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Lynn Worton

Sheffield, UK
  • 80
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  • 94
  • helpful votes
  • 83
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  • Time's Convert

  • By: Deborah Harkness
  • Narrated by: Saskia Maarleveld
  • Length: 15 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 186
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 171
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 169

Marcus Whitmore was made a vampire in the 18th century. Over 200 years later, he finds himself in love with Phoebe Taylor, a human who decides to become a vampire herself. But her transformation will prove as challenging now as it was for Marcus when he first encountered Matthew de Clermont, his sire. While Phoebe is secreted away, Marcus relives his own journey from the battlefields of the American Revolutionary War, through the treachery of the French Revolution, to a bloody finale in New Orleans.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Brilliant

  • By Amazon Customer on 19-09-18

Fantastic Read!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-12-18

This story is the first book in an off-shoot of the All Souls Trilogy. I loved it!

I downloaded this book in both the Kindle and audiobook formats, as this gave me the option to either read or listen to it. Saskia Maarlveld narrates the audiobook. Her voice and pacing are excellent, and I enjoyed listening to her bring the characters to life. I would consider listening to other books read by her in the future.

This story is an addition to the All Souls world created by Deborah Harkness and follows the life, death, and rebirth of Marcus Whitmore on the eve of Phoebe's transformation into a vampire. The book, told through several points of view, mostly Marcus's, Diana's and Phoebe's, takes the reader on a journey of endings and new beginnings.

Several characters from the All Souls world make an appearance; Matthew, Diana, their twins, Phillipe and Rebecca, Isabeau, Marthe, Miriam, Phoebe, and Marcus (to name a few). I also enjoyed meeting Freya, one of Phillipe's daughters. She plays a crucial role in the tale as Phoebe's guide through her transformation from human to vampire.

While Phoebe adjusts to her new life as a vampire in today's world, Marcus takes us back in time to his life during the American Revolution and his transformation at the hands of Matthew into the vampire he is today. I became so absorbed in the tale that it felt like I walked alongside the characters, watching events unfold. Not being an American, I am fascinated by the history of that country and the people in it, as well as the country it is today. The author, being a historian, has brought the past to life for me and I am grateful to her for the peek into a bygone era. Marcus's life is not an easy one and contrasts with Phoebe's upbringing. However, these two characters have love on their side, and I enjoyed watching their relationship develop and deepen as the story unfolded.

I reached the end of the book with mixed emotions; sad that the book ended, but glad at how it ended. I am now looking forward to reading more books from the All Souls universe, as there are more than a few characters I would like to know more about next.

Deborah Harkness has written a fantastic tale in the All Souls universe. She has created a world where humans, witches, daemons and vampires all live in an uneasy alliance. I love her writing style, which is fast-paced and exciting, and the story flowed beautifully!
I am looking forward to reading more of her books in the future.

I highly recommend this book if you love your stories to be full of witches, daemons and vampires, or if you love paranormal romance or urban fantasy genres. - Lynn Worton

  • The Servants of the Storm

  • The Pillars of Reality, Book 5
  • By: Jack Campbell
  • Narrated by: MacLeod Andrews
  • Length: 12 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 152
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 140
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 140

A Storm that will wreck a world threatens Dematr. Only Mari, one of the Mechanics who control all technology through their Guild, has a chance to stop it. She and Mage Alain have survived numerous attempts to kill them and have gained many more followers, but the Storm of chaos, born of centuries of enslavement, grows ever closer. Mari leads an army now. She and Alain must fight together to bind back the Broken Kingdom and build a force strong enough to defeat the might of the Great Guilds.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Exciting Read!

  • By Lynn Worton on 07-10-18

Exciting Read!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-10-18

This story is the fifth book in a fantastic epic fantasy series called The Pillars of Reality. I absolutely loved it!

Mari is a fantastic character. I liked her immediately when I met her in the first book. I love her determination to do the right thing, even at the cost of her own life. A Master Mechanic, Mari has faced many threats to her life from the Guild Masters on the world of Dematr and survived. Foreseen by Mages to be 'The Daughter of Jules' and fated to free the world of Dematr from the tyranny of both the Guilds - Mechanics and Mages - and to unite the Mechanics, Mages and Commons against said Guilds, Mari finds herself fighting for their freedom.

Mage Alain is also a fantastic character. I liked him a lot from the start. He was one of the youngest Acolytes to achieve Mage status at the age of seventeen. He has been taught from a young age not to show or feel any emotions and that the world he lives in is an illusion, where nothing is real. I love how this character has grown as the series has progressed. He tries to show more emotion, even though his Guild had virtually beaten it out of him. He hides a dry wit under that emotionless mask.

