While Suzanne Collins had kids fighting kids to the death in The Hunger Games, James Dashner had kids fighting for their lives in a world they did not understand in Maze Runner.
Thomas has no idea how he got here… or where he came from. When he awakens in the lift he is surrounded by other kids about his early-teen age all curious about him and welcoming him to the Glade.
As Thomas tried to make sense of things he realizes about all he does recall is his name. The Glade, he learns, is a protective area that surrounds the Maze… and the Maze is dangerous. The Glade is surrounded by a protective stone wall that opens on its own accord during the day and closes at dusk. You do not want to be outside the Glade and caught in the Maze when the doors close.
Just as Thomas is trying to process the details of this new and scary home that apparently delivers a new boy (only boys) every 30 days by the same life that Thomas arrives in…. things change.
The next day the lift delivers another person – 29 days earlier then it ever has before and this time…
it is a girl.
And she comes with a message “this is the last one.”
As everyone scrambles to figure out what all this means, Thomas has this eerie feeling that he knows this girl from somewhere in his past. He also gets the feeling that id he shared this information with the boys he has met so far in the Glade it would not serve him well.
As days progress ans things continue to change in the Glade everyone starts looking at Thomas as for two years things have been exactly the same and now, with his arrival things have become different. For starters – no one goes out in the Maze overnight and lives to tell the story, but one night, Thomas finds himself outside the stones walls, no way to get back in until morning…
and Thomas learns quickly why no one goes into the Maze overnight as there are creatures that want nothing more than to end his life and everyone else inside The Glade.
Ever since I went to the Book Expo last year and met James Dashner I knew I wanted to read him. When an author comes across as witty and funny as he does, you want to know if they write in the same manner.
For the record… he does.
Maze Runner evoked images of Hunger Games. While Maze Runner is not kids fighting each other for survival it is kids fighting an unknown force, and I felt that same sense of awe and anticipation as I wondered what would happen next and who would be the victor.
While I really enjoyed the story line and how right from the start you are filled with questions… “How did Thomas get the Glade? Where was he before he arrived? Why are everyone’s memories wiped when they arrive? Are people families looking for these boys? What really is the Maze?” I have to say that the characters were not as developed as I typically like. I like to get a real feeling for who they are and while Thomas did come close, the rest felt more gingerbread man flat and I could not work up and extended emotions for them as I would have liked.
While the book has been on my shelf for years, shortness of time pushed me forward into listening to this one on audio. Mark Deakin did an excellent job with narration.
I can not say I absolutely loved the book, I did however like it very much and think it would make an interesting movie. Set to be a movie in 2014, this is one I would want to see.
Highly engaging (and addicting) I am looking forward to the second book in the trilogy, The Scorch Trials.
Raven Boys was so different than what I had expected… different good. This is a different writing for Maggie Stiefvater, a more complex and engaging writing.
At sixteen, Blue knows her life is different than others her age. For starters, her family are psychics. This alone would be enough to make her stand out – and she is told that her presence in a room helps her family see into others lives more clearly although Blue sees nothing.
Until one day while Blue and her mother are waiting in the graveyard to see the spirits of those who will die in the next twelve months. And this time, Blue sees something. At first it is a flicker in the air, nothing you could put a shape too… but then.. she could. It is a boy and his name in Gansey and now Blue knows he will die within the year….
Blue is told…
“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve, Blue. Either you’re his true love…or you killed him.”
And days later when this same boy arrives at Blue’s door step for a reading… Blue knows she is in deep. Warned by her family to stay away from Gansey and his friends known as the Raven Boys, Blue does what any sixteen year old girl would do when confronted with an ultimatum and a chance to hang out with some interesting boys… she starts sneaking around and helping then with their mission… to locate a line of energy that could connect them to a Welsh King, Glendover…
I admit that Raven Boys wasn’t what I thought it would be. I have read Maggie Steifvater before with her Shiver series and enjoyed them finding then very YA, very Twilight like… good fun easy reads. So when I put myself into Raven Boys I was surprised to find something deeper and more involved than I had bargained for.
Maggie Steifvater takes her writing to a whole new level in Raven Boys. It is more detailed than her past writings that I have read, it is a meatier read and it took me a while to wrap my head around it. Yet once I did, I couldn’t stop.
The character of Blue takes on an interesting twist as she brings a little something to the party that most can not. With her abilities through her psychic family… she is an asset on the Raven Boys Team. But for me, the Raven Boys themselves trump Blue 100 fold. They are well developed… the story line as they figure out clues to a past they are unsure of id truly impressive. As I followed along I kept having these, “What the!” and “Oh…. awesome!” moments.
There are many story lines that are left open and hearing this is a 4 book series (the second coming out this fall) I imagine that the teasers of this book… opening doors that we do not yet get to walk through, will lure this reader for sure, on to the next book… and probably the next after that.
