This was my first Sherrilyn Kenyon novel. I loved the story and Holter Graham is one of the best narrators out there! It's a shame the entire series is not available. Previous narrators have been so SOOOOO awful they literally drive the listener to distraction. With any luck, Harper Collins will record the missing novels from the Dark Hunter series. If so, I REALLY hope they use Holter Graham or Fred Berman as narrators. They're fantastic!
The story itself is entertaining crafted from an interesting spin on biblical Enochian Apocrypha and Angelic lore. Engaging characters and well executed imagery make for a well paced and entertaining tale. Romantic overtones felt slightly over used but escape being tedious by way of a deft touch and lack of lurid detail.
Zachary Webber's performance is what places the title head and shoulders above others in its genre. His effortless transitions in tone, ability to portray both genders, subtle use and execution of accents, and his baseline acting ability are simply fantastic. He provides the emotional hook that makes the audio version of his title a winner.
This is not Longfellow- but it's entertaining and anyone who enjoys the genre will get what they are seeking in Kresley Cole's work. For the uninitiated- this series includes graphic sex and some violence but not to excess. The sex and violence are simply elements of the story arch and are by no means the focus. There is a good degree of character development without overburdening the reader with useless detail. The humor is non formulaic and well suited to compliment each character making each personality distinct from one another. Of particular note is the fact that the female protag is not a simpering air head incapable of making rational decisions. In fact, to date all the female characters I have encountered in this series have considerable backbone to compliment their femininity rather than stand in contrast to it.
Robert Petkoff's narration is fantastic. He brings all the characters out individually and negotiates accents with a great deal of aplomb- especially Lothaire's. He reads females without sounding ridiculous and makes clear distinctions between characters and personalities in a way that sounds and feels effortless to the listener. He is now one of my favorite narrators and I will actively seek more work recorded by him.
Overall it was well written, well read and well produced.
The story may have promise. Unfortunately I will never know as the narrator was terrible to the point of being distracting. The reading was wooden and awkward. Strange pauses and the mispronunciation of basic words add to the over all amateurish production. Despite my desire to gut it out and at least finish the book I paid for- I was unable to get through more than 1 hour before abandoning it PURELY due to the narration. Will never purchase a book narrated by "Zoe Hunter" again regardless of who wrote it. With all the voice talent to choose from it's a shame Carina Press chose someone with the cold reading skills most often found in a High School production of Our Town. Carina Press...please stop hiring this person. Members- just trust me...Do Not Waste Your Credits.
I love Kenyon's work. Always have and always will. In the past I have been more than a little disappointed by the clumsy, almost criminally bad narration used for some of her earlier titles. Now in walks Holter Graham and my long standing fancy for the dark, brooding and sexy Ash (Acheron) becomes a full blown crush! I absolutely adore this narrator and really loved the story. NEWBIES BEWARE- there are very strong tones of violence and sadistic childhood abuse in this and some other Kenyon titles. In Acheron's case it's fair to call this extreme and totally heart wrenching. There is also a healthy does of explicit sex. That said, all of the aforementioned ADULT content serves the plot impeccably and builds solid gold characters the reader can easily invest in. I literally wanted to throw my arms around some of these characters. Others I could get medieval on to stop their sadistic tendencies.
All in all- I loved the story and from now on will have a special place in my heart for a certain Nickleback song (wink wink).
It breaks my heart to award such low ratings- so let me be absolutely clear. The book and my opinion of Ms. Kenyons work is a solid gold Nadia Comăneci perfect 10! The narration by William Dufris, however, is so horrendous I would put him in Audiobook jail if it were possible. The Narration is utterly useless in that it failed to achieve the most important task in a narrators job description- SKILLFULLY PORTRAY THE STORY! This guy was so bad it almost sounded like he was just goofing off and trying on different absurd voices while narrating in a nasal singsong that made me want to claw my eyes out. This was conceivably the most distracting, clunky and wholly frustrating performance I have ever heard. Ultimately, I bought and read the e-book fearing I missed a great deal of the story which as it turns out...I DID! This was truly annoying for any fan of Kenyon's work or anyone who paid for a story they will never glean full benefit of by virtue of bad acting and a total lack of any production oversight or to reign him in.
Love the story. Love the book. But sadly I advise fans to seek out the "Library Edition" of this title as the Library Editions are often narrated by different people.
Great story with a great narrator. I really enjoy Holter Graham's work. Through his skillful use of very distinct and clearly identifiable character voices He is able to bring the story to life. Unlike many narrators, all of his voices seem natural and he preserves the precious comedic timing that has been trampled on and lost by his ham handed predecessors.
As for the author, Kenyon has written another good one. She is still going strong with the original and much loved characters without being redundant. She also introduced new characters we can't wait to know better. Still sexy and still violent- so newbies be ware. That said- actual grown ups who enjoy a good paranormal fantasy will likely agree that Kenyon hits the spot every time.
This was an entertaining story but the narration was merely adequate and didn't really do the story justice. Fans of The Dark Hunter series will note the same strong overtones of childhood abuse and violence. Readers who are new to Kenyon's work should be forewarned- these themes are gut wrenching, heart breaking and very hard to listen to. That said, Kenyon does a good job of wrapping up the loose ends and telling a story of triumph over evil and adversity through love. The sexual content is explicit but not vulgar and Kenyon introduces secondary and tertiary supporting character with enough depth and definition to leave the reader in eager anticipation of their stories. Overall well done and worthy of the credits.
The narrator is AWFUL!!!! The narrator of the first book-Phil Gigante- is amazing. So why oh why did they change the narrator after the first book?!?!?!
Truly unfortunate because it's an entertaining story. It's difficult to listen to when the distinction between characters is at best vague and at worst vague and inconsistent- as if she can't keep them straight. I think the low point in this book was a plot-critical scene in which a character is reading aloud. The narrator made her sound like an illiterate teenager with no recognition of punctuation! It was so bad- I actually struggled to follow what she was saying. Tragic. Beyond that, I became annoyed when the narrators portrayal of a well established character comes off dull witted and marble mouthed or worse...ditzy! It's a real downer when you've invested in a character for an entire first book only to be annoyed by the sound of their voice for the rest of the story. A real let down.
Tana French is clearly one of those writers who seldom comes along- but leaves an indelible mark. Her prose is outstanding. Witty, dry, articulate and skillful- she is a master craftsman in terms of constructing clearly defined character voice and haunting realism. In my opinion, the mark of a truly great story is one that leaves you in a state of greedy withdraw symptoms- simply wishing there were more chapters. The narrator is fantastic as well. He brings this story to life with effortless precision leaving the listener feeling as if they've just had a long late night conversation with a desperately interesting stranger. Well done all around!
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