Audiobook Review: Crimson City by Liz Maverick

This fall I borrowed Crimson City by  Liz Maverick read by Rebecca Rogers from the library. Crimson City is the new name for Los Angeles after a bloody war between vampires and werewolves.  A tentative truce has come into existence, and it is threatened by assassinations of high level members of the vampires.


Summary from GoodReads:

Once, this was the City of Angels. The angels are no longer in charge. From the extravagant appetites of the vampire world above, to the gritty defiance of the werewolves below, the specter of darkness lives around every corner, the hope of paradise in every heart. All walk freely with humans in a tentative peace, but to live in Los Angeles is to balance on the edge of a knife. One woman knows better than most that death lurks here in nights of bliss or hails of UV bullets. She’s about to be tested, to taste true thirst. She’s about to regain the power she’s long been denied. And Fleur Dumont is about to meet the one man who may understand her: a tormented protector who’s lost his way and all he loved.

The story is told from two points of view. Fleur is vampire royalty, but has less ranking than she should in her community because of a youthful indiscretion. Dain is a human investigator who is assigned to the case and must work with Fleur to figure out who is targeting the Vampires and by extension the truce. What I thought started out as a really good concept, ground to a halt for me as the story and romance progressed. Fleur and Dain are rather one dimensional characters that can’t step off of their stereotype soap boxes and with some very overtly misogynistic tendencies thrown in there, without any hit of mutually agreed upon bondage contractual relationships or internal reflection on whether it is right or wrong, what I was hoping was a fun urban fantasy romance disappointingly sizzles away to nothing.

It is possible future books explore the characters in more depth and their relationship comes under scrutiny, but without a solid foundation to work from I am not that interested in finding out. Though future books are written by different authors, so maybe I should.

Rebecca Rogers was a decent narrator/ voice over actor. Her voices were not all that different, but as long as I don’t hate the sound of a narrators voice, I don’t really care about voices so much. It’s not one I would go out and buy the audiobook of to listen to again and again like some of my other books, but it is hard to tell if that is because of the author or the narrator.

There were some minor characters that I actually found more engaging and the entire premise is right up my ally, so there were enough interesting things happening that I finished the book. The case solving aspect was definitely a better plot than the romance aspect was.  It’s an easy read, but not campy enough to overlook the plot holes and not engaging enough to want to find out if the characters develop into anything more than stereotypes. Which is sad, because UV bullets to kill vampires and fight scenes with creatures that can basically fly should be a story that I can wholeheartedly endorse. If you are looking for an easy read that is more about brain resting than deep analysis Crimson City is a decently written urban fantasy novel.

Read a review from Likes Books.

Nerdy Nodds & Nends: Book Fountain, Batman engraving, and the Pickle Index

My mother is forever sending me some of the coolest nerdy things that she finds on the internets. Like this book, that is a fountain. Whaaaahhht. So cool. Find out more here.

The “open book” fountain at the end of Henszlemann Imre utca, in Budapest, Hungary

The Pickle Index is storytelling with modern ingenuity. It uses a digital app, paperback book, and hardcover volumes to create an immersive tale for the ages. “Each is designed to be a standalone experience, but the combined effect is synergistic.” Read the Wired article on this amazing foray into a non-conventional and novel idea (pun intended). Plus, it’s about a circus! What more could you ask for?

This Batman wood engraving is just brilliant. Check it out on Etsy: FFCreativeImagery. [via Global Geek News]

Arkham Batman Batarang Wood Engraving


Weapon of Mass Instruction

Found this gem on my Facebook page. It’s a tank mobile book give away vehicle from an artist in Argentina, Raul Lemesoff.  He gives away the books for free as long as people agree to read them. Honestly, he looks a little crazy, but also like he’s having the time of his life. [via Bored Panda]


Go to this link to watch a video about the making of the book machine and a little more about the artist himself. Unfortunately I can’t embed the video, but go to the link, you wont be sorry!

Audio Book Review: Floors by Patrick Carman

I was looking for a fun light read, and after browsing through the children’s mystery section at my library ebooks/audiobook website I settled on Floors by Patrick Carman narrated by Jesse Bernstein.

Floors, Patrick Carman

Summary from GoodReads:

The Whippet Hotel is a strange place full of strange and mysterious people. Each floor has its own quirks and secrets. Leo should know most of them – he is the maintenance man’s son, after all. But a whole lot more mystery gets thrown his way when a series of cryptic boxes are left for him . . . boxes that lead him to hidden floors, strange puzzles, and unexpected alliances. Leo had better be quick on his feet, because the fate of the building he loves is at stake . . . and so is Leo’s own future!

I really enjoyed this book. I’m a big fan of books that revolve around children exploring a particular place. One of my favorites is From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg. Floors has a lot of similarities to The Mixed-Up Files.  First, the child protagonist is relatable. In The Mixed-Up Files, Claudia runs away from home because she feels misunderstood by her parents. Like Claudia, Leo’s motivation for his adventures  is understandable. He desires to help his father keep his job at the hotel.

