"Raven Cursed" did not begin as I thought it would, considering how "Mercy Blade" ended. I was hoping it would start exactly where "Mercy Blade" left us hanging and immediately answer the question with which we were left.
Instead we find Jane has gone back home to Asheville, leaving behind and maybe trying to forget New Orleans and everything that transpired there. At first I thought she was trying to wipe the slate clean and needed to come home in order to do so. Instead, New Orleans still has a hold on her and if she won't go back to New Orleans, New Orleans comes to her and so does a whole new kettle of fish with which to deal!!
It's interesting how Faith Hunter takes a smaller character introduced in "Mercy Blade" and weaves that character into this book. Even though she's still dealing with the major players in her Jane Yellowrock series, she introduces major changes into their lives presenting us with an entirely different book while still staying true to the personalities of those main characters.
Usually whenever an author has a series going with characters that the reader has come to love, or even to hate, and they try to change the series by branching out in a different direction it seems to ruin the series for me. Yet Faith Hunter did stretch the series by moving the location and presenting greater depth to the minor character from "Mercy Blade," while still keeping true to the basic storyline which made for yet another good book.
I still do not like what happened to one person I was rooting for in "Mercy Blade." I dislike to a greater extent than before how Molly's husband treats Jane, still holding her responsible for something that wasn't her fault and that, because of all Jane discovered and the actions she took, turned out fine in "Mercy Blade." Even so, he's still snarly to Jane when she is once again trying to help and even after she does help -- yet again!! I have to say that the needless guilt she carried around throughout "Raven's Curse" regarding this incident from "Mercy Blade" finally got on my last nerve and I said aloud, "Enough already!! Quit feeling sorry for yourself!!" That right there should tell you how great a writer Faith Hunter is since her characters have so come to life for me that I'm talking to them!!
If you like Faith Hunter's previous Jane Yellowrock books, you'll like "Raven's Curse" as well. No, I didn't like this as well as the others for the very reasons mentioned above. I also thought this would have been a great place to end the series, yet Faith Hunter did write another Jane Yellowrock book.
Take a chance, if you're a fan of this series. If you've never tried one of series' books, do not start with this one, however!! Maybe it's just me, but I don't like major changes in the lives of characters I like, especially when these changes don't result in good things.
This audiobook is SO amazing!! Not only is James Avery's voice the most perfect voice for reading this wonderful book for us to hear, but I learned things about Alex Haley that I didn't know. The forward is read by another individual and it gives a slight glimpse into Alex Haley, but when the saga nears the end of the book . . . oh, my!! I won't spoil it for those who've never heard the book, but at one point I literally gasped aloud when James Avery said something in my ears through my headphones at that wonderful moment toward the end of the saga. Then to finish the book the way Alex Haley did, I couldn't have asked for more!! There were also more gasps that I uttered as I smiled at his revelations!!
Yes, this is a very long book to listen to, but that's just another reason I like it!! I'm housebound and this helps to pass the time for me. Don't let the length prevent you from buying the one book I think everyone should have in their library!!
Yes, it is difficult to listen to part of it, because how can anyone with a soul that's not dead listen to the account of the slavery of another human being and not experience a gamut of emotions. Don't let that stop you from buying this book!! When you truly hear how this is indeed a saga of an American family whose roots are in Africa, you'll be amazed!! So much of the first part is a wonderful look into the lives of some of the peoples of Africa. I could easily visualize it all as I listened to the description of the land, the people, their daily routine of living and more.
I got caught up in the story from the beginning and it gripped me all the way through to the end. I hated to stop the story, and many times I kept listening even when I needed to do other things because I just wanted to stay with the people and see how their lives turned out. For those of you concerned that you will have to stop when you don't want to and so don't want to invest the time, please know there are indeed parts you don't want to stop, but there are also parts where you can stop easily, knowing that a new generation of people and their experiences lies ahead.
I cannot praise this book highly enough. The author and the narrator did a most excellent job of it!! I think I'm more satisfied with this book than almost any other book I've purchased from Audible!!
'The sample doesn't sound too bad,' I naively told myself as I was searching for books to buy. I was feeling the pressure of having to use up quite a few credits I'd collected before I reached the limit and possibly losing some. Not being a big fan of autobiographies, but thinking this (supposedly) humorous one would (probably) be okay to try, keeping in mind the sample I'd just heard and the reviews I'd just read, I put it in my cart, hit the right buttons and this audiobook was now mine. So were a few others. I now had breathing room regarding my credits and I could take my time to enjoy my books.
Some I did enjoy. Some were wonderful!!
This was neither enjoyable nor wonderful.
The whacky, funny part of it being "a mostly true memoir" turned out to be whacky in a bad way and not funny at all. It wasn't just the words I was hearing coming out of my laptop that made me realize I'd made a huge mistake in purchasing this book. It was the scratchy, crackling, all-too-soon-becoming-irritating voice that made me quit listening before I got even close to the end. I simply couldn't bear it any longer.
