I wasn't sure what to expect other than I really like 3 of the authors and have read/listened to their series with much enjoyment. I read the reviews and description and I agreed with one of the other reviews that this would be a way to introduce myself to some new author's. For the most part I did not find this to be a "Fun Romp with Supes" or a "Really Fun" read as other reviews thought. Some of the stories were indeed fun, a couple mean spirited and several were just down right heavy and depressing.
The narration leaves much to be desired. If you are going to include stories from much loved series is it too much to ask to have the usual narrators read them? Sookie's story was fine, since Cat and Bone's sounded like themselves which was a treat to listen, but the narration for Katie MacAllister's story Effrijim was abominable. First the voice Mr. Lane gave Jim created a totally different personality for the doggie demon and was just annoying. Most importantly he mispronounced so many words and even the series main character (and Effrijim's demon lord) Ashling's name. I must say this was probably my husband's favorite story because he got a kick out of me correcting the narrator constantly.
Also, Mr. Lane has a definite voice style which carried over to every story he read and got tiresome. Don't get me wrong I admire Mr. Lane's skill and certainly couldn't have to a better job myself but then again I am not a professional voice over artist.
Actually the narration was the only satisfying part. Ms. Eby did a great job with both the female and male voices and her inflection and pronunciation were spot on. I will be looking for more book she narrated.
There was the promise of a good mystery surrounding the lucid nightmares Gwen has been having since childhood and her knowing things she shouldn't about Vlad's real life; even a trip to a real gypsy fortune teller who knew things a scam artist couldn't. Then Ms. Orsoff just dropped the whole thing and left me to ask what was the point of building it up?
Both of the main characters were pretty unlikable. In the end Gwen is quite whiny and emotionally unavailable and Alex is just a manipulative bully. Gwen and Alex also lacked chemistry. And the ending sucked.
I just kept hoping there was going to be a reveal that would pull it all the parts together but in the end it just was "What! That's it? It's over?" then "Thank Heavens!"
*** I would love to see what another author could do with the original premise.***
Neil Gaiman is just a treasure! Some of his stories are too scary for me as I am a great big wuss. But this, this was just the perfect little bite of sweet after the gourmet dinner. Satisfying without being too much.
As for his performance; his voice adds to the experience as always. Often I think authors should not be allowed to perform their own work but Neil can read to me anytime!
Victoria Dahl is on my "must buy asap" list. I have loved her other books. I am sad to say I was disappointed by this one. I have never had a problem getting into one of her books before but this one it took me 3 tries before I made it past the 45 minute mark.
As always the characters were well developed and while Grace and Cole were interesting I really didn't connect with either of them. I was more interested in the secondary characters than Grace and Cole. They both seemed more like late teen/early twenties kids than late twenty/early thirties adults. Cole's emotional baggage in particular seemed disproportionate to the trials of his past. Still, I will read the next one because I really want to know Eve's story.
But if Genvieve Bevier is the narrator I will get it on Kindle instead of from Audible.
I think that may be my biggest problem with the book. Ms. Bevier's delivery was so overwrought and angst filled I felt like I was being yelled at a good half of the time. Grace and Cole sounded very similar to each other especially during the trademark hot sex scenes. Many of the sex scenes in this book were more raw than romantic. I guess that is what Ms. Bevier was trying to express. However, to me they sounded disgusted during the sex scenes not turned on. Raw passion shouldn't sound like you just realized you stepped in horse poo in your favorite Jimmy Choo's. Victoria please call Wanda Fontaine or Lauren Fortgang for the rest of your books, they both rocked your work.
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