariel and Goldehand as close together if possible, though this isn't essential.

So, my reread and thoughts. Well, to no one's surprise, Sabriel and Lirael are wonderful books. I will happily push these two onto people. They are wonderful and am shocked that it's taken me so long to reread these. The same goes Wirth Abhorsen, though I don't have as much affection to it compared to Sabriel or Lirael. I feared at one point that this would be four stars, but Garth pulls it back right at the end!

Clariel and Goldenhand are odd balls. I've not read these as much compared to the others (only once or twice) and I have read affection for these. I read Goldenhand while in New York City on holiday with my partner who proposed on that trip, hence my soft spot. And with Clariel, I've been waiting for this book for such a long time and, while not my fave in the series, I do keep thinking about the main character, Clariel, quite often as she is quite a complex character.

But this reread was different. And I have two reasons for this. The first is I was audiobooking this time round and, because of that, I had three different narrators. Tim Curry, Graeme Malcolm and Heather Wilds. Now, I have listened to the audiobook of Sabriel many years ago so I have heard Tim Curry reading and I adore his voice. It just fits (plus, how he does Mogget is wonderful) so, I knew I would love his reading of Lirael and Abhorsen. And I did. Hugely.

But, as we all know, he suffered a stroke several years ago, meaning he was unable to continue acting and reading the series. Hence, Graeme and Heather stepping in to read Clariel and Goldenhand. And this is a bit jarring when you are doing one audiobook after another. I am going to be honest here, I see why Graeme was chosen to do Clariel, but I never warmed to his voice. The same goes, up to a point, with Heather. I see why she was chosen and I did like her reading, but some of the choices she made with character's voices were puzzling.

Plus, I did audiobook Goldenhand at the worst possible time in my life (I will explain in further but not now. At the time of writing, it'a too soon and too raw).

But I am, overall, really glad I revisited the Old Kingdom. And with the sixth book in the series coming out the end of next year (it will either be called Terciel and Elinor or Terciel [not sure as getting conflicting info on that front), I can;'t wait to come back into this world. Or maybe reread a book or two before diving straight back!

Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Self-Isolation Blog Tour - Fair Warning

SURPRISE BLOG TOUR REVIEW ALERT! I bet you weren’t expecting this, were you? Well, it’s always nice to keep you guys on your toes! So, before you send off your DNA off to that DNA ancestry site, sit down, have a cuppa and read my review of my first Michael Connelly, Fair Warning!
  • Title And Author: Fair Warning by Michael Connelly
  • Publisher: Orion
  • Physical, eBook or Audiobook: Audiobook
  • Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Gifted by publisher in exchange for an honest review/reaction
  • Length: 416 Pages or 10 Hours 14 Minutes
  • Buy From: Book Depository - Foyles - Waterstones - Audible

So, my first Connelly! When I was asked if I wanted to review this, I jumped at it, only reading the first few lines at the press release. Then self-isolation happened and that affected how I audiobooked this so, heads-up that this review might be a tad more clinical than it would have been if life was “normal” and was listening to this a few months ago and a few months into the future. So, this is my first Michael Connelly so forgive me if I make a mistake or question something that is explain in previous novels. 

Anyway, with all that out of the way, let’s get to it! 

Veteran journalist Jack McEvoy is used to tracking down killers - he’s done that with The Poet and The Scarecrow. But he thought that when he started working at non-profit consumer journalism website, Fair Warning, those days were behind him. But when the Police come to his home and question him about a one-night stand he had over a year ago, he’s confused. Till it’s revealed that the woman is now dead, and she believed she was being cyber-stalked and the Police, having little to no evidence, think Jack is a possible suspect. 

Horrified, Jack begins to investigate, against the warning of the Police and his own editor. But when he stumbles on the fact that this death isn’t the other death with the same method of killing. And all the killings have another thing in common - they all send their DNA off to the same cheap DNA testing site. Is there a serial killer out there, using the same DNA profiling to select their victims? Is it the same person who, on the Dark Web, calls themselves the Shrike?

