Time Reavers (Time Reavers #1) by Jacob Holo – Audiobook Review

Time Reavers Audiobook Cover

The monsters are real, and time is their weapon.

Fed up with bad teachers and daily fights with her sister, 16-year-old Nicole Taylor yearns for something better. Sadly, she’s in for a letdown, because the world ends next week.

Nicole discovers she has a rare gift. She can bend time around her and even stop it completely. With her powers awakening, she must face the Reavers: horrific killing machines that exist outside our time.

Plagued with nightmares and ambushed by monsters at every turn, Nicole has one chance to stop their genocidal invasion. With help from a chain-smoking pyrokinetic, a neurotic sword-wielding assassin, and an icy goth chick with a crossbow, she may stand a chance.

But the Reavers are tireless foes, and time is on their side.

Time Reavers (Time Reavers #1) by Jacob Holo
Published 2017 by Holo Writing
Format: e-audiobook; 8 hours, 36 minutes
Science Ficition / Urban Fantasy / Young Adult
Also By This Author: The Dragons of JupiterSeraphim Revival Series
Goodreads | Audible | Amazon Author’s Website
My Rating: ♥♥♥ ½

Thoughts

When I first heard about this Audiobook tour from The Audiobookworm, I jumped right on it, because I’m game for any time travel book. Time Reavers is more about controlling/stopping time than it is about traveling to the past or future, but from the very first chapter we are thrown into the action of the Time Reaver world, and the pace never really slows down.

The heroine, Nicole, is a misfit high school student, struggling with self-confidence, who is catapulted into the hidden world of time bending while on a field trip in Russia. Although Nicole is a relatable protagonist, the supporting characters are really the more interesting ones, especially Daniel, a trench-coat donning assassin who teaches Nicole about her new powers. He’s extremely charismatic and roguish, and the voice narrator Tess Irondale uses for Daniel makes him seem especially geeky, too (win!).

Time Reavers is packed with action in nearly every chapter. If you enjoy fast-paced sci-fi/fantasy novels, you will really enjoy Time Reavers. Personally, I prefer when there is more build up and suspense between battles and life-or-death situations, because that is when characters experience personal growth and deepen relationships with other characters. Aside from some minor details, that was the one thing I felt was missing from this novel. The writing was excellent and I only had to rewind a couple of passages to be able to clearly understand what was happening (let’s be honest, even if I’m not listening to an audiobook, I normally reread passages in most sci-fi novels, including two of my favorite books, The Martian and Timebound).

About the Author

Author Jacob Holo PhotoJacob Holo is a former-Ohioan, former-Michigander living in sunny South Carolina. He describes himself as a writer, gamer, hobbyist, and engineer. Jacob started writing when his parents bought that “new” IBM 286 desktop back in the 80s. Remember those? He’s been writing ever since.

As a fun way to get to know him better, here is a list of This or That? questions for author Jacob Holo :)

  1. Waffle Fries or Curly Fries? Either’s fine as long as they have Cajun seasoning.
  2. GIF with a hard g or soft g? Soft G. It’s not a peanut butter.
  3. Fantasy or science-fiction? Science fiction, because good science fiction makes my brain happy.
  4. Superman or Batman? Batman. BECAUSE HE’S BATMAN. Also, because even with all his training and gadgets, he’s still just a human being like the rest of us.
  5. Text message or call? If it’s important enough to be communicated, it’s important enough for a call.
  6. Pancakes or waffles? Waffles. I like syrup, and waffles are nothing but big syrup grids.
  7. Doctor Who or the Walking Dead? Doctor Who. Even though a lot of its episodes are misses, when it hits, it resonates in a unique way because its canvas is so limitless.  I also enjoy that when it does become stale, it’s able to revitalize itself by switching out characters and actors to keep things fresh.
  8. TV Shows or Movies? Movies. They’re over faster, so I can get back to writing.
  9. Facebook or Twitter? Neither. I have a Facebook account, but it’s been a year since I logged in…
  10. Alice in Wonderland or Robinson Crusoe? Alice in Wonderland. It’s closer to what the inside of my brain is like.
  11. Being too warm or too cold? Too cold. You can put on clothes when you’re too cold, but you can’t take off your skin if you’re too warm. (Not without difficulty, anyway.)
  12. Netflix or Hulu? Can I add an option? For an anime nerd, CrunchyRoll is fantastic.
  13. Work Hard or Play Hard? Work hard. I’ll play hard when I’m done. If I’m ever done.
  14. Passenger or Driver? Passenger. My wife’s better at handling the crazy drivers in her home state than I am.
  15. Amusement Park or Day at the Beach? I’m more of a day on the couch kind of guy.
  16. Honesty or Other’s Feelings? Honesty is the best policy, though politeness goes a long way, too.
  17. Movie at Home or Movie at the Theater? Movies at home, because if someone in the audience talks too much it’s easier to lock them in another room.

