First, I want you to know that I am squirming in my seat because, instead of writing this review, I really want to be purchasing any other book by Karen White and listening to it ASAP.
However, this audiobook was a bit of a wild card for me and I want to make sure that this little jewel doesn't get passed over. When I first started listening to it, I wasn't yet sure if I'd made a mistake. I was focusing on problems I had with the narration, which I will address later in the review.
I loved this book! It not only had a great plot and provided such a beautiful multi-sensory description of Charleston that it made me want to move there, not less visit.
It is also the best modern haunted house story written since "The House Next Door" by Anne Rivers Siddons. Stephen King once wrote a book about the genre of ghost stories in which he said that the best story lines are those which contain not only a supernatural (inner) threat, but also an external threat - whether it be a blizzard, a villain or the IRS. (Oops, those last two examples are redundant, lol!)
Also, and I don't remember if King said this or not, but she layers the thrills in a way that, rather than slamming us in a way that discredits the story line, it begins quietly and naturally. I am referring to the supernatural aspects of the story, but it is also true of the secondary, everyday threats in the story as well.
It left me thrilled, satisfied and ready for another of her books.
Now for the narration:
Aimee Bruneau, to my ears as a born Texan, nailed the Charleston accent, but sounded as if it was a skill she had just learned. I don't know if she is a Southerner who has lived elsewhere for many years or if she perhaps had difficulty creating separate "voices" for the characters, but it sounded as if she paused to take a breath before she read certain lines. It made me lose concentration on the plot at first, because it seemed to me that she even "lost" the accent at times.
Another problem I found with the narration, and Bruneau is NOT the only performer with this issue, is that I got the feeling that she were reading the book for the first time. Many lines were read with completely different expressions than I would expect. If it happens once or twice, I figure it's just me. But with this audiobook (and a couple of others) both the expression and the cadence of certain lines made me feel that they had caught the narrator unprepared.
Further, and this is not her fault as a narrator, there were fairly long gaps of "dead air." I had to check my iPod a couple of times to see if it was still running - the silences could be that long.
I don't want to dump on her, but it is a bit of a put-off at the beginning of the book. I'd hate for anyone to stop listening too early to get so involved in the plot that the narration doesn't distract from a gem of a story. (So to speak.)
I read in previous reviews about the narrator being bad, she isnt bad, she just speaks kinda slow, and takes alot of odd pauses. Still, the book is totally worth it. The characters are very good and likeable, there is good imagery of Charleston, and I enjoyed the plot and I was extremely excited to find out what was going to happen in the end, I wasnt disappointed. I typically enjoy books about the South, which is why I purchased this book, I would definitely recommend it.
I have purchased the follow up to the series.
This is a fun, romantic book with a paranormal case to unravel and reveal. Good narration and not too dark. I have the rest of the series in my wish list for the future paranormal need less the nightmares. Go for it!
I liked the concept of the book but I didn't like Melanie. I was annoyed and frustrated with the bossy, coy southern bell that doesn't like dogs and yet gets annoyed that someone gives her inherited dog some toys! I didn't like the fact that she specialized in selling old homes and yet hates everything not modern.
I would put this book in the young romance section, a predictable story, no curse words, romance?....a couple of kisses and sleeping on the couch, oh hum.
I'm a bibliophile since early childhood. Love speculative fiction, odd premises, mystery novels that teach about different places and times.
The plot line on this is past obvious but it managed to take some interesting spins in the details. I did not enjoy the southern aspects of this book. It was more about attitude than accent. It's premises about ghosts are quite good. And it's a house I would love to visit, just from the descriptions.
Melanie Middleton and I would not be friends. But I'm okay with that, because even though I can't stand Miss Middleton (urgh), I love Karen White's Tradd Street series. I love that these books are set in Charleston (now I really want to visit!) and the tangled webs that run through this series heightens the mystery and intrique. The ghost story in this book is very engaging and Jack is super sexy (except possibly his taste in Melanie).
Even though Melanie is a prickly heroine, that strangely doesn't detract from this book. It's definitely worth the listen.
Bad writing. Bad reading. Bad use of a credit. There really isn't much more to say. I took a chance after reading the other reviews and that was a mistake I won't make again. Didn't buy the the fact that the characters were any more southern than myself, and I'm from California. The writing reminded me of sitting in my college writing class listening to stories classmates were presenting prior to the professor's corrections. Repetitive and rather boring. The only good thing about it was that it was easy to shut off and I got my laundry done! Oh....and mercifully it ended.
Early adopter, longtime listener, bookhungry.
Sorry, I wanted to like this, but it's just too badly written. It's frustrating, because the subject is interesting and the reader is very good, but it's a romance novel and there's no meat on the bones, it's just sappy. Dang.
This book was really good. I will probably listen to it again. I sure hope Audible gets the next one in the series.
but I have to say, I liked it once I got used to the southern accent (was that real?), and the southern bell mentality of the self-loathing main character. The male characters were great, as was the premise. I'd check out Karen White again. I think she has something interesting to say and I suspect her next book will be even better.