Audiobook Review: Revelation by Victor Acquista

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Title: Revelation

Author: Victor Acquista

Release Date: August 23rd, 2022

Page Count: 302

Start Date: October 12th, 2022

Finish Date: November 4th, 2022


Story: I really liked this story a lot. I just don’t feel like it held up to the first book. I guess I can understand that though. The first book was so strong and so absorbing. This is just my personal opinion though. I’m sure that other people will feel differently. I do want to state again that I really enjoyed the story. I also think that this book can fully be read independently of the first book. 

Characters: I feel like this book focused more on the bad characters than the good. I didn’t think I would find that as fascinating as I did. I did though. It was interesting seeing the points of view in this one. 

Critiques: None that I can think of. 

Narration: Brilliant! I especially loved the way they narrated the scientist who was responsible for all of the creations. Absolutely brilliant! 

Final Thoughts: I really did enjoy this book a lot. I didn’t love it as much as I did the first one, but independently, it was great. I would love to see both books turned into a movie or mini-series. I think they would be amazing. I’d definitely watch. I fully recommend this book and Serpent Rising. Both of them will take you for a ride!

Climb Harder Blog Tour

Climb Harder

by Philip Barker

October 30 – November 02

YA, 386 pages.

Link for the book on Amazon

Ashley Davies takes her first steps out of Abbeydale into the competition that will determine the rest of her life.

In the highly demanded sequel to 2021’s ‘Climb’, the stakes are raised and with it Ashley Davies begins to realise that sometimes following your dream can cost more than you ever thought you could give.

Philip Barker’s explosive sequel takes the trilogy to new, heartbreaking heights as Ashley discovers what it really means to call yourself a champion.

This is more than a coming-of-age story. It’s an overcoming story. A story of healing and growth. A contemporary, action-packed story that doesn’t stutter or stall. It’s a story of first loves and finding oneself amid the chaos of the world. In one word Climb is satisfying, and I recommend it to readers young and old. I give it 5 stars and look forward to the sequel.

Donna Sundblad about the first book in the series, Climb.

About the author

Young adult literary fiction author Philip Barker believes it is important to do something every day that scares you, even if it’s only a little bit; it means you are pushing yourself to experience new things. Through his writing, he aspires to provide his young readers a different perspective, to put emotions into words so that they can hopefully feel a way that they normally wouldn’t, or even wouldn’t want to.

Philip realized in high school that he wanted to be a writer when he discovered that books have the capacity to make him think outside of the established way that was taught to him growing up in the suburbs of Sydney, Australia. He likes to ground his stories in reality and relate them to personal experiences. It is his opinion that life itself is amazing and story-worthy, and there are so many interesting people in the world, all things that he can harvest great writing from.

Philip believes a great story is one that has relatable and interesting characters. Everyone lives interesting lives, and getting to know people is the fun part, even with fictional characters. Having them leave their comfort zones becomes fascinating and often hilarious. To Philip, everyone has a story to tell, and he hopes his young readers learn from his own story that life is complicated and things occur that can often be out of their control. But how they overcome obstacles is what’s important and committing oneself to something with a goal and purpose, like rock climbing, can help ground you.

When he isn’t writing thought-provoking fiction stories for young adults, Philip enjoys rock climbing, gardening, and watching B Grade movies. His wife, siblings, mother, and father-in-law provided the positive support and courage for his book and in his life. He lives in the Blue Mountains near Sydney, NSW, Australia with his wife, two dachshunds, Alfie and George, and a rabbit named Abby. Climb is his debut novel.

Social Media



Title: Climb

Author: Philip Barker

Release Date: September 24th, 2021

Page Count: 246

Start Date: October 12th, 2022

Finish Date: October 21st, 2022


Story: This story follows a girl that really loves climbing. She gets in trouble because she decides to engage in a dangerous competition with somebody. It does get her into a team where she can compete legitimately and less dangerously. She’s afraid to tell her mother because she’s afraid her mother won’t allow her to do it.

