A better plot and a narrator who did a better job with making distinction between female character voices. I did know if Ailsing, May or Ysolde was speaking at times. Also Braum sounded too much like Jim.
There were times while listening to Sparks Fly that I fell I was listening to the monologue of a sexually frustrated housewife. The quick pace and humorous dialogue I had become accustom to from MacAlister was reduced to long rants about sexual fantansies and food menus. Finishing the first three chapters was particular difficult as the story stall and Ysolde spent entirely too much time in an Adult Sex store shopping for replacement toys for Pavel. You ask why Ysolde would be spending time leisurely shopping for sex toys instead of moving forward on the more urgent task she was given by the First Dragon? To that point your guess is as good as mine. Ysolde claimed she felt bad that Pavel lost his toys when their former house was destroyed. One would think since Pavel was living in the house at the time of its demise that he would have lost a great many things more important that his fleece lined handcuffs. Why wasn't Ysolde buying Pavel necessities such as clothing? What was even more preplexing was why both Constantine (a shade who has confessed undying love for Ysolde) and the First Dragon (a god like figure) would just show up at the sex shop of all places for a little chat. I could go on and on about the many issues with the book that include but are not limited to poor narration and an anti climatic revelation (the task the first dragon assigned Ysolde all those many years ago).
The voices of too many of the characters were too similar. It was very difficult to distinguish between characters.
Non-essential characters such as Constantine, Cyrene and Kostya. They only served to drag the plot on.
In a nut shell, this book is not worth the loss of a credit or a single dollar. It seems to me that the prolific Ms MacAlister may need to slow down and spend a bit more time with a piece before publication. Or it could simple be that as a reader I have out grown her re-writing of the same characters over and over again. For now, I have taken her off of my favorite author list.
Yes, if you are a Sookie fan who needs closure. However, I would not recommend this book as an intro to the Sookie-verse. Here is the truth of it all. Charlaine Harris is a phenomenal writer. That is evident in everything else she has written (with the exception of the last three SVM books). I truly believe she had 10 good books in her and allowed her publisher to convince her to extend the Sookie story after True Blood debuted. The series began it's painful decline with Dead in the Family (book 10) and the storyline hasn't gotten any better since. I can compare the experience of reading books 10-12 to that of a maimed horse slowly being put out of its misery. I wanted the series to end and wasn't sure I would read book 13 (OMG 3 books of the most drawn out breakup ever).But like so many Harris fans I needed closure. I was truly hoping that Ms Harris would rally and end with a bang. It is somewhat disheartening that she didn't. However, I am still a fan and I just believe she didn't have anymore to say about Sookie. As Cyndi Lauper sang "Money, money changes everything."
There were no surprises in this book. Unlike many of my fellow readers, I believe that Harris always intended for Sookie to end up with Sam. A happily ever after for Eric and Sookie was never in the cards. 1) Throughout the series it was clear that Sookie valued her humanity and her religious upbringing would not allow her to abandon her soul. 2) Eric may have felt some measure of love for Sookie, but his own ambition would always outweigh what he felt for her. His self-serving decision was true to character. What has been a constant throughout the series is the mutual love and respect Sookie and Sam felt for each other. So there were no surprises there.However, it was sort of interesting how many people hated Sookie with such conviction for so little cause. It seemed as if all of her enemies' hatred of her was misdirected. They despised Sookie when they should have been hating on someone else. They all wanted to cage and torture her as if she directly injured them (when she didn't)."I hate her because she stole my last chance" -- When in fact she use an artifact that was gifted to her to save a friend's life . What should have been said here was.."I hate myself for being stupid enough to make a deal with the devil.""I hate her because I was tortured, disfigured and cannot return to fairy" -Well when you betray your monarch and try to take over somebody else's hood-- what do you expect?"I hate her because she chose to save herself and her lover instead of me and my queen" Daah?"I hate her because I am dying, my girl died and my boss hates her too... Btw it is my boss' fault that I am both dying and soulless...but I still passionately hate this women who never said a mean word to me" What the hell??? "I hate her because she is a freak who is in bed with the supernatural world and ........I hate gays, blacks, Jews, Catholics, and just anybody who is different than me. I am just a hater!"Ok. I don't know if you are with me here...but the rationale is more than a bit unbelievable here. I can believe you can dislike someone for an irrational reason. Investing the time and money in such a convoluted scheme is what I didn't believe. What was the least interesting aspect of the book was Harris' departed from the Sookie POV as an attempt to use misdirection, but it wasn't very difficult to figure out who the bad guys were. It was very unlike Harris to leave so many large bread crumbs.I really do want to say that I found something remotely interesting about this story .... but I can't.
Johanna Parker is an amazing narrator! Her talent as a voice actor was what kept me on board. I don't think I would have listened pass chapter three had it not been for her. She really is the voice of Sookie.
No. Sadly enough the story is too weak to be made into a movie.
I do want to say that even though I believe the ending of the series to be a dud, I am happy that Harris wasn't influences by Alan Ball's True Blood. I am sure the money is good, but I think he has destroyed the spirit of her work in an effort to keep viewer interested. Overall I think she kept to her original vision. I believe that she should have said no to extending the series. Read her other series. You will love them. You will also know what I already know about Ms Harris...she is an awesome mystery writer!
Like all of Mosley’s work, this book is engaging and beautifully written. He is truly a masterful story teller. Walter Mosley is one of my favorite word smiths and to-date I haven’t been unhappy with any of the narrators for his audio books. However, I have noticed in a few of the Easy Rawlins and Fearless audio books the insertion of musical transitions. These transitions are distracting to say the least. To say the most, they are outright annoying. This is the only flaw in the audio book versions of Mosley’s work worth noting. Fortunately for Mosley his publishing company has chosen outstanding artists to perform his work. The music doesn’t add to the performance as much as it takes away.However, don’t let my pet peeve about the music dissuade you from purchasing the audio book.
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