I enjoyed this audiobook. The story is sappy but I like that so it works out, and the reader was one of those readers who does a solid job of the reading. I liked the way that the main characters took care of each other (for the most part) in the book.
This review is on the series rather than on this particular book. I just finished Skin Game. I love this series! Jim Butcher has done a wonderful job of combining all kinds of fantasy creatures in these books. As a result I never could quite see what was coming next. Everything fits fairly neatly together and the human world gets an invitation to the party as well.
The characters are delightful. There is quite a bit of banter throughout the book and the main characters generally don't take themselves too seriously. Jim Butcher manages to make the main characters and some of the not so main characters fun, vulnerable, strong, brave, silly, and so caring and dedicated over the course of the series. He made me feel committed to seeing what happens with the main characters and to hope that they get happy outcomes when the series ends (which will hopefully not be right away).
James Marsters does a brilliant job narrating this series (with the exception of Ghost Story which is read by John Glover who did a pretty good job). Marsters is able to put so much fun and attitude into his reading of the series. He has a great voice, really nice to listen to. When he does character voices it is really easy to tell who is speaking and he does well with both men's and women's voices. Also his voices for the little folk are great! It takes him a little while to really get into the characters and voices. His least excellent performance is in this first book but it is still a much better performance than many of the other audio books that I have listened to.
This series is probably not a good series for you if you are very sensitive to violence, if you don't do well with fantasy books, if you want the main female characters to be damsels in distress, if you like the series you read to be short series, if banter annoys you, or if you want something serious.
I love this series, I really do. It's animals helping people solve mysteries and I think it is sweet and funny. The one thing that at times pulls me up short with this series is that the writer almost seems to be having a political discussion with herself sometimes and some of the philosophical elements are repeated a few too many times. There are lots of instances of the characters agreeing among themselves about the disagreeable aspects of modern times and talking about the benefits of independence and minimal governing. There is also a focus on tolerance and acceptance of others that I do like in the series along with a the feminist focus of it.The cozy mystery parts of it are sweet and are done quite well. I think the characters are vivid and well rounded and I think that the writer did an excellent job with speaking from the animal perspective. I think that the narrator has done a wonderful job with the series and that she brought the characters, including the animals, alive.
I've read this story on my kindle several times before listening to this audiobook and I've been in love with this story from the beginning. The main characters are very kind and loving, while having a sense of humor and playfulness. I liked the way that the narrator read the characters, and there were only one or two places where I thought I would have read the line differently if I were reading it. Usually I will have far more instances in which I think that I would have read a line differently when I listen to an audiobook. I would recommend this auidobook to anyone who wants to listen to a story about a sweet relationship between two loving, playful, men develop. I would not recommend this audiobook to someone who wants to be surprised by the plot of the book that they are reading.
I really struggled with the narration of the Tamuli. The narrator did a great job with one or two characters (the once with aristocratic speech patterns) and made me wince at many of the others characters. The absolute worst for me was Flute/Aphrael/Danae because it always sounded like the little girl was amused by everything in a really off putting way that made those characters very unlovable, which is the opposite of the intended response to them. I was also frustrated that there was no continuity from the Elenium to the Tamuli. I've read other series where a narrator changed at the end of the series to someone else and not found the transition very difficult but this one was really rough. I really enjoy the series in terms of the story and the characters (I read the series in print several times before) but the story and characters struggled to make it past the narration.
I'm going to just cut to the chase and review the whole Elenium rather than just this first book. I read the books in print several times before listening to this audiobook and I had very specific ideas of how I wanted this series to be done and this fell short of that hope. It took me a long time in the book to get over the way that certain names were pronounced and I wasn't too thrilled with the narrator's female voices. I did think that the narrator did a decent job for the most part though once I got over that. I like the story overall, it is a solid epic fantasy series full of magic, gods, knights, and thieves and the characters are lovable if brutal and violent at times. They tend towards banter which I always enjoy. Once I got into the series I was captured by it and I did like the narrator for the Elenium far more than the narrator for the Tamuli.
This story was about a young man who is defined by having been the victim of brutal physical, emotional, and sexual violence at the beginning of the story and his journey to being a survivor rather than a victim. He is more or less rescued by his love interest in the traditionally sappy style of the true romance novel. I thought that the narrator did a good job with bringing the characters alive which was a major plus. I overall liked the story but I would not recommend it to anyone who might struggle with somewhat graphic descriptions of abuse that crop up occasionally during the story. There are also some additions to the plot that challenged my strongly honed ability to suspend disbelief, so if that sort of thing bothers you I wouldn't recommend this one.
I have read this book in print a number of times in the past and I always have enjoyed it. I find that the characters are sweet and genuinely good people in this story and I love it for being an affirmation of the goodness of humanity. I do feel that it is naive, but I find it soothing to read something so charmingly innocent and good-natured. I felt that the narration by Charlotte Parry was wonderfully done. I found her voice to be extremely pleasant to listen to and I felt that she maintained the characters consistently in the voices that she created for them.
Going it to a book called "Love at First Sight" I was looking for sappy and this delivered. I thought that Paul Morey did a better job with this reading than other readings of Cardeno C.'s books that I have listened to, or at least his reading was more to my tastes than the other ones. I liked this reading better because I enjoyed the voices he created for the characters a bit more. The story itself was one that I enjoyed not only for the sap but because I liked the character of Jonathan especially. He is lost as anything and he needs to learn some assertive communication skills, especially in the beginning of the book, but I appreciate a character in a romance who is far from angsty. I also felt that the addition of Sam was cute in the story. This book (like everything I've read by Cardeno C.) is mostly a good choice for people who love to hear stories about unrealistically played out, syrupy sweet, and co-dependent romantic relationships. So if that isn't what you are looking for then I would pass on this one, but if you like that kind of thing than this might be worth your while.
The reader was my main issue with this book. I've read it on my kindle before and it is a super sappy story, which I really enjoy so I'm good with that, but I cringed a little at first with the reader when I listened to the audiobook. I felt that the reader was not a good choice for this book. I could see this reader doing well with a book that wasn't a romance. The tone that the reader used for Jake made it sound like he was Nate's father and it skeeved me out a bit.
Well I would probably compare it to other Cardeno C. books. They are all sappy sweet gay romances with a soul mate theme (or at least the one's I've read so far are like that). If you don't like sappy than its not a good choice for you but if enjoy that kind of thing than they can be satisfying reads.
Mostly it was that the tone that the narrator used for Jake sounded like a condescending parent when he was talking to Nate a lot of the time. Also the way he read the sex scenes was off in my opinion. I really do think this narrator could do well with a different kind of book though.
I'm really not that picky so yeah, for me it was. I could ignore that I didn't like how the narrator read it to some extent and when it got really bad it was interesting to wonder who the hell decided that this reader was a good fit for this book. It was like watching a bad movie for the fun of it.
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