Monday, 18 May 2020

Self-Isolation Audiobook - The Green Mill Murder

  • Title And Author: The Green Mill Murder by Kerry Greenwood
  • Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press/Constable or C&R Crime
  • Physical, eBook or Audiobook: Audiobook
  • Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Borrowed from local library via BorrowBox
  • Length: 224 Pages or 6 Hours 19 Minutes
  • Buy From: Book Depository - Foyles - Waterstones - Audible

My self-isolation reading has pinball all over the place the past few weeks. But the audiobooks I’ve requested from my library has been very hit and miss. I would request an audiobook WEEKS ago/before self-isolation, excited to audiobook it, only for it to come available to me now during these crazy times and my brain going “Nope!” over it. 

But my brain allowed me to listen and enjoy The Green Mill Murder, the fifth book in the Phryne Fisher series and my third outing (after Murder on the Ballarat Train and Flying Too High). 

Phryne Fisher is dancing to jazz at the Green Mill in 1920s Melbourne, when a man collapses to the floor, stabbed in the chest. But no one was near the man so how was he stabbed? 

When the Police arrive at the Green Mill, Phryne’s dance partner goes to bathroom to be ill, and vanishes without a trace… 

Soon, Phryne is investigating the case of the dead man and her dance partner’s disappearance and the trouble he left in his wake…

Tuesday, 12 May 2020

Self-Isolation #re3 - Twilight

  • Title And Author: Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
  • Publisher: Atom
  • Physical, eBook or Audiobook: Audiobook
  • Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Bought
  • Length: 513 Pages or 12 Hours 51 Minutes
  • Buy From: Book Depository - Foyles - Waterstones - Audible

Well, this is a turn-up for the books. I decided to reread Twilight. Now, I hold this series quite close to my heart (not Harry Potter close, but I do have affection for this series) and in times of darkness, such as self-isolation/furlodged due to COVID-19, sometimes rereading a book you love or rewatching that TV show, film or playing that video game is needed. 

So, not sure why I went to Twilight and not my normal go-on of Harry Potter or Sabriel, but Twilight I did. 

Now, this isn’t a review. There is no point me doing a review for this book as we all agree that, yes, this is a fun, beach read and a perfect read for something to sweep you along and you happily go along with it. HOWEVER, this book is very problematic. 

The book is very much split into two parts. The first half focuses on the romance, the falling in love for the first time. It’s Bella moving to Forks and falling into lust then love with Edward over a period of several weeks/months. I keep forgetting that the first chunk of the book takes place over a long period of time. That’s because Bella rarely mentions time pasting. 

And yes, people have said Bella is very blank-state Mary-Sue character as you insert yourself into her character (had to rewrite that line as “insert yourself into her” sounds increasely filthy!), and because she’s falling in love for the first time, we too are inserting our first time as well. Plus, as we all know, when you are at the beginning of a relationship, we all are wearing rose-tinted glasses and inserting the qualities we most admire onto the other person and not seeing their flaws, hence why Bella sees Edward’s behaviour as romantic and not as toxic masculainy (though why no one else in the book sees it is anyone’s guess).

Then we have the thriller second-half. I’m not against this - I read/audiobook most of this section in one or two days, but I sense that there were some aspects that were a little too easy. A little too convenient. But I read this section at speed and most readers forget this latter part as, when we think about Twilight and the Saga as a whole, we remember the romance. 

I’m surprised at some of the writing. In some places, it’s fairly solid and others, not so much. As someone who has read most of Stephenie’s novel (barring the Eclipse novel, The Second Short Life of Bree Tanner), I can see that she’s grown as a storyteller and go better with her plotting. Her adult novels, The Host and The Chemist are far better and much stronger (though, out of the two, I would say The Host is far superior. Though I do think The Chemist has its moments and would work much better as a TV show, similar vine to Killing Eve, The Blacklist or Blindspot). 

It was nice going down nostalgia reading lane, and seeing as I want to do a lot more rereads as part of my “Ten Years Book Blogging”, it was nice to reread this and make plans to reread a few other titles… gonna keep these under my hat, for now, though keep eyes peeled on my #re3 page as they might offer you clues…

Wednesday, 6 May 2020

Self-Isolation Audiobook - The Faceless Old Woman Who Secretly Lives In Your Home

  • Title And Author: The Faceless Old Woman Who Secretly Lives In Your Home by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor
  • Publisher: Orbit
  • Physical, eBook or Audiobook: Audiobook
  • Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Bought
  • Length: 384 Pages or 9 Hours 13 Minutes
  • Buy From: Book Depository - Foyles - Waterstones - Audible

