This book is nice and light and entertaining enough. Just don't think too hard about the plot, or else the many holes become too distracting. Miss Alexia Tarabotti is a delightful heroine, interesting and intelligent without being too perfect. Unfortunately, the rest of the characters are mostly two-dimensional caricatures, completely predictable and uninteresting. Miss Tarabotti's love interest seems like any standard romance novel hero, except for the whole werewolf thing. I wish the relationship between the two of them had been allowed to develop more slowly - the transition from passionate dislike to passionate love was too soon, too sudden, to provide much satisfaction.
My enjoyment of the audiobook was mostly hampered by Emily Gray's narration. Her characterization of Amelia was excellent, but her renditions of some of the other characters left much to be desired. In particular, the accents of two major characters, a Scotsman and an American, sounded quite fake - at least to my American ears. At times Ms. Gray seemed to focus so much on the accents that she forgot to add emotion to their dialogue. Also, the pacing was altogether too slow for my taste. Between sentences there were sometimes pauses long enough to make me wonder if my headphones had become suddenly unplugged, and the same leisurely tone was used to describe a pair of ladies strolling in the park as was employed in the description of a bloody, climactic battle between supernatural forces. It would have been nice if more of the excitement of the events was noticeable in the narrator's tone.
We enjoyed the fresh perspective on history.
We enjoyed hearing the fascinating stories of these women’s lives.
We enjoyed seeing how varied, how individual, how unique these women were.
We got sick of the constant use of the plural form.
We got sick of the repetition.
We got sick of the constant jumping from person to person, never settling on any one individual for more than a few sentences.
We thought at first that four hours was awfully short for an unabridged audiobook, but by the end of it we didn’t mind that it wasn’t longer.
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