The final audio recording was poorly edited, with jarring, abrupt changes in volume, voice/tone, and strange sections where it seemed to be playing on a fast speed, as if I'd pushed the 1 1/2 speed on my iPod (which I confirmed each time I hadn't, and only happened with this audiobook.)
Also, the narrator made lots of mistakes, like saying FBI instead of FIB. She also kept ending her sentences before. They were done. She just kept taking on the ending parts of the sentence, even after she had finished. Saying the first part.
It drove me crazy.
Also, Rachel became more and more of a martyr, assuming guild and responsibility for EVERYTHING, to the point of ridiculousness. It would have been tolerable if it was just her neurosis, but everyone else blamed her for those things as well, which made no sense at all.
Lastly, the relationship between Rachel and Ivy has just gotten annoying and unbelievable. Rachel keeps narrating things about how she feels, but none of those things are ever evident in the story. It was the same with all the conclusions Rachel came to; there was no hint of those things, but she just kept suddenly narrating what she had figured out.
The only thing I liked about the story really was the plot line with Rachel and Kisten.
I had been hooked on this series, but I'm losing interest. I already had the next audiobook in the series, so I gave it a try as well. It was better narrated, but was MUCH worse as far as Rachel's personality, how everyone blames her for everything, and the ridiculousness of Rachel and Ivy.
I'm a huge Johanna Parker fan, from the Sookie Stackhouse books, so I know the pace at which she reads. It was immediately obvious, even if I wasn't familiar with the narrator already, that the book was electronically sped up to much faster than anyone can actually speak. That totally destroyed any chance this book had. It sounded awkward and all the nuances were lost in the high speed narration, and it was almost too fast to keep up with.
Other than the awful electronically sped-up pace, the book was pretty weak. I know it's #1 in the series, but the author took a cheap and easy way to feed us all the background details: have another character tell the main character everything. It's also written in the present tense, which is just weird. Ex, "He pulls out a chair and sits down."
I stuck with it for 45 minutes, and I kept trying to decide how much of the problem was the narration speed vs. the book itself. I think that had the storyline been captivating, I could've lived with the narration. After 45 mins, I was not at all invested in the main character, and I felt like I'd just been listening to a long explanation about the alternate universe that the main character was dropped into. It was also just kind of too implausible for me.
I love urban fantasy series books with strong female lead characters and werewolves and vampires etc. For example, some series that I love: Jane Yellowrock, Mercy Thompson, Night Huntress (Cat & Bones, Sookie Stackhouse... So, this one sounded like it was right up my alley. Sadly, this was not worth the credit. I'm going to return it.
Why why why did they choose to speed her narration up?
I was so glad that this book was more of a traditional Eve Dallas story, unlike book 37. I hated book 37. This is a good story, nothing earth-shattering, but good. Fun to listen to, good characters etc. I'm glad I got it.
I LOVE this series and all the main characters. I absolutely hated this book though. I get that Nora Roberts/J.D. Robb was trying to do something a bit different, showing us everything from both the killer's perspective and Eve's perspective.
There were two main problems with that though: 1) By the time you're at book 37 of a series, the readers/listeners are all invested in the main characters, so it's disappointing to have half the book really be about someone else, and 2) The parts written from the killer's perspective were just really unpleasant and twisted. I'm not squeamish; I like true crime novels etc., but I had to fast forward through most of those parts.
It was truly just disturbing, hearing the killer be all happy and joyful as he did such depraved and cruel things. Sure, that's how the killer actually felt, but I didn't need to hear it. That's not what I expect from these books.
Skip this one. It doesn't help advance any overarching story lines. Books 37.5 & 38 were both good though.
Susan did a great job as usual. It's too bad she had to read such degrading stuff aloud.
Really, skip this one. I only got it bc. I've read/listened to every book in the series and felt like I should give it a try. I wish I had skipped it myself, since I can't ever un-hear it!
