I tried to read this book in print and gave up aftr the first 300 pages. I couldn't bring myself to care about the characters, and the different aspects of the plot seemed so disjointed that I found myself getting confused and zoning out. Then I began to read the audible version, and poof, something about either the pacing or the narration rekindled my interest in the book almost immediately. I'm so glad, because this one is so good it's scary--or do I mean so scary it's good?
The sheer scope of the threat makes the climax seem all the more plausible, and terrifying. If just one of any of about ten crisis moments had gone differently, the outcome of the book would have been completely different, and not in a good way. I love books that make me go "aaaah, now I get it", and keep me on the edge of my seat. It took a while, but by the second half of the book I was blowing off important work-related paperwork to find out what would happen next.
He doesn't do a great job differentiating individual characters' voices, but his accents are believable, which was critical in this book. Also, something about his pacing really contributes to the suspense of this novel. I also downloaded his reading of "Patriot Games", and was equally impressed.
That entire scene in the bunker, when the president is losing it and Eliot is already gone, had my guts in knots. Also, the bit where Ryan crashes NMCC. Love his balls.
This entire series has been about Sookie's growth as a character. In the first book we met a social outcast, a recluse, crippled by her telepathy and terrified of herself. She was the perfect victim, because she had no self-confidence, and was semingly unable to take control of the events effecting her life. In the past few books, and especially in this one, we see a stronger, smarter, more resiliant Sookie, who has learned to value herself and her abilities and who has decided to take control of her own future--as much as anybody can.
While I, like most other readers, enjoyed the ins and outs of Sookie'sromantic life throughout this series, the underlying story was of her coming into her own.
"I also knew, that if he turned away from me at this moment, I would survive that, and I would find a way to flourish...I'm Sookie Stackhouse, and I belong here."
If you're a shipper with a particular adgenda, beware, you may be disappointed. If you've been reading between the lines, you can pretty much guess how this story ends. The curtain comes down on Bon Temps with only the faintest shaddow of vampires in the wings. And while Sookie's future is uncertain, it's not without the hope of love on the horizon.
Absolutely. I came very close to calling out from work so I could spend some quality couch time with this novel. I resisted the impulse, but I definitely spent my entire commute and my lunch break with Johanna Parker's excellent narration keeping me company.
If you've put time and emotional energy into reading this series for the past few years, read this one. Yes, there is a distinct air of "tying up loose ends" at various points throughout the book, but you'll be left with a sense of satisfaction for having seen Sookie through to the end of her journey.
The characters! Ward's BDB universe is filled with lovable (and loathable) characters of every description, and this book features a full caste of familiar faces and new creations. Blay and Qhuinn's journey is, of course, the primary focus of this story, but we also get further insights into Xscore, Layla and Assail, not to mention the shaddow brothers Tres and Iam. At times the constant switching back and forth between characters and storylines gave me literary whiplash--and to be honest, I felt like Assail (whom I hav so far found to be a completely unsympathetic character) got too much air time. But as always, Ward managed to draw me in with her vivid descriptions, frequently hilarious dialogue and the ever-shifting political and interpersonal currents that bring this world to life.
LAL resembles most closely the last few books in the series because the plot weaves several storylines together and jumps back and forth between them. Also, I was getting some serious Suzanne Brockmann vibes at points--If you like her Jules and Robin storyline you'll probably enjoy this book. The circumstances of the characters are very different, but their emotional struggles are similar.
As always, I appreciated his ability to bring the characters to life, to give them personality, while both staying true to the authors' descriptions and avoiding overdramatization. There were some noticeable recording glitches in this book--some areas where the tracks didn't blend seamlessly, and some places where the text seemed to contain errors. I blame that on the editors though, not the narrator.
If you’ve been rooting for Qhuinn and Blay for years, you won’t be disappointed. If you’re already a little in love with Xscore (or at least, feel some sympathy for him), you will see him begin to make some interesting character shifts. Nothing spectacular, of course, but there is definitely some development there. If you like Tres and Iam, you’ll be further entertained by them and get to know them better. And as for Assail—the jury is still out there. He gets a pretty significant sub-plot, but I have to say I didn’t find those parts of the book as compelling as the rest.
Bottom line: if you’re a fan of the series, keep reading! You’ll have a good time. If not, I wouldn’t recommend starting with this one. There is a lot of back story you need to be familiar with in order to fully relate to these characters, and since in my opinion the characters are what make the book, I’d recommend beginning the series from the beginning for maximum enjoyment.
Larissa Ione's books don't usually end up on my re-read list, and while this one is one of the better ones I don't anticipate rushing back to read it again any time soon. If you're a huge fan of the series though, and tend to give it 5 star ratings, then I'm sure you'll want to read this one over and over.
The main characters are both likable, with believable baggage. The story contains some fun, steamy scenes, as well as dialogue that is quite amusing in places. I think my favorite aspect of this story is that Ione doesn't simply sweep away the accumulated problems of the past four books. She handles the horsemen's re-introduction to Resef in a very credible way. She also ties up some loose ends from the series while opening the way for more stories, and there is a Harvester-related plot twist that I just loved.
