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J Smith

UK
  • 81
  • reviews
  • 12
  • helpful votes
  • 107
  • ratings
  • The Shadow Reigns

  • Witch-Hunter, Book 2
  • By: K.S. Marsden
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Ip
  • Length: 4 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2

The world has been thrown into darkness by the Shadow Witch's revolution. The witch-hunters are scattered, but still strong. The race is now on to gather allies and win the war. New enemies will arise; loyalties will be pushed to the limit. And an important question will be answered: Can a witch-hunter who practices magic ever be trusted, or will he be persecuted?  

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Book 2

  • By JEYCEE on 15-10-18

A great modern day Witch hunt!

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

Reviewed: 16-10-18

Absolutely loved the first book and was so glad to get into the second!
Really, really enjoyed the continuation of the story in which is now set in an almost apocalyptic England.
James, again does a fantastic job with his narration, having given all the characters great accents and personalities!
Again, simply great and can’t wait for the next installement!
This is my honest opinion of a free review copy.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • You Die When You Die

  • West of West, Book 1
  • By: Angus Watson
  • Narrated by: Sean Barrett
  • Length: 14 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 230
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 221
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 219

You can't change your fate - so throw yourself into battle, because you'll end the day either a hero or drinking mead in the halls of the gods. That's what Finn's tribe believe. But Finn wants to live. When his settlement is massacred by a hostile tribe, Finn plus several friends and rivals must make their escape across a brutal, unfamiliar landscape, and to survive, Finn will fight harder than he's ever fought before.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Angus! Angus! Angus!

  • By Simon on 23-06-17

Fantastic.

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

Reviewed: 16-10-18

Almost as good as the Age of Iron Trilogy!
I love his hearing all the inner thoughts of his characters and they have me laughing out loud at times with their naivety!
Sean, again is brilliant with the narration, characters and personalities; fast becoming my favourite narrator.
Roll on book 2!

  • The Land You Never Leave

  • West of West, Book 2
  • By: Angus Watson
  • Narrated by: Sean Barrett
  • Length: 15 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 86
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 82
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 81

Newly and uneasily allied, two tribes from different worlds set off across the Ocean of Grass. Their mission is to fulfil a prophecy and take Ottar the Moaner west of west, to save mankind. In their way are the denizens of the Badlands, the most terrifying and powerful collection of murderers and monsters the world has ever seen.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Wootah Hooter!

  • By Simon on 15-09-18

Brilliant

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

Reviewed: 16-10-18

Absolutely loved this series. I’d say Age of Iron slightly beats it, but only just!
I love the characters and their inner monologues and I literally found myself laughing out loud quiet a lot of times; and believe me, this book is far from a comedy, but it’s brilliant!
Sean Does am equally amazing job at narrating, with all the characters having great voices and personalities!
I’ve not been more devastated at a cliffhanger in all the books I’ve listened to, when I realised book 3 isn’t out yet... please, please, hurry! Lol

  • Darkmage

  • The Rhenwars Saga, Book 1
  • By: M. L. Spencer
  • Narrated by: Simon Wright
  • Length: 18 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars 3
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 3

Darien Lauchlin has already lost everything. Now the only thing he has left to lose is his soul. When his own brother unseals the Well of Tears, Darien is the last Sentinel left alive to defend his homeland. Now he is faced with an impossible decision: either watch everything he knows shatter - or forsake his oath of peace to become an instrument of pure destruction. Accompanied by Naia, a priestess of Death, Darien embarks on a harrowing journey to save the people of the Rhen. But will he lose his own soul in the process?

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Pretty good. Definitely worth a listen.

  • By Dingo 883 on 19-10-18

The start of an Epic YA fantasy adventure!?

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

Reviewed: 04-10-18

I must say that I enjoyed this book a lot more than its prequel! It’s filled to the brim with adventure, magic, battles and intrigue.
It’s still a little tame and cliche’d at times for my tastes but it’s very enjoyable for what it is!
The narrator reads it well, although there isn’t a great distinction between his characters and it’s all read with the same cadence and tone, whether its the description of a babbling stream or narrowly avoiding death in a battle.
I found listening at x1.25 made it more enjoyable and didn’t decrease the quality at all.
The book definitely peaks interest as to what happens in book 2!
This is an honest opinion of a free review copy.

  • Blue Lights, Bitter Roots: a short horror story

  • By: Dona Fox
  • Narrated by: Sarah L. Colton
  • Length: 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 2
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2

Millions of threads so thin as to be invisible, so vaporous as to be ductile, drift through the classroom, emitting a chill and leaving a sense of unease. Hidden deep in their cloaks, the Blue Lights analyze the odors that cling to the individual cells of every child, from the top of each little head to the bottom of their ticklish feet and every dark secret place in between, from their gathering brains to their blood-soaked spleens. One girl feels dizzy; one boy throws up.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Hide-under-the-duvet-good!

  • By J Smith on 02-10-18

Hide-under-the-duvet-good!

