If you are looking for a fast pace horror novel look else where, this book is slow and at times frustrating. However ultimately it tells an interesting story and is well worth a listen for those who have some patience.
Being set in the '80s is an odd choice but with all the references to Rubik's cubes and leather vests it can be amusing and awkward at times. This story is more about the relationships of the characters than the horror of vampires and this is what helps it stand out as different and worthwhile.
On a technical note I had some issues where the first part would play each chapter twice, this may be isolated to my iPhone as downloading the file again did not help. Also, while I initially did not feel that the narrator was right for the book I soon got past it as the quirkiness of his accent fits in eventually.
This book didn't start off on a strong footing to my mind. I was ready to give up until Night of the Cooters. After that I thoroughly enjoyed a majority of the stories with Einstein's and the 2nd last being stand outs. It does end (excluding the wrapper arc) on a jarringly different story and while amusing I felt that maybe it would have meant more to someone with a fine arts degree rather than IT. I'm pretty sure it was loaded with inside jokes that would have enhanced it had I a more "cultured" literary taste.
I will say however that the narration is spectacular, McLeod Andrews does an amazing job of convincing character voices. I was certain there must have been other narrators at points! He is definitely one of my favourites and was a pleasure to listen to.
From the opening moments of the narration I had one of those sinking feelings when I realised the voice introducing the book would be in my ear for the next 8hrs or do. I often wondered to myself if he was slightly tipsy as sections of the book became increasingly slurred.
I persevered though and found the book distracting rather than engaging. It's not bad, just not great. Worth a listen if on sale but there are many better books in the genre worth your time. The concept was pretty interesting but the characters didn't sell it to me.
I feel bad leaving a less than stellar review, often when I read "bad narrator" reviews I dismiss them and generally don't regret the purchase, as long as the don't use music to highten tension ;). Something in this one just rubbed me wrong, if you buy it I hope you disagree and enjoy it.
I would recommend this book to fans of Stephen King, while it doesn't have the epic feel of a King novel it feels much the same. The characters quickly become recognisable
Responses to other criticisms of this book:
Poor narration: I guess that I must have a fairly high threshold for bad narration because this narrator did not give me any problems at all. I don't expect a narrator to provide a full cast of voices and honestly find it annoying when they attempt it but are inconsistent or each voice sounds like a variation of a 80 year old crone (I'm looking at you Game of Thrones). Weiner has a deep voice with excellent diction and enunciation, I have no problems with him.
Jumps around between too many characters: Again this isn't a problem for me, I have listened to books where there is no indication that the perspective or character being followed has changed but I didn't find this the case with this book. Thinking back I don't remember being lost at any point, the writing is fairly straight forward and the author uses numbered breaks in chapters to separate each scene... well I'm pretty sure he did though it is possible that he didn't break up every scene... anyway I had no problems with jumps in narration.
The book doesn't resolve anything: Considering this book is a trilogy and one with a grand plan that is obvious pretty early on I had no problem with the end of the book. There were some minor resolutions and there is a lot left unsaid but this makes me want to move on to the next book. To me the ending was logical and satisfactory.
Not Joe Ledger: Yep it definitely isn't... while there are horror aspects to the Joe Ledger novels this isn't a pulp action novel. There is action but it really is more like a standard horror novel. I don't have a problem with this fact it is what it is and the summary of the novel doesn't hide the fact as far as I'm concerned.
Boring: Again this is a personal opinion. I wasn't bored there are a couple of lulls in the action like with any novel and I did want to move on from a couple of scenes but nothing more than you would find in any 12hr+ audiobook.
I liked the book and will definitely be starting the next one tonight. This isn't a earth shattering piece of literature, it does borrow from lore and legend but the fact that I'm not sure what the villain is exactly, how the disparate horror tropes will all be tied into each other and finally who the book will end has me intrigued not put off. Give the book a go it is worth a credit and I like knowing there is a limited number in the series and I'm not looking at a huge investment with no end in sight like the Vampire Earth series.
If I had to write a synopsis for this novel it would be "Anita Blake enters a room and sexual acts ensue. Anita Blake has a conversation and sexual acts ensue. Anita Blake trips over and skins her knee and sexual acts ensue.". Yes this book is that tedious.
I'm a fan of the series but this is a definate disappointment. I'm guessing that Ms Hamilton received enough outcry against this book that she has is slowly navigating away from the smut in the future novels. Well that isn't true, it is there but not the sole plot line. Give this a miss, nothing happens at all and the next books in the series start to get better.
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