So this is 4 books in one. Novella's. I picked it up for one specific one, but listened to all of them, well almost.
Book 1: "Out Of Control", by Alexandra Ivy - never read her books, and that is probably why I was slightly confused at the start, but as it picked up I became intrigued by her world and the supernaturals in it. Well worth the listen and I will be looking into more of her books
Book 2: "Ties That Bind", by Nina Bangs, Not Horrible. The Vampires of this world are unique to their blood line. A weird and unusable way of looking at Vamprism with a "2nd one". I did not dis like but I was not hooked on it.
Book 3: "Still Darkness", by Dianne Duvall the reason I picked this up. I love her immortal guardians, I have read/listened too (yes both) all of them, except this one. it comes into play kind of during the second book, almost a parallel to it, some over lap from a different view point. I thoroughly enjoyed it and recommend it and all her other books as well.
Book 4: Hannah Jayne's "High Stakes: Ummm... yeah... NO. Sorry not even an hour into it. Done. Not going there, not even going to try. Maybe. MAYBE. if the setting was high school I could buy into it. But what self respecting 124 year old vampire, portraying and adult, not a teenager in New York City in High Fashion uses the phase "Totes Adorbs" even in their mind speech. Add to that the writing is atrocious. I really felt like I should be reading something from Jr High. Could not stomach it.
Narration: Decent. Good inflection and character separation, for the most part. I was annoyed by the fact that Reichart kept getting switched to Richard In Still Darkness. I think there is a better reader for this genre but she wasn't horrible by any stretch of the imagination, especially reading 4 separate books.
Good overview of the various parts of the cold war. Narrator could use instruction on pronouncement of some of the names at points i struggled to figure out who he was speaking of and only having previous knowledge saved me.
The story is telling, and inspiring, you will both rail at the unjustness the child suffered, and be inspired by her determination. It really makes you take a look at your life and the things you consider hardships, it makes you look at your own faith, and question your own strength. A very thought provoking story of a horrible tragedy and the recovery from that tragedy.
I can understand why the writer wished to narrate it herself, but her voice does not lend to audio books well and I think it actually took away from the message she was trying to get across, there were points I struggled to focus on the story because the voice was just wrong.
Another typical vampire book or story. Not all that different from others out there, except in this case the main characters are not vampires, but humans, learning to live in a town over run with vampires and stay alive. that is where it is unique to what I am use to reading, most are vampires trying to live in a human world. Well in Morganville, its the humans trying to live in a vampire world, that most humans don't know about. This book doesn't explain why Morganville is this way, I suspect that will come in future books, and I look to forward to exploring this town and this world.
I will say parts of the book dragged, but bear through those, they aren't long and overall it has a good plot premise and story line that should develop quite interestingly.
Definitely worth the credit
I was looking for a different version of Jane Austin, type book or even something along the lines of Sabrina Jefferies type. This was neither, though set in the same time period and held to the traditions of society, the book lacked substance. I never felt drawn into the plot, and never really even grasped what the ultimate story was. It is not that I do not believe there was one, I think there was it was that it held such little of my attention I didn't retain any of it, even from one moment to the next. it was for lack of a better description quite dull.
The narration was neither good nor bad, again it did not draw my attention one way or they other. Average at best.
The story is a continuation of the other 4 and a good one, I like how she interweaves, good Jace with bad Jace and good Sebastian and bad Sebastian keeping you on your toes. And the final outcome of the battle. I read this book long before I listened to it because , Molly Quinn's voice and pronunciations annoyed me so much in the last book. Finally since it was in my list I caved and listened to it. I have to say though her pronunciation of several of the words still grated my nerves her voice was less annoying. I am not sure how she changed it, but I found myself not minding listening to this story as I thought I would.
Okay I am not going to go into a review of the story. If you don't know it, just go ahead and download the book. Its a classic you should have long since read.
Now onto the narration. Excellent. At points in reading this book I felt it dragged but its Tolkien, its Middle Earth, its Elves. I dealt with it because the story over all was good. NONE of that dragging comes in when listening to the Audio book. You stay engaged, or entranced. The Narrator does and excellent job telling the story, giving life to the characters and even pulls off the singing parts as well.
Often the Narrations can ruin a good book. But it can also make a good book soar beyond expectations, and that is what this narrator did for this book.
I have loved the Dragon Lance books since I was a teenager. I have loved Raistlin since then as well. I was beyond happy when these books first came out as it was a story of him and his life in more detail then you get in the other books. That is the basic premises of these books and if you know Raistlin but do not know theses stories you will find you did not really know Raistlin.
I am very VERY happy to say the narration did not ruin this book, as I am often afraid of when listening to old favorites. They changed the character voices such that you could distinguish them and better then that the voices fit the personalities of the characters very very well. I will actually look for more books by this narrator and hope he continues to perform as well as he did in this book.
Okay story is pretty cool. I like the Gods, what they are and what they are suppose to do. I like the challenges and limitations of them. I like the connect that formed between the hero and the heroine and the back story behind it. I like the support network they have formed. the witty banter between the Hero and Heroine is often funny and amusing. So over all I recommend the story. But I am so very tired of stupid, whinny heroine's, who really just don't get it. I understand everyone makes mistakes and that makes it more real, but how many times can one person do stupid things that nearly get them and everyone else killed, after being repeatedly told it would and STILL do them. I would really like to see a heroine that makes mistakes, learns, and either improves, or just stops being so stubborn she is stupid. Stubborn does not need to equal stupid.
The first 6 hours of the book were good, entertaining, and well worth it. Hours 6-9 I really just wanted to shut the woman up and/or strangle her and wished it would end (yes she got that bad during that time) the last 2 hours of the book picked back up and equaled the first six.
The narrator was very good varying the voices and settings, making it easy to tell what was going on with who and where, communicated emotions well, even did the whinny enough to annoy (because it really was annoying even if I had been reading it) and then she was able to switch to communication patent frustration as the hero was annoyed with the whining too.
I like tolkien, but sometimes he is just hard to read and get through, it can sometimes be tedious even if a great story. The audio book changes that, none of it seemed tedious it just flowed through where and when reading I struggled with it and flipped pages to get through parts. Perhaps it is the narrator, but it really changed the way I look at book whose story I have always loved, but hated drudging through.
I enjoyed this book, but it doesn't equal her other series and independents. The witty banter was there, and the storyline was great, but at several points throughout the story I felt like the characters were kids playing at being adults and not actual adults, with professional business (even if some of them were just starting out) , and that kind of set the book off a little. It didn't carry a maturity level through out in the characters. Sometimes they seemed like what they were, young successful, mid 20s other times I felt like they were 12-13 year olds pretending to be adults or acting out what they imagined their adult lives would be like. There was something missing in the possession scenes, no real build up or end they were just there then gone again, and it seemed a little jarring. I feel like Molly Harper needs to explore the world of ghost and hauntings more to bring it to her level of Vampire, witches and werewolves.
That said, it was still a great story and great narration and I do not regret the credit, or the time in the least, I have yet to read / listen to any of her books that were not worth it and Amanda Ronconi as usual did an amazing job with the voices and emotions, and I didn't even feel like I was hearing Jane tell a different story.
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