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Catherine

Member Since 2009

ratings
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REVIEWS
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HELPFUL VOTES
27

  • Lover at Last: Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 11

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By J.R. Ward
    • Narrated By Jim Frangione
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1507)
    Performance
    (1385)
    Story
    (1397)

    Qhuinn, son of no one, is used to being on his own. Disavowed from his bloodline, shunned by the aristocracy, he has finally found an identity as one of the most brutal fighters in the war against the Lessening Society. But his life is not complete. Even as the prospect of having a family of his own seems to be within reach, he is empty on the inside, his heart given to another....

    C. Mendez says: "When it was good, it was very, very good..."
    "When it was good, it was very, very good..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Lover at Last the most enjoyable?

    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.


    What other book might you compare Lover at Last to and why?

    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.


    What does Jim Frangione bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    17 of 17 people found this review helpful
  • Dead Ever After: A Sookie Stackhouse Novel, Book 13

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Charlaine Harris
    • Narrated By Johanna Parker
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2855)
    Performance
    (2603)
    Story
    (2611)

    Number-one New York Times best-selling author Charlaine Harris has won numerous awards for her Sookie Stackhouse Southern Vampire series, which has been adapted into the hit HBO show True Blood. In this 13th and final book, a murder rocks the town of Bon Temps and Sookie is arrested for the crime. After making bail, she sets out to clear her name - but her investigation only leads to more deaths.

    k says: "Bitter ending? Cleanse your palate."
    "Satisfying, if you're rooting for Sookie..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about this story?

    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.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    27 of 37 people found this review helpful

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