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RabidReads

Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy Book Review Blogger.

QC, Canada | Member Since 2011

159
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 66 reviews
  • 68 ratings
  • 158 titles in library
  • 32 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
31

  • Lover Revealed: Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By J.R. Ward
    • Narrated By Jim Frangione
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2003)
    Performance
    (1395)
    Story
    (1408)

    Butch O'Neal is a fighter by nature. A hard-living ex-homicide cop, he's the only human ever to be allowed in the inner circle of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. And he wants to go even deeper into the vampire world-to engage in the turf war with the lessers. His heart belongs to a female vampire, Marissa, an aristocratic beauty who's way out of his league. And if he can't have her, then at least he can fight side by side with the Brothers.

    Antoinette says: "My Favorite"
    "Impassioned, dramatic and delivers a great story"
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    Butch has been one of my favorite characters of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series since he was introduced. What attracted me the most about him was the fact that he is the only human out of the bunch and yet he still manages to hold his own in the vampire world. This alone makes him the most badass of them all in my opinion! His story is different from those of the brothers in many respects but it’s just as riveting and heartbreaking. Plus, it’s about Marissa too who’s a phenomenal character in her own right. Lover Revealed will make you weep, seethe with anger and then weep some more. It’s a killer ride but the ending makes it all worth while.

    Lover Awakened is a hard act to follow but Ward still manages to deliver a solid fourth installment. I particularly enjoyed the friendship between V and Butch in Lover Revealed. It’s not easy to convey brotherly love without having their manhood take a slight hit but this book succeeded. The level of devotion and honesty that comes through in this novel is breath taking. The characters try to play it down with some manly joking which made the emotional elements both moving and funny at the same time. Butch puts up a strong front but on the inside he’s really quite vulnerable. I liked reading about his personal conflicts and his struggle to find a place to belong within the brotherhood.

    Marissa is just as troubled as Butch but because she’s a female her emotions are always close to the surface and sometimes make her appear weak. I found that she grew a lot as a character in this book. She finally takes charge of her life and even pulls a few ballsy moves that really impressed me. Oh, and she finally gets laid! Anyone who’s capable of remaining a virgin for over three centuries deserves some credit. As a result, in true Black Dagger Brotherhood fashion, Lover Revealed is as scorching hot as its predecessors. Needless to say that after Marissa discovers what all the fuss is about she is hooked! The fact that she’s getting it on with Butch doesn’t hurt either.

    This was my first audio book experience with a male narrator. It definitely took some getting used to and I found the female dialogue a little comical at times but overall Frangione does an excellent job. He has a great tone and accurately portrays the badass attitude that’s prevalent throughout this series. Jim also reads the action-y chapters with enthusiasm and the sex scenes with heat.

    The ending sort of wraps up Butch’s humanity “problem” with a nice, neat bow but I think that it was fitting and that he deserves his happily ever after just as much as any of the brothers do. Lover Revealed is impassioned, dramatic and delivers a great story. Lover Awakened retains its top seat among my favorites in this series but all bets are off because Vishous is up next in Lover Unbound!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Burn for Me: A Hidden Legacy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Ilona Andrews
    • Narrated By Renee Raudman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (275)
    Performance
    (261)
    Story
    (260)

    Nevada Baylor is faced with the most challenging case of her detective career - a suicide mission to bring in a suspect in a volatile situation. Nevada isn't sure she has the chops. Her quarry is a Prime, the highest rank of magic user, who can set anyone and anything on fire. Then she's kidnapped by Connor "Mad" Rogan - a darkly tempting billionaire with equally devastating powers.

