Burning down the house....
Things are not going well at the offices of Private Eye. Jinx is having demon problems, the city is overrun with pyromaniacal imps, and Ivy's wisp powers are burning out of control, attracting the attention of both the Seelie and Unseelie courts.
Along came a faerie queen.... It's the worst possible time for the Green Lady to call in a favor, but Ivy's bound by her deal with the glaistig. Too bad there's no wiggle room in faerie bargains.
Ivy must rid the city of imps, keep Jinx from murdering her one solid link to Hell, and fulfill her bargain with the Green Lady - with sidhe assassins hot on her tail.
Just another day's work for Ivy Granger, psychic detective.
©2014 E.J. Stevens (P)2015 E.J. Stevens
E.J. does a wonderful job of blending these tidbits in as the story goes. It fills in gaps and continues the three dimensional feel of the world and characters. I do enjoy the story and adventure Ivy goes on here. There are many great friend moments in this book. Moments that show how important those you keep near are and how you can help them.
I liked this story better than the previous books for a few reasons. The story was a little bit more complex with more than two things happening, tying it all together. And this duo of voices fits for me much better.
This novel is narrated by the duo that also voiced a novella. They are Melanie and David. And I do enjoy having both of them for female and male characters. Melanie has the emotions to go with the words as she speaks, and she's not overly bubbly for Ivy. Melanie sounds down to Earth and more real to me for Ivy. Melanie also does an accent from the old world for the Green Lady, a lilt to her words. David is a lovely addition to Melanie's female readings, giving us all the male voices to complement her characters. David's voice for Forneus reminds me of Jack Nicholson. There is one sentence that is repeated, missed in editing. But overall I enjoyed their interpretations of the characters. I do like the slight enhancements such as the sounds of a character on the phone and the echo of a ghost talking!
Ivy gives some great advice in this book, and learns a few things about those she judged harshly. I liked the advice she gave to Arachne and having to face what she did.
The characters are fun in the mix too. Ivy is growing as a character. I don't seem to remember Ivy swearing as much, as she does in this book, in previous books. Mind you, it's not as heavy in swearing as other UF books I've read, but more for Ivy. Ivy still has a habit of 'saying' she's not soft of heart, stubborn, or a smart mouth. This always seems to rub me wrong when I hear/read it. She says it, but I don't think I see it as much in her actions. Now when others say it or she does do something, it's okay, it's just when Ivy thinks she's being stubborn after she's being stubborn that feels repetitive for me. E.J. has a way of writing in puns, little jokes, and thought from Ivy that are play on words. They are fun at times, and also a few that have you roll your eyes because it's corny. lol.
Oh! Sparky! He sounds like a cutie. Really. Adorable little thing (that could grow to be so big!). And Forneus. I knew Ivy couldn't keep him away forever. lol. Torn is a fun rival for Forneus and loves dangerous adventure, so he fits so well.
*I requested to review a copy of this audiobook for an honest review from the author.
Note: Even though this is Book 3 in the series, I think it works fine as a stand alone.
Ivy Granger returns for a third installment in the series. Her best friend Jinx is in dire straights – and Ivy is the only one who can save her, but at a cost. Someone may just have to die. Additionally, there’s a hoard of fire imps running lose, creating havoc in the city of Harborsmouth.
Previously, Ivy made a deal or two with the Green Lady (aka the glaistig) in a chaotic moment. Basically, Ivy owes her a favor, or two. And the Green Lady has called in her debt. It’s a doozy and Ivy is none too happy about it. But the fae have strict rules about deals and if Ivy doesn’t make good, then she may well become an assassin’s target. Yeah, this book was fun and I enjoyed it the most of the first three books in the series.
The plot has Ivy running all over the place trying to figure out how to get herself out of this jam while also saving her friend and not killing any other friends. It’s tough. Oh, and the vampires call in their mark, requiring Ivy to stop the fire imps. So, she’s got all sort s of pressures and she holds up well. The pacing and action are all great. There’s some small fight scenes but also several intense, dangerous situations that don’t necessarily end in violence. Some of these had me holding my breath as I didn’t know if Ivy would end up with some interesting scars or not.
