Tag: Paranormal

Audiobook Review: Sylvana by Sian. B Claven

Sylvana
Series: The Butcher #3
Author: Sian B. Claven

Narrator: Jacq Ainsworth
Audiobook

Reviewed By: Jessica
Date Read: May 13, 2022
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

Diana and Robbie are tired of moving their family of five around. When Robbie is offered a great job, and permanent position, they must find somewhere to stay temporarily while they house hunt. Aware of the gruesome murders that happened in the Metz family house, they move in regardless and instantly regret it. With nowhere to go and no one to turn to, Diana and Robbie must face their greatest horror. A copycat killer starts to strike around their neighbourhood, just like the Butcher once did, and Diana’s family seems to be right in the centre of it.

Where is Sylvana when her tenants need answers?

The Butcher might just strike them where it hurts most before they get the answers they seek.

Jessica’s Review:

Sylvana is the third novel in the Butcher series as the story continues.  If you thought the Butcher was gone after the end of Kallista, you were wrong! The Butcher is back!

Many people have tried to move into the Metz house and failed, and now we have a new family who is temporarily moving in until they can get settled in the area. Uh oh- there were murders in the house: But there is nothing to worry about because the killer is also dead…Or is he?  Diana and Robbie along with their three children are the focus of Sylvana while Sylvana herself is a minor character. No one living or otherwise rests easily in the Metz house. Please keep in mind that there is a paranormal take in this series, it’s not just a serial killer series! 

As with the other novellas in the series, the violence is present and parts are surprising!  It is a quick read/listen and there is seemingly a conclusion as it seemed that Claven was winding down the Butcher series. But surprise: There is one more novel out called The Lady Butcher, so it seems like our killer’s story continues yet again! This last one is not currently available on audio, but I already have it on my kindle. I will be reading this one very soon.

I also have Sylvana on kindle, but Claven was kind enough to send me the audible copy to listen to, which I started right after finishing Kallista.  As with the previous novellas Jacq Ainsworth narrated. While she has done a good job previously, her voice of Charlie rubbed my ears the wrong way.  Yes, Charlie is a small child, but her narration of this character didn’t work for me as Charlie’s voice was irritating for me.  It could be because I do have a hearing issue and the higher octave sounds can hurt my hearing. Otherwise the narration was fine!

I have enjoyed this series and look forward to The Lady Butcher and the final conclusion to the Butcher series. (Or will it be the conclusion???)

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Book Review: Kallista by Sian B. Claven

Kallista
Series: The Butcher #2
Author: Sian B. Claven     

Published: February 15, 2018
Audiobook

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: May 10-12, 2022
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars

Book Description:

All her life Kalli thought that her sister had lost her mind, seeing a ghost everywhere and associating it with death. Kalli wants her own answers though, and spends her life working towards being granted access to the Butcher files and solving the deaths that rocked their community all those years ago.

Things take a turn for the worst when the haunting figure from her sisters’ twisted mind starts appearing to Kalli and she is left questioning her sanity and whether the Butcher is back.
Kalli must find the answers before it’s too late.

Before she sees the skeleton girl one more time.

Before she meets her own demise.

Jessica’s Review:

I have the whole Butcher series on kindle, but Claven was wonderful enough to send me Kallista on audio as I can get to audiobooks much quicker than kindle or physical books due to my daily commute. My review for the first in the series, Tatum, is here.

Kallista is the second in the Butcher series and takes place 10 years after the events of Tatum. Kallista (Kalli) is determined to find the Butcher and is working to become a profiler and we go on this journey with her!  We have two pov: Kalli and The Butcher himself!  I was invested in the whole story, and cannot decide which pov I preferred! I was rooting for Kalli but loved getting into the disturbing and depraved mind of The Butcher. And I was dying of curiosity the whole novel: Just WHO is The Butcher?!!??!!?

Besides the mystery of The Butcher, we have a horror and thriller novel with paranormal take on it that will keep you reading. I also enjoyed this as we see that the skeleton girl is back! Just an FYI:  This series deals with an extremely disturbing serial killer and Claven doesn’t hold back with the violence and goriness as she tells us her tale, so reader prepare yourself.  But I can’t help that I enjoy the dark and disturbing!  

I really enjoyed everything about this continuing story. Kallista kept building to a very intense climax and just when you think the story is over, Claven comes back with one more “gotcha” moment! I can’t wait to see where the series goes next, and thankfully Claven also sent me the audio of the third novel: Sylvana, so I can start it right away!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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Book Review: Time’s Convert by Deborah Harkness

Time’s Convert
Series: All Souls #4
Author: Deborah Harkness
Published: June 25, 2019
Audiobook

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: February 20-March 1, 2022
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars     

Book Description:

On the battlefields of the American Revolution, Matthew de Clermont meets Marcus MacNeil, a young surgeon from Massachusetts, during a moment of political awakening when it seems that the world is on the brink of a brighter future. When Matthew offers him a chance at immortality and a new life free from the restraints of his puritanical upbringing, Marcus seizes the opportunity to become a vampire. But his transformation is not an easy one and the ancient traditions and responsibilities of the de Clermont family clash with Marcus’s deeply held beliefs in liberty, equality, and brotherhood.

Fast-forward to contemporary Paris, where Phoebe Taylor–the young employee at Sotheby’s whom Marcus has fallen for–is about to embark on her own journey to immortality. Though the modernized version of the process at first seems uncomplicated, the couple discovers that the challenges facing a human who wishes to be a vampire are no less formidable than they were in the eighteenth century. The shadows that Marcus believed he’d escaped centuries ago may return to haunt them both–forever.

A passionate love story and a fascinating exploration of the power of tradition and the possibilities not just for change but for revolution, Time’s Convert channels the supernatural world-building and slow-burning romance that made the All Souls Trilogy instant bestsellers to illuminate a new and vital moment in history, and a love affair that will bridge centuries.

Jessica’s Review:

I have not read the previous novels in the series, but I just finished the show Discovery of Witches which I enjoyed.  I’m not a huge fan of Matthew, but I was a big fan of Marcus and Phoebe in the show and I saw the fourth novel was Marcus’ backstory and Phoebe’s transition to vampirism… so I had to grab the audiobook!  I know I missed some things by not reading the previous books, but I was ok with that since I knew the story through the show.

As I mentioned, we get Marcus’ backstory in Time’s Convert along with present day events. Diana is also our narrator and we are updated with her and Matthew’s story along with their twins.  I really enjoyed hearing Marcus backstory, especially with what happened in New Orleans which was referenced on the show.  Seeing Phoebe going through her transformation as a modern woman was intriguing as she went along with ancient customs.  There are also some funny situations that occur. 

We also have more of Miriam in this novel as she has a certain importance in this novel.  I also liked Miriam in the show though she was just a minor character. We see more of who she is in Times Convert.

I still am not a fan of Matthew, who just comes off as an older version of Edward Cullen.  I just don’t see what made Diana fall for Matthew. On the show she goes from not liking him at all to an intense ‘insta-love’. I guess some women just ‘smell’ irresistible…

I do hope that Harkness chooses to continue the story of the de Clermont family as there is still so much story to tell! I personally want to see more with Marcus and Phoebe actually together.  And the continuing story doesn’t even begin to include the Congregation and all of those politics!

Times Convert is recommended. 

Kim has read the entire series and her reviews are here.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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