Characters: This is a middle-grade book. A coming of age story if you will. All the characters in this book are written from a younger point of view. I really found it very refreshing compared to books I normally read.

Critiques: See narration.

Narration: This book is narrated by the author. It’s a decent narration. It just sounds a bit canned. There are also some places that I think that the edits weren’t fully removed from the audiobook. Again, I don’t think it’s horrible. It’s decent. It could use another editing run through though.

Final Thoughts: I really enjoyed this book very much. The girl followed her passions. She worked hard to get where she wanted to be. She accepted responsibility when she was in the wrong. It was also very realistic. I loved the representation in this book.

Climb Harder:

To Come

Audiobook Review: Toxic Effects by Joel Shulkin, MD

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Title: Toxic Effects

Author: Joel Shulkin, MD

Release Date: September 20th, 2022

Page Count: 367

Start Date: October 9th, 2022

Finish Date: November 1st, 2022


Story: This story covers so many aspects of mind-blowing events. We follow a woman who is split into two identities. She’s trying to adapt to life the way it is and get answers to why she’s like she is. We also see teens that are seemingly taking drugs and then allegedly killing themselves. Just when I thought I was figuring things out, the author threw another curve ball my way. I loved every moment. Full disclosure, this book is a sequel. I have not read the first book. It seems like it’s okay to be read as a standalone, but I can’t fully say. What I can say is that I will definitely be reading the first books. I would even give this author’s other books a chance too. I love the writing styles. 

Characters: There are so many people in this book. So many strong personalities. I wish I wasn’t so horrible with names. I also feel like if I try to talk about all characters that this section will become somewhat a short story or novel. I loved reading about them all. Even the villains had a bit of a addictive story arc about them. 

Critiques: None

Narration: The narrator did such a great job with this audiobook that I really believed that I was listening to a cast of narrators for a bit while listening to the book. 

Final Thoughts: This book is intense and it took me through the ride. I wasn’t able to predict anything. I was floored at every single twist. I’m really beginning to wish that I had read the first book before I read this one. I fully believe that this gives me a good excuse to reread this one eventually. I do plan to read the first book when I’m able to. I also do fully recommend this book.

Audiobook Review: City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Title: City of Ghosts

Author: Victoria Schwab

Release Date: August 28th, 2018

Page Count: 309

Start Date: October 31st, 2022

Finish Date: October 31st, 2022


Story: I really enjoyed this book very much. I do recognize that the book is for a younger audience. I think that’s why I was so excited to read it. It was a breath of fresh air. An easy read. I also enjoyed the unique idea behind the story. At least it was unique to me. There are two other books in the series. I’m looking forward to reading them. I own them all in paperback and audiobook.

Characters: The main character is named Cass. She almost died and has been able to see ghosts ever since. Her parents are known for filming ghost adventures and stories. Her best friend is a ghost.

Critiques: None

Narration: Enjoyable. I’d listen again.

Final Thoughts: I think it’s going to be awhile before I can read the other two books. That’s fine. I’ll just reread this book. And yes, I’m just looking for a reason to reread the book. I really enjoyed it. I have been wanting to read it for awhile. So, when it wound up being the group read, I was very excited. I fully recommend this book for anybody who likes silly paranormal stories with some spooky vibes.

Audiobook Review: Kill Creek by Scott Thomas

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Title: Kill Creek

Author: Scott Thomas

Release Date: October 31st, 2017

Page Count: 533

Start Date: October 30th, 2022

Finish Date: October 31st, 2022


Story: I’m probably going to have to go back and read this book again at some point in the future. I remember the characters vaguely. I remember it being very spooky. There are just parts that I feel kind of jumped. I think that I may be wrong about that in all honesty. And it’s been about a month since I read the book. I do know that four novelists were invited to a haunted house. I can say that I really loved the backstory and the realistic world problems being represented.

Characters: I can’t really remember the names in all honesty. I do know that I didn’t really care for many of the characters. Except the photographer. She was pretty amazing. The authors were a little too much. I feel like they were kind of parodies of some actual popular authors. I’ll just leave it at that.