I listened to this story in audio format, rather than read it. MacLeod Andrews once again narrates the story. He does a fantastic job of bringing the story to life. Even Alain, who's voice is meant to be flat and emotionless comes across with subtle hints. You would think that Alain's voice would be monotonous, but it's not so. I love the way he brings all the characters to life with different accents, inflexions and tones. He even makes the women's voices sound perfect for each character. As for his narration, he read the story clearly and concisely, and his pacing was perfect. I would listen to more books read by this narrator.

The story continues six months from the end of The Pirates of Pacta Servanda and sees Mari and Alain heading a mixed army of Mages, Mechanics and Commons as the action heats up. Mechanic Caylou (not sure of spelling as I listened to the story so have no reference and have spelt it phonetically - it could be Kayloo or another variation) makes another appearance. He is one of Mari's friends from the Mechanics Guild, along with his girlfriend, Ally, who also makes an appearance. I love her constant use of 'Your Daughterness' when speaking to Mari just because it annoys her. Mage Asha also makes another appearance, as does Mage Dov, who is Asha's uncle, and Mechanic Dov (no relation) whose relative had once lived in Marandur. Cien, a princess of Tae, plays a significant role in this story, too. There are a few more characters added, but it would take me too long to mention them all.

I love the world building in this series. It is familiar though strange at the same time. It has a mix of steampunk and modern day technology, but this is due to the way the Guilds restricted people from creating new things. The story is full of action, adventure, and danger and I found myself an emotional wreck at times. In this story, the characters are gathering together for a showdown with the Great Guilds. They also make a dangerous journey back into the Imperial territory of Marandur to retrieve the mechanical texts left at the University. The action is ramping up further as the storyline reaches towards the climax, and I found myself holding my breath more than once as they faced several tricky challenges. Have you ever read or listened to a story and felt utterly emersed in it? It happened to me as I listened to this book. These characters have come to life for me and have become my friends. This book ends with a slight cliffhanger, which had me eager to listen to the next story in the series, The Wrath of the Great Guilds, as soon as possible.

Jack Campbell has written a fantastic science fiction series. I have added him to my favourite author's list, as he's found a fan in me. I love his writing style, which is fast-paced and descriptive, and the flow of the story is good too.

Although there is now some mention of scenes of a sexual nature, it’s not shown. I do not, however, recommend this book to younger readers under the age of 15 due to some violence. I do, however, highly recommend this book if you love dark or epic fantasy, steampunk or action/adventure and supernatural/paranormal romance genres. - Lynn Worton

  • The Pirates of Pacta Servanda

  • The Pillars of Reality, Book 4
  • By: Jack Campbell
  • Narrated by: MacLeod Andrews
  • Length: 11 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 185
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 172
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 172

Master Mechanic Mari and Mage Alain have survived every attempt to stop them, but their enemies are determined to kill Mari, the only one who can save her world from a storm of destruction. As armies begin to gather and cities seethe with tension, Mari, Alain, and their friends must prepare to confront the storm in the place it first appeared: the broken kingdom of Tiae.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Exciting Read!

  • By Lynn Worton on 15-08-18

Exciting Read!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 15-08-18

This story is the fourth book in a fantastic epic fantasy series called The Pillars of Reality. I absolutely loved it!

Mari is a fantastic character. I liked her immediately when I met her in the first book. I love her determination to do the right thing, even at the cost of her own life. A Master Mechanic, Mari has faced many threats to her life from the Guild Masters on the world of Dematr and survived. Mari has been foreseen by Mages to be 'The Daughter of Jules' and fated to free the world of Dematr from the tyranny of both the Guilds - Mechanics and Mages - and to unite the Mechanics, Mages and Commons against said Guilds. This time, she finds herself on a dangerous mission on the sea in an attempt to reach the broken kingdom of Tay and walking in the footsteps of the legendary Jules of Pacta Servanda. Together with her friends, and Alain, she will have to dig deep to survive the oncoming storm.

Mage Alain is also a fantastic character. I liked him a lot from the start. He was one of the youngest Acolytes to achieve Mage status at the age of seventeen. He has been taught from a young age not to show or feel any emotions and that the world he lives in is an illusion, where nothing is real. I love how this character has grown as the series has progressed. He tries to show more emotion, even though his Guild had virtually beaten it out of him. He hides a dry wit under that emotionless mask.

I listened to this story in audio format, rather than read it. MacLeod Andrews once again narrates the story. He does a fantastic job of bringing the story to life. Even Alain, who's voice is meant to be flat and emotionless comes across with subtle hints. You would think that Alain's voice would be monotonous, but it's not so. I love the way he brings all the characters to life with different accents, inflexions and tones. He even makes the women's voices sound perfect for each character. As for his narration, he read the story clearly and concisely, and his pacing was perfect. I would definitely listen to more books read by this narrator.

