We stand there, screaming into each other's faces.
How I hate him.
How I've loved him.
How I want him destroyed.
After a year of preparation, 18-year-old Raven Smith has planned out every detail of her summer vacation in Europe. Yet, while still enroute to Italy, Raven finds a letter in her carry-on suitcase that tells her not to go to Europe, that an "evil agent of Hell" is looking for her and he will find her if she disregards the letter's message.
Deciding that it was a product of insanity, Raven chooses to disregard the letter's message.
In her cross-Europe trip, Raven only wants to feed her love of art history and spend time with her older sister. She's unprepared for Andras and his strange fascination with her, not to mention the all-consuming attraction she has for him. She's definitely unprepared for Nicholas and his brothers, Stephen, Albert, and Tobias, diverting all of her plans and sweeping her off to a Swedish Castle.
But the letter was right, the agent of Hell has found her, and Raven has become a game-piece in a very dangerous game.
©2012 Rita Stradling (P)2014 Rita Stradling and Gail Shalan
A thrilling, action packed story that draws you in and holds you captive from the beginning to the very end. The author did an excellent job of building the readers connection to the characters.You can not help but become invested in Raven's survival, she is naive, kind and willing to fight for what she wants, there are both good and evil love interests in her life and you are often torn as to who you want her to be with! The three male protagonists are all strong, but very different, characters. Each is appealing in their own way and they all have somewhat of an air of sadness about them that pushes you to overlook their shortcomings. The plot is intricate and there is no way you can guess or predict where the story will lead, as the author pulls along through the various twists and turns of this intriguing good vs evil tale. The narrators voice fits the characters perfectly, as she brings the individuals and story to life with her narration. It is an exciting, captivating story, that holds your attention and leaves you wanting the next instalment. I received this audiobook from the author in exchange for an honest review.
This is a well written, intriguing book. I love the way the story glides slowly towards the para normal and then bursts into it head first. At this turning point, the narrator moves from doing a very good job portraying three young women's contrasting personalities to an outstanding job transforming a complex cast of characters into unforgettable demons, angels, friends and foes. Along with the writers ability to create memorable characters in this action packed story, the narrator succeeds in bringing them to life. Gail Shalan's various foreign accents and her well defined development of each character, as they transform and grow in complexity, enrich this story. The successful narration of this novel creates a vibrancy that allowed me to see this story in my mind's eye as if it were a movie....many of the characters vivid personalities remain in my imagination days later. This audio book is a lot of fun and I highly recommend it, especially for teens.
narrator is very good, the story beautifully written
Madeleine's voice was gorgeous and really added to the story for me.
Not in book 1... (but yes for book 2)
Sometimes it is hard to like a book when you aren't a fan of the main character... but there are too many other wonderful things going on with this series as a whole for Raven's perhaps simply too-teen-agey personality to be problematic. This series starts off with a very haunting scene from Raven's childhood. I probably should have realized that it was setting the tone for the rest of the book, but it sets itself aside like a poem to be remembered later. The rest of the book really does feel almost like two different novels- not in terms of story arc, but in terms of flow and world building. It seemed somewhat unrealistic to me for the world to have so much going on in the second half that there would truly really be no inkling of otherworldly things much at all in "regular" life. I was somewhat disappointed in the flatness of some of the male characters (at least in the first half), but I don't know if there would have been any other way to accomplish the mystery as she did without giving too much away. There were truly a lot of historical/literary references that I wasn't able to appreciate in their entirety, but that in no way made the book less enjoyable.
I listened to the audio version of the Deception Dance, and it wasn't until I read the kindle version of book 2 that I realized how awesome this narrator was. I have no idea if all her accents were "correct" - the sheer number of accents would make this novel a technically difficult book to narrate regardless - but as I read book 2 I found myself wishing she was reading to me as my brain simply didn't have the ability to bring the speech to life in a way that animated the characters as she did. I am lucky there weren't too many new characters introduced in book two, but I still feel like I missed out as I want to know what they sound like too!
Probably not Rita Stradling, but I'd be happy to hear Shalan perform again.
For me, the crucial factor of an appealing audiobook is the narration. An excellent book can be unbearable with a grating, inflexible voice. Likewise, a skilled narrator can make a book that I’d otherwise find unappealing compelling. As a 20-something male, I found that later was the case for The Deception Dance. To be clear, I do not think that it is a bad book - it is just sometimes painfully girly. I picked it up because I like fantasy/sci-fi, but I had a hard time getting through the romance parts of it. I also had a little difficulty finding a male character to identify with. Rita Stradling renders female characters very well, very believable - at least as far as I can tell - especially the protagonist, Raven Smith. She is a rich, complex character whom it is difficult not to like even if you don’t identify with her. But the male characters are, in my opinion, flat and two dimensional at most (although, having spent time in Italy, the descriptions of the Italian men were pretty spot on). However, I say this with the understanding that it was probably not Stradling’s intention to cater to male readership.
What did keep me tethered to the book was Gail Shalan’s deft narration. Shalan has a calming voice, which I find soothing on my early morning commutes, although it never detracts from the energy of this fast-paced book. I especially enjoyed her rendition of the protagonist’s sister’s roommate… so hatable (is that a word?) At times I would completely forget it was the same person. Her accents were fun but not distractingly overdone. It is always difficult for narrators to do characters of the opposite gender, but I thought Shalan pulled it off nicely, sometimes amusingly. She kept the protagonist’s voice closest to her general style which, combined with the first-person narration, really helped give the sense that the reader is experiencing this world through Raven’s eyes and ears.
