9/28/2015

The Martian by Andy Weir #Audiobook Review

Title: The Martian
Author: Andy Weir
Genre: Sci-Fi Contemporary Fantasy
Audiobook Release Date: March 22, 2013
Publisher: Podium Publishing

Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him & forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded & completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—& even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment or plain-old "human error" are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—& a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?

Audiobook
Source: Purchased
This is my honest review
Rating: 5 Stars ~ EXCELLENT

Awesome on audio! Mark Watney rules as a space pirate!

The Martian is one book that I’ve been hearing about all year from book friends, and I immediately knew it was something I wanted to read even though I don’t read much science fiction. I knew this was exactly the type of read my husband likes, so we ended up reading The Martian at the same time. He read the book, while I listened to the audiobook. It was a fantastic read for both of us!

Right at the beginning The Martian gets pretty intense as a wicked event happens that results in astronaut Mark Watney stranded on Mars. With no way to contact anyone and very limited food and supplies, what’s a guy to do? Fight to survive…for as long as possible. It also helps to have a sense of humor, which Mark has plenty of in the midst of a very serious situation.

Andy Weir writes a brilliant story in The Martian with a survival-themed plot that has a very realistic feel overall. While reading you’ll feel the level of desperation and danger immensely rise that it will keep you wondering what will happen to Mark Watney.

Bottom line…if you like thrilling reads that keep you on edge, keep you guessing, and filled with both intelligent and funny banter, read The Martian even if it’s out of your usual element.

Audiobook Review:
Listening to the audiobook of The Martian was an absolutely great choice for me. As a first time listener to one of R.C. Bray’s narrations, I found him to be wildly entertaining. Mark Watney’s humor and sarcasm was perfectly portrayed in the audiobook. He made all the scientific explanations and discussions engaging for me. I wouldn’t hesitate to listen to more of R.C. Bray’s narrations in the future. The Martian has become one of my favorite listens!

Book Links:
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1zwugGC

Author Website

The Movie
The Martian movie releases in the US on October 2, 2015.
I, for one, think that Matt Damon (one of my faves) is an excellent choice to play Mark Watney. I saw Matt Damon play an astronaut in the movie Interstellar as a minor character. I have no doubt he can pull off being the main hero in The Martian. Plus, the rest of the cast seem fitting...Jessica Chastain (who was also in Interstellar), Kristen Wiig, Jeff Daniels to name a few. It all seems like a wonderful combination, especially with Ridley Scott directing. I sure do hope so!

The Martian Official Movie Trailer
Link (from YouTube): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QNZRR4qzL1Q

9/25/2015

2015 Audiobook Challenge ~ My Book Snack's 3rd Quarter Update

Hot Listens/2015 Audiobook Challenge
The 2015 Audiobook Challenge is hosted by
The Book Nympho and Hot Listens

More info on this challenge can be found HERE

Levels
Newbie 1-5
Weekend Warrior 5-10
Stenographer 10-15
Socially Awkward 15-20
Binge Listener 20-30
My Precious 30+
Marathoner 50+

1st Quarter Update
2nd Quarter Update

Audiobooks listened to in 3rd Quarter:
July-Sept 2015

1. Eighth Grave After Dark by Darynda Jones
Series: Charley Davidson #8
Narrator: Lorelei King
Rating: 4 Stars

2. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling
Series: Harry Potter #5
Narrator: Jim Dale
Rating: 4 Stars

3. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
Narrators: Clare Corbett, Louise Brealey, India Fisher
Rating: 4 Stars

4. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Narrators: Rebecca Lowman, Maxwell Caulfield
Rating: 4 Stars

5. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling
Series: Harry Potter #6
Narrator: Jim Dale
Rating: 5 Stars

6. The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty
Narrator: Caroline Lee
Rating: 3 Stars

I was able to listen to 6 audiobooks this quarter.
27 audiobooks total this year.
Yay! I'm on the wait list at the library for Harry Potter #7, so hopefully I'll get the chance to listen to that before the year ends. I continue to enjoy this challenge very much.