The story continues from the end of The Assassins of Altis and sees Mari and Alain joining with several new characters as the action heats up. Mechanic Caylou (not sure of spelling as I listened to the story so have no reference and have spelt it phonetically - it could be Kayloo or another variation) makes another appearance. He is one of Mari's friends from the Mechanics Guild, along with his girlfriend, Ally, who also makes an appearance this time. Mage Asha also makes another appearance, but there are also several other new characters that are now integral to the plot. There is Mage Dov, who is Asha's uncle, and Mechanic Dov (no relation) whose relative had once lived in Marandur. Sien, a princess of Tay, plays a significant role in this story, too. There are a few more characters added, but it would take me too long to mention them all.

I love the world building in this series. It is familiar though strange at the same time. It has a mix of steampunk and modern day technology, but this is due to the way the Guilds restricted people from creating new things. The story is full of action, adventure, and danger and I found myself an emotional wreck at times. In this story, the characters travel to the Sea of Backer, where pirates, traders and Imperials rule the waves and danger threatens on all fronts. The action is ramping up as the storyline reaches towards the climax. Have you ever read or listened to a story and felt utterly emersed in it? It happened to me as I listened to this book. These characters have come to life for me and have become my friends. This book ends with a slight cliffhanger, which had me eager to listen to the next story in the series, The Servants of the Storm, as soon as possible.

Jack Campbell has written a fantastic science fiction series. I have added him to my favourite author's list, as he's found a fan in me. I love his writing style, which is fast-paced and descriptive, and the flow of the story is good too.

Although there is now some mention of scenes of a sexual nature, it’s not shown. I do not, however, recommend this book to younger readers under the age of 15 due to some violence. I do, however, highly recommend this book if you love dark or epic fantasy, steampunk or action/adventure and supernatural/paranormal romance genres. - Lynn Worton

  • The Assassins of Altis

  • The Pillars of Reality, Book 3
  • By: Jack Campbell
  • Narrated by: MacLeod Andrews
  • Length: 12 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 183
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 172
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 172

Trapped within the dead city of Marandur, Master Mechanic Mari and Mage Alain must escape both merciless barbarians and the pitiless Imperial Legion. Beyond those dangers lie the mightiest and most unforgiving powers in the world of Dematr: the Great Guilds that rule the world with iron fists.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Exciting Read!

  • By Lynn Worton on 15-07-18

Exciting Read!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 15-07-18

This story is the third book in a fantastic epic fantasy series called The Pillars of Reality. I absolutely loved it!

Mari is a fantastic character, and I liked her from the moment she was introduced. I love her determination to do the right thing, even at the cost of her own life. She is now a nineteen-year-old Master Mechanic, though her guild is determined to take her life as she poses a threat to their hold on the world of Dematr. Mari has been foreseen by Mages to be 'The Daughter of Jules' and fated to free the world of Dematr from the tyranny of both the Guilds - Mechanics and Mages - and to unite the Mechanics, Mages and Commons against said Guilds. As she tries to accept her role, she finds herself on another dangerous mission while trying to avoid death at the hands of assassins.

Mage Alain is also a fantastic character. I liked him a lot from the start. He was one of the youngest Acolytes to achieve Mage status at the age of seventeen. He has been taught from a young age not to show or feel any emotions and that the world he lives in is an illusion, where nothing is real. I love how this character has grown as the series has progressed. He tries to show more emotion, even though his Guild had virtually beaten it out of him. He hides a dry wit under that emotionless mask.

I listened to this story in audio format, rather than read it. The story is once again narrated by MacLeod Andrews. He does a fantastic job of bringing the story to life. Even Alain, who's voice is meant to be flat and emotionless comes across with subtle hints. You would think that Alain's voice would be monotonous, but it's not so. I love the way he brings all the characters to life with different accents, inflexions and tones. He even makes the women's voices sound perfect for each character. As for his narration, he read the story clearly and concisely, and his pacing was perfect. I would definitely listen to more books read by this narrator.

This book continues a few weeks after the end of the second story and sees Mari and Alain travelling to the island of Altis, where a long-hidden secret has been kept. With both the Guilds chasing them and now the Imperial Legions for their incursion into Marandur, Mari and Alain face many dangers, including a deadly snow storm. However, what they find on Altis will change everything.

This story introduces a couple of new characters into the series. One is Mechanic Caylou (not sure of spelling as I listened to the story so have no reference and have spelt it phonetically - it could be Kayloo or another variation). He is one of Mari's friends from the Mechanics Guild, along with his girlfriend, Ally (who is mentioned in book two but not introduced). Another character introduced is, Mage Asha; this is a character who is hard to explain without giving spoilers. Suffice it to say, she was a friend of Alain's from their early acolyte days, before all the emotion was beaten out of them.

