Very well done audio drama that tells the story of the infamous Christmas Truce, 1914. This drama occurs on the front lines of The Great War, which evVery well done audio drama that tells the story of the infamous Christmas Truce, 1914. This drama occurs on the front lines of The Great War, which everyone thought would be over by Christmas. It tells the story of a young man, a mere 17 years of age who inspired enemies to friendship and for one night brought peace to the battle weary men for Christmas. Very touching, very powerful. This is a short production, not much more than an hour long, performed by a full cast. complete with it's own musical score. Heartwarming, heart breaking, and inspiring, it brought tears to my eyes. Very well done!...more
A Shade of Vampire by Bella Forrest is an engaging story that has a little bit of everything – romance, horror, adCourtesy of CK2S Kwips and Kritiques
A Shade of Vampire by Bella Forrest is an engaging story that has a little bit of everything – romance, horror, adventure – and is sure to keep you reading through to the very end. It is a novella length story that sets the stage for the series and future books to come. It introduces our key players, welcomes us in to this dark world, and prepares us for adventure.
Sofia is feeling very lost when we meet her, upset that her birthday wasn’t everything she had desired. Things only get worse when she is kidnapped by a vampire. Sofia meets Derek, leader of the vampires, upon his awakening, and her life changes once more. Derek is drawn to Sofia for inexplicable reasons, claiming her as his own personal slave, which infuriates his brother Lucas. Lucas is the one who found her, and he wants to keep her for himself.
Sofia does a remarkable job of adapting to her new life, making friends in the midst of so much fear and despair. Her innocence and gentle heart tempers Derek’s blood lust. She softens him just enough to help him see that his decisions aren’t always for the best. This will then help Derek in the long run, making him a better leader. Bella Forrest ends A Shade of Vampire perfectly, preparing us for the direction that the next book is going to take, without using huge cliff hangers that can frustrate readers.
The performances by the narrators in A Shade of Vampire are top-notch. I’m not familiar with Zachary Webber, unsure that I’ve listened to anything he’s performed before. However, I have listened to many books performed by Emma Galvin and Kate Rudd, and I’ve always enjoyed their work. Pacing and characterization is fantastic, with each performer drawing out scenes when necessary to increase the suspense, speeding it up when the action increases.
I particularly love when stories written in the style Bella Forrest uses, with different chapters being different characters’ points of view carry that over into the audio version of the book, using different narrators for each character’s chapters. This acts as a great cue for me that I’m now in a different person’s head, especially since I am rarely just listening to an audio book. Audio books are my go to for entertainment when I am working on others things. I listen to audio books like most people listen to the radio.
Courtesy of Net Galley and CK2S Kwips and Kritiques
Jane Austen’s First Love by Syrie James is a wonderful glimpse into what Jane may have been like asCourtesy of Net Galley and CK2S Kwips and Kritiques
Jane Austen’s First Love by Syrie James is a wonderful glimpse into what Jane may have been like as a teenager.
I may not be as huge a fan of Jane Austen as many readers are, but I do enjoy reading her novels from time to time. I’ve read Syrie James in the past and thoroughly enjoyed her, so I was eager to try Jane Austen’s First Love. I love how historically accurate Syrie James keeps her novels, while adding her own flair. She writes vividly, using beautiful descriptive passages so I feel like I am physically present in the story.
I just loved Jane throughout the entire book. She was well written as what we’d imagine a 15 year old girl to be like during this time period, not so different from today’s teens actually. She is passionate, wanting to fit in and be popular, falling in love, even sometimes acting like a petulant child (the whole hair-powdering debate demonstrates this quite well.) Jane is eager to grow up and be treated like an adult, as evidenced by those more mature and responsible moments that appear frequently, as with any teenager. Jane shows growth and development through her matchmaking efforts, who she believed would be the “perfect couple” and why. Her own crush on Edward was sweet and innocent initially, slowly blossoming into a first love.
My biggest factor that affected my enjoyment of the story, not that I would call it an issue necessarily, since it was appropriate to the story, was that the writing style reflects that of a more dated style that would have been common during Austen’s time period. It took some getting used to, with the liberal use of parentheses, sentence structure differences, and vocabulary. One that kept throwing me initially was the use of “shew” instead of “show.” I kept thinking it was a typo, distracting me, until I got used to it.
All in all, Jane Austen’s First Love by Syrie James does an admirable job of telling a fictional, though inspired by actual events, coming of age story as we see a young girl on the cusp of womanhood, getting her first real “grown up” experiences, and enjoying everything life has to offer. We see how her love of writing was always there and the beginnings of what would be become a career that is still well loved to this day.