This book is not for the faint of heart among you. There is a LOT of sex -- having it, dreaming it, or reliving it.
That being said, I love Charlotte Featherstone's writing. She weaves such rich detail into her work and in spite of some repetitive plot action (i.e., sex), she manages to not become trite with the words she uses. I have read other books where overused words make the book difficult to finish (you know the words I mean), but Ms. Featherstone's vocabulary is extensive without being laughable.
The plot is interesting enough to carry a nine hour book. The Unseelie Fey must bring the personification of the the seven Virtues to their court willingly to break a curse set by an angry Seelie queen. Chastity Lennox and her sisters are Virtues being seduced by the Unseelie to save their court and by the Seelie out of revenge. It is a nice twist on the "good versus evil" theme. It is easy to root for the bad guys.
Helen Stern is an excellent narrator for this book. She manages the many accents well and keeps the characters straight. I look forward to the continuation of the series and I hope that Helen Stern narrates them all.
But apparently that only applies to the print version. I have had a copy of this in paperback almost since it came out and I reread it every couple of years because I really like the story. I HATED the abridged audio version. It probably wasn't the narration, which although I didn't care for the voice of the daughter, Stephanie Zimbalist did a pretty decent job. It just was so chopped and short that I felt cheated and somewhat frustrated. Jude Deveraux has such rich stories with so much built into them that when that's all chopped out for the sake of brevity it's very hollow and disappointing.
This sounded fun to me. Time travel, demons, werewolves. But UGH, I hate whiny heroines. Brie started out with such potential, shy, smart, empathic, surrounded by great family members and a fascinating boss, but by the end, I was just hoping that the demon would get her. On the other hand, the main character could be so annoying. He hated his father so much he wanted to be just like him?? Please! He had great flashes of a personality worth rescuing, but whined as much as a half demon werewolf could without being shunned or eaten by the rest of the pack. On the other hand, if Brie had said "we have to save him" one more time I might have screamed. What we as readers can only imagine happened in the non-existent epilogue was that "good Aiden" finally went truly insane having to listen to Brie's constant desperate whining.
There is a vague possibility that the plot might have been improved with the replacement of the narrator. Her brogue was painful and I can put some of the blame for the whiny characters on her shoulders.
If you want to try a better plot about a good guy gone bad and a woman "rescuing" him, try Karen Marie Moning's "Dark Highlander". At least you /want/ those two to succeed and aren't rooting for the bad guy.
I was really interested in this story. It had a great concept. Unfortunately in the end, it was very disappointing. If the hero was supposed to have been one of the greatest warriors for the Greek gods, he apparently took one too many blows to the head. He spent a lot of time talking in monosyllabic words and one word sentences. Longer sentences were formed by putting the word "Ashlyn" in them. The heroine was, well, to put it as nicely as possible, lacking in common sense. (I.e., "All these people are trying to kill us so I'll just wander off and do my own thing.") Of course, all of that could have been forgiven if it weren't for the terrible narration. The guy sounded as bored as he was making me. He paused in weird spots in the middle of sentences like he came to the end of a line of text in the script and didn't know what to do next. He was also mind-numbingly monotone. It was hard to tell the characters apart and if Maddox hadn't been shouting "Ashlyn" at the beginning of each sentence I might not have been sure it was him. Some of the peripheral characters were actually more interesting sounding than the two main ones, but who could tell, they all had the same voice and inflection ("bored beyond belief").
The plot concept still interests me but since it's apparently the same narrator for all the books, I'll take a pass on listening and do it the old fashioned way and actually read the paperback.
I have liked the author's Highlander series, but I don't know if I'm going to be able to stand the Fever series if all the heroines are this annoying. She's surround by death and creatures of terror but all the girl can do is go on and on about her nail polish, pink capris and strappy sandals. (How did she fit all this clothing into her suitcase??) Almost everyone she comes into contact with is dangerous, but she just can't see it. Somehow, I think, if you watch someone being killed you will probably experience enough anxiety to stop caring if your panties and bra match. Unless, of course, you are shallow and clueless. I was disappointed that another reviewer put in spoilers, but at least now I don't have to finish it. The narrator does a good job not mixing accents between characters, but the main male character sounds like an 80 year old Irish emphysema victim and the heroine's southern accent was just this side of painful. I hope someone can convince me once again that this is a good series because I don't know if I can spend another eight hours listening to the fashion report.