9/23/2015

Shadow Fall by Laura Griffin ~ ARC Review and #Giveaway


My Book Snack is pleased to be part of Shadow Fall's virtual tour. Today I'm featuring an excerpt, my review, and the tour giveaway!

Title: Shadow Fall
Author: Laura Griffin
Series: The Tracers #9
Release Date: September 22, 2015
Publisher: Pocket Books

In the ninth romantic suspense novel in the New York Times bestselling Tracers series, author Laura Griffin brings back her elite cadre of forensic experts as they hunt down the most brutal serial killer yet.

Special Agent Tara Rushing arrives at a grisly murder scene and quickly discovers she’s got a serial killer on her hands. The killer is meticulous, making sure to wipe up even the smallest traces of evidence…but the Delphi Center experts are on the case.

The local sheriff has a suspect all picked out—ex-Marine and current security expert Liam Wolfe. Despite all her digging, Tara knows very little about Liam when she shows up at his sprawling Texas compound, which serves as headquarters for Wolfe Security, and she’s surprised by her intense physical reaction to him.

As she and Liam grow closer, Tara finds herself depending on his skills and expertise to help her track a killer. But when another body turns up, Tara must decide if she can trust the man who’s quickly stealing her heart.

The ninth novel in the Tracers series that combines gripping plot twists with spine-tingling romance, Shadow Fall once again proves that “Laura Griffin gets better with each book” (The Romance Reviews).

Tara looked out the window again and realized her pulse was still thrumming. He unnerved her. It wasn’t just his size, it was his attitude. Maybe she was self-conscious because he’d caught her off guard. She was definitely embarrassed that she’d pulled her weapon on him.
She adjusted the vent and got a waft of hot air. His attitude bothered her, but she liked his truck. It smelled like leather and earth and felt deliciously warm. She forced herself to ignore the flutter of nerves generated by being alone in the dark with him. The nerves weren’t from fear but something else. And she wondered which was worse, being afraid of a man she was investigating or being attracted to him?
“You shouldn’t come out here alone.”
She looked at him. “Why not?”
“We’ve got more than a few meth heads around here. You don’t want to walk up on something, not without backup.”
She watched his face in the dimness, uneasy with the protective tone of his voice.
“We confirmed the ID today,” she said.
“I know.”
That ticked her off.
“Won’t be long till the media has it,” he added.
“Where are you getting your information?”
He didn’t answer.
“And the other day,” she said, “how’d you know we were here, me and M.J.? Are you having us tailed?”
Even if he was, he’d probably never admit it. But she at least needed to ask and get his reaction. Shadowing investigators could definitely be considered suspicious behavior.
Although she had to be honest with herself. She didn’t consider him a real suspect. Despite his links to the victim, she simply didn’t feel it.
“I’m guessing you filmed us approaching your property and ran my plate,” she said.
The corner of his mouth lifted. “Nothing that cloak-and- dagger.” He glanced at her. “I’m friends with Crystal.”
“Who’s Crystal?”
“She waited on you at the Waffle Stop. Bright red hair, eyebrow ring.”
She turned to face the window. “Small-town grapevine. And here I’ve been all impressed with your spying abilities.”
“You should be.” He pulled up to her Explorer and parked. “We’re the best there is.”
She looked at him in the darkness, so confident it bordered on arrogance. And the crazy thing was she believed him. She bought into it completely—he was that good.
His eyes locked on hers, and the air between them felt charged with electricity. His gaze dropped to her mouth, and her heart skittered. Was he going to kiss her? He eased closer, watching her, making her heart pound.

Source: eARC from Publisher
This is my honest review
Rating: 4 stars ~ LOVED

The build-up of suspense and tension is exquisite!

Laura Griffin returns with a Tracers novel that probes deep into the mind of a serial killer.

When FBI Special Agent Tara Rushing’s murder investigation turns into a hunt for a serial killer, the one person who can really help her out has ties to the victim and is a suspect himself.

Why I loved Shadow Fall:


Tara Rushing and Liam Wolfe are both strong and intelligent characters. Not only are both focused on getting their individual jobs done, but also they inevitably combine their expert skills to search for the killer at large. Their attraction to one another is instant, all-consuming, and, I think, perfect, which adds just enough steam in an otherwise intense storyline. Plus, their stubbornness towards one another leads to some really great, heated scenes!


