The author creates an interesting world full of a myriad of fairie kind making the book an interesting listen. The plotline is well crafted. I agree with others that the narration doesn't fit the character. The narrator orates like a victim rather than a strong protaganist. I liked the book anyway.
To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.
I think the problem with this book is too much introspective talk by the main character. There was no strong bond formed with any of the characters in the story. At first I thought maybe with Dare, that Toby would form a bond but no. Toby was a very boring self centered character, all she bought to the table was CATS!! At the beginning of the story there was a boyfriend and child. But I must have missed something, next thing I knew 14 years had passed. There were a host of characters introduced but I could never figure out their importance in the story or what their vested interest was in her supposed quest to avenge her friend.
The narrator had several voices, but she didn't elicit any excitement when any action happened. Narrators need to remember they aren't doing a reading but a performance. They are suppose to bring the book alive and this narrator fell really short of that expectation.
Not sure if I will continue with the series, the premise is good however, too much character talk about herself and San Francisco was definitely boring.
I am an unabashed fan of Seanan McGuire's "October Daye" series and I can't tell you how pleased I am at Mary Robinette Kowal's performance. Her reading really brings the book to life. I will be happy to listen to this audio book again and again.
I absolutely adore this book and all of the books in the October Daye series. The protagonist is tough, smart, a little bitchy, and tenacious. The secondary characters are completely enchanting and the plots, while often centering around a "normal" mystery like kidnapping or murder, are always incredibly inventive and full of twists and turns. So it is with GREAT sadness that I listened all the way through this book only to be more and more disgusted with the narrator. I can't believe she was allowed to read ALL of these books after this performance.
She spoke with none of Toby's bite or sass, and the over-accented voice she put on to speak as other characters was oftentimes horrifying. (Tybalt was the worst offender, but none of the characters were given a good "voice.") It was read INCREDIBLY slowly and legitimately sounded like the narrator had no idea what she was talking about - like she hadn't understood the story or characters at all, and maybe thought they were all a little stupid. It was a super disappointing listening experience.
No. Read the book and hear the characters in your head - they are so much sharper, funnier, colder, and more lovely than this terrible narrator gives them credit for.
I liked the story. There is good world building and a slight change in the way we may have seen the fae world in other novelst. The author gradually brings the reader up to speed in an unforced way; the explanations come about when they are needed within the storyline. That marks an experienced author, and for me that keeps me reading (listening). The biggest hurdle for me was the narrator. She does a decent job with the main character, and even a very few other characters, but some of the voices are so annoying, I found myself cringing (what's with the 80's overdone Valley Girl accent?) Also, the narrator exhibits a stilted reading throughout the first half of the book. I tried to listen at 1.25 speed to see if it would be more enjoyable, but it just sounded like the mike was closer, then farther, then closer to the reader, as if she were moving around, which made it more enjoyable to listen to the stilted form in 1.0x speed. Eventually, I either grew accustomed to the narration style, or the reader realized her error and began to pick up speed. I decided to listen to the other books in the series in order, so that I wouldn't need to get used to it again in each book. For those who cannot adapt easily, I suggest reading these books old school. The storyline *is* interesting. I'm listening to the second book now, and it's interesting as well (yes, the Valley accent is still used...I really hope this narrator abandons it at some point).
My personal rating: PG for occasional language, though there is violence as well, so some parents may consider this a PG-13 book.
Overall, this book was not my cup of tea.
October was a horrible detective. It was shocking how much sleuthing she didn't do. I'm sorry but stumbling around town looking for answers by while wielding a snarky, bad attitude with no magical skill to back it up does not a cool heroine make. She didn't even ask good questions; just cashed in on favors. Though I found it pretty hilarious how much she got her butt kicked throughout the book. This did nothing to make me root for her, or feel sorry for her. I wanted October to have or find some kind of strength - moral or physical; but alas, neither was found. So in the end, I found October to be a dissatisfying lead.
A large contributor to this was because of how fickle I found October to be when it came to romance. Was I really to believe she was so torn up about her circumstance with her ex-fiancé, when she was in the verge of falling into bed with practically every magical ex-lover she'd ever encountered? It left me scratching my head and not understand where she was coming from.
What I did like was that this book was full of fairy lore, and it did a decent job of laying the framework for the magical system in the series and did enough world-building to make the fantasy come alive. That said, you would have already had to be knowledgeable about fairy lore to keep up. There was tons of magical information thrown at us with no explanation.
I could go on picking apart this book, so I won't. I also won't be reading anymore of the series.
the first part of this book was reeeally slow and didnt make much sense but if you can hang in there thoough, it gets quite good about half way in.
I have to say I absolutely loved this story, and immediately got the 2nd, 34d, and then the 4th book. I have fallen in love with some of the characters, and I think there are some great world building in this book. the narrator is really good as well, because she sounds like she enjoys reading the books.
I got half way through the digital version before I looked to see if it was on audible. I d/l it and listened to the last half. It was good. I liked the world, I liked the characters but it was a bit grim at times but maybe that's what it takes to get parts of your life back. Hopefully now that the character has decided she wants her life to work some things will work out better for her. I hope so. That grimness is the only thing that could keep me from this series if it turns out to be long term.
I do like the narrator. She did a fine job.