🎧 National Park Mysteries and Disappearances by Steve Stockton #SteveStockton @AbernathyVoice @TantorAudio #LoveAudiobooks #KindleUnlimited @sophiarose1816

Posted August 31, 2022 by Sophia in Book Review / 14 Comments

Review copy was received from Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


🎧 National Park Mysteries and Disappearances by Steve Stockton #SteveStockton @AbernathyVoice @TantorAudio #LoveAudiobooks #KindleUnlimited @sophiarose1816The Great Smoky Mountains National Park by Steve Stockton
Narrator: Chris Abernathy
Series: National Park Mysteries & Disappearances #1
Published by Tantor Audio on May 31, 2022
Genres: Mystery, Non Fiction
Length: 2 hours, 57 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Publisher
Goodreads
AmazonAudibleAudiobook
One StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited national park in the country, with 12.1 million recreational visits in 2020. Aside from crowds of hikers, campers, and general tourists, there’s a dark side to the Smokies, the town of Gatlinburg and the surrounding foothills. From strange disappearances, grisly murders and bone-chilling paranormal hauntings and ghost
sightings; this pristine paradise has a lot more to offer than just serene hiking trails or camping.
So, put aside your nature guidebooks, forget about the pretty leaves, and the relaxing streams as well as the miniature golf, the funnel cakes and all the other “tourist traps” and prepare for a wild ride on the dark side of the Great Smoky Mountains.

Brief accounts of oddities, legends, and an appreciation for the macabre when it comes to exploring one of America’s most popular and oldest National Parks had me excited to pounce on the first volume of a new series of brief, unique travelogue stories collected from the author’s personal experiences and research.

Steve Stockton shares a brief history of how The Great Smoky NP came into being and his personal experiences growing up visiting the park as a boy.  Then he further shares several tales he gleaned from local sources and folklore that denote experiences of people in and around the park.  The tales are divided into mysteries- natural and supernatural, mythologies particularly derived from the local Cherokee, and disappearances, past and current.  Sprinkled through the stories are references to travel details and cautions.

I appreciated ghostly tales, legends of the Cherokee ‘Little People’, Wild People, Bigfoot, sad deaths and disappearances, and some funny ones like the Gatlinburg ghost tour that might really be haunted by a deceased tour guide.

This is a quick listen and each tale is brief and sometimes merely a recitation of facts and sometimes filled in with eye witness accounts and speculations.  It could get pedantic at times, but, for the most part, it was exactly what it promised to be and pulled me in.  I have visited Great Smoky NP and nearby vicinity on both sides of the Appalachians so found many of the places mentioned recognizable.  This was a new way to experience some of American’s most rugged, historic and beautiful regions through the lens of a supernatural and mystery lover.

Narration:

Chris Abernathy was a first time narrator for me and I appreciated his enthusiastic way of storytelling that invited the listener to appreciate the stories and accounts.  He kept a single voice though changed his pacing and tone which enhanced the listening experience.

One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

 

Listen to a clip:  HERE

 


Review copy was received from Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


🎧 National Park Mysteries and Disappearances by Steve Stockton #SteveStockton @AbernathyVoice @TantorAudio #LoveAudiobooks #KindleUnlimited @sophiarose1816California (Yosemite, Joshua Tree, Mt. Shasta) by Steve Stockton
Narrator: Chris Abernathy
Series: National Park Mysteries & Disappearances #2
Published by Tantor Audio on June 7, 2022
Genres: Mystery, Non Fiction
Length: 2 hours, 58 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Publisher
Goodreads
AmazonAudibleAudiobook
One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Aside from crowds of hikers, campers, and general tourists, there's a dark side to these three locations in California: the famous Yosemite, Joshua Tree, and Mount Shasta. From strange disappearances, grisly murders, and bone-chilling paranormal hauntings to ghost sightings, these pristine locales have a lot more to offer than just serene hiking trails or camping. In this second installment of National Park Mysteries & Disappearances, Steve Stockton, along with Bill Melder, presents the listener with a side to these locations you've never heard before.

So, put aside your nature guidebooks, forget about the pretty leaves, and the relaxing streams as well as the miniature golf, the funnel cakes and all the other "tourist traps" and prepare for a wild ride on the dark side of these major national parks.

Continuing through the series, the author takes us to a new group of mysterious National Parks this time in California.  I appreciated the parks represent a diversity of natural setting from High Sierra majesty to stark, hot desert beauty and one of the most bizarre natural locations in the world, Mt. Shasta.

The volumes of the series are entirely standalone and readers/listeners may reach for whichever park locations take their fancy.

This second volume was slightly different from the first in that part of the Joshua Tree section is told by a second author, Bill Melton, and large portions of the Yosemite tales are culled from a retired park ranger’s published accounts of his more exciting experiences with rescue operations, unexplained phenomena, and disappearances.

There were two National Parks and one nature area in this volume and they were each sorted in the same format as the first volume with natural and supernatural mysteries, folklore and legend, and the disappearances.

I have visited each of these locations, several times at Yosemite, so I was excited to listen in to the out there experiences and stories shared by Stockton.  I was unsurprised to learn that the Joshua Tree area of the desert hosts a lot of dead body discoveries because criminals find it an excellent location to kill a problem person or dump an already dead body.  But, I was stunned to discover that one of my favorite camping areas, Mt. Shasta, is associated with not only the paranormal, mythological, and cult elements, but also sci-fi spectacles  that go beyond alien sightings to a bizarre robot kidnapper, hollow earth theory and a lost super race.

I found this volume had a stronger storytelling tone to it most of the time and helped me engage more with the book particularly when the stories were enhanced with details beyond the strict facts.  I did get a few chills and I will never see these seeming natural wonder spots in the same way again.  If the author has done nothing else, he’s given me a healthy respect for the wild country and taking precautions no matter where one goes.

All in all, this was entertaining, interesting, and different non-fiction travel reading and I look forward to progressing to the third volume and seeing the author tackle more National Park mysteries and disappearances.  Definitely a quick listen I would recommend.

Narration:

Chris Abernathy continued as the series narrator and I welcomed his voice work as familiar and pleasing.  I hope he continues to narrate this series of mysterious and sometimes macabre tales.

One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

 

Listen to a clip:  HERE

 

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Posted August 31, 2022 by Sophia in Book Review / 14 Comments


14 responses to “🎧 National Park Mysteries and Disappearances by Steve Stockton

  1. I live a couple of hours away from the Smokey Mountains and we have gone a number of times. It’s beautiful and peaceful but I’ve always been fascinated with the darker stories. This collection sounds fascinating even if he does get a touch pedantic at times.