I realize people cannot help the voice with which they were either born or which has seen better days for various reasons. However, if you have written a book and want to be the one to read it aloud to others, it is my opinion you should definitely listen to how your voice sounds after you've recorded several samples. If, after hearing several sample readings of how your voice sounds reading those precious words you spent months or years working on until they were just right, and you find yourself irritated even the slightest bit, it is my opinion you should find a professional narrator and thus ensure the listening audience will be pleased, write great reviews and tell everyone they know to buy your audiobook.
Do not buy this audiobook.
I'm not a fan of true life stories, but every now and then I've taken a chance. I read two books when I was in my 20s about The Beach Boys and about The Beatles. It really affected how I felt about them and their music, especially the one about The Beach Boys. To this day I can't stand their songs -- the very ones I used to like and enjoy before I read the book. When I got older I wondered if they were true biographies or just some trash someone wrote.
So I knew I was taking a chance with another rock'n'roll book. Yet this book was told by the people themselves: Ann and Nancy Wilson who I always knew as the sisters of the band Heart. Since I enjoyed the sample listen, I decided to download it and I enjoyed it. Parts of it I didn't care for -- the part that always seems to belong to the lives of those in the rock'n'roll bands, because I don't like hearing about drugs and sex. However, it wasn't lurid details they gave when recounting this part of their lives. It simply was.
As for the rest of the book, I really enjoyed it!! It was interesting to hear it told from both Ann and Nancy, as well as getting to hear memories by other people in their lives. If you were ever a fan of Heart, you know what excellent singers these women are and their reading voices were good, too. At first, even though an announcer tells you which person is speaking, it was difficult to distinguish their voices. Once I caught on, I could picture each woman as I've seen them performing on tv shows and videos throughout the years.
I first fell in love with Heart's music when I was in my late teens, so it was a thrill for me to hear the women tell of how "Magic Man," "Crazy On You," and "Dreamboat Annie" came into being. I followed their career and music for a while, then moved on. I came upon them later in their career and enjoyed "Barracuda" and "These Dreams" as well as others. Once again, I could remember the songs as they described the origin of the words.
I think what I especially liked about hearing the story of Ann and Nancy Wilson in their own words was realizing what I never knew before: they carved a pathway for lead female singers and lead female guitarists in the rock industry!! They really had a tough time dealing with stereotypes in a male dominated profession!! To their credit, they have continued their careers with its various ups and downs throughout these many decades, putting up with what might have broken lesser determined women.
I always dreamed about how that would have been me and my sister on stage, knowing which one of us would be which one of the Wilson sisters. Being so close to my sister, it made my heart happy to know how close they always were and still are!! It also tickled me to see how excited they were, no matter how old they were or how much success they had achieved, whenever they'd meet a rock idol of theirs!!
Any rock'n'roll fan, any fan of Heart, any fan of the Wilson sisters will truly enjoy this book!! They're so real, so down-to-earth, so loving and such gifted and talented artists!!
I thought this book was a thriller. I thought something scary was happening in an apartment and/or an entire apartment building. I had insomnia one night and thought this would be an excellent way to spend a sleepless night: listening to a thriller.
It started out slowly, but I remembered the reviews, the description and the sample I listened to, so I kept listening . . . and listening . . . and listening to the most boring book I ever suffered through!!
I kept waiting for the excitement!! I kept waiting for the thrill!! I kept waiting for the scary part!! I kept waiting period. If it hadn't been for the insomnia, I would have stopped listening quite early.
The reader was good, but the story kept getting longer and longer and longer. When finally the reason for the plot was revealed, I couldn't believe it!! I am not a science fiction fan per se, although I have enjoyed some sci-fi tv shows and movies. I am not THIS type of sci-fi fan and therefore I did not like the book at all!!
If you're a true-blue-all-the-way sci-fi fan, you'll probably enjoy this. If you're not, if you're a pure thriller fan, seek other books!! This is not worth a true thriller fan's time or worth a single credit!! So beware!!
After all the hype the other reviewers gave this book, especially letting followers of Jesus know how much this would mean, I was really excited to buy this and hear it. The sample I heard already had me asking questions, thinking this might be in the style of "Grandmother and The Priests" by Taylor Caldwell -- one of my favorite books ever written.
Boy howdy, was I ever disappointed!!
The reader was excellent!! I could tell just by his voice which character was speaking, which I've discovered is a rare talent and one I treasure in listening to books.
The intricate revenge plot was excellently devised.
It was the rest of the book that I had trouble with. The mother-in-law/grandmother drove me crazy trying to understand what she was up to and I don't give any credence to that happening in life. What she said towards the end of this disappointing book could have been written on one page: "Job," because it's just a twist on the book of Job. A very long and boring twist on the book of Job.
Maybe you'll agree with the other reviewers and really like this. As I said, the revenge plot, something everyone has dreamed of at least once in their lives, was excellent and the reader's vocals of the different characters was most excellent!! Take a chance if you want to, but I'm avoiding Ted Dekker's novels after this awful encounter.
"Death's Rival" is another book in the Jane Yellowrock series, yet I like it the least of all. Faith Hunter is stretching her writing abilities by introducing an incredible storyline and quite frankly I think she should have stopped with "Raven Cursed."
