I would've never thought it possible for me to love a series of books with lots of guns, violence and monsters.
Now, I can't get enough.
And I'm kind of unhappy that I've just purchased this on the 2nd day of it's release and now have to wait for the next installment.
Personally, I'm holding Larry Correia and Oliver Wyman responsible; Correia weaves a fast-paced interesting tale that's surprisingly almost plausible and Oliver Wyman simply brings the men AND the women in these stories to life in a way that audiobook readers hope for with every download.
One of the best aspects of this series is that the characters are so very, very different from myself that there is very little for me to identify with and despite that, they're very real, down to earth people who could be (and probably are) my neighbors. I find myself empathizing with them and cheering them on whether they're dealing with end-of-the-world-monsters or bureaucrats. In the midst of unusual and/or challenging situations these characters are still just men and women dealing with whatever life is handing them and struggling to do the best they can; some are heroic, and some are evil-kind of like what we run into everyday. Yet it's heartening to think that there's an organization that looks for "flexible minds" and trusts in the diversity and innate humanity of most individuals. Plus I just like a story that includes werewolves and dragons based on a gun-nut accountant and his Southern Belle art lover wife who kicks ass and carries big guns. Now THAT''S quite a love story!
What I didn't like about this book? Other than the fact that it wasn't long enough and I wanted more Earl? Nothing. The story offers a compelling take on an interesting point in history; we learn a little more about an organization that doesn't officially exist as well as learn a little more about its nefarious head. We get to see the repercussions of past adventures for members of MHI as well as for those who are collateral damage like Mosh (David). This story explores the fears of the hunters and as a writers device it's brilliant-we get the back story for characters we've come to love and we also encounter characters we thought we'd lost forever while getting more information about Owen and Julie. This is solid story-telling from Correia; the story may drive the characters but it's the people he's created and that Wyman gives life and substance to that always leaves me wanting more.
I found that I really love about this story is the characters themselves; the story line itself is interesting and somewhat plausible. But the characters! I think I love Logan; the classic flawed hero/bad-ass bad boy always gets my attention and Tara's spunkiness is a recipe for sparks. But it's also the lesser characters who add dimension to this story, Xander in particular-his presence as the classic side-kick is welcome both as a foil and as a point of concern. Black's done a nice job with giving us interesting sidekicks and friends in the past and this story continues that trend in this series.
Logan as Dom is believable and the romance is as well.
Is this serious reading/listening material? Not so much but then, I WAS looking for pure escapism and this book fits the bill in my Universe!
And as always, props to Lexie Maynard; her narration brings the characters to life for me.
If you're a fan of the BDB series you'll know that this is primarily Qhuinn and Blay's story and it's absolutely, deliciously stunning. She might have shied away from telling the story of these young men via a novella or short story but to her credit, she did not-she gives their story the same thorough and thoughtful treatment that she does those of the other couples in the series. We see the challenges they deal with that ALL couples have to overcome-trust, misunderstanding, pig-headedness, etc., and she approaches gay sex exactly as she does hetero sex; head-on, graphic and steamy as all hell-it's impressively awesome. Other writers might have side-stepped or soft-pedaled the "sex thing" but Ward does not and it makes the story more real.
As usual, J.R. Ward weaves together several story lines so successfully that it was impossible to stop listening. She introduces a couple of new characters who are quite intriguing as well and she brings forward a couple of characters who have (until now) been mostly in the background. These elements serve to give greater depth to the over-all story line and just left me wanting more!
As always, Jim Frangione brings these characters to life and his narration is exactly what I want for this series.
NO! Audible does not make clear that this is "The Mists of Avalon" broken into 4 parts. They get more credits, I get less books. And here I thought I'd found something by MZB that I missed the first time around-I love "The Mists of Avalon" but breaking it up without coming right out and telling us what this series is does seem a bit deceitful.
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