    Ashley says: "Say It Ain't So...."
    "Cover aside, this audiobook rocked!"
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    I loved this first glimpse into Ilona Andrews' HIDDEN LEGACY world; the magic was fascinating, the characters were insta-hits, and the plot just didn't quit. Mad Rogan was everything I wanted in a bad boy—a powerful, borderline sociopath with mega sex appeal—and, Nevada was an absolute delight. Renée Raudman's narration was flawless, the family dynamics of the Baylor clan leaped off the pages, and the romantic elements left me anxious to listen to the next installment. 4.5 stars.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Storm Front: The Dresden Files, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Jim Butcher
    • Narrated By James Marsters
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (12416)
    Performance
    (9228)
    Story
    (9231)

    A call from a distraught wife, and another from Lt Murphy of the Chicago PD Special Investigation Unit makes Harry believe things are looking up, but they are about to get worse, much worse. Someone is harnessing immense supernatural forces to commit a series of grisly murders. Someone has violated the first law of magic: Thou Shalt Not Kill. Tracking that someone takes Harry into the dangerous underbelly of Chicago, from mobsters.

    Tom says: "Excellent Story, Distracting Sound Engineering"
    "Adding a new male protagonist to my audio rotation"
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    This series has been on my to-read shelf forever, so when the first two installments in audio went on sale I just couldn't resist. I'm really glad that I finally gave Harry a chance because I loved his POV, and the fact that his story is told by James Marsters certainly doesn't hurt either. Wizards and male protagonists are uncommon in Urban Fantasy, two definite pluses. The plot was entertaining, I enjoyed Butcher's humour, and the magic system showed promise, although STORM FRONT would have benefited from more development where the latter was concerned, thus my 3 star rating. I look forward to listening to more of THE DRESDEN FILES.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Wicked Deeds on a Winter's Night: Immortals After Dark, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Kresley Cole
    • Narrated By Robert Petkoff
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1369)
    Performance
    (1273)
    Story
    (1280)

    Bowen MacRieve of the Lykae clan was nearly destroyed when he lost the one woman meant for him. The ruthless warrior grew even colder, never taking another to his bed - until a smoldering encounter with his enemy, Mariketa the Awaited, reawakens his darkest desires. When sinister forces unite against her, the Highlander finds himself using all his strength and skill to keep her alive. Temporarily stripped of her powers, Mari is forced to take refuge with her sworn adversary. Soon passion burns between them.

    Netfilly says: "This narrator ROCKS!!"
    "The title is self-explanatory i.e hot, hot, HOT!"
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    Until this installment I didn’t realize that many of the plots in this series run parallel to each other, so when I found myself back in the midst of the Hie I was ecstatic. It was interesting finding out what happened to Bowen after Sebastian trapped him, and learning more about the witch who cursed him. The two protagonists played a wonderfully devious game of cat and mouse throughout WICKED DEEDS ON A WINTER’S NIGHT which made their dialogue hysterically funny, and their lovemaking mercurial, especially when MacRieve accidentally screamed his ex’s name. I had a blast listening to this title; Kresley Cole & Robert Petkoff are a powerhouse of audiobook wizardry!

    Thus far, we’ve become versed in the intricate Lore surrounding this author’s Valkyries, vampires, and werewolves, so you’d be right to infer that my expectations vis-à-vis her witches were through the roof. Mariketa’s also part fey which means that Cole had heaps of awesome new material to work with, and rest assured that none of it was wasted. I loved discovering the powers related to the five casts, exploring the specifics surrounding the Awaited’s prophecy, and the captromancer powers were just plain cool (and creepy!). Other than a bit of glamour, and a couple of secondary characters, the fey elements were negligible which I’m assuming was intentional, and will be explored in a future installment.

    I liked how dissimilar the two protagonists were; Mari is only twenty-two years old, hasn’t been frozen into her immortality yet, and is the embodiment of a modern young woman. In comparison, Bowen is ancient, has already found & lost his mate, and is prejudiced towards witches. Also, their relationship really got off on the wrong foot what with Mariketa cursing the werewolf, and MacRieve entombing her with crazed incubi. Watching these two attempt to bridge the gap was an exercise in futility, but when they finally give in to their baser instincts their chemistry was as clear as day. The twist at the end was exquisite, and I adored how it all came together.