I listened to this book on audio and narrator Will Patton did a wonderful job with the cast of characters he was working with.
As Annie Colwater waves good-bye to her daughter as she travels to study abroad, she id not realize that was not the only thing she would be saying good-bye to that day. On the drive home Annie’s husband Blake, confesses he has been having an affair and he would like a divorce. Shocked and needing to get away from the pain that has just been placed on her, Annie heads back to where she grew up, Mystic Washington and to her father who still lives there.
Within a few short days Annie hears of the death of a long-lost friend and stops in on two widowed husband and Annie’s first love, Nick Delacroix. Within a short amount of time (more on that later), Annie and Nick rekindle those old feelings (much like throwing gasoline on an already burning fire).
While Annie is experiencing feelings she did not know she could still produce, she also knows that eventually she must return home to sort out her life. When a phone call flips her world once again.. Annie is forced to make a hard choice, she just has to decide if she should follow her head or follow her heart… and some times, they may both lead in the same direction.
I have read Kristin Hannah before and enjoyed her books. When I found this audio at a price I could not resist, I snatched it up. One thing you can say about Kristin Hannah is she writes in a feel good, heart of the matters way that I was in the mood for. Her writing gives you that feeling like you have been traveling for some time and are looking forward to a home cooked meal. Kristin Hannah’s books are that home cooked meal.
While listening to this one on audio I had many battles with it. For one, things were moving way way way to fast. Annie’s decisions felt as though time and again they were made hastily with no thought whatsoever,consequences be damned. Of course, that does not make her a bad character, perhaps one could argue that Annie had been a rule follower all her life and look where that got her? Maybe she was out breaking the mold…
but it felt like more than that to me.
As the audio went on there was a later happening that I jumped on feeling that the story had just jumped ahead skipping a vital section… and then I got it.
The audio I was listening to was abridged (my bad – I purchased it that way), meaning that it had been shortened from the original writing and as I recently learned through Twitter conversations and Google, abridged is to provide audio books at a much better cost and are therefore significantly shorter than the unabridged. Abridged also appeal to people who may not have the time to listen to a whole audio book. See my vocal thoughts on that idea here.
Once I realized what I was dealing with I quit judging the book so harshly. In fact, as it went on I found I did like the story and finished it. While it was good, I was not invested enough in the book to go through it again in book format or unabridged.
If you enjoy Kristin Hannah I think you will enjoy this one as well, just be sure to read it or get the unabridged audio book.
Hannah Smith comes from a long line of Hannah Smith’s before her. And Hannah one, two, and three all seemed to be these strong self-sufficient women, who have left Hannah (Hannah four by the way) feeling as thought their shoes might just be too big for her to fill.
Hannah is a fishing guide and she enjoys this sort of living, but then inherits her Uncles PI agency as well. When asked by a fishing client to search for his missing niece, Hannah sees a way she can combine her love of the sea with her newly inherited position. This Hannah thinks, will be a great way to try her hand at this PI stuff.
What Hannah discovers is a sick sociopath who likes to seduce young rich unsure of themselves women, kidnaps them and then after robbing them of their fortunes disposes of them however he pleases. As Hannah works to hopefully save this latest missing girl, she learns a lot about herself along the way.
GONE was my first book I have read (or in this case listened to) by Randy Wayne White. In the beginning I had a hard time absorbing all that was going on. The constant mentions of the Hannah’s who has gone before our current protagonist Hannah four, had me thinking there must have been previous books featuring these Hannah’s… which as I learned, there was not. This was the first book.
This was a book that felt like the plot had many holes, and relationships were just as holey and I didn’t understand the closeness of characters who had just met – both male and female.
Eventually I found some rhythm to the book and started to enjoy the story line as long as I didn’t think about it too closely.
Thank you to Penguin audio for
giving me the opportunity to listen to
and review this book.
In a post apocalyptic world of little light, no animals, and the only people you occasionally see may be as likely to kill you for food as to shake your hand…
the future… is not looking so bright.
The man (only referred to as The Man) and his middle grade age son, take to the road in look out for food, shelter, but all is temporary in this new world as staying in one spot too long is certain death and the times of warmth and food to eat are scarce.
As the story moves on down the road the man, who is hardened by the weariness of the world tries to give his son hope when hope is nowhere to be found as they walk the boy grows in knowledge way beyond his years in ways many of as adults could not even comprehend.
Why did I want to read this book?
The Road is one of those books that seems to be on my invisible “must read in my lifetime” list. Actually… as I write this, I should really make that list.
The Road was a book I listened to on audio. Tom Stechschulte (who also narrated Dennis LeHane’s Shutter Island) did a wonderful job of portraying a weary father trying to give his son a future when no future is to be found.
