07 November 2015

Sometimes it's better to not read a single review of a book, or any synopsis of it before you decide to dive in. Sometimes, when you see flurries of excitement of a book on Twitter and Instagram, you should just pick it up immediately. And then when an old college buddy recommends the audio, you just go ahead and stop procrastinating.

Here's one thing that I feel is fairly consistent with every review I've seen since I finished the book: you can't really give anything away. It wouldn't be fair to write about one piece, one thing that makes this story so very, very unique from all the other ones that have come out. You don't want to spoil it one bit. Instead, you have to just say that it's about a little girl named Melanie who is very, very smart and she goes to school every single day and loves to learn about the world and her favorite teacher is Miss Justineau. And then you throw in the part that there is also a man in the military who picks Melanie up from her cell every morning, who very meticulously straps her into a chair, following a process so specific as to keep him far from her, who then takes her to a classroom filled with other children similarly held down in their chairs. You should probably also add that there is a very ambitious doctor, a completely disturbing sociopath who evaluates them, one by one.

And then you just have to write that the story is engaging, absolutely perfect for those who like extremely smart and uniquely driven characters, who enjoy twists that are unexpected and who fancy a tale of a young girl who is smarter than your smartest human out there.

This is an adventure told by an author with an imagination who has taken our current culture of a dystopian society and placed an excellent spin to it, and is voiced through narration in the audiobook by Finty Williams, who is just powerful and PERFECT for every role. From Melanie to Miss Justineau to Gallagher to the Sergeant, this audio is one of my favorites this year, no doubt about it.

Click here to listen to a sample from Audible.com.

FTC Disclosure: I downloaded this book through my membership with Audible.com

About the Author 
M.R. Carey is an author of comics, novels, and films, according to Wikipedia. I couldn't track down a website for him, but it seems he's fairly active on Twitter.

Visit him:


03 November 2015

Pure, by Julianna Baggott (Audio Review)

I was completely surprised by this thoughtful and unique post-apocalyptic tale of young teenagers in the world since a massive explosion happened, an explosion so impacting and devastating that the world and people living in it would forever be changed. The new normal has become one in which bodies fused to metal or wood, or even other people or animals, has now been born.

In the nine years since the Detonations, Pressia and her grandfather struggle to live and make a life. One of Pressia's hands fused with the doll she was holding when the blasts occurred and now the doll's head has become one with her fist. Her grandfather fused with a metal fan which is now in his throat. In this new world they live in, everyone around them has had their bodies blended to something, or has been left with scars incredibly severe. No one is without blemish, unless you live in the Dome.

The Dome is hidden, filled with those who were unscathed and untouched by the blasts, protected on the very day the Detonations happened. They are known almost as a myth of an all-knowing entity, overseeing those who live outside the Dome, and who one day will come back and help those who were hurt. One day this will happen, but it's unknown when. For these nine years, the inhabitants of the Dome, also known as the Pures, have never ventured outside, and those who are fused or scarred beyond recognition, don't know the Dome's location.

Partridge is considered one of the Pures, a body perfectly clean and free of scars and marks, or fusions to objects. He is surrounded by people like him, and he does not know what awaits him outside of the Dome, but he is prepared to search for his mother. His decision to leave the Dome is unheard of and when he escapes and enters into a world where his pure and untouched face and body are so easily noticed, Pressia is the one who helps him. Along with Bradwell (fused to a bird) and El Capitan (fused with his brother), the journey begins. With unsettling and startling characters who at first might be unexpected, their disfigurements became a part of the landscape of this new world, "normalizing" it and making it unique and part of each character's personality. What a beautiful array of characters with so many incredible characteristic advantages and contributions to the adventure, and this story will stay with me for a while. I'm excited that this is a trilogy, so I'll be downloading the second installment soon.

The narrators were phenomenal. I should have realized this was going to be a homerun audiobook when I saw the list: Khristine Hvam, Joshua Swanson, Kevin T. Collins, and Casey Holloway. Khristine Hvam is the narrator for Daughter of Smoke and Bone and Days of Blood and Starlight, and she was awesome, so Pure is in extremely good company with this team. Click here to listen to an audio sample.

FTC Disclosure: I downloaded this book through my Audible.com membership.

About the Author (from her website)
Ah, there's a lot going on with this author! Such cool stuff. For her complete bio, visit her at the following sites: