Atlanta, Ga | Member Since 2012
No spoilers in this review :) An extra 200 colorfully written pages would have made this book epic. Warning: The Iron King has cussing in it.
Most notable positive aspect of the book - The narrator pronouncing Fairy and Pixy as if it were not a child's nursery book.
It is a Mythical Magic meets normal girl. At times it was extremely entertaining to watch as the author switched us from genre to genre. Fairy land, then Earth, then Supernatural, then back to Fairy Land and all the time having the main heroine and heroes being consistent in their responses, making them lovable and real characters. The author is true to the history of the legends. She doesn't change things like "Satyrs" (who are very sexual beings, and many times aggressive).
There are a LOT of characters in the beginning so it is difficult to remember everything (including all the character's names), but as you go along you realize who is important and who is not important. The narrator is not ENTIRELY consistent with the voice responses. When Ash shouts "Watch out!" sometimes it sounds like someone else is saying it because the voice inflections are out of Ash's calculating character.
The BIGGEST downside is the author or editor's fault…The descriptions of actions are hastily written and shallow. It leaves the relationships and scenery a bit...malnourished.
The book reads, "I picked up Ethan, and started to walk towards the door to the hall. Then he reached up to hold my hand while we traversed down the hall together…" Wait..what? I pictured her picking up Ethan in a cradle position in her arms, just to find out they are walking hand in hand together? Unclear at best…wouldn't her hands be busy holding him? . This makes it extremely difficult to picture the action and fight scenes because this kind of writing continues through the entire book. Made much of the book hold some distant realism (with fantasy novels the descriptions are the plate the meat of the story sits on) My 30 second rewind button got some mileage. What could have been written:
"I bent over to help Ethan get up, cradling him for just a moment before setting him on his feet. We turned towards the hallway door stepping through the echoing space. As we walked in step together side by side, he reached up to clasp my hand in an attempt at normalcy, however the emotion of fear was still etched in his small features.":
See what I mean? An extra 200 colorfully written pages would have made this book epic.
Anyone ever seen Christmas with the Kranks (Tim Allen & Jaime Lee Curtis)? Verbatim.
If you have not seen the movie, then I would recommend this short read. The narrator is perfect for Mr Krank. The author did a fantastic job expressing the tribulations and joys and expectations surrounding the holidays. Very funny, but has a point to make. Better comedy than "Home Alone", but less meaning than "It's a Wonderful Life".
This book was wonderfully far fetched (like all the Heather Wells books before it), but it wasn't as funny or lighthearted with witty language. They didn't harp too much about her love of food (I LOVE food) and her band of misfit students are still there.....but when we suddenly start to feel sorry for Tonya Trace it became a bit too dramatic and no longer the light hearted far fetched murder mystery I expected.
I like Heather, and her misfit students, and Cooper, and am glad I read the book, but by the last 2 chapters I was ready for the drama to end...I wanted a bit more funny. I will not read this one again, but I am glad I read it once. Size 12, Size 14, and Big Boned were better.
Not your typical fairy tale story - even though a source of power called "The Tradition" is always trying to make a fairy tale out of everyone's lives. That is where the Fairy Godmothers come into play. Their job is to guide the tradition and people so that their lives become more of a blessing than a tragic fairy tale. We are following the newest godmother, so in the background we can see how certain fairly tales started and why they turned out the way the godmothers want them to. The prince who became a donkey deserved it! He needed a good lesson, and while a "quest" to get a princess will teach a lesson, he was determined not to learn. He was "above all that nonsense". Godmother E is a powerful and WISE godmother, but no godmother is perfect, and all lonely ladies need a friend, or something more...Does our donkey disserve a second chance?
Gabra Zackman isn't my favorite narrator, but I can absolutely see why they picked her. Not too sardonic, and not too serious. Not comical, but has some humor.
I would recommend this book :)
This was a good book to listen to as long as you expect a cutesy story with lovable characters. Parents and kids can listen together. It is extremely easy to pick out the good guys and bad guys, and sweet to watch Marigold and Christian become better friends and sweet on each other. They start as "pen pals" but become just the encouragement the other needs to overcome the difficult Mother situation (Marigold) and the difficult Life Direction situation (Christian) deals with. Some of the characters are funny, and have entertaining accents. The Troll in particular has catchy phrases that some kids might not get because they are all intermingled: Bump on a log becomes Bump on a Stump, est. Not a gripping adult novel, but I would get it again. Fair warning though the end is expectedly cheesy :)
No cussing or Romance. Just adventure.
This book neatly twisted the (16 year old) Girl-Unicorn story into something much more adventurous and complicated. If you like the military and structure then you will find this very entertaining. Female empowering without being fimi-natzi. Majherri (Ma-ha-re) is a grumpy/depressed, intelligent and powerful stallion, and Kayleigh (Kay-le) is tougher than anyone gives her credit for. Both have been deeply hurt emotionally. They end up at school together for most of the book. Kayleigh's optimism is similar to my own. Everything is what you make it! I love it when the main character doesn't loose her love of life and faith in people just because some are mean….even if "some" is a large number. The book starts out really interesting, and ends in a flash of 3 chapters. The middle is a bit cumbersome, but the end is exciting. I just wish I had waited until book 2 comes out…it might never (this one was published in 2010). The end is a cliffhanger.
