While Jane Austen remains one of my favorite authors, and Emma is well-written and amusing, this recording is atrocious. The narrator's droning voice leaves much to be desired. All characters seem to speak with the same voice, accent, inflections and cadence. At times it's impossible to know who is speaking in a conversation. In addition to this, the second part of the download has not been properly edited. There are many places where the narrator did more than one take, and all versions are included. This creates almost a stutter of repeated phrases and sentences. Extremely unprofessional. Do yourself a favor, and choose a different narration of the book.
I was pleasantly surprised by the depth of the characters in this story. Easter and Anneth especially were much more loveable in their imperfections than the story synopsis had led me to expect. Their love for each other and for their home was very touching.
The one aspect I would have liked to read more about was their "magic". Easter has the second sight and Anneth is always talking about believing in magic, but I would have liked these elements to have been more prominent in the story.
Kate Forbes did an excellent job as narrator - loved the accents!
I really enjoyed A Discovery of Witches, and was eager to know what came next in the story. Nothing came next, for the first thirteen chapters of Shadow of Night. That was over eight hours of listening during which Diana met Matthew's friends and father in the Sixteenth Century, and Diana and Matthew were married - again. It wasn't until chapter fourteen that the plot began to move forward, ever so little. I kept waiting for a big twist, a leap forward, something, anything. When the book ended I was still waiting. How could so little happen? Is it being saved up for the next book? Or will that be a disappointment too?
When I first started listening to this book, I was afraid it would be too juvenile and simplistic for me, an adult listener. However, I soon began to empathize with Alex as he struggles towards emotional maturity and discovers the importance of families and friendships. The quirky humour found throughout the story plays counterpoint to its poignancy. The reader delivers a perfect Yiddish accent, while at the same time authentically portraying the teenage voice of Alex. A touching and amusing story for listeners of all ages.
Having greatly enjoyed Doomsday, I was disappointed by the lack of sublety in this book. The whimsical humour and farcical situations were blatantly a la Wodehouse, and there was no need for the author to make repeated references to Jeeves to make sure we got it. Also, the clues to the twists in the story were so obvious that the ending was somewhat less than surprising. Although the narrator did an excellent job, and in general I did appreciate the humour, I began to find the story tedious long before the twenty plus hours were finished.
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