*This book was supplied to me by AudiobookReviewer.com. This review was originally published on ABR’s website.*
Short, action packed, and straight to the point, J.B. Taylor’s Dissimilar Shorts 2 is an exciting dip into adventure for adventure’s sake. Feel like reading something that’s fun but not fluff? This is the audiobook for you.
Two shorts are included in this second book of the Dissimilar Shorts series, and they’re quite different from each other. In the first one, we join agents Parker and Doris in their interrogation efforts of a terrorist financier and his moll. I particularly enjoyed that the terrorist was mostly referred to by his full name while the agents were not, giving us more of a feeling of familiarity with the good guys and some distance from the bad guys. It’s a subtle but clear signal to the reader of who’s who. This short story starts and ends with action, the intense interrogation sandwiched in between with enough character development to understand each person and their differences but not get in the way.
The second short story focuses on a strange and violent occurrence and the mystery behind it. Only the reader knows what actually happened before the end hits you like a fish to the face (you’ll get that when you read it). Some of the characters are trying to figure out the mysterious death of a woman while other characters happen to obliviously stumble across the crime scene. They converge in an unusual ending that will make you both gape and giggle.
Strong female characters lead both shorts and are tough but sassy. Hard on crime but not cardboard cutout agents and officers, these women – and other characters – are fleshed out enough to show their personalities and yet aren’t focused on to the point of distracting from the main storyline. Short stories are a very delicate balance between character development and story development, and J.B. Taylor achieves this balance well in book 2 of his series.
Before you read Dissimilar Shorts 2, keep in mind that these are short stories for action and entertainment’s sakes and that there is not necessarily a specific “point” or “lesson” to them. They are enjoyable as standalone pieces of fiction that have their own style and charm.
The voice talent is Kathryn Lomax, who did a good job expressing the fast-paced excitement of both stories. While you could feel your heart race as her voice did, it was a bit distracting to hear most breaths, both short and deep, that she took. Most of the time noises like that are eliminated wherever possible to keep the focus on the words and expression of the story, and I did continually notice it. She also didn’t perform a Brooklyn accent that was clearly indicated for a main character in the second short story, but did do a passable Persian accent in some of the first short.
All in all, this was a great audiobook that I listened to twice before I did this review. It went by so fast (only 1 hour and 1 minute long!) that I had to listen again to relish it. That should tell you that I enjoyed both the stories and the voice talent. I would read Dissimilar Shorts 1 or 3 in a heartbeat – and then ask for more.