She was way too shrill. I have other books she's read that weren't awful, but she was intolerable here.
I recommend the version read by John Lee.
Others have covered the plot holes and loss of continuity from the previous books, and while that's uncomfortable, what really soured this book for me was how dark this one was. Part of what made the previous books so much fun was how Molly Harper painted a world where vampires are still people. Being turned is just the start of a new set of problems in your daily life, problems best handled with snark, sarcasm, and good friends.
Amanda Ronconi rules, as always.
While the "friendly" vampires are still present, vampires in general are now shady, dangerous predators, to be treated with caution and respect. This perspective first showed up in The Care and Feeding, but there it was possible as a reader to treat Iris as a unreliable narrator in this respect; Gigi may share Iris's prejudices, but the self-help book quoted at the beginning of each chapter is replete with dire warnings about the importance of not provoking your vampire colleagues. Jane’s earlier commentary about how vampires tend to be the same mix of good and evil as un-undead humans is repudiated.
Gigi has taken a job working for the Council for the Equal Treatment of the Undead. Shortly after orientation, Ophelia calls a Stalinesque meeting of the entire staff to accuse an employee of theft. The theft, she announces is already proven, and the employee is tortured while the entire group is made to watch. Further, the point is explicitly made that although the character is a vampire, the particular torture technique employed is permanent, even on vampires. Not fun, and not even a little funny.
The vampire "hero" is about 400 years older than Gigi, who is already the youngest of Molly Harper’s heroines. Nick's first interaction with Gigi in this episode is to attack her. She barely escapes with her life. Her reaction, after getting away and telling her family about the attack -- is to date him? Against her family’s strong objections. What the heck? Even after she learns he's under a spell that causes him to forget his feelings for her and try to kill her, she continues to sneak around trying to find chances to be alone with him.
Nick attacks Gigi repeatedly throughout the book. Each time, she makes excuses for him instead of taking steps to protect herself. At one point, she consciously decides to allow him to kill her without resisting. When he comes to his senses and calls off their relationship as a result, she's butt hurt about his cowardice and lack of commitment. Every time they're alone together, my skin crawled as I wondered what he was going to do next, and the narrative would be sure to point out again, whatever he did wouldn't be his fault.
The sex: ick. The laugh out loud humor in the sex scenes in Harper's other books makes them worth listening to (sex scenes read aloud is usually more embarrassing than ), and I've always believed the chemistry between the characters. In this one, the sex was just porn. These two characters didn't seem to be ready to consummate their relationship, unless this is an homage to college hook-ups?
The most recent Naked Werewolf book has a character on the run from her abusive ex-husband. I can't understand why Harper would choose to glorify this abusive relationship, and allow the narrator to keep making excuses for him. He hurts you because he can't help it is a terrible message to embed in a romance novel.
There's always been violence in these books, but before it always felt like cartoon violence. Only the bad guys stay hurt, and the good guys fight, but it's clear from the beginning that no one is in any danger (like when Jane fights with her mortal sister, they smack each other around using with foam bolsters).
Finally, Ophelia. She's always been a pain in the butt, but there have been hints she's amused by the friends' antics, and in the end, she's always been exerting her influence for a fair outcome. She's been on the periphery of the group, and if anything, it was time to give her her own story and bring her into the circle, not turn her into the villain. (Here again, there's the 400 year age gap between her and her love interest, and despite trying to kill Gigi in an insane rage, Jamie continues the relationship with her? He's stern about it, but sternly expressing disapproval seems a tepid response to your significant trying to kill your best friend.)
The recording starts in the middle of a sentence (after "this is audible" and the title). Then about 26 minutes in, it starts playing two overlapping tracks at the same time; it sounds like the book is continuing, and the missing opening is playing under it. Hard to tell, since I'm hearing two tracks at once, but whatever it is, it jolted me wide awake. If Audible is able to work this out with the publisher, I'll withdraw my negative review.
This volume includes about the introduction and first chapter (or maybe two) of the book. He gave one vignette (the story of the boy whose parents gave him the gun his brother used to commit suicide) and talked briefly about Erich Fromme, and then it was over. The entire printed book is short enough that I can't make sense of why it should have been either abridged or cut into three volumes. If I'd realized what I was getting, I'd have passed.
The material presented here is a step by step program to follow methodically, so it really needs a workbook for reference. I was constantly bookmarking areas that I'd need to return to to make notes when I wasn't driving. Also, I felt that the section on EFT would have benefited from a visual presentation.
Not as an audiobook. I can't speak to the effectiveness of the program itself.
The author reads well, which in my experience is unusual.
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