The Road… I am not going to lie, is über depressing. As the audio went on, even the good moments are short-lived and time and again the pair return to the road going onward…. towards… what? They and you as the reader, have no idea.
So what makes The Road so popular? Is it our thirst for the unknown even if it scares the poo out of us? Initially released in 2006 was it a bit ahead of the great Apocalypse/Dystopian genre era we are currently in? I don’t have the answers to these questions. For me, The Road was good… but not outstanding. I wonder why? AM I desensitized by the current dystopian reads that are way more action packed? Again, I don’t know.
The Road for me was interesting and sad and heartbreaking and frightening. It made me look out the window and try to picture such a world where daily instead of blogging or going to work or hanging with friends at a coffee shop – the only thing to do is try to survive. When we think about the growing earth population and the demand demand demand for more…. more media, more food, more rights, more control…. I have to wonder….
How far off is McCarthy’s world? Is it a possibility? Think of the last 50 to 100 years and how the world has changed. Now go forward 50 to 100 years. What do you see?
Overall – obviously The Road is a thinker and I am glad to be able to say I have read it. I look forward to seeing the movie… perhaps tonight.
Mickey Bolitar is not sure how trouble finds him… but it most certainly does. Now, a school friend of his has been shot and the police are not too appreciative of Mickey’s interest in the case. After all, Mickey is just a teenager with not much else to do but go to school and hang out with his friends, Ema (pronounced E (long E) ma) and Spoon.
As Mickey gets closer and closer to the truth, the truth is making its way closer and closer to him…
and it wants to shut him up.
Why did I want to listen to this audio? I always tell people when I was in High School and a few years beyond my “go to” author was Stephen King. In my twenties I started to find King to be a bit too high on the creep factor so I made my way to Dean Koontz who I found to be a little lighter than King and a bit more sense of humor (plus I love the end of Koontz books where he explains more about the book and the idea behind it). Then Koontz came out with a few that were more like King and I discovered Harlan Coben. Coben is lighter than Koontz, has a quick wit that I love and I have not found a book of his yet that I have not enjoyed. I am also finding it brilliant how he slid into YA reads by creating a nephew for his star series character, Myron Bolitar.
First of, I did not realize this was a second in a series and knowing that now, it explains a bit of what I found missing : 1. how did Mickey come to be living with his uncle? 2. What happened to Mickey’s dad?
That said, other than those two things I picked up on in the beginning the story flowed wonderfully. Mickey is a great character that I think will be a great lead in to young adults who enjoy mysteries, as well as connecting to his older character Myron who can keep these same readers moving right from Mickey to Myron (nicely played Harlan Coben, Nicely played!) And I enjoyed this book too so I will definitely continue on as well as get my hands on that first book, Shelter to catch up completely.
The narrator of this audio was Nick Podehl and I am nowhere near a narrator snob (YET) but as I was listening to this one I swore I knew that voice. Once home I checked it out and sure enough, Nick has narrated some of John Green’s books and I see he also narrates the Chaos Walking series of Patrick Ness which makes me want to pick up that first book again but this time in audio because I hear they are WONDERFUL.
This book will be released September 18th, normally I do not review before a book is released but I did not notice I was ahead of the game until I was writing this post – so note that it will be available soon!
I have a new copy of this audio in my home that I would like to put up for giveaway in honor of BBAW this week. Please leave a comment here letting me know if you have read Harlan Coben before and if so which book(s). This winner will be announced Saturday morning.
Good Morning. Note that Audio Book Week has invaded Book Journey. My morning posts this week will have to do with the topic of the day that the delightful Jen from Devourer Of Books has put up. This morning I will have another post up soon, a fun one that Leslie (Under My Apple Tree) and I came up with. And forgive me but more than likely there will be a third post today, later an audio review with a giveaway.
SO todays question is:
Discuss the essentials of audiobook reviewing. What do you make sure to include? What do you want to see when you read other people’s reviews?
Audio reviews. You know I have become better at reviewing them lately. I used to just review them like one would a book, and for the most part that is true… but really there should be a few extras.
As an audio book listener, then reading a review here is what I would like to know:
- The Narration. I am still new enough to audio that I can not pull many narrators out of my head, but I like hearing about them, and I hear a few gushings about great narrating I know to watch for what they are reading. I also want to know on a narrator I am not familiar with (errrr…. most of them) how they were during the reading. Honestly, a good audio book will not sounds like someone is reading out of a book. Instead – you will get lost in the language, the rhythm and the story itself.
2. Length. Sometimes I am in the mood for a longer audio book, and I will invest the time if it is a book that I have really been wanting to get into. However, I like to know up front just as much as a 4 hour audio might make me go… huh… why so short, an eighteen hour audio will make me really want to consider if I want to dive into audio on that one or go with the book.
Those are my two big audio review tips for today. I am getting ready for work this morning, and will be back later this afternoon to check out what you are all doing.
