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Saturday, June 28, 2014

Audiobook Review of Just One Damned Thing After Another by Jodi Taylor

Just One Damned Thing After Another

The Chronicles of St. Mary’s #1

Jodi Taylor
Narrator:   Zara Ramm
Length: 9 hrs and 30 mins 
Format: Unabridged                                                            
Release Date:04-01-14
Publisher: Audible Studios
Program Type: Audiobook

At a place called St. Mary’s you might expect the words ...”and everything went white…” to be followed by some transcendent spiritual experience.  However; at this St. Mary’s those words are followed by a jump, a jump in time that transports its passengers to periods in history where they are to observe, retrieve data and log their unobtrusive encounters there.   Seems harmless right?  Wrong.   .   Being a historian is not a job for the fearless.  Max has already had her fair share of her own turbulent history before she even arrives at St. Mary’s.  Once there, chaos seems follow her know matter what time continuum she is in.   As if dealing with the complications of being hurled back into a place and time that is utterly foreign and unpredictable wasn’t enough, Max must manage to survive the relationships she shares with her quirky and unconventional colleagues. 

Jodi Taylor’s theme to this first in the series of St. Mary’s books is quite a rollicking ride.  It has all of the elements you could want:   plenty of action, a splash of romance, just a smidge of science fiction, and a spunky, strong-minded (yet quite flawed) heroine that takes you on a unique adventure. 

The narration of the story was spot-on and the peaks and valleys of the story really kept me guessing what would happen next.  I look forward to reading the next installment in the series to see how the quest continues.  I am hopeful that the second in the series will measure up to my now high expectations.

I would recommend this book to anyone and even those that are not science-fiction lovers, because the storyline captivating even without the science fiction component.

Audiobook review of The Seance' by John Harwood

John Harwood

Narrators:  Fiona Hardingham, Simon Vance, Katherine Kellgren

Length: 10 hrs and 49 mins                 
Format: Unabridged                                                            
Release Date:01-02-14
Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.                            
Program Type: Audiobook

 For a girl, growing up in the Victorian era has its own difficulties, but for Constance Langton things are far more ghastly than properly worn bustles and guarded reputations.  Her mother is in an everlasting state of mourning over the loss of her youngest daughter Alma and her father is as detached, cold and indifferent as a wet fish.  Forlorn, Constance makes a desperate attempt to bring her mother peace by arranging a séance’ which leads to Constance finding herself all alone in the world.

An unexpected inheritance befalls her in the form of an old, dilapidated and crumbling mansion with an ominous history.  Constance becomes obsessed with disentangling the web of peculiar and eerie happenings the mansion has held for several generations and in doing so, finds her mind on the precipice of insanity and her life in mortal peril.

The author, John Harwood, does an excellent job of portraying the female character in this Victorian setting, which makes it easy to identify with the characters and follow the storyline with eager interest.  The twists and turns of the mysteries surrounding the mansion and Constance’s life bind into a clever, believable conclusion.  

I listened to the audio version of the book and I felt the narration was good although it did take me a bit to warm up to one of the narrators.  There is one scene in particular where I felt the narration was too loud (even though shouting was taking place), but overall the multiple narrators introduced in separate parts worked quite well. 

The story does take its time to build, but is worth the wait.  I would recommend this book for its grasp of the era, the intricate story that beseeches being pieced together along with it skillful narration.