It’s been a while since I listened to the podcast, Welcome to Night Vale. But I always say it’s one of my fave podcasts as it has that level of creep, unnerve and yet a big hearted and very diverse! One of the fans’s favourite character is The Faceless Old Woman Who Secretly Lives In Your Home. She tried (and failed) to become the town’s Mayor and little is known about her barring her living in your home, in every home. Though, in an episode The April Monologues, she says “I haven’t begged since I was a child aboard that wicked ship. Those men didn’t listen either … which is the reason I lived at the bottom of the ocean for so many years before this place, this desert, this town, this apartment…” 

So, who is/was she? How did she come to Night Vale? This book gives the answers as this book goes back in 19th century Europe and slowly pieces her past together with the present as she guides, haunts and sabotages a young man called Craig…

Thursday, 30 April 2020

Self-Isolation #re3 - Tales of Beedle The Bard

REREAD TIME! Ok, not reread or #re3 (as I call them on the Pewter Wolf) as this is the audiobook version, which was only released a few weeks ago. But, this is a reread as I have read and reread this how often. I mean, it’s Harry Potter related, OF COURSE I have read this goodness knows how many times! 

And while I was in two minds over whether to write this or not (for several days, I did say I wouldn’t as WHAT COULD I ADD?!), Am surprised that I haven’t written this up on the Pewter Wolf before. So, while in self-isolation and trying to avoid my eProofs TBR as if it was the [retracted badly-timed joke here], I thought I would listen to this and write a quick thingamabob here. 

So, history to Beedle. Ok, most Harry Potter fans know this but Beedle was reference in the last Harry Potter, Deathly Hallows. And in it, it’s a collection of wizard fairy tales, very similar to Brothers Grimms’s. After finishing Deathly Hallows, JK Rowling decided to hand-write Beedle to people as a way of thank you. One went to her first UK editor (who, I believe, auctioned off his copy a few years ago with most proceeds going to charity), and a second going to her American editor. Another copy was auctioned and the proceeds went to charity and, less than a year later, the collection was published to general public. The sale of this collection went towards charity and continues to do so. 

So, Tales of Beedle the Bard is a collection of five wizard fairy tales: The Wizard and the Hopping Pot, Fountain of Fair Fortune, Warlock’s Hairy Heart, Babbitty Rabbitty and Her Cackling Stump and The Tale of the Three Brothers. Also, as this is seen as a Hogwarts Textbook (much like Fantastic Beasts and Quidditch Through the Ages), this has a little extra with footnotes written by Albus Dumbledore.

Thursday, 23 April 2020

Self-Isolation #re3 - Artemis Fowl and the Arctic Incident

  • Title And Author: Artemis Fowl and the Arctic Incident by Eoin Colfer
  • Publisher: Puffin
  • Physical, eBook or Audiobook: Audiobook
  • Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Borrowed from local library by BorrowBox
  • Length: 306 Pages or 6 Hours 48 Minutes
  • Buy From: Book Depository - Foyles - Waterstones - Audible

I read this YEARS ago when the book was first published in hardback with its super-shiny foiled dustjacket. Now, I only read the first three books (I never carried on for some reason. Maybe it was the first cover change when book 4 was first published or maybe I thought book 3 - The Eternity Code - ended in a good place) but with Disney releasing their movie version Artemis Fowl on Disney+ (this was meant to be released in cinemas but with COVID-19 situation, Disney decided to move this to their streaming services and push back release dates for other releases; their live action Mulan and Marvel’s Black Widow), I felt the urge to reread or grab my hands on the audiobook. So, yes, REREAD TIME!!! 

So, The Arctic Incident. After the whole hostage situation of last year, faerie Holly Short of course thinks child genius and criminal mastermind Artemis Fowl is behind the recent goblin gangs planning an uprising. But, for once, Artemis is innocent (hard to believe, I know!) and he has bigger fish to fry: his missing father is being held for ransom by Russian Mafia and he needs to be saved. So, Artemis needs to clear his name, save his father and figure out what’s going on with the People…

Tuesday, 21 April 2020

Self-Isolation Audiobook - The Vile Village

  • Title And Author: The Vile Village by Lemony Snicket
  • Publisher: Egmont
  • Physical, eBook or Audiobook: Audiobook
  • Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Borrowed from local library via BorrowBox
  • Length: 272 Pages or 4 Hours 17 Minutes
  • Buy From: Book Depository - Foyles - Waterstones - Audible

