Xpress Reviews: Audiobooks | First Look at New Books, July 19, 2013

Week ending July 19, 2013

Black, Lisa. Blunt Impact. (Theresa MacLean, Bk. 5). 7 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 8½ hrs. Dreamscape Audio. 2013. ISBN 9781624063008. $59.99; 1 MP3-CD. library/retail eds.; Playaway digital; digital download. F
Black’s latest suspenseful series entry features forensic scientist Theresa MacLean using her skills and her wits to solve a murder in an unfinished high rise intended to be the new Cleveland jail. Theresa is challenged with solving a murder, keeping the murdered woman’s child safe, and herself alive—all at 20 stories above the ground! In addition to an “on the edge of the abyss” plot and well-drawn characters, the narrative depicts a decaying inner city, the efforts of some to revitalize it, and the greed of others seeking to profit. Kirsten Potter’s narration is excellent as her voice changes without skipping a beat from male to female characters, including one young girl.
Verdict Recommended for readers looking for a well-researched forensic fiction series. Will be especially enjoyed by those who follow Tess Gerritsen.—Sandra C. Clariday, Tennessee Wesleyan Coll. Lib., Athens

Deraniyagala, Sonali. Wave. 5 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 5½ hrs. Books on Tape. 2013. ISBN 9780385366632. $30; digital download. MEMOIR
Deraniyaglia’s first book is a brutally honest story of a massive loss and a slow recovery. The author was on a family Christmas vacation when the tsunami struck Sri Lanka in December, 2004. Her small family attempted to escape in a jeep but as the waves overtook it, it was turned over. After a harrowing experience in the water, she discovered that her husband, parents and two young sons were all dead, leaving her the only survivor. Deraniyaglia pulls no punches describing her devastation, her intense grief, and her yearnings for suicide. Years passed before she could return to her London home. Although this is a painful, personal story, she also is able to recall the many happy moments that made up her marriage and family life. Hannah Curtis’s British accent is a perfect fit for the first-person narrative.
Verdict Highly recommended as both a memoir and as a chronicle of loss and recovery.—Mary Knapp, Madison P. L.

Patterson, James. Alex Cross, Run. (Alex Cross, Bk. 20). 7 CDs. retail ed. unabridged. 8 hrs. Hachette Audio. 2013. ISBN 9781619691704. $24.98; 7 CDs. library ed.; 1 MP3-CD. library ed.; Playaway digital; digital download. F
Here the titular detective busts a party hosted by plastic surgeon Elijah Creem, who is caught making pornographic videos with underage women. This turns out to be just the tip of the iceberg of Creem’s bad behavior as he and his friend Joshua are also responsible for a series of brutal murders. As if this were not enough, a man from Alex’s past is bent on revenge and sets out to cause trouble for Alex’s career, while life in the Cross household is disrupted by foster child Ava acting out. Michael Boatman narrates as Cross, his smooth voice contrasting perfectly with the high-strung, edgy voice of the killers voiced by Stephen Boyer. Listeners will find Cross’s intimate moments at home with his family just as engaging as the scenes where he is chasing down serial killers.
Verdict Recommended for fans of the series and thrillers in general. [The Little, Brown hc was a New York Times best seller.—Ed.]—Theresa Horn, St. Joseph Cty. P. L., South Bend, IN

Reel, Monte. Between Man and Beast: An Unlikely Explorer, the Evolution Debates, and the African Adventure That Took the Victorian World by Storm. 9 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 10½ hrs. Books On Tape. 2013. ISBN 9780385362634. $45; digital download. SCI
In 1856, Paul Du Chaillu traveled deep into the wilderness of Gabon in search of its mysterious and elusive inhabitant, the gorilla. Poor and without a noted family heritage, Du Chaillu hoped that undertaking this extraordinarily dangerous expedition and bringing back evidence of his encounters with this believed ferocious monster would lead to his acceptance in the scientific community. At the same time, Charles Darwin was completing On the Origin of Species, and when Du Chaillu returned to London, the topic of gorillas had begun to turn up in discussions of human evolution. Rumors began to circulate about Du Chaillu’s credibility, and whether or not he really ever confronted gorillas in the wild. In order to respond to these attacks, Du Chaillu left on a second gorilla expedition to Gabon, one better equipped and with the intention of true scientific documentation. This is a fascinating look back at the Victorian Age, filled with wonderment at discoveries we now take for granted. Bob Walter inspires a sense of the Victorian era with his excellent narration.
Verdict Recommended for anyone interested in the Victorian era and the age of natural history discovery. [“Best suited to general readers interested in African exploration, gorillas, or the history of science in the Victorian age. They may also be interested in Du Chaillu’s original best seller, as well as Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Lost World, thought to be partially inspired by Du Chaillu’s adventures,” read the review of the Doubleday hc, LJ 3/1/13.—Ed.]—Gloria Maxwell, Metropolitan Community Coll. Penn Valley, Kansas City, MO

Singh, Nalini. Wild Invitation. (Psy-Changeling). 11 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 13 hrs. Tantor Audio. 2013. ISBN 9781452612058. $39.99; 2 MP3-CDs. library/retail eds.; digital download. F
Fans will welcome the chance to catch up with familiar characters and learn the stories of changelings who have been minor players in previous novels in this anthology of four tales set in Singh’s futuristic world. The stories are set at different points within the series. Beat of Temptation is set prior to the series’ main action, and tells the story of DarkRiver leopard changelings Tammy and Nate. Stroke of Enticement is a more light-hearted tale that explores the romance of DarkRiver leopard Zach and human teacher Annie. Singh delves into some fairly weighty territory in the new Declaration of Courtship, the tale of two SnowDancer wolf changelings. Grace is a submissive wolf at the bottom of the pack hierarchy who struggles to reconcile her attraction to dominant alpha wolf Cooper with her wolf’s instinct to submit. The final story, Texture of Intimacy, takes the listener further into the relationship between Lara, SnowDancer’s healer, and Walker Lauren, a Psy seeking refuge with the pack. Reader Angela Dawe has a distinctive cadence appropriate for the fast pace of this collection.
Verdict Recommended where the series is popular.—Jen Talley, Univ. of Michigan Lib., Ann Arbor


Annalisa Pesek About Annalisa Pesek

Annalisa Pesek (apesek@mediasourceinc.com) is Assistant Managing Editor, LJ Book Review
[photograph by John Sarsgard]