I realize when writing about vamps bad things are bound to happen, but I do not like at all what happened regarding the vamps, Jane and Beast. What happened to Jane upset me greatly and I don't like what's revealed about what happened to Beast at the end of the book.
It was also irritating to me that the love/lust line continues with the two main men in Jane's life. I thought that was settled in "Raven Cursed." I thought Jane would accept everything and get on with her life. Yet that didn't happen.
I suppose Faith Hunter believed she had to take something that happened in "Raven Cursed" and settle it for us. To me, it didn't need to be further explored. It served its purpose and was, as far as I was concerned, over. Therefore, to make such a big deal about it that it becomes the main storyline for a fifth book doesn't make sense to me.
The characters are still good. The reader is still doing a fine job. I just didn't like the storyline.
While I've enjoyed this series, most especially the first two books, and even the next two with some minor displeasure in book three and some major displeasure with book four, I would have preferred the series end with "Raven Cursed."
Try it at your own risk. If any more books have been written in this series, I will not be buying any of them.
The third book in the Jane Yellowrock series continues the saga of Jane in New Orleans, still working for the vamps. This was alluded to at the end of the second book, "Blood Cross." Unlike "Skinwalker" which I believe is necessary to read before "Blood Cross," you don't have to have read the first two books in order to read "Mercy Blade." I think it would helpful in order to understand the main characters and what has occurred in their lives, but it's not necessary.
In this book we are introduced to new characters. Jane's closest friend, Molly, and the only other person who knows she's a skinwalker, comes to stay with her and brings her two children with her. Molly is a practicing witch, which was mentioned in the first two books, but now we get to see a more detailed view of what that means. We are also introduced to new "super nats," supernatural beings.
Whereas I liked Faith Hunter's imaginative tale of the Mercy Blade, I wasn't so impressed by the introduction of werewolves. I most certainly did not like the turn of events in the life of a person very important to Jane. I did not like how Molly's husband treated Jane whenever things went awry. I most certainly did not like how it ended.
Yet because of the way it ended, how it left me hanging, I immediately began listening to the fourth book. Call me a sucker if you want, but I absolutely had to find out what happened -- or didn't happen -- to this person who's very important to Jane and for whom I have been rooting the entire time. I'd love to write more about this, but I refuse to give anything away about the storyline.
If you liked Faith Hunter's first two Jane Yellowrock books, I'm sure you'll like this one as well. It's still a very interesting and entertaining book, but it's not exactly what I'd hoped it would be -- especially the ending.
"Blood Cross" picks up where "Skinwalker" ended. In my opinion, this second in the Jane Yellowrock series is better than the first. By the time I started listening to this book, the reader's accent, to which I had a slight objection in the first book, had become part and parcel of the story.
In this second book, you find out more information about Jane's background as well as about the vamps and how they came to be -- which is worth listening to both books!! This is where the uniqueness of Faith Hunter's imagination comes into play and what I truly enjoyed -- especially as a follower of Jesus, the Christ!!
The storyline is so unique!! There's plenty of danger because there's always the threat of the vamps she works for either putting her in danger from other vamps or being a threat to Jane all by themselves.
Then there's the love/lust interests. I'm not big on romantic novels, yet this novel doesn't throw in more than I can handle. Jane seems to be torn between two incredibly difficult-to-choose-from men who come into her life in the first book and are still there in the second one. I can see why SHE would have trouble choosing, but if I were in her shoes -- or boots -- I know exactly which one I'd pick!!
Surprise galore, danger just around the bend, who to trust and who not to, who to love and who not to, seeking answers to her past, finding out the origins of the vamps -- definitely a must read!! Especially if you've already read "Skinwalker"!!!
I have finally found a vampire series that I have really enjoyed listening to!! If you read my profile, you'll know the one thing I love best in any tv show, movie or book is that it's unique and Faith Hunter found that uniqueness and shares it in the wonderful series of books about Jane Yellowrock.
The first audiobook was so good that I immediately ordered all the other ones without even listening to a sample. This is an extremely rare thing for me to do, because I'm very particular about the books I like and especially particular about the ones I choose to keep!!
I had to admit that the reader's accent, especially on some of the male characters, was difficult for me to take. That's why I gave the performance a "4" and not a "5" in my rating of this particular audiobook. Other than that, the performance was really quite good -- especially when reading the narrative, doing the voice of Jane and the voice of Beast!! The storyline captured my imagination almost from the start and never let it go!!
I love the sense of humor that Faith Hunter weaves into the story. Also, as a follower of Jesus, the Christ, I enjoy that she weaves Jane Yellowrock's Christian upbringing into the story along with her Cherokee roots!! She blends them in such a way that no one could possibly be offended, unless that particular individual chooses to do so.
The first book is really the first half of the second book. So if you choose to start with the second book, "Blood Cross," you could do so without having heard the first book, "Skinwalker," but I'd highly advise against it. Please read the first book and then you absolutely must buy the second one!! The two books simply go hand in hand and if you like vampire stories, but don't want a lot of gore and are too old for Bella, Edward and Jacob, I guarantee you'll enjoy this series!! And I don't say that often!!
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