This book is a companion to the series. It is not meant to be a novel in and of itself. The negative reviews I have been seeing are actually pretty laughable, because they are complaining about the fact that they wasted a credit on something like this. Only die-hard Sookieverse people should use a credit on a COMPANION book. That said, it was pretty well-presented for the type of book that it is, and the inclusion of the novella was a nice touch. I had been looking for that slice in the storyline of Sookie and Sam. I will miss the series when it is over, and will have to get my fix of Bon Temps from True Blood.
Okay, first of all, the writer knows what she is doing. Though the "teen drama" does get a bit tedious, but it is pretty close to the way a young adult would try to handle a serious relationship. The main reason that I am writing this review is the narration. Ed Westwick is awesome. Probably one of the best narrators for any of Clare's novels. The narrators for her books have been hit or miss. Either they are fantastic, or they are just awful. In this situation, there is one of each. I was so glad that they were switching up the narration from Natalie Moore, who I never cared for overmuch, but Molly C. Quinn is worse. Thank God for Westwick, who saved me from returning this to get my credit back. All three of the stars go to him.
The problem with Quinn's narration is as follows: it is flat, like a girl reading aloud in history class. There are no changes at all between characters, none, zip, zero...so if there is a conversation going on, it is hard to tell who is saying what. She doesn't even attempt to lower or huskify her tone to diffrentiate between male and female characters. All of these things are so painful and distracting to listen to, that I actually thought about skipping over the chapters that she was narrating.
I must admit, I was really looking forward to this last book in the series, and then I ran across reviews of the book on Amazon that appeared well before the book hit the shelf, um, or MP3 files, as it were. I was extremely disappointed to find out the end of the book due to reading the first review on the page. Hey, I was curious, darn it! That type of thing is just awful, and for one reader to do it to another without any notation, and then call Harris every name in the book because something didn't end the way that they wanted it to was completely juvenile. And then the remainder of the reviews were people bombing it with one star, not even having read it, and then writing a review saying they were never going to buy it. Those stars are important, and I know I will purchase something based upon those reviews, so I wanted to be sure that I posted a review in support of the book, which I HAVE read/listened to.
The book basically has three things going on, there is a murder mystery (of course); old friends reappear to help Sookie in her time of need--nice way to tie them in; and the loose ends get about as wrapped up as Harris wanted them to be.
That said, it really wasn't bad. I found Johanna Parker to be highly entertaining as usual. Nobody else could have made the Sookie books so entertaining, like listening to a movie, and she does not disappoint.
We have the usual writing from Harris, which chronicles Sookie's every movement, but that is how she has always written Sookie, so it should not be a huge surprise to anyone really. I thought the murder mystery part was well done, and helped move along the storyline to an end, as you would expect.
Basically, if you are a fan of the Sookie books, you would really do yourself a huge disservice not to finish out the series. If you are going to be emotionally stunted if the end doesn't turn out exactly YOUR way, don't clog up the reviews with the ranting and raving associated with being part of Team Whomever, because it is just childish. Complain to the Twihards, they will understand your angst.
To sum up: Good book, not great, but good. Typical Harris mystery. Didn't hate it.
Ah, the buttkicking, the mayhem, it is all back! Enough twists and turns to keep you on your toes, and the book just leaves you wanting more. The worst part about Larry Correia's books is waiting impatiently for the next one. Seriously, the action is as usual, the best there is. Oliver Wyman is without a doubt one of the best narrators for this genre. Use your credit, you can't go wrong with this one. (Make sure to read the others first--so you don't spoil what's gone on before now for yourself.) Makes other audio books seem hum drum. Can't wait to see what's next in this series.
Narrator did not keep up with the character to this point. Her narration left quite a bit to be desired. 90% of the accents for characters were either gone, or awfully done. Big bummer, because this could have been an awesome installment, but was ruined by a bad performance. Again, this series would have been so much better if they could have found a narrator up to the job and stuck with that person. The story itself is great, and moves the series plot along, and the main characters are interesting.
Can I just say that I want THIS vampire for Christmas? I was so excited that this go around was the character Ian, who I was hoping would get his H.E.A. The online dating site stuff is really amusing, and I just really enjoyed the story. The narrator did a passable job, so I was happy about that. For sure, my favorite so far.
I'm beginning to see an emerging pattern in Sparks' love scenes, which makes listening to the series one right after the other pretty monotonous, because the romance is a big yawn at times. I liked the main character, she's pretty feisty, and the babysitter is a total hoot, and the hero is, again, handsome and rich...but that's what makes romance novels--paranormal or not--fun.
Seriously, that is the worst I can say about this book. In the previous book, Emma had an English accent, so it was difficult to imagine her being from Europe. I'm beginning to think that they really should have stuck with one narrator for the entire series, in order to keep the continuity. The books are very much what they should be, the dialog is amusing and the romance is there, but the continuity problems with the narration can be distracting.
This was a really enjoyable listen. Imaginative premise, and funny situations abound. The harem was funny mostly, but at times their actions were tedious, but it lent to the story and helped to move the plot along. Sparks writes some really great heroes, they get more romantic as you go.
Good book. Narrator does a good job. Terrific beginning to a great series with a well-fleshed-out world. So glad that there are future installments, and I read on the author's website that she has signed on for more books so there will be many chapters to this on-going saga.
The narrators for a minority of these books leave something to be desired. The premise of the story was fantastic, the son of Casanova--come on what a great idea. However, the narrator for this particular book was just terrible. I think the people narrating a series should really listen to the prior books to give a good shot at trying to keep up with the previous accents. Otherwise, don't bother, because it ruins the full picture that those following the series has in their head. I found myself cringing at some points because the narrator was just THAT bad.
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