It was ok. The romance was alright, but the story seemed forced. Daisy just did not develop well enough to be believable as a daring second generation blood thief. Erik's falling for her was predictable and his character was a little shallow. Some of the things he said, like calling his love "Daisy-darlin" was plain silly and didn't work. He had the opportunity to be a deep, dark, alluring hero-type, but did not rise to the task. Jennifer Ikeda's narration is lovely, yet a bit more character distinction would have brought my rating to a '5.'
Strengthen Daisy's character. Develop the conflict of Daisy's human vs vampire key plot point. The paranormal abilities of the vamps was a bit tough to take. Too many talents housed in one type of creature make the reader raise an eyebrow and it detracted from the story.
As written, no editing: NO
A worthwhile investment, but I probably wont re-read it or the next installment. I like more depth and history or believable plot surrounding my sci-fi.
The story has a good premise, and until now, an awesome reader. But the story is S L O W.... And please be aware that it is written for very "YA." Very clean without hard language. But the characters are very immature, simply "textbook" high school adolescents, more moody and dissatified than how I remember that time of life. (SMALL SPOILER>>>) The author finally gets around to her tense subject of sexuality, after 12 or 15 chapters with a rape scene. Not to make light of that in any way whatsoever, I just found it an awkward and forced part of the book. The characters, especially the main Annabelle and her "BFF" Sophie, were unlikeable and shallow. Annabelle cannot stand up to her mom to tell her she hates modeling, and cannot confront one of her two sisters (don't want to give it away) about that sister's potential life threatening mental disease: anorexia. To continue her spiral, she loses her real best friend and just keeps faking it through day by day. Until Owen. Thank god for Owen. He managed to save the story from a final pressing of the STOP/FINISH button with his interesting and sometimes humorous realistic character. But Ms Ikeda butchered his voice unfortunately. A radio host just cannot be that juvenile and nasally and keep his job.If Dessen could have drawn the reader into Annabelle, especially since it is written in first person, perhaps the story would have been more poignant and enjoyable.
I didn't expect a deep novel or enthralling story, or a complex plot. The story is just a downer, following a tedious storyline with so many coming of age angsts that I could not relate to. It felt long and drawn out, touching on so many problems with all of the various characters, that the listener is fatigued and ready for it to end.
I believe this was an early performance. I checked the date and this appears to be a very early book for her (2006 or 08), so I gave her 3 stars instead of two. Almost every other book performed by Ikeda are highly deserving of 5 starts. The only reason I bought Just Listen was due to the reader, Jennifer Ikeda. Ms. Ikeda is phenomenal in most of her other books, Discovery of Witches trilogy for example. In this story, however, her male characters were flat, childish and nasally. She differentiates between many of the female characters fairly well, but not her best accomplisment.
The book could have been written without the third sister. She plays mainly meaningless parts and only adds slightly to the development of the interpersonal effects of anorexia on the family. The scenes about Owen's music taste are far too long and drawn out. Other areas are verbose and could be condensed or eliminated.
Please do not avoid Jennifer Ikeda's other performances, as she has grown immensely since this book and is one of the top 2 or 3 readers in the Audible library.
This book is a conundrum, some parts were well written and had an adult theme and style, including descriptive sex scenes between the two main characters. The conflict between the various sects of paranormal was interesting and you certainly root for the hero/heroine. But then the author would dive into passages more suited to teens that were shallow and predictable . I don't know who i would refer the book to. Perhaps to those that want vamp theme regardless of depth and character development to escape from the worries of the real world for awhile. There was also a strange current of do-gooder, pro-organic, vegitarianism that distracted from the story.
I still love the paranormal/vamp genre, but it has been a difficult feat to find a 10+ hour book that is fresh while maintaining an interesting plot, thought provoking issues and characters, without falling into tawdry porno style sex. Not that this book had that, by no means. The romance was fairly well done, just not very imaginative.
Kirsten is passable, and did not butcher the characters, but still did not have enough individual narrative distinction. I found her voice to be too masculine and somewhat over-dramatized. I would not search out a book just because she was narrarator
Better narrarator. The story was dull even though it was pegged as a thriller/mystery. The interaction between the two former lovers is not believable nor well written. I suppose better character development and a more mature writing style would have increased my enjoyment.
