You bet I would and have already started. It's a wonderfully written, performed and thought out story.
Without spoiling it, one of the most memorable moments of this book had to do with Marty and Leila. Throughout this book, the ebb/flow of emotions from all the characters is done with such finesse and thoughtfulness, it is hard to single out moments beyond the ones that are too too obvious.
There were so many this time, it's hard to pick one. I won't pick the obvious but I LOVED the scene where Leila decided to touch all the weapons to prove to VLAD that she loved who he was/is. She hemorrhaged and the rest is history.
Chapter 29--I will not tease you further.
Just as with Once Burned, I have had this book in my ears at every opportunity.
Ms. Gilbert outdid herself on this one. She was magnificent as VLAD, Leila, Marty, Gretchen (I LOVED her as Gretchen--had some of THE best lines), Maximus, Cynthiana, and Mr. Dalton. I would listen to Ms Gilbert read a law book.
Jasinda Wilder can write some great stuff (Falling Into You, Falling Into Us, Falling Under). 'Wounded' is not one of them although the concept is excellent. The story of a soldier and the story of a young Iraqi girl winds itself from two roads onto one. The research put in to this novel to make it authentic was very good and gave credibility to the story as well. The characters were fairly well developed although they could have been fleshed out a bit more (at least Hunter, the lead male). The narration, however, was terrible. It started out pretty good (hence the two stars instead of one) but both narrators 'acted' the parts and WAY OVER did them. I was embarrassed to listen to the 'erotic' components and could no more connect the voices/emoting with the characters than fly to the moon. A good narrator becomes the character(s). All I could thing of when these narrators were emoting was them and not the story. I wish I had read this book prior to listening to it because now, all I will hear if I read it is the dreadfully overwrought 'acting'. And, there were many times the narration sounded like it was coming from a well...back echo. When the narrators were NOT blasting your eardrums with the overkill, they were actually quite good...but those times were few and far between.
The story lost some credibility with the enduring 'erotica' while Hunter was in 'agony' from his wounds. I find it hard to believe that a wounded soldier would be focused on sexual activity when he is gravely wounded. But, I'm not a guy...so maybe so. In any event, I finished it even though there were times I just turned it off and said "Oh, puhleeze". I can recommend the book but not the audio version.
This is the 6th book in The Elder Races series and it was one that I was most reluctant to read. First, I have been so spoiled by Oracle’s Moon (Khalil and Grace) that it’s been hard to move off that plane of pleasure. Second, there is not another book in the series due out for a while, leaving me stranded in the wasteland of “NOTHEA” (including the novellas that I’m not particularly fond of). Third, I have not been a fan of the Sentinel Aryal (the Harpy)—I mean REALLY, a HARPY. And a Harpy that’s a total bitch to boot—I mean who DOESN’T like Pia? Aryal, that’s who and her description of Pia’s decision to take Dragos’ last name (Cuelebre) reveals the contempt:
“Last names -- they were like word parasites . They attached to people in strange ways, moved across cultural and political lines, traveled the world and reattached to others certainly at whim and seemingly at random. Why didn’t anyone else see how creepy last names were?”
Quentin, friend of Pia and newly crowned Sentinel (this guy can FIGHT) proves to be just another irritant to Aryal, who trusts no one and loathes everyone. She is onto Quentin like a tick on a puppy…festering with burrowing deeper into Quentin’s life, determined to find the evidence of wrongdoing that would discredit him.
Aryal, after spying on Quentin’s dominant coupling with an ‘escort’ finds herself attracted to him but hating him at the same time…you know where this is going. As Dragos is ‘want’ to do…he sends the pair on a mission together, a large portion of which is spent with each of them plotting to kill the other. No love lost here. And even though this storyline is predictable, Ms. Harrison lights it up with fresh dialogue and creative mythology of the Wyr, Elves and Other Lands. (I SO want to go to an Other Land).
Quentin’s description of Aryal on the plane trip that takes them to Numenlaur is so good you can just feel it. She’s “sharp like vodka straight from the freezer; hot like mulled whiskey”. Quentin is not immune to the sexual attraction either…so here we go.
Sure enough, through a series of events, unfoldings and bartering (you’ll have to read the book for that tidbit), the anger barriers melt slowly away to be replaced (albeit reluctantly) by friendship, trust and, of course, love. The banter between Aryal and Quentin is so engaging, so fun, so powerful and so pure…it is just a joy to be a part of it. And as misfortune befalls them both, the struggle to protect each other, to win the ultimate fight and to recover is quite profound. Each is tested in a manner that reveals their frailty and essence.
Many folks do not care for the ‘paranormal’ world but fail often to see the allegory that it is. The Elder Races series is a beautifully crafted sequence of ‘real’ concerns couched in a world of ‘make-believe’.