Back into 2016, I made a plan to try and read the entire A Series of Unfortunate Events series. I reread the first few and started reading the books I hadn’t. I got up to book six - The Ersatz Elevator - and then, I stopped. I did like the book and I did have plans to continue but I didn’t. I think it’s mainly because the plot kept repeating itself and I was getting sick of the “Baudelaire go to new guardian, Count Olaf comes along to do dastardly thing to get hands on Bauldelaire fortune, no grown-ups believe Baudelaire, Bauldelaire unmask Olaf and, due to this, Bauldelaires must go to new guardians”. Rinse, wash, repeat. 

And that kinda happens here, though I read an hour or so into this that this, according to most fans, is classed as the “Plot Twist Book”, so I should have kept going, right? 

After the events of The Ersatz Elevator, the Bauldelaires are back in Mr Poe’s office, awaiting news of the next new guardian that will look after the three of them and, at the same time, keep them safe from Count Olaf, the man who is desperate to get his hands on the Bauldelaires and their fortune. But Mr Poe tells them that a new scheme is put in place and an entire village will look after the three. After it, “It takes a village to raise a child”. And the village that is going to look after them is VFD, the same initials as something their kidnap friends tried to warn them about in the last book. But is the town of VFD the same VFD? And how long are the children safe before Count Olaf returns in one of his awful disguises…?

I’m going to admit this right off the bat, I haven’t see the Netflix show (hence why I wanted to read this series back in 2016), and I’ve always consider this a solid series. That doesn’t change here - as a child, I would have hoovered these books up as these tick all my reading boxes. It’s dark, it’s a little absurd but it’s got an element of mystery to it. Perfect for younger me. But as an adult, I’m find it just ok. I’m getting a little tired of the “Rinse, Wash, Repeat” story that is happening, but with the final chapter throwing it out of the window as now, the Bauldelaires are on their own and it seems that, because of this, the children are now going to be more proactive in figuring out what VFD means. 

I don’t really have much more to say about. I’m intrigued to see what happens in next few books, but I’m not sure if this will live up to my expectations. But, like I said, I think a preteen me would have devoured this series, but thirty-something me is wanting something more… 

Friday, 17 April 2020

Self-Isolation Audiobook - Naked In Death

  • Title And Author: Naked In Death by J.D. Robb
  • Publisher: Piatkus
  • Physical, eBook or Audiobook: eBook & Audiobook
  • Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: eProof Gifted by publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review and Audiobook borrowed from Scribd
  • Length: 401 Pages or 10 Hours 17 Minutes
  • Buy From: Book Depository - Foyles - Waterstones - Audible

Ok, I am going to admit it. I’ve been aware of this series for a little while now, but never really acted on whether I should read it or not because it’s a long running series. And I mean, Long! It recently released the 50 (!) instalment - Golden In Death - and has no plans on stopping. The 51st - Shadows In Death - will be published this coming September. Plus, there are novellas within this series as well so VERY OVERWHELMING. 

But been intrigued to try this so when I saw it was available for review to celebrate Golden In Death’s release on NetGalley, I snapped up a copy and, due to self-isolation, manage to grab my hands on an audiobook edition and listen to it while playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons (why do I get the feeling you’re judging me right now?)

It’s 2058 New York and the world has changed. Technology, the law, crimes. But for Detective Eve Dallas, she knows that murder is still murder. 

When a professional sex worker (and granddaughter to Conservative Congressman) is violently murdered, Eve is put on the case as this could be the start of a serial killer. As more sex workers get murdered, her bosses and people in power want a result. Fast. Shame that the lead suspect in Eve’s investigation is one of the most wealthiest and influential men on the planet - Roarke - and that they both seem to have growing attraction to each other…

Thursday, 16 April 2020

Self-Isolation Audiobook - The Strange Casebook

  • Title And Author: The Strange Casebook by Syd Moore
  • Publisher: OneWorld Publications
  • Physical, eBook or Audiobook: eBook & Audiobook
  • Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: eProof Gifted by publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review and Audiobook borrowed from Scribd
  • Length: 106 Pages or 3 Hours 5 Minutes
  • Buy From: Audible

I had such high hopes for this series. It sounded right up my street: a crime mystery with paranormal elements. What more can I ask for? So when I saw this collection of short stories set in this world was on available on NetGalley, I went straight for it. Perfect way to get into the world, I thought. ... well... 

