Tag Archives: Free audio books

Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi

Book Review
Book Review

Book Review of Ship Breaker: 3 Treasure Boxes
Publisher: Audible Studios, Audible Audio Edition, Listening Length: 9 hours and 8 minutes
Program Type: Audiobook, Version: Unabridged, Audible.com Release Date: May 4, 2010, ASIN: B003KWL65SBook Review

In a dystopic society set in the future where the gap between the wealthy and the poor is vast and impassible, and the world has been depleted of natural resources, life for the poor is almost unbearable. Nailer, a fifteen year old boy, tries to exist working as a ship breaker on the south-east coast of North America. He, along with his crew mates, scavenge abandoned oil tankers for anything of value. It is imperative they meet the quota set by their bosses, or they could end up discarded, and become beach rats with nothing. Nailer not only has to deliver the goods, but he has to do this while avoiding his drug-crazed and violent father. So what will Nailer do when faced with a choice between killing a beautiful but helpless rich girl his own age, or letting the swank live and watch his chance for the easy life slip away?

Paolo Bacigalupi has been nominated, and has won, many awards for his work. For Ship Breaker he won the Michael L. Printz Award for Best Young Adult Novel in 2011. Bacigalupi has written 5 novels including Ship Breaker, with a 6th one on its way, and he has written numerous short stories. He writes primarily biopunk, science fiction, and young-adult stories. Ship Breaker is a young-adult science fiction story told in a third-person narrative from the point of view of the main protagonist, Nailer.

There are many fascinating aspects to this story. The setting is well thought out and the characters are well developed. The reader is immediately drawn into the story right from the first page when Nailer is introduced climbing through a service duct tugging at copper wire. The story shows both the depth of despair that the people working on the salvage rigs face, as well as the intensity of the connection between the people working together as crew.

This is a dystopian society that takes place many years in the future, yet it is also a story about people. I really enjoyed this novel, and I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading YA dystopian stories. I rate this book as a very good read, and I am looking forward to reading more stories by Palol Bacigalupi.



To purchase Ship Breaker from Amazon, click here

The Passage: A Novel by Justin Cronin

This entry is part [part not set] of 1 in the series The Passage Trilogy
Book Review
Book Review

Book Review of The Passage: 2 Treasure Boxes First book in The Passage Trilogy

Random House Audio, Audible Audio Edition, Listening Length: 36 hours and 52 minutes (785 pages), ASIN: B003QL14NC

The Passage is a vampire story. It is about blood sucking abominations that man-kind created while developing  a serum in the hopes of  discovering immortality. But instead of  infinite healing potential, they invented an illness that resulted in humans transforming into immortal monsters. Their experiment created millions of vampires while at the same time killing off billions of humans. While the army was secreting developing the virus they injected a special composition of it into six year old Amy, and due to her young age, she was altered in a different manner. She would have been considered a success, if the virus did not abolish the majority of mankind.  She seemingly became immortal and after 93 years appears to have only aged 10 years, she retains most of her humanity and did not become a vampire, yet she has a connection to them. She is able to communicate with them telepathically. The Passage details the development and the devastating effect of the virus during the 93 years since its inception. This book shows what has happened to mankind, and how a small group of humans are fighting back.

Justin Cronin has to date, written four novels, two of them in The Passage trilogy. The third book in the series, The city of Mirrors, is supposed to be released sometime in 2014. Cronin has won numerous awards for his writing. The Passage is a horror story, and it is told in a third person narrative using several different tactics including diary entries. I found the switch between third person narrative and diary readings to be confusing, especially when some of those diary entries were 1000 years after the events in the book. There are numerous protagonists throughout the novel, but Amy seems to be the constant.

