This is not the first time I've looked over at my partner in the middle of a book and declared "This is Porn....", but this is probably the best time.
Usually books like this one, that are beginning to redefine both paranormal fantasy and the bodice ripper genre, are written so that I just want them to be over with so I can enjoy the good bits and stop cringing in between. Not true of this story!
There was enough interesting plot and non relationship tension to make this book a book I would have wanted to read even if it hadn't been for the INCREDIBLY steamy scenes between the two leads. There were also quite a few very funny lines and quips.
The only thing I didn't like about the book was that some of the secondary characters veered pretty far into "stick figures with a schtick" territory. Most of the time this was still fairly amusing, but sometimes I just really wanted them to shut up.
Jill Redfield did a great job of bringing across the main characters voice, and reading the steamier bits without distracting from what was going on. I always feel like the best narrators are the ones you don't notice, and so I guess she did a great job, because she only made the story better.
Overall, totally worth my credit, but I will not make the mistake of listening to any more of her books with my car windows down again! Hi Kids!
This book was EXTREMELY erotic, and interesting. However I'd say 99% of the action takes place in the character's heads. I liked that the writer took us on an emotional journey, and I liked the book in general.
I guess I just wanted more plot than this book really had. Most of the plot was just an excuse to get some people naked together, and that's fine, but if you're expecting an exciting mystery AND sex, I'm here to warn you it is mostly just sex. (Very hot kinky sex, but still, sex.)
I love Wil Wheaton reading this book read by a former actor on Star Trek is kind of amazing. His delivery of some of the deadpan and laugh out loud lines in this book is excellent.
However his total lack of character voices make some of the dialogue heavy passages really challenging to follow. You end up having to pay careful attention to the "he said she saids" at end of most of the lines. And then you're just tired of hearing the word "said."
There isn't even really a differentiation between the male characters and the one female character which can be incredibly confusing. It doesn't help that some of the character names can be similar to, so you're struggling to catch who said what.
The story itself is a fabulous farce, with really interesting philosophical implications. It was both funny and thought provoking. If you're a fan of Mr. Wheaton's you might be willing to forgive his shortcomings as a narrator, but I might still recommend the text version over the audiobook.
This book was just like the previous book, which I'd enjoyed.
But it was JUST LIKE THE PREVIOUS BOOK.
Sure the conflicts were different but the characters didn't feel any different, their motivations, etc, were similar. The static secondary characters remained static, with the same one liners.
But in my head I can't even keep the plot lines very straight. The two main characters felt SO similar to me. I was just dissapointed.
I suppose for what it is, this book is fine, but there are so many books that manage to include sexy times as well as interesting overarching conflict and character development, that I feel this is just falling short of the mark.
If you are a Modern Witch I hope your life goals are to be married and pregnant, because that is what Modern Witches do according to this book.
I'm like, 3 hours in and so far there isn't even a hint of romance but there is a lot of talk about babies and family and even some gross in utero stuff. Seriously though babies, toddlers, babies, children, babies.
So I guess what I'm saying is if you're a single child free 30 year old whose parents are nagging you and you are already over it, DON"T READ THIS BOOK. It's like the book your Grandma wants you to read so you get pregnant already geeze. (And it kind of feels like grandma is reading it to you too.)
I might be able to overlook all the babies, and the fairly boring characters if there were some kind of conflict or overarching danger but right now, there is none. The biggest conflict is some internal whining on the part of the main character. No one even seems worried that normal people will find out about witches. Everything is just hunky dory.
On top of all of that 3 hours in and I've already encountered 3 casual factual inaccuracies that have just made me feel annoyed.
1. Chicago airports have taxi stands, and taxi lines. You rarely have to stand around and wait and if you do you wont be alone.
2. No Chicagoan would forget their coat in February, they'd be more likely to remember it in June.
3. February is not a busy time for a realtor. It is one of the slower times of year.
It's not that these are big deal things, but they are small inaccuracies that took me out of what story there was to speak of. This story is set in the real world, these are just weird things to get wrong.
Save your credit or your cash.
Someone compared this to a John Grisham Novel, which I think is pretty accurate. While the plot of this book is exciting and interesting, the book is very superficial. There was also a lot of describing food in great detail and random horse back riding in between plot elements. Don't get me wrong, I love a horse!
I realize this is the first in the series, so there was a lot of character building, which I didn't mind. But there wasn't a lot of world building, there are a lot of "things we don't know" about the other races as though it is all some big mystery, but I actually just got the impression that they were questions the author didn't bother to answer for themselves at this point.
There were a lot of little things that bugged me, details added haphazardly to create continuity where it could easily have fallen apart. There were also opportunities for description that were completely ignored in favor of talking about food. (Also New Yorkers are not rude? Try living somewhere people are actually nice. They aren't bad people, they just aren't very friendly for totally understandable reasons.)
I guess it just felt like someone told the author they should create a setting and that that setting should be created with food? I dunno. I enjoyed the plot and I may check out some of the others mostly because this book leaves you with about a thousand questions and no answers. But I really wasn't blown away.
The reader was fine. She didn't add to the story, but I also did not want to not hear her voice ever again, so I'll take it.
This story is like an onion, if an onion were an onion on the outside and a camel on the inside. It starts off slow, but the ending is well worth it. Definitely glad I checked it out! Lots of great characters and a really fascinating plot.
A lot of reviewers are complaining about the inconsistent Bostonian/Irish accent. However that is pretty much how the narrator describes her accent, she's tried to suppress her Bostonian tendencies as well as her irish lilt and it ends up being a mish mosh. It does take a little bit of getting used to, but it makes sense with the character and all of the other characters are as always, well voiced.
Maybe I've just read too many books lately with relatively clueless heroines, but this one felt incredibly frustrating to me. I felt like I spent most of the book trying to convince the main character to do something. Preferably something that made sense and didn't endanger a bunch of people.
Eventually she gets there, but despite her eventual action she felt very passive to me. And I suppose that makes sense, but I found it a frustrating read.
And I should add that this was clearly part of this character, and who she was, not a flaw in the author's writing, she was written this way. But if I'd been one of her lifelong girlfriends I'd have packed her on a plane years before this book ever took place.
Amanda Ronconi was fabulous as always.
I really like the world that Stacia Kane has built here. There are interesting political and philosophical considerations built inherently into the world here that add a depth not always seen in an urban fantasy novel.
Besides that the main character Chess is an interesting mixture of vulnerable and competent. She's smart, which I appreciate, but still makes mistakes.
I also appreciated that I was totally wrong about my predictions of the plot. I have read several urban fantasy mysteries that have completely failed to surprise me lately, and it was nice to be surprised again!
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