    With only three IMMORTALS AFTER DARK installments under my belt, and still ten left to go (plus novellas), I risk repeating myself with regards to Robert Petkoff’s narration; however for the time being I’ve no shortage of positive adjectives to use when it comes to his delivery of this series. His sinfully dreamy Scottish accent was back for a second lap, and in addition to it he unleashed Bowen’s beast with a guttural werewolf voice that succeeded in doing naughty things to my insides. I’m sure that Petkoff captured Mari’s character beautifully as well, but for some strange reason all I can remember is MacRieve. RAWR!

    WICKED DEEDS ON A WINTER’S NIGHT’s title is self-explanatory or in other words… hot, hot, HOT!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Fair Game: Alpha and Omega

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Patricia Briggs
    • Narrated By Holter Graham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1740)
    Performance
    (1571)
    Story
    (1582)

    Now that the werewolves have revealed themselves to humans, they can't afford any bad publicity. Infractions that could have been overlooked in the past must now be punished, and the strain of doing his father's dirty work is taking a toll on Charles. Nevertheless, Charles and Anna are sent to Boston when the FBI requests the pack's help on a local serial killer case. They quickly realize that not only the last two victims were werewolves - all of them were.

    David says: "Best of the Best"
    "Sorry Mercy, but I have a new fav Briggs series!"
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    I’m used to the events in series installments taking place a few weeks, if not days apart, so I was a little disconcerted by the fact that FAIR GAME jumped two full years into the future. In HUNTING GROUND Bran was still contemplating bringing the werewolves out to the public, but in this audiobook it was a done deal, and Anna & Charles are now dealing with the fallout. As a result, I experienced some mild growing pains while getting up to speed; luckily I had Briggs’ MERCY THOMSON series to help make the drastic shift in gears less jolting. I was chagrined to learn that one of my favourite werewolf couples were no longer in a happy place, however the decade’s long murder spree, and smoothly crafted fae mythology proved to be satisfying distractions.

    Up until this point, Charles & Anna have been flying solo with regards to their investigations, so it was a hoot watching them join their efforts with various federal organizations in order to stop a killer. Latham was Cornick’s designated handler, and the outcome was quite comedic as you can probably imagine. I especially liked Anna’s list of do’s & don’ts around her mate, and the PR tangent was good for a few laughs too. As previously mentioned, these two have hit a rocky point in their relationship, mostly because Charles’ enforcer role is beginning to wear on him thanks to stricter penalties towards misbehaving werewolves. I love how even when this couple is at their lowest they still continue to communicate, and resolve their problems angst free.

    The fae have always played an active role in Briggs’ universe, and I was excited to finally learn the real reason why they retreated to their reservations in her MT books. I never realized that such an important segment was missing until this newsflash roared to life, and forced me to revisit everything that I’ve learned to date in both worlds. This author sure knows how to give her protagonists a deserving foe while also ensuring that all of the secondary characters have a big impact on the overall story. I liked how Leslie’s plot thread popped up throughout the novel when you least expected it to, and I really hope that she makes an encore appearance in this series.

    The moment I hear Holter Graham’s voice, I immediately slip back into the ALPHA & OMEGA frame of mind. He’s brought something extra to every installment, and in this latest one it was his Boston accents. His attention to detail never ceases to amaze, from the consistency of the protagonists, to the slight differences between Charles and Brother Wolf’s tones. Several new characters were added, and he made it easy to identify each and every one of them. Graham’s delivery has improved a great deal when compared to the first audiobook which I still adored, and as a result, he’s now among my top three male narrators.

    FAIR GAME was an experience that bears repeating; I don’t do re-reads very often, but this series is worthy!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Daring: Pax Arcana, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Elliott James
    • Narrated By Roger Wayne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (121)
    Performance
    (112)
    Story
    (112)

    Something is rotten in the state of Wisconsin. Werewolf packs are being united and absorbed into an army of super soldiers by a mysterious figure who speaks like an angel and fights like a demon. And every Knight Templar - keepers of the magical peace between mankind and magickind - who tries to get close to this big bad wolf winds up dead. No knight can infiltrate a group whose members can smell a human from a mile away...no knight except one.