The story was interesting and original. I really enjoyed the beginning, which I thought was well written and engaging. However, I found the middle of the book to drag a bit, and to be a bit boring. I understand that Cronin wanted to fill in some information to gap the years between the onset of the virus and year 93, but I did not enjoy how he did it. I did not like the use of the diary entries. I did think that Cronin’s concept of the vampire was fascinating. I also liked the characters that he focused on, and I thought his character development was well done. I recommend this book as a good read, and I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series. I liked how this book ended, and I could see the potential for a future story.


To purchase The Passage: A Novel from Amazon, click here or on picture above

Dead and Alive by Dean Koontz

This entry is part [part not set] of 3 in the series Frankenstein
Book Review
Book Review

Book Review of Dead and Alive: 1 Trash Can
Frankenstein, book 3
Publisher: Random House Audio; Unabridged edition (July 28, 2009), (352 pages), ISBN-10: 0739317172, ISBN-13: 978-0739317174

Dead and Alive continues the story of the modern day Doctor Frankenstein. The premise is that Doctor Frankenstein, now known as Victor Helios, has created a way to prolong life, including his own and that is why today he still appears to be relatively young. Not only has he created a way to prolong life, but he is also creating an army of genetically modified humans. 

I was not able to finish this story. I found the writing atrocious, and the story improbable, as well as gruesome. But what I disliked the most was how undeveloped the characters were, especially Victor Helios, who was one-sided, all evil. I do not recommend this story, I thought the book would be better used as tinder.

To purchase: “Dead and Alive” from Amazon, click here or on picture above

MaddAddam by Margaret Atwood

This entry is part [part not set] of 3 in the series MaddAddam Trilogy
Book Review
Book Review

Book review of MaddAddam: 3 Treasure Boxes
Book three of the MaddAddam trilogy
Publisher: Random House Audio, Audible Audio Edition, Listening Length: 13 hours and 23 minutes, ASIN: B00E7YHASU

The world has been remade, because most of mankind has been deliberately eliminated and many new species have been developed. Before he died, Crake developed what he thought was the perfect humanoid, a new species of people that are beautiful, yet socially very different—they do not wear any clothing and they eat nothing but leaves—they are referred to as the Crakers. Now, all that remains in the world are a handful of humans—both good and bad, the Crakers, some sly new creatures including pigoons, pigs who have been spliced with human stem cells to enable the creation of human organs, and the resurgence of vegetation.

Margaret Atwood is a famous Canadian writer born in 1937, and she has written numerous books, short stories, books of poetry and essays. She has won more than 55 awards, both Canadian as well as international. MaddAddam is speculative, dystopian fiction and the story is told primarily in a first person narrative by the main protagonist, Toby, a woman who has survived the waterless flood and the end of mankind. Much of the book is presented in the form of stories that Toby relates to the Crakers about various events that have occurred both before and after the flood.

MaddAddam is much lighter, and included quite a bit more humour than the previous two books in the series. The story is well told and I really enjoyed it. This book continues immediately after the events in The Year of the Flood. Jimmy the Snowman is very ill, the two psychotic paintballers are still on the loose and Adam One is nowhere to be found. The Crakers have relocated themselves along with Jimmy to stay with the group who were once known as God’s Gardeners. Due to Jimmy’s illness, Toby has replaced him in the role of storyteller to the Crakers.

Through and because of the stories, much of Zeb’s past is revealed, which I found intriguing and a bit surprising. It was also interesting to watch the development of the Crakers, and even though Crake created them to be without art or religion, the human need to create and to connect seems to override what Crake intended.  It seems to me, that in light of the potential damage from genetic modifications, that this is an important tale to tell, and it comes across without being preachy, yet it also leaves the reader with an overall feeling of hope.

I recommend this book, as a very good read. However, to truly appreciate the story it is important to read all the books in the series in order which I recommend to anyone who enjoys speculative, dystopian fiction.



