Audio Book Review | Sugar Skulls by Lisa Mantchev and Glenn Dallas

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Audio Book Review | Sugar Skulls by Lisa Mantchev and Glenn DallasSugar Skulls by Glenn Dallas, Lisa Mantchev
Published by Brilliance Audio on November 10th, 2015
Genres: Romance, Science Fiction, Young Adult
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Welcome to Cyrene, a city where energy is currency and music is the lifeblood of its young citizens. Everyone lives on the grid, and the residents of the world’s largest playground are encouraged to pursue every physical and emotional pleasure imaginable.

Vee is the lead singer of the Sugar Skulls, an all-girl band that is Corporate’s newest pet project. Micah haunts the city like a ghost after an overdose of a deadly illegal street drug knocks him off the grid. When Micah and Vee forge an immediate, undeniable connection, their troubled worlds collide.

Trading concert stages for Cyrene’s rooftops and back alleys, they have to evade vicious thugs and Vee’s possessive manager as they unravel the mysteries connected to their dark pasts. And before the curtain falls, Micah and Vee will bring the city to its knees in their desperate bid for love, home, and a future together.

My Take:

This was a random request – based on the cover and the interesting as all get out premise. I honestly had not seen this one around that much, and it was fun going in completely blind. While it didn’t blow me away – it does have its good parts.

Vee is the lead singer of the top band in the city, and Micah is a runner; off the grid and with a past. Both have past really. Told in dual POV, we learn about Vee, Micah, the rest of city and just how far they go to keep their hold on Vee.

What I loved most about Sugar Skulls was the setting. It’s in his domed city called Cyrene that runs on energy from its residents. It’s high-tech, drug pushing happy place. It was weird but great at the same time. I also loved the thrills. It’s quick pace, and suspense. I was gritting my teeth at times, anxious on where the book was going to go.

Sadly, the romance was my biggest issue and since it played such a HUGE part in the book, it kind of clouded my judgement a little bit. You guessed it, insta-love. If you set how they met aside, the instant attraction and obsession, it turns out to be a sell-able romance and they are quite cute together. They went above and beyond to save each other, and while their efforts are awe-inspiring, I didn’t understand it.

Plot wise – well, I can’t really think of what the plot was in its entirety. I mean, they were just basically running from someone. There were quite a few small sub-plots that weaved together nicely, though. Vee’s past. Micha’s past. The rogue drug. Nothing concrete though, and that was frustrating.

Also, this is marketed as YA – and while I agree with that, it’s mature YA. There is, obviously, a lot of drug use, explicit language and the sex scenes aren’t always fade to black. I could honestly considerate it New Adult.

The Narration

The female narrator is actually one of my favorites, Kate Rudd. She narrates a LOT of YA and Adult books alike. I am starting to find though, that her voice is mature. Not to say that it wasn’t before, per se, but I never had an issues with her portraying a teen. I heard it here. I still love her performance; she always catching the emotion and has the right inflection in her voice. This was however, my first listen by Scott Merriman. I really enjoyed his performance as well – and look forward to more of his work.

One thing. The narrator would change based on the characters involved in the dialog. It was weird at first, because you get use to Scott’s voice during Micha’s  POV and then BAM! Kate is there. It takes a few chapters to get used to, and I am not sure I’m a fan.

Overall – Sugar Skulls was just okay. I loved setting, the quick pace and for the most part, the narration, but the romance being insta love and lack of a solid plot could not sell me on this one. Still, if you are looking for something unique, this is it!





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  • Have you read or listen to Sugar Skulls? If so, what did you think?

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