A great, classic-style Eve Dallas story, with all the main characters: Mavis, Peabody, Roarke, etc. Almost no horrifying, graphic violence (I had to fast forward through half of book 37, when she was writing from the killer's perspective, bc it was too disturbing and unpleasant - and I swear, I'm not usually squeamish about that kind of thing!)
Totally satisfied by this installment in the series!
I really wasn't sure who did it, why, and how etc. I had lots of theories and I was trying to figure it out till almost the end.
Eve, as always.
Skip book 37, if you haven't already read it. 37.5 was good, and this one is great.
Johanna Parker is just fantastic! She brings each character to life and is an incredible voice actress. The storyline was exciting and fun, with great romance.
Sookie & Eric :)
Everything! She made this book!
Maybe Johanna Parker was in a rush when she recorded this one?
I am hooked on this series and have listened to all the books several times. Normally, Johanna Parker is AMAZING at voicing these stories. In this book, however, she seemed to just be getting through it. She spoke much faster, didn't have much emotion or inflection, and there were lots of awkward pauses and sounds of her swallowing etc. Usually, she's a great voice actress, but in this book it was just awkward.
Worse, she completely lost Sookie's southern accent and sassy edge! Having Sookie's voice totally change in the 5th book in the series was jarring. Most of the voices were less developed than in other books, but Eric's voice was especially bad as well.
I rated her much lower because it was so disappointing, given how phenomenal she usually is. It bothered me throughout the entire book. It made the whole listen just mediocre, even though I quite like this story.
Flat. Toneless. Disappointing.
Johanna just didn't hold my attention with this one. I don't know what happened with this one.
Let me just start by saying that I'm hooked on the series and am going to keep going with it. This book wasn't terrible or anything; it was just sort of... eh. Rachel Caine is great at writing character-driven plot lines, but this book was mostly descriptions of action - them moving about town, going through dark tunnels etc. It was kind of boring, and a lot of it could have been cut out. It was also totally confusing, but that's possibly because I got bored and wasn't listening that carefully. I honestly couldn't tell you exactly how or why most of the stuff happened, and it doesn't really matter.
All the books in the series end in cliff-hangers, so it's more like all the books are chapters in one giant book. This book was worse about that than most though, ending pretty much right in the middle of the story, right after a big event.
Annoyed that the book ended there. This really should've been part of a larger book.
She does a great job with everyone's voices and makes the characters come alive.
I really liked the first few books in this series, even though sometimes the characters' decisions were ridiculous. In this book, however, it was just too far beyond belief and was annoying. I know teenagers are rebellious and don't trust adults etc, but the situation they were in here was really serious and dangerous, and it was just insane that they didn't tell their parents right away. Had they done that, then the whole problem probably could've been avoided. Then, at numerous points throughout the first half of the book, they should've told their parents everything - even though they told them some things. It was just too ridiculous and annoying.
I agree that the narrator has an AMAZING voice for Gin. The problem is that she read everything in the same slow, monotone, emotionless way. Whether describing the scenery, a hit, her family's death... it all was the exact same pace, with no inflection. I really wanted to get into the story, but I kept zoning out and having to go back and re-listen to parts. After an hour and a half, I couldn't keep going anymore. The story didn't hook me yet either, but it wasn't that far into the book. Also, the super slow pace and lack of energy and emotion definitely made it harder to connect to Gin. But, there hadn't been a whole lot of character development so far either, and very little to be invested in yet. Maybe that would've gotten better. I'll never know though, since I'm returning the book.
The lack of energy and acting in the narration.
If you're reading the 7th book in the series, I assume you're a huge Jane Yellowrock fan, like me. You'd also probably been eagerly awaiting the release of the 7th book, like me. I was so excited to get the newest book, that I re-listened to the first 6 before starting this one. I was psyched and ready to go! Sadly, it never really got great at any point in the story. The good things were that at least we got a new Jane Yellowrock story and it was nice to be back in her world for a bit, lots of time with Angie Baby, some lingering issues from past books were resolved, and a lot of things were clearly put in place for the next book. Oh, and of course the amazing narration!
