TBR Pile Review: Project Hail Mary, by Andy Weir

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Audible Audio, Unabridged, 17 pages
Published May 4th 2021 by Audible Studios
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Hardcover, 478 pages
Published May 4th 2021 by Del Rey
ISBN:1529100615 (ISBN13: 9781529100617)

Ryland Grace is the sole survivor on a desperate, last-chance mission–and if he fails, humanity and the earth itself will perish.

Except that right now, he doesn’t know that. He can’t even remember his own name, let alone the nature of his assignment or how to complete it.

All he knows is that he’s been asleep for a very, very long time. And he’s just been awakened to find himself millions of miles from home, with nothing but two corpses for company.

His crewmates dead, his memories fuzzily returning, he realizes that an impossible task now confronts him. Alone on this tiny ship that’s been cobbled together by every government and space agency on the planet and hurled into the depths of space, it’s up to him to conquer an extinction-level threat to our species.

And thanks to an unexpected ally, he just might have a chance.

Part scientific mystery, part dazzling interstellar journey, Project Hail Mary is a tale of discovery, speculation, and survival to rival The Martian–while taking us to places it never dreamed of going.

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Audiobook Review: After The Storm, by Isabella Muir, read by Charles Johnston

After The Storm

When a violent storm blasts England’s south coast, it’s up to retired Italian detective Giuseppe Bianchi to sift through the devastation and piece together the tragic events left behind in the storm’s wake.

Giuseppe Bianchi’s brief visit to Bexhill-on-Sea has become an extended stay. He is loath to return to his home in Rome because of the haunting images that made him leave in the first place. 

During his morning walks along the seafront with Beagle, Max, he meets Edward Swain, who becomes Giuseppe’s walking companion. They form a friendship of sorts and find they have a similar outlook on life.1

But the devastating events of a single night lead Giuseppe to question the truth about Edward Swain. Teaming up with young journalist Christina Rossi – his cousin’s daughter – Giuseppe learns about the brutal reality lurking behind the day-to-day life of families in the local community. And as the story unravels Giuseppe is reminded how anger and revenge can lead to the most dreadful of crimes.

After the Storm is the second novel in the Giuseppe Bianchi mystery series – the much-awaited sequel to Crossing the Line.

Grab your copy today, and enjoy the intrigue of traditional English mystery, cleverly combined with a continental twist.

Purchase Link – http://viewbook.at/Afterthestormaudio

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Audiobook Review: The Shephard’s Crown, by Terry Pratchett, read by Stephen Briggs

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Audible Audio
Published August 27th 2015 by Random House Audiobooks (first published August 1st 2015)

A SHIVERING OF WORLDS

Deep in the Chalk, something is stirring. ¬The owls and the foxes can sense it, and Tiffany Aching feels it in her boots. An old enemy is gathering strength.

This is a time of endings and beginnings, old friends and new, a blurring of edges and a shifting of power. Now Tiffany stands between the light and the dark, the good and the bad.

As the fairy horde prepares for invasion, Tiffany must summon all the witches to stand with her. To protect the land. Her land.

There will be a reckoning. . .

THE FINAL DISCWORLD NOVEL 

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Review: The Murderbot Diaries 1 -5, by Martha Wells

As I mentioned in my post about my future plans, I’m going to have a break from blog tours to make my way through my personal TBR pile. I thought I’d start with a sci fi series of four novellas and a novel by Martha Wells, the Murderbot Diaries.


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Audiobook Review: Back To Reality, by Mark Stay & Mark Oliver



The bestselling ’90s nostalgia time travel comedy
 
Jo’s world is about to change forever, and it’s about time
 
Her marriage is on auto-pilot, daughter hates her, job sucks and it’s not even Tuesday.
 
As Jo’s life implodes, a freak event hurls her back to ‘90s Los Angeles where, in a parallel universe, she’s about to hit the big time as a rock star.
 
Jo has to choose between her dreams and her family in an adventure that propels her from London to Hollywood then Glastonbury, the world’s greatest music festival.
 
Jo encounters a disgraced guru, a movie star with a fetish for double-decker buses, and the biggest pop star in the world… who just happens to want to kill her.
 
Back to Reality is a funny, heartwarming story about second chances, with a heroine to rival Bridget Jones and the rock n roll nostalgia of Keith A Pearson.
 
