I'm normally reluctant to buy an audiobook that is performed by someone new. But, Erin Spencer was better than I had expected. The male characters sounded a little goofy, and I would have preferred it if she had sped up her reading just a tad bit, or maybe I'm just being too picky. I think she has the potential to be a really awesome narrator with a few minor adjustments.
As far as the story goes...
I really enjoyed the characters. I know there are plenty of paranormal mystery books out there with main characters that solve crimes with the aid of ghosts. (I really enjoyed Amanda Steven's Graveyard Queen series) Yet, this book felt different. I think it was the humor Terri Reid injected into the dialogue. The mystery wasn't much of a mystery, but the plot didn't really suffer from the lack of suspense. I still wanted to know how it's all resolved. Now I'm eager to listen to the next book, Good Tidings, to see where things go with Mary and Bradley.
This series has potential. I was really drawn into the "entwined realms" concept and I can see this series getting better if she switches protagonists in the next book. I think one book is all I can handle of Larissa Miller. She wasn't the kick-ass heroine I love to read about in urban fantasy novels. I think I would have been fine with that if this "scholarly" protagonists flexed a little more brain power. I liked her in the beginning. But, as the story progressed, her decision making made my opinion of her plummet.
Larissa aside, I really do recommend you give this book a try. I was thoroughly entertained, even when I was annoyed with the main character, and from the way the book ended I am eager to read the next book. Let me make myself a little clearer, my annoyance with the main character did not lower my opinion of the novel. There's too much awesomeness to let one character bring it down. There are elves, gargoyles, werewolves, necromancers, dragons (and dragon slayers?) all living in the same world in an urban environment after the worlds were entwined (hence the series name).
Oh, and Tavia Gilbert does an awesome job at narrating the story, as always.
This was a fun ghost story about two people who can see ghosts and work together. I liked the characters and the mystery behind the woman haunting Dr. Cal's office kept me interested.
The narration was decent. Nothing spectacular, but more importantly it wasn't distracting, which earned McNamara a solid 3 stars.
90% of the time, if I don't like a book it's because I don't like the characters. I actually liked the hero and heroine of this story and I definitely enjoyed the secondary characters. The reason I didn't like Lord the the Isles falls into the other 10%. The premise of the story was promising, but the plot was poorly developed. The scenes that didn't have Ali and Rory heating things up were rushed and choppy, and the solutions to all of the problems they faced were far too convenient. Even the romance between Ali and Rory felt abrupt, which was unfortunate since I liked them both so much.
Caroline Guthrie's narration would have been awesome if it weren't for the accent she uses for Ali. I'm almost certain that Guthrie is a native of the UK, because she does a fantastic job with her Scots accent. However, Ali is from the US, and Guthrie's American accent is truly awful. But, since Ali is the main character in the book it was a major drawback for me.
Amy Rubinate does a fine job of narrating. Unfortunately, Honor just isn't as likeable as her younger sister, Faith, whose story was featured in the first book of the Blue Heron series. I was skeptical about Honor having her own book, since book one did not paint her in a very favorable light. I still didn't much care for her character by the end of this book either. But, If you haven't read the "The Best Man", then you might be more receptive and sympathetic to Honor's situation.
With the exception of a melodramatic ending, this was a great historical romance. The two main characters, Eada and Drogo, were engaging, and remarkable in that they remained devoted and loyal to each other as they faced one conflict after another. It was surprisingly refreshing not to have to suffer a couple bent on path of self-inflicted angst, as seems to be so commonly used to create conflict in other novels of this genre.
I hadn't listened to a book performed by Lulu Russell before this one. I think she did a great job, the only drawback was that she was that she read a bit too slowly for my taste. It wasn't a big deal, because I listened to it via my phone's Audible app, so I just sped up the playback. People who don't have the app, or another means to speed up the playback, might start feeling a bit impatient with her narration.
This book didn't live up to my expectations. I rarely guess the endings of detective novels. For some reason I just never manage to connect the dots before the protagonist does, and I like it that way. So when I read, or listen to, a novel and stay three or four steps ahead of the main character, it's not only annoying; it's a red flag that the book isn't very well done. Even though Kathleen was a bit dense, I still liked her. Most of the other characters were bland, with the exception of C.J..
Overall, it wasn't much of a mystery and it definitely wasn't memorable. It only earned 3-stars because I loved Angela Dawe's performance.
I've noticed that even the best narrators receive less than complimentary reviews when they take over narration in the middle of a series, and trying to follow up Cynthia Holloway is even more of a challenge. (Check out the negative reviews of the replacement narrators for the Chicagoland Vampire series or the Morganville Vampire series if you're curious) For loyal fans of this audiobook series it will probably be hard to adjust, especially since the stories are written in first-person. Allyson Ryan does a better than average job, although I found the way she kept pronouncing "stalactite" like 'stale-LICK-tite' bizarre and distracting.
Karen Chance's writing is superb and I really enjoyed this story. It seems that every book has explored a new aspect and/or faction of the supernatural world she has created. She's focused vampires, mages, ghosts, seers, mythological deities, and now demons. This, along with an awesome cast of secondary characters makes for an always entertaining read (or listen).
It's definitely not my favorite book of the series, but I don't know how much of that is due to the narrator switch. I don't think I can be impartial, since Holloway has always been one of my favorite narrators. Tempt the Stars is definitely worth a credit and I already eagerly anticipating Chance's next release.
Nothing wrong with the performance. I don't think I'm a fan of Andersen's writing. She's a bit too cutesy for my taste. There were several cliche lines and scenes that I found cringe-worthy and hard to get past. If you like über cheesy romance, you'll probably appreciate this more than I did.
This book is vastly different from Armstrong's "Otherworld" series. It's primarily a murder mystery with just a smattering of the supernatural. Although I have a feeling that the supernatural elements will play a larger part in the rest of the books in the Cainsville series. The could be said for the romance between the two main characters, Olivia and Gabriel. Their relationship is in its infancy. If you're looking for the romance that dominates Armstrong's other novels, then you might be disappointed.
What I liked:
The mystery is completely enthralling
The characters are fascinating and well-developed
The supernatural climate is refreshingly original (at least for me)
Mozhan Marno's narration
What I disliked:
Carine Montbertrand's narration. She didn't do a bad job. I just thought Marno's voice fit the tone of the story better. I found myself wishing Marno had performed the entire book alone.
Most definitely worth a credit.
Karen White is a great narrator with an excellent range of voices in her repertoire. This book has a strong comedic tone and it was the first time I had heard her deliver such humor. She did a fine job of it.
The story is slightly ridiculous. It's set at a modern day renaissance fair and centers around the jousting competition with millions of dollars at stake. There's a bit of a mystery tied into the tournament and, of course, there's plenty of romance.
It's definitely worth a credit and makes me eager to listen to Katie MacAlister's other stand-alone novels, which are being released in audio in September.
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