©2012 Melissa F. Olson (P)2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
I liked this book. It reminded me of the Gail Carriger Soulless books set in the present instead of the past. The idea of a null is very interesting. The storyline was well thought out and I enjoyed listening to the world unfold. I liked the characters and enjoyed the romantic triangle that is setting up. I hope that Melissa Olson turns this into a series. I thought Amy McFadden was a fantastic narrator. This is the first time I've listened to anything she narrated and I would definitely listen to her again.
I would recommend this book but there are a few parts that will have you screaming at your audio device. It's a good first outing for the author. I would have given it a 3.5 if possible but it leaned more 3 than 4.
The author gave allot more closure than most books but the so-call reveal that probably will be the device for the next book was predictable to me.
My favorite characters were detective Cruz and Molly the roommate.
I would go see it.
I'm not into Vampire books, but this was a lot of fun. I really enjoyed it, and will probably do more vampire books. These are a lot better than I thought. I guess that's the purpose of the daily deal and the specials- to get the reader to try something different. I am usually not disappointed.
it gets better as it goes on
like the main character - she's flawed but not whimpy and not overly self assured
I could see this is a first book of a series--a few rough points but I must say I like the characters, the action and intrigue. Couldn't wait to read Book 2---I was very surprised at the book--REALLY WELL DONE. Again all of the above but those rough spots are now gone.
I had to get Book 3---SO HAPPY I DID--great flow of story line and new action to spice up the story. Great imagination---time well spend and I really have enjoyed the reading/ listening.
Now for your narrator--Amy McFadden--excellent choice--you are doing a great job!
One problem--WE NEED BOOK 4!
I would have to rank the Scarlet Bernard series somewhere in the upper middle among other books in the same genre. I really enjoyed this series. Melissa Olsen offers something new to the urban fantasy genre by introducing the null.
It's difficult to say who my favorite character is because there are a lot of characters that are definitely likable but there are just as many that are lacking. If I had to choose then it would have to be Scarlett. She is The perfect urban fantasy heroine- strong, smart, and independent to a fault but tends to be a little naïve at times. I believe that her naïveté has more to do with her age then her IQ. I can tell that she will continue to grow and learn to accept help from those around her.
I have listened to other books narrated by Amy McFadden but Amy does an excellent job with the Scarlett Bernard series especially with Scarlett's voice and her comedic delivery was spot on.
In this book the main character is a strong woman and loyal to her friends and frenemies. With the market saturated with so many vampire/wolf books and stories this was a refreshing twist. Scarlett is a null which makes her cancel out any magic and it's effects on those in her immediate area (10 feet I think it is). This gets her into many situations that are wonderful for the story and very different from all the other stories out there. So refreshing and I absolutely loved this series and will continue to buy these books as they come out.
I ignore genre labels. Some of my favorite books are outside my genre comfort zone. Listening to audiobooks is still reading. Not theater.
I am really tired of books where the entire plot is based upon the fact that the characters are vampires, werewolves and witches. If the book has an interesting premise, well developed characters, a plot that actually requires you to think or introduces you to new ideas and pulls you in emotionally either through humor, sympathy or in some other way AND some of the characters just happen to be vampires, werewolves or witches, then that is fine.
I liked this book because while the plot focuses on the beings themselves, rather than on some larger worldly issue or event, the author introduces a new being that made this book different from the 900,000 other books covering the exact same plot. The main character is a Null, and when otherworldly characters are in her range, they loose all of their power and become human. I don't know if this plot device is enough to sustain multiple books, but it is enough to set at least this first book apart.
One of the pluses of this new character is by her very nature, she is kind of a non-entity. Her importance isn't in what she does, it is in what she makes others "not" do. As a non-entity, then the author doesn't have to spend a lot of time developing Scarlett's character and personality. In fact most of this book seems to reenforce that she has very little character or personality beyond her ability to cancel others out just by her presence. She is certainly not emotionally connected to other characters.
This was obviously an introduction to a series. When I read it, I realized that there were the beginnings of some interesting characters and some interesting story-lines waiting to be developed down the road. For the first book in a series, I think the author did a good job of piquing our interest to learn more. It remains to be seen if she can keep that interest as the series progresses.
The narrator was OK. Occasionally slipping into the annoying category.
In my opinion, a good story evokes emotion. It'll make me laugh, angry, or cry. But it can't just be words on a page. It has to do something
Didn't see that one coming, but its a super ideal. Story was full of action and adventure. Just the way I like 'em. Even a little underlying romance. But the concept was the best, because I just hadn't seen or heard of this being done before. Kudos! Looking forward to the next one.
Solid Urban Fantasy - not too much romance and the heroine is relatable, fully-fledged, and mostly lacking in cliched UF/PNR attributes (insatiable sexual prowess, uncommonly good looks, superpowers that appear far beyond her known powers, crushing feelings of inadequacy, inability to make a decision, annoying sidekicks, or closets full of the perfect heeled black leather boots and endless catalogues of specialized weaponry, for example). Scarlett is smart but not too sassy, practical rather than superficial, and not whiney. She has a few too many trust issues but they are understandable considering what she's been through in the last few years. She has a habit of feeling that things are all her fault that may lead to a overblown guilt crisis at some point in the series. Her power (or anti-power, as she calls it) is unusual: she's a Null, and magical beings that come within her radius of power lose their magical abilities - vampires and werewolves become human, witches cannot use their magic. The author uses this ability to good effect in several scene.
The magic system is well-explained and makes sense. The setting is current day Los Angeles, but realistically so and without a lot of Hollywood glitz or designer name-dropping. There is a romantic triangle, but this book is really not focused on the romance, so there are no eye-rolling romantic declarations, posturing over possession of the girl, or explicit sex scenes. The plot is solid, with enough clues and twists to keep you guessing. There are some fun references to literary history in the vampire background. The storyline wraps up at the end in a satisfying way, though a sequel is hinted at by a surprise plot point at the end. The characters are complex and feel "real" rather than just being archetypes (with the possible exception of Dashiell, the head vampire). I thought this was pretty impressive for a first novel.
The audiobook narrator is Amy McFadden. She does a creditable job but it's not outstanding. Her pacing and delivery are spot on. Like the book itself, it is more than adequate but less than extraordinary.
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