Author: Royce Prouty
Published: June 13, 2013
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 2.5 stars
When rare-manuscript expert Joseph Barkeley is hired to authenticate and purchase the original draft and notes for Bram Stoker’s Dracula, little does he know that the reclusive buyer is a member of the oldest family in Transylvania.
After delivering the manuscript to the legendary Bran Castle in Romania, Barkeley—a Romanian orphan himself—realizes to his horror that he’s become a prisoner to the son of Vlad Dracul. To earn his freedom, Barkeley must decipher cryptic messages hidden in the text of the original Dracula that reveal the burial sites of certain Dracul family members. Barkeley’s only hope is to ensure that he does not exhaust his usefulness to his captor until he’s able to escape. Soon he discovers secrets about his own lineage that suggest his selection for the task was more than coincidence. In this knowledge may lie Barkeley’s salvation—or his doom. For now he must choose between a coward’s flight and a mortal conflict against an ancient foe.
Building on actual international events surrounding the publication of Bram Stoker’s original novel, Royce Prouty has written a spellbinding debut novel that ranges from 1890s Chicago, London, and Transylvania to the perilous present.
The poor man’s Historian is the best I can say. The first half had some major potential band I was really excited … but then the second half was such a let down! There was no real mystery, there wasn’t a quest, it just all felt so silly and inconsequential! And you’d think that having more vampires, some weird rituals, and a global conspiracy would make the story better! They didn’t. By the time I got 2/3s of the way through, I just didn’t care anymore and turned the pages in order to finish quickly.
Maybe if I hadn’t read The Historian, I would have liked it better. But I kept comparing them, and Stoker’s Manuscript didn’t even come close! Honestly, I can’t even say I’m glad I read it or recommend it to anyone. Just go read The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova and you’ll have everything and much more than what this book could give you.
Author: B.A. Paris
Narrator: Georgia Maguire
To Be Published: November 1, 2022
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Listened To: September 12-16, 2022
Jessica’s Rating: 2.5 stars
Amelie has always been a survivor, from losing her parents as a child in Paris to making it on her own in London. As she builds a life for herself, she is swept up into a glamorous lifestyle where she married the handsome billionaire Ned Hawthorne.
But then, Amelie wakes up in a pitch-black room, not knowing where she is. Why has she been taken? Who are her mysterious captors? And why does she soon feel safer here, imprisoned, than she had begun to feel with her husband Ned?
I have enjoyed most of B.A. Paris’ novels, but last year’s The Therapist didn’t work for me and now The Prisoner failed me. And she started so strong with her debut of Behind Closed Doors.
We have Amelie who is our narrator for both past and present. And we get to know her and what has happened in her past to make her who she is today. The premise was intriguing for me: Amelie locked in a dark room alone, what’s she to do? Why is she being held there? Just what is going on?
The novel just became a muddled mess and I thought it was going in one direction, but it wasn’t. As it progressed and we started figuring things out at the end I found myself just not caring anymore. I felt this is a novel that had a lot of potential that just wasn’t for me. I did like that it shows how knowing some basic math and doing some quick figures can be important! I also liked how the chapters were short and that made the novel go by quicker. If the chapters had been longer, I don’t know if I would have completed it.
I listened to the audiobook and Georgia Maguire is the narrator. She is a new narrator for me and she portrayed Amelie very well. I felt the tension and fear that Amelie had when she was first in that room. I would be interested in listening to more from her.
Many thanks to the publisher Macmillian Audio for granting me an audio arc to listen to and review. I just wish my review had been favorable.[Top]
See How They Run
Author: Rachel Howzell Hall
Narrator: Imani Parks
Published: April 7, 2022
Audiobook: 2 hours 48 minutes
Reviewed By: Jessica
Date Listened To: August 18, 2022
Jessica’s Rating: 2.5 stars
Still mourning the death of her own fiancée, Lauren Hudson must put on a brave face for her family as they gather in Zion National Park for her brother’s wedding. He’s co-founded a “glamping” (glamorous camping) start-up with Sadie, the soon-to-be bride whom the rest of the Hudsons have yet to meet, and they’re hosting their small destination wedding for their nearest and dearest right on their own campgrounds. But not long after Lauren arrives on the scenic property, doubts creep in about Sadie – could she be harboring a sinister secret? Or is the trauma of Lauren’s own past clouding her judgment? With the wedding looming ever closer, can Lauren discover and expose the truth before it’s too late?
This one was so-so. An interesting premise dealing with ‘glamping’ which excited me, but it just didn’t really deliver. See How They Run started great, but then I kind of tuned it out during the middle before I was pulled back in for the ending. I was excited for it because I haven’t read anything yet that dealt with ‘glamping’. It had so much potential, but it just didn’t end up working for me. This short story/novella shows how much social media has changed our society and not for the better. The plot of the story was not realistic at all, especially as it got towards the climax. I can’t say what without spoilers, but no, that would not have worked in reality!
I do like the cover, and once you finish this short story, you get it! This one was a miss for me, but I would give the author another chance.[Top]