Ok, critiques are not my favorite thing to do unless it's all glowing and perfect, but I feel I need to give prospective readers a good idea what to expect. It makes it easier on both author and publisher when honest, detailed reviews are out there for readers. And this wasn't a horrible book. Far from it! I enjoyed it from beginning to end. I read the ebook in two sittings and enjoyed this audio book for several days (commute to and from work.) With that in mind, and after reading several reviews of both the book and this audio recording, I'll try my best to address problems as well as flashes of brilliance i saw in this book and recording.
THE BOOK: There are the classic Feehan problems that annoy me -- repetition, over explanation, repetition, for all time, repetition... did I mention repetition? THEN there are the classic Feehan brilliances. Great characters, great story, the ability to hook the reader despite any flaws. Depth of characters is a major signature from Ms. Feehan. This book focused mostly on Zacharias, but Margarita's character was explored effectively too. In my opinion, it was balanced pretty well. There was simply more of Zacharias to bring around. Margarita was a simple woman. Not in a bad way either. She was simply as she presented herself. She didn't have nearly as many changes to go through as Zacharias. Having read about the other De la Cruz brothers, I knew Zacharias would be a very complicated character. He had so far to go to dig himself out of the muck, developing his character was going to be a tall task. I think this was done perfectly, and not at the expense of the heroine, Margarita. No, there wasn't a great deal of "action" or fight scenes, though they did exist, but there was other conflict that, for me, was just as engrossing as a good fight scene. As mentioned before, Margarita was exactly what she seemed, but Ms. Feehan gave her a backbone of steel that presented itself when it was least convenient for the hero and that lead to great romantic conflict.
THE NARRATION: I confess, I was a little disappointed in the narration. I really like the voice of Mr. Bergmann, but he his reading was very, very slow and deliberate. The exaggerated pauses at the end of sentences became annoying early on. As the recording continued, either I grew used to them or they lessened. I'm not sure which. I loved his voice so well as Zacharias I really didn't care much after a while. :) The cadance of his reading was a bigger problem. It seemed unnatural at times. Stilted. It contrasted sharply with the female narrator. I really liked the female narrator. Her accent was lovely and authentic. I would have liked to see the narrators mixed as they have been in previous books where if the main POV is the hero's, the male narrator speaks for everything other than any female characters and vice versa. I know others complained about the echo when they were speaking telepathically, but I really liked that. You could easily tell if others around them could hear, just as in a book the text is in italics. I'd really like to see the producers go back to that in any future "Dark" books. Overall, while not perfect, I enjoyed the performance. Definitely worth your credit.
how it tied several stories I already knew about into this one. Now we know where Danii was and what was going on. was a great tie in.
hard to say... i like both Danii and Murdoch but at different times. The relationship was certain complex.
yup. this performance was as good as any of Ms.. Cole's other books narrated by mr. Petkoff. I'm definitely hooked. I certainly hope they keep this combination of author and narrator.
the moment when they both realize they'll always love their families, but they are strong together.
Christine Feehan... yes. I usually get her Dark books. Robert Sarkus... uh... probably not.
haven't gotten there yet.
name pronunciation needs immediate and intensive help. narration was flat. the whole thing needs a complete reboot.
all three? Anger that the producer let the names get so slaughtered. Sadness that Ms. Feehan hasn't curbed her tendencies to repeat things... still... and disappointment in the first two emotions because the story is incredible, imaginative. just needs better narration and an story editor willing to force the author to cut the repetition.
THE BOOK: Lord..... How many times have I said (still say!) that to my kid? (well, GO TO SLEEP!!! anyway)
THE NARRATION: Mr. Jackson is brilliant. No other way to describe it. Perfect reading.
Loving this series. I'm glad I waited until there were several out to listen to since I don't have alot of time to actually sit down and read the stories.
THE BOOK: Fantastic.Good, solid storyline. Great character motivation and conflict. I thought Flame was a bit stubborn in hanging on to her misgivings, but given the storyline and everything she went through, it was understandable. the characters were three dimensional and interesting and the action was very fast paced. The progression of the story and the character development was smooth. Very good romantic suspense. I'm glad to see Ms. Feehan and her publisher using realistic language in the sex scenes and even throwing out the occasional "F bomb" in dialogue when appropriate. These are military men. I've never met a military man who DIDN'T drop the "F bomb" occasionally. The language was tastefully done and only added to the realism of the story. The last scene where Flame and Gater see each other after her chemo treatments is the most sexy, seductive, romantic scene I believe I've ever read. Ya gotta love a man who is completely in love with his woman. Flame would say he was a perv, but the author sees it as total and complete love. I do too. :)
THE NARRATION: i'm officially in love with Gater, thanks to Mr Stechschulte's smooth as honey Cajun accent. I said in an earlier review he could call me and read the weather report as long as he did it in that Cajun drawl. I'll amend that to include the phone book and encyclopedia as well. This narrator is PERFECT for this series. KEEP HIM! Anyone who says different is an effin nut! I've gone back a couple of times and listened to the last scene where Gater first sees Flame after her chemo with all her hair gone several times just to listen to that seductive Cajun drawl. (Did i mention I love the Cajun accent??) Mr. Stechschulte nailed the scene, inflecting the perfect amount of lust and love in his reading. Perfect narration to a perfect story.
THE BOOK: I have mixed feelings about this book. While i absolutely LOVE the story and the characters and every other thing about it... I absolutely DETEST the use of the Carpathian language. When reading, i skip over it. When listening, it just irritates me. I'm also not fond of the reading of the healing chant or all the spells used by the heroine. It's distracting and I thought the way it was done in earlier books, "they all sang the ancient healing chant quietly" worked just fine. If the author/publisher (whomever decided this was a good idea) wants to use the language, once or twice or having the hero call the heroine a pet name in that language is fine. but to continually use it, followed by the English translation is just annoying beyond belief. It's really a shame too because the story is SO very good.
THE NARRATION: I'm in love with having both a male and female narrator. It makes the POV shifts much more noticeable and, well, i just like it. Mr. Gigante did an excellent job with the Carpathian language and i love his smooth voice. Ms. Brown also had a very pleasing voice, silky voice. I loved the accents by both narrators. All in all, the narration made this book very enjoyable.
I'd grown tired of Ms. Feehan's Carpathians, even though I still buy them, but this series is exactly what I (and she) needed. I've noticed several people complaining how there was too much sex.. DOOD! IT'S A ROMANCE. IF YOU DON'T' LIKE SEX, DON'T BUY THE DAMNED THING!! Now, the review.
THE BOOK: fast paced action with plenty of external conflict. I read a book on goal, motivation, and conflict recently and i think Ms Feehan has mastered these concepts. Each character had a definite goal they were trying to accomplish. Each character had separate motivations. Once they got together, they altered those motivations to help each other and both of them still reach their separate goals. The convlict was all over the place. Internal. External. Romantic. A very solid story with interesting twists and turns. Ms. Feehan made me, as a romance reader, care deeply about what happened to her characters. I particularly loved the heroin. Dahlia was strong and very powerful, if unable to control her abilities alone, but slight and small and as delicate as the flower she's named for. Nicholas was the strong, silent type with a driving need to protect the heroin. The only fault I had with this book was the authors "head hopping." I don't necessarily feel that you absolutly MUST stay in one character's point of view through an entire scene, but there needs to be a significant emotional shift in a scene if you switch characters. Ms. Feehan has always done this with every book I've ever read of hers, so it's sort of her style. Given that she's a NY Times Best Selling Author, I think I can forgive her on that. :) Because of that, I can't give less than 5 stars for this story.
THE NARRATION: Mr. Stechschulte (omg! the poor child in kindergarten!!) Does an excellent job. I particularly loved his Cajun accent for Gater (which made me rush out and buy the next book in this series.) He made the sex scenes that much hotter and, though I'm new at listening to romance or erotic romance read by a male narrator, believe me, i'm learning to love it because of Mr. Stechschulte :) I noticed others complained about his accent or how he says some words, but I found it sexy and that it added to the overall effect of the story itself. I think he is the perfect narrator for this series and I hope they continue to use him. There was an over abundance of "mouth noise," particularly in the second part of the book. I don't blame Mr. Stechschulte for this though. I blame the production staff. It wasn't in the first half, or at least, not as much and I didn't notice it in the next book in this series at all. It was, however, slightly distracting so I gave the performance 4 stars instead of the 5 I really felt it deserved. I will say this, though; Mr Stechschulte can call me ANYTIME. Read the weather report. Read the newspaper. WHATEVER! Just do it in that sexy Cajun drawl and I'll gladly listen for the rest of the week... :D
OK. I've been a fan of Angela Knight for many years. (back in the EC days when i first read Captive Dreams) and i'd read this book a long time ago and loved it. so...
THE BOOK: MASTERFUL!!! the story was fast, the sex hot, and the hero and heroine blievable and lovable. Many secondary characters that got me hooked on the series from the get-go too.
THE NARRIATION: Equally masterful! Angela Lathrop was perfect. not only did she get the southern accent, but the english and scottish. it was an absolute delight to listen to and her interpretation really brought this book to life.
TOTAL CUDOS ALL THE WAY AROUND!!!
THE BOOK: I love all things fantasy and all things vampire. It's exciting to see an author so skillfully combine the two. This was a fast paced, highly erotic tale. The man (vampire) is everything i expected a powerful vampire warrior to be, the woman, while not the conventional sterotype, was in need of his help, but that's where the appearance of her being a damsel in distress ends. She's a highly confident, powerful woman who knows her own worth. Both hero and heroine have issues with trust, but they worked through those issues in a believable way. This book is not for the faint of heart. If you're looking for a sweet romance, you might want to pass on this one. There's NOTHING sweet about it! as the anthology title applies, it will leave you BURNING UP!
THE NARRIATION: at first, i was a litle taken aback by what seemed to be an "over the top" fantasy reading. However, after listening to the first couple of minutes, i realized her reading was absolutely perfect. Ms. Chase perfectly compliments Ms. Knights characters with a unique, rich voice. I'd definitely give a book she narriates a second look.
THE BOOK: one of my favorites in this series. I love Gregory and Savana is the onliy woman who could stand up to him. It's kinda irking that she is so "scared" of him, and it always feels more like she's trying to manipulate him with her fear rather than being really afraid of him, but it's still a good match. I like the story. I like the characters. again, the phrases, "mortals and imortals alike," and "for all time" are really annoying.
THE NARRIATOR: getting really comfortable with this reader. enjoy her narriations.
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