Story was worth reading. Maybe not listened... I wanted to strangle the narrator. I generally read a review which is negative about a narrator and think "its ok if the narrator isn't fantastic or even great." Mediocre I can live with and enjoy the story anyways. I have NEVER in my whole 18 years of audio book history heard such a bad narrator. It was painful to hear her mispronounce things, and change voice inflections. She confused all character voices and attitudes except Kayleigh and Majherri . All the other voices were indistinguishable. At first I was sympathetic because of the numerous female characters, but then, they all sounded and behaved similarly enough that the story became convoluted…I lost track of who was talking often.
--No cussing that I can recall.
--Most unique quality: Music played throughout the book at the end of a chapter.
--Some explicit content with the goal of describing horrible situations, horrible people, and abuse.
The Narrator was more bland than the Narrators I am used to, but she did a good job and was consistent through the whole book. Her style of reading did make the book's dramatic scenes more dramatic, and the characters more serious when they should be. Her voice was fitting for the characters with calm, cool, calculating exteriors.
So many twists! Butterfly's Dust Poison…wow. I was anticipating the story going one way, but then it switched directions…a few times. Valic kept his cards close to his chest through the whole book. His devotion to the commander was absolute, but he had his own small agenda at unexpected intervals. We are never sure how we feel about the commander until the end of the book. Yelena grew in her relationships to people slowly and hesitantly, and unexpectedly (at least to her). She was at war with herself through much of the book. Escape, or not escape? I felt such empathy with Yelena's plight and applauded her calculated and creative actions through the whole book. She is NOT a simpleton.
I JUMPED to grab book two to be with Yelena and the others longer. YOU MUST READ THIS BOOK FIRST.
No Spoilers, but you MUST read book 1 even before you read this review:
I felt wound-up, anticipating my drive to work so I could hear what came next!
--Only a little music in the book, but not like Poison Study music.
--I missed Valic at first.
--It was largely awkward to hear Yelena meat her family...I felt squirmy just listening to them dance around each other not knowing what to say.
--Some explicit descriptions of abuse (much like Poison Study)
Yelena knows next to NOTHING about magic. She studies magic at The Keep with Iris. She does a lot more "solving problems" at the keep than actually book studying magic…she is a little old to go to magical kindergarten. Her magical ability is unique and powerful. Since we know as much magic as Yelena knows, we are just as surprised by the magical benefits that she stumbles across. She learned to be a loose cannon from living in Icksia, which causes so much trouble…for everyone else...but seems to benefit those too weak to protect themselves.
The story does fly a little wilder than Poison Study. I felt less grounded and a bit taken advantage of by the magical liberties. Magic wasn't the perfect solution to solve all problems, but it is what the south country of Citia has depended solely on for centuries, and now Yelena had to learn to be dependant on it too.
No Spoilers here:
Even though some cusswords come out abbreviated, there is A LOT of cussing.
It is a post apocalyptic story. All women are gone...or ARE they....I like the level of interest in which all the men have their inner thoughts exposed for all others. It is sociologically neat to see how different people handle the issue of being able to see/hear everything that men/boys think. However, (just like in real life) it isn't always so plain and easy to see what kind of person someone is just because you can see their thoughts. Ironic, no?
The downside of the book was that you have to read the second book, AND the characters are not terribly lovable. They make the story kind of dark and frustratingly depressing. Don't mistake my meaning, it is a good read if you want something kind of dark and very dramatically serious. No humor whatsoever in this book, and very few breathers from the terror and struggle. Hunger Games had more humor in it than this book.
The Narrator did a wonderful job giving the story layers. People have emotions and expressions that matched what the narrator provided. I have read and listened to this book, and it is definitely a better listen. Favorite Character: Manchie. Why? The narrator did such a good job with this dog's character voice that my husband and I were quoting him for weeks.
No spoilers in this review :)
Most notable positive aspect of the book - Funny and personable characters. Their responses were relatable, even with the added magical abilities.
Descriptive & Fun!
If I had fairy dust in today's society (cruddy apartment/driving a car/ordering fast food/policing the outlaws) I think I would respond the same way the main character does. The magical powers can be used in limited ways (you cannot use it as a holy grail solution to everything) but the different powers are sufficient to keep you from carrying lighters and pepper spray, with the added benefit of being able to always see the true object/person no matter the disguise. The narrator had a wide range of emotional voices. You could see the narrator smiling and grimacing and furrowing her brows as she acted out all of the characters. Each character had their own personality due to the vocal expression, so they were not dependant on the unique man/woman/monster voice. The author was INCREDIBLY colorful in all her descriptions. I could see each detail, and still she found wonderful fun words to make the picture complete! Example: She looked crusty, bumpy, and Booger-fied (instead of just green and slimy)
There is so much unnecessary cussing in the book that I became squirmy and dispirited. The author was successfully being colorful without all the cusswords, so why did she sprinkle so many throughout? Most likely the author used the cusswords as an expression to make the main character appear unrefined and realistic. Honestly, I don't want to listen to a real co-worker or friend cuss like that, so having the main character do it was uncomfortable. Added negativity that just didn't belong in such a fun story…could have used fake expletives (Dang it! Shoot! Heck No! ) and the same objective would have been achieved.
Needless to say, I squirmed through the first hour or two, but the cussing was too much for me, so I put it down for a while. I realized that wasn't fair, so I continued to listen a few weeks later. I finished it, and will be checking to see if the cussing has been reduced in number 2. I would like to enjoy the series…but for the cussing…It is a shame, because the story was INCREDIBLE!
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