I am a book junkie...I read and enjoy a variety of stories, so please don't "define me" by one book or review! :)
I found this story well-written, with a fresh, novel voice for this genre. Not all the dialogue and characters are "what you might expect". (Examples: I really enjoyed the way Clara's inner life, her thoughts and sense of humor are written, and the love-story aspect of it is not drowned in cliche'). The characters become very real because they are warm-hearted, engaging and compelling. The heroine and other main characters are quite believable. To me the narration was pretty much perfectly suited to Clara and the other characters throughout. It's hard to pinpoint exactly what makes the difference between a story that does draw you in and feels truly heartfelt and one that does not, but this story definitely has it, and I highly recommend it. My only minor complaint is that, after a lot of anticipation, I found the very end just a bit lackluster. Evidently, that was how the author felt she wanted to segue to a sequel at the time, but after the two most dramatic scenes toward the end, I felt it lacked the punch it could have had. Having said that, the characters have won me over and I will definitely be on board for the next installment!
I enjoyed this engrossing, travel-filled adventure as the set up to the next installment. Filled with not only the fights and quests of the characters, but so much emotion and conflict between them. I appreciated the way Kelsey grew and matured a bit. She did not "change her mind" as often as I was afraid she might. The writing is good, with the exception of one notable scene that seemed too prolonged. We are left with a bit of a cliffhanger, definitely keeping you waiting for the next book, especially if you are a fan. The narration by Annika Boras is very good!
I did read the series, and really love the story which is actually why I also supplemented it on my IPOD in audiobook. S. Meyer's tale of Edward and Bella is sweet, and compelling...the characters become like friends you want to spend time with. It has it's romance, dramatic moments, and there are times when you shake your head at the behavior of or a choice a character makes, (Usually Edward or Jacob), but you love them anyway. The narrator's voice is perfect,(not too young, not too old) she has a nice voice and is spot-on as Bella. She even sounds a little bit older as you go through all four books....natural progression. For those other unknown reviewers who gave her voice a "thumbs down", I must say, I disagree and I humbly suggest you have your ears checked. I would like to hear what does sound like a "good voice" to you. Ms. Kedushen sounds lovely compared to some of the other voices I've heard in samples, ..some of them unpleasant enough or inappropriate enough to the story to keep me from purchasing a story I might otherwise like.