I love the world building in this series. It is familiar though strange at the same time. The reason for this becomes apparent as this story unfolds. The story is full of action, adventure, and danger and I found myself an emotional wreck at times. Have you ever read or listened to a story and felt completely emersed in it? This happened to me as I listened to this book. These characters have come to life for me and have become my friends. This book ends with a slight cliffhanger, and the audio version has a preview of the next book in the series, which I am now looking forward to reading/listening to. I will be listening to The Pirates of Pacta Servanda as soon as I can.

Jack Campbell has written a fantastic science fiction series. I have added him to my favourite author's list, as he's found a fan in me. I love his writing style, which is fast-paced and descriptive, and the flow of the story is good too.

Although there is now some mention of scenes of a sexual nature, it’s not shown. I do not, however, recommend this book to younger readers under the age of 15 due to some violence. I do, however, highly recommend this book if you love dark or epic fantasy, steampunk or action/adventure and supernatural/paranormal romance genres. - Lynn Worton

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Hidden Masters of Marandur

  • The Pillars of Reality, Book 2
  • By: Jack Campbell
  • Narrated by: MacLeod Andrews
  • Length: 13 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 199
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 192
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 192

Someone wants to kill Mari, a young Steam Mechanic in the Guild that controls all technology. She has learned that her world of Dematr is headed for a catastrophe that will destroy civilization, and that Mages really can alter reality for short periods. Someone also wants to kill Alain, a young Mage who has learned that Mechanics are not frauds as his Guild teaches, and that Mechanic Mari is the only person who can prevent the oncoming disaster.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Quintessential middle book

  • By susan on 21-03-15

Exciting Read!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-05-18

This is the second book in a fantastic epic fantasy series called The Pillars of Reality. I absolutely loved it!

Mari is a fantastic character and I liked her from the moment she was introduced. I love her determination to do the right thing, even at the cost of her own life. She is an eighteen year-old Master Mechanic. She has attained it by qualifying as the youngest Lady Master Mechanic since the Guild was first formed several centuries earlier.

Mage Alain is also a fantastic character. I liked him a lot. He is seventeen years-old and one of the youngest Acolytes to achieve Mage status. He has been taught from a young age not to show or feel any emotions and that the world he lives in is an illusion, where nothing is real.

I listened to this story in audio format, rather than read it. The story is once again narrated by MacLeod Andrews. He does a fantastic job in bringing the story to life. Even Alain, who's voice is meant to be flat and emotionless comes across with subtle hints. You would think that Alain's voice would be monotonous, but it's not so. I love the way he brings all the characters to life with different accents, inflections and tones. He even makes the women's voices sound perfect for each character. As for his narration, he read the story clearly and concisely, and his pacing was perfect. I would definitely listen to more books read by this narrator.

This story picks up a few months after the events in Dorcastle (see Book One: The Dragons of Dorcastle). Alain has been sent by his guild on a contract to protect some common soldiers who are travelling to war. Along the way, they are attacked.The foresight Alain has developed has shown him that a storm is coming, though he has no idea what his vision means, so wishes to seek answers. Meanwhile, Mari has been sent to Tay (sorry, unsure of spelling due to only hearing it spoken and not reading the book), a region that has fallen into anarchy, by her guild. Unwilling to be a sacrificial lamb, Mari goes in search of Mage Alain. Together once more, they face several challenges and dangers. However, one of their leads takes them to Marandur, a city declared dead by the emperor one hundred and fifty years previously, where they make a startling discovery. Will they survive only to stumble at the final hurdle?

This story introduces us to the world of Dematr. It is a mass of contradictions. There are two great Guilds who hold all the power over the common folk - The Mechanics and The Mages. These Guilds have held power for centuries and refuse to relinquish their hold and reject change of any kind. However, this is slowly strangling the world, making it harder and harder for the Mechanics, especially as their technology is regressing. This story has a steampunk feel to it, with machinery being steam driven at times - trains for instance. Though there are some more modern items such as far-talkers (walkie-talkies to you and me), torches using batteries, and rifles and pistols that are decidedly more modern-day. Mages use energy from the land around them and some of their own energy to make spells. These spells can be used in various ways - from hiding oneself to creating a dragon.

This book is told through the eyes of both Mari and Alain and I found myself completely hooked from beginning to end. I loved meeting the two main protagonists once more, and watching (in my minds eye) the story unfold as I listened. The story is full of action, adventure, and danger and I found myself an emotional wreck at times. Have you ever read or listened to a story and felt completely emersed in it? This happened to me whilst listening to this book. These characters have come to life for me and have become my friends. I found myself missing them when the story finished, so I began listening to it again. I've listened to this book now at least four times. Each time I listen to it, the story and characters sweep me up and carry me away to a world that is alien and yet familiar at the same time, and makes me want to go and visit it. This book ends with a slight cliffhanger and the audio version has a preview of the next book in the series, which I am now looking forward to reading/listening to. I will be listening to The Assassins of Altis as soon as I can.

