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Publisher's Summary

Long ago, Ephemera was split into a dizzying number of magical lands - connected only by bridges that may take you where you truly belong, rather than where you had intended to go.

In one such land, where night reigns and demons dwell, the half-incubus Sebastian revels in dark delights. But in dreams she calls to him: a woman who wants only to be safe and loved - a woman he hungers for while knowing he may destroy her. And an even more devastating destiny awaits him, for an ancient evil is stirring - and Sebastian's realm may be the first to fall.

©2007 Anne Bishop (P)2009 Penguin

Critic Reviews

“Bishop’s talents lie both in her ability to craft a story filled with intriguing characters and in her flair for smoldering sensuality that recommends her to fans of Tanith Lee, Storm Constantine, and Anne Rice. Highly recommended.” (Library Journal, starred review)
 

“[Anne Bishop’s] worlds are so fully realized and three-dimensional, they jump right off the pages...Exotic, original, sensual, there’s nothing here I didn’t love. I can’t recommend this author and her newest novel highly enough.” (Fresh Fiction)

"[A] page-turner...[An] impressively unclichéd battle between light and dark...Pure originality and lyrical prose...will delight fantasy readers.” (Publishers Weekly, starred review)

What listeners say about Sebastian

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    210
  • 4 Stars
    84
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    49
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    11
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    9
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    63
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    29
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    10
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    4
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    184
  • 4 Stars
    55
  • 3 Stars
    39
  • 2 Stars
    10
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    8

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

beautiful world

If you like alternative world-style fantasy, then this is a decent book.

There were some pretty silly and humorous moments in the beginning part of the books, because the writer mainly couldn't decide if she was going for romance or fantasy. In the end, she tipped over to fantasy and focused on the world rather than the characters.

You would think that it would be a rather risque book having an incubus as the main character, but the romance were barely PG, so if you are looking for something a little more racey, this book won't deliver that for you.

I was torn between a 3 and a 4 rating. I would give it a 3.5 if I could. I would give it a 4 for the world she created but a 3 on character development. In the end, I really wanted to like Sebastian but wound up not caring what happened to him in the end. His lover was not likeable at all. Belladonna outshown the main characters which leads me to believe the second book might be better.

Holter Graham does a great job narrating the book - as always.

28 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • K.
  • 01-09-15

Special

Of all Anne Bishop's series this is the one that has my favorite central idea.
It's truly a beautiful thing in itself.

The Black Jewel series is easier to follow and figure out than this one...is special.
(Though I only listened to book 1 so far)

The narrator is good but too theatrical so sometimes the words narrated are too quiet.

I prefer Jon Sharian (the Black Jewel series' narrator).

8 people found this helpful

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

More than an Ephemera

I usually listen to audiobooks at work. There are very few that I want to continue listening to until I finish once I clock out. I knew very early that Ephemera would be one of the books that kept me up all night.

I really enjoyed this story. I absolutely love the world/world building, and Sebastian's analogy of it to puzzle pieces. Sebastian was an interesting character with internal and external struggles, but even at his bleakest moments he remained true to his heart. Which is a big part of the story. The girl, whose name I can't spell (bad part about listening to a story), started very meek and I would have liked for her to remain that way a bit longer while Sebastian got to know her better, I like that she grew strength and courage while still maintaining that innocence she started with. The best part of this story had to be Belladonna. How Bishop builds her story and slowly reviews her character was what kept me listening to this story. I wanted more Belladonna scenes. Looking forward to her story.

Overall, Ephemera is a story I will also buy in paperback to read over and over.

6 people found this helpful

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

amazing as expected

Anne Bishop explores what's in the heart and asks the questions of what your heart truly desires and deserves. Loved the characters and a truly unique world creation.

The narrator has amazing conversation skills and a great range for each character, but gets really staccato and over emphasizes in high action or moderately tense scenes.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

amazing!! i want more!

i loved this book. it was hard to follow at first but i wrote down all the characters names and the locations they mentioned so i could get a sense of ephemera and it's inhabitants.

the message was so incredibly poignant for the times we love in. don't let the doubt, darkness and fear creep into your heart!
love Holter Graham and wish he was reading book 2.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great story and fantastic Narrator

It's been a long time since I've heard such an excellent story read so perfectly.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

One of my favorite authors

No matter how many times I've listened/read her books, they are still fresh and entertaining

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Again, She did it!

