I'm trying to work my way through Davina Porter's portfolio - she is far and away my favorite female narrator. This story seems exactly like what it is, a fun, easy, predictable romance. I think if you enjoyed the Disney movie Anastasia then you'll enjoy this book. Even though I 'knew' how the book would end, I stayed awake later than I should have so I could finish it and go to sleep content knowing the characters go their just deserts. The most interesting part to me was villainizing one of the character's interests in eugenics. This was also very lightweight, but an interesting aspect especially considering the story is set right at/after WWI and how eugenics was one of the crux of WWII. More English were supportive of the idea than people now like to remember, but of course our "heroes" reject it utterly.
This series is just awesome -- I struggle with how to expand on this cogently when there are so many well-written reviews. The feature of Hammered that I'd like to praise especially is that in the beginning of the story several chapters are dedicated to the back-story of "minor characters." I don't want to give anything away but some of the grudges against Thor are fairly typical reasons for seeking revenge: he killed my family, stole my goat, etc. But the emotion and superb storytelling that goes into these minor character back-stories could be plot teasers for books in their own rights. One of them brought me close to tears and all of them engaged my mind and bonded me to the characters (in much the same way they're meant to bond them to Atticus.) The author, Kevin Hearne, truly understands the craft of writing and storytelling and in these small ways he crafts an urban fantasy novel (and series) that is head and shoulders above many similar works in the genre.
Hounded is one of those stories that you start listening to while making dinner and then end up staying all night because you can't bear to turn it off. I resisted buying the title for several months because the glossy cover and targeted marketing made me dismiss it as 'just another vampire and werewolf series'...but it is DEFINITELY NOT. The historical research is well-done and integrated with up-to-the-moment pop culture references. Who knows if it'll still be as good in 10 years (though I like to think that LOL cats are timeless) but it's a great modern read. My only critique is that it's relatively short and there are only three books...I can't wait for the next one, coming soon.
I knew about Discworld for 15+ years and never read any of it because...can you believe it, I thought it was 'serious' and chronological...an intense series to get involved with. How did I miss the fact that Terry Pratchett is one of the funniest men on Earth? I'm glad I waited though because Stephen Briggs is my favorite male narrator (why doesn't he do any other books?!?!) and his rendering, especially of this book and Making Money, are perfect. I highly suggest you read Going Postal and Making Money even if you haven't liked Pratchett, never plan on reading any of his other books and/or don't like fantasy in the first place. They're just hysterical books and you'll want all your friends to read them too so you can make Discworld-references and laugh all over again.
I've read the first three Maisie Dobbs books and so far they're all similar story quality. If you liked the first one, you'll like this one. I wanted to comment on the narrator because I almost didn't buy it based on the bad reviews. Re: the speaking speed -- this narrator interpreted Maisie as a very no-nonsense, get-it-done sort of person and the pace of her speech IS fast. I didn't have any trouble with it. In fact, in other similar situations I've found it confusing, but the narrator takes a long pause when switching from character, or when there is an emotional pause, or silence needed for emphasis. Overall, I think it was a good reading. I was a little disappointed that the same narrator wasn't used for the third book, but after a while I got used to a "slow" Maisie again.
I am completely addicted to this series - I have completely burned through all my credits, extra credits and am now just shoveling out cash so I can keep going. I love the characters and though there are a lot of them, they are pretty easy to keep straight. I love the depth to all of them, and how sometimes a new chapter will start almost as a tangent and then weave beautifully back into the main plot.
Like many other reviews I would say this is the best yet and YES the narrator now sounds completely normal. I don't know what it is...if the first book was just particularly bad or if I'm just used to it but now it takes nothing away from the story.
I love this series and highly recommend it!
A friend recommended the series, but after reading the reviews I was so nervous to get this as an audiobook. I'm glad I did, and I'm on my third book in the series. Sure, the narrator is kind of oddly stilted and in the beginning DOES sound like the Macbook voice reading. But I think either she hits her stride partway through or I adapted; either way it doesn't take much away from the story. Honor Harrington is a great heroine and the story is pushed along by the interactions of people with just the occasional dollop of space-math jargon. If you read both printed and audio books, maybe go print edition for this one, but if like me you only listen to audiobooks (commuting!) then don't pass this series by.
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