Friday 24 July 2020

Audio Review: The Journals of Octavia Hollows by Stacey Rourke

I'd already listened to the audio of book one so when the entire boxset on audio was offered for review how could I say no?!
I enjoyed the first one so much and the narrator did a great job, so, of course, I said yes!

That said, it took me far longer than I would have liked to finish it because of my temperamental reading mood... But oh well! Better late than never!

*Audiobook provided free for review*

With a touch of her hand, Octavia Hollows can restore life. Yet, she couldn’t save the man she loved from the horrific accident that stole him from her. Octavia thought she could outrun the pain, but ghosts from the past refuse to be silenced. Out of options, she chooses to retrace her wayward journey across the country in search of answers. Surrounded by baffling mysteries of the undead, what she learns about herself along the way might become her greatest weapon.

This six novella series chronicles Octavia's adventures in:
Wake the Dead
Dead Man's Hand
Caught Dead
Drop Dead Gorgeous
Dead Ringer
Dead As A Doornail

Octavia Hollows is one weird chick.
She is a necromancer who is set apart from other necromancers in that she can fully restore life to dead things. She doesn't bring back zombies, she fully heals the body/vessel and restores the soul so you have a 100% living breathing being back.
She travels with a pig she brought back from the dead and named Bacon, and Bacon seems to be her only friend.
She was bounced around foster homes as a kid until she was taken in by a coven who she also had to leave when she was a teenager and she has been painfully alone for all her life except from when she was with Elba - her fiance.
However, when the story starts Elba is already dead.
Not a problem for someone who can fully restore life, right?
Except, someone stole his body before Octavia could get to him. So he is gone.

That is where we meet Octavia. Travelling around and trying to solve the mystery of what happened to Elba.

Each instalment takes her to a different town and helps her piece together more of the puzzle and in each book, you learn a little more about Octavia and her background.
In each town, she is thrown into some supernatural mystery - independent from the overarching mystery of what happened to Elba - that she helps to resolve before moving onto the next location.

Each story is a little bit nuts, very quirky and funny as all hell.
Seriously, one of the things I loved most was that despite the grim subject matter it made me laugh. Octavia is snarky, her pig provides endless comic relief and the people she brings temporarily back from the dead are oddballs that make you laugh too.
These aren't exactly comedies though, some are a little creepy... They're not scary but they can definitely be atmospheric!
They're also full of heart and you wouldn't expect them to be. Octavia cares about people and things and it takes her a long to realise that maybe others care too.

The ending wasn't what I expected it to be but I was 100% there for it.
It was simple, heartfelt and perfect. An ending that didn't take Octavia backwards but cemented who she'd become and moved her forward into the future with hope and a new beginning.

The audiobook is so easy to listen to and the fact that it's comprised of six novellas is fantastic as you can break it up into one a day without stopping in the middle of a story! Or, if you just need a breather and want to dip into something else before continuing.
I could listen to one, be happy at the conclusion and when I dove back into the collection at some later point I didn't feel like I was scrambling to get back into the story as I was starting a new novella and embarking on a new adventure!
The series thread was easy to remember and somewhat recapped each time.

The narrator didn't get on my nerves (a massive win for me when it comes to audiobooks) and she was clear and animated in her narration as well as giving different voices to different characters which helped bring the stories to life and made it easier to follow.

All in all, I highly recommend this series for UF and mystery fans who are not opposed to a little bit of magic!

(Oh! And for those who aren't that fond of romance in your UF... Look no further!)

Audiobook Length: 14hrs 22min
Narrated by: Brenda Scott Wlazlo
Listening Speed: 1.25x


  1. I think I might take a look at it. Love the cover and the pig sounds so cute!

  2. Fantastic review! I want to try this someday; I like the funny.

    Anne - Books of My Heart

    1. It's a good series! Stacey Rourke is very good at writing prickly leads and snarky humour. :)

  3. This series sounds like something different. I like this type of genre in audio books. Will have a look at it!

    Loved your review. Your blog looks lovely!

  4. Okay, this sounds fantastic. I love the cover and how she's carrying the pig around. Love it!



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