Adam Black is a very good main character. The heroine, though somewhat week, is pretty decent and there is enough humor to see you through.
I think that the narrator finally figured out female voices and Gabby didn't sound nearly as hysterical as some of the previous female characters and he has an excellent voice for the narrator's role. It seemed like some of the characters' accents weakend as the story progressed, but I've also read the book and it's actually the writing that changes the Scots burr for example, it's not written with that much of an accent. I was very happy that Adam had a better voice than in earlier books.
Although, this series is very formulaic -- girl meets guy, guy needs girl to solve a problem, girl & guy fall in love, guy killed/taken away, girl & guy get back together, girl ends up pregnant, this book did it better than the rest of them and the epilogue was a nice touch.
If you like the series, you won't be disappointed in this one.
Frankly, this was just a so-so book. It wasn't a good romance and it wasn't a particularly interesting murder mystery either. If you're looking for time travel or historical fiction, there are better choices. (Try Moning's Highlander series, for example.) There is a looong stretch of boring repetition and detail for several hours in the middle -- if it had been a book with pages I would have skipped them by the handful. The heroine and hero don't even meet until 3/4 through. An abridged version would be a better listening choice.
The whole set up upon which the rest of the story is built is less than logical and you spend a lot of time frustrated with why characters are not making logical choices. The author makes random observations about some of the characters that don't really have any bearing on the story and you spend time wondering what "that" was all about. They never really further the plot although at the time you think that they must.
The book would have been much more interesting if more time would have been spent with the hero's story, he could have been a very fascinating character. As it was, I still don't know the point of the title.
The author did have a unique way of time travel that I haven't read before, so that was appreciated, but so little time is spent in the past it's moot.
If you just can't find a time travel that you can listen to or you've read every other romance and historical fiction out there, then spend the credit, otherwise you may be disappointed.
I read this book years ago and really liked the portrayal of warrior angels, but I just couldn't get past the awful audio of this recording to finish it. The narrator takes such deep gasping breaths and there is a constant metallic ring that makes it sound like someone in a Darth Vader suit recorded this in the bathroom. I thought listening to it in the car might drown that out, but it didn't. I'm glad I bought it on sale.
We may never know how Katherine truly felt about Arthur or Henry but the book was entertaining enough to make you want to read more accurate accounts of her life. If you liked any of the other Philippa Gregory historicals, you'll like this one just as well. I have to say that Kate Burton's stilted accent was a bit irritating in some stretches. Was it because the character was royal, or does she actually over-enunciate when she speaks? I couldn't be sure. But it wasn't irritating enough to take the joy out of the book. The fact that this book was abridged may have cut out somethings that might have added some richness and depth to the story, but 5 1/2 hours was a good length for the telling of this particular tale.
I liked this story, I really did. The narrator did an excellent job "narrating" but every time he had the hero speak I kept thinking that at some point he learned to impersonate Sean Connery in Hunt for Red October and never got over it. Sean, I mean the hero, had his moments and some of it pretty hot, but how did he get stuck with the heroine who sounded like a female impersonator? She wasn't well drawn in the first place, they kept saying she was strong, but every time she opened her mouth, she sounded hysterical (oh, an in case you don't pick it up from the plot, she's worried about her mother...). The hero was made of stronger stuff than I at being willing to spend eternity with that one.
I liked the mythical characters in the last hour or so of the book which dwells heavily on them. I'm not usually interested in faeries, but the "bad" guy has potential for a book of his own.
I'd buy another book by this author, I just hesitate at making it an audible book due to the characters' voices. This otherwise would have been a 5 star review.
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