I absolutely ADORE Patricia Briggs. I love her Mercy Thompson and Alpha & Omega series --- they are both automatic buys/pre-orders. (In fact... I have them in paperback, kindle, and audio formats.) I HIGHLY recommend those.
In anycase... Masques is a re-release of her first novel and even though it has been tweaked/cleaned up some, it still lacks something. The story line is okay - though a bit choppy at times - and the main characters are interesting, but neither is as fleshed out as much as I would like. One of the things I like best about Briggs is how invested I become in all her characters... even secondary ones. I think this is perhaps the area that I can see the greatest improvement in how she has grown as a writer. ( Seriously... this woman has had me in tears over the loss of minor characters and can make a piece of wood interesting. One of my favorite characters of hers is a walking stick.) Unfortunately, in THIS book... I did not find myself emotionally invested in many, if not most, of the characters. Thus, my rating is as follows:
Story --- 2.5 to 2.75 Narrator --- 4.5 Overall ---- 3
Having said all that, I have purchased & look forward to the sequel to this book.
And by ALL means... check out her other series.
This was my favorite of the first three books in the Iron Druid series. I'll be starting the next book right after this.... so I'll make it short.
If you are brand new to this series then I urge you to, by all means, get Hammered... but you REALLY want to listen/read the books in order.
As to how this book stacks up to the two books preceding it, I seem to differ in opinion from many. I very much enjoyed this story and the new characters introduced. I can see how the mythology might be much for some if that's not their thing and this book is heavy on mythological characters; but I found most of it to be quite facsinating. I loved bonding with the new cast of characters (and some familiar ones) over the campfire as Atticus solidified his bonds with them as well.
As much as I love Oberon, I didn't miss him. He is not featured as prominently in this book so if Oberon is your favorite character and the reason you read the books, then you might be disappointed. I found that there was still an enormous amount of humor in this book. I especially enjoyed the banter between Jesus and Atticus and Leif and Atticus.
My deep love/appreciation of Atticus(and Kevin Hearne) grew with mention of his love/appreciation of Neil Gaiman and with his playful jabs at It's a Small World and Budweiser/American beer.
The epilogue is a diabolical teaser, however, and if the fourth book wasn't already available I might have been just a tad irritated. I cannot wait to find out the fates/futures of many of the characters.
Once again... kudos to Luke Daniels' narration. His narration and Hearne's writing make for a wonderful combination.
I enjoyed Hexed, the second book in the Iron Druid series, as much as if not more than the first. This will be a quick review as I'm about to listen to Hammered the 3rd book in the series & have the next 2 books downloaded and ready to go for the weekend. smile.
Interesting and fun book with fantastic characters. Wit, whimsy, action, mythology, and quite a bit of humor ---> entertaining stories w/ spot-on narration that totally kicks arse!
I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS SERIES!!!
Absolutely! However... I just finished Hexed & am not about to go right into book 3 of the series, Hammered. I plan on listening to as many books as are currently out in the series.
They are simply THAT entertaining.
The characters & how the narrator breathed life into them. It's a nice bit of fantasy that meshes the modern world & myths of old so well that it feels as though you really could walk into a shop and converse with a 2100-year-old 'dude' (though he looks 21) who likes to quote the bard & who likes to pull pranks on unsuspecting people with the help of his talking dog.
His performance/narration is AMAZING. The different voices & intonations & inflections perfectly convey the mood, wit, personality of all the various characters.
Yes.... It's also one in which I rewound if someone came in the room and interrupted my listening experience. I didn't want to miss a second of it.
Great Book(s) and well worth purchasing the audio version(s) as Luke Daniels really adds to the enjoyment of Kevin Hearne's story & enriches his well-written characters.
Jennifer Ikeda is fast becoming one of my favorite narrators. She does an excellent job giving a unique voice to all the characters.
Kelley Armstrong is quickly making a fan out of me. She has successfully taken aspects of her Otherworld series and crossed over into Young Adult friendly series. I had previously enjoyed Armstrong's other YA trilogy, Darkest Powers, so I didn't hesitate to pick up the first 2 books in her Darkness Rising trilogy... of which The Calling is the second book.
