©2009 Lauren Willig; (P)2009 Penguin Audiobooks
I love this series. Unfortunately, the reader mispronounces the main characters name for the entire book and it's very distracting. The story itself is fun and funny as always.
I'd recommend this, but with reservations. The earlier books are more entertaining, and the Kate reading is the Voice of these books.
This one was entertaining, but the thread of the French spy network was a bit forced this time.
Kate reading should have been cast as the reader for this book, as with all the others. I did not think Justine Eyre was as terrible as some reviewers, but her attempt at a Welsh accent was disappointing, and her pretentious pronunciation of some words was irritating and discordant. Chiffon has a perfectly good English pronunciation, for instance and does not need a Frenchified lilt at the end. And yes, "El-oh-eese" not El-wahz." Why did producers not correct her?
The story is fine, but the narrator is distractingly bad. Like another reviewer said, she consistently mispronounces the main character's name, which is really distracting. She has an annoyingly nasal voice and an indeterminate accent that is altogether unsatisfying. I could go on, but it looks like Kate Reading is back for the next one in the series, so I'll quit whining and just try to get through this one as quickly as possible.
Justine Eyre might be a perfectly decent narrator, but her English accent is atrocious and I must add my voice to the chorus saying "El-woz? What?"
I really wish this book could be re-recorded by Kate Reading. They did it with one of the Artemis Fowl books, when they used someone other than Nathaniel Parker. The backlash against the other narrator was so great (I assume) that they had Nathaniel Parker re-record the book.
Kate Reading is the voice of this series. Please let her be the voice of the *entire* series.
I eagerly await each of Lauren Willig's audiobooks but this narrator is just appalling. After Kate Reading, it is true torture. If this narrator does any more of Willig's books, I, for one, will NOT be purchasing them. This truly is heart breaking. I was so looking forward to a wonderful listen.
One of the hallmarks of the first four books is the sprinkling of delicious humor throughout each one. Sadly, this one doesn't have it except very briefly when Miles makes his brief appearance.
To be fair, I can't tell for sure that much of my lack of enjoyment had to do with the poor narration. Not only are the voices done poorly but there are far too many actual mispronunciations (and, no, they weren't differences between UK and USA. Other British narrators pronounce the words correctly.)
However, this is a series in which many of the characters have pivotal roles in several of the books , and it is also nice to get a bit of perspective on who some of the less prominent characters really are - in this case the Duchesse of Dovedale. But I can say for sure that, while I have and will continue to read and listen to most of the others multiple times, once is more than enough for this one.
I love all of Lauren Willig's books, and recommend them to all my friends. As for the narrator, Justine Eyre, I find listening to her narration quite enjoyable. Her voice is clear and sweet and it's easy to get lost in the book, without being aware of the narrator.
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