Audiobook Review

Tess Irondale does an exceptional job at narrating Time Reavers. There are even multiple times when she has to voice the Time Reavers themselves, which basically consists of high-pitched screams. If you think that would be annoying to listen to, it wasn’t; I was actually rather impressed with her narrating skills.

While listening to science fiction and fantasy audiobooks, sometimes it’s hard to get through long, detail-filled passages, especially when names or scientific terminology is difficult to picture visually. The pro is that you don’t have to worry about how specific names or places are pronounced, because the narrator does that for you. Tess Irondale narrates clearly and emphatically enough that I was able to understand what she was reading, even if I didn’t know until halfway through the novel that Nicole was on a journey with Tau Guards and not Tal Guards.

Version 2About the Narrator: Tess​ Irondale​ is a professional audiobook narrator and voice actress, credited with bringing ​nearly ​5​0 titles to life. ​She ​specializes ​in ​Fantasy, Adventure, and Erotica, although ​her​ work ​has covered​ nearly every genre including Young Adult, Humor, Spirituality, ​LGBTQ, Sci-Fi, Self Help and ​Mystery​. ​She is on Audible’s in-house voice roster, and ​also works directly with authors through ACX.​ When not in the recording booth, she can be found hiking in the woods or hunkered over a crossword puzzle.

Giveaway!

Time Reavers Giveaway: Signed Copy of Time Reavers

Liked this review? Check out the tour page below to find other bloggers’ reviews!

Time Reavers Tour Banner

DisclaimerI received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Jacob Holo. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.
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The Time Machine by H. G. Wells

The Time Machine.jpg

The Time Traveller embarks on an astonishing journey into the future. His Time Machine transports him to a far-distant but dying world where humanity is divided into two classes: the graceful, idle Eloi who inhabit the idyllic surface of the world, and the Morlocks, ugly nocturnal creatures who live and work underground. In The Time Machine, Wells created one of the first and finest science fiction stories: a social allegory that is both vivid and perturbing.

The Time Machine by H. G. Wells
Published 1895 by William Heinemann
Format: paperback; 118 pages
Classics/Science Fiction
Also By This Author: War of the WorldsThe Invisible Man
Goodreads
My Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Thoughts

When I was twelve or thirteen years old, I remember watching what was quite possibly my first ever live-action sci-fi movie. However, for years afterwards I could not remember the title, or the basic plot, or even the actors; I could only remember one scene that involved a beautiful, misfortunate lady in a red dress and a man determined to save her life. For years I longed to find this movie and watch it again. It bothered me like an itch I just couldn’t scratch, and I started to believe that I had dreamed the whole thing up.

Then one day, somehow, I stumbled across the movie The Time Machine. I probably picked it up for one of two reasons: Guy Pierce was on the cover, and it was about time travel. But then I watched it, and my heart filled up with excitement because at long last I had been reunited with THE movie!

Since then I have watched and re-watched The Time Machine multiple times, and I credit it as the movie that sparked my love for all-things time travel. But, until only recently, I had never actually read the novella that the movie is based on. H.G. Wells is often regarded as the father of Science Fiction, and The Time Machine is what originally brought him critical acclaim at the end of the 19th century. It was one of the first stories of its kind, and it propagated sub-genres of science fiction that remain wildly popular today.

The Time Machine is told through the narrator, known only as The Time Traveler. In the same manner Jules Verne, another pioneer of science fiction, introduced Phineas Fogg in Around the World in 80 Days, H.G. Wells introduces The Time Traveler and his time machine by presenting them to a group of intelligent and skeptical peers. The majority of the novella is told as a recounting of The Time Traveler’s journey to the very distant future, when the human species has devolved into two opposing and rival species. The Eloi, which represents the consequences of mankind’s political and cultural aspirations, is a frail and indistinct group that has few interests or emotions in general. Their way of life is free from burden, work, or even relationships. The Morlock tribe, on the other hand, symbolizes the savage and industrial sides of mankind. They are completely nocturnal and reside underground, surfacing only at night to hunt.

