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Rose

Narrated by: Sara Parlier
Length: 5 hrs and 49 mins
4 out of 5 stars (4 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Rose Taggert awakens in a greenhouse with no clear memory of the past two years and, to her horror, finds her body transformed into an unrecognizable form.

Paris Kuyper has convinced Rose that they are lovers, and as Paris could not bear for her to die, he has used an ancient and dark magic to save her from certain death.

But the dark magic Paris has used comes at a price. A price which a terrible demon is determined to extract from Rose.

As Rose struggles to understand what is happening to her, she must navigate Paris’s lies and secrets; secrets that Paris will do anything to protect.

©2019 Castrum Press (P)2019 Castrum Press

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

Good start for a possible series?

In its most simplistic core element, this is a story about a girl in an abusive relationship. Remove the fantasy and horror elements and what you have is a suspenseful psychological thriller that's worthy of a Lifetime movie.

This is the debut novel of an up and coming writer, and as a debut novel, it's decent. It seems largely inspired from Franz Kafka's "The Metamorphosis" in which the main character transforms into a cockroach. However, our titular character, Rose, is turning into something akin to her namesake - a rose plant. Whereas Kafka's Gregor is aware of his transformation, Rose is not. She wakes up after the fact with amnesia. The story is about the aftermath and solving the mystery of why and how she became this way. The story works on many levels because Rose could be "any girl". Because she has no memory and only a partially explained past history, she could be any body. The antihero of the story, Rose's savor, Paris Kuyper, is hiding a darker secret and the reader doesn't know from the beginning if Paris is on the level or if he's not to be trusted. Admittedly, Paris' character is decidedly two-dimensional, but it justifies Rose's behavior toward him.

As the story progresses, the reader discovers that there is more going on than meets the eye. Without going into specific details and giving away spoilers, I feel that these details hint at a much larger story that's waiting to be told. The readeris left with many questions where the answers could be left to the reader's imagination, or quite possibly explained in a future sequel to the book. I believe I would prefer the latter. I would like to see the adventures of Rose continue in new directions and explore the mythos that Mr. Ungar has created here. Since I enjoyed this novel, I know that I would be very likely to purchase a sequel to it, if one is ever released.

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Great story, but narration could be better

I have to say this story was not what I expected. I loved that it surprised me in an unexpected way. It's scary in a way that was new to me. The writing itself could use some fine tuning, but overall it kept me wanting more all the way up to the surprise ending. Sara, the narrator, had a pleasing voice to listen to I just felt like her intensity did not match what mine would have been reading it on my own. That being said, her voice didn't make me want to stop listening at any point like I have found in a few of the other books I have listened to,.. so I am counting that as a win!

Overall it was a great story and I would recommend to anyone looking for a uniquely scary story unlike the mainstream horror.

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Imaginative, Scary Book With the Perfect Narrator

This book starts with a surreal quality. The protagonist, Rose, is turning into a plant. (A rose, to be specific . . . Rose is turning into a rose!) Even in the midst of that bizarre setup it’s easy to follow the story. Then everything turns scary as Rose finds herself at the hands of Paris, a disturbed “gardener.”

There is a disembodied laugh in the second chapter that ignites a mystery, and the mystery isn’t solved until almost the end of the book. It’s sort of a B-plot, and I loved this added complexity to the story.

The fight scenes are excellent! They are well-written, easy to picture, and full of excitement.

And then there’s the twist that I should have seen coming but totally didn’t. Fabulous fun.

The book has a fem-lit overtone having to do with how men are supposed to treat women in relationships. Rose’s thoughts got a little preachy on the matter, so I took off a star story-wise for that.

Sara Parlier, the audio narrator, is superb. She handles both the pensive, slower lines and the frightful, frantic lines with emotion, but not TOO much emotion. She never comes across as, say, an adult reading a preschooler’s storybook. I also appreciated Parlier’s enunciation because I like to listen at double speed, and I could still understand every word, even during the emotional passages.

Overall, Rose is a fun, scary, and crazy-imaginative book with the perfect narrator. Recommended!