    RabidReads says: "Werewolves make everything better!"
    "Werewolves make everything better!"
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    I was left with mixed feelings when I finished CHARMING a few months ago; I liked John’s character, Roger Wayne’s narration, and the author’s quirky writing style, but the love interest, and info dumps were definite cons. However, when I read DARING’s blurb and discovered that the werewolves were going to be front-and-center in round two, I just knew that this series deserved a second chance. And, even though I didn’t love this installment either, it was more along the lines of what I’ve come to expect from Urban Fantasy, and my issues with this one were vastly different that its predecessor, so at least it was a step in the right direction. The story was darker, the humour more subdued, and I did struggle to see the links between the four parts, but it all came together in the end which made this novel marginally better than its predecessor.

    The prelude was a hoot, James shared a list of the ‘top ten things that people who didn’t read the first book really ought to know’ which served as a good recap while also turning a boring necessity into a fun intro. The opening section was my favourite because it not only explored John’s past as a Knight, but provided some much needed clarification about his insta-attraction to Sig, and set the tone for the rest of the story. The second part was somewhat of a mixed bag; I liked learning more about this universe’s werewolves, although certain aspects were a little overly touchy feely for me—too much zen, not enough predator. The final two were the meatier pieces with plenty of action, unanticipated twists, and an ah-ha ending. The world-building was also greatly muted which made this installment more about the journey than the magical rules which was a welcomed tweak.

    DARING was nowhere near as funny as book 1, but given the nature of this tale, it fit. That’s not to say that I still didn’t crack a couple of smiles while listening because I did, however the overall tone was much heavier. I was disappointed that the majority of the secondary characters that the protagonist formed connections with previously were for the most part MIA, although they were replaced with new ones, so at least the author found a way to fill that void. Sig’s role was minimal which made me exceedingly happy because she was my main problem with CHARMING, so I liked that the Valkyrie was pushed to the back burner for the time being. John’s POV continued to delight and entertain; I loved how he talked directly to the reader, and his keen wit and sarcastic dialogue are the main reasons why I am diggin’ this series so much.

    As expected, the narrator delivered another winning performance which was why I had no qualms about pre-ordering this audiobook. His voice is well-suited for James’ writing style, and he absolutely nailed Charming’s first person POV. The hero gets his butt handed to him on multiple occasions, and Roger Wayne helped to add authenticity to that fact by slurring his words as though he himself had gotten punched in the teeth. He also showed adaptability as a narrator by taking a step back from the first installment’s snark, and adopting the more somber tone that this tale demanded. It normally takes me a week on average to listen to nine+ hours, but in this case my listening time was cut in half thanks in large part to Wayne.

    DARING is proof that werewolves make everything better!

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Endless Knight

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Kresley Cole
    • Narrated By Emma Galvin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (480)
    Performance
    (455)
    Story
    (450)

    In this seductive follow-up to Poison Princess, #1 New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole takes us deeper into the dark world of the Arcana Chronicles. With threats lurking around every corner, Evie is forced to trust her newfound alliance. Together they must fight not only other Arcana, but also Bagmen zombies, post-apocalyptic storms, and cannibals

    Katheryne says: "Thrilling!"
    "Team Death all the way!"
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    Going into POISON PRINCESS I couldn’t help thinking Young Adult—this is going to suck, but Kresley Cole’s writing quickly won me over to Evie’s side, and then Emma Galvin sealed the deal with her mesmerizing narration. And now, here I am, completely committed to this series, and putting my stamp of approval on book 2. The characters show a level of maturity that I never expected from this genre, and there was even a sex scene in this installment. Yes folks, don’t let these teenagers fool you, this is grown up YA at its best. The author does such an amazing job of making readers dislike Death that when the love triangle began to develop I was convinced that nothing could sway me from Team Deveaux. Well, now I’m eating crow because Aric was so skillfully fleshed out that the Cajun is just a distant memory. Jackson who?

