Review: Minotaur by J.A. Rock

Posted September 1, 2017 by Sophia Rose in Audio Delight, Reviews / 10 Comments

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Review: Minotaur by J.A. Rock
Narrated by J.A. Rock

One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Genres: F/F Romance, Fantasy Romance
Published by Riptide
Released on August 10,2017
Pages: 7 hours 16 minutes
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The Delight

Macabre, dark, and complex along the twisting path of a story structured much like the labyrinth of legend.  It was definitely a right person and mood type of story and I happened to be just such a listener for this unique, introspective tale.


Ever have one of those books come along that makes you scratch your head about what to say?  Not that it was a bad read/listen, but that it was so far outside the usual and that it crosses so many genre lines that… loss for words.  I’ve got just such a one here.  But I will try.

First of all, this is YA in age of characters, but not really YA in scope of readership.  Secondly, its coming of age and getting past abuse, loss, grief, and anger so it might seem fiction, but then again, there are relationships and romance.  Oh and much of the book seems a contemporary setting of a girl’s orphanage home, but then there was the labyrinth and the tumble into Wonderland territory mashed with mythology.  And that is just the dilemma of what genre it falls in.  I’m going with fantasy romance.

Secondly, I said it was a coming of age and romance and it is, but this girl has some pretty dark, tortured thoughts and she’s not likeable and sort of wears that badge proudly so there are musings of unreliable narration going on for me when it comes to Thera, but really, she’s just seeing things through the lens of her own hard experiences.  I enjoy that sort of thing at times- getting inside a disturbed person’s mind, but I will admit that it made it a slower-paced piece because reflection and not a lot of action take up nearly half the book.

I’m still not sure what to make of the last portions.  The labyrinth was incredible in its craziness, but for that reason, it was perfectly drawn.  The ending was wistful and distant so that I felt I was being pulled back from the intimacy I had felt with the sole narrator, the heroine.

This is a coming of age piece and it was more of an exploration into physical intimacy by the two roommates, Thera and Alle.  They become intimate, but it is not a lengthy description.  Theirs was something almost sweet and a little innocent mixed in with the budding passion.  But because these are mostly disturbed girls in their group of friends, there is some crudeness from others (reference to a BD which I had to look up ‘bull dyke’ and refers to a very masculine lesbian) so the audience for this is probably more adult.

The fun part for me was the surprise that the author, JA Rock, was narrating her own piece.  What a fantastic match.  I’ve never experienced this before and of course she nailed the timing, tone, and the characters because they are hers.  Oh, well okay, she has a really good narration voice, too, and I know bringing a story’s narration to life is not simple and takes skill, but I do wonder if its easier or harder because it was hers.  Well done, though, either way.

All in all, this was parts bizarre and parts melancholy, but still a very good piece of story writing that I’ve come to expect since I’ve been reading/listening to her books.  I would recommend Minotaur to those who are looking for something a little different, slower paced, and enjoy F/F Fantasy Romance.

My thanks to Riptide Publishing for the opportunity to listen to this book in exchange for an honest review.



Romance Roundabout #175 FR
New Release #118
Audio #50


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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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Carole's Random Life
4 years ago

I think it is great that the author narrated the book. I have listened to an audio like that before and I do think it adds something to the delivery. This sounds like a really interesting read. I like how it doesn’t fit nicely into just one genre.

Sophia Rose
4 years ago

This was my first, but I would definitely enjoy more author-narrated stories. Yeah, the blend of genres did make for a stronger story, I thought.

4 years ago

The cover sort of looks like a throwback, and it’s certainly cool that the author would narrate her own audiobook. Sounds like a lot of interesting things are going on to keep us interested. Hugs…

Sophia Rose
4 years ago
Reply to  RO

Yes, it was so much good stuff going on.

4 years ago

I’m not sure at 100% that it would be for me but nice to see you had a good time with it

Sophia Rose
4 years ago
Reply to  Melliane

I wasn’t sure, either, and still felt shaky about it even in the middle. 😉 It was a tricky one.

4 years ago

This one definitely sounds unusual. It cane be hard sometimes to know what to say in your review. Sounds like this book is quite the mash of genres, but it seems like it works here. It does sound a touch too dark for me. And sometimes those unlikeable characters can be great to read about. That’s interesting the author narrated her own book and it worked so well. Great review!

Sophia Rose
4 years ago
Reply to  Lola

It was a very curious story and was good because it was so different. I like those once in a while. Loved having the author narrate. She had a great storytelling voice and of course knew her characters well. 🙂

Alyssa Susanna
4 years ago

Huh. This is a strange-sounding book. Definitely not for me, it sounds too dark and difficult for me. I do like books featuring “young-adult-aged” characters that aren’t quite “YA” books. I’m glad you enjoyed this book overall!

Have a wonderful week, Sophia. =)

Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

Sophia Rose
4 years ago
Reply to  Alyssa Susanna

Yes, it will definitely not be for everyone. It goes a bit into the dark corners of the mind. It was a neat thing that it was a coming of age, but was told from the adult point of view looking back on things.