The suspense in The Time Machine is incredibly thick and mystical. Even though, through Wells’s use of foreshadow, you know what is going to happen, you can’t help but become caught up in The Time Traveler’s journey to and escape from the future. The imagery of dying Earth and the fall of humanity is both fascinating and worrisome. When coupled with H. G. Wells’s technical voice, it’s easy to pretend you’re reading a memoir and not merely a science fiction novella.

Read This Book If…

…you appreciate both classics and science fiction.
…you are looking for a book that can be read in one sitting.
…you have a healthy imagination and sense of curiosity.
…you love stories about time travel and dystopian societies.

You May Also Enjoy…

Around the World in Eighty DaysjourneyThe Martian Chronicles

Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne

Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne

The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury

 

Final Musings

The Time Machine

Does anybody else love the movie The Time Machine? Fun fact: it is directed by H. G. Well’s great-grandson.

Time’s Divide (The Chronos Files #3) by Rysa Walker

times-divide

The Cyrists are swiftly moving into position to begin the Culling, and Kate’s options are dwindling. With each jump to the past or the future, Kate may trigger a new timeline shift. Worse, the loyalties of those around her—including the allegiances of Kiernan and the Fifth Column, the shadowy group working with Kate—are increasingly unclear.

Kate will risk everything, including her life, to prevent the future her grandfather and the Cyrists have planned. But, when time runs out, it may take an even bigger sacrifice to protect the people she loves.

Time’s Divide (The Chronos Files #3) by Rysa Walker
Published October 20, 2015 by Skyscape
Format: Kindle e-book; 543 pages
Young Adult/Science Fiction/Historical Fiction
Also By This Author: TimeboundTime’s DivideThe Delphi Effect
Goodreads | AmazonAuthor’s Website

My Rating: ♥♥♥♥

Thoughts

I’m a little upset with myself for not getting this review posted earlier, BUT can I just say that I finished Time’s Divide weeks ago and I’m still on a tiny bit of a book hangover from it? That’s how phenomenal this series was to me. I even finished this last book while I was at work (it was a slow day so I’m not that much of a slacker) and it took most of my self-control to hold back the tears that wanted to burst out of me.

I had guessed (or nearly guessed) halfway through the book how some of the major plot points were going to play out. Some of my suspicions were based on mild spoilers and others stemmed from some of the fears I had about how the story was going to end, and although I wished some thing had happened differently, I think Rysa Walker crafted a beautifully bittersweet ending and I am satisfied with how Kate’s journey played out.

I don’t know why this series seems to be so underrated. My local library doesn’t have any copies of the books and I couldn’t find physical copies in major bookstores (I haven’t checked local and used bookshops, yet). I wish more readers knew about the Timebound books because I truly think it’s the type of series that can draw anyone in. I got my husband hooked on the series and he even finished the last book before I did (maybe by a couple of hours, but still). And yes, he loves science fiction and time travel, but he’s also a 33 year old man reading a book from the point of view of a 17 year old high school girl. I guess that just shows how well-researched and creatively written Rysa Walker’s series is.

I don’t want to say too much and give away any unintentional spoilers, but I do want to say that seeing little glimpses of history and a possible dystopian future was really interesting. I’ve repeated it multiple times, but I love the idea of time traveling and being able to witness history first hand. At the end of Timebound, Time’s Edge, and Time’s Divide, Rysa Walker shares how factual the historical fiction parts of her books actually are. Kate and Kiernan visit so many different eras in history, and they encounter fictionalized versions of real people, such as Harry Houdini, and I was surprised to find that Walker didn’t really bend history too much; she basically just added her characters into the mix.

(I’m changing my typical “Read This Book if…” section to make it more holiday themed!)

“But there’s plenty of truth in fiction.”

Put This Series On Your Wish List if…

…you appreciate well-researched novels (especially historical fiction).
…you’re a fan of sci-fi and light fantasy, or you’re open to exploring a new genre!
…you prefer reading plot-driven stories with easily likable characters.

Gift This Series to…

…a friend who would enjoy YA if it contained some heavy and serious situations.
…someone who likes fast-paced, high-risk adventure stories.
…anyone who enjoys watching sci-fi/fantasy/drama shows like Timeless and 11.22.63 and movies like X-Men: Days of Future Past.

“And one day, if I see your smile on her face, maybe that’ll keep me from feeling I’ve left a piece of my heart behind.”

Final Musings

These songs were playing in my mind quite frequently while I was reading the series. The John Newman song felt like a perfect end-credits song if Timebound is ever turned into a movie (it would be a fantastic movie).

