Fantastic storyline, and the narrator is perfect again! Natalie Moore is definitely my favorite narrator for this series, she really brings the characters to life with perfect voices and attidues. Great job! I really wish she would have done the entire series... it's exhausting adjusting to so many narrators and so many different character voices.
I personally found this book to be my favorite in the series so far, and I think that's partially due to the expansion of views in the story. We hear from Jamie, Brie, and Roger frequently, which I thought was a breath of fresh air compared to only Claire's POV. I also felt the stress from miscommunications (or lack thereof), and the torture and heartache brought on from those errors. I don't want to give the plot away, but I thought all the characters were very "real" in their actions or reactions in this story. But, then again, I think they seem very real in all the books. Diana Gabaldon is a truly talented writer, and I enjoy her books so much. But, I honestly don't think I'd enjoy them as much if I were to read them. Davina Porter is an exceptional narrator! She brings this story to life and it's nearly a movie inside my own brain. I can picture things so clearly because of the way it's written and narrated. I've already downloaded the next book, completely prepared to give 55+ hrs of my life to Jamie and Claire again.
I gave this book six hours, and each hour felt extra long. The story was so boring, and the narrator didn't help. She was monotone and unemotional. I wasn't excited when it was exciting, nor did I feel the lust when there was some. It was just dull. I'm not entirely sure the book itself would be better, instead of audio, because many of the sentences seem to run on too long. There were also misplaced tangents of history, that were confusing and distracting. Overall, I just did not enjoy this book. I'll be returning it.
This was not my favorite in the series. In fact, I kept thinking "what is the purpose of this story?" It just didn't seem to "fit" with the other books. It felt like the author was struggling to find a good storyline to continue the series with. However, I still enjoyed Tavia Gilbert's narration, she is brilliant!
Parents, be warned!! This book series constantly involves kids going behind parents backs and participate in sex, drinking and even skipping classes. There is a fair amount of sex (talk AND participation), some drinking and skipping school. I realize it's "normal" in the high school era to be tempted by things like this, but these books do not hold back, which is why I am surprised they are YA (even if they are based in high school). Not only that, but the parents of these teenagers in this book are still barely involved in the kids lives, and the parents who are (Matthew, in this case) are comfortable with these kinds of decisions made by those he considers his own children. It's dangerous territory for young adults, in my opinion.
All that said...
I still enjoyed this series quite a bit, when I thought of it outside of the high school realm. The characters are built well, and I think they react in a "real" way when faced with tragedy, heartache and loss (real for high schoolers, especially... over reacting, high emotions and miscommunications). There is a lot of self discovery in this book; I appreciated how much Dee, Andrew and Ashley grew up.
I agree with another review I read about the ending. I was expecting this book to wrap up the series as well, and was quite surprised when it didn't! What a cliffhanger ending!! I am anxiously awaiting the next book, which I know will be a while.
Parents, be warned!! This book encourages kids to go behind parents backs and participate in sex, drinking and even skipping classes. There is a lot of talk about sex (talk AND frequent participation), drinking and skipping school. I realize it's "normal" in the high school era to be tempted by things like this, which is why I am surprised this book did not hold back for being YA. Not only that, but the parents of these teenagers in this book are still barely involved in the kids lives, and they act as though their hormone strung teenager is capable of "just sleeping side by side". Yes, that is what really happened in the story, but I don't know any parent who would react the way the mom did in this book when she found her daughter sleeping in just a tshirt next to her boyfriend. It's dangerous territory for young adults, in my opinion.
All that said...
I still enjoyed this series quite a bit, when I thought of it outside of the high school realm. I thought this book definitely took it's own course, away from the Twilight similarities, and I found myself pulled into it. The characters are built well, they stay true to who they are, and a lot of self discovery is made in some of the characters as well. I enjoyed the steady paced story line and I actually thought Justine Eyre's narration was much, much better this time around, too. No whispering or different tone's. It was comfortable.