Truth be told, I would not recommend this book to my friends or family, but I think it’d be perfect for a teenage girl, or fans of Twilight (though I have never read it). But it was the clam dexterity of Shalan’s voice that made the book compelling for me.
While the story is creative and does get interesting it is very, very slow to start. I almost gave up because it just wasn't keeping my attention, But I asked to review this book so continued to listen. In Chapter 4 (an hour in)things start to get a bit more interesting. The story still moves very slowly then about halfway through the action starts, the plot picks up and the story it gets good.
Paranormal story of Good vs. Evil. Love triangle warning. Angels, Witch's, Demons, Demon killers and more. It takes more than half the story to find out what is going on and who's who or what they are and what they want. Yes that's vague but I'm trying not to include anything that will spoil the story.
Is the story worth listening to? Yes, because the 2nd half of the book makes up for the first half of the book. The second half of the book is very entertaining, interesting and enjoyable.
Gail Shalan does the narration for this story. She does a good job. Great character voices. Pleasant voice although a bit too soft/soothing/monotone when she is doing Raven's character and the narrative parts of the story.
This audiobook was provided by author, narrator or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBoom dot com
I am addicted to audiobooks. It makes my 1 hour (each way) commute go by without me becoming an agressive driver. lol
I received this audiobook free for an honest review. I really liked the story. However, it seemed to take forever for the story to take off. Once it did, I couldn't stop listening to it and am looking forward to the continuation in the next book and the one after. I kept waiting for her namesake to bring some action into the story. As you continue further into the book, pieces start falling in to place. It can be a little nerve racking when you think that Raven is only 18 years old. Pretty big step for her to take with her sister and her sister's friend Chauncy. I enjoyed this after I got in to it. I did expect Raven to have some kind of super powers, but so far, nothing. Maybe the paranormal excitement will open up.
This was kind of hit and miss for me, unfortunately! While there was a lot to like, it just didn't click with me. Neither the characters nor the plot. I'm going to try to gather my thoughts and hopefully this review will be some what easy to follow.
I hated the love triangle! For the most part, I loathe love triangles usually but sometimes they can be done in such a way that I don't mind them, but here, we not only see a love triangle, but also the dreaded insta love!
The MC: I both liked and disliked Raven. I think I disliked her because, in my opinion anyway, how could she agree to go with Nicholas when she didn't even know him! How could she agree to go to Sweden with him? I just felt like she made extremely stupid decisions throughout.
I found that for most of the book, it seemed to focus on the love triangle. It was slow going at the start and I wasn't going to finish, but I was intrigued enough with the other aspects of the book to continue on.
When we reach just over half way, the book does pick up a bit. We see some things revealed which change the way the book goes and it's the only reason I kept reading. There is more action, the plot becomes much more gripping and it really shows what the author is capable of. The world she created was unique, intriguing and all round awesome. I just wish it would have started out this way, rather than with the relationships.
I still don't know how I really feel about this book. I enjoyed the last bit of the book but didn't enjoy the rest. The world was intriguing but the MC and her relationships were annoying.
Saying that, I would still recommend this as it is something a lot of people will enjoy. The author writes really well and knows how to tell a story, this one just wasn't for me.
While I enjoyed Gail Shalans narration; she was clear, concise and told the story really well, I found her female voices to be very similar and had trouble staying on track as to who was talking.
*I received a copy of this for review. this in no way affected my thoughts.*
Paranormal-urban fantasy book lover!
First I am thrilled that I keep getting books to review and finding gems in the mix. This is one of those gems. The character building and the world building is great. The narration a was spectacular, I fell in love with this narrator. I was ready for book 2 by the end of this one.
There are so many elements that make this a great book, better set for the ya reader or people who like the ya genre like myself. It was action, suspense and more. I cannot wait to move towards book 2 and then hopefully 3
Thank you for allowing me to review this book for free for an honest and unbiased review.
Worth a credit - YES!
I was provided this audiobook at no charge by the author, in exchange for an unbiased review. Rita was kind enough to include book one and book two for review.
This is a very imaginative and new twist on the demon/hunter/apocalypse theme. It's complex with a lot of characters and movement that continues to draw you into their world.
I tend not to be a big fan of YA, as I enjoy a lot of sauce with my meal, but I was kept interested by Andras' acute attentions and the interplay between him and Nick. I would have liked Andras to be more emotionally conflicted to keep the attraction tension strong.
I was ready for book two at the end and that says what's necessary; the story caught me.
Sure! I thought the book was brilliantly written. It felt like Ms. Stradling wrote a book after dreaming up an elaborate story about a girl witch and 2 battling warlocks. Great mystery, great detail, and so unique!
The most interesting aspect of this story was the "battle" between Andres and Nicholas. You didn't know which one was good or bad. The discovery was really creative. The least interesting aspect of this story was all the characters in the story.
I though Ms. Shalan did a great job of narrating the equsite details in this story, and she is well spoken, eg, no words were msprinounced. However, I found the high pitch of her voice distracting at first although it grew me and seemed a good fit for the story.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
"So Many Twist and Turns"
A great read. The accents leave a little to be desired and the I found the voices of the characters jarring at first, but as you get engrossed in the story this minor irritation just fades away.
Imagine no-one ever telling you the truth, telling you lies that you don't know who to believe; the hurt when you find out that someone you thought you could trust turns out to be a demon. Even those that are there to protect you don't tell the whole truth. At 18 these are hard lessons to learn. A great read and can't wait to read the next instalment.
“This audiobook was given by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review via Audiobook Boom.”
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