Thursday, January 19, 2017

When All the World Sleeps by Lisa Henry & J.A. Rock Audiobook Review

Daniel Whitlock is terrified of going to sleep. And rightly so: he sleepwalks, with no awareness or memory of his actions. Including burning down Kenny Cooper’s house—with Kenny inside it—after Kenny brutally beat him for being gay. Back in the tiny town of Logan after serving his prison sentence, Daniel isolates himself in a cabin in the woods and chains himself to his bed at night.

Like the rest of Logan, local cop Joe Belman doesn’t believe Daniel’s absurd defense. But when Bel saves Daniel from a retaliatory fire, he discovers that Daniel might not be what everyone thinks: killer, liar, tweaker, freak. Bel agrees to control Daniel at night—for the sake of the other townsfolk. Daniel’s fascinating, but Bel’s not going there.

Yet as he’s drawn further into Daniel’s dark world, Bel finds that he likes being in charge. And submitting to Bel gives Daniel the only peace he’s ever known. But Daniel’s demons won’t leave him alone, and he’ll need Bel’s help to slay them once and for all—assuming Bel is willing to risk everything to stand by him.

Length: 12 hrs, 11 mins
Narrator: Greg Tremblay

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Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
Amazon Audiobook  ~  Audible  ~  Riptide Publishing

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

While I’ve only been listening to audiobooks for about a year, When All the World Sleeps might be my first ever impulse buy, as well as the first audiobook I’ve purchased within days of its release. But when I was clearing out our blog’s inbox and happened to open up the email from Riptide, something about the cover caught my eye, then the blurb sounded interesting, but what sold it for me, what made me use my monthly audiobook credit without hesitation was the author/narrator combination. Lisa Henry has scared the bejeezus out of me on more than one occasion. J.A. Rock’s The Subs Club series held me captive, waiting with baited breath for each installment. Both authors have made me laugh, fall in love, enthralled and entertained me. But the clincher… Greg Tremblay was the narrator. I quickly fell in love Tremblay’s vocal talents in Romanus by Mary Calmes and haven’t looked back since. Heck, over the holidays I bought six audiobooks largely because he was the narrator. So to recap, the combination of the authors, the narrator, and an intriguing plot led me to make my first ever impulse buy and I am beyond thrilled that I did.

Daniel Whitlock is a convicted murder whose sentence was mitigated due to a medical defense – that he was sleepwalking when he murdered the man who nearly beat him to death. Joe “Bel” Belman is a local cop who is dismayed that Daniel got away with such a ridiculous defense, disturbed by the fact that Daniel was released early, and disgusted that he is attracted to a murderer. Bel is annoyed when he must intercede to prevent Daniel getting beat up, but as an officer of the law he can’t choose who he protects – even if he thinks Daniel deserves the beating. However, when someone tries to kill Daniel, Bel finds himself thrust into Daniel’s life, learning that there is more to the man than what he and the rest of the town have assumed about him and that Daniel’s sleep walking might not be the line of bull he thought it was. The relationship that develops is… intense. Daniel is needy, but not in the way often seen in romances. He needs someone who can control him, someone who has the patience to restrain him while he sleeps so that he doesn’t hurt anyone else. It just so happens that Bel might be capable of fulfilling Daniel’s needs because his own protective streak makes him ideal for the job – protecting the town from Daniel and protecting Daniel from the town, especially when the arsonist seems intent on finishing the job of ridding the world of Daniel Whitlock.

When All the World Sleeps was a fascinating story. From what I remember from my neurological psychology class in college, the premise behind the storyline is not impossible and the authors do a wonderful job of crafting a plot around the improbable. Even though I began listening to the audiobook immediately after reading the blurb, with the combination of the authors’ writing skills and Tremblay’s performance, I found myself falling into the trap of the judgmental – accepting what those around Daniel said about him as fact. Tremblay conveys such conviction in Bel’s thoughts and interactions with Daniel, that it was so easy to paint Daniel as a lying, murdering tweaker. Yet with the simple change in the point of view from Bel’s to Daniel’s, Tremblay’s portrayal of Daniel exudes fear, frustration, self-loathing, helplessness, hopelessness, and longing – all with the added difficulty of performing both the awake Daniel and the sleep-walking Daniel. Henry and Rock’s words are superb and Tremblay’s performance is stunning, and combined they made When All the World Sleeps an audiobook I was captivated by and look forward to enjoying again.

Lisa Henry

Lisa likes to tell stories, mostly with hot guys and happily ever afters.

Lisa lives in tropical North Queensland, Australia. She doesn't know why, because she hates the heat, but she suspects she's too lazy to move. She spends half her time slaving away as a government minion, and the other half plotting her escape.

She attended university at sixteen, not because she was a child prodigy or anything, but because of a mix-up between international school systems early in life. She studied History and English, neither of them very thoroughly.

She shares her house with too many cats, a green tree frog that swims in the toilet, and as many possums as can break in every night. This is not how she imagined life as a grown-up.

Connect with Lisa

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads

J.A. Rock

J.A. Rock is the author of queer romance and suspense novels, including By His Rules, Take the Long Way Home, and, with Lisa Henry, The Good Boy and When All the World Sleeps. She holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Alabama and a BA in theater from Case Western Reserve University. J.A. also writes queer fiction and essays under the name Jill Smith. Raised in Ohio and West Virginia, she now lives in Chicago with her dog, Professor Anne Studebaker.

Connect with J.A.

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Blog  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads

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Angela reviewed her personal copy of When All the World Sleeps by Lisa Henry & J.A. Rock, Narrated by Greg Tremblay for this post.

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