As first impressions go, Cassandra Campbell's voice is real professional even if I don't agree with all of her interpretations of the book.. AReview:
As first impressions go, Cassandra Campbell's voice is real professional even if I don't agree with all of her interpretations of the book.. And that impression lasted all the way through the ending. But despite the wonderful narration, this book started out slow for me even with the easiness and convenience of an audiobook, that I abandoned it twice to pick-up another book to read/listen to. The opening volley just isn't very catchy. Or maybe it is just my interest that couldn't be reeled in by doctors trying to save lives they really want to kill. No, that medical drama is overrated. However I like their modified caduceus though. Now that, is inventive! Which speaks of an interesting world building.... Interesting, but got a big whole in it.
The premise of this world is that there is a supernatural community hiding in plain sight among ordinary humans and that there is a guerrilla war going on between the demonkind and the humankind. The way this world is presented, is that the supernatural beings are very prolific, they are everywhere. And nobody slipped up after all these centuries? These millions of supernaturals and humans-in-the-know never slipped up all these time? No traitors on both sides whatsoever? No money-grabbing, self-serving among their ranks who sees an opportunity to better themselves by betraying supernatural secrets to the rest of the world? Somehow that is not believable. Unless there is a great big spell that prevents everybody from doing so, which there isn't. So that is one great big gaping hole in the world building that could swallow the grand canyon whole. That sank the suspension of disbelief to the bottom of the ocean! And that is not the only hole, just the biggest one. However, if you get past that and ignore the grand canyon hole, the world building is wonderful! It is full of vampires, demons, werewolves and every interesting fantasy elements living in our everyday world! Fantastic!!
Another downer for this book is that Tayla, our heroine, is too stupid to live (TSTL). Not only once, but repeatedly stupid with stunted sense of self-preservation! Yet described as a kick-ass demon hunter who survived a tough childhood and tougher work as a hunter for years on end. Which is really difficult to believe because if she acts as stupidly as she does in the story she ought to be dead a long time ago... That knocks the suspension of disbelief two more rungs lower. And there is just too many contradictory elements for the character development to rate any higher than 2, not to mention annoying!
Now I know that first books in a series are not usually the best so I will give this series another try and hopefully the next book would be better.
Empirical Evaluation: Story telling quality = 2 Character development = 1 Story itself = 1.5 Ending = 3.5 World building = 2.5 Cover art = 2 Pace = 1 Plot = 1.5 Narrator = 3
I stopped listening to this series for a bit because I actually got tired of Stephanie's antics. Yeah, after sometime it loses its funny-ness.Review:
I stopped listening to this series for a bit because I actually got tired of Stephanie's antics. Yeah, after sometime it loses its funny-ness. It became more like a "too stupid to live" than funny. Or maybe I was just in a grumpy slump... Anyway, I picked this series up again after crying over The Host by Stephanie Meyer and now it is funny again. So be warned, this book made me laugh out loud but not everybody may see the humour. But it made me laugh and that's what counts! I am also finding that this is one of those serieses where it is like wine, the more books you read of it, the more it grows on you. This series seems to be ageing well!
I also like CJ Critt's narration. The words are clear and distinct. Her diction is good and not only do I like her interpretation, I agree with it! The only thing is, her breathing becomes distinctly audible specially when she gets tired (or I recon when she gets tired) which gets obvious every now and then. However, I can overlook that for the good reading that she does!
Empirical Evaluation: Story telling quality = 3.5 Character development = 4.5 Story itself = 3.5 Ending = 4 World building = 4.5 Cover art = 1 Pace = N/A (9 hrs and 36 mins listening time) Plot = 3.5 Narrator = 4
This book started out rather slow for me which was a bit of a disappointment after having just came off the excitemeAudiobook & Paperback Review:
This book started out rather slow for me which was a bit of a disappointment after having just came off the excitement of The Whisperers (Book 9). So I stopped-and-started and it made it seem like this book was a whole lot longer than the 13 hours it was suppose to be.