Once again, this urban fantasy is steep in mythology, which I love. There’s various types of demons, water lords, a witch, and Ivy herself as a half-Wisp. Ivy has to use what she knows (or learns) about these folk to out wit them or to make reasonable bargains with them. Indeed, I think Ivy is coming into her own in this book. She’s not insecure or hesitant and instead acts with decision, which is needed in many of the cases. Frankly, she has become that bad ass we were all hoping for.
The side characters are all interesting in their own ways, but they are rather static. They have pretty much stayed the same since they stepped on the page. The one exception may be the demon Forneus, but we don’t get much of him overall. The characters do provide a good backdrop for Ivy to bounce off of and let her grow.
I quite enjoyed this installment in the series and I really look forward to seeing where the author takes the series next.
I received a copy of this audiobook at no cost from the author in exchange for an honest review (thanks!).
Narration: Melanie Mason was a good voice for Ivy. It did take me perhaps 30 minutes to get use to her voice for the story after recently listening to Book 1 & 2, which are narrated by Traci Odom. Nevertheless, she did a very nice job. of course, her inflections for Jinx and Kaye are different, but consistent throughout the book. David Wilson Brown stepped in and did all the male voices, which were each distinct. I especially liked his voice for Humphrey the gargoyle. They included a few sound effects, such as making a voice sound like it was on a phone and trying to do creepy vampire laughter (which came off more amusing than creepy). Still, I appreciated these little touches and for the most part they worked.
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Book three of the Ivy Granger Series continues where book two left off. Ivy Granger is a psychic detective with her partner and best friend Jinx (a rather clumsy and unlucky girl). Ivy has saved the life of a Kelpie King (now her boyfriend) and saved her beloved city from out-of-control, and evil paranormals. During the process, Ivy had asked some pretty powerful para's for favors which in turn put her in their debt. Now both the Fae Queen and Vampire King are calling Ivy to pay up.
With most great and well written paranormal stories, there are always more than one crisis happening within the book, and Burning Bright is no exception! The story starts out with Jinx waking up to a terrible hangover from Club Nexus, only to find out that this was the Green Lady’s way to ensure Ivy would pay her debt to her and kill her witch friend Kaye McShay! While Ivy is still trying to process what just went down, the city is also under attack by a bunch of fire imps that have been running amok all over town starting fires! This leads to the Vampire King's favor she owes him... The crusty ol' vampire wants Ivy to find out who is up to the fires, and extinguish them, permanently! Vampires and fire are not a good match, get it? Fire and match, bahahaha! Then there is the weird thing with Jenna the Guild Hunter. The Guild sent her to Germany on a mission, really?! No one is believing this, but there is too much else going on for Ivy to investigate it further.
The family dynamic that has formed from book one to now is pretty hilarious. Ceff the Kelpie King is still hot and heavy with Ivy, Forneus is still mooning over Jinx, and Arachne who is Kaye's apprentice is stepping up into her witchiness now. Ivy also adopts another stray and adds to the odd pack. Sparky, the new stray is so adorable, I love him! I think this is exactly what Ivy needed. During the course of the story, I was lead with clues as to the future of the next book with a big “war coming” that is mentioned but no specifics like with who and when. There is also the matter of finding Ivy's father still as well. The third installment of the Ivy Granger Series does not lack danger, sex or imagination by a long shot! This book is for sure One-Click worthy!
Melanie A. Mason and David Wilson Brown return from Blood and Mistletoe, Book 1.5 of the Ivy Granger Series. My last encounter with the duo was horrific. Mainly the audio quality sucking big time! HOWEVER, for Burning Bright they seemed to have learned from their mistakes and pulled off a Hail Mary!!! MY GOD! The timing, the audio, the tone all in sync and sounding fan-tab-ulous! Amazing redemption play, and congrats on a job very well done! I give you both a 5 star rating for your performances! I was so enthralled through the entire book that I had totally forgotten about my previous experience. I love you both, and because I'm already in love with Traci Odom, I will be torn in two now when the next book is released. Damn the powers that be for doing this to me!!
