The story itself made the experience enjoyable. It's a heck of a read, taking listeners on a real edge-of-your-seat rollercoaster ride.
The growth of Anna and TJ, and the slow development of their relationship was definitely the best part of this book.
Needs more variety.
Narrator Heidi Baker did not change her voice at all when she switched between reading parts in Anna's voice and TJ's. As a result, it was very hard to stop and start listening in the middle of a section and quickly pick up where you were again--both characters sounded like a twenty-something female. Which, ironically, neither of them were. She's not a bad narrator, but definitely would not be my first choice for a book like this. I ended up wishing I'd had time to read the print version instead.
Virginia Kantra is a new-to-me author, but she's quickly become a new favorite! I absolutely loved this book. Yes, I read book three in the series first, but I was not at all lost with the characters or storyline. However, I don't think I was even halfway done with it when I added books one and two to my wish list--and I ended up buying them with my next available credits.
I loved Luke, Kate, and Taylor--Taylor especially is such a sympathetic character. Watching her try to deal with everything life has thrown at her is absolutely heartbreaking. I just wanted to reach in and give her a hug! (Not that she would have let me. But I really wanted to, anyway. That poor little girl...) I've always had a soft spot for heroes in the military, and Luke is no exception. His progression from a guy focused on his career into the kind of father his little girl deserves is fantastic. I did feel like Kate held on to her "I can't get involved with a Marine because he'll be just like my dad" attitude a little bit too long, but it wasn't unrealistic. It was a case of "it's not her, it's me": I loved him, so what was her problem? ;)
The narrator did a great job. I've listened to a couple of books lately where the narration was only so-so, but that was not the case here. She did an especially well with her male voices--not always the case with female narrators. (To be fair, there's an equal amount of men who don't do women's voices well either; it's always a pleasure to find any narrator who does a good job with the opposite sex.) I was very glad to see that she's narrating the entire series, because I'll be listening to the other two--soon!
A good story, but definitely not my favorite from this author. The two main characters took way too long to be honest with each other--their initial hesitation made sense, but after a while it got to be ridiculous, especially since they both got hugely upset when they found out the other one was hiding something from them. (Hello? Pot? Kettle? You're equal in your blackness, so get over it already!) Other than that, Victor and Isa/Sofie were likable characters overall.
Ultimately, the last third or so redeemed the book for me. At one point I was afraid they were reverting back to their old ways, but they proved me wrong so nothing got tossed across the room (I was listening on audio, so book tossing would have involved earbuds being ripped out of my ears. I was very glad to have my fears proven wrong, believe me!) The ending is immensely satisfying, and helped me to get over much of my frustration with the book.
Some of the secondary characters' immense likability helps matters as well--Amalie, their daughter, is charming; Rupert and Mary Grace's secondary romance is adorable; and Sofie's business partner Mr. Gordon is an all-around great guy. Tristan and Dominick, the brothers who run Manton Investigations, are as entertaining as ever, and I cannot wait until they have their own books.
The science too was interesting, both of Sofie's artificial gems and Rupert's studies. I didn't quite "get" it all, but it sounded impressive. ;) Ms. Jeffries's afterword showed that she had clearly done her research in that arena.
Part of my dissatisfaction with this novel stemmed from the audio performance--I couldn't stand the voice the narrator used for Isa/Sofie. It always sounded as if she had a mouthful of marbles when she spoke, and it was distracting. Perhaps if I'd have read it instead of listening, I would have rated it higher.
So far the first book in the series is still my favorite. I wouldn't go so far as to say this one was a disappointment, it just didn't quite live up to the standards of book one. Hopefully the next offering from The Duke's Men will be more consistent in its execution.
Rating: C+/ 3.5 stars
The main character of Omens is supposed to be twenty-four, but the narrator sounds much older, which I found to be distracting and off-putting. The secondary narrator, I thought, would have been more convincing in the role. It really detracted from my enjoyment of the book. I debated between giving the performance 1 or 2 stars, and went with 2 solely on the strength of the secondary narrator. The main one just wasn't right for the part.
The action of the book takes quite a while to get going, and it really wasn't until the last third or so of the novel that things really start to click--hence the 3 star story rating. For much of it, though, I really didn't know what to think about the book--which bothered me, because I love Kelley's three series set in the Otherworld universe so much. I had really high hopes for this one. Omens does get much better toward the end, thank goodness, so I decided on a four-star overall rating based on that strength.
Will I read the next book? Of course--it's Kelley Armstrong. Will I get it on audio immediately if the narrator remains the same, though? Probably not. I can always just read the e-version, in that case.
If I must.
Not necessarily better, but I do like hearing two different voices for the two narrators. Definitely adds to the experience.
Loved both the protagonists! Both seemed very human and very real--made bad choices, but most of them were for good reasons. They grew throughout the novel, and overcame amazing odds.
Loved them both. Really, I couldn't choose.
How can you look forward to the future when you can't get over your past?
I definitely recommend this audio version. It was very well done.
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