My question I leave you with is – if you listen to audio books, what do you like about them. If you do not listen to them, what is holding you back?
Nothing like a little clubbing in New York to change your forever.
Fifteen year old Clary was thrilled to get an evening at the happening club Pandemonium, hanging out with her best friend Simon. Dancing and a good time was definitely on the agenda… witnessing a murder was not. Yet Clary is unnerved when she witnesses three teenage boys commit a murder that no one seems to notice but her, and then the body disappears into the air without leaving behind even a trace of a struggle.
Into the air!
Shortly there after Clary takes a call from her mom telling her not to come home but to go anywhere else and then she hears her mom being attached. By the time she does arrive at the house it is ransacked and her mom is nowhere to be found.
Welcome to the world of the Shadowhunters, a group of warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. When a Shadowhunter close to her own age named Jace comes to her rescue, things become interesting. Clary is introduced to a while new world she never knew existed…. one of fighting for justice, and filled with weapons… and apparently, good looking guys.
As Jace, as well as his close friends Alex and Isabelle, come to help Clary find out what happened to her mom, they all discover that Clary’s meet up with the Shadowhunters was less of a coincidence than one may think. Clary is connected to these people more than anyone had realized…
and that puts her in a dangerous position.
Uber embarrassing confession. My good friend Amy gushed about this book years ago. She gushed so much I did what I usually do, I went out and bought the book. Then I did something else I usually do too…. I shelved it for a later day. Well… although it caught my eye through the years, I never pulled it off the shelf, then as more and more books came out in this series (5 now I believe…) I didn’t know if I wanted the commitment of a long running series.
A couple weeks ago when I needed a new book download for my IPOD I was excited to stumble through a list that had City Of Bones on it. Knowing I had a much greater chance of getting to this read on audio, I downloaded it.
City of Bones was pretty much what I expected, an interesting paranormal YA genre of these Shadowhunters who fight demons among us every day human types who really don’t have a clue of what is going on around us. The Shadowhunters use something they call “glitter” that makes us everyday humans not be able to see them as they truly are, but instead they blend right into wherever they are: an elderly gentleman making his way down a hospital corridor, a businessman walking hurriedly through the streets of New York… if you were wondering how Clary seen them… well, that I can’t give away.
While I found City of Bones to be interesting and well written, I don’t see myself diving into the rest of the series. It was good, but didnt hook me to the point I need to go and get the second book right now! (I don’t quite want to dig out the Spoiler page for this one but did anyone else get a Harry Potter vibe on this one? They are looking for the Mortal Cup…. there is a bad guy trying to get to the cup first named….
Voldermort, I mean named Valentine.)
After Airline Pilot Chip Linton’s emergency landing in Lake Champlain resulted in the death of most of his passengers on his small plane, Chip moved his wife Emily and their ten-year old twin daughters to a remote Victorian home in Northern New Hampshire.
The plan was for Chip and his family to start fresh after the accident, but Chip is haunted by the memories of the crash, as well as it seems he is haunted by passengers that died on that fateful flight. While Chip is battling the inner demons of the 39 lost people on his flight, a long ago sealed door is found in the basement of their home with 39 six-inch long carriage bolts.
While Chip makes a frightening discovery behind the bolted door… his wife Emily finds herself drawn to a group of herbalists in the area who seem to have taken an obsessive interest in her twin daughters. Torn between the strange behavior her husband is now producing as he spends more and more time in the basement, and the odd women herbalists giving her children new names… Emily is left struggling to maintain her family when all she really wants to do is pack up and get far away from this strange place.
It’s hard to believe now that in my early 20′s horror/thrillers were my favorite genre. Then, I read everything that Stephen King and Dean Koontz put out there. As years went on, I went away from King, still enjoy a good Koontz, but have really moved on to a tamer, Harlan Coben for my fix. However, occasionally I have a craving (much like I do for 80′s music), where I want to dab a bit into the spooky genre, hoping to bring back the old thrills I used to get reading them.
This fact, along with my desire to read something by Chris Bohjalian, brought me to Night Strangers. For this time of year, if just felt like it could be spooky good.
So… is it?
Well no doubt about it that Night Strangers will make you hear every bump in the night. Putting anything in the basement is pretty spooky for me and that is barely touching the hair-raising happenings of Chris Bohjalian’s tale of the paranormal.
I definitely got what I was craving and then some… I tend to lean more towards the good old spooky ghost stories than the modern paranormal horror so at times there was a bit of “WHOA!” For the most part… I would call this book a ghost story with a triple energy drink kick. After all what s not to love about a book where not all your characters are living?
If you are looking for a little spooky in your pre-Halloween week, look no further for great writing that will definitely make the hair on your neck tingle and have you checking the basement door.
The 2011 WHERE Are You Reading map has been updated to include Night Strangers
I purchased this audio from audible.com