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That dog is too smart... and the narration is flat

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
2 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-07-18

Flash, hero of this series, understands English as you and I would and acts accordingly. That's just a bit much for me, although I am a dog lover and yes, they are smart. Just not like that. The story falls in place in too many areas for me too. Cozy mystery yes, but too many coincidents. The bad guy is discovered at the end and pointers explained, too bad the pointers had been there for the cops but not the readers/listeners.
The narration is flat, boring and toneless.

Slow moving

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-29-17

I haven't made it all the way through, as the stretch I've listened to was slow and much of it annoyingly detailed (I don't want to know her EVERY thought). So far, it has also been extremely predictable.

Magic Bites audiobook cover art

Urban fantasy with a new twist

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-21-15

I love urban fantasy, and this series has a new twist on things. Kind of like ice ages and warmer periods, magic and "tech" ages take turns here. This series plays on the edge of a swing from "tech" to "magic", during which both keep switching back and forth. During a "magic" spell, magic is strong and anything technological - up to and including cars with petrol or diesel motors, telephones, etc. - won't work or at least go on the fritz. The other way round, technology works just fine and magic users are buggered temporarily. There are wards, werewolves, vampires, and just about anything else one can come up with. Again, with their own rules, this is no mere copy of off another series. I became addicted in no time. I also very much enjoy the writing style, dry humor, and the narrator is great. I'm about to go for number 3 now...

Decent story, but...

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-10-14

This is a decent story as such, but, quite unusual for me, I figured out what had really happened less than halfway through. So I spent most of the rest of the book wanting to smack the characters on the back of the head and suggest they take into account what seemed blatant obvious to me. I do like to come up with the solution while listening to the story, but have never done it this early in the game. Since it is highly unlikely ;-) that I have miraculously gained intelligence since the previous books I listened to, it must be too easy to guess. If you leave out that it's a bit hard to believe that everyone chasing the bad guys suddenly (i.e. as opposed to other novels in this series) seem to have developed a blank spot in their thinking, it is a good story.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Great for middle schoolers, bit boring otherwise

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-15-14

I imagine I would have absolutely loved this as a 13 year old. It's interesting, realistic, and explains a lot about the judicial system that is not easily picked up otherwise. So, many, many years ago I would have given this 5 stars, but as it doesn't quite pick up on the promise of the blurp, I think I could have spent my credit rather better.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

A good story, if a bit too juvenile for me

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-05-14

Good bits first - the Narration is excellent, you could generally pick out who was speaking based on the different voices and accents. The only issue I had was that quite often, I couldn't tell whether Dani was thinking something or actually speaking out loud, but that was more due to what I disliked about the main character than any narration problem.

Dani is, according to the book, 14 years old, and truly acts that way, or rather the way that ex-teenagers are bound to think a young person might comport themselves. I kept wanting to tell the brat that no, not EVERYTHING on earth revolves around you, other people do have a life too. I cannot imagine any teenager being quite so self-centered. Apart from that, there was too much wanting to kill everything "bad" and actually enjoying the process. And although there wasn't a whole lot of sex going on, but enough thinking about it that I found it annoying. These points detract from the story line sufficiently that, although I do like the story itself and would be interested in how things develop, I'm not going to get the sequel.

Cree Black and not a single ghost?

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-02-14

No ghosts involved - which would be all right ordinarily ;-) but even ignoring that Cree Black is the protagonist, the story didn't get me hooked at all. I finally (3 attempts) managed to get through it, and yes, it's interesting, it just felt very long for the amount of content it actually has. No comparison to the first two - if you love those (like I do), this one is still hit or miss. A clear "miss" for me.

Interesting story with twists, if a bit slow going

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
2 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-15-14

The story is a good one, with a lot of detail and several interesting twists. I'm not completely sure about my rating, it felt awfully slow going at times, but I may have been put off by the narration more than by the storyline. Anne Twomey has a very clear diction and everything is understandable perfectly, but, alas, it sounds like a dictionary being read aloud. I hadn't quite realized how mindnumbingly boring a book like this can sound... In hindsight, I would have preferred the paper version. It may deserve 5 stars, but as it is, I'm feeling generous at 4.

Great for fans, a mixed bag for others

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-02-14

My apologies for the length of this review; a shorter one would be - boring, tedious, interesting, badly read, good narration - and it wouldn't make sense. So here's why I'd put all these adjectives.

This is the only book of the series I have listened to, and it's not a good one to start with. It took 16 chapters before the "real" story began and I struggled through what was, to me, an unbelievably boring 2 1/2 hours of Jackie getting back to Boston and meeting every single person who, presumably, had any walk-on part in one of the earlier books. Being very much addicted to other series, I expect that it would be a different experience for someone remembering all these people from the earlier books.

Another thing is that the writing style is, at times, quite tedious. Please, when about 30 girls walk into a room, I do not need to have the majority of them mentioned by name. Being told about songs Jackie performs, I do not need 4 of them sung to me or in another instance, the entire lyrics for a song. Although I must say that Katherine Kellgren has a beautiful singing voice, quite different from the voice she uses for the narration.

Getting back to the story, starting with chapter 17 I did like it. Apart from, at times, being slow in the telling, the storyline itself did capture me, and while I had to struggle to not give up during the first part, I didn't want to put it down once things started happening. Again, the way it is told annoyed me, but it's not a bad book. I must admit that I find it hard to explain my issues with the whole thing, and my ratings are going all over the place because there are things I hate about it and other things I really like.

The narration is good, in that it fits the characters and the setting. I didn't like it in itself, there's too much bated breah and excited whispering etc. going on, while at the same time I can't distinguish whether something is said or thought by Jackie, which makes the responses of others unclear (are they being polite but miffed, by what Jackie just uttered, or didn't she say it out loud and the other party are actually a bit unfriendly?). But, as I said, the narration fits the characters perfectly, and the main characters (Jackie, her adversary Clarissa, and Jackie's best friend Amy) are easy to recognize at all times. I love the different accents Katherine Kellgren gives characters.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

Easy listening

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-18-13

A whodunnit with needlecraft information ;-) Nothing too thrilling, easy to listen to with half an ear, although I suspect that I must have missed a few clues early on, not paying sufficient attention. It's a bit slow, which had my mind wandering, but still interesting enough to deserve a positive rating (maybe 4 stars are generous, but as I wouldn't pick up a 3 star book, it'll have to be a 4).

Susan Boyce does an OK job narrating, and although I didn't like it much (emphasis and pauses at odd spots, the voices sligtly different but not to the point where you could actually pick out who might be speaking), it doesn't put me off getting a couple more of the series.