Our protagonist, Oona Crate, is smart but troubled by tragedies in her past. She has clever helpers, a crow who carries all the world's knowledge in it's scattered brain, and an elf.
She lives on the border between our world and fairyland. She has a dilemma to face - to go on developing her talents as a wizard or become a detective which she dearly desires.
This is the story of how circumstances force her to face her fears and move forward. A wonderful growing up story, told charmingly.
The story is fresh, original, and convoluted enough to make it a satisfying mystery.
Remember when you read books for enjoyment? Return to a time when you could buy a working (for a while) car for $150. When you could live on $56 for 7 weeks. When a long distance phone call could cost over $100. And a week in a sanitarium cost $100.
Also return to a time when a science fiction writer had a working grasp of engineering, and a sense of humor, and hope.
Be amazed at a time when a writer would expect world powers to stop paying for armies because their citizens needed social services.
Oh, well, just sit back and enjoy.
There are characters and there are relationships - or failure to have relationships. For the first 3 chapters there is no a plot. There is no action. The first chapter tells us 3 people were shot at, but only tells us as a past tense aside. The action is not narrated. It is left to the third chapter to mention, not explain, why they were shot at. So by the fourth chapter we have not seen anything happen and only had brief, non-informative conversations.
The first three chapters are used to set up the back story for introduction of an unavailable hot male. We now have a plot of "He said he wasn't interested", versus "Why is she avoiding me".
The performance is adequate for the material provided but the writing and bland humor cannot carry this turkey. Avoid it.
PS. Maybe the writer gets better in later books but I'm not interested in investing anymore time or money to find out.
I read this book in paperback maybe 3 years ago and liked it well enough to buy the rest of the series, so looked forward to hearing it in Audible.
Mistake. The book narrated here seems like a different book then the one on paper. The narration makes that much difference.
The reader sounds like she is 15 years old and reads the book as if it were a slightly amusing fairy tale - totally wrong for the book. In fact, the book is actually trivialized by the childish tone. It is hard to remember the characters are adults and the situations are dangerous. Murder, bullying, and racism sound more like high school hijinks when read by a child. Half way through the book it is mentioned that the story is set in New York. I was surprised because the tone of the reader had led me forget and assume it was Seattle. That is a sample of how much the book suffers from selecting a childish voice.
(The narrator is actually good, for children's books.)
The book was produced by Harlequin so apparently they think the teenage market would enjoy this voice. Adults will be looking for other entertainment. And the author will lose business.
The author has written a richly detailed mystery that is satisfying (and scary) to read. The narrator sounds like an adult woman, which is rare in audiobooks these days.
Most of us make life choices for reasons besides what's actually good for us. We compromise and make the best of decisions that seem rather self defeating.
Rather than explain the plot, let's just say that Edie Spence is doing the best she can with a life that seems to be off the rails. She puts up with a low paying, high stress nursing job in the county hospital because it keeps her junky brother alive. And not only does he not know what sacrifices she's made for him, he still seems determined to destroy himself.
But this book is not a soap opera. It is well designed urban fantasy complete with vampires, ghouls, shape shifters, and "others". The setup simply serves to put Edie into the path of these creatures. A patient leads to a mystery which leads to much danger and a gripping story.
And boy does she get involved. From rescuing patients from a syphilitic dragon, to rescuing a vampire princess, she goes deeper into her patient's lives then she ever intended. Edie is not a larger then life heroine. She is a person who makes mistakes, like most of us, but she does try as best she can. She does get by. I am not a nurse, but the details of the daily grind in a hospital ring true to me.
I highly recommend this book and the sequel (I've listened to it twice already and will return to it again sometime when I can't find something new to listen to).
Loved the alien. Loved the trip to Florida theme parks. Loved the Roswell visit.
Not wanting to spoil the plot, I'll just say it was the kind of writing that reminds you why you keep reading - to find gems like this.
Hours of on edge of seat excitement with intermittent humor. A joy to listen to. Makes me wish for the good old days of the space race. Too bad, currently it looks like the Chinese will be the first Martian adventurers.
Only at one point was I yelling at the narrator - "Duck tape, use duck tape." But he finally thought of it.
If you want to convince someone that math is important, let them read this. The man's life depends on the math he uses to decide how to use his resources and stay alive. Fantastic!
The story is imaginative and interesting but takes a long time to get anywhere. We are looking forward to the point where the spacefaring humans meet the mage and it takes forever! Actually very near the end of the book. Until then we mostly witness the mage's painstaking steps to get into space. At the end is an enemy that is actually not very interesting, even if very powerful.
Another book that could be reduced to an easier to swallow short story or novella.
Trite characters battle a lackluster plot. Questions are not asked, because if the characters were smarter the story would never happen. How can a man, after being interrogated about a recent murder, not ask ANYONE who died? Or, anything else about the murder - all leading to misunderstandings and lots more bodies? This is just the beginning of a bunch of contrived plot points that leave the listener to shout at the absent writer.
The cliches mount up, just as the body count, and the reader needs some chemical assistance to enjoy it.
This is a prequel for novels already published. Fans of the swordplay of previous Riyria novels and forgiving of less than sparkling dialogue, may enjoy returning to the Riyria universe.
In a sort of "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" style, two men of opposite types are brought together to form an improbable partnership. It could have been fun but here the story is trite and contrived.
A number of vignettes are loosely tied together in a disjointed way that never comes together as a satisfying whole. Characters are moved around like chess pieces, maneuvered by a central character instead of allowing natural events to bring them together.
The result is flat rather than entertaining. The final chapter leaves the reader feeling manipulated. I was looking forward to this story of how the main characters originally met but it did not live up to it's potential.
Followers of the Liaden Universe series will be thrilled to have a new installment, but the performance is a real disappointment. Readers may decide they would rather read the print version.
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