**Audiobook provided by the author for an honest review**
We read to know, we are not alone ~ C.S. Lewis
AudioBook Review: Stars: Overall: 5 Narration: 4 Story: 5
I’d read this title back in June of last year, and he series itself never ceases to amuse or entertain. In this fourth installment, now in audio, Ivy is growing into her powers, learning what she can and cannot do, and learning to balance her desire to help with her need for self-preservation.
Many issues have arisen, Jinx seems to be fading away, her relationship is about what one would expect from a girl who can’t touch anyone, the hands are out for boons and tokens, and her father, recently found, is lost again leaving huge gaps in information shared.
Ceff and Ivy’s relationship is developing, despite her own reservations and his habit of disappearing without notice. And did I mention imps? Yes, Imps. As troublesome as one would expect, especially this gang of fire imps who have run amok. Not to mention Jinx and her relationship with the demon Forneus, and Ivy has more than just a few things to occupy her time.
While I noticed that Stevens uses humor and mixes in action to keep the plot moving forward, these elements were even more present in the audo book. Narration by Melanie A. Mason and David Wilson Brown added those moments of hesitation, emphasized dramatic moments, and presented the characters with flair, adding to the emotional moments and increasing their pace of delivery just enough to indicate the frenetic action on the pages. Descriptions and characters come alive, even subtle nuances in delivery and interaction between the narrators manages to convey the character’s reactions to, and subliminal feelings about, each new supernatural they encounter.
A fun and engaging Urban Fantasy series, I’m going to have to get the others in this series in audio to enjoy a second round with the characters.
I received an AudioBook copy of the title from the author for purpose of honest review for The Jeep Diva. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Ivy Granger has a very unique, and rather difficult psychic gift which has helped her build a successful Private Eye business. Ivy and her assistant, Jinx, usually stay busy with the business but Ivy has been distracted spending funds and energy trying to find her father. Meanwhile Jinx has gotten trapped in a life-draining situation. To save Jinx Ivy makes a bargain with the Green Lady which requires Ivy to kill Kaye, a powerful witch who has helped Ivy and become a friend.
Ivy is half human and half ‘wisp’ princess. She was abandoned by her father, the King of the Wisps, so she never learned how to control her abilities. The current, ruling faerie court view her as a risk to maintaining the secrets of the paranormals in the human world. Accordingly, they have sent an enforcement team to “eliminate” her.
Not only is Ivy dealing with these personal issues but suddenly fires are popping up all over the city. Ivy has discovered that pyromaniacal, demon imps have gotten loose and she needs help to stop them. Along the way to that task Ivy rescues a “runt” of a fire imp who is being played with by the clan of Cats.
Ivy gets support from her boyfriend, Ceffyl, who is the local Kelpie King. She also gets backup from another “ally”, if not exactly a friend, Torn, the leader of the Cats. Ivy also calls on Forneus who is a demon lawyer -- as in a lawyer who happens to be a demon. Ivy doesn’t exactly trust Forneus, but she knows he is interested in Jinx and will help protect her if they can rescue.
Ivy needs to find a way to kill Kaye without really killing her while also keeping herself from being killed so she can save Jinx from her kidnapper and save the city from burning. The tasks all blend together and keep Ivy and her 'friends' on the run in creative and dangerous situations.
Even as Ivy stumbles through some of her exploits, I soon realized that being a rescuer is a big part of who she is. I liked the steady support from her strong water Kelpie boyfriend, Ceff, and the flirty, suggestive snipes from Torn and Forneus which add another fun element to the mix. You might not think a demon is cute, but little imp “Sparky” is really an adorable character with an importance that Ivy didn’t know when she saved him. I am expecting/hoping he will grow into a helpful member of the team. There are other fun characters, including Father Michael, Humphrey the Gargoyle and a mischievous hearth brownie.
I might have more easily and more quickly related to the characters if I had read/listened to the first two books of the series. However, I think I finally adjusted to them and was able to pick up on the important characters, elements and tensions as presented in this third book. I enjoyed the fun and by the end I was looking forward to listening to the current release, Birthright (which I enjoyed even more than book 3 - review coming soon).
