Abandon by Blake Crouch @blakecrouch1 ~ #Thriller #Audiobook

  • 6049585Author: Blake Crouch
  • Performed by Luke Daniels
  • Released: September 2016, Published by Brilliance Publishing
  • Category: Time Slip Thriller, Crime, Suspense
  • four-half-stars

On Christmas Day in 1893, every man, woman, and child in a remote gold mining town disappeared, belongings forsaken, meals left to freeze in vacant cabins – and not a single bone was ever found. One hundred thirteen years later, two backcountry guides are hired by a history professor and his journalist daughter to lead them into the abandoned mining town, so they can learn what happened. 

The story begins in 1893 with a mule skinner arriving in Abandon to find a ghost town. He’d been there only two weeks ago delivering supplies and the town was thriving and full of activity. Now the streets were deserted with the snow laying in drifts. Then he sees a young girl with a revolver, and it’s the last thing he ever sees. Continue reading

Haunted Destiny (Krewe of Hunters #18) by Heather Graham ~ #Paranormal investigators #SundayBlogShare

  • 27069953Audiobook Review
  • Author: Heather Graham
  • Performed by Luke Daniels
  • Published by Brilliance Audio and released May 2016
  • Category: Crime, Thriller, Paranormal
  • four-half-stars

A historic cruise ship, a haunted ship, the Celtic American Line’s Destiny, sets sail from the Port of New Orleans—with a killer on board. He’s known as the Archangel Killer because of the way he displays his victims in churches. And how he places a different saint’s medallion on each body. No one knows exactly who he is or why he’s doing this.

It was the Archangel’s eleventh murder as he travelled through the South. The killer’s latest victim has been discovered just outside the French Quarter in New Orleans. FBI Agent Jude McCoy and Jackson Crow, head of the Krewe of Hunters, are at the scene. Jude and Jackson notice an odd looking man behaving suspiciously on the edge of the crowd. They give chase, pursuing the man until Jude believes he saw him board the pride of the Celtic American cruise line, the Destiny. The two agents decide to sail with the ship, giving them the best chance of catching the suspect.  Continue reading

Written In Fire ~ the Brilliance Trilogy #3 by @ MarcusSakey #TuesdayBookBlog @luckylukeekul #Audio

  • WrittenInFireAudiobook Review
  • Author: Marcus Sakey
  • Performed by Luke Daniels
  • Released: January 2016 by Brilliance Audio
  • Category: Contemporary, Sci-fi, Alternate Reality
  • five-stars

For thirty years humanity struggled to cope with the brilliants, the 1 percent of people born with remarkable gifts. For thirty years we tried to avoid a devastating civil war.

We failed.

The White House is a smoking ruin. Madison Square Garden is an internment camp. In Wyoming, an armed militia of thousands marches toward a final, apocalyptic battle.

This has been a fantastic series, starting with Brilliance, followed by A Better World and now Written in Fire. It portrays a world in a near, but alternate, future where an extremely small percentage of the population are born with individualised intellectual and physical abilities way above anything previously known. Normals see the abnorms, or brilliants, as a threat, and therefore people to be feared and persecuted.  Continue reading

The Promise ~ Elvis Cole

Elvis Cole and Joe Pike are joined by Suspect heroes Scott James and his K-9 partner, Maggie, in the new masterpiece of suspense from the number one New York Times bestselling author. 

Loyalty, commitment, the fight against injustice – these are the things that have always driven Elvis Cole and Joe Pike. If they make a promise, they keep it. Even if it could get them killed.

Meryl Lawrence hires PI Elvis Cole to find missing chemical engineer Amy Breslyn, who has supposedly embezzled a large amount of money from Woodson Energy Solutions, the company she works for. They manufacture fuels for the Department of Defense, which gives their work a classified status. Continue reading

Critical Dawn ~ The Critical Series #1~ Post #Apocalyptic #SciFi

A centuries old plan unfolds. 
Pippa, Charlie, and the rest of humanity will have to fight for survival, sacrificing the life they’ve known to protect Earth from an ancient and previously dormant enemy. Even that might not be enough as this new enemy exacts a plan that will change the course of humankind forever. 
Critical Dawn is an apocalyptic ride to the very edge of human existence. Factions will battle for control of the Earth—if they can avoid the threat of extinction.