This is a collection of six short stories, each with their own twist in the tale. And while these, I believe will be great little extras for fans of the Essex Witch Museum Mystery series, not sure this was the greatest entrance for me. With each story, I kept going "How? How does this relate to the rest of the series?"

Basically, I was this gif every time a short story ended:

I think most fans of this series will like this collection (though I would recommend fans to buy The Twelve Strange Days of Christmas as this contains all six short stories in this collection and six new short stories), but for me... these stories didn't really leave an impression on me and, because of that, I'm a little more wary to try this series, starting with Strange Magic.

Tuesday, 14 April 2020

Self-Isolation Audiobook - Can't Escape Love

  • Title And Author: Can’t Escape Love by Alyssa Cole
  • Publisher: Avon Impulse
  • Physical, eBook or Audiobook: Audiobook
  • Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Borrowed via Scribd
  • Length: 192 Pages or 4 Hours 23 Minutes
  • Buy From: Book Depository - Audible

Another day in self-isolation, another romance audiobook (kinda annoying as I can’t seem to focus on one of my most anticipated reads of 2020; Kathy Reichs’s A Conspiracy of Bones. Should I audiobook this from my local library to help?). Yeah, for someone who isn’t much a romance reader, this seems to be me at the moment.

But, romance! And a romance novella in a series I keep seeing and am intrigued like heck over. I kept flip-flopping over which novel in the series to read first: A Princess in Theory (the first) or A Prince on Paper (the third). But when I saw Can’t Escape Love randomly on Scribd as part of its 30 Day Free Trial and saw it was a novella for the series, I went for it. I didn’t know where it fitted in the series, but thought this might be a good place to test the waters. 

Regina is taking her pop-culture media enterprise, Girls with Glasses, to the next level. She’s all ready to go… expect insomnia has hit her at the worst time. The only thing that has helped her in the past with this issue is the voice of the puzzle-obsessed live-streamer Gustave Nguyen. Problem: he’s deleted his archive. 

Gus is good with puzzles. So him creating an escape room themed round a romance anime should be easy. Expect he knows nothing about the anime - or romance in general. Then anime expert Regina comes crashing into his life in an unexpected way, the two make a trade: his voice for knowledge. 

But when their online friendship begins to have IRL chemistry, can the two escape love?

Thursday, 9 April 2020

Self-Isolation Audiobook - American Fairytale

  • Title And Author: American Fairytale by Adriana Herrera
  • Publisher: Carina Press
  • Physical, eBook or Audiobook: eBook & Audiobook
  • Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: eProof Gifted by publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review and Audiobook borrowed from Scribd
  • Length: 368 Pages or 7 Hours 34 Minutes
  • Buy From: Book Depository - Audible

So, as you can see from the blog post title, this is a Self-Isolation read. Yes, I audiobooked this while in self-isolation due to Corona (the virus, not the beer). I finished Cassandra Clare’s Chain of Gold in self-isolation (though, at the time, I was holiday, using last few days of my work’s allocated holiday in 2019 financial year) but when I knew that I was on self-isolation, I knew I wanted to read and audiobook fun stuff. Fun, silly stories. Now more than ever, I wanted to read and audiobook stories that make me happy. They can be fun, silly, dark-as-heck, a reread, I don’t care but I want stories that make me smile and, hopefully, make you go “Oh, this sounds like something I would like.”

Yes, I know that’s very much what the Pewter Wolf is about for past few years, but you know what I mean… 2020 has been a dark year, let’s lighten it up a bit… Wow, that sounds like that mannequin moment from the first series of BBC’s Miranda

But I had American Fairytale on my NetGalley for a while as I saw this title on NetGalley a year or so and I went “Ooooh!” when I read the blurb.

New York social worker Camilo (Milo to his friends) has always dreamed of his own happily-ever-after. But, he lives in the real world and knows that kind of ending doesn’t exist. Men who are too good to be true, usually are. So, when Milo does something drunk and reckless one night and has an unforgettable hookup with a mysterious stranger at a gala his boss had to pull out of, he doesn’t think anything about it. Till the mysterious stranger walks into his office that Monday morning and turns out to be Thomas Hughes, the wealthy donor who is backing Milo’s agency’s funding for their next project. 

