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June was audiobook month. It’s a thing. During June, many authors will promote their audiobooks by offering free audiobooks through giveways or in exchange for a review. I was lucky enough to add three audiobooks to my library during June, so I thought I’d do some quick reviews. My reviews are all unbiased.

About Curiouser and Curiouser 

To save the Hatter, Alice must work with the one man she despises so much that she might still love him.

Alice thought she’d turned over a new leaf. No more working for Jabberwocky. No more making deals with the ruthless Queen of Hearts. No more hanging around The Mushroom with tinkers, tarts, scoundrels, and thieves in London’s criminal underbelly. But she’d been bonkers to dream.

Hatter’s reckless behavior leads Alice back to the one person she never wanted to see again, Caterpillar. Pulled into Caterpillar’s mad schemes, Alice must steal a very big diamond from a very royal lady. The heist is no problem for this Bandersnatch. But protecting her heart from the man she once loved? Impossible.

Sometimes love is mad.

See how New York Times bestselling author Melanie Karsak re-imagines Lewis Carroll’s classic fairy tale, Alice in Wonderland, with a steampunk twist! Join us at The Mushroom in gaslamp Victorian London.


Review of Curiouser and Curiouser

5 stars

I loved this steampunk version of Alice in Wonderland, maybe even better than C.S. Lewis’ original story. I was introduced to Melanie Karsak’s writing with her steampunk novel Chasing the Star Garden, so I was quite certain I would enjoy more steampunk from the author. In fact, there is a very loose connection between the two stories, but if you blink, you might miss it.

The book blurb is a very good review of the plot, so I won’t bore you with any such details. What I will say is that Caterpillar, Hatter, Rabbit, the Knave and especially Alice are all more human than their knicknames would have you believe. Human with all sorts of history and flaws. And Alice is caught up with them all, but most especially with Caterpillar, also known as William. She left him once and now finds she must work with him again. Can she trust him? Should she? Especially since he stirs up all sorts of feelings.

It seems she has no choice so Alice will embrace her situation head on. I do like this character and if she reminds you of a certain other literary character, then I am certain that is purposeful. Even facing the Queen of Hearts.

Now, if you know the original story, you know the Queen of Hearts is heartless and savage. Double that, no triple that in Curiouser and Curiouser. She is definitely one evil @*&%#! Sorry, I don’t usually use language like that but sometimes it is warranted. This evil one has no genius to back her up. Instead, she uses the brains of the Countess, another quite interesting character.

Narrator Lesley Parkin had just the right accent(s). I especially like that she does not try to sound like a man for the male characters, but instead, uses light inflection nuances to differentiate between characters. As an audiobook, Curiouser and Curiouser was well done.



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About Frostbite

This spooky prequel short story is the perfect introduction to the award-winning Ivy Granger Psychic Detective urban fantasy series.

When a client claims that her house is being haunted, Ivy tries to keep her mind open and her weapons handy. If her psychic gifts and recent cases have taught her anything, it’s that you’re better off arming yourself for the unexpected.

Will our favorite psychic detective face down murderous ghosts? Anything is possible in Harborsmouth.


Review of Frostbite

4 stars

I have read just one other book in the Ivy Granger series, but always wanted to read more. I find Ivy Granger, psychic detective, to be a fascinating character. At once wise about the paranormal, but also learning. I guess that is what a detective does – learns – in order to be smart enough to solve the mystery.

The prequel, is really just a short story and doesn’t really serve as an introduction to the series so much as a taste of it. It is pretty good tasty though. And if you really want an introduction, there is a very short creepy marketing spiel for Harborsmouth. If you like ghosts and things that go freaky in the night, then Frostbite is your thing. Along with the entire series I would think.

Melanie A. Mason does well as a narrator. Her voice is youngish but not so young that she sounds youthful. Thank heavens! Ivy Granger Psychic Dectective does well in the audiobook form and if I read more in the series, I might go that way.



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About The First Mate’s Accidental Wife

It was supposed to be a simple mission. Locate a kidnapper’s vessel. Rescue the woman. Return her home. Collect a reward.

Instead, the First Mate of the Gypsy Moth finds himself married to a galactic crime lord’s daughter and fighting off those that would make her a widow.

Busy watching his back, while keeping her safe, Damon misses the deadliest attack of all. The one on his heart. She’s taken it, and he’s got to decide whether giving up his freedom is worth the price of love.


Review of The First Mate’s Accidental Wife

3 stars

I read Eve Langlais for the laughs. Not because I want a complex plot or an intense love story. Just the laughs. In The First Mate’s Accidental Wife, there are plenty of fish/squid/sushi jokes about the Kanishqui, the alien race the heroine Mishi is rescued from. Also, believe it or not, the universe is crazy for chocolate, which I find to be both silly and obvious. But the banter between Mishi and First Mate rescuer Damon, was the best. They start off antagonizing each other and end up merely irritating each other, but will all sorts of love and respect behind the words. And humor.

There is quite a bit of coarse language which I can do without. When reading, it is easy to overlook, and I often do. But is is not so easy when listening to the audiobook.

I did not care for Logan McAllister’s narration. His reading was very slow. I turned the playback speed to 1.25 and that helped, though it results in clipped words. However, it was good enough and the story was entertaining enough for me to finish listening.

The First Mate’s Accidental Wife is a short novel so if you are looking for some pure entertainment, it may be just the book for you.



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