Critiques: None.

Narration: I think the narration of this book made it even more intense.

Final Thoughts: I’m not saying that I didn’t like this book. I actually really enjoyed it. If memory serves, I almost finished the whole thing in one sitting. I did read a lot of books in a short amount of time, and I am totally willing to reread it. Not just to close the gaps. It’s a very intense read. I fully recommend it. Especially for those who love the more gruesome horror books.

Audiobook Review: Seriously… I’m Kidding by Ellen Degeneres

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Title: Seriously… I’m Kidding

Author: Ellen Degeneres

Release Date: October 4th, 2011

Page Count: 216

Start Date: October 31st, 2022

Finish Date: October 31st, 2022


I listened to this entire audiobook practically in one sitting. Listening to Ellen made it easy to do so. It was interesting to learn about her. It was also interesting to see a bit into her mind. It helped me with some of my own personal opinions. I’m not going to get into that. The only thing I wish was that I was reading the book along with the audio. I think I missed some visuals that were in the book.

Audiobook Review: 1st to Die by James Patterson

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Title: 1st to Die

Author: James Patterson

Release Date: March 5th, 2001

Page Count: 488

Start Date: October 29th, 2022

Finish Date: October 30th, 2022


Story: I feel a little weird to be writing this review. This is not my first time reading this book. I read it for the first time long before I started Goodreads, so it’s not really recorded there. Anyway. I’m rambling. I really enjoy this series. I’ve only really read the first twelve though. I was shocked to find how far behind I’ve gotten so I’ve been trying to reread and catch up. I really love the four women in the series! They are all fierce and loyal. They are dedicated to their careers, but so devoted to their families as well. Lindsay and Cindy are some of my favorite characters of all time. 

Characters: The main character is Lindsay Boxer. She’s amazing. She’s tough yet soft. Fierce and loyal. Then we have Claire. Our medical examiner. We also have Cindy our reporter and Jill our lawyer. Jacobi is Lindsay’s partner. He’s absolutely cynical but completely sarcastic and hilarious.

Critiques: None.

Narration: Loved it!

Final Thoughts: I really enjoyed this book. This isn’t my first time reading it. It won’t be my last if I’m being honest. I’ve even watched the television show that was based on the series. It could have been better, but it was pretty good. I also enjoy the Alex Cross series as well. Haven’t read that one in order. I need to.

Toxic Effects Blog Tour

Toxic Effects (The Memory Thieves Book 2)
367 Pages
Blackstone Publishing
September 20, 2022
Book Links:
BlackstoneBarnes & Noble, and Amazon
Book trailer on YouTube:
Book one Adverse Effects
Don’t forget to be afraid
Neuropsychiatrist Cristina Silva cannot escape her past. The voice in her head of her former identity won’t let her. Cristina also can’t quite manage to force herself to forget the ex-boyfriend she dumped: handsome police detective Gary Wilson.
Soon after beginning her new job at the Longwood Memory Center, Cristina receives a startling phone call from her contact at the FBI: an assassin is crisscrossing the country, killing anyone connected to the now-defunct pharmaceutical company ReMind—people like Cristina. The shadowy criminal enterprise Zero Dark is back.
Indeed, an assassin is tracking Cristina, a literal femme fatale known as Dama Branca. Like Cristina, DB’s memory was robbed by Zero Dark. Transfixed by the brilliant doctor, DB’s unsure what’s preventing her from killing Cristina. DB has memory glitches and longs to interpret them. Whether or not these have to do with Cristina, she doesn’t know, but she senses their fates are entwined—with any luck, not fatally.
Danger lurks in the shadows. Cristina’s spurned lover, Wilson, is investigating the suspicious deaths of local teens, convinced they’re not accidents. Before their bewildering ends, all the victims exhibit bizarre behavior, and there are now terrified whispers among their friends of a hooded boogeyman called Sack Man. One exceptional young man, Reggie Horne, is clearly in the middle of this bedlam. Wilson vows to prevent Sack Man from claiming Reggie as his next casualty.
And when Cristina’s in danger, Wilson is never far away. Just as it becomes apparent their two stories are entangled, the peril shoots sky-high. With at least one killer in their wake, they must quickly determine what’s real and what’s not. Unlocking Cristina’s memories could save many lives—her own included.

