I found myself just tickled pink listening to this one. The language is wonderful, almost reminding me of Jane Austen now and then, even if Jane would have fainted at some of the scenes in here. The narrator has a fussy, proper, sweet little voice that suits the heroine perfectly. I docked it a star for often inexplicable behavior from hero/heroine for the sake of advancing the romantic storyline, but I found the main story to be entertaining and well done. I did think the villain was a little over the top, but YMMV.
Really liked this book, but for some reason it just didn't grab me the way a lot of ubran fantasy does. I might give the next one a listen. I did love the narrator, excellent job.
I'm a huge fan of Nailini Singh's paranormal romances and was looking for another author to enjoy. So far I am very, very unimpressed with this one. The premise is fun, but I find myself bored silly, five chapters in. It has four problems:
(1) The narrator, though he has a very lovely voice, is sl-o-o-o-o-o-ow. I'm listening to this on 2x speed and he...still....talks very....very...slow. Dude, this is a dramatic reading, yes, but that doesn't mean that the words require the gravitas of a serious speech! It's kind of funny, actually- to give this story that extra layer of seriousness and drama when the storyline's so "meh" and, well, breathlessly romancey...well, it doesn't help rescue it. It really needs a breathy female narrator. If this guy narrates the rest of the series, forget it.
(2) The slow development of the plot. The story has not yet taken off. It's five chapters in and they're behaving totally inexplicably. Their physical perfection and their supernatural abilities seem to be the most interesting aspects of their personalities- otherwise they act like high school kids. I'm willing to give him more of a pass than her, living in Isolated Castle Bachelor with his possessed testosterone-laced buddies for 400+ years, but they're both a little painful to read. The dialog is also rather stilted. A Maddox line: "I have something to do before the touching can commence." Bwah?
(3) The predictability of the plot. Ok, so all romances have the same plot: Boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl back. The "boy loses girl" part of the plot is already clearly visible on the horizon this early on in the book. I'm not sure I care enough about the characters to care that they're in for such an ego-blow, and I'm also annoyed that it's something the heroine did in ignorance so she's not really culpable. That makes for a misunderstanding that is both easily avoided and easily forgiven--frustrating and boring and not requiring much in the way of character growth.
(4) The romance! Sure, attraction is fun and sparks can fly at a first meeting, but the literal sparks (or in this case, supernatural tingles) are going a bit overboard. This is a very straightforward "boy and girl are supernatural creatures inexplicably drawn together" plot and their attraction appears to be based on predestination rather than actual, you know, romance. So it kind of fails even in the romance category so far- I kind of like my hero and heroine to find each other attractive on more than a physical level. And there's also the presentation of the heroine as a lost, helpless, weak woman, still very childlike in her naivete, physically frail (twisting her ankle in the second chapter, poor little thing!). So we have a little girl looking for a big strong warrior to care for her. Great, if that's your romance preference, but I prefer stories with a stronger heroine.
But if you go in expecting the fast pacing, humor, complex world-building, and unique personalities that Nailini Singh imbues her characters with in either of her series, you'll be disappointed. I'll give the rest a listen and see if it redeems itself, and if it does I'll be happy to eat my words and rave about the wonderfulness like the other reviewers. (If you're still reading this review as is, I didn't change my mind.)
Wow. This is a review of the entire series, more than just this book.
Story wise, I would have thought from descriptions of the plot that I would hate it. Seriously, she gets away with some awful cliches. She pulled them off. I bought 'em. I LOVED them. And her language is lush, and her characters are larger than life but still manage to be human, too. I loved the overall message of shades of grey. We have sympathy for characters who are beyond redemption, we have a male love interest who is actually quite monstrous, and we have a heroine who is, honestly, insufferable at the beginning transformed into a serious bad-ass by the ending. I honestly could not stop listening until the end, even staying up until 4 am once I got into the final book.
It has flaws, but the overall story and the terrific narration makes them bearable. Totally worth the money I spent devouring these audiobooks! The abrupt switch in narrators for books 4 and 5 was weird at first, but I thought both female narrators did an excellent job, and the addition of Phil Gigante bumped this audio production from really good to absolutely superb. He has a truly swoonworthy voice, and doesn't stint in using it.
