It is hard for me to pin point what it is about this series that I just fell in love with. Perhaps it is the minor references to imperial Russia, in some of the words and names. Perhaps its the unique take on the war between the darkness and the light, and it is unique and yet the same war. Perhaps its the fact that it holds you in tension right on the edge of the knife to cut it and not letting it slice through and you listen hoping it will break and scared of what will happen if it does. Perhaps its the twist and turns of various love triangles that never pan out in any direction and the curiosity of who will win that love or if anyone will, and what it will mean if they do.
There is so much about this series as a whole that grabs you and draws you in, though its set in a fictional world, there are hints here and there that make you think of our world, and you ride the balance between the two. I can not wait until the third releases.
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.
The story was an interesting concept of a thief who is also a magic user, who is out to raise his bounty, nothing else. He generally seems like a nice enough guy, though there are points where is just wishy washy between good guy and callous jerk.
I enjoyed the concept and l where it looks like the story is headed. This is the first book of a trilogy, so I understand not explaining everything write a way. You want to dangle hints to make readers go deeper into the next books. However in this particular series I feel like EVERYTHING was left dangling and nothing was explained. Even about the world.
The world issues: Magic - there is spirit magic, where the mages work with the spirit of everything. Okay got it. They can't really use the human spirit and why isn't really explained in fact all you know if that they can talk to spirits, make deals with them, ask them to do stuff, or in some cases forcibly control them, and that is just plain wrong. that's it that is all you know about the magic in the world, until along comes another organization that is also mages but use a different type of magic or use spirits differently, or something. Its not really explained expect they are not huge fans of the spiritualist and the feeling is mutual.
Main character issues: He's mage, a spiritualist, But I guess was never trained as one? He's a thief, and apparently the greatest thief ever, but why he is a thief, or how he got his reputation, not really sure. He is stealing things to increase the bounty on his head, that's it. That's all he wants, but why? You can guess but its never explained. He has 3 odd companions (we'll get to their issues in a moment) but why they are together, where the loyalty between the three of them is coming from, is left completely open and it is a fairly strong loyalty.
Companion characters issues: Booth the Thief's and the main Spiritualist have companions, the thief has two. Both with VERY potent secrets of their own, which you do learn, (YAY information) some of them. But what you don't learn ANYTHING about is how these 3 ended up together, and why the bond between them is so strong, there is definitely a story there, you get hints at the very end about it, but nothing more, nothing to make you invest in any of them. The Spiritualist has a dog (ish) a very large, intelligent beast, with its own powers. A loyal companion as dogs are. except he is not a dog, and I venture to guess even more powerful then she is, yet she is his master and his loyalty complete, he will die for her and his faith in here is beyond that of servant to master. He is her companion for a reason, you can tell that and you figure out toward the end its by his choice. But what happened to her, or what is she, or what did she do for him to earn that, nothing is mentioned.
Perhaps all of these will be addressed in the next two books, but book one, which should hook you, left me with nothing to grip on the characters except questions, and I HATE series that drag you along and reveal everything at the very end, I like my information spread out or at least enough hints to make me WANT to delve in, there is nothing here to get me invested in the story besides the fact it could be a really great concept if fleshed out.
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.
Slow start, almost slow enough to make me give up, but glad I didn't. It picked up and worked into the most amazing story of magic and magicals, I love the difference between the two and how the line is drawn. I saw the twist coming but it still worked well into the story line even expecting it.
As always I ADORE Amada Ronconi, her voice is just perfect for these style stories. I am more then ready for the second book and hope there will eventually be a third.
Bernadette actually does a better narration of this story I think then the others. But the story itself drags on in ways not absolutely necessary. I feel there is a lot of necessary filler and it could be told more to the point. There are parts of it that don't sync a 100% with the bible, but the bible also does not reveal the details of this marriage, so who can really say if it is accurate or not. Its kind of a hit or miss on if another will enjoy it more or less. it is one of those books and readings that straddles the fence for me on it being good or being one that I should have just stopped listening too. I did find myself not minding if I walked away from the telling for a few minutes here or there so it did not hold my attention as much I I prefer.
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