Secondly, the child protagonist has a sense of adventure and wonder that helps keep my own alive. In The Mixed-Up Files Claudia chooses to runaway to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City because she wants to live in a place of beauty and wonder. When she discovers a mystery at the museum she can’t help but be drawn in by her natural curiosity. In the same way, Leo is drawn into a mystery in the Whippet Hotel a place of full of strange curiosities because he can’t let a cryptic box puzzle go unsolved.

Which leads into my third point, that the child protagonist in each story uses practical resources at their disposal to solve the mystery. In the Mixed-Up Files Claudia and her brother go bathing in a wishing well to pick up coins and use them to buy necessities, and after hours sneak around the museum searching for clues. In Floors, Leo uses his new found ally and his knowledge of the hotel to solve puzzles and search for clues without getting caught.

Jesse Bernstein is a fine narrator. He has narrated a lot of children’s and young adult books and his voice lends itself to that wonder and sense of adventure. Some of his voices were not that distinguishable, but that did not hinder my enjoyment of the book.

If you want a decent mystery (that you will probably figure out some of) set in a place of wonder, strange happenings, and full tilt excitement, check out Floors by Patrick Carman.

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Book To Movie Adaptations I’m Looking Forward To or Ten Book To Movie Adaptations I Still Need To Watch

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme by The Broke and the Bookish where fellow book bloggers, and anyone who wants, can contribute to a themed top ten list. This weeks discussion centers around Top Ten Book To Movie Adaptations I’m Looking Forward To or Ten Book To Movie Adaptations I Still Need To Watch. (I’ve not stuck strictly with movie adaptations, sorry.) These are in no particular order, unless you count that they are in the order I thought of them.

1.The Magicians by Lev Grossman will be adapted into a TV series on the SyFy channel. Love The Magicians, read my review, and I can’t wait for this show. You can see a sneak peek here.

2. Mocking Jay Part 2: I love Katniss, and while the movies may not be exactly like the books, I still love them. So very much.

3. Paper Towns by John Green. First I need to read this book and then I can watch the movie. I’ve avoided John Green even though I know he is an excellent writer because I avoid sad endings, and from what I hear that is all his stories. But this trailer entices me to delve into that abyss.

4. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. My husband is not a fan of the adaptation of The Hobbit. And I get it, they added a lot of unnecessary things to make it a three movie money maker, but I still really want to see it.

5. Supposedly Matched by Ally Condie is in the works to become adapted into a movie. I always thought it was written rather like a screen play than a novel at times, and if done properly, would be a really pretty movie.

6. Cinder. This book has only been optioned, but I really really really hope this becomes a movie and I can watch it and fall in love with the universe the Marissa Meyer created allover again.

7. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater, also only optioned, but I am crossing my fingers and toes real hard and I hope this becomes a movie some day!

8. The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern. Why or oh why are these books not been made into movies! Ugh. I want to see them. Please?

9. Chaos Walking: The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness. Apparently this one has made it to the writing stages. This might be a hard adaptation, considering that the people can hear each others thoughts, but it would be interesting, and I would definitely go and see it.

10. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith. While this was not my favorite adaptation of a classic piece of literature, I do think this will be a fun movie. Also, Matt Smith is in it? Yes please.

Audio Book Review: Wicked Charms by Janet Evanovich

The third installment in Evanovich’s Lizzy & Diesel series, Wicked Charms, is as wickedly charming as the title suggests. This is a review of the third book in the series, so spoilers! If you want to read about the first two books, you can check out my review of Wicked Appetite here and Wicked Business here.

Wicked Charms (Lizzy & Diesel, #3)

First, I must mention I am completely biased to like Evanovich’s work. She remains funny through out the years and series. No matter what bad mood I’m in her heroines antics will always cheer me up, and for that I am grateful and probably a little blind to some of the cliches and some times lack of development of character that tend to happen in some of her series. For me, her books are more about the capers and less about relating to yet another female character who can’t make up her mind if she likes someone or not. So when I saw that this book was available in audio version from the library, and that Lorelei King was the narrator, I downloaded it as fast as my fingers could tap at my screen. It was everything I was hoping for, fun, laughter, interesting plot twist, zany characters, and delicious sounding food.

Summary from GoodReads:

Murdered and mummified more than ninety years ago, bootlegger Collier “Peg Leg” Dazzle once found and re-hid a famous pirate’s treasure somewhere along the coast of New England. A vast collection of gold and silver coins and precious gems, the bounty also contains the Stone of Avarice — the very item reluctant treasure seeker, Lizzy Tucker, and her partner, Diesel, have been enlisted to find. While Lizzy would just like to live a quiet, semi-normal life, Diesel is all about the hunt. And this hunt is going to require a genuine treasure map and a ship worthy of sailing the seven seas . . . or at least getting them from Salem Harbor to Maine.