    For a girl that doesn’t want to play the game, Evie sure is racking up Arcana symbols! I love how far she’s come from that scared young woman refusing to accept her new, albeit harsh reality, to the ring leader of an unlikely alliance of Arcana. Greene shows mercy when the situation calls for it, and still believes that more than one power card can survive the coming battle, but when he friends’ lives are on the line, she doesn’t hesitate to do what must be done. I enjoyed witnessing the Empress embrace her powers in ENDLESS KNIGHT; her abilities may be the complete opposite of Death’s, however life can, and does annihilate just as easily. Evie continues to surprise me at every turn from how she deals with the teeth (carnivores), to certain characters’ two-facedness, to Aric’s unexpected past. The Red Queen is no pushover!

    Coles’ dystopian world-building marched forward in this installment with the Hierophant, Devil, Tower, Strength, Judgment, and World cards. I liked learning more about their tableaux, calls, and powers as well as the characters that they represent. I also developed a soft spot for Scarface, Cyclops, and Maneater—Lark’s wolves. The plot line was uncomplicated: escape Death, and when that fails, survive him. I enjoyed the showdown leading up to Evie’s capture, and her time with Aric was enlightening to say the least. I was happy that Jackson was finally clued in to the game and ecstatic when he and Evie found a brief respite in each other’s arms. But of course, just when Greene decides to trust him his deception comes to light.

    This novel took so many turns that I did not see coming, and oddly enough, I found myself rooting for the bad guy! Like most other readers, love triangles are the bane of my existence, but the one in ENDLESS KNIGHT is so far removed from what is typical of this trope that I wasn’t the least bit upset by it when it eventually surfaced. I’d mentioned in my review of book 1 that Emma Galvin’s narration carried that installment, so I was relieved to see her flying solo this time around. I’m not knocking Keith Nobbs’ delivery, but I prefer to give credit where it’s due. Galvin excels at bringing THE ARCANA CHRONICLES’ dark tone to life while still doing the youthful characters justice with a YA authenticity that so many performers in this genre lack.

    ENDLESS KNIGHT concluded with one heck of a cliffhanger, but that’s a recipe for success as far as pre-orders of DEAD OF WINTER go because you can bet I’ll be glued to my earbuds come hell or high water on January 6th, 2015.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Raven Boys

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Maggie Stiefvater
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (804)
    Performance
    (736)
    Story
    (739)

    It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive. Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them - not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her. His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble. But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can't entirely explain.

    C. ALLINGER says: "Stiefvater does it again!"
    "We will meet again in THE DREAM THIEVES!"
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    I’m a huge fan of Maggie Stiefvater’s THE WOLVES OF MERCY FALLS trilogy, and I recently listened to SINNER in audio which is what prompted me to give this series a whirl. Well, that and the fact that I won a copy. The author’s lyrical writing style that I’ve come to know and love was out in full force, I connected remarkably well with all of the characters after only one installment, and I also really liked that this wasn’t your typical paranormal listen in that it doesn’t feature the usual supe suspects. However, I found that the lore was a lot to take in—I had to listen to several chapters more than once in order to grasp all of the intricate details—and, I wasn’t completely sold on the narrator’s delivery. But, I remember not having instantly clicked with SHIVER, so I’m more than willing to give THE DREAM THIEVES a chance, I just won’t be downloading a copy asap.

    The first few chapters were kind of meh because all of this series’ players were introduced, but Stiefvater didn’t connect the dots until three hours in which caused THE RAVEN BOYS to have a rather slow start. Then all of the symbology, Tarot aspects, and Welsh lore kicked in, and I was once again swept again by this author’s masterful world-building skills. Readers are left with way more questions than answers, however that’s to be expected from a debut installment, so even though it was frustrating, I was still pleased with the end result. I’m infinitely curious about the corpse road, ley lines, Cabeswater, Glendower, the dreaming tree, and what it all means because at the moment there seems to be many MANY pieces to this puzzle, and I don’t have two clues as to how they fit together.