Jack Campbell is a new author to me. I've never read or listened to any of his other books. However, I may have to add him to my favourite authors list, as he's found a fan in me. I love his writing style, which is fast paced and descriptive, and the flow of the story is good too.

Although there is no mention of any scenes of a sexual nature, I do not, however, recommend this book to younger readers under the age of 15 due to some violence. I do, however, highly recommend this book if you love dark or epic fantasy, steampunk or action/adventure and supernatural/paranormal romance genres. - Lynn Worton

  • The Dragons of Dorcastle

  • The Pillars of Reality, Book 1
  • By: Jack Campbell
  • Narrated by: MacLeod Andrews
  • Length: 11 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 310
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 295
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 296

The Mechanics and the Mages have been bitter rivals, agreeing only on the need to keep the world they rule from changing. But now a Storm approaches, one that could sweep away everything humans have built. Only one person has any chance of uniting enough of Dematr behind her to stop the Storm, but the Great Guilds and many others will stop at nothing to defeat her.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • LOVED IT

  • By susan on 19-03-15

Fantastic Read!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-04-18

This is the first book in a fantastic epic fantasy series called The Pillars of Reality. I absolutely loved it!

Mari is a fantastic character. I love her determination to do the right thing, even at the cost of her own life. She is an eighteen year-old mechanic... Sorry, Lady Master Mechanic as she loves to correct all her Guild elders who insist on dropping the honorific, even though she has attained it by qualifying as the youngest Lady Master Mechanic since the Guild was first formed. When the caravan/convoy she is travelling in is attacked, she finds herself travelling with a mage who was hired by the caravan to protect it as it travelled to Ringmon where she has a Guild contract to repair a mechanical device. As danger threatens, Mari finds herself torn between doing what is right, and her growing feelings for Mage Alain.

Mage Alain is also a fantastic character. I liked him a lot. He is seventeen years-old and one of the youngest Acolytes to achieve Mage status. He has been taught from a young age not to show or feel any emotions and that the world he lives in is an illusion, where nothing is real. When the caravan he's been contracted to protect comes under attack, he finds himself drawn to Mari, feelings long forbidden returning to the surface. As he begins to see through the illusion to the truth that had been kept from them, he realises that Mari is the woman prophesized to unite the people of Dematr. Can he protect her long enough to fulfil it?

I purchased this book in audio format in 2015 when it was recommended to me on Audible due to my listening and browsing history. I am kicking myself for not listening to it sooner. I kept putting it off for some reason unknown to me. Maybe I just wasn't in the mood for it at the time. Who knows? Anyway, now I'm seriously annoyed with myself for missing out on listening to this story, which is narrated by MacLeod Andrews. He does a fantastic job in bringing the story to life. Even Alain, who's voice is meant to be flat and emotionless comes across with subtle hints. You would think that Alain's voice would be monotonous, but it's not so. I love the way he brings all the characters to life with different accents, inflections and tones. He even makes the women's voices sound perfect for each character. As for his narration, he read the story clearly and concisely, and his pacing was perfect. I would definitely listen to more books read by this narrator.

This story introduces us to the world of Dematr. It is a mass of contradictions. There are two great Guilds who hold all the power over the common folk - The Mechanics and The Mages. These Guilds have held power for centuries and refuse to relinquish their hold and reject change of any kind. However, this is slowly strangling the world, making it harder and harder for the Mechanics especially as their technology is regressing. This story has a steampunk feel to it, with machinery being steam driven at times - trains for instance. Though there are some more modern items such as far-talkers (walkie-talkies to you and me), torches using batteries, and rifles and pistols that are decidedly more modern-day. Mages use energy from the land around them and some of their own energy to make spells. These spells can be used in various ways - from hiding oneself to creating a dragon.

This book is told through the eyes of both Mari and Alain and I found myself completely hooked from beginning to end. I was fascinated by how different the Guilds were, but also struck by how similar they were too. I loved getting to know the two main protagonists and watching (in my minds eye) the story unfold as I listened. I have no idea why, but as I listened to Mage Alain talking and thinking, I had a sudden picture of Richard Dean Anderson as he played Colonel Jack O'Neill in SG1 - with a dry wit and deadpan face. If they ever decide to make this book into a movie or TV series, I would hope they could find someone like that to do Alain justice. Anyway, back to the book. I found myself an emotional wreck near the end. I think my heart broke, it definitely felt heavy at any rate. However, the audiobook version (I can't speak for the book version) has a preview of the second book in the series and I am now looking forward to reading/listening to The Hidden Masters of Marandur as soon as I can.

Jack Campbell is a new author to me. I've never read or listened to any of his other books. However, I may have to add him to my favourite authors list, as he's found a fan in me. I love his writing style, which is fast paced and descriptive, and the flow of the story is good too.

