Audiobook Review

Audible Audiobook Review: The Road to Cromer Pier by Martin Gore

Janet’s first love arrives out of the blue after forty years. Those were simpler times for them both. Sunny childhood beach holidays, fish and chips and big copper pennies clunking into one armed bandits.

The Wells family has run the Cromer Pier Summertime Special Show for generations. But it’s now 2009 and the recession is biting hard. Owner Janet Wells and daughter Karen are facing an uncertain future. The show must go on, and Janet gambles on a fading talent show star. But both the star and the other cast members have their demons. This is a story of love, loyalty and luvvies. The road to Cromer Pier might be the end of their careers, or it might just be a new beginning.

 

I was excited to be invited onto the Audible review tour for The Road to Cromer Pier by Martin Gore.

The narrator is clear speaking and entertaining. Her welsh accent is particularly good. I enjoyed listening to the audiobook due to both Penny Scott-Andrews’s narration and Martin Gore’s story.

I’ve never been to Cromer but having grown up in a town with a pier, I could very easily picture the surroundings and setting. I love the feel of seaside towns and this novel captures the atmosphere of them perfectly. As I was listening, I was right there, by the sea. It brought back some lovely memories.

There is such a mixture of personalities in this novel and all of them seemed believable. There are quite a few of them introduced over the course of the book but they are pretty easy to keep up with.

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Audible Book Review: Wild Sky by Lexi Rees

I am pleased to be welcoming Lexi Rees back to Novel Kicks with her novel, Wild Sky, the second book in the Relic Hunters series. 

After delivering the pearl, Finn and Aria thought life would return to normal.

But with the survival of the clans still in peril, they must continue their quest.

Can they find the next relic before the forces of evil?

Not everyone is who they appear to be, and time is running out …

 

Finn and Aria are no ordinary siblings. They are on the verge of gaining very powerful magic. They are also being hunted by Sir Waldred, who will do everything he can to stop them. The race is on for them to complete their quest before time runs out.

The premise of the Relic Hunters series intrigued me so I jumped at the chance to be a part of the blog blitz for Wild Sky.

Having not read book one, Eternal Seas, prior to being invited on the tour for its sequel, I made sure to read the first book. I am pleased I did as it meant that I could jump straight into the story and jump right in is what you do, as Wild Sky picks up exactly where Eternal Seas left off.

There is immediate tension and mystery for Finn, Aria, their parents and Pippin.

Lexi Rees does a really great job of creating a believable and exciting world for children but I think adults will get a lot out of the plot/story too as the main characters set out to find the air-rider relic.

There are plenty of twists and turns, along with an introduction to some new characters, such as Rahfi. I was also pleased that we got to know Pippin a little bit more. I related to her… I am also clumsy. Haha. Oh and I want Hobnob the cat to come live with me.

There is such an appeal to the Relic Hunters series. It has both strong characters in Finn and Aria but also has its fair share of sinister characters like Sir Waldred.

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Audible Book Review: The Black Madonna of Derby by Joanna Czechowska

I am pleased to be welcoming Joanna Czechowska to Novel Kicks today and the audible blog tour for her novel, The Black Madonna of Derby.

During and after the Second World War, 200,000 Poles were given leave to remain in the UK as thanks for their help during the conflict – this book is a fictional account of just one of those families. Set during the 1960s and 1970s, The Black Madonna of Derby traces the story of the Baran family living in a provincial town in England. Their seemingly ordinary existence hides secrets of past betrayal, madness, and tragedy.

The story focuses on three generations: the elderly grandmother whose proud Polish patriotism hides dark events from the past that affect the present, the mother whose tries to meld her past life in war-torn Poland and Germany with her new life in England and the granddaughter who lives a double life culturally and linguistically – Polish at home and English outside.

The swinging sixties in London is vividly recreated, as is the hardship of life under communism in the Poland of that time. This book is unique in that there are no other novels dealing with the story of second generation Poles in the UK. It is a story that deserves to be told, a story of a group of people who have had little attention in the literature. Listen to what they have to say.

When I was asked to take part in the audible blog blitz for this novel, I wasn’t sure what to expect. The information about the book intrigued me. I am pleased that I got the chance to listen to this book.

The narrator, Claire Nicholls has a very soothing voice and conveys the story in a clear way which made it easy to follow.

Moving onto the book itself, it focuses on three generations of women from the same family. It is an insight as to what it was like for immigrants after the second world war and the things they had to endure on a daily basis.

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Audiobook Review: Murders of Old China by Paul French

One country rich in history, 12 unsolved murders. Reopening the archives on China’s long forgotten past.  

Why did a remote police station, built to combat pirates, find itself at the centre of a murder-suicide after a constable went on the rampage? How did Chinese gangsters avoid conviction after serving a deadly dinner to Frenchtown’s elite? And why is the Foreign Office still withholding a key document to solving a murder that took place in the Gobi desert in 1935?

By delving deep into 12 of China’s most fascinating murder cases, Murders of Old China delivers a fast-paced journey through China’s early 20th-century history – including its criminal underbelly. 

Uncovering previously unknown connections and exposing the lies, Paul French queries the verdict of some of China’s most controversial cases, interweaving true crime with China’s chaotic and complicated history of foreign occupation and Chinese rival factions. 

I rarely feature non-fiction on Novel Kicks but when I was asked if I wanted to take part in the blog tour for Murders of Old China and read about the premise, I jumped at the chance.

Murders of Old China is an Audible original and is narrated by the author, Paul French. He looks at twelve murder cases that happened in China in the early 20th century.

Each chapter focuses on a different case and even though it’s non-fiction, it felt that I could have been reading a fictional murder mystery novel. Some of it was almost unbelievable.

The mystery and the twists and turns in these cases appealed to my love of puzzles and history.

This has made me want to know as much as possible about this era that I have previously not known anything about.

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