Monday, February 17, 2020

Monsterland Reanimated ~ Blog Tour Audio Book Review & Giveaway!

Monsterland Series, Book 2
Narrated by Luke Hannafin

Genre YA Horror / Science Fiction (Ages 13-17)
Length: 250 pages; Audio: 7 hours, 37 minutes
Categories Urban Fantasy, Apocalyptic, Horror, Science Fiction
Publisher Wordfire Press, LLC
Release date:   June 21, 2019
Content Rating: PG-13 + M: There is violence, blood, and gore.

Book Description
The Dark Fantasy Continues

After Monsterland has imploded, the entire world is thrown into chaos.  World leadership is gone, economies have collapsed, and communications are non-existent. Wyatt must go beyond the boundaries of his small town to reestablish contact with the outside world, and alert the government about a traitor-in-chief. During his journey he discovers a new threat released from the bowels of the defunct theme park.When an army of relentless mummies, a life-sucking ooze called The Glob, and a hybrid re- animated Behemoth rise from the depths of Monsterland, who will survive?

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Hall Ways Review: Audio Book Review: SPOILER ALERT! Monsterland Reanimated is a spoiler for book one, Monsterland, pretty much from the first sentences. Reanimated begins with a summary of where book one ended and soon after, readers get quite a thorough summary (Cliff’s Notes level) of what happened in book one that leads to where book two begins. This is great if you start with book two and have no intention of reading book one, but my recommendation is to start with Monsterland so you get fully connected to the personalities of the characters. And for those who’ve read book one and tend to get frustrated when too much plot-rehash takes place: stick with it. Once we get up-to-speed, the pace and action of Monsterland Reanimated take off, and you’ll be on the edge of your seat.

Now that those warnings are out of the the goodies! Author Michael Okon again does a fantastic job of world building and uses figurative language to help readers visualize the settings.

“A bright moon painted the landscape pewter.”
“A gate screamed in the silence…”
“…the broken glass, littering the ground like diamonds.”

Okon’s use of similes, metaphors, and some brilliant analogies make the scenes in Monsterland Reanimated come vividly to life and set a very specific tone with some scenes reminiscent of Stephen King’s The Stand. Even when he paints the most serene of pictures, there is still that background vibe that all is definitely not peaceful.  

“Monsters came in all varieties -- more than he ever realized. As long as humanity was stronger, that was all that mattered.”

Through all the chaos and dire circumstances where lives are truly dangling by a thread, it is fun to see that some things will always be the same. Moms are always moms, and Gracie, main character Wyatt’s mom, is clearly trying to find just one thing to control in the madness and chastises her son for drinking soda. Teenage boys are always teenage boys, and Wyatt is driven by his attraction to females, even as he’s being pursued by monsters. These scenes are a refreshing reminder of what it is to be human and motivated by love.

Another place where the author’s writing shines is in his imaginative rendering of a wide variety of monsters. Okon goes beyond the vampires, zombies, and werewolves of book one and delivers some creative variations. At about the three-fourths point in the story, he throws a major curve ball and puts an exciting twist on things that brings a whole new mystical element to the table. Careful readers will catch some subtle hints about things to come, but don’t be too confident you’ll figure out exactly how the plot will unfold. Sure, readers may figure out some pieces of the puzzle, but the shock is in the vastness of the puzzle itself.

ABOUT THE NARRATION: Of note: the audio book of Monsterland Reanimated is an hour and eighteen minutes longer; yet, the print version of it is some twenty pages shorter than book one. Now that I have listened to book two, I know why. While narrator Luke Hannafin eventually found his stride, listening at regular speed was a beating. He reads slowly, and the pauses between what I imagine are paragraphs or line breaks are much too long; I actually thought the audio had stopped a few times. Conversations are too slow and seem unnatural. I bumped to 1.25x about 40 minutes in, but that was a little too fast for the next hour until the narrator found his pacing. (Wishing that Audible allowed for adjustments in smaller increments in the speed; 1.15, like I can do on the Authors Direct audio platform, would have been perfect.) Even with the increased listening speed, some of those pauses were long, and there was a bit of background noise. Hannafin’s pacing got better and more natural after a few hours, or it could be that the pace of the story picked up so much I didn’t notice the hiccups.  Though Hannafin had a couple of mispronounced words, and again, I wasn’t a fan of the Egor voice (in both books, it’s a mix of Young Frankenstein’s Igor and the Grinch. UGH.), Hannafin does an excellent job performing the dialogue that was broken by static and communicating over CB radios. Overall, the narration was a step down from book one and seemed less professional. However, the narrator improved dramatically by the end. Given that change, I’d give him another chance if he narrated the next book in the series because I think he has the hang of it now.

Overall, I continue to recommend the Monsterland series for action-packed, monster-filled fabulousness. I trust that book three (which the author assures us is coming! Hooray!) will spend less time bringing new readers current and more time on what we’re returning for: Okon’s masterful weaving of imaginative stories that keep readers holding their breath.
Thank you to the author and iRead Book Tours for providing me an audio code in exchange for my honest opinion – the only kind I give.  

Meet the Author:

Michael Okon is an award-winning and best-selling author of multiple genres including paranormal, thriller, horror, action/adventure and self-help. He graduated from Long Island University with a degree in English, and then later received his MBA in business and finance. 

Coming from a family of writers, he has storytelling in his DNA. Michael has been writing from as far back as he can remember, his inspiration being his love for films and their impact on his life. From the time he saw The Goonies, he was hooked on the idea of entertaining people through unforgettable characters.

Michael is a lifelong movie buff, a music playlist aficionado, and a sucker for self-help books. He lives on the North Shore of Long Island with his wife and children.

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5 print copies of Monsterland Reanimated
5 eBook copies of Monsterland Reanimated
1, $100 Amazon Gift Card Winner
(open USA)

Welcome to Monsterland, the scariest place on earth.

When world markets are decimated by a crippling plague, philanthropist, and billionaire businessman, Vincent Konrad decides to place monsters in a theme park setting to promote education and tolerance. Copper Valley is chosen as the primary site for the park in the United States.

Wyatt Baldwin, a high school senior is dying to go to the opening and when he lands special passes to the park, he and his friends are expecting the experience of a lifetime.
After all, in a theme park where real zombies, werewolves, and vampires are the main attractions, what could possibly go wrong?

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  1. Thank you so much for sharing this fabulous MOnsterbook series!