Archaeologists and historians Charlie Jackson and his boss, Pippa Quinn, are investigating a site of particular interest and on the verge of a huge discovery, although it turns out to be not quite what they were expecting. Pippa has found some unexplainable and disturbing evidence in undisturbed graves at the dig site of a deserted settlement on Roanoke Island. Items were found under the skeletons which could not have been added after the burials and it was obvious to Charlie and Pippa they were dealing with advanced technology. As they try to draw some conclusions from the artefacts and information found at the dig, storms are gathering around the world. India has been hit with a tsunami and California by a hurricane. Continue reading

The Devil’s Game ~ The Game Trilogy #2

Daniel Byrne spent ten years as a Vatican investigator, scrutinizing and debunking miracle claims – until he burned that life to the ground when one investigation shook his faith and revealed disturbing earthly conspiracies. Determined to find the truth, he steps into a new life of secrets and lies, joining a powerful group that wields hidden influence over world events. 

Daniel infiltrates a covert government facility and uncovers a bizarre new strain of the Plague that seems to flood the minds of its victims with visions of the future. Teaming up with disgraced physician Kara Singh, a woman beset with inexplicable visions of her own, Daniel traces the root of this deadly pathogen around the globe, and discovers a terrifying truth.

Daniel Byrne, excommunicated priest and ex Vatican investigator, who exposed fraudulent miracle claims, is now working for the Fleur-de-Lis Foundation, a rival of the corrupt Council for World Peace, a very misnamed organisation. Continue reading

Oddkins ~ A Fable for All Ages

  • OddkinsAuthor: Dean Koontz
  • Performed by Luke Daniels
  • Published: Brilliance Audio, released on Audible August 2013
  • Category: Children’s Fantasy/Fairytale
  • five-stars

To the world, the Oddkins are just stuffed animals. But all of these soft, cuddly, sweet-faced toys share a wonderful, magical secret… they’re alive!
Created by Mr. Isaac Bodkins, the old toy maker, the Oddkins are made only for very special children, those who must face something difficult in life and need a true friend. The Oddkins are given to these children to inspire them, help them, and love them as long as the children need them. Only now the toys themselves – Amos, the brave stuffed bear; Skippy, the rabbit who dreams of being a superstar; Butterscotch, the gently, floppy-eared pup; as well as Burl the elephant; Gibbons; and Patch the cat – are the ones in need of help.

Mr Isaac Bodkins, the toymaker, was dead. His magical toy animals, who he nicknamed Oddkins because they were odd (as in alive) and kin (because they were his family) were sad and scared. Isaac had made the toys especially for children who are suffering in some way and need a special and secret friend.  A friend who will guide and support, and help them fulfil their potential. Isaac thought he had a little more time but died before he could talk to city toymaker Colleen Shannon about taking over his shop, Leben Toys.  Continue reading

Times Change ~ Time and Again #2

 

  • TimesChangeAudiobook Review

  • Author: Nora Roberts
  • Performed by Luke Daniels
  • Published: May 2015 by Brilliance Audio
  • Category: Time Travel, Romance
  • four-stars

Cynical Jacob Hornblower has followed his brother, Caleb, back in time, hoping to convince him to return home. His mission is soon forgotten, however, when he finds himself captivated by Liberty’s spitfire sister, Sunny. But can a man who is down on love truly understand the unbounded strength of the human heart?

