When the riverboat on which she works as a dancer docks at a zombie-plagued island known as Sourange, Larissa Snowmane must rely on the help of the swamp creatures to save her soul.
©1992 TSR, Inc. (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
I loved this book in my late high school and early college years, when I was deeply involved in gaming in the same setting where the story takes place. It was then and is still my favorite of the Ravenloft novels of the time; Christie Golden does a nice job. Like most gaming-based fiction, it's not especially deep, sort of a Creole riverboat horror version of what would otherwise be termed a "fun romp." If that kind of accessible story is your cup of tea, I would recommend this one... in print form.
The reader is simply dreadful. On the positive side, she sounds as if she is enjoying the story herself, which is nice, but half the cast of characters come out sounding like Tiffany from Daria--slow and somehow breathy, but monotone and distracted.
A spark of talent shows when the reader gives a bit-part a rich French accent, but for some reason in this tale set against a Louisiana style Cajun/Creole backdrop this is the only time she makes use of this skill. I was left wishing repeatedly that a voice like that would return, and chuckling inappropriately whenever the Tiffany voice would return.
I was able to complete my listen because I knew the story and was looking forward to the poignantly satisfying big finish. If you are new to this story, I don't know how you take it seriously with this reader.
Christie Golden is one of the women who actually can write fantasy, so yes.
Vitali, the reader, is unbelievably bad. LibriVox-bad.
She reads in a bored automatic, something like a metal-robot voice, only worse. No voice-acting, very careful school-teacher annunciation of words, pauses in wrong places, very slow pace...
Movie, yes. Series, no.
Don't buy it.
I'm considering returning it.
The story is fairly standard horror fantasy. When the narrator is reading non-dialog she is rather pleasant, but some of the voices she attempts are halting and grating. I was tempted to stop listening after some long scenes with The Lady or Dragon Eyes dialog.
I have already read another Christie Golden novel and that's part of why I chose this one. Marisa Vitali has a lovely voice, and is an talented voice actress, though I feel she might not have been the best choice for such an ugly, despair-filled story.
Larisa, the protagonist, was my favorite character. She was treated to the whole "hero's quest" story arc.
Pace, yes. Tone, no. As stated earlier, I believe Vitali was a bit too... cheerful with her tone, even when things were dark. Nothing against her, I just don't think it clicked for me.
Nope. The story's over, and everyone can move on with their lives.
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