The Hollows is one of the most imaginative and entertaining series in the paranormal fantasy genre. The stories are told with drama and humor, with interesting plots and well-developed characters. Like other reviewers, my assessment of The Outlaw Demon Wails is based on the distracting narration rather than the most excellent story.
A voice can make the difference between wry self-deprecation and whiney complaining -- therein lies the problem with this book. The initial problem is that Gigi Bermingham redefines the already familiar pronunciations of names like Piscary. Often repeated words like "ley lines" are annoyingly mispronounced to the point of distraction. But more significantly, Rachel does not sound like the intelligent, assertive, risk-taking, introspective and wryly self-deprecating heroine of the other books. She sounds whiney, indecisive, stumbling, overly dependent, and incompetent.
With Marguerite Gavin???s performance from the other books, we never forget that Jenx is a man's man -- a proud, strong, hard fighting, heavily cursing, protective, sensitive, and happy spirited pixy who is sometimes annoying. His integrity and humor raise the stories to a higher level. Ms. Bermingham???s voice interpretation makes Jinx sound so weak and annoying we could almost forget his higher qualities.
This is an instance where the voice performance overshadows the story and all but ruins an author's wonderful creation. Good narration can make an audio book. Marguerite Gavin is the voice of the Hollows, much like she is the voice of Carrie Vaughn's Kitty Norville series, Dana Stabenow's Kate Shugak series or Tanya Huff's Confederation novels. As a diehard Hollows fan, it is my personal fantasy that all Hollows fans would band together to hire Marguerite Gavin to re-record The Outlaw Demon Wails. I would certainly pay double to hear the complete series in one voice (Gavin's, of course).
I eventually got through the book because it is necessary to the series and just so excellent I could endure the horrible narration. I know it would even be better without Gigi Bermingham???s horrific narration.
but the narrator really leaves a lot to be desired! After the last 5 having been masterfully rendered by Marguerite Gavin, it's very grating to hear Gigi Bermingham mispronounce Piscary, ley lines and to hear totally different voices for familiar characters! Since when has Keesley (sp) had a deep southern accent? I'm disappointed with the narration, but Kim's got another winner w/the book, as far as I'm concerned! I'm sooo glad to have found such a great series!
Please note: I'm only rating the quality of the audiobook here.
I'm disappointed with the change of narrator for the 6th book in Kim Harrison's Hollows series. I don't like the change in pronunciation which comes with this narrator. After five books of hearing "ley" pronounced as "lay", instead of "lee", it jars every time she says that word---which is a lot!
Then there's the quality of the recording. The first half of the book or so, there's a very noticeable "open room" sound, like the microphone is picking up the whole room, not just the narrator. And what's with the music lead-ins and bumpers? The placement of the bumpers isn't consistent: some mark section breaks, others mark a chapter break---even though she says, "Chapter X" at the beginning of each chapter.
But finally, the thing that annoys me the most is the characterization of Ivy, Jenks and the demons Al and Minias. Due to GiGi Bermingham's narration, Ivy's own sultry tones are gone. I never would have suggested a narrator needs to read all the books that come before until this audiobook.
Ivy has changed a lot in the series and this was a good book to see her progress in---but the narrator puts the usual emotions (ones Ivy usually doesn't permit herself to express) in everything Ivy says.
Ms. Bermingham pitches Jenks too high. She sounds too much like she's trying to fake a kid's voice---and Jenks isn't a kid.
With the demons, there's too much snobbery in her voices---especially with Al. She sounds like a bad actor trying to do a British accent when she's doing Al.
As much as I have loved listening to this series (I read it the first time), I'd pass on this audio and read the book. I'll definitely be very cautious in choosing any books Ms. Bermingham does in the future.
Here's to hoping Marguerite Gavin comes back for the next book---and perhaps even re-records this one! *THAT* I would pay for!
The story was good, but my wife summed up the audio performance when she said "if this person read the first one I wouldn't have listened to the second!". It was such a discordant change from the first four (we listen to books while traveling by car). The mis-pronunciations were like nails on a blackboard, as were the voice characterizations used for various characters in the story.
I am only an hour and a half in the book and I am totally distracted by the narrator's mispronunciation of words. I had to restart the book twice so I could catch what she was saying.
I do hope that for the next book it is the first narrator. It is difficult to follow along with the storyline when the voice is different.
I am excited to see what happens to Ivy and "Rach" so I will finish the book. I might just buy the next one in hard copy instead of listening to it if it is Gigi again.
I have just read the last 4 or 5 reviews prior to the one I am entering now and I am so glad to know that I am not the only one that feels the way I do about this book. I am an avid Kim Harrison fan, and this book is no exception. The story is wonderful and it hurts my heart that I was hoping it would be over soon simply because the voice of the narrator grated on my nerves so badly I could barely stand it. I honesty thought about asking for my money back simply because I just could not tolerate her voice. The way she pronounced the characters names and words and places that I have become so accustomed to in the previous 5 books with the smooth and silky voice of Margarete Gavin was simply vile. It was almost insulting. I just don't understand what happened. I was uplifted to see that our regular narrator is back in the next book and I hope that this does not happen again because if it does I WILL NOT be purchasing it. GREAT BOOK, WRONG narrator!
Awful narrator! She mispronounces a good portion of the key words and major character names in the story (that is, she pronounces them completely differently than they were pronounced in the last six audiobooks.) That lack of consistency was terribly distracting--I found myself saying the correct pronunciation aloud each time. This seems like such a serious lapse on the part of the company/narrator--shouldn't listening to a few chapters of the preceding books to master often-repeated terms and names when taking over as narrator of an ongoing series be standard procedure?
To top it off, as many other reviewers have noted, she makes all of the characters sound vapid, at best. If I didn't already love the characters, I would probably never read or listen to another Kim Harrison novel (and I read so much that if my standards were very high, I'd run out of books before long, so that's saying a lot). This recording does Kim Harrison's strong, interesting morally complex characters--and the listener--a serious disservice.
I look forward to this series of books and buy as soon as they come out.And as always the story is great...but the narration seemed to kill every characters personality and all but ruined the story.would be willing to re-buy if they had original narrator rerecord it.
I love Audible for their variety and number of options of books available. I can enjoy books, take care of my grandchildren and drive too.
Again I'll agree with everybody else. This is another great book in the series but a horrible narration, grating, to put it kindly. Jenks sounds like he is on helium! The new narrator could have listened to For A Few Demons More to pick up on names and words she couldn't pronounce. Instead she had to make it painful for us who were looking forward to this audible.com release.
The story is on par with the previous books but a truly disappointing narration. It was hard to know how to rate it. Do you rate the story or the audiobook? I opted for the audiobook rather than the story. While the narrator would do fine with a single voice narration she has no talent for what is required by a work such as this book. At the very least she could have listened to one of the previous books and pronounced the names the same.