The novel from the Bestseller Experiment podcast presenters Mark Stay and Mark Desvaux. The Two Marks went to more gigs in the ’90s than in any other decade and are currently working on a time machine to see Prince in concert.


Amazon 🇬🇧 https://amzn.to/2TXFVOu
Amazon 🇺🇸 https://amzn.to/2TR1IaF
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Audiobook Review: The Wreckage, by Robin Morgan-Bentley

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One fatal crash. Two colliding worlds. Three wrecked lives.

School teacher Ben is driving on the motorway, on his usual commute to work.

A day like any other…

Except for one man who, in a final despairing act, jumps in front of Ben’s car, turning the teacher’s world upside down in a single horrifying instant…

Wracked with guilt and desperate to clear his conscience, he develops a friendship with Alice, the dead man’s wife, and her 7-year-old son Max.

But as he tries to escape the trauma of the wreckage, could he go too far in trying to make amends?

How would you cope, knowing you’d caused someone’s death?

Audiobook Published: February 6th 2020 by Trapeze

My Review

I was sent a digital copy of this audiobook by the publisher as part of the blog tour and in return for an honest review. Not sure they’ll send me others because I’m not going to be entirely positive about this book.

I liked the premise, it’s a good ‘what if’, and the characters are very different from each other, different backgrounds and histories that are part of the text. The narration, and the voice actors, was very good. I got a lot from the intonation and pronunciation. A lot of background information beyond the text, from listening to the way the narrators embodied the characters.

The setting is very clear – middle class, middle of the road, middle England. The characters fit the setting. Ben’s parents are really quite funny in a ‘Mrs Bucket’ sort of way.

Unfortunately, the plot wasn’t as defined as the setting and characters. It didn’t seem to have a direction or any thrust, it meandered. Alice and Ben are deeply unlikeable people. Alice is damaged and unpleasant, and Ben is immature and stalkery. Now, normally I would have just found that fascinating and want to see how things would turn out, because complex characters are more interesting that simple ones and a good strong plot can do wonders with those, but they just didn’t interest me, it fell flat. That is, I think the author tried too hard to make them ‘complex’ and ‘interesting’. And Max is way too perfect to be real. And that ‘trying too hard’ put me off.

This book didn’t work for me. Might work for someone else and it certainly got a lot of 4 and 5 stars on GoodReads, so it could just be a personal taste thing.

Audiobook Review: Never Look Back, by A. L. Gaylin

She was the most brutal killer of our time. And she may have been my mother…

When website columnist Robin Diamond is contacted by true crime podcast producer Quentin Garrison, she assumes it’s a business matter. It’s not. Quentin’s podcast, Closure, focuses on a series of murders in the 1970s, committed by teen couple April Cooper and Gabriel LeRoy. It seems that Quentin has reason to believe Robin’s own mother may be intimately connected with the killings.

Robin thinks Quentin’s claim is absurd. But is it? The more she researches the Cooper/LeRoy murders herself, the more disturbed she becomes by what she finds. Living just a few blocks from her, Robin’s beloved parents are the one absolute she’s always been able to rely upon, especially now amid rising doubts about her husband and frequent threats from internet trolls. Robin knows her mother better than anyone.

But then her parents are brutally attacked, and Robin realises she doesn’t know the truth at all…

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Audiobook Review: The Wives, by Tarryn Fisher

Imagine that your husband has two other wives.

You’ve never met the other wives. None of you know each other, and because of this unconventional arrangement, you can see your husband only one day a week. But you love him so much you don’t care. Or at least that’s what you’ve told yourself.

But one day, while you’re doing laundry, you find a scrap of paper in his pocket—an appointment reminder for a woman named Hannah, and you just know it’s another of the wives.

You thought you were fine with your arrangement, but you can’t help yourself: you track her down, and, under false pretenses, you strike up a friendship. Hannah has no idea who you really are. Then, Hannah starts showing up to your coffee dates with telltale bruises, and you realize she’s being abused by her husband. Who, of course, is also your husband. But you’ve never known him to be violent, ever.

Who exactly is your husband, and how far would you go to find the truth? Would you risk your own life?

And who is his mysterious third wife?

Published by: HarperCollins
Published: December 2019
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