Wednesday, 16 June 2021

Audio. The wolf and the woodsman by Ava Reid

Narrated by: Saskia Maarleveld


Length: 13 hrs and 10 mins


Release date: 06-08-21


Publisher: HarperAudio


Fantasy


To review





I really enjoyed this one. But then I am all for as many monsters as possible in my fantasy.




Evike is a pagan, everyone else in her village has powers, she does not. It is not easy for her, and I would let that stupid village rut. She is half Yehuli too (Jewish), so the strikes keeps on coming. I liked Evike, even though I felt that for someone that is 25 she sure acted like 17 at times. This is an adult book, but yes she could easily have been a teen and this YA. She does make stupid decisions, and if this is fantasy then she is practically middle aged already.




Omg, so much happens, how will I cram it all in!




So her village is filled with asshats and they offer her up as a sacrifice so off she goes with the woodsmen. Ugh her village, srsly, Evike was too nice.




So this world, fake fantasy Hungary is ruled by a king whose ancestors have conquered nearby pagans. Pagans should be killed screams some, since yes this fantasy world is ruled by a certain fantasy religion. And there is nothing I despise more than zealots. We are right, everyone should burn! Grrr, they make me so angry. Evike and her asshat village are peaceful and kind. And just cos they do not believe some fake god then they are bad. They believe what they can see, like all the monsters out in the woods (there are plenty), and the magic they craft. And put in some Yehuli (already told you who they are), who are also persecuted cos of their believes.




This world, even if it does borrow a lot, was just so wonderful. Creepy monsters, interesting magic, and ugh zealots! And political intrigue. Gaspar, the rightful heir, had a foreign mother so now he is a Woodsman (hunting monsters, killing pagans), his father the king a real piece of work, doomed him to it. And he has a creepy brother who is the biggest fanatic of them all and wants it all for himself, but since he is a bastard (literally), that can't happen.




I just keep going with this review!




Gaspar and Evike hate each other, tolerate each other, likes each other a tiny bit, and more develops. I liked their journey to the capital, she kept telling these stories and I like a story within a story.




What more, it seems that the country up north is fantasy Finland? I mean cold, reindeer, the finnish name for sky, the count from that part has a Finnish name. I mean I did listen to the audio so I could be wrong, but Hungarian and Finnish are related so yes why not make them closer in this fantasy world.




Rich and interesting fantasy world. Steeped in Hungarian history, and Jewish mythology. Fascinating magic and a quest that seems utterly hopeless.




I mentioned Evike acting young and it feeling YA then, but you know what, the end, that was pure adult. It was a good happy ending, but it was a real ending, and the only ending I wanted. It stayed true to this world.


A fantasy book I could recommend to everyone




I liked Saskia, she is a great narrator and she does a wonderful job with this world. I am right there with them, she gives voices to everyone and catches the feel of the book. Perfect for audio






In her forest-veiled pagan village, Évike is the only woman without power, making her an outcast clearly abandoned by the gods. The villagers blame her corrupted bloodline - her father was a Yehuli man, one of the much-loathed servants of the fanatical king. When soldiers arrive from the Holy Order of Woodsmen to claim a pagan girl for the king’s blood sacrifice, Évike is betrayed by her fellow villagers and surrendered.




But when monsters attack the Woodsmen and their captive en route, slaughtering everyone but Évike and the cold, one-eyed captain, they have no choice but to rely on each other. Except he’s no ordinary Woodsman - he’s the disgraced prince, Gáspár Bárány, whose father needs pagan magic to consolidate his power. Gáspár fears that his cruelly zealous brother plans to seize the throne and instigate a violent reign that would damn the pagans and the Yehuli alike. As the son of a reviled foreign queen, Gáspár understands what it’s like to be an outcast, and he and Évike make a tenuous pact to stop his brother.




As their mission takes them from the bitter northern tundra to the smog-choked capital, their mutual loathing slowly turns to affection, bound by a shared history of alienation and oppression. However, trust can easily turn to betrayal, and as Évike reconnects with her estranged father and discovers her own hidden magic, she and Gáspár need to decide whose side they’re on, and what they’re willing to give up for a nation that never cared for them at all.


Tuesday, 15 June 2021

TMST


 

Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly discussion post where bloggers discuss a wide range of topics from books and blogging to life in general. Weigh in and join the conversation by adding your thoughts in the comments. If you want to do your own post, grab the question and answer it on your blog. Feel free to leave your links in the comments if you are participating.




What type of reviews do you find helpful in choosing (or avoiding) your next read?




ALL OF THEM. 

Ok, not really, some I do not like, like glowing ones that are just two lines and look so fake. Or reviews that are all love this, and then you realise that the person has not even read the book yet!



Or, these are the worst. The ones that are all positive, but you still get the feeling that the person did not like the book, but goes by the line always say something nice. NO! Do not do that, tell it like it is!



I want reviews that are real. If they are real they can be two lines. If they are real they can be looong. Just make them real, negative, positive or meh.





6/22/2021 What’s your favourite form of media (apart from literature, that is)?


6/29/2021 Mid-Year Update: What have you been up to?


7/6/2021 How do you approach writing reviews?


7/13/2021 What are your favourite posts to read?


7/20/2021 What authors have you recently discovered and loved?


7/27/2021 Where is your favorite place to read during the summer?



Monday, 14 June 2021

Carole's Monday: Once a spy

 



Author: Mary Jo Putney
Narrator: Beverley A. Crick
Title: Once a Spy
(Rogues Redeemed #4)
Genre: Historical Romance
Format: Audiobook
Published: September 24th 2019
Where I got It: Audible

Summary: 
Love and survival in the shadow of Waterloo...

Wearied by his years as a British intelligence officer, Simon Duval resigns his commission after Napoleon’s abdication. Hoping to find new meaning in his life, he returns to England, where he discovers his cousin’s widow, Suzanne Duval, the Comtesse de Chambron. Working as a seamstress, living in reduced circumstances, Suzanne has had a life as complicated as Simon’s. While both believe they are beyond love, their sympathetic bond leads him to propose a marriage of companionship, and Suzanne accepts.

She didn't want or expect a true marriage, but as Suzanne joins Simon in a search for his long-missing foster brother, warmth and caring begin to heal both their scars—and a powerful passion sparks between them. Then news from France threatens to disrupt their happiness. Napoleon has escaped from Elba and Wellington personally asks Simon to help prevent another devastating war. Only this time, Simon does not go into danger alone. He and Suzanne will face deadly peril together and pray that love will carry them through...

Review:
 Accidently read the book after that which was okay. It was nice to backtrack to see Suzanne and Simon fall in love. 

The story follows Suzanne and Simon. Tired by all his years in the British army as a spy, Simon resigns his commission after Napoleon abdicates. Hoping to find new meaning in his life, he returns to England where he discovers his cousin's widow. Suzanne Duval was the Comtesse de Chambron. Now she is working as a seamstress in England. The two decide to marry because they both believe they are beyond love and lust. A nice friendship and a marriage of convenience will work. They didn't expect or want a true marriage, but as Suzanne joins Simon in searching for his long-lost friend and foster brother, they realize that love and passion are possible. However, Napoleon's escape from Elba will bring peril to Europe and this couple. 

A little bit of the mystery was ruined since I did read book 5 before this one. I for sure say read this one before, but this does stand well as a standalone from the rest of the series.

I liked this couple. One of my favorite couples in the series 100%. They went through some terrible things. He was a spy during a bloody war. She was in France during the Reign of Terror. Lost her hubbie, title, lands, and freedom. On the way to escaping her boat was taken over and she was taken to be a whore in a harem. They are both really damaged. I loved watching them rekindle their friendship, get married, fall in love, and then lust. It was sweet. I loved how much they talked to each other and trusted each other. 

I adored the side characters as well. They were very well-rounded and I wanted them to be safe and happy too. 

However, I struggled a little bit because the pacing was all over the place. Things would drag to the point of me wanting to fall asleep and then jump to heart-racing fast where I couldn't listen fast enough and then it would drop to slow and tedious.

Also, I felt the treatment and recovery that Suzanne went through after her terrible experiences....seemed wrong. It felt like all she needed was a good man. True, Simon is awesome and patient and kind...but I feel like she needed a therapist or something. Love can't always fix deep-rooted issues and traumatic experiences.

The narrator was fantastic as per normal. I could sing her praises. 

In the end, I liked many parts of this, but there were some things I struggled with for sure. The series was fun and I enjoyed it overall. But for this, I will give it 3 stars.   








Challenge(s):
- #34 for Audiobook challenge
- #19 for Romance Bingo - Horse on the cover







Friday, 11 June 2021

Hang the moon by Alexandria Bellefleur

Narrated by: Lauren Sweet


Series: Written in the Stars #2


Length: 10 hrs and 50 mins


Release date: 05-25-21


Publisher: HarperAudio


To review




Brendan believes in romance and true love, he loves romantic movies. He is the creator of a dating app,but has not found the one.




Annie is busy with her job and travels the world. Is she happy? Eh. She travels a lot, but never gets to actually see anything. She is also jaded in love, dunno why really, just cos some were asshats is no reason to never try love.




He is the brother of her bff. And I did like that his sister never said anything. So sick of books where siblings are like do not touch! Ehh, if that is your bff, then shouldn't you be happy? not here though, Annie's bff thinks this isa great idea!




He shows her Seattle, which I liked, because it felt like i got to know the city. And they fell for each other, but the drama is her oh no I am moving! Oh no, my job! Oh no, what if he dumps me!




A good cute story




Nice narrator too. I easily fell into this story





Brendon Lowell loves love. It’s why he created a dating app to help people find their one true pairing and why he’s convinced “the one” is out there, even if he hasn’t met her yet. Or...has he? When his sister's best friend turns up in Seattle unexpectedly, Brendon jumps at the chance to hang out with her. He’s crushed on Annie since they were kids, and the stars have finally aligned, putting them in the same city at the same time. 




Annie booked a spur-of-the-moment trip to Seattle to spend time with friends before moving across the globe. She’s not looking for love, especially with her best friend’s brother. Annie remembers Brendon as a sweet, dorky kid. Except, the six-foot-four man who shows up at her door is a certified Hot Nerd and Annie...wants him? Oh yes.




Getting involved would be a terrible idea - her stay is temporary and he wants forever - but when Brendon learns Annie has given up on dating, he’s determined to prove that romance is real. Taking cues from his favorite rom-coms, Brendon plans to woo her with elaborate dates straight out of Nora Ephron’s playbook. The clock is ticking on Annie’s time in Seattle, and Brendon’s starting to realize romance isn’t just flowers and chocolate. But maybe real love doesn’t need to be as perfect as the movies...as long as you think your partner hung the moon.


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