I have become a hugs fan of Ann Bishop's books. I'm always left wanting more. Which I believe there are more and I will partake. The build up is so good. The character are well thought out. The ending is exactly what I wanted for all the characters. Overall, AMAZING!

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

Turn off Your Brain to Enjoy

For a book I truly loved at 12, I cannot say the same as an adult revisiting the story now. Much in the vein of Twilight or 50 Shades of Grey, this book requires a lack of critical thought to be enjoyed.
There are many things to be said about this story. I'll try to break down the major points below.

The Setting:

The setting is fantastic and original. It's uncommon to find such a refreshing world to sink your teeth into. 10/10 for creativity there. This review gets more than one star almost entirely because of this.

The Narrator

The narrator performing this story does a serviceable job considering the scant material he has to work with. However, he starts to sound as boring as some of the exposition dumps he is forced to read. And sometimes the characters sound emotionally incongruent to the actual context of what is being said. This narrator, like the audience at certain points in the story, is in need of some coffee.

The Story:

The overall story is enjoyable and wonderfully creative. However, certain elements are overdone. Basic things established about the setting early on are beat over your head multiple times throughout the story; as if the reader will have forgotten in the space of 5 pages, or as if characters born, raised, and trained in the minutiae of such things need reminding. Some of these basic rules will be broken when the plot necessitates without proper explanation.

Exposition Abuse:

There is more random exposition dumped at intervals in the story than proper character development. We learn about the world at large through excerpts from random books that nobody in the story is reading or has even mentioned. We also learn through conversations between master landscapers about things that in context, are as basic as the alphabet. This could have been mitigated by using the perspective of a character who knew little to nothing about such things. So they could ask questions for the audience and the audience could learn with them. This is briefly used with success for a side character who triggers the main conflict. However, the only appropriate candidate in the main story cannot actually do anything but... make omelets.

Seriously.

Inner Monologue Abuse:

There's also more said through inner monologuing about all the characters' relationships than is actually seen. Our titular character has a good relationship with his some of his family. How do we know? We are told through inner monologues, not their interactions.

The most egregious instance of this concerns the major relationship in the story. After being hyped for many chapters, it ends up progressing almost entirely within the characters' separate heads. We are supposed to believe that strangers who finally, awkwardly, meet after, what, five minutes' dream banter are...in love? It must have been the denim jeans.

Is this love cultivated in their interactions? No. We barely see them speak to each other and build a relationship. They think about their inexplicable love in their own heads instead. The love interest has a more believable relationship with omlelets than the main character.

Character Development:

There is some for Sebastian and maybe a spoonful for his love interest. The love interest in particular seems to have found that the cure for their shockingly minimal trauma (despite a lifetime of abuse) is Sebastian's existence. No other main character gets any though.

For all of this, when you don't think it about any of it too deeply, it is entertaining. The action scenes are well written, and there is some real heart to be found in certain characters and scenes. Just be warned that some of your brain cells may be lost to the ever-changing landscapes of Ephemera in the process.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

book is amazing

I had the paperback at one time I have since lost it. this is my first audible listen and it was amazing love anne bishop's stories and this series is one of my favorites. already purchasing the next 2 in this trilogy.

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  • 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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  • Kindle Customer
  • 05-28-19

Beautifully written darker epic fantasy romance

There are already some great reviews for this fantastic book, this is just to let other U.K. fans know that the whole series has at last come to Audible U.K. Many other books by this author are now available too, so fans might want to grab them.

If you don't know this author I would emphasis that despite what you might expect from the premise, Anne Bishop writes romantic epic fantasy with hints of horror and lots of folk law/mythology and imagination. I would personally have put this series in the fantasy category because it is not typical of the stories Audible usually puts in chick lit and romance and the fantasy plot is equally as strong as the romantic one.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Christina Schneider
  • 03-12-20

just utterly dreadful

badly written, no recognisable story, lazy in terms of creating the world it's set in - just absolutely awful.