As the two try (and fail) to keep business and pleasure seperate, the two have to figure their issues out: For Milo, it means learning to let someone take care of him for a change and, for Tom, it means that money can’t solve every problem. But can these two get over their issues to get their happily ever after?

Thursday, 2 April 2020

Audiobook Review - 20th Victim

  • Title And Author: 20th Victim by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro
  • Publisher: Century
  • Physical, eBook or Audiobook: Audiobook
  • Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Borrowed from local library via BorrowBox
  • Length: 432 Pages or 8 Hours 26 Minutes
  • Buy From: Book Depository - Foyles - Waterstones - Audible
I have a weird love/hate relationship with James Patterson, something I always talk about when I do a write-up for one of his novels. I find him a light, fun read, something I would be ok reading on a sunny beach (almost perfect for me to read/audiobook at the current moment with my brain not ready to cope with Corona-Virus and something heavy), but he never offers anything of substance. 

And yet, I seem to always go back to reading him after a few months/years. And I have a soft spot for his Women’s Murder Club series as Third Degree was my first James Patterson novel and I always like reading about the ladies. 

So, when I saw 20th Victim, I was excited and intrigued. After trying to read 19th Christmas and DNFing it after a few chapters (and I seem to be not the only one to do that), I was intrigued to see how James Patterson and Maxine Paetro would celebrate 20 books in this series. Is it going to be something similar to how TV shows Eastenders and Neighbours celebrate 35 years and celebrate with a big bang, or is it going to be fall a bit flat? 

Three simultaneous shootings happen at 8:30am one morning. And of them is at San Francisco on the Women’s Murder Club patch. Sergeant Lindsay Boxer is involved in investigating and reporter Cindy Thomas is reporting the crime. The shootings are precise and exact, the  victims chosen with great care as each victim are involved in drug selling. As more shootings happen, the public debate wonders if the shooter are villains or heroes?

Tuesday, 31 March 2020

Audiobook Review - The Burning Chambers

  • Title And Author: The Burning Chambers by Kate Mosse
  • Publisher: MacMillian
  • Physical, eBook or Audiobook: Audiobook
  • Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Borrowed from local library via BorrowBox
  • Length: 608 Pages or 17 Hours 12 Minutes
  • Buy From: Book Depository - Foyles - Waterstones - Audible
I’m not much of a historical fiction reader. I don’t know why, but I do tend to struggle with reading this and it makes me take longer to reading it (look at how long I’ve been reading Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare at the moment to prove my point). But the past few months (late last year), The Burning Chambers have been calling to me. So has a few other historical fiction novels. But when I saw this was on my library’s BorrowBox app, I decided to go for it and try upping the speed of the reader (something I don’t do normally, but I thought I would try as the reader, Hattie Morahan, has a slower tone to her reading so I thought me upping the speed to 1.25 and, on some occasions, 1.5 will be useful). 

The first is an epic historical saga, The Burning Chambers is set in Carcassonne 1562 where nineteen year old Minou receives a myserteous letter at her father’s bookshop: SHE KNOWS THAT YOU LIVE. 

Before she has time to decipher the message, a chance encounter with Piet, a young Huguenots convert on a dangerous mission . Meeting him changes her destiny and soon, the two find themselves wound together at Toulouse several months later when religious tensions between Huguenots and Catholics react boiling point…

And all the while, the dangerous mistress of Puivert is waiting, desperate to find a missing document and her eyes are slowly turning towards Toulouse and onto Minou and her family…

Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Audiobook Review - Murder is Easy

  • Title And Author: Murder is Easy by Agatha Christie
  • Publisher: HarperCollins
  • Physical, eBook or Audiobook: Audiobook
  • Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Borrowed from local library by BorrowBox, though borrowed eBook from Amazon's Prime Reading
  • Length: 274 Pages or 6 Hours 57 Minutes
  • Buy From: Book Depository - Foyles - Waterstones - Audible

One of the main Agatha Christies that I would like to read in 2020. I’m might not sure if I am going to succeed in my challenge, but ha-ho. Let me try! 

So, Murder is Easy is one of Agatha Christie’s lesser known novels (no Poirot or Marple here). Instead, we have a standalone that starts in a super “grabs you by the throat” way. Well… it did for me. 