I've listened to audiobooks with two narrators once before and I was happy with Jenna Lamia and David Ledoux in Shiver. But for some reason, in this case it took a lot of getting used to. A lot. And sometimes the two narrators confused me because they seem to sound almost alike except for the "ish" sound that one of them makes when he gets tired. Or it gets more obvious as he reads along. This distinctly diminished my enjoyment of the book. I practically end up reading the paperback with only intermittent bouts of listening to the audiobook. This obviously brought the rating of the book down a bit.
I like the complex plot though. Unlike The Reapers where the plot is straight forward, this book is not. It's twisty and threw me a surprise or two. Layers of plot over plot. Multiple deception and motives. Evil forces coming from every direction. Lots and lots of kudos for a complex story!
This book might have started slow and even have a bit of a slag time in the middle, but by the end of it, I was looking forward to reading further and diving into The Wrath of Angels!
Empirical Evaluation: Story telling quality = 5 Character development = 5 Story itself = 4.5 Ending = 4 World building = 4.5 Cover art = 4 Pace = (12 hrs and 58 mins listening time) Plot = 5 Narrators = 2.5
I came into this book high from the ending from the last book. There were events there that seem to be escalating towards the paranormal levelReview:
I came into this book high from the ending from the last book. There were events there that seem to be escalating towards the paranormal level and I want to know what happens next. Charlie also experienced setbacks and I want to know how he is going to cope with it in this book. Halfway into the book and there was still no Charlie and I started to worry. The book was all about Louis and Angel. But Charlie finally made an appearance and panic is over and I realized it was designed to manipulate the tension building in the story. Fab!! John Connolly must have been firing on all cylinders when he wrote this book because it is just absolutely fantastic! The humour which I loved so much about this series and had been somewhat lacking in the last few books has come back on full throttle! Halfway through the book also, it is obvious that the events and the stars (so to speak) are re-aligning. New alliances forged and lines drawn. This book did not start off slow (maybe in part because I just came off Book 6). The book was interesting from the get go all the way through and picking up speed as it went along, gathering momentum until it blew up in my face in the end. Ahhh... I don't think that came out right... but yes, it was a bang at the end!
Empirical Evaluation: Story telling quality = 5 Character development = 5 Story itself = 5 Ending = 4 World building = 5 Cover art = 4 Pace = N/A (11 hrs and 36 mins listening time) Plot = 4.5 Narrator = 5
It took a bit of perseverance at the start. The intro salvo of this book is a long prologue worth a chapter and a half of mishmash of unrelateReview:
It took a bit of perseverance at the start. The intro salvo of this book is a long prologue worth a chapter and a half of mishmash of unrelated events which won't make sense until later on in the book. It didn't make real sense so I couldn't get into it despite having read Book 1 and knowing that this author has a compelling voice... slooow start kinda book....
Being a visual reader, book covers play a significant role in my reading habit. I like the audio cover art as opposed to the paperback cover art. If I wasn't already a John Connolly fan, I would never buy the paperback. But even if I haven't read John Connolly yet, the audio cover art would have triggered my book buying radar. It's the mysticism with the gritty crime that draws me in. Just pure crime is not as much fun for me as the mystical crime that the audibook cover art implies. And the story telling quality IS compelling. To lure me into crime is not easy because I am a die-hard fantasy geek, so that tells you just how good the story telling quality must have been to make me a John Connolly fan. This book also reminded me why I am not a crime fiction fan though. I am a wuss, okey! I don't like gory killings. I am an escapist reader. I don't want to know about the state of the world or anything about the human nature. I want to escape reality. So gory murders is not the way to this reader's heart. And yes, this book is a gory crime fiction... But, if the story telling quality is masterful enough, I can be persuaded....
This book also reminded me why I like angsty heroes. Yeah, they are fun with the right story teller. Charlie makes mistakes. Just like the rest of us. But he is not too stupid to live like Sookie Stackhouse. Just human enough for a reader to make a solid connection with. I would rate the character development a 5 out of 5.
At the end of it, I enjoyed this book despite it being a gory crime fiction and would definitely be reading the next Charlie Parker book.
Empirical Evaluation: Story telling quality = 5 Character development = 4.5 Story itself = 4 Ending = 4.5 World building = 5 Cover art = 4 Pace = (14 hrs listening time) Plot = 4 Narrator = 4.5