Review: The Journals of Octavia Hollows by Stacey Rourke

Posted October 31, 2019 by Sophia Rose in Reviews / 22 Comments

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Review: The Journals of Octavia Hollows by Stacey Rourke
The Journals of Octavia Hollows
Narrated by Brenda Scott Wlazlo

One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Genres: Urban Fantasy
Published by The Audio Flow
Released on October 22, 2019
Format: Audiobook
Source: Book Tour Provided
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The Delight

I originally grabbed the first book separately, but I knew within minutes of listening that I definitely was going to love it.  At the end, which left thing open for the series arc after closing out the specific suspense plot for that story, I was eager for the next installment.  Easy decision to go for the complete series of six books and still enjoy the wonderful audio work of Brenda Scott Wlazlo.


Wake the Dead

The character, the world, and the series arc was introduced while giving the reader an exciting first supernatural mystery to see Octavia in action.

Octavia is a necromancer and through the gift of a mysterious burner phone learns of a family’s plight as their son dies of a curse and of the curious death of the baby’s nurse.  Octavia was in Seattle looking for clues to her boyfriend, Elba’s missing body. and about herself, but her generous, if very snarky spirit, chooses to help the family.  One thing leads to another and Octavia learns there is more to her than she thought before she and her pet resurrected pig bacon zoom out of town on her bike for the next leg of her journey to find out more about the love of her life.

Dead Man’s Hand

Octavia has come to Las Vegas to visit her old construction job boss for clues about her boyfriend, Elba.  Instead, she lands another after life mystery when people are dying of immolation.  A dead gambling addict resurrected helps Octavia discover what is going on.  Meanwhile, she learns she is being followed by a mysterious man in a cap asking about her and she has made the witch coven watch list because of her illegal activities of raising the dead.

Caught Dead

Hiding out from her stalker and still looking for clues about Elba, Octavia finds herself with a new supernatural mystery that leads to reveals about her family.  This one ends on a cliffhanger.  I think these just keep getting better.

Drop Dead Gorgeous

Octavia ends up at a Siren beauty pageant camp where she’s herded in with other half-sirens.  Not wanting to get involved in siren politics.  She’s pulled in when a death occurs.  Then things got fun and zany.  Another cliffhanger.  Must keep going.

Dead Ringer

Worried about the disappearance of the coven who fostered her and knowing they were last known to be with the mysterious man who was stalking her, Octavia shows up in Belle Chasse outside New Orleans at the boxing studio she worked at for a time.  Her plan to work while hunt down clues to the witches is sidetracked by her old boss and a ferocious fighter in trouble with an underground fighting ring.
This one was exciting for the boxing and gang scenes, but also because her latest rescue mission leaves her with an attraction sparked and a few emotional epiphanies about her past.  But, then yes, cliffhanger with her mysterious stalking throwing down a gauntlet and pointing her back to Florida where her run across the country began.

Dead as a Doornail

Octavia has learned a great deal about herself as she slowly backtracks her way across country over the ground she had once been fleeing out of guilt and sorrow.  She’s coming into her own and making amends with her past even as she starts to look up and take a look to the future.

However, a malicious enemy has been stalking her and now has her coven.  He’s leading her right back to the place where her running began- the place Elba died.  Can she make peace with that death and find the strength and cunning to deal with the new threat all with Reed her new werewolf pal and Bacon her swine-kick at her side?

Brenda Scott Wlazlo was a brilliant narrator match for this series of books.  She captured a young, snarky and trash-talking yet vulnerable and hurting Octavia so well even as all her other voices were distinct so that each character was easy to pick out.  She puts a heavier nudge of acting in now and then, but I didn’t mind.

It ended with a smash finish that was emotional and complete as well as exciting as all came to fulmination.  It left things with a promise of more seasons of Octavia Hollows’ adventures.  Those who enjoy entertaining urban fantasy involving supernaturals from necromancer to siren and even a mythological beast now and then in a colorful variety of settings should give these a go.

My thanks to Caffeinated PR services for the opportunity to listen to this book in exchange for an honest review.

Challenges Met

New Release #153
Audio #85
A Year in Anthologies #10


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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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Kimberly @ CaffeinatedPR

Glad you enjoyed Octavia and Bacon Sophia!

Sophia Rose
2 years ago

They were a hoot, Kimberly! 🙂

Debbie Haupt
Debbie Haupt
2 years ago

Oh yes please 🙂

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Debbie Haupt

Oh, you know it, pal! 🙂

2 years ago

I just listened to the excerpt on Kimberly’s page. I think it sounds really fun.

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Lorna

I thought the narrator, Brenda, was a fab fit for Octavia. Hope you get the chance, Lorna.

2 years ago

I am gearing up to listen to the series.

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Nadene

It will be fun to see what you think after you’ve finished, Nadene. 🙂

Anne - Books of My Heart

I totally wanted to volunteer to review this one but I need to catchup before I make commitments. I want to meet my times so I couldn’t do any more. I’m glad you enjoyed it – I’m sure I would too.

Sophia Rose
2 years ago

I get where you’re at. I hate having to say no to books that I know I’ll probably love. However, there is only so much time and one doesn’t want to make the publisher or author wait too long for the review. 🙂

Carole Rae
2 years ago


Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Carole Rae

He is adorable and he protects her in any way he can. 🙂

Debbie Haupt
Debbie Haupt
2 years ago

Thanks Sophia Rose I’ve seen this reviewed around, a pig for a sidekick funny. It sounds like something I could enjoy

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Debbie Haupt

It was a hoot with all the ways she referred to her pig pet like Swinekick, etc. 🙂

Mary Kirkland
2 years ago

Sure sounds like Octavia has a lot going on in her life.

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Mary Kirkland

Oh, you said it, Mary. Another one of the Urban Fantasy heroines that I wouldn’t want to trade lives. LOL

Sarah @ All The Book Blog Names Are Taken

Before I realized the pig was in a baby carrier, I thought it was coming out of her chest, lol. I was so confused!!

Sophia Rose
2 years ago

Hehe, yeah that would be a weird one. He’s her adorable swinekick!

Carole @ Carole's Random Life in Books

I keep thinking that this series sounds fantastic and it looks like you have now confirmed that for me. Great review!

Sophia Rose
2 years ago

Glad I could help! These are definitely good stuff, Carole. I can’t wait until the next part of the series comes out.

Rachel @Waves of Fiction

I do like it when each individual mystery is solved but there’s an ongoing story arc that resolves by the end of the series. I’ll have to check this out. Fab reviews, Sophia Rose!

Sophia Rose
2 years ago

Same here. Love one story for the series arc with some mini stories in between. Thanks, Rachel!