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A Strange Hymn

The Bargainer, Book 2
Narrated by: Susannah Jones
Series: The Bargainer Series, Book 2
Length: 10 hrs and 33 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (899 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Siren and soulmate to the King of Night, Callypso Lillis survived the clutches of Karnon, the mad king, and his twisted prison. But the nightmare isn't over. Callie wears the physical reminders of her time as a captive, and mounting evidence suggests the Thief of Souls is still out there.

When a fae celebration thrusts Callie and her mate, Desmond Flynn, into the Kingdom of Flora, they take their investigation with them. But under the bright lights and striking blooms of the realm, they find there are more immediate issues to deal with. No place is more uniquely savage than the great fae halls, and no amount of bargains can save Callie from royal intrigues.

Fairies play dangerous games. Some want love, some want vengeance, some want flesh, and some want things too unspeakable to utter. One thing is for sure: no one is who they appear to be. Not even Des, who only grows more enigmatic with every passing secret.

But the Kingdom of Flora has its own secrets, from bleeding trees to branded slaves and missing guards. Something is stirring in the land of all that grows, and if Callie isn't careful, it will claim everything and everyone she loves - and her along with it.

©2017 Laura Thalassa (P)2017 Laura Thalassa

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  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Too much Fluff with Too many similarities

I find the story line of these series utterly fasinating. However, the majority of the book is Callie describing how Desmond is so hot. I'm very serious when I tell you that over half of the book is her fawning over him and sex.

A fourth of the book is Callie being "Wow-ed" by everything Desmond does. There is actually a scene where he is simply talking to some guys in a bar and Callie is amazed, wow-ed, and awed by how he sits in the chair or how he laughs with his buddies. I wanted to throw up it was so corny.

So let's talk about the fourth of the book that was actually about moving the story forward. Don't get too excited, it didn't move far. The author reveals the obvious with the cliffhanger from book 1. But other than that nothing really gets resolved and the story itself doesn't start until the last two chapters.

The story with the fairies is very very similar to a Court of Midst and Fury. Callie falls for the King of Night like Farrah. The King of Night is really a good guy with alittle bad side. The Night Court is better than people think. The crazy Fae queen makes Callie prove herself. The other Fae hate she is human. Callie has wings and wants to learn to fly like Farrah... these are just the basic similarities... but you get the picture.

I wish the author spent more time on the Thief of Souls story line and less time of the high school girl crush talk.



18 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Copy Cat. I feel cheated.

I am a huge fan of the ACOTAR series and I feel like this series is a huge copy cat of something great! I love Cally and Des! Why couldn’t they have their adventures instead of being Rhysand and Feyre is an alternative parallel world?

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Not enough story line, too much X rated content

I loved the first Bargainer novel, but this one just lost me. Whereas the first book had lots of sexual tension, this one had multiple graphic sexual encounters. The sex scenes are totally unnecessary and detracted from the story line. Several parts of the story are repeated (with nearly the same verbiage), as if the reader is not going to remember them, despite it being such a short book. I did enjoy the descriptions of the different Fae lands, though. Overall, I am very disappointed.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

State the Obvious, Repeat it 57 Times

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

Trim the junk until it's about 3 chapters, and then continue with the actual story to a satisfying conclusion.

What character would you cut from A Strange Hymn?

Malachai. He didn't get developed at all and was just kind of there.

Any additional comments?

In the beginning of the book, Cally and Des go on vacation. The book plods along for 12 chapters with no real direction, conflict, or content.

Repetitive, melodramatic, predictable, cliche: all of these words describe almost every part of this book. "Get away from me or I'll rip your head off" Des said angrily. He looked mad. He seemed like he didn't like the man. Cally wondered if he was going to get angry. Could he possibly dislike this man? He took a menacing step towards the man, glaring, his pecs glistening with sweat. He looked mad. He also looked sexy. He looked sexy and mad. Cally thought he looked sexy when he was mad. Des looked her in the eye and said "Cally, I am mad at this man." Cally gasped, so shocked that she fell backwards and landed on her butt. She couldn't breathe, she was so shocked. How could Des be angry with this man? Could this have something to do with them screaming at each other for the past 20 minutes? Cally admired his glistening angry pecs. He was so sexy when mad. He glared at everyone angrily.

Go on like this for another 3 pages, and you will have the gist of this book. Things that should take a few words to convey get sledgehammered into your brain after several pages of repetition, just in case you missed the oh-so-subtle hints. People are also regularly shocked by information they should already know. Why do we see the climax from Cally's perspective, and then see it again from Des's perspective? There is no substantive difference between the two. We don't hear anything from Des that we haven't heard a dozen times before. It was just bad.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

She is not clever or quick

But she’s still likable enough to finish the book, IF you liked the first book.

Don’t mistake this series for a thriller or a romance mystery with a bright heroine. This is a sex book with the protagonist constantly saying, “he was one step ahead of me.” - no honey, everyone is always way ahead of you.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Repetitive

Don’t waste your money or credit. I tried, I really did. I purchased all 3 books in hopes of something, anything but it just doesn’t happen for me. I felt because of the story line which was really original and it had so much promise but just didn’t deliver

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

a dissapointing sequel

I loved the first book so much and couldn't wait to binge on the second. unfortunately the plot had so many coinciding story points to a very popular Court book. I'm not opposed to borrowed ideas. We all get inspiration from somewhere, but the stars falling, the painting scene.. it was a not so subtle take on a story written 2 yrs prior to this

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Not a compelling story line

I finished the first book in the series and figured I'd give the sequel a whirl, but honestly, I was bored 15 minutes in. I ended up returning the book because I had no desire to keep listening.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Highly predictable but still entertaining

Enjoyable for what it is, but way predictable plot. Almost makes the characters seem dense and unintelligent. Still good for some light reading if you don't take the plot seriously.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Story that kinda headed nowhere

The first book had me intrigued enough to buy the 2nd but the story failed to draw me in as the first book did. Seemed pointless and made me lose interest fast. The narrator did a great job. I think she was the only reason I enjoyed the first book so much.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Stephanie Lynn
  • 12-07-19

Not the best sequel, but still enjoyable.

I really enjoyed the first one, and because of that I enjoyed listening to this one. Still, it wasn't as strong as the first, and Call's not the best female lead I've ever met. Still, I enjoyed the few surprises this book offered, and look forward to the this installment, but on it's own, this wouldn't hold up well as a stand-alone, this series much be read/listened to in order.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Rebel
  • 04-16-19

Good but could have been great

Positives: Siren angle was unique, I have read a lot of fantasy and I liked the angel. Negatives: Cally was likable but the dumbest Private Investigator I have ever across in a book. Pretty and brave yes. Smart, powerful, female hero.. er no. Temper on the other had should have lead this book, if it was not her this book would have been a miss for me. Also who the hell would call the 'King of the Night'? Des????? Really?

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Jessica Wolfe
  • 12-01-17

Only for fans

This book feels very slight and the story only hits a few plot points. If you're a fan of the series, this may be okay with you, but it doesn't really hold up as a stand alone novel. The reader is the same as the first novel and does a good job.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • caroline
  • 11-02-17

A great book

Can’t wait for the next instalment ! This book ticks all the boxes !
Enter and enjoy!