Author Links:

“Shulkin’s smart, page-turner Toxic Effects redefines crossed, crisscrossed, and double-crossed. A really great read.”
                -Reed Farrel Coleman, New York Times bestselling author of Sleepless City

“A wicked smart medical thriller.” 
                -Dea Poirier, bestselling author of Next Girl to Die and Find Me in the Dark

“This was my first medical thriller and I couldn’t put it down. Joel seamlessly integrates more twists and turns than a Formula One Race. Highly recommend”
               – Brian Cuban, Bestselling author of The Addicted Lawyer and The Ambulance Chaser


This book is all over the place. I’m blown away by it. It starts out very intensely. We see two people get killed! I’ll leave it at that. I do have to say that I haven’t read the first book yet. This book seemed to stand on its own for me, but I do plan to go back and read the first book anyway. I really love the writing style of this author. The author really knows how to pull the attention of the reader and keep it until the very end. I definitely recommend this book. I’ll have a more detailed review in another blog.

Audiobook Review: Dreamcatcher by Stephen King

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Title: Dreamcatcher

Author: Stephen King

Release Date: March 20th, 2001

Page Count: 896

Start Date: October 19th, 2022

Finish Date: October 28th, 2022


Story: I buddy read this book with someone important to me. Then we watched the movie together. It’s definitely a King special. I really enjoyed it. It also makes me realize just how little of Stephen King I actually read. He’s a family favorite author. I’ll definitely have to read more of his book. I have many of them. Just haven’t read them. I’m also convinced he helped put the movie together. It was almost spot on with the book. Almost.

Characters: I love that this book flips points of view. You get the group of boys. Past and present. Then you get the military units. You also even see the “evil” point of view. It’s pretty creative.

Critiques: None

Narration: Perfect for the story!

Final Thoughts: We all absolutely loved reading this book and watching the movie together. It was just as creepy and gory as a lot of Stephen King books. I sometimes wonder what goes through his mind when he has the ideas he has for the books he creates. I’ve read some Joe Hill books. He’s just as intense as his father. If not more so! I’m glad I finally got around to reading this. Somebody I know has read this more than once!

Audiobook Review: White Smoke by Tiffany D. Jackson

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Title: White Smoke

Author: Tiffany D. Jackson

Release Date: September 14th, 2021

Page Count: 384

Start Date: October 27th, 2022

Finish Date: October 28th, 2022


Story: I knew that this story would be a haunted house story. I was looking for that specific topic for a reading challenge I participated in. I was not expecting the real issues to be displayed so boldly. It was raw and honest. I was here for it. It gave the story that much more meaning to me. I loved the mental health representation. The drug addiction realism. I especially loved the open talk of racism and other prejudiced talks. I wasn’t fully happy with the ending though. I would have liked to see more things tied up. 

Characters: Marigold is hands down one of my favorite characters of all time. She’s just so real and so flawed. I know that sounds weird, but it’s nice to see a character that doesn’t seem so super perfect. Especially with horror books. I loved her little brother and mother as well. I’d of liked to see more of both of them. Her stepsister gave me the creeps. She reminded me of that kid from Bad Seed. Her father was horrible too. Rather than hearing all sides, he heard his daughter’s side and made judgments from there. I didn’t care for him at all. 

Critiques: Better ending with more tied ends. 

Narration: Loved it. 

Final Thoughts: I really enjoyed this book. It was so well written that I will definitely be looking for other books to read by this author. I bet they will all be intense and raw and real. I will be here for all of them. I also really want to see this book get adapted into a movie. I will definitely be reading this book again!