I first heard about this series from a friend, who said it was one of the richest, most well thought out and brilliant storytelling that she had ever read. That was quite a remark, coming from her. Then, my librarian suggested it too. So I pulled it up here, and I admit, I was very hesitant to start this book, and not just because historical-romance was not my forte. I was honestly unsure of how long the book was. I mean, 40+ hours?! Wow. And for only one credit?! I've bought other books that were less than 30 hours and required 2 credits, so it seemed odd to me. Could it really be *that* good, and only require one credit? Anyway, I obviously caved and downloaded it. I started listening to it as I was working on a Christmas project for my family. Before I knew it, the project was done and I was looking for other things to do just so I could continue to listen! This narrator is a perfect match for these books. I absolutely LOVED her style! Her voice is perfect for the main character, it just fits her easy going, loving, tender yet passionate personality. And she can handle an incredible range of voices! She switches beautiful between character's while maintaining each of their accents and individual speech patterns. She used emotions, too, which really helped bring this story to life. I reached the end of the story within a week, and felt disappointed it was already over. I wanted more! I had 40+ hours, and it wasn't enough! Thank goodness there were plenty more in the series. I currently am on the 4th one, but I am taking my time. There is no rushing this series, it's meant to truly be enjoyed. The author intended for that, I think, by the way she paces her writing. It's long and thought out, but not dull or tedious or lulling. Give it a try. It's well worth the time and the money!
I really enjoyed this series. Kevin T Collins is a great narrator, and combined with a well thought out story, it makes for an entertaining and captivating listen. I thought the character development was great, and the chemistry between characters was realistic enough. Even though I don't live in the south, I still felt I could relate to the small town southern theme throughout the series, and I especially liked that the authors brought in so much history into the story. It has a darker feel than other YA series, and it's written from a male perspective (vs female in other popular series) but perhaps that's why I liked it. I recommend this series to those who enjoyed Twilight & Mortal Instruments.
I was hesitant to give this series a try for several reasons, but... I am so glad I did! Both author and narrator are brilliant. It pulled me in quickly, and I had a hard time stopping. In fact, I listened to all five books in less than two weeks! I deeply appreciated the beautiful way Jeaniene Frost built the story and the characters, but combined with the flawless and captivating narration of Tavia Gilbert, and this series simply consumed me! Tavia brought the story to life so perfectly, because she isn't afraid of using her full range of emotions in her voice and that helped me connect with the characters. When the characters were afraid, I felt afraid. When they were overcome with joy, I felt full of joy too... all because of the tone and speed Tavia used to tell the story. She was flawless switching between characters (including different accents), and switching between character to narrative too, even in intense scenes that required a cracked/scared/lusty voice. I read complaints about the voice used for Bones, and I agree it did take some getting used to, but I grew to love it. It seems to fit him. Tavia has a gift, and I confess I probably would not have enjoyed this series at all had it not been for her! Brilliant, captivating, engaging series. Give it a try!
I've heard several great things about this story, so I was happy to try it. But, after several attempts to get into it... I simply, couldn't. It wasn't enough for me. I got bored of the tangents the author went on about the animals diets, reproductive habits and environments needed. I didn't want to listen to a biology lesson, I simply wanted a story. I couldn't make it half way through the book. Maybe if I could have pushed through the rest I would have enjoyed it, but I simply was too bored.
PARENTS, be warned. There are scenes in this book that should not be in YA books, including Daemon feeling between Katy's legs with his hands while both his and Katy's shirts are off. The scene was not too detailed, other than what I mentioned, and it lasted less than a minute, but it was enough for me to throw a caution out there. There is also very little parental involvement with any of the kids in the story. They all kinda roam free, and sleep over at each others houses (including guy/girl). That said, here is the rest of my review.
I struggled to get into this story, and it wasn't because of the story. The narrator simply did not seem to fit the story! She sounds too grown up to be playing a whiny, lonely 17 year old. Not to mention that, for the first 1/3 of the book, her normal narrative tone was nearly a whisper. I had my volume up kinda high, just to hear the narratives, only to be hit with high octaves when she spoke in character. It was frustrating, but she did get better as the book went along. Even from the beginning, she was flawless about switching between character voices, and switching from character to narrative tone, despite the volume difference. I didn't care for the voice she gave Dee. Sure, Dee is a little unsure of herself, but she sounds unsure and hesitant with everything she said. It wasn't the way the story was written, it was the way the voice was portrayed. The tones used made normal statements sound like questions, or that Dee was simply very insecure. I noticed even in scenes where Dee had a chance to shine with confidence, the tone made it fall short of that.
As for the story itself, well, it kept my attention, although I was rolling my eyes how very similar this is to the Twilight series, which meant much of this story was predictable. However, the author writes well, builds the characters well and maintains their personalities in difficult scenes. I'm confident she'll take the series her own way in the coming books. I'll continue on with book 2.
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