  • Love Me Again by John Newman (Kate and Trent)
  • Silhouettes by Of Monsters and Men (Kiernan and Other-Kate)
  • Love Like This by Kodaline (Kiernan and Kate)

In Another Life by Julie Christine Johnson (Review & Giveaway!)

In Another Life

Historian Lia Carrer has finally returned to southern France, determined to rebuild her life after the death of her husband. But instead of finding solace in the region’s quiet hills and medieval ruins, she falls in love with Raoul, a man whose very existence challenges everything she knows about life–and about her husband’s death. As Raoul reveals the story of his past to Lia, she becomes entangled in the echoes of an ancient murder, resulting in a haunting and suspenseful journey that reminds Lia that the dead may not be as far from us as we think.

Steeped in the rich history and romantic landscape of rural France, In Another Life is a story of love that conquers time and the lost loves that haunt us all.

In Another Life by Julie Christine Johnson
Published February 2, 2016 by Sourcebooks Landmark
Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Romance
Format: e-book from Netgalley for review; 368 pages
Also By This Author: The Crows of Beara
Goodreads Amazon Author’s Website
My Rating: ♥♥♥♥

Thoughts

Ahh this book made me miss living in France! I loved the description of French culture, architecture, and history. If you enjoy historical fiction, this is a great book to curl up with (France itself is just so full of history). I was also surprised at how suspenseful In Another Life is. There were several times I told myself, “One more chapter…” and ended up staying awake an extra hour because I had to know what happened next.

In Another Life is several different genres all tied together: historical fiction, romance, suspense, and fantasy (time travel!). For that reason I think Johnson has penned a book that can be enjoyed by a variety of different readers. There is also a heartbreaking tone to the novel that I really appreciated. I always feel more connected to books that have sad or bittersweet themes to them. I love feeling those deep emotions that don’t go away after I’ve finished a novel.

Read This Book If…

…you enjoy historical fiction.
…you love France, or you love reading books where the setting’s culture is very prominent.
…you’re in the mood for a heartbreaking read.
…you’re looking for a book that has a bit of everything.

Final Musings

I read In Another Life as part of a book tour for France Book Tours. I miss living in France and being immersed in French culture, so I was happy to pick up this book and imagine myself adventuring in Southeastern France (In Another Life takes place not far from Carcassonne. I haven’t been there myself but my husband has and absolutely loved it. I can’t wait to go one day).

Below you will find an excerpt and a giveaway for this debut book by Julie Christine Johnson! Enjoy :)

Excerpt

A three-quarter moon lit the long room and pulled her toward the far end, where a long table sat before a wall of windows. Feeling weightless with fatigue, Lia thought she might float through the windows to the terrace and the Cesse River canyon beyond. But her bleached reflection halted at the glass.

Angles defined her body where there once had been curves. Shadows pressed against her ribs, the hollows of her cheeks, and her sunken eyes. She touched her belly and the sharp point of a hip. She was bone and muscle, hard and flat. Grief had eaten away the lush curves of her breasts and the sweet rise of her belly that Gabriel had loved to caress.

Her body shimmering white against the cold glass, Lia saw how tightly she held herself, as if hardening her muscles would somehow steel her heart from pain. Eighteen months since she’d had an appetite. Eighteen months of going through the motions. She’d drifted through a life that had no rails to grasp for balance.

She backed away from the glass with a curse of surprise but stopped as something white flashed just beyond the window. In the space between heartbeats, she saw the face of a man. Moonlight revealed fierce dark eyes and the etched planes of cheekbones. A seeping black streak marred the left side of his face, running from his temple down his cheek to the corner of his mouth. The palm of a hand came into view, reaching toward her. Her own hands flew up and smacked the glass as adrenaline, warm and electric, seared the weariness from her bones.

A screech ripped through the air, and the vision reassembled itself into something other than human. On the bough of an umbrella pine that clung to the side of the cliff perched a raptor. The breeze lifted the feathers of the bird’s underbelly, and the moon bleached them white. His brown head tilted, and his amber eyes lit on Lia’s naked form. Keeping her movements small, she looked around for something to cover herself. A chenille throw sat folded on a low, upholstered chair in the near corner. She edged toward the chair, her eyes on the bird outside, and clutched the blanket.

With the throw draped over her shoulders like a cloak, Lia turned the lock, pressed down the handle of the French door, and slipped onto the terrace attached to the stone face of the house.