I have said it with all of these books….I love the mind of Thea Harrison and the creative force that must hold her at bay on many an occasion. I loved this book and the wonderful narration of Sophie Eastlake, who has spoiled me with her grasp of the story and the characters.
If I could give 10 stars to this book, I would. Of all The Elder Race books I’ve listened to so far, this one has my heart. AND I have loved all of them. I cannot say enough about the mind, brain, creative energy, unfathomable imagination and ability to turn a phrase that thrives in Thea Harrison. Oracle’s Moon may just be her best work (well, that I’ve read so far). The characters of Grace and Khalil are sheer perfection…Grace, an Oracle ‘don’t wannabe but hastobe’, is a steel magnolia from KY who by virtue of tragedy becomes the single parent of two orphaned kids as well as the recipient of powers she doesn’t particularly want. She struggles to make ends meet, to love and provide for her sister’s kids, and to adapt herself to a ‘gift’ that is both challenging and enormously draining.
Khalil, Djinn of great power and mystery, has no idea what he’s in for when he encounters Grace. He cannot understand her humanity as he is far from human and immortal. He IS however, enchanted with the kids, having lost his own daughter to a vile mother many years prior. And by lost, we mean changed from a powerful force for good to a damaged and permanently impaired being who needs to be kept away from the world.
As usual, there are reviews that give much better detail of the story and plotline…I give visceral reactivity and knee-jerk. This is the story of the Djinn and the Oracle—how they met, learned from each other, and fell in love. THAT story is priceless…Khalil’s efforts to control Grace, his desire to help her, his adaptation to human ‘skin’, his bumbling attempts to ‘date’ (the conversation between Rune and Khalil in which Rune gives Khalil dating advice is PRICELESS), his trips to the moon, his ability to ‘achieve pancakes’, his thoughts of falling into flesh (shades of City of Angels here), his growing respect for Grace, his protectiveness of her and need to be in her life, and ultimately, the return of Phaedra (Khalil’s daughter) and her triumph over the darkness (with Grace’s help) are all unrelentingly beautiful, funny, powerful, touching and downright amazing. Damn, I want a Djinn of my very own.
As for the performance of Sophie Eastlake, she is flawless. She captures Grace’s strength, her accent (beautifully done when SO MANY FAIL at being southern), her passion, her misgivings about ‘Oracleness’ AND Khalil and her strength…in short, when you listen to her be Grace…she IS Grace. And then she turns right around and does the SAME THING being Khalil…his arrogance, his need to control, his passion for the kids and for Grace, his bumbling efforts at understanding how to be in a relationship, his humor, his sensuality and his capacity for caring are all part of her depiction of Khalil.
I cannot erupt enough superlatives about how I felt about this book but I hope I’ve tried. It is nothing short of SPECTACULAR. Thanks, Teddy and thanks, Sophie and thank, audible.com.
I listened to this book, so will have a review up on Audible.com. I LOVED this book in spite of the fact that it dealt with a love triangle...something I am usually VERY turned off by (e.g., The EVER series in which a married man cheats on his comatose wife with HER sister!! I thought I'd puke). The situation here with Ridge, Maggie and Sydney was entirely different, believable and had such a resolution that, while parties were hurt initially, the ultimate outcome was positive for all concerned. I had to stop listening a number of times just out of passion, grief, anticipation at HOW on EARTH this was going to come to a healthy conclusion. The best review I've read for this wonderful book is Aestas' review a while back.
As you all know, I read viscerally and I can say with all sincerity that my heart was all over the map on this one. I never had the total disgust and anger I did with the previously mentioned cheater series but was rooting for all three major characters. And these characters were beautifully developed, especially Ridge. What a terrific storyline he had and what a courageous idea Ms Hoover had to make him, well, him. The ancillary character of Warren had me laughing out loud with his antics and ultimately giving him a virtual hug for his compassion and strength.
This is a lovely book that will rend your soul, make your heart beat fast and strong, bring tears to your eyes and a song to your lips--quite literally.
The performances by Zachary Webber and Angela Goethals were SPOT ON!! Emotional without being over the top, these two certainly captured the essence of the characters AND the story. Excellence in narration for these two folks. As you know, the narrators/performers can make or break a book; these two took a terrific book and made it better.
Don't miss this one.
5 wonderfully and gleefully given stars.
I have a crush on Thea Harrison’s mind, her ability to create a world of ‘other’s (including actual Other Places), to craft and breathe life into such marvelous characters as Dragos, Pia, Tiago, Ninniae, the Sentinels and beyond. This books is no exception with the extraordinary tale of Dragos’ First (a Sentinel named Rune Ainissesthai) and the creature he’s drawn to and eventually mates, the vampire Carling. The tale in itself is a challenging and complex one, certainly a cut above the run-of-the-mill vampire books. As Carling is dying, Rune is more and more invested in finding a cure for her.