    I took an immediate liking to all of the characters; from Adam the trailer park trash trying to make it on his own, to Gansey the wealthy adventurer that attempts to be middle-class but fails horribly, and Blue the only non-psychic among a family of fortune tellers who just wants to be special too. The prophecy surrounding Sargent’s true love added an extra layer to the intrigue, then there was Whelk & Neeve’s individual motivations, and the whole possibility vs reality angle. And, just when I thought that I was beginning to figure the story arc out, Stiefvater goes and drops the Noah bomb on me, followed by multiple visions of likely outcomes, and a semi cliff hanger ending about a ghost’s dreams and a raven named Chainsaw. Colour me thoroughly confused!

    I liked Will Patton’s narration, but I didn’t love it, and there were a few reasons why. The main one being that he whispered a lot, and although I found that it fit this novel’s darker tone, it also made him difficult to understand. The whole time I was listening, I thought that Cabeswater was actually caves water, and this happened for several words that I later had to look-up in order to write an accurate review. This also may have been what caused me to have to re-start several chapters rather than putting all of the blame solely on the author’s complex world-building. I really disliked the voice he used for Persephone, and for the most part, he felt too old for a Young Adult book. However, after eleven+ hours of him streaming through my earbuds, he did grow on me, so I’m not prepared to write him off just yet.

    THE RAVEN BOYS made me go WTF way too many times to count, as all good mysteries should, so mission accomplished Maggie Stiefvater. We will meet again in THE DREAM THIEVES!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Steel's Edge

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Ilona Andrews
    • Narrated By Renée Raudman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (441)
    Performance
    (406)
    Story
    (410)

    The Edge lies between worlds, on the border between the Broken, where people shop at Wal-Mart and magic is a fairy tale—and the Weird, where blueblood aristocrats rule, changelings roam, and the strength of your magic can change your destiny…Charlotte de Ney is as noble as they come, a blueblood straight out of the Weird. But even though she possesses rare magical healing abilities, her life has brought her nothing but pain.

    Malinda says: "Great addition to the series! :D"
    "This author duo doesn’t do half-assed. Period."
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    It should come as no surprise that I’ve been enjoying this series a lot, but I haven’t LOVED any of the installments yet, until now. When I first discovered that this final book featured a healer as the main heroine, I had some qualms as to whether Charlotte would be able to achieve the level of badass-ery that I’ve come to expect from Ilona Andrews. Case in point, FATE’S EDGE’s Audrey Callahan wasn’t a fighter either, and ended up being my least favourite THE EDGE female protagonist. All of my doubts quickly flew the coop though when I learned that de Ney’s abilities could also be used to harm, and I’m not talking little ouchies here, but mass murdering plagues. Never have I been so happy to eat my words! The world-building, narration, secondary characters, and storytelling absolutely rocked too. This was the series finale after all, and this author duo doesn’t do half-assed. Period.

    I liked that the protagonists were older; they’ve both been married once already, are individuals first, and a couple second. Charlotte and Richard have been around the block a couple of times, and as a result, were unwilling to settle for anything less than true love. It made them both more accepting of their respective faults; the flash fire romance was believable on account of them knowing exactly what they wanted in a partner, and not being afraid to go after it. I loved de Ney’s flawless poise vs. Mar’s backwoods mannerisms, and her raw power to his skill with a blade. She fears transforming into a bringer of plagues, while as he’s worried that he’s not Blue Blood enough for her. When they finally opened up their hearts to a relationship, it was like two puzzle pieces sliding home.

    The Andrews’ skillfully wrapped-up this series’ story arc while still weaving a captivating story about slavers, political intrigue, and also tying up several loose ends secondary character wise. Jack and George play a vital role in this installment, and I loved how they were able to get some closure with regards to their father’s abandonment. Sophie gets a piece of Spider for fusing her mother, and even Rose, Declan & Kaldar had brief cameos. As much as I enjoyed the action, I actually liked Charlotte’s poised manipulations and tutelage of Lark more. It takes finesse to defeat a foe with a sword, but even more so with words, and clever artifice. However, not everyone got their HEA unfortunately, poor sweet Éléonore… And, was it just me, or were there sparks between George and Sophie? Potential spin-off?

