I can't add anything to previous reviews about the quality of the story itself, so I won't even try. Suffice it to say I agree with it all. I'll keep my review to the quality of the narrator. Not only does he get the accents dead right, but I could hear a distinct difference between the voices of the southern characters. There are parts where Naramore is voicing Drew, who has a gag in his mouth, and I swear he can express more emotion through muffled grunts than most people can with their clear voices. (I can't help but wonder if Naramore actually put a gag in his own mouth in the recording studio.) An especially memorable scene is where Ian is tending to Drew after a particularly cruel session of torture, and Drew has lost his short-term memory as a result. I closed my eyes listening to it and could imagine myself in Ian's place, Drew's head in my lap as he described how he felt, his voice slurred and scared.
Part of the quality of the narration is the quality of the writing. This is a book I downloaded without reading it first, and although physical books can easily move me emotionally and drag me bodily into the story through print, it is rare that a narrator can do so without my having read the book first. Mann is definitely an excellent writer, but without an equally excellent narrator the story would definitely lose something just being listened to.
I enjoyed how Jesse and Macklin are each trying to overcome fears regarding commitment in different ways, and each have to find their own answers.
The accents of the characters. Usually when I read a book where the characters speak in a foreign accent, their voices default to American in my head. James definitely gets the Aussie accent right. I really hope James narrates the rest of the series, because it's one I'd like to own.
Sweet, tender, heartwarming
That in the end, the two clans overcome their animosity because they have found a common cause worth fighting for.
That she didn't overdo it in trying a Scottish accent.
The fact that Cain is unashamed of what he is, and isn't afraid to demand the same of a lover if they're going to be together.
Love, Like Water by Rowan Speedwell. They both involve hardworking, rugged, farmer-style men who take an outsider under their wing, and into their hearts.
Macklin - I think even native Australians would agree that James does him justice as far as the accent goes.
When Macklin almost loses Cain and that helps him put things in perspective and overcome his fear of being 'out.'
Yes. It's longer than the standard 6-8 hours for stories in this genre, which allows for more substance in the story.
Kindred Hearts, also by Rowan Speedwell. They both involve shattered characters who find healing through love.
Eli - the Spanish words which Eli occasionally uses add to his character, and give him a unique connection with Joshua.
Yes - in fact I stayed up until 2 am on a school night so I could listen to it all in one sitting...and I had class at 7:45 am.
Among the best for the sheer amount of emotion it contains.
Elijah. I could relate to his struggle of trying to be happy in a life that doesn't suit him, and trying to find the courage to pursue what he really wants to do with his life.
When Elijah finally returns to Chase.
Chase. I'd smack him upside the head and tell him that he shouldn't take his anger at himself out on Elijah.
Short, sweet, satisfying
When Patrick writes his story for Ken
Not really - I've listened to several audiobooks performed by him, and there are certain qualities in his voice that make him one of my least favorite narrators. The inflections he uses are often unsuitable to what he's saying, and his tone is pretty uniform throughout.
Patrick. He's a very strong person to have overcome what he has, and have the courage to go on.
Among the top in the Romance category, and not the slutty, totally-inappropriate-for-younger-readers-and listeners type of Romance either.
I can't think of one off the top of my head that the whole story reminds me of. There are elements that remind me of other stories, but I can't think of one that's very much like it in plot or subject.
Rom Verney - he's the hero, the love interest, and has a tragic past.
"A thoroughly satisfying romance"
The only problem I found with this book was...on second thought, I can't think of a single thing I found wrong with it, except maybe that it ended - but even that was perfect, and exactly what it should be.
Yes, because all of my friends like fairy tales.
I like that the two sisters aren't irredeemable nitwits in this version- they too have character and are a great support to their youngest sister.
I love Simon Vance as a narrator, and was ecstatic when I learned he had done this book. It met my expectations perfectly, and was a delight to listen to.
I'd already read the book so there were no surprises as far as plot went, but Vance's narration made all of the emotional scenes come to life, so much so that I had tears in my eyes at certain points. I couldn't pick just one that stands out, unless it's the final scene where Marley offers himself to balance the scales for Scrooge.
Marley's crossing over and meeting The Man.
Yes, and I did.
For any fans of Dickens' original novel, this is a must-read. It adds so much to the story, and does not detract from the version we all know and love. This is the story of Marley, who, as Bennet points out, is in the story very briefly for such an important character who changed Scrooge's life...in ways we didn't realize.
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