The problems overshadowed the positives though. There were 4 main issues: plot too convoluted and ridiculous, the decisions the bad guys made weren't believable, Jane's ridiculous self-blame and assuming the worst about herself, and there was barely any time spent on Brusier or Rick.
1) The plot was way too complicated, with a million different components that all supposedly tied together, but it was a wild stretch, even for a Jane Yellowrock book. The story tried to address so many different things that if felt rushed, constantly resolving something or creating a new problem/situation for the next book to deal with.
2) It didn't really make sense that the "bad guys" (don't want to give anything away etc.) would do things the way they did. It was kind of ridiculous because it was so complicated and the bad guys could have so easily achieved their goals in really simple ways. I kept rolling my eyes and saying, "Seriously???"
3) In past books, Jane's degree of self-blame really irritated me, how she always managed to pin everything on herself instead of on the people who actually did the bad things. It didn't seem to really mesh with the rest of Jane's personality. But, at least I could usually follow her logic, even when I completely disagreed. (Like, how is it her fault that Evangeline went crazy and summoned a demon and cast a spell on her sisters etc??) Then, in the 6th book, she seemed to get over a lot of that and even called out Big Evan on it etc. In general, she wasn't quite as bad about it in this book; she wasn't constantly bemoaning how everything was her fault. BUT, she did at one point make the MOST insane leap of logic about how if she had not been mad at Leo for the forced feeding then he might have kept her more informed about other things and then she would have known crucial information and then a certain bad thing wouldn't have happened, so therefore the bad thing was all her fault. Seriously? How about just getting pissed at Leo? Or, how about getting mad at the bad guys? I get that Jane has a savior complex and is hard on herself when she fails to keep everyone safe, but really?
4) Bruiser and Rick each made brief appearances in the story but really weren't main parts of the book. It was a big disappointment. I especially didn't like Rick's storyline in this book. It was really abrupt and there was no resolution. I guess it's being set up as a plot line for the next book. It also was just so... so... I didn't like it. Bruiser was in the book a bit more than Rick, but there wasn't really much fun flirting or sexual tension etc.
General thoughts about Bruiser and Rick at this point:
I'm ok with Jane ending up with either Bruiser or Rick; I like them both. I've always assumed she would end up with Rick bc of his tattoos and bc for so many books she hasn't actually slept with or had a relationship with Bruiser. If Rick didn't have the were-taint, we know they would be together now. But, regardless, I want Jane to be the one to choose. If she loses one of them and then ends up with the other, it will feel like it was by default or something. Throughout the series, Bruiser has been the one who expresses a greater commitment to Jane, said things like wanting to be with her forever etc. Meanwhile, Rick kept screwing things up with her by hooking up with the werewolf, then taking the PsyLED job etc. BUT, once he had the were-taint, it was better if he stayed away from her until they figured out a solution. Rick is a go-getter, crime-stopper like Jane. Bruiser may be a good fighter, but he's been Leo's servant for decades. In order for Jane to end up with him, he'd have to make some pretty dramatic lifestyle changes in the next book; Jane could never date him while he is still subservient to anyone. Rick and Jane seem like star-crossed lovers; things keep getting in the way for them. You could kind of say the same for Bruiser and Jane, that all the Leo stuff got in their way. In the next book, Faith Hunter could sway me towards either Bruiser or Rick, but she would have to really have Bruiser make some huge changes, beyond the changes that happened in book 7. I don't like how things were left with Rick in this last book.
Also, if you read or listened to all the short stories - I thought Beast had discovered that Jane couldn't be infected with the were-taint, which means she and Rick could be together with no problem. If that's the case, why doesn't Beast tell Jane? Beast wants Rick as a mate, so you think she would say something about it. Beast has known it for awhile now. I don't understand why she hasn't acted on it!
Kristine Hvam is AMAZING. She brings all the characters to life! One of the best things about the book was being back in Jane's world, hearing the voices of all the characters we've come to know and love. That's all thanks to Kristine Hvam!
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