Although there is no mention of any scenes of a sexual nature, I do not recommend this book to younger readers under the age of 15 due to some violence. I do, however, highly recommend this book if you love dark or epic fantasy, steampunk or action/adventure and supernatural/paranormal romance genres. - Lynn Worton

  • The Healer

  • By: Christoph Fischer
  • Narrated by: Georgina Tate
  • Length: 6 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 3

When advertising executive Erica Whittaker is diagnosed with terminal cancer, western medicine fails her. The only hope left for her to survive is controversial healer Arpan. She locates the man whose touch could heal her, but finds he has retired from the limelight and refuses to treat her. Erica, consumed by stage four pancreatic cancer, is desperate and desperate people are no longer logical nor are they willing to take no for an answer.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderful Read!

  • By Lynn Worton on 20-02-17

Wonderful Read!

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 20-02-17

This is an intriguing psychological/medical thriller. I really enjoyed it!

I received a complimentary gift copy of this book in audio format from the author with no expectation of a positive review. This is my honest opinion.

This audiobook is narrated by Georgina Tate. She has a clear reading voice. Unfortunately, I was not keen on her reading style. She read the story in a jerky fashion in my opinion, taking unnecessary breaths in the middle of a sentence where no comma should be, and her pacing was a little too slow for my taste. She also did not modulate her voice or change her tone often, which made some sections rather monotonous. She also didn't even attempt to give the characters different tones or accents. This, in itself is not necessarily a bad thing, as not many people can do accents. Nevertheless, it made me feel a little bored at times and I considered switching over to a different story. However, I persevered right until the end.

Erica Whittaker is an interesting character. She is a woman who has been diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer. After a course of chemo that leaves her feeling extremely ill, she turns in desperation to a faith healer called Arpan, who has retired to the wilds of Wales, in an attempt to cure it.

I found myself intrigued with the storyline, which is told through the eyes of Erica. I also found some of the dialogue a bit clunky and repetitive, especially in the beginning where Erica first meets Arpan and tries to convince him to heal her. Arpan is an interesting character. He has retired from the limelight as a healer after a healing went wrong and his client died, which created a media circus. He is extremely reluctant to heal Erica and it's not until later in the story that one discovers the reason why. He also has an apprentice called Anuge (sorry, not sure of spelling). What got me curious about this situation is that if he's not practicing healing, why did he have an apprentice? Anyway, as the story unfolded, the mystery and suspense surrounding Arpan's apparent retirement comes to light when a drug company comes calling. I must admit there are several twists to this story that I didn't see coming, though I did have suspicions about a few things that I deduced correctly when they were revealed. The ending, however, left me feeling with a blend of surprise and disgust at how an innocent person can have their life ruined by either a potentially deadly mistake or a deliberate scam. The author has left the ending a little vague so a reader can make their own conclusion on this point.

Christoph Fischer is a relatively new author to me in that I've only read some of his short stories in an anthology he contributed to. Nevertheless, I love his writing style and, if I had read this book rather than listened to it, I think I would have enjoyed it better flow-wise. I would definitely read more of his books in the future.

Although there are no scenes of a sexual nature, violence or profane language, I do not recommend this book to younger readers due to the dark subject matter. I do, however, highly recommend this book if you love psychological or medical thrillers. - Lynn Worton

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Fire Country

  • The Country Saga, Book 1
  • By: David Estes
  • Narrated by: Khristine Hvam
  • Length: 12 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 8

In a changed world where the sky bleeds red, winter is hotter than hell and full of sandstorms, and summer's even hotter with raging fires that roam the desert-like country, the Heaters manage to survive, barely. Due to toxic air, life expectancies are so low that the only way the tribe can survive is by forcing women to procreate when they turn 16 and every three years thereafter. It is their duty as Bearers. Fifteen-year-old Siena is a Youngling, soon to be a Bearer, when she starts hearing rumors of another tribe of all women, called the Wild Ones.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fantastic Book and a Must Read/Listen!

  • By Lynn Worton on 09-02-17

Fantastic Book and a Must Read/Listen!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-02-17

Review 6*

I originally received a copy of this book in 2013 from the author in return for an honest review, which I duly posted. However, I am now editing my review to incorporate listening to it in audiobook format, which I purchased through Audible UK.

This audiobook is narrated by Khristine Hvam. I must admit that when I heard her narration I thought to myself, 'This doesn't sound like the Siena in my head as I pictured her.' However, as I listened to her speak, I realised that her voice is perfect for Siena's character. She brings a charm and warmth to the story. She also gives each character their own voice and accent, which brings them to life. Her diction is clear and precise and easy to listen to. I would definitely consider listening to more books narrated by her.

My original review:

OMG! This is a fantastically brutal dystopian novel. I LOVED IT!

Siena is a fantastic character! She is a young lady that I greatly admire. Her determination, independence and grit astounded me. As her sixteenth birthday looms, she has to make a decision that will change her life.

