Spend some more time with Aisling Grey.
©2004 Martha Arends; (P)2005 Recorded Books, LLC
"Wickedly witty." (Booklist)
I am an avid listener. I listen between 75-100 hours per month on my iPhone: 60% fiction to 40% non-fiction.
The story is set in France about a main character named Aisling Grey. She is likable enough but just way to much of a caricature for my taste. To be sure, there are a number of times where there are light moments and humor, but they are way too far apart to save this novel. The central plot does not create enough conflict that you get overly interested. It is more of a lackadaisical plot that bobs and weaves but with no real drama. If it weren’t for the daemon dog, Jim, I don’t know if I could even have finished it.
The Narration by Barbara Rosenblat is just plain horrendous. First Aisling Grey is supposed to be 32 in this novel. Rosenblat’s voice for her maker her sound like she is in her late forties and not at all attractive. The voice she uses for Aisling’s daemon, Jim, sounds like Steve Urkel from Family Matters. If you do ignore my review and listen, do not use enhanced mode, she has the most annoying unbecoming narration habits – you can hear her swallowing almost every sentence. I think that her narration is horrendous enough to ward you off the series – pardon the pun. I notice that Rosenblat has done other novel for MacAlister – not good.
I admit, I’ve read positive reviews. However, if you like this book I would steer you to Betsy in MaryJanice Davidson’s Undead series. That’s a vampire series that’s got a lot of laughs with excellent narration. I have to say punt on this and the others in this series – usually the first book is the best and if they get worse from here – oh boy and Aisling is a big don't care.
Great choice for stress relief! Katie MacAlister has a great imagination and Barbara Rosenblatt is my all time favorite reader. Barbara makes the characters so much more entertaining than I believe anyone else could. (I heard the noises other listeners complained of, but Barbara is a person, not a machine, doesn't bother me. I did notice it more when I wore headphones and had the volume up too high. I didn't hear it in my car.)
A very happy grandmother of 4, who finds Audible extremely conveniently for my way of life.
This is the latest in her dragon series on audible.com. Good story line with great characters. The narrator is good and gives life to the various and different story lines involved in each of her books. I look forward to seeing the entire series to download in the future. Please do not change narrators. This one is perfect for the books.
I love the craziness that is Ashling and love Jim. He is almost as good as Kevin Hearne's Oberion
The story is very fun and funny.
Wet, moist, breathy
Barbara is a great performer for this story. However, there are some points where you can hear, I mean seriously HEAR her swallowing spit! Other times you just wish she would swallow so her words aren't so... lip smacking. Yuck. It's distracting enough to actually miss what's happening in the story.
I read this book before I listened to it on audio. Should have not done the audio. The narrator sounded like she was eating or sucking on candy the whole time, and her accents were not all that good- admittedly, how many people would know what a Welsh accent sounds like? It doesn't sound like they got to Wales via Jamaica, though.
The content of the book is a good story, well written and entertaining- I've read the whole series and enjoyed it. If they change up the narrator in the subsequent issues, it would be worth checking out, but this reader makes a good story painful. Too bad.
I feel forced to critique the story and the performance seperately, considering the fact that they competed with each other the entire time. I loved the story. I loved that the paranormal aspects did not overwhelm the story but added to it. I loved that there was plenty of suspense and heat. I loved each and every one of Aisling's sidekicks even when they were more hinderance than help. I loved Aisling's sense of humor and how she makes things harder on herself. I really enjoyed Drake, I liked how he let Aisling solve her own problems without stepping in and making things easy for her. I especially enjoyed the "other world" Ms. MacAlister created and was sorry to leave but I am looking forward to visiting again in subsequent books.
After this glowing review I need to address why I only gave this story four stars. I had a huge problem with the narration. I'm not sure if it was a problem with the narrator, the production, the direction or all three but at points I had to turn the story off and walk away I was so frustrated. During the entire performance you can hear the narrator swilling spittle around her mouth, constantly, every few seconds. It is disgusting and distracting and I could not get past it. I ended up listening to the story at such a low level to try to block that out but struggled with hearing the words. Also, the narrator read certain parts of the story like a stereotypically old-time gangster, mumble mumble out the side of the cheek 'ya see. She used this tone of voice whenever she was delivering a punch line or in times of duress and passion. In the end even though the story was amazing I just couldn't get past the narration.
I enjoyed the actual story line, but HATED the narrator. She had a habit of swallowing audibly after each sentence or so. It was very distracting adn annoying. If I continue with the series, it will be read it. I can't torture myself by listening to another one.
Jim the demon / dog was my favorite character becuase he was the comic relief.
I could not get past the first chapter as it was incoherent and awkward. Or maybe I just fell asleep.
I haven't read the print version, only listened to the audiobook, so I don't have a comparison. I do, however, feel the humor may haven fallen a little flat without the narrator's raspy voice. I enjoyed her performance and I think it added to the overall entertainment of the book.
The voice of Jim was a hoot, very funny.
She sounded kind of like Kathleen Turner from Romancing the Stone and I really enjoyed the accents.
More of a 'fluffy' middle of the road 'happy place' book.
I will definitely be checking out the other books (and possibly audio books) in this series...
I like to read series because I enjoy the development of the characters and their interactions as the stories develop. I am always scouring the catalog to find my newest series. I purchased this book during the $4.95 First Book of Series sale. To my surprise I really liked this one. The writing was fun and the self talk by the main character kept me interested and was written in a style that enabled me to visualize the happenings.
I always read reviews of all the books in a series before I purchase and this series has consistent positive reviews. Always a good sign for happy listening. Did read one reviewer who had a problem with the narrator. The only reason I didn't give five stars is because she could be heard taking breathes every once in awhile. While this didn't distract from the story or her performance, it was noticeable. She gave each character a different voice and that always lends to an enjoyable listen. As a matter of fact, her voice many, many times reminded me of the character Liza Minnelli played in that movie "Rent A Cop" with Burt Reynolds. I liked it!
However, to be honest, I didn't really like how the main male character was written. I am looking forward to seeing how the auther develops Drakes character. He was a little bit irritating to me (just a little).
I have already downloaded the next book. Lets see how an uneducated guardian and a dragon get along.
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