    I’ve now had the pleasure of listening to eleven audiobooks from Ilona Andrews and Renée Raudman, and let me tell you, the experience is in no danger of getting old. There are many reasons why this trio makes up the bulk of my Audible library including spellbinding performances, flawless pacing, and masterful tone. Raudman is the voice behind the Andrews’ written word, breathes life into all of their memorable characters, and makes listeners feel like they inhabit this author duo’s fictional worlds. If you’re still on the fence about audiobooks, I highly recommend that you give these a try, you won’t regret it! In fact, your house may end up cleaner than it has even been because you’ll find yourself actively seeking out excuses to read hands-fee.

    STEEL’S EDGE was the ultimate epitome of go big or go home! My god, am I ever going to miss these characters!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Shattered: The Iron Druid Chronicles, Book 7

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Kevin Hearne
    • Narrated By Luke Daniels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3333)
    Performance
    (3128)
    Story
    (3124)

    For nearly 2,000 years, only one Druid has walked the Earth - Atticus O’Sullivan, the Iron Druid, whose sharp wit and sharp sword have kept him alive as he’s been pursued by a pantheon of hostile deities. Now he’s got company. Atticus’ apprentice, Granuaile, is at last a full Druid herself. What’s more, Atticus has defrosted an archdruid long ago frozen in time, a father figure (of sorts) who now goes by the modern equivalent of his old Irish name: Owen Kennedy. And Owen has some catching up to do.

    LOYL-00 says: "The story we were waiting for"
    "All good things must come to an end"
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    Performance
    Story

    All good things must come to an end, and unfortunately this seventh installment in Kevin Hearne’s THE IRON DRUID CHRONICLES terminated its 4/5 star reign for this reviewer. It seemed as though the author tried to go all out for his hardcover debut by incorporating multiple POVs, countless gods, several mythologies, and way too many plot lines which caused the story to lack focus, and to feel somewhat disjointed. I really enjoyed what Owen and Orlaith brought to the table, but the lack of Atticus/Oberon moments, and the overabundance of Granuaile ones made it impossible for even Luke Daniels’ superb narration to save. The Tuatha De Danann story arc has finally come full circle, so one can only hope that the next novel will be a return to a simpler time when these audiobooks were about an outspoken druid, and his quirky Irish wolfhound.

    This is the only Urban Fantasy series that I’ve succeeded in convincing my guy to read, and he actually devoured this one twice because we were travelling at the time. Anyway, on his second pass he admitted to having skipped over all of Granuaile’s chapters, and they were my main issue with this listen as well. I’m not sure whether Hearne was overcompensating because she’s his first female POV, if her character was just over-ecstatic about being a new druid, or if Daniels’ breathy narration got on my last nerve—probably a combination of the three—but I absolutely HATED her in SHATTERED! She came off as such a hippy-ish worry wart that hitting play became a real challenge for me because I just wanted this audio to be over; she single-handedly turned one of my favourite stories into a horribly painful experience. It took me a full week to finish this book compared to my usual 1-2 day norm.

    I adored Owen, he’s cranky and a bit of a d*ck, and quite frankly I loved him for it. He was the complete opposite of Granuaile, and boy did I need that! I enjoyed Orlaith’s simplistic speech, and of course Atticus & Oberon are long time favourites of mine, although I wish they’d played larger roles instead of the equal three-way split. All of the previous installments in this series have focused on one specific lore while as this one had a bit of everything which led to a lot of nothing. The plot threads were difficult to follow, and felt like separate stories haphazardly smushed together in a vain attempt to make one congruent tale. I did not care for this new format; it was a far cry from Hearne’s typically smooth flowing writing style. The author’s trademark humour was also severely lacking because Granuaile simply is NOT funny.

