Although the story had potential, it was subpar. The descriptives of geography and environment were wonderful, as was the detail of the meals prepared. But the narrative just plodded along until some well written exciting events occured. My biggest criticism is that the book had a tremendous religious/Christian bent. This should have been part of the description because i would not have purchased it if I had known. If I had heard the phrase "I touched my fingertips to the Godstone..." one more time, I was going to scream. The author did tease nicely developing the "love interests" but in the end seriously disappointed the reader.
I liked the implication of magic or sorcery, and the history of the region.
No. I couldn't get past the obsession with praying constantly, but this was likely the author's intention: pray and pray more and your prayers will generally go unanswered while you suffer incredible pain and loss. Then maybe if you make it through all that, there will be an answer that you never would have considered.
ok, but diappointing. Jennifer Ikeda was phenomenal in Discovery of Witches series. She is bland and does not use her extraordinary verbal talent, accents, tone, character, etc. Very disappointed with this one.
Audible - please provide better categories or descriptions of books.
Matilde needs more backbone. Her behaviour does not make sense for someone with such a courageous cause, with selfless passion for the sick and less fortunate. Her frailty and frequency of emotional breakdowns conflicts with her brave and altruistic driven nature. The author could have better developed Matilde's maturity and emotional growth to make the character more likable and realistic.
Passion is the 2nd installment in the Year of Fire trilogy so you must read Obsession first. This "chapter" continues the love story between Eliah and Matilde after she leaves him for the Congo. Whereas Obsession depicts the intense and obsessive relationship between the lovers, this book carries them further away from one another and increases the angst felt by the reader. There is a bit more international intrigue between the Middle Eastern factions, and the dictators from African nations and, yes, the "Voice Box" is back. He is a crack up and lends a snicker to the story every now and then. Interludes with Matilde's father who is shipped off to the Sheik, and traitors sealing deals with Saddam Hussein, and the fight for yellow cake add historical references and gave this reader a close up of the ugly underworld of war and the insanity that drives desire for absolute power.
There is a pack of lusty dogs after Matilde in her new digs, the orphanage and hospital of the Congo. Everyone seems out to get her, kill her or woo her into his bed. Still a mercenary, and ever resourceful, Al Saud wants his love watched and protected thousands of miles away. Eliah's security detail reports all of her movements and incidents back to him and he goes through fits of jealousy and rage, finally enough that he jets out to confront her, to be with her. This book again has graphic, fairly tasteful sex, but not as much as the first. There are some encounters that are plain unbelievable, in the broom closet with Matilde left on the floor, with the stunning African queen while pics are being clicked. Hmm? Well, most of this comes back to haunt Al Suad and pushes his true love further away. How could she ever go back to a lover who cannot keep it in his pants? Inexplicably, one finds oneself still rooting for the star-crossed jealous lovers to battle their ways back to one another. A little orphan boy, Jerome, is a ray of hope and might possibly be a sticking factor for the love between Eliah and Matilde. So, we hope Al Saud can get to her before the real war breaks out and deals the final blow. Will he? Will she? We have to read #3 that I fear is not yet available.
Jennifer Ikeda perhaps. One of the weirdest glitches of this performance, is at the very outset, practically the first page: the narrator changes the pronunciation of Eliah's name. It is so disconcerting and distracting. Could the author and Mr. Berkrot not agree on this in the first book? What in the world? And, alas, Mr. Berkrot's reading still lacks so significantly in the female voice that I mark him down severely. At least one-third of the book follows Matilde's life and her experiences in the hospital, with other women, nuns, and of course the various other women in Al Saud's interactions. One would hope the narrator could develop a better voice for them. We can all hope for this in part three.
TV series would be fun as it is more of an epic story than a fleeting movie slice of life.
Good story, keeps you listening, and definitely sets up a final installment which promises a bang!
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!
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