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Haven Divided

The Dragon's Brood Cycle, Book 2
Narrated by: Reay Kaplan
Series: The Dragon's Brood Cycle, Book 2
Length: 16 hrs and 44 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (8 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Emily Haven and her friends have been given the seemingly impossible task of uniting the worlds - a mission they failed once before, in another lifetime. But Emily made a promise, and she intends to keep it. A small boy risked his life to save hers, and while Michael sets out to rejoin the Dragon’s Brood, she heads east with Celine and Corbbmacc to rescue Daniel from a band of desert slavers. 

Time does not stand still, however, and the dark legends are true. They deal in blue fire; they deal in death; and they travel through the long nights on autumn winds. Samhain has come, and this year, the harvest will be in blood, gold, and souls.

©2018 Josh de Lioncourt (P)2019 Draconis Entertainment

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

I enjoyed Book 1 a little more

Note: This is Book 2 in a series and really needs to be read after Book 1.

So the end of Book 1 left us with some big revelations, like that whole King Arthur story being eternal thing. Book 2 picks up pretty much where Book 1 ended. Emily has her hands full surviving in this fantasy world, but she’s finding aged hints of her old world, like left over relics of a time lost. So there’s something more going on there, tying the world (and time?) that Emily left in Book 1 and her current location.

The story jumps back and forth between these two, following Emily’s best friend from Minneapolis, Kaycee. She has had such a hard time since Emily disappeared. Alcohol has become her crutch, she’s failing at school, and hockey will never be the same without Emily. But then she falls in with a struggling band. It was interesting to see Kaycee and how Emily’s disappearance impacted her. There’s also some shadowy tie still between the two that seems to come out in their dreams.

While Kaycee’s story was interesting, those parts often took me out of the epic fantasy feel of Emily’s story and that slowed the story down a bit for me. Both Kaycee and Emily have grown in this series. Celine and Corbbmac grew a little in Book 1. The rest of the characters have stayed pretty much the same as when we met them.

And that whole King Arthur myth tie-in pretty much faded away. We got that big strong hint to it at the end of Book 1 and then the story didn’t really do anything with it here in Book 2. Now I don’t feel the story needed the King Arthur stuff to begin with, but after making so much drama about it, we have to do something meaningful with it right? Perhaps that will happen in Book 3.

Over all, it was an interesting addition to the series. I did like Book 1 a wee bit better because we spent 95% of our time in the epic fantasy world. 3.5/5 stars.

The Narration: Reay Kaplan continues to do a good job with this series. She’s a perfect fit for Emily, capturing her emotions throughout the tale. I also like how she portrayed Kaycee in her grief and depression. She’s got a great voice for young Michael and for the gruff Corbbmacc. I would like to see more variation in the male voices and several of them sounded too similar. The pacing was good and there were no tech issues with the recording. 4.5/5 stars.

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Josh de Lioncourt. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

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

Haven Divided

Would you feel sadness if you entered into another world and didn’t know if you would ever return to this one? For those who have parents, children, and friends, you would imagine that this would seem like a very difficult concept to broach. But if you didn’t have anyone…would you think about it any differently? De Lioncourt takes one seemingly ordinary sixteen year-old girl and thrusts her into an extraordinary world, much like Alice in Wonderland, only without the rabbit and the doped up Caterpillar of course. Readers will get hooked by the adventure and trials that Emily and her friends face for their survival.

Emily Haven is still in this different world, filled with magic which has been divided in two. She has been given a mission and that mission is super simple, just reunite the two worlds back together…the world that she now resides in and the world that she was born in. Yeah, like that is simple! Knowing that mission lingers in the background, Emily and her friends have taken a short detour based off of a promise. She keeps her promises and in the first installment, she promises a little boy that she would come back to save him from the slave mines. With imminent war between Marianne and The Dragon’s Brood hanging over their heads, the three friends and Rascal go in search of the boy using a vision that she’s had of the desert. They run into several obstacles along the way, on this seemingly longer than normal, adventure of theirs…but what they find could cause havoc on the small group. The people that they run into, are unknown to Emily and could be the end for them all if they don’t play their hands carefully.

