Audiobook review: Junkyard Bargain by Faith Hunter
Junkyard Bargain is the wonderful follow up title to Ms. Hunter’s Junkyard Cats. The story picks up with Shining preparing for war against Clarice Warhammer, the bot infested queen who killed Shining’s only friend and is bent on world domination. Shining, along with her thrall Cupcake and warbot Mateo, make plans to uncover a weapon they’ll need to defeat Warhammer.
I absolutely enjoyed Junkyard Bargain and am so excited the author is creating a series around Shining and this exciting post-apocalyptic world. After developing an incredible world in her first book, Ms. Hunter continues to build on her foundation by adding interesting characters to support Shining. The alien-tech and the ways Shining utilizes and improves upon it is fascinating. But it’s the “human” elements of the story that make this one a winner.
Shining is infested with all sorts of alien bots that give her enhanced abilities, but the downside is that those bots will infect others and create thralls. Unlike Warhammer, Shining doesn’t want a bunch of mindless thralls who bend to her will. I appreciate Shining’s moral compass and the internal conflicts she ponders throughout the story. She’s torn because her bots want to create more thralls, but she knows it isn’t the right thing to do. Also, she’s not sure what to think about the fact that her thralls are defying her: it frustrates her but also gives her hope, especially because of her feelings for Jaeger.
Narration: Junkyard Bargain is shared via the first person POV of Shining. Ms. Hvam’s voice for the narrator/Shining is on the deeper side of average female and has a gravely component at times. She alters the voice for dialogue, using distinct accents and dialects for each character. I especially enjoyed the southern accent of Jolene, and the metallic/robotic accent of Mateo. I like how she portrays Shining. She’s got an edge and you can hear it in her voice… it’s not soft and comforting. It’s got grit. You can also hear exasperation with the situation in her non-spoken verbal cues. She brings Shining and the world to life.
Junkyard Bargain is a wonderful addition to Ms. Hunter’s series. I love that we get more of Shining and her fears, desires, etc. I love that the group is expanding and Shining’s thoughts on thralls is morphing. Junkyard Bargain is a solid tale, but only a part of a larger story. The war is coming, and I cannot wait!
About the Book:
Sometimes before you can face your enemies, you need to confront yourself.
Time is running out for Shining Smith and her crew to gather the weapons they need to rescue one of their own. But will they even make it to the ultimate battle? First, they’ll need to hit the road to Charleston – a hell ride full of bandits, sex slavers, corrupt lawmen, and criminal bike gangs looking to move in on Shining’s territory.
Shining’s human allies will do anything to protect her – because they must. But will victory be worth it if she must compel more and more people to do her bidding? And will her feline warriors, the junkyard cats, remain loyal and risk their lives? Or are they just in it for the kibble?
Author: Faith Hunter
Narrator: Khristine Hvam
Series: Junkyard Cats #2
Genre: Sci-Fi, novella
Audiobook Release Date: January 2, 2020
Publisher: Audible Studios
Length: 5 hours; 40 minutes
Source: Free with Audible Membership
Audio Speed: 1.3x
Audible/Amazon (affilate link)