Next up: finishing "Beautiful Ruins", and then on to "Divergent" by V Roth. Yes, I have a wide variety of interests, not just YA/paranormal/chicklit. ;-)
Daniel's performance would not make me buy any book. If there are female characters of significance, I would likely pass. He was deplorable with the feminine voice.
Disappointment and a little irritation.
Molly, what happened to the ending? I love the "Jane Jameson" Nice Girls vampire series, and this is another expansion bringing in a story about one of the lesser, supporting characters of the original series, the kid siter of a vampire concierge owner. It follows an expected story line: when is the human girl going to meet, fall for, and hook up with the sexy new vamp in town? Now, I know it was a free short book, delivered right at Christmastime, but it did not say it was an "excerpt." That is how I felt at the end...arrgh...where's the next chapter? That said, it is cute, funny and sprinkled with romance. One finds all the 'usual suspects' from the other books and gets an update on their lives and romances. All the vampire couples are happily married and carrying on with their crazy lives. There is no high intrigue or complex plot as it is simply a holiday short story to curl up with on the couch with a nice cup of cocoa.
The ending was confusing since it is so abrupt. I think there may be another segment coming? Hopefully since it ended mid-step. It kinda ruined the experience.
Each performance I have listened to by Ms. Ronconi has been a delight. I found that in this book, however, that she did not pick up her "old" characters from the prior related books as well as one would expect. The voices were off - not as good or endearing as they were in the first series. Perhaps a more thorough review of her work could be done to get back into the character after such a long time in between related books. Thus the lower performance rating, where I have given her 5 stars in the past
The listen was well worth it, even if it had been a paid purchase. I just want more story!
Will there be more....?
Unfortunately, the book was not worth the credit. Fortunately Audible's policy of returns will keep me coming back. The book starts out (seriously, the first sentence in the book!) with a graphic, dirty sex scene that you later discover is a "day-dream" of the lead character/vampire, Sampson. I like steam, but it was a turn-off rather than a turn-on, and just stupid. Then, the helpless human heroine gets hauled into a mansion of sex and blood starved vamps only to cause angst and remorse in our sexually dysfunctional "hero." The first 2 - 3 chapters proved the book would be too cliche and unoriginal to continue. If you are interested in chic-lit, erotica, bloodsucking, it may be for you. The narrator, Kevin Foley, was unable to pull off a good female voice, and even Sampson's voice was overacted.
I continue to compare the vampire-based stories in the selection of books available - both serious and historical to snarky, steamy and tame - to the exemplary writing of Deborah Harkness's "Discovery of Witches" novels. And its narrator, Jennifer Ikeda, is by far the stand-out narrator that has performed any reading of the ~50 Audible books I have listened to. Forget this one and use your credit for "Discovery" trilogy.
Wow - a Molly melodrama full of humor and fun..for free? No brainer. NIce to have a short one, but love her stories and keep waiting for more.
The tie in with the food is great. The heroine is a chef and what fun she has with tastes and smells throughout the story and of course with the 'blood cook-off!"
Wierd question. So I guess I will say it did.
The sexy vamp stays in the cellar during the deadly daylight hours. When she starts at seeing him 'asleep' and then spills candle wax on him, well it is a nice blend of passion and humor at which Harper is an expert.
It really doesn't make sense to write a book review on this one. The story got too far-fetched even for "fantasy." The sample available prior to purchase gives an uneven look at the writing. The story starts to decline into the tawdry, and Davidson increases the use of unnecesssarily lude (aka dirty) language. The story would have held its own, but this was a big turn-off for me. The story followed a typical dumb blonde turned vampire, yet it is written with a fair amount of humor which is not always easy to do. But Davidson tries to create something new on a very saturated market, and does not hit the mark. I like a little smut and strut, but the author couldn't pull it off and relied too heavily on shock and some 'gross factor'. Where is Molly Harper when you need her?
Davidson's next story in the series was in my wish list. It isn't any more. I'll be listening to Kim Harrison's spunky vamp series, or perhaps Jeaniene Frosts "Grave" series.