Honestly, Mac improves as a character over time. She is pretty awful in book 1 and 2, and even at the end she has some real face-palming moments, but overall she improves as she grows. Barrons...well, never really mellows even as he opens up, so if you hate him in the first book you probably will find him just as abrasive in the last one.
If you love a good, sexy urban fantasy, check this series out. I am also a fan of Kim Harrison, Ilona Andrews, Patricia Briggs, and Jim Butcher, and I have to say my love of this series is about equal. If you're curious about the level of sex, there are only three drawn-out actual sex scenes in the whole series. There are a few other sexy encounters here and there, but without actual intercourse. Mostly the story is plot-driven, dripping with unrequited attraction, just how I like it.
Wow. This is a review of the entire series, more than just this book. The abrupt switch in narrators for books 4 and 5 was weird at first, but I thought both female narrators did an excellent job, and the addition of Phil Gigante bumped this audio production from really good to absolutely superb. He has a truly swoonworthy voice, and doesn't stint in using it.
Story wise, I would have thought from descriptions of the plot that I would hate it. Seriously, she gets away with the awful cliche of "healing sex." She pulled it off. I bought it. I LOVED it. And her language is lush, and her characters are larger than life but still manage to be human, too. I loved the overall message of shades of grey, and how the ending managed to wrap everything up neatly without actually fixing anything. *lol* We have sympathy for characters who are beyond redemption, we have a male love interest who is actually quite monstrous, and we have a heroine who is, honestly, insufferable at the beginning transformed into a serious bad-ass by the ending. I honestly could not stop listening until the end, even staying up until 4 am once I got into the final book.
It has flaws, but the overall story and the terrific narration makes them bearable. Totally worth the money I spent devouring these audiobooks!
I agree that it's not high literature, but it's a highly entertaining read all the same! I especially love the narrator- his gritty, occasionally melodramatic, always wry and deadpan delivery is perfect for the text. This is the first one that actually made me tear up a bit at a particularly poignant scene.
This could have been a very enjoyable book, but it was ruined by the narrator and the vast quantities of explanatory prose inserted into every single conversation- particular annoying in the opening conversation between the hero and heroine. Neither of them can get a response in without a chunk of explanation of some cultural quirk. The sudden marriage proposal- and acceptance!- at their first meeting would have been far more entertaining without the instant ten-minute explanation of marriage in this culture justifying it. Leave us some mystery! The hero is a macho manly man who only wants a family (le sigh), the heroine is supposed to be an intrepid reporter, yet she shows absolutely no signs of street savvy, and she trips a lot. She is supposed to have incredible psychic powers of insight- yet she is constantly thinking, "Hmm, I must be suffering from a lack of sleep" and not making completely obvious connections that anyone of below average insight would make. And the narrator gave her a lispy, wispy, delicate baby girl voice that just doesn't work at all. WHY? I'm dreading what that babydoll voice will sound like when/if they finally get busy. And the Elvis jokes? Sorry, it's only cute once or twice. After that...I wanted to stomp on the cutesy little "dust bunny" sidekick every time the thing was mentioned. I like romances in general, but I'm totally not seeing the great writing and brilliant plot that the other reviewers are. So many of the cultural and magical quirks appear to be there only to serve the plot, and not the other way around. I'll finish this one (I'm on chapter 22 so far, so you can't say I didn't give it a fair shot) but I won't be reading more from this author.
This is the first audiobook I couldn't finish, and it's not even that long! In this case it was mostly the narrator who turned me off of listening. Her angel and demon character voices sound like children. Bewildered children. Was this on purpose? It made the whole thing rather creepy to me. Take a listen before you download; I wish I had.
Harrison is currently my favorite author, so I may be biased. I was disappointed by the previous book, but this one delivers! Gavin's narration is terrific, as always. We get more of all of our favorite characters (except David, who seems to be moving to a much more minor role), and once more Rachel manages to wiggle out of another impossible situation through trickery, a little thievery, and sheer moxie- and by accepting help from the most unexpected sources. Loved it! (Even Pierce has grown on me with additional listens...)
I enjoyed this very much. The mystery is compelling, the narration is superb, and Johannes is...well...Johannes. He gets a few chinks in his armor and it's just enough to keep him human, barely. And yet he remains a sympathetic character you can't help but root for. There's a wonderful short story at the end of this novel, too. Just a warning- it could be considered a bit slow for those used to quick-paced action, but I absolutely love the use of language in this novel- it's part of its charm.
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