“What brought you here?” she whispered to the eagle as it watched her from his perch on the swaying bough.

In reply, he shifted his weight and showed Lia the profile of his fierce head and hooked beak. Then he spread his wings, and she gasped at the span of feathers, bone, and sinew that measured six feet from tip to tip. He launched from the tree, the whoosh of his wings more a sensation than a sound, and was swallowed by the night.

Leaning over the iron railing, she peered into the black depths below. The river whispered and the wind answered as it swept through the scrub, but the moonlight revealed only vague shapes. She slipped inside the door and locked it behind her.

“Lia, you need to sleep,” she said to the empty room.

~

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

In Another Life- Julie Christine Johnson

Photo by Al Bergstein

Julie Christine Johnson is the author of the novels In Another Life
(February 2016, Sourcebooks Landmark) and The Crows of Beara (September 2017, Ashland Creek Press).
Her short stories and essays have appeared in several journals, including Emerge Literary Journal, Mud Season Review; Cirque: A Literary Journal of the North Pacific Rim; Cobalt, the anthologies Stories for Sendai; Up, Do: Flash Fiction by Women Writers; and Three Minus One: Stories of Love and Loss and featured on the flash fiction podcast, No Extra Words.
She holds undergraduate degrees in French and Psychology and a Master’s in International Affairs.
A runner, hiker, and wine geek, Julie makes her home on the Olympic Peninsula of northwest Washington state with her husband.
In Another Life is her first novel.

***

Visit Julie’s website and blog
Follow Julie Christine Johnson on Twitter | on Facebook
Sign up to receive her Newsletter.

***

Global giveaway open to US residents only:
5 participants will each win a print copy of this book.

Be sure to follow each participant on Twitter/Facebook,
for more chances to win

Enter here

Visit each blogger on the tour:
tweeting about the giveaway everyday
of the Tour will give you 5 extra entries each time!
[just follow the directions on the entry-form]

***

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TO READ REVIEWS, EXCERPT, INTERVIEW, GUEST-POST

In Another Life Banner

The Messenger by Pamela DuMond

themessenger

“Madeline, I do not care where you are from–the future, the past, a star in the sky. I will love you here, now. I do not care what people think. I will love you in the past. I will love you in the future. I will love you, forever, Madeline.”

The Messenger by Pamela DuMond
Published April 20, 2012 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Young Adult/Fantasy/Historical Romance
Format: e-book; 257 pages
Also By This Author: The Story of You and Me, Annie Graceland Mystery series
Goodreads | Amazon
My Rating: 4/5

Synopsis:

Sixteen-year-old Madeline’s meant to fall in love with Samuel in every lifetime. But she meets him for the first time when she accidentally time travels into the past—hundreds years before she’s even born!

Their relationship is forbidden—Samuel’s half Native, Madeline’s white. Every rendezvous they share must be secret. Each moment they spend together tempts the odds that they’ll be discovered and brutally punished. But their love is fated—they musk risk all.

Danger intensifies when Madeline learns she’s in the past not only to fall in love, but also to claim her birth right as a Messenger—a soul who can slip through time’s fabric at will.

Deadly Hunters, dark-souled time travelers, crave Madeline’s powers and seek to seduce or kill her. Can Madeline find her way back to the future in time to save herself and Samuel?

 Thoughts

I really enjoy time traveling books! I just wish I read more of them. The Messenger combines my interest in time-travel with historical fiction, and I really love that combination because there is always that major predicament: is the main character going to stay in the past or will he/she chose to return to their present day? I will not spoil Madeline’s decision, but I will tell you that the book had me in total suspense until the very last paragraph.

The majority of Madeline’s time travelling adventure revolves around Samuel, a Native American with a soft heart and healer’s hands. As Madeline discovers more about her inexplicable trip to the past, she begins to feel a pull towards Samuel that even three hundred years of history cannot deter.

But Madeline’s time-traveling abilities open up so many questions regarding her past and her family. And Madeline isn’t the only one with these fantastical abilities–the longer she stays in Colonial America, the more she realizes that her abilities are so much greater than herself.

Read This Book If…:

…you love time-traveling stories!
…you have a guilty pleasure for historical romances.
…diverse stories involving race and racism resonate with you.
…you enjoy books that leave you hanging in suspense until the very last page.

Final Musings:

I thoroughly enjoyed The Messenger! There were several times when I could not put this book down. I was worried when I couldn’t find any announcements on a sequel, but I just found out that book 2, The Assassin, will be published early next year! Can’t wait :)