I'm a big fan of urban fantasy, and the seamless melding of a fantasy world with the one I know is a rich and wonderful thing.
I love the story, and I love that the heroine is someone I can identify with. She's someone with real strengths and real vulnerabilities. She's had some heartache and some romance, but her life goes on into new and stranger things.
In my mind, when I've read the books, I've heard a strong and steady voice for Vicki, a deep and manly baritone for Celucci, and a lighter, more amused tone from Henry. Ms. Eyre's performance is spectacularly bad, almost whiny, and she frequently adds a quaver when any of the characters gets excited. Perhaps she's nervous? I think it speaks to the excellence of the story that not even this terrible narration can totally break the whole production... but it was close.
I really enjoyed the world of the book, but then, I'm a sucker for anything that brings Arthurian stuff into a modern or magical setting. Crimes is a quick romp through a new urban fantasy setting, and for the most part I enjoyed it, even as it made me cringe. The reader did an excellent job with the material, but despite that, I'll be returning the book. I like fluffy brain candy as much as the next girl, but I still want a little more to my "diet" than a swimming pool's worth of cotton candy.
The main character is apparently made of pheromones, because he meets a female, any female, and if she's of age, she wants in his pants. There are a couple boring and completely unnecessary sex scenes.
Strong female characters played by Lady Not-Appearing-In-This-Book. There's even a tearful damsel in distress who is left broken-hearted after confessing her love for him, only to be rejected because he's too dark and dangerous to live in her safe world. Keep in mind, she's the daughter of an Irish crime boss stereotype.
Gary Stu. 'Nuff said. This book is not about a character's growth from comfortably lost amnesiac to self-discovery. This book is about a badass being a badass until a woman sacrifices herself so that he can be a super big badass.
Eventually, I couldn't envision the character anymore, just a giant James Bond style movie poster of Harry Dresden cosplaying John Taylor with two nearly-naked women twining about his legs as he holds aloft a giant, throbbing mcguffin.
I wanted some brain candy while I did chores, just a little something to keep me company while washing dishes or mowing the lawn. I'm a bit of a geek myself, so I thought this would fit the bill...
Except the narration was so awful, I couldn't even finish the first chapter. The reader's uninflected, nasal whine was a constant grind on my nerves, like a mosquito in my ears until I finally just broke.
I'm still interested in the story, so I may pick it up for kindle instead, but it will be a while before I read it, just to make sure her voice is well out of my head by then.
I'll be returning this, and that makes me sad. I really enjoyed the stories, but it took some effort to dig them out from under the narration.
Kate Rudd seems to have only the one character voice, making all the strong female characters sound the same, even when she's using a strong accent. Paired with an awkward cadence, the effect is something like having Christopher Walken reading all the male leads in an anthology. It would certainly be... distinctive, but may not be right for all listeners.
Todd Haberkorn does much better with his part, with the only notable exception being his portrayal of Sister Hepsebah in the second story. A woman so sultry and beautiful that she can tempt a basically decent boy into doing terrible, terrible things to others is portrayed with a voice better suited to a decrepit crone.
With that said, I'm going to purchase this as an ebook instead.
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