Luke Fitzwilliam is on the train when he starts talking to an elderly woman, Miss Pinkerton. She’s going to London to go to Scotland Lane as she believes a serial killer is at work in her small English village of Wychwood. And she believes the local doctor might be next… 

Luke doesn’t believe her, so is shocked the next day when he reads about Miss Pinkerton’s death in the newspaper. She was a victim of a hit and run. A coincidence, surely? But it’s too much of a coincidence when, a few days later, Luke reads about the death of Dr Humbleby of Wychwood…

Thursday, 19 March 2020

#re3 - Ark Angel

  • Title And Author: Ark Angel by Anthony Horowitz
  • Publisher: Walker Books
  • Physical, eBook or Audiobook: Audiobook
  • Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Borrowed from local library via BorrowBox
  • Length: 344 Pages or 8 Hours 21 Minutes
  • Buy From: Book Depository - Foyles - Waterstones - Audible

Reread Time! I did warn you guys that this year, seeing as 2020 will be my tenth year of book blogging (October, I believe), I did want to do some more past reads, whether that be something I chatted on the blog before or something from my youth. And I have been failing that. Oh well… but not for long… 

I first read Ark Angel when it first came out in April 2005 (NO ONE DO THE MATHS TO FIGURE OUT MY AGE!) and I remember very little about it. But I always had plans to go back into the series and reread some of the earlier books in the series and read the books I skipped. Been thinking this on and off since I read Never Say Die back in 2017 (Really? 2017?!). So, this year, on a random moment, I looked at my BorrowBox app and saw the series on there, I went “Oh, I really want to relisten to the second Alex Rider, Point Blanc, as it’s my fave and the TV adaption is based on this”. And then, one day after I DNFed another audiobook (wasn’t in right mindset for it. Am planning to go back to it one day), I was skimming it as none of my audiobooks I bought appealed to me and I saw Ark Angel was available to download instantly (the others I had to request and wait). So, on impulse, I requested and listened. 

After the shock ending at the end of book 5 in the series, Scorpia (I REALLY need to reread this. It’s such a goodie!), Alex is recovering in hospital. But he’s not going to recover for long as the body in the hospital room next door is going to get kidnap, Alex does a switch and gets himself kidnapped instead. Eco-terrorists Force 3, led by Kasper, are gunning for the boy’s father, Nikolei Drevin, one of the world’s wealthiest developers and the man who is single-handedly funding the first luxury outer-space hotel, Ark Angel. Alex manages to escape and, as a thank you for saving his son’s life, Nikolei offers Alex a holiday to rest, relax and becoming friends with his son, Paul…

But the more time Alex spends with Nikolei, the more he feels uneasy around him. Something’s not quite right, and Alex might not be out of the spying game like he hoped…

Friday, 6 March 2020

Audiobook Review - A Pinch of Magic

  • Title And Author: A Pinch of Magic by Michelle Harrison
  • Publisher: Simon and Schuster UK
  • Physical, eBook or Audiobook: eBook and Audiobook
  • Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: eProof Gifted by publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review and Audiobook borrowed from local library via BorrowBox
  • Length: 368 Pages or 8 Hours 44 Minutes
  • Buy From: Book Depository - Foyles - Waterstones - Audible

This is gonna be a tricky write-up to write. Bear with me as I was approved to read this Advance Reader Copy a year or so ago via NetGalley and I was super intrigued and excited over it as early rumblings were hugely positive and sounded right up my street. However, once approved, I was never in the mood to read it so, earlier this year, I decided to keep it for Believathon if/when it returns. And yet, when I saw the audiobook of this and the sequel, A Sprinkle of Sorcery, was on my library’s Audiobook app, BorrowBox, I requested and thought I would listen to it instead - something I’ve started to do on some of my ARCs I’m kindly received from publishers and I don’t have time to read them and give them my full attention.

Betty Widdershin is the middle sister of three, with Fliss being the oldest at 17 and Charlie at 6. They live with their granny above a pub on the island of Crowstone. Betty is itching to get off the island and see the world. she’s tired of granny’s watching, her mother’s death and her father being in prison. She wants to see the world. Shame that, when she tries on her thirteenth birthday, Granny breaks the news that they girls can never leave the island: they are cursed and if they live the island, they will die.

But Betty didn’t having it. She is going to figure out the way to break the curse and save her family. Shame that the Widdershin family isn’t known for their luck and things go quickly out of control…