Being a huge fan of Chicagoland Vampire books, this book was greatly anticipated. And, it does not disappoint. The story is well thought out, the characters (who by now are old friends) are fun to reconnect with, the writing is crisp and strong and Ms Neill's voice becomes more clear and effective with each successive book. Sophie Eastlake's performance is SPOT-ON!! She delivers a great and masterful interpretation of the dialogue; her voices match the characters (she does a damn good Ethan) and the intonation/inflection certainly indicates that she didn't just pick this book up and start reading it out loud. The relationship between Ethan and Merit continues to evolve and Ms. Eastlake's reading of them reflects exactly that. Of course, the read is contingent on the writing and Ms. Neill is getting stronger with every book. I sure hope the next one is out soon and that Ms Eastlake is once again in the driver's seat as the performer. HIGHLY RECOMMEND!
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.
I am a HUGE fan of both Laura Wright AND Tavia Gilbert, so it comes as no surprise that this book was frickin' awesome. The creative thought, the cultures she has built, the mythology that has been developed and the sheer scope of the Mark of the Vampire series just blows my mind. I mean, really! I can almost wrap my head around thinking of the stories but the detail of these cultures is borne of a mind that obviously cannot sit still. Synjon Wise is a terrific character that we'd met in earlier books and it was so obvious this guy needed his own book...and BOY did he get it. Petra's story is likewise one of growth, passion and love. Woven throughout all of these books are the substantially developed characters, the challenge of being redeemed and the power of commitment. Usually not fond of shape-shifters, I found myself really drawn the the Rainforest culture and, damn if I didn't want to be one.
The dilemma that Petra and Synjon find themselves in was set up in the previous book and brought to a climax (pun intended) in this one. Synjon loves Petra, Synjon hates Cruen (for good reason) and wants to kill him. Petra loves Synjon and carries his child, Petra also loves (or thinks she does) her father, Cruen. Therein lies the awful trials for these two.
I won't go into further detail about the story as it is intricate and deserves more than I could possibly give. Suffice it to say, it's wonderful.
Of ALL the wonderfully worded (and spoken) scenes, the one that absolutely stole my heart was "the little piano". You'll have to listen to this book to get that one...it was priceless.
The audio of a book is so driven by the narrator...they can make or break it. Tavia Gilbert never disappoints and when I see she is a narrator, I know I'll be pleased and not rolling my eyes at a pathetic accent or lack of passion/intonation. She gets it and gets it right. It appears that the authors rarely have input into who reads their stories, so thanks audible for having Ms. Gilbert read this whole series. It's not often a woman can 'do' both male and female voices with any sense of credibility but Ms. Gilbert most assuredly does.
If you want a great listen, one that adds yet another dimension to a multi-dimensional series, don't miss this one. It helps to listen/read these in order. I prefer to read first and then listen...the depth just gets deeper. Thanks Ms. Wright and Thank Ms. Gilbert. YAY Y'ALL!
REMY is just as good as the first two only this is from Remy's POV--Sebastian York is as good a Remy as you're gonna get...he felt the part, he sounded the part, he was living the part and his voice was/is awesome. I have recommended him to some authors as well when they are in need of a strong male.
f I could give this audio book 10 stars, I would. I had read it and liked it ok BUT when I HEARD it, the whole story came to life in a big way. Remington Tate, badass fighter, has got to be one of my MOST favorite book boyfriends EVAH and Mr. York does right by him. I have now listened to all three in the series two times and will keep it handy when I need a Remy fix (which is gonna be fairly often). This book also deals with Remy's issues in a sensitive and meaningful way. Don't want to go into detail as it would be a spoiler, of sorts. If you have any doubts about this book....don't. It's the beginning of a wonderful and wondrous love story and we can all use that kind of warmth. I am going to say the same thing about each of these books, so if this looks familiar in the reviews of MINE and REMY...that's the reason.
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