This is a comment to Audible and the publishers on credits. Please note that I will NEVER pay two credits for a book unless it is exceedingly long. I bought this on sale. For the last book, I waited months until it was on sale, too. If these last two books had never gone on sale, I never would have listened. If two credits for popular books becomes the norm, I will cancel my membership. Just sayin'.
As to the book, Kim Harrison is amazing as usual! One of my favorite series.
I imagine this would have been an enjoyable and imaginative book, but I couldn't finish it. The narrator seems to have never met a line he didn't wish to over state, over act, over everything. Listening to his voice is like a Californian taking their first sip of Southern iced tea. Or like a small town library reader during story time with a group of five year olds. I could go on, but I probably shouldn't. This book is marketed for middle school kids, but I believe the reading style is far too juvenile for them.
This book made me smirk. The main character had a fun, quirky voice which was helped along by the most awesome narration. I enjoyed the new twist on zombies, as well.
However, I think you'd have to be a tee shirt and jeans wearing, domestic beer drinking, football worshiping, man cave owning guy to fully appreciate it. Women, especially beautiful women, were dangerous, mysterious, volatile, helpless, demonic and/or banshees, the source of all evil, or just plain zombies. Flatulence was elevated to levels I'd not seen in literature before.Guys liked to sneak a hug, and then call each other fruity. The attractive lesbian in the tale was a potential convert until she was found to prefer zombies over men.
I found I couldn't help but roll my eyes from time to time, which made it quite difficult to listen and drive at the same time. Nevertheless, it was a fun story, and the main character was likeable. He wasn't all that different from some of my exceedingly hetero guy friends, and he liked dogs. No one who likes dogs can be all bad.
The book started out strong, but predictably for me: interesting start, good narration, but nothing too surprising. Then, the first chapter ends, my perspective is wrenched in a new direction, and I'm paying attention! Slaughter has a true gift for storytelling. The twists in the story and in her characters kept me awake into the night listening. I think I may have found a new, favorite author!
Short Version: The story was pleasant and homey... enough so that I purchased the third book in the series. I would be ashamed to recommend it to anyone I know, though.
Long Version: This story takes simplicity to new levels of simpledom. Seriously. The tale is linear, inevitable, and without many surprises. But, it's also a little bit like life, and one can just sink into these characters and become immersed in their lives.
The narration is atrocious yet pleasant; I have no idea how she pulls it off. She has zero consistency and very little variation between the voices. The Hispanic character sometimes has an accent, sometimes sounds like the main character, and is sometimes a mishmash of both. And yet, Ms. Plummer is very pleasant to listen to, and she somehow manages not to ruin the book for me.
Disclaimer: I'm not a fan of the romance genre. That said, this book offended me from time to time. A female character curled up like a little kitten in her big hulking man's lap. Really? Sheesh. Numerous mention was made of the Hispanic character's fiery and roving Latin ways. Another sheesh. So, I can't recommend this book, but I can't really not recommend it, either. It somehow manages to rise above its many flaws.
So, the author's premise seems to be that people (especially women) are being driven slowly mad by societal pressures to conform and pressure to ignore their innate talents. Her solution is to find the most domineering, badass, alpha male and to retain just enough sense of self to ensure constant discord for the rest of their time together. This is made more tolerable by chapter long episodes of hot sex. Really? Fast forward 10 years and 3 cubs later, and that bad boy won't be so gentle, and our heroines will be frantically searching for a domestic abuse hotline. I guess the writing was not nearly good enough to help me massively suspend my disbelief during this story.
I've come across books before with narrators I'm not fond of, but this is by far the most shockingly bad reading I've ever heard. Children and women sounded like petulant old men. Sound effects ( as in the jingling of bells on a cap) were done in a jarring whine. I struggled through one hour of the audio and finally gave up.
I gave the book to my husband, and he lasted 15 minutes. His impression was of a particularly boring and uninspired minister. I have now finished this book, but I had to buy the text version to do it. Five stars for the story.
This second book in the trilogy is even better than the first! The characters continue to have depth; the conspiracies are even more chilling. I was not too fond of the narration in the first book, but Chris Patton does an amazing job in Deadline! I can hardly wait for the third book to come out.
After listening to this book, I am a new fan of Ms. Kiernan. The tale is chilling in a way the creeps up and over and under the skin, taking its time but not taking too long. I finished it feeling dazed and uncomfortable, which is precisely how I like my horror. A unique and troubling read.
Ten minutes into this book, it felt like a poorly written knockoff of a much better series. The urban fantasy genre does feed off itself, but this went too far for me. If the concept is not quite original, I would at least like to enjoy the journey.
The writing felt like a juvenile first attempt, and I was shocked to learn that Briggs has been publishing her work since 1993. Save the credit; there are better series out there.
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