This is the first title in the Blood Line series and, as firsts go, there is enough here to interest readers into continuing on with the other four books in the series. My biggest problem with this book was that it was 98% hype. Okay I totally pulled the percentage out of thin air, or somewhere else if you'd like, but seriously...just a tad too heavy on hype. We hear through most of the book how powerful Keira is but we never just don't get to see said power put into action. At 38 she is considered young to be coming into her powers and no one is sure yet how they will manifest but I would have been much happier had Ms. Lima done more showing and a lot less telling.
I would have to say Keira is my most, and least, favorite character in this book. I read this title when it was first released in 2009 and knowing how she grows as a character throughout the series really helps turn me away from my desire to throw my MP3 player against the wall at some of her actions. I get the whole near immortal status of the Kelly clan and the plot device of Keira coming into her powers early which is why, I'm sure, Ms. Lima made her 38 rather the 20 she acts most of the time. Okay Keira will live for thousands of years but she is seriously immature for someone who is 38 years old. Running neck and neck with Keira for favorite character is her brother, Ianto. Fortunately, as thousands of years her senior, Ian has developed the maturity sorely lacking in many of Keira's actions.
There is only one thing which could have may the performance any better...a different narrator, ANY other narrator. I get that an author would believe that they know their book and their characters better than any one else possibly could. And while they may be able to write, that doesn't mean that they can perform. And reading a novel is all about performing all the different character roles. Maria Lima gave us one voice, one very bored sounding voice at that. All the voices, all the characters, sounded the same. Excitement, fear, passion, anger, if you couldn't figure out the emotion from the story, you sure weren't going to figure it out by the narrator's tone. Adding inflection, to her, seemed to mean raising her voice occasionally. I can't begin to get across how much I HATED her performance.
There weren't any characters which I felt to be unnecessary to the plotline. If anything, I believe the author should have introduced more of the Kelly clan in book one.
I fell in love with the Kelly clan over the years and I was over the moon when the series finally became available on Audible...that is until I started listening to the author read her book, which I purchased without listening to a sample. I can't begin to express just how much I hate the fact that this title, and apparently the rest of the series, was narrated by the author. It was so awful I truly meant to sit and send an email to the publishers and the author begging them to utilize one of the many narrators or actors who have done such fine work on other titles. I never did get around to it and discovered tonight that the second title in the series, Blood Bargain, is available here on Audible. Sadly Maria Lima is listed as narrator so I, for one, will be using my credits for something else. Almost anything else would have to better. At the very least whatever else I choose, without her reading it, the odds are better that I won't fall asleep while driving, and sail off the edge of a cliff.
I read the entire Heir trilogy written by Cinda Williams Chima &, even though it is a young adult series, I found it to be entertaining & engaging. This is a refreshing break from all of the vampire novels dominating the genre. What you have here are wizards but you'll not find a clone of Harry Potter. The character development, world building & plot pacing were so well done that this is one of those series that you'll delight in reading.
While I believe the book rates a solid 4, the narration drops the rating to a one. Sadly I didn't heed the warnings of the other reviewers. Suzanne Toren is credited as the narrator but the reader is a male. I've listened to hundreds of audio books and this narration was the WORST ever. Dull monotone, beyond annoying LOUD swallowing and distracting sucking in of air throughout! I want the reader's name only because I will NEVER listen to another narrated by him.
Because of the narrator, I strongly suggest you pass on this title.
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