This one has the complex plot construction and tangled web of characters of all the Horsemen books. It's not a simple, fluffy romance that just happens to feature a demon--Ione has created a complex world that is always exciting to revisit.
Her voice is very dead-pan. She does an ok job differentiating male and female characters, and her reading isn't completely lacking in emotion, but there were definitely places where I thought a little more animation would have contributed to the feeling of drama the author was obviously trying to create.
Not really. There was one plot twist (see above) that made me go "Oh!" but the rest was pretty much as expected. Resef's reunion with his family was difficult to read, because as much as the discerning reader in me appreciated the believability of their initial reaction to the fact that he wasn't dead, I felt bad for him!
I've read all the books in this series, and I'm glad I have, because if this had been the first I would not have tried another. The narrator is fine, I have no complaints there, it was just that the story itself didn't really interest me until more than halfway through.
I knew and liked the characters from previous books, and some of the dialogue and descriptive passages are really quite funny, which was the only reason I kept reading after the first fifty pages or so. The entire first half of the book doesn't really seem to have much plot. Pia is driving, morning sick,arriving, complaining, stressing, talking, and Dragos is working, thinking, grumpy, talking... You get the idea. It's only after they arrive in the elvin wood that anything happens that could actually be called a plot. The last hundred pages or so are fast-paced and fairly intense, with a climactic battle scene that is not terribly epic but reasonably good.
The book did have some good love scenes, I suppose. This volume of the series revisited the protagonists from the first book, which was fine,I usually enjoy when authors do that. However, most authors also include a secondary romance in stories like this. Thea Harrison does not, which in my oppinion made the story less interesting--it's not like anything terribly new and exciting happens between Pia and Dragos here--their relationship deepens and matures a little, but not enough takes place on that front to justify an entire novel.
I get the sense that this was a transitional book--Thea Harrison seems to have set the stage for several more stories here, and has perhaps made room for some fundamental changes in the fabric of the world of the Elder Races. I will probably read the next one, but I'll save a credit for it and not pay full price, that's for sure.
The ending was fine. the last two sentences or so actually effected me more emotionally speaking than the rest of the book combined.
She does a good job differentiating the voices, and reads the humor comically, instead of staying completely deadpan. This series isn't one of the best ever by a longshot, and quite frankly, if it wasn't for this narrator I might not have bothered to go past the second book.
If you've read and enjoyed the rest of the series, sure, read this book. But don't expect too much, and either use a credit or get it on sale. Don't pay either the full or member price. Also, if you're planning to take this on a long car or plane trip, make sure you take a back-up, just in case you find yourself getting frustrated by the marked absence of plot that plagues most of the book.
My print edition is dog-eared from frequent re-reading, so when I saw that this book had FINALLY been released in unabridged audio I couldn't wait to drop a credit. This story is well paced, with enough action that you won't be bored.
Dylan is a likable hero who is dominant without being domineering--sometimes Laurens' male protagonists are just a little too omnipotent and omniscient. Dylan, who we first met in "A Rogue's Proposal", is a character with a tainted past, and his own awareness of his previous mis-steps helps make his moral dilemma both easy to relate to and reasonably believable.
If you can excuse the somewhat hairbrained nature of her initial scheme to rescue her brother, you'll probably come to really enjoy Priscilla. she is a quick-witted woman who learns from her mistakes and spends the majority of the novel working to resolve her problems rather than bemoaning them.
The love scenes are some of the best in this series, in my opinion. One of the things I always enjoy about Laurens' books is that while she may re-use some phrases in her novels a bit too much--(if I read one more "whirling and twirling" ballroom scene I might throw something)--she almost always writes creative, steamy sex scenes that don't make you roll your eyes or press fast-forward. She also steers clear of bedroom cliches--you know the words and phrases I mean!
This novel has similar themes to "A Rogue's Proposal", and takes place some 10 or 12 years later in Newmarket, where that book was also set. Of course, it's a Cynster novel, so there are plenty of recurring characters including Barnaby Adaire. Priscilla is one of the more savvy heroines--more on a par with Alathia from "A Secret Love", than Felicity in terms of worldly experience, while Dylan is only a Cynster by marriage, so he's not quite as much of a loving tyrant as some of Laurens' other heroes.
You've just got to love that voice! Smooth and cultured and so well paced. Unfortunately, I got the sence at several points during his narration that Prebble wasn't really into the story all that much--which you can't really blame him for, after reading God knows how many romances. However, if I get even the flicker of a feeling that the narrator isn't really taking a book seriously, that somewhat lessons the listening pleasure for me.
If you're a fan of this series, definitely get this book! If you're new to the Cynsters, you can certainly read it as a stand-alone, but I think the story is made more rich by the context of the series and the readers' familiarity with the characters.
It's a Brockmann. Beyond that, it's a Troubleshooters novel. Ergo, it's a keeper. However, as much as I loved the complexity of the plot, there was so much going on in this story that I think it took away from the romance. Other reviewers have said there was too much sex. Maybe, but I would suggest that it wasn't the quantity, but the quality of the sex--rushed, somewhat impersonal--that I found disappointing. This story wrapped up so many dangling plot ends that it really could have been two books. Not that I was sorry to have to spend only a limited amount of time with Sophia--I've never liked that character, and quite frankly think Dave could have done better!
