After The Game of Thrones, I wanted something lighthearted. I decided to give this a try and am not sorry I did. I haven't finished it yet, and rarely am I prompted to write a review before even finishing the book, but I wanted to get the next book in the series and couldn't find it (even though it was published in Dec. 2014). This book has humor, personalities, philosophy, psychology, and a hint of a romance. If the ending doesn't live up to my expectations I will write a new review, but so far I am very happy with this book and the reader.
I admit, I haven't read many zombie novels. I mean what's to know about zombies? They have no minds, right? They're dead, right? Wrong. I really enjoyed this author's imagining of zombies. I find I have a vested interest in the characters in the book as they are well developed. I appreciate the fact the Angel is given a chance to make something of her life, all-be-it after her 'death.' This book addresses some sensitive topics, such as domestic violence and the cycle that victims can get trapped in. I appreciate how Angel is showing what a strong woman she is becoming, and how she is straightening out her life and her ability to understand others' psychology because of her own background. Angel is doing a good job of exerting her own humanity over her zombie tendencies, and exerting her conscience as best she can over her zombie desires.
I look forward to listening to her continued exploits and am eager to see where her adventures will lead her next....
I listened to the first two books by Thea Harrison and thoroughly enjoyed them. I had a much harder time getting involved in this one and I'm not really sure why, but I just found I wasn't as interested in the story. Maybe it was the beginning, where we are getting to know Vampyre Queen Carling. She just doesn't seem like a very nice person and I really didn't want the story to be about her. Rune, yes. Carling, no. As the story progressed, I became more empathetic with Carling, but still couldn't really embrace her. Also, it seemed to take a long time to figure out what was going on. Maybe my mind wandered and I missed something, but I kept thinking that the writer was going to take the story in a different direction or include some other notions to make the whole story line more plausible. But even after the story ended, I kept thinking there were some missing pieces that could have really helped to tie the whole story together. The story ended with me kind of wondering what really happened. There were, to me, a lot of unanswered questions, even at the end.
And then there was the narrator. Really, I would expect a reader to be more educated, but she mispronounced what I think of as common words. Filleted did not have the French pronunciation fill ayed. She enunciated it all Fillit ed. It really irritated me for some reason. Luckily I figured out what the word should have been strictly from the context of the sentence (slicing someone up - like deboning a fish). Another was reticule (pronounced reticle). There were other words, and I recall she had problems with the other two books, but really, if your not sure you should look it up. Or are there editors for audiobooks. Whatever, they didn't catch the errors and it was annoying, making a fairly good story only adequate. Sophie Eastlake needs to be more careful, and, to me, take her job more professionally.
I have really been enjoying this vampire/supernatural series. The explanation for vampirism seems almost more plausible than most of the paranormal fiction novels I have read. For example: an alteration in the DNA. They are still living, still warm, can eat food but need blood supplements, are mostly immortal with some fatal flaws.... It is a bit irritating that we are kept in the dark as to Merit's real first name. And Merit should just boot Ethan to the curb. Cynthia Holloway's narration can be a bit confusing at times as there often isn't enough variation to differentiate between characters but she still does a pretty good read. Definitely not detracting enough to take away from the story. Bottom line is that if you enjoy listening to authors like Ilona Andrews, Jim Butcher, Jennifer Estep, Carrie Vaughn, Kim Harrison, Richelle Mead, Patricia Briggs, Charlaine Harris, J. R. Rain (another really good find), and T. A. Pratt, you will probably enjoy this series as well.
I am definitely glad I had listened to Bone Shop first, so that I had some historical background of Marla Mason and Rondeau. Marla comes across as cold and calculating and a bit ruthless at times. Rondeau helps to counterbalance that and to also allow some of her softness to show or she might be a bit to cruel to be considered as a heroine. Also, one wonders if she might be a bit gentler is she still possessed her memories of Daniel, which she has erased from her memory in Bone Shop by a spell she asked for. At least we know now that she realizes that she has to be careful how she uses her cape, lest it take her over and she becomes a rampaging serial killer. Despite all of this, one comes to appreciate and even like Marla. You get the feeling that she really does appreciate her friends and she is trying to do what is right. I hope we get to see 'B" in future novels as his "seeing" can provide a different slant on how the direction of the story can go. I also have been actually enjoying Jessica Almasy's reading of this series. I wasn't sure I would at the beginning of Bone Shop, but she actually does a credible job. I didn't find her annoying at all once I got into the story.
