I'm a huge dragon fan and when I ran out of typical dragon books to listen to, I tried the shapeshifting dragon in human body romance novel genre. I'..Show More »ve now read books in three such series, but I think I have to rank this series at the bottom.
First, the author makes a lot of references to actual products, from beers to phones to shoes. This might be an attempt to make the story seem more real or relatable, but it seems more likely they were paid product placements and I found them a little jarring.
The story seemed to jump back and forth between heavy and often gory action scenes and romantic emotional scenes in a way that felt oddly forced, like the author was trying hard to interest the stereotypical action-oriented male and romantic-oriented female readers. Characters often seemed to go out of character a bit just to create various conflicts or situations that weren't entirely believable. In fact, the whole mythos of the story seemed contrived to create this artificial need for an all-male race of dragons to suck energy from human females while giving them incredible pleasure as if to provide an excuse for them to have a romance (or at least to have sex). But I will give the story points for not devolving into a series of too many inexplicable sex scenes like one of the other similar series I read. In fact, I think there's really only one explicit scene in the whole book, and a couple glossed-over scenes.
I think my main problem with the story was that Bastian (the main good-guy dragon man) was too powerful and faced too few actual challenges. He mysteriously won most battles with little obvious effort, seeming to majorly outclass his opponents for little obvious reason. VAGUE SPOILER ALERT: Even when the main villain in the series set up this big, supposedly cunning trap for Bastian, and even when Myst (the main female human love interest) found out about the trap, she never tried to warn Bastian (which made no sense at all) and Bastian avoided the trap simply by spotting it a little before it sprung and asking one of his buddies to thwart it, which they did easily. Huh? Basically the final battle scene felt like an old Gi Joe episode where they're flying through a cloud of bullets and never getting hit while easily taking out waves of enemies for no apparent reason. END SPOILER ALERT
If you like dragons, at least you get a fairly good dose of them in this book, but they rarely felt like dragons. They felt like humans fighting in dragon bodies or even fighting in jet planes (yes, dragons were described as "going supersonic" a number of times, I guess with the aid of magic). The dragons sometimes even fought like humans, using a punch where a bite or a breath weapon would have made more sense. You also get a large dose of enemy dragons getting fairly graphically brutalized, so if that bugs you, stay away.
As to the love story between Bastian and Myst, it was decent. Kind of contrived. The only real reason she had to fall for him was a mysterious energy attraction thing and the way he was so strong and protective of her. I guess some women really go for that. But I did find both characters to be likable and interesting, so I did enjoy seeing them get together in the end (as if that wasn't inevitable in this kind of book). Rykar and Angela (a second love interest obviously set up to be the central theme of the second book) were also likable characters. However, the end of the book played out pretty much as I predicted it would, which is never a good thing. I'd much rather be surprised.
Oh, and my wife found the pacing/tone at which the narrator read the story to be kind of annoying and found his voice acting to be a bit unemotional in areas that required emotion. I actually thought the tone of the narrator went with the almost military style of the action scenes, but it was a little unusual for the non action scenes. The most noticeable odd thing was he would say "Blah blah blah and..." and then pause before continuing the rest of the sentence. I actually didn't mind that aspect of the reading and... sometimes it even helped build suspense.
This is the second title in Callahan's Dragonfury series. If you are a J. R. Ward fan, and read the first title, you may have been ready to stand on ..Show More »the rooftops and scream "PLAGARISM!" Ms. Callahan's first attempt was wrought with style, plot and character development that was not simply reminiscent of J. R. Ward, it was an almost exact replica-aside from a very interesting story line.
This title; however, shows that Ms. Callahan may just well have what it takes to develop her OWN world, characters, etc. It isn't 100% purged of all things 'Wardian' but it's getting there and the story line is very good! I do recommend making your way through the first title, if you have not already, so that you begin to learn about the characters. If you haven't read any J. R. Ward, it won't bother you in the least and you'll likely enjoy the title far more than those of us who would give just about anything to have our own hellren!
I'm, admittedly, very critical of the narration of audio books. It is, after all, the main component of why many of us listen, as opposed to or in addition to reading books. The narrator for this title isn't bad; however, his performance isn't what it could be. I tend to blame a lack of direction or editing for the majority of the issues I have with narration. He tends to make his female voices come across a bit whimpering at times, lessening the strength of the character. The words, thoughts and actions of the character don't match the tone of voice and it lends to making the character come across as weak. Also, he has this habit of isolating the word "and" that is so bloody annoying that it drives me crazy. It can't be that the author writes "and" that much more than other authors. I wish that we had the ability to reply to reviews with Audible because I would love to know if anyone else finds this particular habit of the narrator to drive them to distraction!
All in all, I am pleased that I continued the series in spite of my initial issues with the first novel. I would recommend this title 'AND' even though I've already read the next book 'AND' will be reviewing it shortly, I can already say that I look forward to her future world development.
First chapters have too much redundant filler fluff. Basic story was good. Male characters interesting tho the tough guy dialogue is overdone and bec..Show More »omes juvenile, not macho). The main female character is just Too Stupid To Live - but, of course, she does. The things the author has her think and do were just ridiculous to the point that had this been a hard copy I'd have thrown it at a wall. The author intended to make the character seem overwhelmed with love and concern, but the reasoning given for the characters actions were totally vapid. Ugh! I'm a woman and I hate it when an author has the female character act like a total idiot.The book seemed like the author threw it together and rushed the ending.
I've been following the Dragonfury Series from the beginning, and I would suggest you do the same. Given I know the history, it's hard to judge if thi..Show More »s book would stand alone or not, but I'm guessing not. The books in this series have a very heavy story line arc that continues from book to book.
Wick is a loose cannon, and I have a "thing" for the loose cannon heroes. Badder than bad boys, this type is truly on the edge. Think Zadist from JR Ward's Brotherhood series, Zarek from Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark Hunter series. Every paranormal series seems to have a loose cannon in the mix, and they're always my favorite. Not sure what that says about me, but it gave me rather high expectations for this book, and Coreene almost delivered a home run. Almost, but not quite.
In the previous book, we learned of JJ's existence when her sister hooked up with Mac, another of the Nightfury dragon pack. In this book, we learn Wick's back story, his inability to stand another's touch and why he and Venom are so tight. The pairing of JJ and Wick brings two damaged souls together for a big old helping of loving and healing.
My only complaint is that I felt this book didn't dedicate as much time to Wick and JJ's relationship as the other books did to their main pairing. Or maybe I just wanted more. At any rate, that brought an otherwise 5 star read down to a 4 star one.
Mr Darcie is a very good narrator, but some of his male voices are a bit soft for me, including Wicks. Again, 4 rather than 5.
Those are only minor quibbles. These books are truly fantastic, and well worth your time if you are a paranormal/fantasy romance lover. It's a series I'd highly recommend to lovers of this genre.