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Thomas Joyce

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Gripping and immersive. Perfect gothic horror.

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

Reviewed: 01-01-20

The idea of an isolated island community existing in our modern world, inhabited by people ruled by traditional religious beliefs is a little hard to take at first. A small population who all seem to know each other, and who all turn their back on modern technology in favour of the "old ways".But, thanks to the power of Foster's storytelling, The Isle comes to life in the mind of the reader. From the rolling ocean waves to the eerie burned out buildings of the waterfront village, from the cottages with their thatched roofs to the mysterious lighthouse and it's equally mysterious inhabitant, every setting and every character adds to the all-encompassing sense of dread. Seeing the world through the eyes of US Marshal Virgil Bone - himself a troubled character - allows us to become immersed in the role of an outsider on the island. This is further enhanced by a wonderful narration by Linda Jones, who gives each character their own voices.

The mystery surrounding Bone's mission to the island, and the murky history of the inhabitants, is played out wonderfully. Foster never gives the reader too much information at once, instead eking it out in such a way that keeps us hooked right to the horrifying climax. It is a perfect gothic horror story for those readers (or audiobook listeners) who not only want to read and listen, but want to be engulfed by the darkness. Certain aspects reminded me of the movie The Wicker Man, which I did enjoy. But I found the experience of reading and listening to The Isle even more enjoyable.

Beautiful and horrific tale

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

Reviewed: 05-03-17

What did you like most about Little Dead Red?

The language and the style of writing adopted by Yardley. Despite the harrowing subject matter, she delivers it in a compelling and entertaining way.

What did you like best about this story?

It is an emotionally charged story, expertly written by Yardley and narrated by Hempel to the maximum effect, drawing the listener in to the plight of the protagonist and her quest. The characters are fully realised. Yardley's prose is lyrical and beautiful while Hempel hits all the right emotive notes.

Have you listened to any of Joe Hempel’s other performances? How does this one compare?

I have listened to Die Dog or Eat The Hatchet (written by Adam Howe) which I felt Hempel delivered very well. With Little Dead Red, he has shown that he can take on stories of very different subject matter and deliver an excellent narration no matter the story, style or protagonist.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Without giving too much away, when it is revealed that Marie has made a mistake about the identity of the wolf she is seeking. Harrowing.

Loads of fun, very entertaining, great narration.

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

Reviewed: 21-02-17

Where does 28 Seconds Later rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

It is definitely the best short story. Overall it ranks very high as it is fun and very original.

What was one of the most memorable moments of 28 Seconds Later?

The introduction of the British spy with the "familiar" accent.

What about Chris Barnes’s performance did you like?

I enjoyed the use of his native dialect to voice the British spy, but also how he managed to give each character a slightly different voice.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I'm not sure about "moved", but I certainly enjoyed every aspect of the story. From the Cold War setting to the way the author tackles an old trope, taking inspiration from a certain movie franchise and putting his own stamp on it. It has its own originality and style which was a great deal of fun.

1 person found this helpful

My favourite book of 2016

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

Reviewed: 21-02-17

If you could sum up Mongrels in three words, what would they be?

Werewolf coming-of-age story.

What other book might you compare Mongrels to, and why?

I'm not sure it can be compared to another book. You can try comparing it to your favourite coming-of-age story, only with werewolves. Or you can compare it to a werewolf book, only told from the point-of-view of a young boy as he transforms into a young man. But I think there is definitely something very unique and very special about Mongrels.

Which character – as performed by Chris Patton and Jonathan Yen – was your favourite?

The unnamed protagonist. As a young boy and as a teenager. So both, I guess.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

There are many emotive scenes in the book but the most powerful is probably the finale.

Action-packed, thoroughly entertaining, great fun!

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

Reviewed: 21-02-17

What made the experience of listening to Die Dog or Eat the Hatchet the most enjoyable?

The writing is superb and the delivery by the narrator compliments the author's words to create a very enjoyable audio book.

What did you like best about this story?

The voices of the characters in each story. The author does a great job of creating very believable, very genuine characters, from the protagonists to the smallest of characters.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

If I had to pick just one then it would be the finale of Damn Dirty Ape. But there are scenes in each of the three novellas that were very enjoyable. And the way the author structured the title story is brilliant.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I certainly laughed out loud at much of the inner dialogue of Reggie Levine in Damn Dirty Ape. And some of the more gross-out scenes in Die Dog or Eat The Hatchet even made me chuckle with morbid humour. Indeed, there are scenes in each of the stories that made me laugh. I think this is just the author's style.