Brutal Honesty time: If you are thinking of picking up the series then I would STRONGLY advise you to NOT pick up The Gathering unless you get The Calling as well. The first book in No Way Shape or Form contains anything resembling a complete story. Yes, I get that it is a trilogy, but it ends so abruptly it doesn't even feel so much like a cliffhanger ending as it does simply unfinished. Good News: The Calling picks directly up where the first book leaves off, but it also gives enough back story that a first-time listener could follow the story. Having said that, I would suggest reading the books in order as to understand the characters better and fully enjoy not only the unfolding of the mystery/intrigue, but the character development as well.
The Calling redeems the abrupt ending of The Gathering and although this book also ends with plenty of unanswered questions, it at least felt like a natural ending point.
*** PEOPLE WHO HATE CLIFFHANGER ENDINGS may want to wait until April 2013 when The Rising comes out. In the meantime.... pick up her Darkest Powers trilogy. There are connections between the 2 series though you may certainly enjoy one without the other. ***
> A YA Series that continues to hold this Adult's attention.
> Check out Darkest Powers series for more backstory on Edison Group/Lyle House --- though Darkness Rising series can be enjoyed on it's own.
> FANTASTIC NARRATION!!!!
> Don't read/listen to first book without the second book standing by...
> Still at least 7 months before we get the answers to our questions/ see how the kids' journey ends (or perhaps begins---- I would happily read more books involving the characters of The Darkest Powers &/or Darkness Rising series).
I enjoyed the narrator. Male and female characters sounded believable and I always knew which character was speaking. (In truth, she probably deserves 5 stars --- but I just finished listening to a story in which the narrator that was so crazy good that everything is paling in comparison at the moment.)
The storyline/ premise was interesting and I want to keep on with the story. Here's the thing though..... BIG WARNING.... if you do not enjoy cliff hanger endings then do NOT get this book. (Or wait until the entire series is out?) I do have the next book in the series and will be listening to it directly after finishing this review. (And with my luck, it will end suddenly, too.)
The characters are endearing enough that I want to continue with the series; however, the story ends abruptly enough that it is somewhat annoying. I don't always mind a cliffhanger ending, but I prefer books in a series to have a full story in that book and then have a larger series arc. This is not the case with this book. It VERY much reads like part I / too be continued.
* Also, I am HUGELY grateful that I didn't read the snippet about the book before listening to this story as it tells far too much. (Like when a movie is ruined because all the best parts are shown in the trailer.)
Having said all that.... It is a decent story (the part of it told in this book anyway) and I like the characters enough to continue with the series to see what happens next & to learn if more of my hunches turn out correctly. (:
The Narration on this is simply superb! Let me start with that as the narration is can make or break an audiobook. In this case, it is more than merely good or adequate --- it actually elevates the story.
It's difficult to describe this series - as the world is so rich & complex- so I will refrain from trying for the sake of brevity. I will say that while I enjoy both the paranormal aspects of the story as well as the mystery/detective story componet of the story/series, This particular book is all about the characters' growth and development for me. It's all about the romance --- and not the flowery kind, but the punch-in-the gut, emotional highs and lows kind.
This series should definitely be read in order to fully fall in love with Chess and Terrible and the like and, you know, to be properly emotionally eviserated later. That may not sound pleasant, but I personally love when a writer can pull extreme emotions from me. And this particular book brings empathy to new heights.
Great Series, Great Characters, Unique World, Fantastic Writing & Amazing Narration.
The first time I read this book, I immediately wanted to tell people how amzing it was. The problem was that I didn't think it would have universal appeal due to a lead character who some may find unlikeable and who is a drug addict. Then there is the whole premise of the world being set in a setting where religion is turned on it's head --- while I found the Church of Truth to be interesting and the world that Kane has created to be both highly imaginative and original--- I know some folks might be uncomfortable with it.