In the first book, Time Was, Caleb Hornblower inadvertently found him self transported back in time to the 20th Century. He fell in love with Libby Stone and, deciding he just couldn’t leave her, chose to stay in the past. Jacob Hornblower, an astrophysicist, has spent months, years working on plotting coordinates and building a spaceship that would stand up to the rigors of his intended time travel. Cal’s report, transported back by his unmanned ship, had been fairly precise. Jacob had every intention of taking his brother home. Continue reading

The Kindness of Neighbors

AR2

  • KindnessAuthor: Matthew Iden
  • Performed by Luke Daniels
  • Released May 2015 by Brilliance Audio
  • Category: Crime/Thriller/Suspense
  • four-half-stars

No one likes Jack. His wife is gone and his neighbors avoid him. He’s a recluse and a creep, and that’s just the way he wants it; he can ignore what they say behind his back if they leave him to his work and his daily walks. But when ten-year-old Emma goes missing in the nearby woods, the eyes of his neighbors turn toward him, their fear and accusations escalating as the days go by. Jack proclaims his innocence, but what the neighbors–and the reader–find out is the last thing anyone would suspect.

Jack Tate is living a solitary and reclusive life ever since his wife left him and works from home as a freelance illustrator. Living as he does in a family orientated neighbourhood Jack realises people regard him as odd and maybe slightly creepy. He enjoys solitary walks in the nearby wooded park and working from home and to his own schedule, adds to his self-imposed isolation. Continue reading

Time Was ~ Time and Again #1

AudiobookReview

  • TW2Author: Nora Roberts
  • Performed by Luke Daniels
  • Published: April 2015 by Brilliance Audio
  • Category: Romance, Time Travel
  • four-stars

Stranded in the present, time traveler Caleb Hornblower’s biggest problem isn’t returning to the twenty-third century – but falling head over heels for the beguiling Liberty Stone, who shows him a love more powerful than time itself. Though Caleb knows he belongs in the future, how can he leave the past, and Liberty, behind?

As Liberty Stone stood on the cabin’s porch watching the storm rage overhead she had no regrets about being tucked away in the Oregon mountains. A cultural anthropologist, she was spending time at the place of her birth to write her dissertation on the last five years of extensive research. She was looking forward to the solitude. Then she saw the light shoot across the sky and the unmistakable sound of a crash.

Caleb Hornblower, a freelance cargo pilot from the 23rd century, is on a routine flight home from Mars when he diverts to avoid a meteor shower and is catapulted through a time gateway. With instruments going wild, the cockpit in darkness and the pressure making him lose consciousness, his ship whirls towards the earth. As Libby races to where she believes a plane went down she finds Caleb injured by the side of the track and manages to get him back to the cabin. As she nurses Caleb back to health Libby attributes his sometimes strange behaviour as the result of the accident. Little does she know.

The cockpit lights went out, leaving only the whirl of kaleidoscopic colors from the instrument panel. His ship went into a spiral, tumbling end over end like a stone fired from a slingshot. Now the light was white, hot and brilliant. Instinctively he threw up an arm to shield his eyes. The sudden crushing pressure on his chest left him helpless to do more than gasp for breath.

I remember reading this book a long time ago. I think it was first published in the late 80’s or early 90’s as a Silhouette romance. I went for this newly released audio version because, well, it’s Luke Daniels and his narrations are always excellent, he always brings so much to his performance which enhances a story enormously.

Given the passage of years and the formula it followed, the story is a little dated. The dominant, could be seen as overpowering, male and the shy, virginal female, intelligent but naive, scenario could have been less than appealing but Nora Roberts handles it well. Her female characters and writing have evolved hugely since this was written but still, I like Libby and Cal and I’m glad Libby’s self assurance and nerve grows as the story progresses.

The time travel element gives the story an extra layer, even though the details are fairly vague. I imagine it was a precursor to the incredibly good In Death series which started around the same time, I think, and is written under Ms Roberts’ pseudonym, JD Robb. This series is also set in the future, although not so far, and is way more comprehensive. Caleb’s stunned and bemused reactions in finding himself transported back in time and faced with an antiquated lifestyle, including the cars and kitchen equipment, are credible and amusing. I like Libby’s parents and their interactions with Caleb. I’m giving the story a four star rating taking into account it’s twenty five or so years old. 

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