Audio Notes: I enjoyed the team narration by Melanie A. Mason and David Wilson Brown. Melanie presents the female characters and aspects and David adds depth and counterbalance with the male characters. They both did a good job with the different character voices and the teamwork made the narration a fuller experience which I liked.
I received this audiobook from the author for an honest review.
Real Rating = 3.5
A fun Urban Fantasy that skirts the edges of my standards.
Source: I received this book free in return for an honest review.
Burning Bright by E.J. Stevens, read by Melanie A. Mason & David Wilson Brown, published 2015 / Length: 7 hrs 32 min
This is Book #1 of 4 (so far) in the "Ivy Granger, Psychic Detective" series. Book #4, Birthright just came out on audio.
**This review contains spoilers for the previous book(s).**
I was very happy to see character growth and change in this book, but unhappy to see an increase in elements that aren't to my taste.
Note: If you are frequent reader of Urban Fantasy, then this book will probably seem tame to you. Also, I haven't read the novellas, but apparently that was a mistake since it appears that some important things happened in the last one that impact this one. It's not absolutely necessary to read it, but I plan to go back and do so.
I'm not a big fan of the covers for this series. And this book is incorrectly categorized in Audible as "Mysteries & Thrillers > Modern Detective."
Ivy Granger: I love the fact that we are seeing true character growth for her. She is learning to see herself and others more clearly
Ceffyl Dwr: Continues to be the perfect boyfriend with the tragic past (i.e. a bit of a stereotype). I liked the way he was shown to grieve after a certain event. I would like to see a bit more development in his character outside of his relationship to Ivy.
Ivy & Ceff: I still feel like the status of their relationship is a bit unclear. In the second book, she called him her "boyfriend;" but he had himself introduced (at her debut to fae society) as her "consort." Now the term "suitor" is being used. And his (former?) wife has been referred to as just "wife" but then as "ex." It is clear that Ivy, at least, does not consider herself to be married (which makes their physical relationship problematic for me).
I would also like to see more of her helping Ceff and being involved in his world, not just the other way around. I adore how deeply he loves her, but would like to see some detailed reasons for that love beyond just gratitude for her saving him in the first book. Her ability gives the perfect opportunity to overcome his not being a POV character.
There were some significant changes for other characters in this book, which I am excited to see play out.
The world remains much the same as before, with a mix of things like vampires, hell & demons, and Celtic fae in a U.S. coastal city. We get some additional Celtic myths thrown in this time also.
We begin with the same prologue found in the previous books.
The ending resolves the current issues, and some of ivy's problems from previous books, while introducing some new ones.
HIGHLIGHTS / CAUTIONS:
--Sparky is my favorite new addition, I love him and can't wait to see what becomes of him.
--The manner in which Ivy handles the issue with Arachne.
--Everything involved with the use of the apples.
I COULD HAVE DONE WITHOUT: The language, especially the 6 or so F-words, and vulgarity. (I don't remember F-words in the first two books, maybe I just automatically skipped them because I was reading rather than listening) / The (literal) blood bath. Some other gore.
OTHER CAUTIONS(?): A lot of time is spent thinking or talking about Ivy & Ceff's (premarital) sex life, although she doesn't go into great detail.
Notes: There were some production issues with the sound quality at the very beginning, but they went away. / This is the kind of dual narration where they split it by who's speaking rather than by chapters.
DAVID: Character voices differentiated = Yes. I really liked Hob's voice, and loved the one for the fire imp. I would have liked an accent for Ceff (although he does live off the U.S. coast). / Accents good = Yes / Phrasing, Pacing & Pronunciation = Yes / Emoting = Yes
MELANIE: Character voices differentiated = Yes, although everyone else got such great voices and accent that it made Ivy's voice seem kind of boring. I didn't like what they did with Ailinn's voice / Accents good = Yes / Phrasing, Pacing & Pronunciation = Yes, although some of the Irish words may have been wrong, I'm not sure / Emoting = Yes
Speed = listened on 1.25, my usual, but it was just a touch fast.
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