©2009 Sherrilyn Kenyon; (P)2009 Macmillan Audio
Worth a listen if you're a Kenyon fan.
Not her best book ever, but it doesn't falter by any means if you want a full perspective of the league universe and its characters.
Plus, the narrators chosen for her audio are great.
This seems like a classic "bodice ripper", except it's not. It isn't written well, the plot is mostly missing, the characters are annoying, flat, and predictable. I tolerate these qualities in "trashy romance novels" but it didn't really have all the romance novel aspects either.
Plot and characters are marvelous, but two things ruined the book and will push me to return the rest of the series I already bought without listening to them. First, like way too many books written in the past 15 years, Ms. Kenyon is in dire need of a ruthless editor with both a strong sense of action and drama and knowledge of both grammar and vocabulary. Whether the first book was actually better written or the narrator so good that I didn't notice the flaws, the fact is that I loved it and was excited enough about the characters and story line that I bought 5 more of the books.
The main problem with this book, itself, is the fact that the author constantly repeats herself. Characters will say the same thing over and over throughout. It's a matter of "Okay. I got it the first two times". I don't need each character to repeat the same feelings over and over, especially in almost the same words, in every chapter. Worse, when it is appropriate for a character to express a similar set of feelings, it would be better at least to have "Roget's Thesaurus" close at hand and use it.
For example, using "obsidian eyes" multiple times within a single chapter is egregious. These and many other problems could be quickly solved by a good editor. Authors (and I am one) tend to fall in love with their words and don't see that their waxing eloquent is really waxing verbose. A good editor helps an author tighten the prose to reduce redundancy and enhance the drama. The one critical place a good editor was sorely missed was the denouement, where all is resolved between Shahara and Syn. It made no sense left me completely unsatisfied, when it could have been touchingly romantic. Instead it was forced and awkward.
The other problem with this book and the main reason I will return subsequent ones in the series instead of listening to them is the awful narrator, who performed this book and, apparently, most of the rest. After the superb characterizations by Kelly Fish, it was a struggle to get through this story as read by Mr. Berman. Every character sounded the same - pitch, cadence, phrasing, accent and every other aspect. I often could not tell who was talking and didn't believe any of the emotions he was trying to express. This was especially problematic in the resolution mentioned above. A good performance could have masked the weakness in the prose.
I'm very sad about these issues as I like the characters and would love to meet them again, but I cannot bear to listen to Mr. Berman's very poor narration. Therefore, as I said before (See. Writers do repeat themselves too often.), I will return any of those he narrated to which I haven't listened. However I notice that another narrator takes over after his 4 or 5 volumes, so I'll try out one of those.
Story is good until the end, where it is a bit cheesy. Voice acting amazing.
Yes.... it's as good as the first book I listened when he was the narrator. He brings the characters to life.
I love this series. Sherrilyn Kenyon writes so well. Her main characters are always so strong and heroic. I like Sin for his kindness even though he went through so much suffering himself it did not warp him. Both main characters were very performed by Fred Berman. I hope there will be more on The League series.
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