Bayou Moon continues the partnership of Ilona Andrews and Renee Raudman in showing how the right narrator improves the story. The book is great on its own -- strong leads and secondary characters, action, and intelligent world-building - but Ms. Raudman brings out the subtle humor that is hard to hear when "listening" to the voices as you read.
Pre-Review Note: If you've not done so, please go read/listen to all the Mercy Thompson books and the story "Alpha and Omega" from the book of shorts called "On the Prowl". This novel needs all those for background, and Ms. Briggs caught some flak from her fans for Cry Wolf not being standalone. It's very important!
Having said that... this is marvelous. I am certainly a fan of all Patricia Briggs' stories. Her characterizations are the triumph of her work, and Holter Graham as narrator really brings her male characters into the spotlight.
If anything, Mr. Graham is a little breathy and helpless sounding in our female main character, but no so much that it interferes with my enjoyment. He makes up with it in his wide vocal register and solid accents.
Baking and magic does work, but buy the book if you want to see why.
I usually prefer kick-ass heroines with personality problems in my paranormal. However, Sunshine is a beautiful book written in a strangely gentle voice. It brings innocence back to a genre that has been taken over by sex, angst, and more sex. That simply does not come through in the reading.
I am not a great fan of McKinley overall, but this book is a true favorite that I lend out to everyone who needs a good book for a vacation or trip. Do yourself (and your friends who borrow books) a real service and buy a paper copy.
Kelley Armstrong is one of the few whose books I buy as both print and audio, and I loved this book in print. I simply could not get behind the combination of Jamie Vegas -- the most sexual female in Ms. Armstrong's lineup -- and Laural Merlington, the most comforting and grandmotherly voice in the audible paranormal lineup. Jamie and Jeremy's encounters are very edgy and explicit, and listening to them in Ms. Merlington's voice was unpleasant, almost embarrassing.
I'd been worried about a reader's take on Ward, whose speech is described as frustratingly slow. I shouldn't have worried - Joe Manganiello's rendition of Ward is perfect. He stresses the slow speech only when necessary to the story. Otherwise, we hear Ward's mental voice, with all the sly wit, sadness, and fury Ms. Briggs wrote into him.
Dragon Bones is one of my favorite Patricia Briggs books. Ward & Oreg showcase her remarkable ability to characterize - and J Manganiello captures them very well.
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