Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Audio Blog Tour & Giveaway: Understanding the Stars by X. Culletto

Author: X. Culletto

Narrator: Lori Prince

Length: 5 hours 45 minutes

Publisher: Xela Culletto⎮2017

Genre: Science Fiction


Alexandra Blackwood is minding her own troubled life when she unknowingly gets caught up in an extraterrestrial conflict. Ronan, a human with his own alien-entangled past, has been keeping an eye on her and sets out to help her escape looming abduction, and maybe win her heart.

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Xela is a working mother of three, living in the Utah. She teaches secondary English and after talking to students for years about following their dreams and doing whatever it takes to achieve them, she decided to take her own advice and complete her lifelong goal of writing a novel. The idea of life on other planets has always fascinated her, and she wondered what they would think of humanity, which is what spawned the idea for the plot of "Understanding the Stars". When she’s not playing with her kids, or sorting through the endless laundry, you'll find her watching The Walking Dead, horseback riding, or working on her next book.

Lori Prince is a classically trained actor with a BFA from Syracuse University. She has performed Off-Broadway as well as at top regional theaters including; The Denver Center, Alliance Theater Company and PlayMakers Repertory Company among others. She has also appeared on Television in Law & Order, Law & Order: SVU and Are We There Yet?. Her voice work includes various characters in the feature film Epic, as well as additional dialogue recorded for over 50 feature films and TV shows.



My Review:

4.5 Out Of 5 Stars

Genre: Aliens, Another-World, Mystery, Romance, Space, Suspense--

Alex has enough on her plate with graduation looming close, her job at the pizza place, and taking care of her father with terminal cancer. When she is told to deliver a pizza to the middle of nowhere, she never expected to have her customer be a very attractive guy who acts like he knows her. After a second night of delivering him pizza, Alex decides regardless of how he looks, he was a little crazy and a potential stalker. When he shows up out of nowhere to talk to her, she hesitantly listens to his story about how he watched her for the last three years for an advanced alien species he was raised by. Alex has no idea what to believe, but this is just the beginning of her own personal crazy.

This was a non-stop crazy ride. The story itself took place over a few weeks tops, but there was so much action, adventure and danger crammed into the pages that I was instantly caught up in the world right along with Alex. This was also fairly dark, with natural and unnatural death as well as loss a possibility for the characters. I have read my share of alien books and I can honestly say this was nothing like anything else I have read and I liked it even more so for being so different.

Sure there were moments that had the potential for romance, but Alex and Ronan were never really given the opportunity, what with running for their lives and all (not to mention the multiple escapes…). This I think would be better classified as a science fiction adventure with small hints of romantic tension added in for flavor. You do not know how many times I wanted Alex (or even Ronan for that matter) to just grab the other and kiss the bejesus out of the other. But, not that kind of book.

​I will admit that when I got to the last few chapters in the story I was about to through my ipod down and have a tantrum. The ending is not at all what I expected and I was ready to turn my 4.5 star rating into a 3 in my disappointment...but then the last chapter happened, all like 30 seconds of it and again I had hope. To say I was surprised by this book would be an understatement. I have no idea if this is a standalone story which it technically could be, or if this is the first in a series, but I really hope there will be more to come.

I was hoping this would be a romance, but I don't really think it could be classified as such. Sure there was moments of sweet romance here, but for the most part the book was an action adventure, full of danger and twists.

This review is for the audio version of the book which I listened to. The narrator did a great job in my opinion of bringing the book to life. Through her voice, the story unfolded like a movie in my mind, with all the characters being so unique and full of personality. She had the perfect inflections called for in each dangerous and awkward situation, as well as accents (such as Ronan who speaks completely different as well, and the narrator keeps it up the entire book). And the way she gave the alien species life was perfect, each species was different and specific, making sure I had no confusion as to who (what?) was talking. The start of each chapter was a small tidbit into a random character's interaction with the plot, helping to create a more involved picture behind the scenes from what Alex saw, and the narrator kept the voices concise and consistent so as not to bleed into the chapter. I enjoyed what she was able to bring to this story.

I received this title in return for my honest review.

Understanding the Stars Giveaway

May 28: Up 'Til Dawn

The Literary Apothecary

May 29: Read Day and Night

May 30: Ronelle Antoinette

May 31: Chapter Break

Jun. 1: The Missionary Book

The Desert Bibliophile

Jun. 2: Reading for the Stars and Moon

Jun. 3: Lilly's Book World

Love Great Reads

Jun. 4: Dab of Darkness

The Literary Apothecary

Jun. 5: Lomeraniel

Jun. 6: The Bookworm Lodge

Jun. 7: Audio Shelf

Jorie Loves A Story

Jun. 8: SMADA's Book Smack

Jun. 9: The Book Addict's Reviews

Jun. 10: Jorie Loves A Story

ABW Promos3

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