The Delphi Center crime lab is used a lot in this particular novel. I’m a huge fan of many crime series on TV, and this portion of the book sort of plays out like an episode of the show Bones. The forensics and science parts are very intriguing to me, and the techniques used to uncover clues always fascinate me.

The plotline is filled to the brim with suspense. The frustration and danger piles up with each and every body that is found. The tension exquisitely rises to its peak in the last few chapters, and it had me frantically turning the pages to reach the end.

Shadow Fall is the second book I’ve read in the Tracers series and can be read as a standalone. If you’re looking for a romantic suspense with capable and passionate characters that hunt for a meticulous serial killer, Laura Griffin delivers on that in this book!

Book Links

Follow the tour HERE

My review of Beyond Limits (Tracers #8) is HERE

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author LAURA GRIFFIN started her career in journalism before venturing into the world of romantic suspense. She is a two-time RITA Award winner (for the books Scorched and Whisper of Warning) as well as the recipient of the Daphne du Maurier Award (for Untraceable). Laura currently lives in Austin, where she is working on her next book.

~*~ TOUR-WIDE GIVEAWAY~*~

9/17/2015

Awakening by Catrina Burgess Character Bio and #Giveaway #TheDarkRituals

Title: Awakening
Author: Catrina Burgess
Series: The Dark Rituals #1
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Fantasy
Release Date: October 7, 2015
Publisher: Full Fathom Five Digital

In Awakening, the first installment in the Dark Rituals series, a former healer turns to the Death Arts to seek revenge.

Seventeen-year-old Colina was born a healer. But after a horrific event forces her to leave her clan, she becomes desperate to learn the dark magic of the death dealers, mages who draw their power from the spirits of the dead. Colina was taught to fear and hate death dealers, but becoming one of them is the only way for her to get the revenge she seeks—and the only way for her to survive.

Colina asks a young death dealer named Luke to help her, but he’s reluctant to train her in the Death Arts. Little does she know convincing him to teach her will be the easiest part of her journey. To become a death dealer, Colina will need to undergo three dark rituals, each more terrifying than the last. At the same time, she’ll have to deal with her growing feelings for her mentor. Too bad the first ritual involves him strangling her to death.

As Colina undergoes the trials, she discovers an untapped darkness within herself. If she survives the horrific rituals and gains dark power, what will she become?

Catrina Burgess’ Dark Rituals series originally appeared on Wattpad with over three million reads. Awakening is the first book of four and was named Wattpad’s Best Suspense Story of 2014.

~ Character Bio ~

Who is Colina Campbell?
Colina Campbell is a young and impulsive seventeen-year-old girl. She was born into a family of healers, people that use a combination of herbs and magic to heal injuries. She is just starting to come into her full powers. She is a girl with strong convictions and even stronger emotions who would rather spend her days outdoors than inside watching TV. She has a special place under a shady tree in the backyard where she likes to read her extensive library of adventure stories and mysteries. 
Favorite color: Green
Favorite ice cream flavor: Rocky Road

Awakening
Book Links



The Dark Rituals series release dates:
Awakening ~ 10/7/15
Possession ~ 10/14/15
Revenant ~ 10/21/15
Legion ~ 2/17/16

About the Author:
I write because it helps keeps the darkness away and reminds me that there is magic in the world. I live with one husband, two dogs, and a cat named Shitty Kitty in a small mining town in Arizona. At night this place is definitely spooky. I swear I’ve heard the wind giggle, and sometimes there’s a very odd breeze. Luckily, I love all things that go bump in the night. I adore old movies. I’m a huge Joss Whedon fan.
I’ve been known to eat pizza and cold Chinese food for breakfast, and I’m the queen of the board game Stratego. I’ve never been beaten. NEVER!
Social Media:
Follower me on twitter: @catrinaburgess1

~ GIVEAWAY ~
Catrina Burgess is giving away a Paranormal Readers Survival Kit.