While I enjoyed listening to the audiobook, the narrator was trying way too hard, and the hysterical subtleties of the characters were often reduced to hayseed slapstick. A pity, because Martinez created some great characters here, Duke and Earl, the zombie cows, Mistress Lillith the teenage hellraiser . . . Do yourself a favor and read the novel before you listen to the audio version.
H. Rider Haggard's adventure stories are full of antique exposition, yet still have the power to suck a reader into an ancient world of adventure. It takes a narrator comfortable with the language and characters of this kind of work to make the text an effortless listen for modern ears. This narrator, B.J. Harrison, not only has an American accent, but "reads" instead of narrates, and delivers stiff, stilted sentences. The only other version Audible offers of "She" has a better narrator, but is abridged. Too bad! A classic story of adventure, and the many variations of how men and women define "love" and "life."
Granted, this is only the fifth book in the Kate Daniels series, but I'm more than favorably impressed with the way the authors continue to build Kate's world and relationships. Book 5 has Kate edging nearer to a place where many of these urban fantasy books lose my interest . . . a character that becomes superhuman (a condition Kate may be approaching due to her heritage) is often either doomed or ultimately less interesting. But to date Kate has added adopted family, a single main love interest (very refreshing!) and continues to develop meaningful friendships with others. There are a few moments of "dead air" in book five, but overall moved the story along well.
A comment about the narrator -- she's bearable when she's just reading; when she gets faux-emotional or tries to do odd accents it's cringe-inducing. Another narrator would have made the audio series shoot to the five-star mark for me.
As a long time fan of the Dresden series, this is the first time I've listened to an audiobook before I've read the novel. James Marsters is perfect as Harry's voice, and does a superb job of conveying the accents/voices of other characters, never resorting to that treble voice so many male readers use for female characters. A great story, a superb narrator, highly recommended. I'm going back and buying the whole series on audiobook to supplement my hardback collection!
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