I'd like to know who originally rated this audio book with 4.5 stars -- I'm guessing it was the publisher. He lied. The performance sucks. The narration is so bad, enjoyment of the story, which itself is marginal at best, gets lost. The narrator doesn't seem connected with, let alone interested in, what he's reading, and one could easily believe the recording presented us was his first perusal of the material -- his voice also sounds as though it had been run through a mechanical translator, all tinny and without emotional inflection. The characters are one-dimensional, and the progression of the tale is predictable and unimaginative. The whole thing lacks an essential sense of reality and flow which readers of good fiction expect. After hearing the entire book, I still didn't care about any of the people in it, or how things turned out for them, and that's rare for me. It was definitely a waste of my time. If you are interested in the subject matter, but prefer a really well-written, realistic story that's brilliantly performed by the talented Joe Barrett, portraying multi-dimensional characters with whom you can immediately identify and connect, along with intense, though entirely credible situations that can easily cause you to forget you're reading a work of fiction, I suggest "One Second After" by William R. Forstchen. I don't usually revisit audio books once I've heard them, but this one is an exception. Throughout the telling, I found myself laughing ... and crying ... and caring deeply about how things turned out for everyone involved. Additionally, the author brought to light significant areas in the realm of family preparedness that many readers had neglected to consider before listening, and considering its audience, that's saying something. "One Second After" rates 5-stars across the board.
Giving this book a whole star seems overly generous. It's simply poorly written, trite, and entirely unbelievable in a flat, boring sort of way. The characters are one-dimensional and uninteresting. The situation she drops them into seems uneven, at best. And the story line lacks both creativity and any real commitment on the part of the author. It's devoid of passion and continuity. Even the erotica is pathetically puerile and unimaginative. This book offers nothing to motivate a reader to care about the characters or what happens to them. I'm not familiar with Marteeka Karland's other work, if there is any, but I won't be running out to pick up anything else she's written.
Although I don't usually consider "romance" novels serious literature, this one was very well written. The author constructs a good solid story, creates dynamic, intelligent, likeable characters, drops them into a plausible scenario that doesn't cause the reader confusion, and engages them in family dynamics anyone could relate to -- and offers a very satisfying conclusion. The erotica is extremely well done -- tantalizing, with lots of great build-up, and not just pointless fumbling. If the reader has anywhere near normal sensual response, that appetite will be skillfully whetted. Good job, Calista!
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