Carling’s history is in itself a superb evidence of Harrison’s mind. With….WAIT JUST A MINUTE!! You know, I’m sounding like a wannabe reviewer and I’m NOT. Here’s the deal:
I read Thea Harrison with my gut…my reaction to her writing and her people and her stories and her incredible mind is oh so visceral. I can’t really dissect the writing or the stories or the everything because it would be like doing an autopsy on myself. The privilege and honor goes to those much more intellectual than moi. The bottom line is that her books draw me in, they excite me, they flay me, they speak to me, they draw me in, they take me from the mundane to the extraordinary. When I was very small, like 5-ish, I used to sneak out of my window (completely unbeknownst to my parents until MUCH MUCH LATER) and roam with my imagination all over a neighboring golf course. It was magnificent. I’d climb trees and make up a life in a faraway place with faraway people and faraway excitement. Well, I’m 67 now but I can say that reading Thea Harrison is like being that little girl again…living with the wonders of my (and her) mind.
The narration of The Elder Races by Sophie Eastlake is beyond perfection. She nails EVERY character and brings the total story to such life, it's amazing to hear her.
Thanks, Teddy. for the books and Thanks, Sophie for the animation. You are both remarkable.
Well, it started out pretty good. Man leaves his roots in MS for the excitement of LA; has a live-in girl he really can't stand but she's got influence in the company he works for. Hasn't been home in 6 years because someone broke his heart. Is called home for a family tragedy and sees 'the girl'. Told in the Points of View of both the male/female leads (William and Maggie) AND in retrospect (6 years back and present time), it is the struggle of these two to come to grips with how they got together in the first place as college aged young adults, the events that tore them apart, and the agonizing issues that continued to keep them apart when William returned 6 years later. There is a 'bad guy' involved who seems to perpetuate Maggie's life of pain and who is determined to keep her at all costs. Any more detail and you'd be spoiled. The story is a good one but my goodness, such angst and sadness on the part of both main characters almost broke me...not my heart but my patience. I found myself getting frustrated with the almost constant sadness and grief and crying and angst and on and on and on.
That being said, following the end of the book, there is a brief narrative discussion the rampant issue that is domestic violence and abuse against women. So, kudos to Ms Jackson for tackling it and offering numbers of support groups that help.
Now, to the main reason this book (for me, anyway) should have probably been read. Mr. Guimot had a wonderful delivery most of the book BUT his Mississippi voice was so reminiscent of Forrest Gump, I could hardly listen without hearing "RUN, FORREST, RUN!" Or when Forrest asked Jenny in that halting ALABAMA voice "Will you marry me?" I can criticize this because I am from and live in Mississippi and he did not nail our sound. And don't even get me started on his 'Maggie'...she sounded like such a hick, it was hard to muster any enthusiasm for her character. I struggled as it was since all she did was cry and plead and beg and hide, so the added insult of sounding like she fell off the turnip truck did my focus little good. The sound of the 'bad guy Troy' was a pretty good rendition of a badass southern boy. Most everyone else....not. Oddly enough, when reading the first person (and not dialogue), Mr. Guimot was terrific but once he vocalized that MS 'sound', all the steam went out of my attention.
So, listen with this in mind and you will find a tale of redemption...but be prepared to walk through a lot of pain to get there.
This series has captivated me from the get-go. It’s been such a journey to follow the Chicagoland houses, their masters, the characters, the stories, the magicks, the relationships that are forged between houses, the Grenwich Presidium, the Shifters (Gabe and his family)and the various villains and sorcerers (namely Mallory and Catcher Bell). We have been introduced to so many ‘supes’ (supernaturals) that it boggles the mind yet all of them have a place at the table and something both to offer and to decline. We have watched how supes struggle for recognition as meaningful and valuable members of the Chicagoland realm, embraced by strong men such as Merit’s Grandfather. Each book has grown in depth, maturity and creative development as Ms Neill’s voice as an author does the same. Of course, the key figures of Merit and Ethan—two of the strongest characters I’ve read in a long time remain the focus of the books along with plots and story lines that are intricate, complex and very very well-conceived. This book not only offers us another terrifically crafted tale of intrigue via supernatural kidnapping and side-show exploitation but also the continued maturation of the relationship between Merit and Ethan (Methan as Ms Neill likes to call them). I swear, some of the dialogue in this book has brought me to my emotional knees by the sheer beauty and intensity of how these two love, care for and are committed to each other AND to Cadogan House. The analogy of working with peoples who are ‘not like us’ is not lost here but skillfully incorporated and woven throughout the book.