As I started reading this book, I was completely pulled in to a world that has been devastated by a disaster of biblical proportions. The Heaters are a tribe living in the most unforgiving conditions I have ever encountered in the pages of a book, but somehow, they manage to survive. Raging sandstorms, fires and unrelenting heat would sap the energy out of anyone, but these people have gained my respect with their ingenuity and sheer determination. I found myself sitting on the edge of my seat more than once, as the story unraveled. I also found myself on a rollercoaster of swinging emotions; from disbelief, anger, sadness, happiness, disgust, joy, a few other mixed ones and back again! However, it is their laws that I found myself railing against. The one where they have to force girls of sixteen to procreate for their survival. I can understand the need to survive as a tribe, but it's the way they go about it that made my stomach clench! I wanted to shout "perverts", but as they are fictional characters, they wouldn't hear me! However, there are some really likable characters that redeemed the tribe in my eyes. These are Siena's friends: Circ and Veena. Circ is one of her closest friends and a wonderful character. He is a Hunter and the same age as Siena. Veena is a year older than Siena, and has already had a baby. Her attempts to get her no-good Call (mate) to take care of the baby made me giggle! This book is peppered with a whole slew of tribal slang, but it reminded me of some words I could picture the Australians saying (no offence to the Australians, I love their slang!). There are also a fair few twists and turns in this book that kept me hooked from the first page to the last! I am now looking forward to reading the next book in the series!

David Estes has written a fantastic dystopian novel that has turned me into a huge fan! I love his writing style, which is fast paced and extremely fluid! His characters came alive, and the descriptions of the environs left me breathless! I am looking forward to reading more of his books in the future.

I highly recommend this book if you love YA or Dystopian genres. - Lynn Worton

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Devil's Evidence

  • Thomas Fool, Book 2
  • By: Simon Kurt Unsworth
  • Narrated by: David Rintoul
  • Length: 15 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 148
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 144
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 144

A stunning new thriller from the critically acclaimed author of The Devil's Detective. Thomas Fool, now the head of Hell's Information Men, must solve a new mystery that crosses the divide between Heaven and Hell.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fabulous Sequel!

  • By Lynn Worton on 18-12-16

Fabulous Sequel!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 18-12-16

This is the second book in the Thomas Fool series. I loved it! I was originally recommended the first book from Audible due to my browsing/reading history. When I heard this audiobook was available to pre-order, I quickly bought my copy without even reading the synopsis and began listening to it as soon as I could. I was not disappointed. I found myself gripped by the storyline.

This audiobook is narrated by David Rintoul. I love his narration. He brought the story and characters to life with his clear and precise reading. His pacing was excellent and I was amazed at how he could vocalise the various characters without losing his voice. He gave some of the characters incredibly gravelly voices that came across as menacing, which made me shiver, as well as lighter tones for the female characters. I would definitely listen to more books read by this narrator.

Thomas Fool is a wonderful character. He is an "Information Man", a policeman to you and me, who investigates things when the denizens of Hell cause chaos or misbehave. I really liked this person. I don't know what he did in his previous life to end up in Hell, but I got the impression that he was a good man. Perhaps he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Unfortunately, I didn't feel like his character grew as much as it did in the first book.

In this story an arsonist is setting fires in Hell. Thomas and his fellow Information Men are sent to investigate and quickly find themselves facing a mysterious adversary. Unfortunately, they also have to deal with the Evidence, a new group of demon-lead investigators that shadow the human Information Men. Sent on a mission into Heaven, Thomas realises that all is not well in paradise. As danger threatens and both Heaven and Hell prepare to go to war, Thomas will have to dig deep for answers.

Though I am not a huge lover of horror, I love detective stories. I started to listen to the story with no idea of what to expect, though I knew it was going to be a huge roller coaster ride. What I got was an unexpected journey through the eyes of the main protagonist, Thomas Fool. Hell is not a pleasant place to be in this book, and the demons are not exactly puppy dogs either. Heaven is more peaceful, though no less dangerous. I love the descriptive quality of the horror in this book, though it can be pretty graphic and a little shocking. Some readers may find it too gruesome. Then again, my imagination can be a little too quick to paint vivid pictures and some may find that it may not be graphic enough for them. As only a moderate reader of horror, this story definitely shocked me (in a good way). I was quickly hooked and sat entranced as the story unfolded.