To Purchase: MaddAddam from Amazon, click here or on picture above

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The Power of Six by Pittacus Lore

This entry is part [part not set] of 2 in the series The Lorien Legacies
Book Review
Book Review

Book Review of The Power of Six: 2 Treasure Boxes
Book Two of the Lorien Legacies


John, AKA Number Four, has joined forces with Six and now the charm is broken, they are no longer protected. Instead, with the help of John’s human best friend, Sam and his shape-shifting dog, they are devising a plan to defeat the Mogadorians. But first they need to evade the evil aliens, who seem to be everywhere. Meanwhile, halfway around the world, Number Seven, AKA Marina of the Sea, has her own problems but she is certain that John is Loric and is desperately trying to figure out how to contact him.

The Power of Six was much better than the first book, I Am Number Four. There were more characters, which made the story more interesting, and we learned a bit more about the deeper story. Also there was lots of action, which was exciting. I recommend The Power of Six as a good read and I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series, The Rise of Nine.


Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb

This entry is part [part not set] of 1 in the series The Farseer Trilogy
Book Review
Book Review

Book Review of Assassin’s Apprentice: 3 Treasure Boxes
The Farseer Trilogy, Book 1
Publisher: Tantor Audio, Audible Audio Edition, Listening Length: 17 hours and 18 minutes, ASIN: B003ATP9VI

A young boy, FitzChivalry, is an outcast, because he is the bastard son of the King-in-Waiting. From the day he was dumped at court by his grandfather, he never felt connected to anyone or anything, except his little puppy. Fitz has magically bonded with the little dog, but soon learns this is an evil thing to do, and has his dog cruelly ripped away from his life. King Shrew has decided to earn Fitz’s loyalty by turning him into an assassin. During his training Fitz is faced with many different tasks and challenges, including uncovering a sinister plot that if successful will place a cruel and uncaring man into power. Meanwhile, the red ship raiders have a secret weapon that turns the captured citizens of the Six Dutchies into living, soulless beasts.

Robin Hobb is a pseudonym for Margaret Astrid Lindholm Ogden and she has written numerous books, primarily in the fantasy genre. Assassin’s Apprentice was written in 1995 and it was the first book in the world of the Six Dutchies and is the first book in The Farseer Trilogy. The Tawny Man Trilogy was released in 2001 and continues the story, but from a different point of view. Assassin’s Apprentice is in the epic fantasy style because in this world there is a form of magic, no modern conveniences and there is a ruling class of aristocrats, including kings and princes. The story is told in a first person narrative from the point of view of the main protagonist, FitzChivalry.

The magic in this fantasy novel is subtle. There is a mental type of control, called The Skill, and it is where, if one has the ability and is properly trained, a person can enter into the mind of another person. There is also another gift, a deeper, darker gift, that is considered evil or dirty, and it is the ability to join minds with an animal. The story is original and enjoyable. Fitz, even as a young boy, is a danger to the crown as the bastard son of the King-in-Waiting. For this reason, King Shrew decides to keep him close and to earn the boy’s loyalty by secretly training him to become an assassin.

Fitz is a great character, and there are other interesting characters in the book, but most of the other players are not well developed. They tend to be one-dimensional without any real depth.  Unlike most epic fantasy novels, this story does not have any real action, but it is well told and well paced with a steady stream of tension throughout.

I recommend this book as a very good read. The story was intriguing and from start to finish, I was never quite sure where it was going and I found it hard to put the book down. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series, Royal Assassin.

To Purchase Assassin’s Apprentice from Amazon, click here or on picture above

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Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk

Book Review
Book Review

Book Review of Fight Club: 1 Trash Can

The narrator, a man who suffers from insomnia, is continuing looking for meaning in his life. He starts going to various different support groups, like The Vctims of Testicular Cancer support group, The Parasitic Brain Parasites support group and numerous others, pretending in each one that he too is ill. He goes to a different support group everyday as a method of dealing with his life and his insomnia. In the process he meets another person, Marla Singer, who also attends these meetings faking illness. While he is stumbling through life, he becomes involved with Tyler Durden, a man who is even more emotionally and spiritually messed up than himself.

