I love Jennie Crusie but I do have to admit that this is not her best novel. I think that it is the first co-written with Bob Mayer and the story is a bit thin. Mayer may have made the Army Ranger character more believable but they needed an additional consultant to make the movie shoot setting work. That was TOTALLY unrealistic.
The real problem with this audiobook however is the narration. It is done by two people - Patrick Lawlor for the male voices and Rene Raudman for the female. Raudman is great. Her voice suited the main character and her reading really did something for the story. Lawlor was terrible. His reading was stilted and his voice (kind of nasally) was TOTALLY wrong for the macho main character. He sounded like he was reading a children's book. To make things worse, there is something seriously wrong with the sound mixing. Lawlor always sounds like he is sitting in a closet while reading and the two voices don't sync up - it sounds as if they read their parts separately and they were then spliced together.
In any case, if you like Jennie Crusie, skip this as an audiobook and pick up the paperback.
This is a well-written and developed story. I've never read any of the other Valdemar books and I had no trouble becoming engrossed in the setting and characters.
The narrator is talented but her strong New York/New Jersey accent is jarring as the voice of a young girl in a fantasy setting.
If you're looking for a new female, vampire, action hero, this is NOT the book for you. While it begins well enough, there are elements of the story (what little story there is) that are hazy and some that are just pointless. Why does the big, bad male vampire force her to shower in front of him? Was this supposed to be sexy? It wasn't. Why does she start to report to the big, bad male vampire when she actually has seniority? Why does she run errands for her male co-workers on her day off?
You are probably beginning to get the picture. The author does some lip-service in attempt to establish the heroine as a strong, independent woman but she then turns herself into a den mother for her male co-workers.
I didn't even finish the book. It was too lame to bother with.
The author has a relatively good story-line but it gets lost in tedious seduction scenes. I tried to fast forward through these since after the first one or two they were just interminable but, well, they are interminable.
I had this book on my wishlist for ages. It was recommended based on other purchases and it was very highly rated, yet I had reservations based on the description. I really should have listened to my gut on this one. I'm not sure what others are hearing but I heard one of the silliest, most trite stories I have ever not finished. The vampire/love interest/hero is moody, misogynistic, controlling, and needlessly mysterious. The heroine is a slightly better character and is just neurotic and socially inept enough to be believable as an academic but she spends all her time waiting to be ravished and then wanting to be turned into a vampire.
In any case, I gave up half-way through.
Perhaps a more accurate description would be "Twilight for (Sort-of) Grown-ups".
While I really liked the music, sound effects and poetry worked into this audio performance, the book itself has so many huge fails that it flops.
The storyline is creative and pretty effectively creates a realistically teenage first-love obsessive romance. The setting in the the post civil war south is very good, one of the best elements of the story. The narrator does a passable job with a southern accent. Unfortunately, this is only part of a novel; I guess we are now so well conditioned to expect a sequel that authors not longer feel compelled to tell a complete story.
Aside from the general high school histrionics that the authors so expertly capture, the book fails because of their inability to create a story with any depth or value. All of the characters, whether evil or good, behave reprehensibly throughout the story (with the exception of the two main characters who are witless, lovesick teenagers).
There are two examples of side story-lines that the authors could have exploited to create a more engaging and valuable tale: in the first, the witch-hunting townsfolk have dragged our heroine into a administrative meeting to (gasp) kick her out of school. Of course, in reality, treating a 16 year old as they do in this story would get them all fired and the school district sued. Rather than calling for her guardian, our hapless and not-to-bright heroine submits to the juvenile abuse of the townspeople. When her guardian does show up, unexpectedly, I had high hopes that he would slap these people down. However, instead of responding logically to their accusations that he had no right to be there, he lowers himself to their level and "resolves" the situation by blackmailing all of them into letting Lena continue at school. This is after the authors have established that he owns most of the town, is incredibly wealthy and educated, and is a member of the oldest founding family. All of which, in addition to his legal guardianship of the 16 year old heroine, gave the authors numerous opportunities to create a mature resolution to the situation. They didn't.
The second major storyline fail occurs when they finally reveal that the hero's father is suffering from graphomania I thought, oh good they can develop that into an interesting life lesson for the boy. But no. Instead, the father goes undiagnosed, receives no psychiatric help from his caretaker, his son, or the community and the moment is lost. This led me to believe that the authors were not actually aware that they were describing a serious mental illness.
In any case, if you are looking for a book with substance, this is not it.
I purchased this book because of the high ratings and because the summary sounded interesting. Unfortunately, it is so bad I never even finished listening to it.
The main character is not only uninteresting, she is annoying. We are asked to believe that a successful, intelligent career women will become totally incompetent once she loses her job. She is being sued by her former employer but rather than deal with it she allows herself to be bullied by her brother, her former boss, and her ex-boyfriend. She is a boring, limp doormat and I couldn't bring myself to hear anything more about her.
The young woman the main character goes to work for is at least interesting and mildly entertaining. Sadly, the book drags along without enough happening with either character to be readible.
All in all, I highly recommend skipping this book.
I bought this book based on the extremely high average review (4.4) and because I really enjoyed "How to Flirt With a Naked Werewolf". Sadly, it doesn't measure up.
The female character's tendency toward hysteria was annoying. The story also felt underdeveloped, although this may have been because I have not read other "Half Moon Hollow" books by this author so I don't know the back story. In any case, it seemed thin and lacking in believable characters (or as much as characters can be believable in a vampire story). The heroine's accident prone personality was cute and funny but her relationship with all of the other players, particularly her mother and fiance, was trite and unconvincing.
In my opinion, this book is filler - an attempt by the author to milk her storyline for all it is worth.
... oh wait, was I listening to an audiobook? Because it was so boring and LONG WINDED I completely tuned it out. Why did this book get such good reviews? Funny? I think I was amused once.
The idea is pretty good - evil genius and noobie superhero. I like it. It should be right up my alley, I am a nerd who reads comic books. Nope. The problem is with the evil genius. He has these long, boring, rambling descriptions of what he is thinking. And I found that I just couldn't care.
The narration for Dr. Impossible is excellent but no one could make all of that boring back story interesting. The narration for the female superhero was terrible. Stilted, with strange an inexplicable changes of emphasis and accent. One second she is reading in a normal voice and then she shifts from a drag-queen to some kind of Mae West accent - and these shifts have no apparent relationship to the book.
I am a Connie Wills fan. The Bellweather is one of my favorite books so I was really looking forward to this one. Unfortunately, the Doomsday Book is nowhere near as good a novel as her others.
The real problem is the length - it is not that I don't like a long saga, but about 1/3 of this book could have been edited out without loosing ANY of the story. There is a character who remain unconscious for hundreds of pages while the reader - and the rest of the characters wait to hear vital information from him - while nothing else happens in the story. There is a really well developed bad guy character that you will love to hate, who basically disappears from the story without receiving his comeuppance. Then there is the endless description of illness and death.
I am sorry Connie Wills - you may have done some fabulous historical research for this book, your characters may be well developed and your story original - but I would rather die quickly of the plague than wade through three volumes of this novel.
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