The story: I don’t care for vampires. They are on the bottom of my monster list. Yes, even the ‘scary’ ones are at the bottom of the barrel of th..Show More »ings I consider frightening. That said, Mr. Hartness had a hard row to hoe with me on this one. All things considered, he did very well. Hard Day’s Knight was a fun read. The characters were charming, the banter was witty and the concepts were traditional enough to make me gag yet different enough to keep me interested. Every writer needs to make the monster his own, which can be difficult when you’re building your own lore around centuries of legends. I liked how John didn’t info dump his vampire tradition all at once, nor did he beat you over the head with explanations at every turn. He kept the ideas streamlined into either dialogue or narrative, or both. Humor is a hard sell, but I for one love a funny story. John has a wicked sense of humor, as evidenced by his writing. His quick wit shines through almost every page. True, some jokes fall flat, and you can almost hear the eye rolling wah-wah-wah of a tuba somewhere in the background for a few of them, but even these lines will appeal to someone out there. In short, he is hella funny and this book reflects that. I have to admit, I love the idea of nerdy vamps. The lead tries not to be the nerd he is, while his bromance sidekick embraces it with an embarrassing amount of zeal. As a fellow nerd I can relate to the love of all things weird and unusual. I understand Jimmy is meant to be the heartthrob, but Greg had far more charm and humanity, making him sympathetic and likable. At times I found myself not caring if Jimmy pulled through or not. His tendency toward being a bit of an asshole left me with a bad taste for him. I understand the need for the balance though. They both can’t be bumbling nerds. Someone has to be quasi normal. My only real complaint about the story is the sudden love interest there at the end. Again, I see the appeal of it and understand it provides a lot of potential plot and character advancement, but to me it kind of seemed tacked on at the last minute. She showed little interest in him, then suddenly she’s all over him? Maybe I missed something. Then again, I don’t like vampires, and maybe the character has a thing for them. Who knows?
The narration: Nick Russo did a fantastic job with this one. He settled into the tone of the story early on and kept a tight grip on the tension throughout. His characters were well done and very distinct. Nothing is worse than not being able to tell characters apart when listening to a book. I loved his ladies too. They were feminine without being redonkulous. I will say that I didn’t care for the Mike character’s voice. It was too, I don’t know, breathy for me. I know he was meant to sound gentle and kind, but somehow it came off like he was whispering all of his lines. And the angel was a little too dramatic. These two aside, again, I think Nick did a fantastic job.
In the end: I would totally recommend this one to both vampire lovers and loathers. I look forward to listening to the next one. In total, 4 out of 5 zombie hands for the book.
I am very fond of our ordinary anti-heroes. James and Greg are trying to make the best of a bad lot, but they aren't shiny or brilliant or gorgeous. T..Show More »hey know they are over - matched in the supernatural arena and act like it. They have the sardonic sense of humor they would have as teenagers raised in the 90s, complete with video game references. I like their nods to pop culture, including mentioning Buffy and Kalayna Price 's Grave Witch series, which is one of my favorites. You can imagine Harry Dresden meeting them in a dark alley and not knowing what to do with them, and deciding to play a game of dungeons and dragons over a scotch.
All the books in this series are worth great reviews, but in my opinion this one topped them all - not an easy thing for the last (but hopefully not f..Show More »inal) book in a series. I can't say anything about it, simply because it was so fun and action packed that anything other than gushing enthusiasm will give away part of the plot. I personally liked it so much that when it was done I wanted to start it over again from the beginning.