Greed is eternal and insatiable, and Lizzy and Diesel aren’t the only ones searching for the lost pirate’s chest. There are people who have dedicated their entire lives to finding it, and are willing to commit murder or make a deal with the devil, just to hold the fortune in their hands. One of those people may even be Wulf, Diesel’s deceptively charming and enigmatic cousin. Wulf desires the Stone of Avarice. He also desires Lizzy. It’s hard to say how far he’s willing to go to gain either one.

It’s a swashbuckling adventure full of raiders, monkeys, minions, and mayhem. Lizzy and Diesel are going to have to do everything they can to keep their heads above water and hope they are living a charmed life.

I really like how each of these books has had a completely different type of mystery which ties into and relates back to the over all story arch of finding the seven deadly sins stones. (Which means there are four more books planned for this series!) I particularly enjoyed this mystery with the precious gems, treasure map, and a pirate reenactor who can’t stop speaking like a pirate. There was a lot of action with spelunking and boat chases thrown into the mix.

Interestingly enough Lizzie’s career also takes a turn as she gets an offer from a business tycoon to become the face of a brand. Of course I was yelling at Lizzie while driving home one evening to get a lawyer to read the contract before… yeup, signed it. Dammit Lizzie! I know your desperate for a cash influx, but you can spend a small percentage of the upfront money to make sure you aren’t getting screwed over. Bagh.

Not so surprisingly Lizzie and Diesel’s relationship progresses. I’m not too keen on this relationship. It would be one thing is Lizzie seemed like the kind of person who wanted casual relationships, but she doesn’t, she just seems to be going with the flow instead of figuring out what it is she wants from a relationship and going for that. One of my complaints about Evanovich’s characters is that they have a hard time deciding what they want. If Lizzie wanted casual relationships and went for them, kudos to her, I have no problem with that. I do have a problem with indecision become a decision over and over again.

I loved listening to this as an audio book, but then Lorelei King is just perfect for the job. One of the reason’s I was keep to try this as an audio and not just pick it up in paper format like I had for the other two books in the series is that I recognized her as the narrator from another audio book series and enjoyed her acting abilities in that one as well. She has clearly distinct voices for characters without going overboard and pulling me out of the story. What is so amazing is that her incarnations of the characters are so close to the way I already thought of them that I never once wished I had picked this book in another format. Sometimes this happens when I’ve started a series in a different format, but not with Lorelei King.

If you are looking for a funny light read about a pirate treasure, uncertain romance, that includes monkeys a magic 8 ball and cupcakes, check out the Lizzy & Diesel series by Janet Evanovich.

Audio Book Review: Glass Houses by Rachel Caine

I know it has been a while since I posted. I’ve had a very busy summer and fall with my new job, but things are leveling out and I’ll be able to devote more time to writing up reviews and posting geeky finds. I’ve been reading away like the Dickens because my commute is atrocious and the only thing keeping me slightly sane is audio books. I say slightly, because, in spite of really good stories, the horrible drivers that constantly put everyone’s life in danger are frequent enough to cause panic attacks and I long for the days when public transportation was a viable option for my work commute. Blech.

Anyway, onto things that are a bit more fun. Like audio books and the ability to borrow them from the library. :)


Glass Houses by Rachel Caine is part of the The Morganville Vampires series. While told from Claire Danvers point of view, there are three other main characters, Michael Glass, Shane Collins, and Eve Rosser.  Claire is a bright student who is in college at the age of 16 in small school in Texas (yes, this is why I chose the book). She is being bullied by her dorm mates and so decides to move into off campus student housing with some other older kids where she finds out the sleepy little Texas town is hiding some dangerous secrets.

I thought the college town full of vampires was a fun concept and enjoyed Claire’s story. I like how the book is not just another urban fantasy novel, but also deals with complex relationships between the four friends and with Claire and her bully. I did not like that Claire was 16. It needlessly complicates things and, in my opinion, makes Claire another kid who should tell her parents what is going on instead of trying to handle things on her own.  She has loving, smart parents who are concerned about her and she just ignores them. These things do not make her the best role model.

But the story is interesting and I do like other things about Claire and her friends. They are smart, they try to do the right thing, and help each other out. It does get annoying that they do not always go about it the right way. In an attempt to “help” Claire one of the guys traps her in a secret room to talk to her. All he does is talking, but the trapping thing is a huge red flag.  I hope that as the series progresses they learn from their mistakes and become better human beings who use their smarts to actually do the smart, right thing.

If you like urban fantasy with a dash of romance and interesting couple relationships this is a fun series to check out. Don’t expect the world’s greatest role models right off the bat. These kids have some learn’ to do.