I read about half of the book and then I had to stop. I found that these people were sick and I did not enjoy sharing their twisted view of life. I have also seen the movie, so I knew where the book was going. I did not like any of the characters, and I did not think the writing was especially good. Instead, the main focus seemed to be how to disgust and shock the reader. I stopped reading shortly after Tyler was urinating in the soup. It was at this point that I realized, I did not care about these people and I did not want to read anymore.

I do not recommend this book, I thought it was a piece of trash. Perhaps there is a veiled message against consumerism, but overall it is not worth reading.


The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

Book Review
Book Review

Book Review of The Snow Child: 2 Treasure Boxes

The Snow Child is a novel based on the Russian fairy-tale, “The Snow Maiden” and feels like a fairy-tale. Mabel and Jack are an old married couple who have never been able to have children. They escape to Alaska in 1920 to wallow in their despair and in their their misery they decide to make a snow girl. The next day a young girl miraculously appears out of nowhere in the middle of the Alaska wilderness. 

I enjoyed the story and I liked the fairy-tale qualities. All the words spoken by Faina were said without quotes and this gave the girl an ethereal quality. She really did come across as an elemental creature, yet at the same time she seemed very much alive and real. I recommend this book as a good read.

Maya’s Notebook by Isabel Allende

Book Review
Book Review

Book Review of Maya’s Notebook: 2 Treasure Boxes

Maya, a young woman turning 20, has made a mess out of her life and needs to hide away in a small village in Chili to avoid the FBI and the mob. Her ruminations during this time are reflection in Maya’s Notebook and include her conclusions about life, death and love. Maya may be a spoiled brat but still I cheered for her and I enjoyed the story. I recommend Maya’s notebook as a good read.

Iced by Karen Marie Moning

This entry is part [part not set] of 6 in the series Fever Series
Book Review
Book Review

Book Review of Iced: 2 Treasure Boxes A Fever novel, the sixth book A Dani O’Malley Novel, the first book Publisher: Brilliance Audio, Audible Audio Edition, Listening Length: 14 hours and 51 minutes, ASIN: B00A0M7ABA

The walls between earth and the realm of the Fae have fallen and the world is in chaos. Dani “Mega” O’Malley is a fourteen year old Sidhe-seer, she has super speed, super hearing, super sight and she is super strong. There are only two objects that can kill the immortal Fae, and Dani possesses one of them, the Sword of Light. With her abilities and her sword, she is doing everything in her power to protect mankind from the madness that has descended. However, there is a new problem in Dublin, something is indiscriminately freezing both humans and Fae. Dani needs to find out what, and stop it before all of Dublin turns to ice.

Iced is the sixth book in the Fever Series, but this time the story is told from the point of view of Dani and it is the first Dani O’Malley book.  The next book in the series is Burned, and it is expected to be released April 2014.  The third book in the Dani O’Malley series will be Flayed, but its release date is currently unknown. Iced is a contemporary fantasy book, also known as Urban Fantasy. The majority of the story is told in a first person narrative from Dani O’Malley’s point of view, but sometimes other character’s point of view are told instead.

This story continues almost immediately after the events in book five of the Fever series. The first five books revolved around Mac and Barrons, but in Iced they are only mentioned briefly. Instead the focus is on Dani, and the story comes across more as a young adult novel than the erotic urban fantasy that we have come to expect from these books. Although there are a few love interests, Dani is still too immature to really comprehend what is occurring. She tells her story using plenty of slang and with a teenage attitude that took some getting used to, but once I did I enjoyed her voice. Her character became more developed and we learned more about her past.

Iced,  like most of the books in the series, ends on a cliff-hanger. The major story line concerning the freezing of Dublin was resolved, but to keep us hooked, Ms. Moning threw in an unresolved and intriguing event. Now we have to wait a year to read the next book, and to find out where this story is going. I recommend this book as a good read, but you need to read the first five books to really understand what is happening.



To Purchase: “Iced” from Amazon, click here or on picture above Happy Holidays! Download a FREE audiobook today!