I must admit that I was a little disappointed by the world building of Heaven. I can understand why the author would make it this way, but still, I am not sure I would want to go there if all I'm going to do is sleep and dream for the rest of my afterlife. However, as I said, I can understand why the author did this: Thomas would see it as a boring and uninteresting place to want to stay. Having said that, the mystery surrounding the fires in Hell and the disappearances in Heaven kept me hooked. The author also introduced some new characters, such as Mr. Tapp, the leader of the Evidence, and the angels Benjamin and Gadriel, who bring their own prejudices/dislike of Hell's denizens and denial that there is anything wrong in Heaven. Then there is Mayall (sorry, not sure of spelling due to being an audiobook so have nothing to compare with), who is the Angel of Chaos and requested Thomas's help. There is also a new Information Man called Marianne, who has only recently been born into Hell. She brings a touch of romance into the storyline. There are also a few characters from the first book who make a return appearance, like Rachshasas (again, I have no idea of spelling so am doing it phonetically), and a couple of characters who make a surprise return.

The story has several twists and turns that kept me guessing right until the end. I am a huge fan of detective novels, and this story has several red herrings and distractions cleverly placed so that when the culprit is revealed, the reader is surprised. I must admit that the ending left me feeling rather sorry for Thomas. I will not say why because of spoilers, so I will leave it to you to find out for yourselves. I hope that the author is working on the next book (if there is one), because I am eagerly looking forward to listening to/reading it as soon as possible.

Simon Kurt Unsworth has written a fantastic sequel to his debut novel. I love his writing style, which starts slow but quickly picks up speed. I also love the flow of the story, the scenes flowed seamlessly from one to another. This author has found a fan in me and I would definitely consider reading more books written by him in the future.

Due to the use of graphic horror and gore, as well as the use of foul language, I do not recommend this book to younger readers and to those who have a nervous disposition. I do, however, highly recommend this book if you love horror, suspense and detective stories. - Lynn Worton

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • The Watcher of Dead Time

  • By: Edward Cox
  • Narrated by: Imogen Church
  • Length: 15 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 58
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 57
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 57

Labrys Town, home to a million humans cut off from the rest of the universe, has been invaded. Those who protected it have been deposed. The Relic Guild are scattered across the worlds of the Aelfir. Many of them are dead or dying. The Genii control everything. The war is almost over. Clara, a young woman barely able to control her werewolf side, has seen her friends and mentors killed in front of her. She is the last hope for Labrys Town.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • disappointing end

  • By lee moore on 28-07-17

A Fantastic Trilogy!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 30-08-16

This is the third and concluding book in the Relic Guild series. I absolutely LOVED it!

The story is again narrated by Imogen Church. She did another fantastic job in bringing the characters to life. Her ability to voice the different accents used for the various characters impressed me. I loved her speaking voice, and her reading pace was perfect.

Clara is a young woman of eighteen, who has been working as a prostitute in a brothel since the age of fourteen in the Labyrinth city called Labrys Town. I really liked her. She is stubborn and determined. She has magic in her veins, is known as a magica and is a wolf shifter.

The story continues from the shocking events at the end of the second book, The Cathedral of Known Things. The Nightshade is under the control of the Genii and the members of the Relic Guild are scattered. Their only hope is to locate Goldur Bellow, a Nephilim, who first met Vam Bam and Angel during the Genii War forty years previously. Meanwhile, Sergeant Ennis, a policeman of Labrys Town, has been tasked to investigate and locate the members of the Relic Guild. However, during his investigation he finds out that things are not as they seem.

As this story progressed, loose ends from the previous books were tied up, but new secrets were revealed. I found myself on another emotional rollercoaster ride as the story reached its zenith, then climaxed in an all out battle. Eblisha Spiral, the first lord of the Thaumaturgists and now leader of the Genii, is a megalomaniac in my opinion. I think that Fabian Moor and Mo Asherzad came to the same conclusion in the end, though a little too late to avoid their fate.

This is a unique story; the world building and character development is extraordinary. I loved the descriptions of the scenes and characters. The story has a post apocalyptic feel to it, with a hint of steampunk, which is further enhanced by the split timelines, which are forty years apart. The characters in both the past and the present are quite interesting. This split timeline shows the reader the events in the past that led to the isolation of Labrys Town from the houses of the Aelfir, and also reveals secrets hidden by a few of the characters. This story has several twists and turns that kept me hooked. There is a bit more action (as in explosions and weapon fire) compared to the other two books but, it's the storytelling that instantly pulls you in. The author has a fantastic way of describing the scenes so that you can picture them easily within the mind's eye. My only complaint is that it ended!!

Edward Cox has written a fantastic trilogy. I loved his fast paced writing style. The flow of the story seemed a little more seamless than the first book, and I was sad to reach the end. This is an author who is unafraid to kill off his characters. Although this is one of the things I find annoying about authors (they usually leave me an emotional wreck and I end up with a book hangover because of it), I will be keeping an eye out for more of this author's work in the future as he has found a firm fan in me.

Due to scenes of violence and gore, I do not recommend this book for younger readers under the age of 15. However, I highly recommend this book if you love science fiction and dark fantasy genres. - Lynn Worton

1 of 1 people found this review helpful