The technical and performance aspects were fine. I normally try to get through the whole book with those conditions met, but not this one. By the end of the first 1/2 hour I knew I wouldn't be able to tolerate the inane dialog for the rest of the book and gave up.
Not meaning the witch jargon, do people really talk like that?
I'm a fan of witchy books, but they need a sense of intelligence and reality. This one missed the mark a bit on both counts.
The narration went on too long—the first few chapters were simply info dumps about who everyone is and what their witchy talents are and why they came together. This book needs some serious developmental editing to pare the story down to an arc that carries the reader on a more engaging journey. The writing is nothing special or connective for me. It was difficult to keep going through the book. I found no sparkle of delight and no feeling of escaping to a world of witchery, unreality, and uniqueness.
The characters felt flat and the dialog stilted and unnatural. The little boy was annoying—though that could be the fault of the narrator. Now, on the topic of the narrator. I read a lot of audio books while I work in my studio or clean my house or cook. I've heard good, great, acceptable, and not good narrations, but this one takes the cake for the most distracting and unpleasant story telling I've heard.
The reader's sing-songy voice annoyed me from the first sentence. She over-emotes and intrudes into the story rather than enhancing it and bringing it to life. I'm thinking she might be the sole reason for my reaction to this book. This woman's voice is grating. The half-restricted phony laugh she has behind her voice is awful. Her interpretation of the child's voice was fake and grating.
I'll stay away from this pair, since there are so many really enjoyable books out there and other readers do such a good job of enhancing the story, but not making it all about their voice acrobatics. Yuck.
I would try to read this book. but will not buy a book narrated by Martha Harmon Pardee unless it is a small kids book.
I will try one. yes.
too giddy, perky.
did not get that far.
No. In the first few chapters the performance sounded contrived. The performer seemed too interested in making her voice exciting, and a few times I lost the story line completely as I was too busy listening to her of her voice rather than what the words actually meant. I was unable to immerse myself into the book, the way I usually do, and instead found myself struggling to understand what was happening.she does eventually control her voice better, but it takes quite awhile and it's very distracting until then.Also the story wasn't interesting. There is nothing happening for the chapters I listened. Basically an ordinary woman discovers she's a witch, and starts getting training because she's so powerful. There are cute kids, loads of ice cream, and chocolate. I guess ice-cream is all that women are interested in as every main female character can't help but eat pints and pints of ice cream. I kept waiting for more to happen but after 15 of 25 chapters, I didn't really care anymore.Plus her friend is going to marry one of the male witches and get pregnant, and have cute kids... plus the little super 4 or 5 year old magician is treacly sweet, even his little pranks are cute. Ugh. This is not exciting to anyone but women that eat lots of ice-cream and want to have a bunch of kids and eat more ice-cream-- for women who don't, this is not appealing or exciting. Also, the characters aren't interesting, they are fairly flat and two dimensional so even if they plot had them doing more, the reader doesn't have enough invested in them to care.I hardly ever stop reading a book, hoping that there is some redeeming quality to it at the end or something, but this book is the first in over 100 audible books, that made me do just that. Plus I'm returning it once my review posts. I hope other readers find this review helpful.
Didn't get there, see review for more explanation.
No, no, no. Half the problem was the performer.
No, but it is a series so I guess there is an audience for it.
I believe someone eats _pints_ of ice cream about five times in the 15 chapters (about half) I read, almost always a woman, apparently we live off the stuff.
This is an odd academic sort of book, but without any history or facts - just one author's primer on what she imagines the craft of witches might be like: the types and sources of magical power, the means of identifying abilities, the heredity (or not) of power, and the training of the craft that shapes the magic. It isn't a magical world, just a world in which magic exists in witches. There's no wonder or whimsey, not much of a plot-line, no mystery, no danger, and everyone in the book is really (really) nice. They are too nice to be multi-dimensional people, but not exactly the Stepford Wives either - just simplistic. Even all the kids are so well behaved that I expect it must take a magic village to raise children without any dysfunction or rebellion. The little bit of romance is referred to but never actually felt. No emotions clutter up this book.