Tess finally giving Jimmy the business, and Jimmy finally coming clean. Love this couple, but she's needed to lay down the law since the end of Flashpoint. Dave being Dave--he's been one of my favorites since "Into The Storm", when we really got our first look inside his head. The scene with Tracy, Deck and the coffee mug was really cute too.
Ok, I've liked both of these narrators in other books, but PGL really got on my nerves during this reading. He made Tracy just a bit too strident--yes, she is a little over the top, I get that, but the way he did her voice set my teeth on edge. Even so, I've always sort of liked Tracy as a character, and this book made me like her even more, so I guess it wasn't that bad. He started laughing though--you can hear it if you listen closely--during the "sex in the office" scene. That was a major negative point for me,and ruined what might have been one of the pivotal scenes of the book, relationship-wise. Some other reviewers have really disliked RR, but I don't think she did a bad job. Her voice is definitely different from the woman who did the female narration in books 7-11, but I actually find it a bit more mellow, less snippy, which was a nice change.
I have both the print and audible versions of this book. I am a huge McKinley fan, and wish that more of her books were available on audible. Her skill at world-building is second to none. Definitely a keeper, and each time I read this I notice something new that makes the story even richer.
The story is written from the first person perspective, and Sunshine just starts talking to you like you live in her world an know what she knows. At first it is a little disconcerting, because she makes references to unfamiliar places, people and events. But there's no question from the first chapter that this is her story, and as a result you become really invested in each and every one of her experiences, thoughts and fears...and even come to be amused by her frequent rambling digressions.
Every scene with Con. I wish we'd seen more of him.
Every time Sunshine made a decision that took her further and further into conflict, or further divided her allegiance. That's the mark of a good story--nothing is cut and dry, lack and white.
I have recommended this book--this entire series--to several people. Lover Unbound marks a noticeable shift in the Black Dagger books--we start to see a diversification of plot-lines and focus in on more characters within each novel. I think this contributes to the depth of the storytelling, although it is true that this broader perspective does take some of the focus of the book away from V and Jane. There's is a complex relationship, since V has a lot of baggage and Jane is so locked into her own head that she's difficult to relate to. But one of the things that I love about J.R. Ward is that the story doesn't end when the novel does. She returns to this relationship in Lover Unleashed, and while I feel that Lover Unbound has a satisfactory ending, the fact that Ward revisits these characters and further develops them in a later book makes the close of this one seem more like a "to be continued" than a happy ending.
V's penthouse. If you're very vanilla you might not enjoy this book, but then again, if you're very vanilla you're probably not reading this series in the first place. Also, loved the scene with the demural--the interplay between V and Jane was very sweet. Then there's the end scene with the Scribe Virgin and the birds...
His pacing is excellent. He doesn't really differentiate voices in an obvious way, but somehow I never seem to have trouble knowing who's speaking--maybe it's just that Ward has given each character such a distinctive style. My one complaint about the narrator is that he sometimes really has trouble getting his tongue around some of Ward's heavy use of slang. Most of the time he's fine, but every once in a while he'll read something really awkwardly. But his voice is really deep and rich, which is exactly what I want in the narrator of a vampire novel.
It's a Black Dagger book! Each book in this series leaves you laughing, wiping away tears and counting down the days until the next one comes out!
I had to read this book twice to really appreciate it. The first time through I found myself really frustrated by Indigo's obstinacy, and a bit put off by Drew's goofball ways. However, like all of Nalini's books the entire story was so well written, with enough depth to the plot, that I wanted to give it another try. On the second run-through I was able to sympathize more with Indigo's awkward position, and also able to appreciate Drew's antics as a pleasant break from some of the more domineering heroes that tend to populate romances. These characters are well-crafted, complex and lovable, and the world of the Psy and Changelings has developed so richly that this book will spend a long time on my audible book playlist.
I read all 5 books in the Demonica series, and all 3 so far available in the 4 horsemen chronicles. I don't know what it is about Larissa Ione--her work is creative, well written and at times quite funny, but I just can't seem to throw my heart into her stories like I can with just about any JR Ward novel or even some of the Sherrilyn Kenyon Darkhunter books. I would put this book on about the level of Lara Adrien's Midnight breed novels--well worth the read, but books that will probably gather a thick coating of dust before I pick them up again.
The thing that makes a story really resonate with me is the characters. I need to be able to relate to them on a really deep emotional level, not just get sucked into the action. This story has a lot of great fight scenes and some excellent plot development, but for whatever reason the character's weren't real to me, which made me unable to be come invested in their struggle and ultimate triumph.
Yes, definitely. She narrated one of the books in the Demonica series and did a fine job. Her portrayals of characters are discernable without being obnoxiously stylized.
Like I said, I did continue with the series and am eagerly awiting the forth. It was a good book, just, in my opinion, not a great one.
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