The second and third time I read and/or listened to the story, I loved it more and more. I'm no longer timid about who I recommend this book/series to --- I think it will win everyone over in the end. This is definitely a Credit Worthy series. It might take some people a little bit of time to get used to the language (both Church speak and the Downside Slang) and a bit of time for some to fall in love with Chess (who is by all accounts a flawed character), but she'll win you over in the end.
THE NARRATION IS AMAZING!!!! Bahni Turpin - whose narration you might recognize from The Help - is TOP NOTCH. She really breathes life into the story by giving every character his/her unique voice. You can tell she's a trained actor because she isn't merely reading well-crafted words, she playing every part --- and skillfully.
If you are a fan of Urban Fantasy, you won't be sorry you picked up this refreshingly original series. And if you've already read this series, you will enjoy HEARING it performed.
I'm a fan of fairy tales --- whether the Disney 'happily ever after' versions or the more gruesome classics of the brothers Grimm. From Hans Christian Anderson & Lewis Carroll to Colladi & Perrault, I love them all.
If you're a fan of fairy tales, too, this might be worth a listen. The story was cute --- a light, fun romp --- in which you see some of your favorite fairy-tale characters in a new light.
The narration is excellent. This is the first book I've listened to narrated by L. J. Ganser; He does a marvelous job. The accents and different voices he uses bring the characters to life and will hold the interest of kids as well as adults.
I'd definitely pack this on a road trip to pass the time and occupy the little ones. They will have fun figuring out who the towns people really are. The story isn't too complex that it would be hard for them to follow and none of the characters are too scary.
I'll definitely pick up more books in the series to spend more time with the characters/ Grimm Family, if nothing else.
SEX, MURDER, AND A DOUBLE LATTE was one of the audio books I picked up from Audible (and at a steal) for under $5. (Yeah, me!) I almost didn't pick this one up. I admit it. I can be a snob sometimes. I had never heard of Kyra Davis or the Sophie Katz series; and when I did a bit of research (by 'research' I mean I Googled Kyra Davis. --- Is it just me or does using "Google" as a verb sound slightly dirty? My apologies to the author.) Where was I...?
Right! When I did a bit of research, I was brought to Harlequin's web site. My brain still equates Harlequin romances with the bodice-rippers that my grandma used to read when I was a kid. (Insert groan and eye roll here-- that's groan with a 'G'... not moan and not that kind of eye rolling ~~~ See, those books scarred me for life.)
Anyway... I decided to judge a book by its cover and catchy title. I hoped for a light, fun, easy read. It was indeed that; but most importantly, it was entertaining. (And, I'm not going to lie. Having any sort of coffee beverage in a book's title does indeed up the chances of me picking up said book.)
I was delighted to find that the book exceeded my expectations. Even though I was able to suss out the culprit of this particular Whodunit long before the reveal, there was at least one moment in which the author had me doubting myself. Nicely played.
This book had characters that I enjoyed, plenty of humor, a bit of mystery, and a dash of romance. That's almost always a winning combination.
Oh... and the narrator was pretty good, too. I might just have to pick up the next book in the series.
My rating: A solid 4 stars. (Maybe even 4.5 on the Chick Lit scale.)
This book is my introduction to not only the "Psychic Eye Mystery" series, but also to the writing of Victoria Laurie. I'm going to give her Ghoul series a try next. As for this book, it held my attention --- there's a tiny bit of romance, a bit of humor, and a bit of mystery. I like a good detective story and I find the subject matter of psychics/mediums to be interesting. I enjoyed the characters, which I'm sure are further developed as the series goes on.
* I have a 3 book rule when it comes to series: I like to read at least 3 books in a series before I pass judgment on the series as a whole/ decide if I'll continue on in the series. *
I would definitely check out more books in this series, but I will most likely check out my local library for the rest. I didn't love the narration of this book. Don't get me wrong -- it wasn't horrible by any stretch of the imagination, but I only have so many credits. There are other authors/narrators that I'd spend money &/or a credit on before the next book in this series.
Characters --- 4 stars (since I would like to see more of them.)
Story line --- 3.5 stars
Narration --- 2.5 to 3 stars
Overall --- 3 to 3.5 stars. (Well worth the sale price!)
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