Ms. Wu was just ok. She did not have enough delineation between character's voices. Not bad, but just not great.
Oh, brother. (mini-spoiler, but you can see it coming) Definitely would have rewritten the under-water sex scene. Had potential for more heat and sexiness than the resulting stupid and voyeristic animalistic act. The fact that our male "hero" (??) stands out on the pool deck naked for his kingly speach - just dumb. And enough with the shoes and verbose description of every outfit and scene and event!
In this book, we meet characters already near and dear to our hearts from the "Nice Girls" series. A few familiar encounters catch you off guard which is a good ear to ear grin since you feel like you're in on a secret. This story is another work of narrative art by Ronconi, like an old (beautiful) shoe that fits so comfortably while you listen.
I just loved waiting for the inevitable to happen to our heroine. Collin starts out as such a self-centered dork that one wonders how it will possbile for him to change meaningfully in such a short book. He is quite arrogant and not very likeable that it gets on the listener's nerves. So, Harper does a pretty good job leading us through his growth, if somewhat implausible.
The Bat Mobile pink-boobed and all going over the ravine is hilarious and such a good tease to make us wonder, "what next for our two wayward travelers?" I would be remiss if I didn't mention the root cellar, especially the tears - quite moving.
Absolutely since it is a quick, funny listen.
More, more, more.....
I love how much wit and humor and sharp sarcasam Harper brings to the story. She stays true to the series with this closing work. I love just about all of the characters, and even when you thought you had someone nailed like the member of the Council for the Undead, Harper pulls a fast one on you with some tweaks and suprises.
The theme of the wedding that runs through the work is hilarious. I think the true pain of all bridesmaids is brought out and spanked with the way Jane treats her 'maids to be -- I wont spoil it for you!
She brings the characters alive and puts just the right amount of snark, arrogance, and sassy youth and prude into each one. I have to say, though, my single criticism is the somewhat whimpy voice of Gabriel. I hoped that it would mature from book one into a more dashing and sexy vamp voice.
I wanted this book to go on and on, just to listen to Ranconi and laugh a little longer!
So glad I found the series, the author and the narrarator! Thanks for a fine read, that I will go back to time and time again. Love, love love it!
Readers interested in Scottish history with plenty of time on their hands will be able to wade through the extraordinarily long and drawn out narrative.The book is VERY long, over 30 hours, and one is left with the feeling that it could have been told with the same history, action, romance and humor in 2 "Parts" instead of 4. Unfortunately one has to wait toward the end of Part 3 before the book picks up. The first half is excrutiatingly slow, and I dropped it 3 times, considering whether to ask for a refund.I am in agreement with the other reviews that caution against violence. The reader needs to be prepared for pretty graphic scenes of brutality, especially against women, and most significantly, an extensive, detailed, belabored and awful scene at the very end of the book between 2 men. The point could have been made with far fewer wasted pages (or minutes).
See Elise's review 1/22/13 - she's right on.
"Genre" - hmmm. I don't know that it fits what it is billed to be. Other than Claire accidentally transporting to a different time, there is no other fantasy or SciFi. The author actually succeeds in blending the remainder of the story with history. Therefore, I will say, no, I still enjoy the genre, just not the author. The publisher's summary says that she is "torn between past and present, passion and love." I must disagree. Claire seems to forget her new husband fairly immediately, and the confusion between lust and love begs the question of what is love...?
Yes, Porter differentiates the characters well because of the minute, excrutiating detail the author provided. She is able to develop accents well and makes the transition easily between them. I found her British accent a bit too breathy, but I would certainly listen to another of her performances.
Frustration and disappointment and boredom. I really wanted to like the book, to move on to the next in the series, but will not. Perhaps the written work is preferable because one could scan the pages to bypass the wordy fluff and the torture scenes. It made it far too difficult to believe in the relationship that blooms between Jamie and Claire.
Make no mistake, this is in no way similar to the Stephanie Meyer books or even close in content and likeability of Deborah Harkness' Discovery of Witches trilogy (cannot wait for number 3 to come out!)
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