De Lioncourt has a spellbinding fantasy, filled with creativity, adventure, and darkness looming in every corner of the world. There are a couple of long excerpts in the beginning of this book before the reader makes it to chapter one, which is a bit odd. The pace is very quick much throughout the entire read, which makes it easy to breeze through the pages. The characters are mysteries, filled with curiosity, determination, and the shear will of living to see another day. The author ensures to create flawed characters that must face their own demons and the ones that are after them in this new world. Emily and her new friends have a long journey ahead and each character will learn more about themselves as they go. Since this review is complimenting the audiobook, the narrator enlivens the story with her vocal and emotional differentiation. Every character is unmistakably different in tone and sound. There are a few words here and there that appear to be mispronounced; however, this should not hinder enjoyment of the novel. Also, there are words that seem to be misplaced as well, though this is not very common. If you are a reader of dark fantasy, you may be interested in picking this book up. This is the second installment in The Dragon’s Brood Cycle Series; therefore, we are recommending the first installment be read prior to this one since it is a direct continuation of the adventure.

NOTE: This story is tagged as a coming of age fantasy; however, due to the graphic detail of the violence and language that is produced in this story, it would be recommended for an audience over the age of 18.

A copy of this audiobook was provided to Turning Another Page by Audiobookworm Promotions and in no way affects the honesty of this review. We provide a four-star rating to Haven Divided by Josh de Lioncourt.

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

WAY too many moving parts compared to Volume 1

Sooo…I REALLY struggled with “Haven Divided”. While I loved its predecessor, I found this one way too complicated for casual enjoyment. There were entirely too many moving parts, too many stories, and too many people to keep track of. I’m pretty sure the gears in my brain started smoking about midway through, and that’s not what I tend to be looking for in my fiction. Don’t get me wrong—I enjoy a complex, unique tale, but this was overmuch.

As in “Haven Lost”, the descriptions were vivid, beautiful, and detailed, and the characters showed a smooth, natural growth that made them feel very much like real people. It was interesting to follow Emily’s little group…and it was honestly the only one I found myself caring about. Not enough time was spent with the others to make the reader truly care about what’s happening to them. We’re expected to get equally caught up in Emily, Selene, and Cormack’s chase after Daniel; Casey and Jeff’s coming together; Marcum’s struggle with the truth; Mona, Garrett, Michael, and The Wizard’s interactions with the Brood; all the weird shit happening at Seven Skies; and a handful of rather distracting one-off chapters with other characters. Cycling through each mini arc in the grand scheme of the overall tale was exhausting and more than a little it frustrating.

While I think Mr. de Lioncourt lost sight of the forest for the trees, I will say that following Emily’s little band was pretty captivating. Her blossoming romance with Cormack, the heartbreak of seeing the toll Selene’s magic takes on her, Rascal’s antics…these truly felt like real people despite the magic and strange settings. These three work well together and I was proud of Emily for keeping her word to Daniel. Emily’s struggle to come to terms with being out of her own world, and the realization that her world no longer exists, almost brought me to tears a few times. It was jarring to have to keep switching away from that to see what else was going on in the world, and if i wasn't so invested in Emily, I might very well have DNF'd "Haven Divided".

As before, Reay Kaplan did a lovely job as narrator. She had a lot of characters to portray and her voices were a little inconsistent at times, but not enough to be distracting. This lady is a professional and it shows in the masterful quality of her work. I'll be listening to more by her in teh future for sure!

Bottom line: Kinda wish I’d stopped listening at the end of “Haven Lost”, to be brutally honest. If you’re a reader who likes extremely complex stories and doesn’t mind a ton of perspective-jumping from chapter to chapter, you might enjoy this, though.

**I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Josh de Lioncourt. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.**

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