I spent the entire book coasting through the pleasantries waiting for something to actually happen. Since one of the repeated admonitions in the book is: "An untrained witch is a dangerous witch" one would expect at least a blip along the smooth flat-line of the story.
It seems unfair to rate Pardee's reading abilities with this book, but I expect it is her reading that accounts for anything that enlivens the story. Her skill is probably most evident in the fact that the characters were identifiable from each other, even though it must difficult to distinguish characters when they are uniformly undemonstrative.
I've loved Sci Fi and Fantasy since I was a teenager, too many years ago! I have been gaming just as long and currently run in a DragonQuest system. I've been married 35 yrs. with 2 kids, 4 cats and a moose in training - a LARGE Dog. I found audible a few years ago and I LOVE it!!!
I rarely dislike narrators as I love the spoken word but something about this one turned me off completely.
There is a delightful sense of fun and humor running through this book.
This is a story about love. Love of self, friends, family, community and world. An adorable mischievous 4 year old and the way things are bound together. Delightful.
She has an elderly Irish witch with just the perfect accent.
I listen to the entire book in less than 24 hours.
First, this book is not for the "defeat the evil wizard with lightning bolts from my fingertips" fantasy lovers among us. I enjoy those too but this is different. The author of this book has given us something far less common, far more subtle, and very potent. Like many uncommon, subtle, and potent things in life, it takes a more sensitive palate to appreciate it fully. I think that many of the harsh comments originate from disappointed expectations and an inability to savor this kind of story slowly and mindfully. This is like sipping a cup of hot tea in your favorite chair on a cold night rather than howling at the moon with tequila and whiskey on the beach.The author has created a magic system that is complex but also deeply woven into the personality and spirits of the characters. And, the characters are normal, modern day people with whom one can identify. The result is that when they perform magic, you feel it along with them. They use their magic for real things you might imagine one would in a modern, every day world. It is very accessible and intuitive with enough levitation and gee whizzy magic to remind you that it really is magic. As for the "Chik Lit" comments, the *setting* is centered around family, children, and friends but the *story* is getting you introduced to the context, magic system, and the world as a first book in a series would have to. I'm a 50 yr old, hetero male, and well, I'm writing this (using my wife's account, ha!). Lastly, if you happen to be a practicer of magick, it is nice to escape into a world that you would feel at home in. However, I don't *think* the author is neo-pagan. What she has created feels different from that. I think she did something more closer to the human spirit. Hard to explain but calm, quiet, powerful, and....feels right. She was aiming for something specific and I think she got it. I'm looking forward to the other books.
The Narrator (again folks, not so quick):
Ok, I almost didn't make it through the first part of the book because of the way the main character was performed. It grated on my nerves badly before I realized what the narrator was doing. The main character has to evolve from a person who doesn't believe in witchcraft to being a witch herself (that's not a spoiler). When you know this, you realize it is not a weakness of the narrator but one of her strengths. Even though it might be annoying at first, and maybe not executed perfectly, she pulls it off, if you know what she's doing and stick with it. Also, most of the characters are women with a sprinkling of children. The author has her hands full trying to create distinct female voices without going overboard. Looking back on it, I applaud her now. I would have to listen to the beginning again to know if I would still find it annoying but don't let it distract you. It won't sound like a "coffee commercial" (as one commenter aptly put it) for too terribly long.
I LOVE books. And dogs & quilting & beading & volunteering.
I like the idea of the series-and I did appreciate that I could listen to this with my 9 year old grand daughter in the car with me - it's very 1950s TV. Not a swear word, no blood and guts, no terrible evil waiting to get the cute kid. "It's Leave it to Beaver".... with witches....in 2014. As some previous reviewer said - this is an alternative to Vampires and Zombies.
The plot needs to up tempo a bit and the narrator needs to "WAKE UP!!!!" Her phrasing was tedious and bored sounding. If you can't sleep, this is the narrator for you-she ought to read "go to sleep" meditations for a living!
With the right narrator, this book might be more enjoyable. I've already bought the second book in the series on an Audible deal...3 books for 2 credits. When am I going to learn that Audible sprinkles their loser books amongst these 'good deals'..I think these are going back.