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

Reviewed: 02-10-18

As usual, Dona has come up with a very good, disturbing and scary short horror story!
I like the disturbing character-emulating confusion that comes out in Dona’s writing, adding to the tension of the read.
Sarah really adds to the enjoyment of the book, reading it really well and portraying the characters really well; her tone summing up the atmosphere perfectly!
Again, only missed out on a 5 star rating due to it being a short listen (although good value for money!)
This is an honest opinion of a free review copy.

  • All the Children on the Porch: A Short Horror Story

  • By: Dona Fox
  • Narrated by: Sarah L. Colton
  • Length: 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3

Jenny was born on October 31st. She’s never gone trick-or-treating or celebrated her birthday beyond an initial taste of frosting that always puts her into a deep, drugged slumber - a sleep that protects her from family secrets and the horrible reality that dark holiday could reveal. What will happen when she finds her father’s journal and determines to stay awake on Halloween? Will she survive when the dreadful truth comes out? 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • My review

  • By Melanie osmond on 19-10-18

Warning: Do not read with the lights off!

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

Reviewed: 01-10-18

Dona pulls yet another terrifying story out of the bag... thoroughly enjoyed it and only struggle to give it 5 stars due to it being so short.
Very well narrated by Sarah, who portrays the characters superbly well and fits the story perfectly.
This is an honest opinion of a free review copy.

  • Darkstorm

  • The Rhenwars Saga, Book 0
  • By: M. L. Spencer
  • Narrated by: Simon Wright
  • Length: 9 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    2.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars 3
  • Story
    2.5 out of 5 stars 3

Braden and Quin Reis share a tragic past, but it’s now up to them to save the future. When a secret conspiracy resorts to harnessing the powers of the Netherworld to save their legacy, Braden and Quin are the only mages capable of stopping them. But these two would-be heroes are compromised, harboring terrible secrets. Can Braden and Quin put aside their differences long enough to prevent the unsealing of the Well of Tears? Or will they relent and join the conspiracy?

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • A good start to a magical world

  • By J Smith on 29-09-18

A good start to a magical world

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

Reviewed: 29-09-18

A YA adventure full of magic, bravery and treachery.
I found the first half a little tame, with a few too many darling, sweethearts and ‘honey of a pickles’, but the pace picked up in the last 3 hours; I’m hoping that pace continues in the rest of the series.
Unfortunately I struggled with the narrator. In the sample I loved his deep husky voice, and although he reads it well, over a period of time the Liverpudlian accent bore me down and there was very little to distinguish between any of his character voices.
All in all, an easy listen if you enjoy your YA fantasy.
This is an honest opinion of a free review copy.

  • Skullsworn

  • By: Brian Staveley
  • Narrated by: Elizabeth Knowelden
  • Length: 15 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 169
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 163
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 162

Pyrre Lakatur is not, to her mind, an assassin, not a murderer - she is a priestess. At least, she will be once she passes her final trial. The problem isn't the killing. The problem, rather, is love. For to complete her trial, Pyrre has ten days to kill the seven people enumerated in an ancient song, including "the one who made your mind and body sing with love / who will not come again." Pyrre isn't sure she's ever been in love.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Great spin off

  • By J Smith on 26-09-18

Great spin off

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

Reviewed: 26-09-18

Ok, so I’m finding this book hard to review... had it been a random story narrated by Elizabeth, I’d have probably given her 5 stars for her narration as she can’t be faulted and portrays Pyrre and the other characters really well; unfortunately Simon Vance has already created a persona for Pyrre in my mind and she differs a lot from Elizabeth’s portrayal... but don’t let that put you off, Elizabeth is brilliant!
Coming in straight after I finish the Unhewn trilogy I felt a little wanting in the single character front of Skullsworn and single path of the storyline which is the complete opposite of the Unhewn multiple stories and twists and turns.
All in all, a very good book which I’d most likely give 5 stars if it was a complete standalone story and Unhewn hadn’t raised my standards so high. Definitely worth a read!!

  • The Providence of Fire

  • By: Brian Staveley
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 24 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 863
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 795
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 795

Having learned the identity of her father's assassin, Adare flees the Dawn Palace in search of allies to challenge the coup against her family. Few trust her, but when she is believed to be touched by Intarra, patron goddess of the empire, the people rally to help her retake the capital city. As armies prepare to clash, the threat of invasion from barbarian hordes compels the rival forces to unite against their common enemy.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • The first book had some promise...

  • By Ross on 03-05-16

Brilliant

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

Reviewed: 25-09-18

A brilliantly written epic fantasy, played out amazingly by Simon; hope the series never finishes!

  • The Last Mortal Bond

  • Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne, Book 3
  • By: Brian Staveley
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 29 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 890
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 827
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 827

The ancient csestriim are back to finish their purge of humanity; armies march against the capital; leaches, solitary beings who draw power from the natural world to fuel their extraordinary abilities, maneuver on all sides to affect the outcome of the war; and capricious gods walk the earth in human guise with agendas of their own.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Never reached the excitement of the first book

  • By Robin300378 on 12-04-16

An amazing trilogy

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

Reviewed: 25-09-18

Exactly what you expect from well written epic fantasies and so well read by Simon. Just a shame it had to come to and end! :(