Sopie Eastlake continues to bring her incredibly gifted voice(s) and understanding of the story to the tales. She is all characters well but especially Merit and even Ethan. She captures Merit’s spark and her vulnerability as well as Ethan’s aloof superiority and profound love of Merit. I’ll listen to damn near anything she narrates/reads/performs.
If you enjoy the paranormal genre and have not been introduced to this series, by all means start at the beginning and work your way to this one….the BEST ONE YET.
I LOVED this audio...the story line is a good one and the characters are, for the most part, believable. Caden and Ever's lives are forever and always connected through a clever and skillfully crafted idea. I must admit to getting a bit weary of the angst and the 'overdone' letters (too many...we got the idea early on) but the story of how they met as teenagers, went their separate ways, only to stay connected over many years is quite well done and quite lovely. I still contend, as I have for many of the YA/NA books, that teenagers do not have the emotional maturity that is granted them by so many writers...however, given the events in both Caden's and Ever's lives, they maturity is slightly more acceptable. The book does progress through time as does their relationship and when they finally meet again, it is explosive and wonderful. Be forewarned, the book has a cliffhanger ending that will have you screaming for the second installment of their story. The second and third books are not out in audio yet but should be soon. You may want to read some of the reviews of those final two books of the trilogy before pursuing. The problem is not with Ms Wilder's writing skills at all. She is a gifted and powerful mind. It is the story.
As for the narrators/readers, I love both of these folks. Piper Goodever and Gabriel Vaughn read the wonderful Wilder books Falling Into You and Falling Into Us. Ms. Wilder and Audible know a good thing when they hear it and this book is no exception.
This is a very worthy listen...just be aware that there is a price (emotionally) to be paid at the end of this book and with the next two. I read/scanned them and wished I hadn't.
Let it be known that this is getting like a 4.75 stars instead of what is shown as a 4. Hopefully, Audible will offer it's customer base the ability to fraction stars in the new look. Anyway, this is a powerful story of the struggle to deal with, work through, handle, manage or otherwise grow through not only tragic loss (Blythe's parents) but also unspeakable abuse (Christopher's family). How their lives cross paths, only to grow together, fall apart and move forward is a beautifully conceived story full of twists and turns that will have your heart racing and your emotions at the surface. The ONLY issue (which prevented the full on 5 stars) FOR ME was the over-done sexual encounters. After the first 10 or so, it got old and felt gratuitous; how many times do I need to read Christopher say "I want to hear you come" before it gets redundant and meaningless. Don't get me wrong, I'm no prude and enjoy erotic and sensual encounters a LOT but this was just over the top. With such a strong STORY of loss, love, loss, love and redemption, the sexual abundance did not add substance or meaning. This story was extremely moving and so beautifully crafted, don't let my wariness of the sexual content stop you from listening to it. Heck, I listened ALL NIGHT long to finish it--just could NOT stop until the story was done.
The characters of Blythe, Christopher, Sabin (perhaps my favorite character), Estelle, and Eric were so richly written and performed, I felt like I knew them and ached so for them.
About the narrator, reader, performer...Arielle DeLisle, well, I have one word for her. MAGNIFICENT. She handled many voices with ease, individuality, emotion, depth, believability and substance. As we who are devotees of the spoken book, the narrator can make or break. In this instance, Ms. DeLisle ABSOLUTELY MADE this book.
This is a very very worthy read.
This was a powerfully written and performed book. The story is quite strong and well developed. Anyone can read the description of the book so I won't bother with details. Suffice it to say that it is an incredible journey from teenagers in love to tragedy to survivor guilt. And then there is the reawakening of love, inviting more guilt. The characters of Nell (great name), Kyle and Colton are beautifully written and thought out...the writers voice is clear in her effort to add a dimension of substance to them and she totally succeeds. There were more than a few moments that I found myself tearing up as the struggle of a lifetime ensues for our characters. The lyrics to songs written by Colton are another testament to the writer's total immersion into the depth of the characters and their journey.
Enter the narrators...Gabriel Vaughn and Piper Goodeve. They were remarkable in their perception of the characters and capability to translate the written word into an extremely well performed narration. I don't think it could have been better. It is very rewarding when Audible uses a male/female team to make more reality than often one (even a good narrator) person can manage. Ms. Wilder should be very pleased at the final result of this pairing...it was wonderfully performed.
The song at the end of the book is stunning and the lyrics spoken in the book. But this is an actual performance....my ONLY issue was that it was not performed with the Colton Calloway or Nell Hawthorne guitar as was done in the book. But, Hell's Bells, it was stunning. Five glorious stars to this book of pain, growth and redemption by two people scarred by the circumstances of growing up.
DO. NOT. MISS. THIS. BOOK.
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