I'm glad I listened to this book first as the prequel to the other Marla Mason novels, even though it was written after Spell Games and before Broken Mirrors. It gives some much needed background of Marla's history. Knowing this gives insight into why she acts the way she does. I also wonder if she will ever recover her memories that were erased, with a spell she asked to be cast, in future novels (which I haven't finished yet). Marla is quite human in her psychology and therefore she is flawed. It is nice to have a main character that isn't perfect, nor are any of the other characters, though some are better than others. I hadn't listened to Jessica Almasy as a narrator before, and at first I wasn't sure I liked her, but as the reading continued, I found myself relating very well to her reading of the book. I look forward to listening to the rest of the Marla Mason novels.
This series explores more of Samantha's developing powers and explores her relationships with two men that are falling for her. We also find out if Samantha can find a way to cure her terminally ill son without condemning him to a life as a vampire at the age of 7. I appreciate the fact that Samantha and her ex can be civil and without ranker during this trying time of dealing with their son's illness. Hopefully, future books will allow them to both be more mature in how they deal with sharing the children during their divorce. (I hate seeing divorcing parents making children feel less loving toward one or the other parent and create animosity.) This book neatly wraps up the medallion question, and what Samantha will (or won't) have to give up to get what she needs to make things right for her son. Samantha is able to be more open about what she is to Detective Sherbet, and she finds another vampire that she can learn from. There is still a lot of room left for further exploration and I hope we see more from this writer. The books are shorter so, even though main points are covered, there is still a lot of continuing development left for us to consider. The narrator, Dina Pearlman, is the icing on the cake.
I really enjoyed the first two installments of this series, but not so much this one. It was good, too. But I felt that there was a bit too much unexplained as far as Fang was concerned. Also, because the title was "American Vampire" and we learn that that was Fang's moniker when he was being tried for murder I thought there would be more explanation and exploration about Fang. It fell kind of flat in that aspect, though there is enough other continuing drama in Samantha's life to carry the book. There was just too much unexplained as far as Fang is concerned. I appreciate that Samantha is able to get some of her "life" back in a satisfying way so that her ex isn't always able to get the best of her. Again, we are left hanging at the end as it segues into another storyline. Dina Pearlman is a first rate narrator.
I am enjoying the continued character development in this series. Since the books are shorter than some, there is a lot of room for more discoveries. It is nice for Samantha to find others to lean on and share her woes with as her family life alters, rearranges and adapts to her vampiric life. I appreciate the fact that there is some explanation to vampire legend as it explores what is truth and what is "myth." I also like the fact that the author gives us a slightly new take on vampires, as this author has determined. A fresh outlook is often welcome. The book sort of leaves us hanging at the end so we can look forward to the next book giving us more focus on that. Dina Pearlman "is" the voice of Samantha Moon. I hope that all future books are read by her. She does an outstanding performance and, I think, gives it just the right touch.
I thought I would try some of Audible's productions and saw that Mr. Rain was a #1 Kindle book seller, so I thought I would give him a try. I was not disappointed. This has a little bit of a different spin on the vampire/werewolf supernatural genre. First Mrs. Moon doesn't (usually) drink human blood. Second, she tries to keep up appearances as a human by even going so far as to slather on sunscreen and a hat and shades so she can pick up her kids from school. Third, she is a PI (former Federal Agent for HUD) and doesn't want to become a killer, like a lot of legends have portrayed many vampires. Only a few people close to her even know the truth about her "skin disease." This series really humanizes many aspects of the supernatural and how they are coping with their "condition," and how they carry on relationships. Whether they consider themselves still one of "God's children" or not; if they think they, themselves, are good or bad.
The books are not very long, compared to some, but there is a lot of ground covered. It will be interesting to see the continued character development in the next installments of this series. I appreciate Audible taking a chance with this author and would probably enjoy some of his other books in audio format as well. Too bad my library doesn't carry his books.
Dina Pearlman does an outstanding job in her reading of this work.
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