First, I really do love this series. This book, however, just seems to be more angsty than the rest. I found myself rolling my eyes at Jane's guilt over everything. And I mean EVERYthing. You'd think a vampire slayer who is supposed to be over 100 years old would Get. Over. It. Maybe 60 or so years ago. That is the one thing, IMHO, that makes this book less enjoyable than the others.
LOVE: Beast. She is my favorite character, and the symbiosis between her and Jane is fabulous. I love the imaginative approach and the settings. I love that the author writes well.
HATE: Will someone *please* teach the narrator how to pronounce "eschew?"
This is a fascinating listen, made more-so because the author - who narrates - is extremely passionate about his subject and research.
My quibble is that the book is incomplete. It is presented as a "meticulously researched biography," but there are no notes included. I know that about 30% of the Kindle and paper versions comprises extensive notes on the author's research. These are absent in their entirety from this version, and I take issue with this book being sold as unabridged. I understand the difficulty in including notes as this is an audio version, however the lack of notes should be explicitly addressed in the description and/or this version should only be sold as a bundle with the Kindle version. Disappointingly misleading.
I love Khristne Hvam (narrator), even though she mispronounces words that call her degree of education into question. She's a very talented voice actress and I have found some great series of books looking for her work. Laini Taylor created a fantastical world, but the third book didn't live up to the others. Though I loved the first two books in this series (especially the first one), this one was disappointing enough that I doubt I would read more of the author.
This book seemed like a huge mishmash. It was extraordinarily poorly edited. For instance, there was so much soul searching and angst that I felt it undermined the reader's ability to bond more deeply with the characters. It became tedious and annoying. Also, the book really went nowhere, fading away at the end. I understand the need to leave some open ended plot elements for possible coming installments, but this one was a poorly crafted ending. I believe the elements of a fantastic bang of an ending were all there, but they were so overcrowded with superfluous material that they lost all power and merely fizzled.
I'm glad that I listened to the end, but I'm left feeling very unsatisfied.
A great editor would have made this a masterpiece.
Yes. I think the narrator adds so much to the story (which is already a great story). When I go back to reading these books, the words seem a little paler in comparison to the performance.
Yes. I love the way Louise Penny has wrapped everything up in this one. As usual, she leaves clues all through the book and then everything comes together in the end, along with a few surprises.
Yes. He's gotten better and better in the role of Gamache. He's a fantastic narrator. Great pace and phrasing and huzzah for the fantastic pronunciation.
The ending. Penny always has the best ones.
After I finished listening to this book, I went back and started listening to the series from the beginning. It is really a fantastic series, with wry dialog and interesting literary, musical, and artistic commentary. History is woven in, and the Quebecois point of view makes this a fascinating read from a cultural perspective. The series was obviously thought out in great detail before Ms. Penny began writing, because it all dovetails beautifully. I can't say enough good things about the series and the performance. Highly recommended.
Loved the book and overall really like Khristine Hvam as a narrator. Honestly though, some of her mispronunciations and downright wrong words are almost laughable. Askew instead of eschew? Condensation instead of condescension? Pronouncing fleur de lis as "floor duh lease?" Oy. I can understand why the various mispronunciations - as jarring as they are to me - were missed, but the wrong words make absolutely NO SENSE whatsoever in context and no one noticed?! Still, I like Hvam's cadence and speed, and her voices are basically good (the New Orleans accent and French could use a little work). Simon Vance as narrator is still the gold standard for me.
*That* was a total waste of money. The story isn't central to the ongoing events; it takes place in the past, probably about the time of the first book. The voice of the dog is always entertaining, but that didn't make it worth almost $10. Save yourself some money and buy it on Kindle for $3. It would be a quick read; I'm guessing about an hour. Shame on you, Audible, for charging so much for it.
Very interesting and thought provoking story of prejudice, love and war. There's meat presented here for those who wish to ponder the beautiful and ugly in each soul, but it's wrapped into a pleasing package of fluid and unusual prose. The setting is described in lovely and haunting terms. The performance is very *very* good (brava on the male roles!), though I have given it 4 rather than 5 stars because of some jarring mispronunciations.
The second half of the book lags in a series of flashbacks that - in my opinion - might have been more interesting broken up and scattered more. However, I can see the wisdom behind presenting them as they are, as well, so I have not rated the story down.
Based on a simple overall concept, this is a creative and well written story: a very enjoyable bonbon of a book.
Love Rick Riordan's books. I always read my son's, but this time I thought I'd try the audio version. It was difficult to get past the pronunciation of Gaia, which should be GUY-ya, but was instead pronounced GEE-ya.
The story is wonderful as always; I love the clever way Riordan updates the old myths and applies the characters and situations to the modern age. I always have some great laughs. The narrator was ok, though his breathless portrayal of the female characters was definitely off when they were kicking *ss. Meh.
Someone who likes listening to sloowwwwwww reading by a kindergarten teacher.
No - I couldn't stand listening to the reader long enough even to guess what the story was like. What I heard was well written, though. I didn't want to review the story itself because I didn't feel I had heard enough, but was compelled to submit a rating in order to write a review. Sorry about that.
Horribly horribly slow and unnatural pacing and inflection.
The writing seemed to be good. I plan to read it (in written form).
Why on Earth do narrators think they have to read so slowly?!?! Good heavens. It's torture!
I particularly loved the voice of Oberon and the old native American. The pop culture references, mythology and historical aspects are brilliant.
The series is like Rick Riordan for adults. Love all the popular culture references and puns.
I listened to the first three in this series. I didn't enjoy this one as much. It almost sounded as though there was a new producer who kept telling him "you need to be much more serious." Hated that he seemed to read a bit slower - it almost put me to sleep - and with more studied inflections in the first half and the snarky, edgy, flippant nature of his voice was toned down with processing. Note: another reviewer said that he forgot to speak with a rasp in one part when his throat was injured. That bit of dialogue was actually when he was speaking to Oberon telepathically so it fit. The second half picked back up and was more enjoyable.
I love this series. My husband keeps asking me why I'm laughing out loud. It's just too much fun. Thank you Kevin Hearn and Luke Daniels!
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