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Swift as a Shadow

An Avery Nolan Adventure, Book 1
Narrated by: Kelley Hazen
Length: 7 hrs and 54 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (14 ratings)
Regular price: $19.95
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Publisher's Summary

Avery Nolan has a secret. A secret she guards fiercely.  

But everyone has secrets. Her mother, who draws pictures of nightmarish creatures. Her grandmother with her padlocked shed. Her student with the pale eyes and brooding father.  

Leaving Sacramento after her divorce, Avery retreats to Tahoe with her golden retriever, Basil, looking for change, but as her grandmother always told her, “Be careful what you wish for.” After Basil discovers a hidden clearing with three standing stones, everything that Avery thinks she knows is suddenly upended.  

Each move she makes brings her closer to a world imagined only in fairy tales and to unraveling the secrets her family has guarded for decades - secrets that will give Avery more adventure than she ever thought imaginable.
 

©2014 ML Hamilton (P)2018 ML Hamilton

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

Action Packed, Secrets, and Fantasy

Avery Nolan is striking out on her own; leaving her husband and her work behind to move to Tahoe. She picks up the pieces and along with her dog, Basil, she starts phase 2 of her life. All is not pleasant for Avery – she has a past she wants to keep hidden and she has met the most gorgeous wonderfully odd man and his son.

Her past comes back and mingles with her present and threatens her future in ways that leave the listener sitting on the edge of their chair waiting for the next earth-shattering revelation. What starts out as a cozy mystery or romance mystery is anything but that; instead, we are treated to much more …

ML Hamilton carefully weaves a story drawing in her listeners. A well-crafted plot line with strong characters that make the story believable. Funny at moments, somber for others but intriguing for all. ML Hamilton keeps you guessing until the end – a perfect cliffhanger!

Kelley Hazen performs the audiobook expertly, moving the story along and drawing in the listener with her performance. Her voice is soothing yet projecting the appropriate levels of emotion.

If you like mysteries mixed with fantasy, this is a good book. I cannot wait to read the next book!

There were no issues with the quality or audiobook production.

Audiobook was provided for review by the author/narrator/publisher.

Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jan M
  • Southwest
  • 06-01-18

I loved it!

I found myself pulled into this story. The author wrote such vivid imagery, great suspense, and an original story. The starting over aspect was very realistic, and Basil was such a wonderful canine companion to accompany Avery. The concept of parallel worlds is foreign to me, yet very enjoyable in this story. The narration on this book was awesome. I loved how Kelley Hazen was able to add to the performance with distinguishable voices for the various characters. I found this time well spent listening and highly recommend it. I am looking forward to the next book in this series. This is a standalone listen.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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An Awesome Listen

I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the narrator and found it enjoyable and intriguing. I've always enjoyed books about parallel worlds found in secret groves. The main character, Avery, just wants a bit of change. So she divorces her husband, quits her job and moves to the cabin she inherited from her grandmother with her old golden retriever. What could go wrong? With such well developed characters and plot, you'll just want to keep listening to see what happens next. A great start for a series, I'm looking forward to the next one already.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

GRABBED ME RIGHT AWAY

Avery Nolan is an extremely likeable character. You start pulling for her right away. She wants "something more." Sound familiar? In fact the whole scenario of starting to teach at the new school, in the new town, new community, new environment, is really magical and real... who wouldn't want to start over in a completely new world and yet not be at least a little afraid that you might not fit in or it might not work out. For simple everyday people, the characters of this community are really fun and mostly funny. There is a lot of romance in this fantasy. I love the dog who plays a major role. This story provides a real 'escape' experience - I got immediately involved and am looking forward to the rest of the story.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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

The adventure just begins...

Avery gets divorced and wants to start over so she moves to Tahoe with her golden retriever Basil - and that's when her life takes a really strange course...

It's a book I've found quite difficult to rate. On the one hand, there is not much happening at first (well, for about three quarters of the book:)) - Avery starts her job as a substitute teacher for a class of ten 6-year-olds, some of whom are a real handful, she gets involved in some of their problems more than others, has several meetings with one of the kid's father (because she suspects the kid may have some learning difficulties) and tries to somehow adapt to the way of life in that sleepy town... As I said, not much really happening; the pace is quite slow, the events unfold at a steady pace - nothing particularly unusual or fantastical/magical... And when the magical finally does start to happen, Avery obstinately ignores it or tries to rationalize it... She can be really irritating at that, too, I have to tell you:)
But, on the other hand, I just couldn't stop listening... I can't really tell you why - is it the mystery behind Duncan's behaviour? Is it that I really needed to know if Avery would finally accept the supernatural happening around her? I really, honestly don't know. I just know I am happy that I have part two waiting for me to listen - part one ends at such a point in the story that you just need to know what will happen next...

As for the narration by Ms Hazen, it's one of her best so far. She's always good at differentiating voices and conveying emotions, but sometimes she tends to overdo it. This time she doesn't; all the voices match the characters very well and the interpretation of the story is perfect.

DISCLAIMER: I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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YES!!!

This is a super series. Very fast paced and has lots of different aspects that make it good. Avery Nolan is the main character and she is so likeable. Just an ordinary girl who falls into a very extraordinary situation - and then you really start to find out about her life and past. There's a lot of romance to this fantasy series but also suspense and adventure and humor and silliness. There's a very important dog, which I like a lot. I got Book 1 and 2 at the same time and I practically listened straight through. I'm looking forward to hearing more.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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SUPER START

I'm intrigued. Great start. Strong characters both male and female. Good mystery. Compelling suspense. Parallel world, kind of thing. It's the right length to tempt binge listening. Each chapter drives you to the next. The school kids are pretty hilarious. I'm ready for the second one.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Great Read

Swift as a Shadow (Avery Nolan #1) by M.L. Hamilton was a great read. Avery has decided to completely change her life. She decides to divorce her husband of ten years and move to Tahoe at her late grandmother's cabin. In Tahoe Avery meets Duncan and his son Bay. After meeting them everything begins changing for Avery. I can't wait to read more of this story and learn more about the characters.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • A D.
  • 08-17-18

Funny, mysterious & weird... in a great way!

This book may start off as a contemporary romance but if quickly takes a turn into the slightly mysterious and then the potentially paranormal.

Avery Nolan is a normal 31 year old woman who is rebuilding herself after a divorce. She has moved to a cabin left to her by her grandmother and is substituting at the local school, teaching first grade. Her pupils are delightfully quirky, as only first graders can be. Seems normal, right? Well that is hardly the case. Her 11 year old dog suddenly has a new lease on life and seems to get younger every time he disappears into the mountains. The father of one of her students seems to hate her for no justifiable reason. Then things get weirder.

I enjoyed listening to Kelley Hazen narrate ML Hamilton's sometimes funny, sometimes quirky prose. Avery Nolan's personality seems to really jump out at the listener. She is well written and the story is well narrated as well. I thoroughly enjoyed this listening experience. I am looking forward to the rest of the series!

This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful