I love "good for grown-ups too" kids fantasy. This could have been one of them except for the narration. It's very rare for me not to finish a book, however, after four attempts to get comfortable with the juvenile cadence and voice inflections, I threw in the towel at chapter 4. Too bad. The premise is interesting.
I feel I can no longer use the reviews as a reliable guide. This book is terrible in so many ways. The story itself is a meandering pointless mash-up of fantasy, syfi, and offensive soft porn. An emotionally damaged 14 year old girl (presented as a courageous "super hero") only seems to feel whole playing the role of protector of the city. She is being lusted after by TWO older men who get aroused - described often - sometimes by just touching her hand. They both hover over her, threatening abuse and imprisonment, while very impatiently awaiting her pending womanhood so they can have sex with her. Further, she gets turned on at various times by a supernatural pheromone that causes her to strip, writhe, and moan for sex. Has the author or the editor read this?? As far as the storyline goes, I listened and listened and listened, backtracking several times thinking I'd missed something, and I have no idea what it was about. Add this to truly awful narration. Ms Ross' interpretation of Dani and her 14 year old personality, and the Irish accents overall are very bad. She and Phil Gigante are so completely incompatible you can literally feel the splicing. You've been warned.
I've just finished The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society this morning after spending a very late night with it, unable to find a spot to turn it off. Preparing to write a review, I messed up and read the others first. There's nothing left for me to say, except "Read it!" The story-told-through-letters approach initially made me hesitate, but this one is unlike any other. I can't decide whether it's due to Ms. Shaffer and Ms. Barrows' truly outstanding craftsmanship or the perfect match of character personality and each of the narrators performance.
I read a ton and haven't been so utterly enthralled in years.
I enjoyed the first book in this series. However, I couldn't get into this one and gave up after about 30 minutes. A few weeks later, desperate for something new, I tried again. What a difference! I was pulled in right away and couldn't wait to pick it up whenever I could. It's a 'young' series - 2 books so far - and feels like it's still laying ground. The narrator is definitely a major strength. Roger Wayne is spectacular. He has a wonderful voice and is an excellent actor/reader - the right amount of nuance and perfect pacing. He reads distinct personalities into each character and his female voices work great too. Maybe it's because of the genre but his performance brings James Marsters' Harry Dresden to mind. I will definitely look for more books read by him. The story is good. A tad bit slow in spots but the narration held it up. There are a lot of strong threads and unique concepts that can be mined for a terrific series. I really hope Mr. James is willing to give us a nice long ride with John Charming. When's the next one??
I'm a avid fan of Andrews and Raudman. After giving this book a 2nd listen, I hate to say it... I'm ...disappointed. The story is interesting, but in my opinion, Ms Raudman's narration is a complete miss. The reading is excruciatingly slow, drawn out even further by a rhythm that drove me to turn it off many times. The main character, written to be a sharp young Southern woman in her early 20's, is brought to life as a vague old Southern granny. I just couldn't stay focused. IIona Andrews, you're terrific. I'll definitely get the print version of the next one. Renee, thumbs way way up on your other narrations.
Believe the negative reviews. Interesting that the Amazon reviewers and Audible reviewers are so different.
I thoroughly enjoyed the previous book and expected to love this one. Unfortunately, the entire reading was ruined by the incredibly long gaps between chapters, odd pacing (really slow at times and normal at others), and irregular unexpected pauses between sentences. It seemed as though the narrator recorded random sentences and paragraphs in separate sittings, which were then pieced together. The amount of dead space between every single chapter was so weirdly long that a few times I thought the book had ended. How did this production get a 'pass'?
This book (and hopefully the series) is the perfect combination of sharp, smart writing and pitch-EXCELLENT narration. I've listened to a huge amount of audio books over the years and this is one that stands out as one of the best pairings I've heard. Yes- there are spots that could have lagged a bit but they were saved - no, elevated! - by R Holdbrook-Smith's execution. Oh, and did I mention how often I literally burst out laughing? Good job guys. You both now have another follower! I start book 2 tomorrow.
I'm an avid audiobook "reader", sometimes going through up to 8 books a month (lots & lots of driving and no TV!). I believe I picked this one up on sale and it turned out to be one of the most enjoyable audio experiences I've had in some time. It took a few minutes to acclimate to the writing style of alternating between action (mainly academic) and science-speak. Noting some of the reviewer comments I was also very nervous about the narration style. While I can understand reviewers who were a bit negative - there have been several narrators who have cost me highly rated books - I have to say I was captivated by the dry inflection that Mr Bray used to portray the wit and and humor of an extremely smart and not-old man. I'm up for a second go!
Love you Audible but why was this book given a good rating?? Terrible narration. Every sentence is read the same and at an irritating near-shout. No acting, no nuance, nothing. In fairness, I can't really rate the story itself because I haven't been able to get through more than 15 minutes at a time without taking a long break. Even trapped in my car during a 2 hour commute. Really really disappointing. Side note - I gave 'Performance' 1-star only because the system wouldn't allow me to leave a rating category with 0 stars and still write a review (glitch or what?). I take it back.
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