    I have yet to actually read an IRON DRUID book because I am a huge fan of Luke Daniels’ narration; however I strongly considered switching to hard copy in the middle of this one to see if Granuaile’s POV would annoy me less on paper. Again, I’m not sure if it was his actual performance or just that specific character, but listening to Miss MacTiernan’s chapters was downright unpleasant. That being said, I enjoyed Daniels’ gruff portrayal of Owen, he did a fab job of bringing this old Irishman to life, and I really liked his Mexican accent when he stepped into Jesús’ shoes.

    SHATTERED was good, but not my favourite, and if this series continues this format I may have to stop pre-ordering these audiobooks.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Magic Breaks: Kate Daniels, Book 7

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Ilona Andrews
    • Narrated By Renée Raudman
    Overall
    (857)
    Performance
    (806)
    Story
    (809)

    No matter how much the paranormal politics of Atlanta change, one thing always remains the same: If there' s trouble, Kate Daniels will be in the middle of it. As the mate of the Beast Lord, Curran, former mercenary Kate Daniels has more responsibilities than it seems possible to juggle. Not only is she still struggling to keep her investigative business afloat, she must now deal with the affairs of the pack, including preparing her people for attack from Roland, a cruel ancient being with god-like powers.

    Angela says: "I LOVED IT!!!"
    "Characters die, power shifts, a new path is forged"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    *** Review may contain spoilers for previous installments in the series. ***

    Whenever I finish a truly amazing book I’m often tempted to write a one sentence review because words fail me, and the only thing that potential readers really need to know is READ THIS. And, never has that urge been as strong as in the case of MAGIC BREAKS. This novel wraps up one of the greatest Urban Fantasy story arcs that has ever been penned, and that’s not even the best part, because even though KATE DANIELS’ lifelong journey has reached its culmination, the best is still to come. In this installment, characters die, power shifts, and a new path is forged—epic is the only term that comes to mind, and even then, it still falls short.

    It was a good thing that MAGIC BREAKS came with a disclaimer because otherwise I think this novel would have caused mass panic among readers (me included). I loved the character recap; it really helped to set the stage for this story, and ensured that everyone was on the same page regardless of whether you re-read all of the installments prior to this one, or haven’t visited Andrews’ universe since last July when MAGIC RISES hit shelves. Hugh d’Ambray demonstrates why he earned the title of Roland’s Warlord when he sets his ingenious scheme in motion to cause an all-out war between the Pack and the People. Kate’s got some pretty big shoes to fill with Curran away on business, and although I did find myself missing the Beast Lord, the wait was worth it when he finally made his spectacular entrance.

    Pretty much all of this series’ characters came out to play which was awesome, and fitting seeing how everything comes to a head in this book. Kate and Curran’s interactions were perfect, and I loved learning more about Ghastek. And, even though the action was at the forefront of this story, there’s still a good dose of romance, and—believe it or not—cuteness thanks to Cuddles, the mammoth donkey, and an adorable bunnycat. A long time character dies, however I think that I was actually more upset over what happened to Slayer, but again it was all part of the Andrews’ master plan. The authors did a fabulous job of tying up loose ends while still continuing to add new mythology and world-building to the mix. Roland was positively magnificent, and I was thrilled that his and Kate’s first meeting exceeded my sky high expectations after a grueling six installment long build-up.

    I’ve been hooked on Renée Raudman’s narration of this series since the very beginning, but never have I hung on her every word quite like I did while listening to this audiobook. Towards the end, I think that I actually forgot to breathe a time or two. The conclusion was jaw droppingly wonderful, and her suspenseful delivery made time stand still. I loved everything about her performance, from Curran’s raspy baritone, to Kate’s sarcastic wit, and Julie’s bonus short story at the end was the cherry on top.

    Never has a series been more about the journey than the actual destination, and the evolution that Ilona & Gordon’s characters have undergone is staggering. Urban Fantasy doesn’t get any better than MAGIC BREAKS—READ THIS.

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful

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