I’ve had a love affair with Jeaniene Frost’s vamps for years, and the titles in her NIGHT HUNTRESS WORLD Paranormal Romance sReviewed by: Rabid Reads.
I’ve had a love affair with Jeaniene Frost’s vamps for years, and the titles in her NIGHT HUNTRESS WORLD Paranormal Romance series provide some stiff competition for her Urban Fantasy novels, so adding werewolves to her writing cocktail was the next logical step. PACK previously appeared in two anthologies, but the addition of 20% more material, and of Tavia Gilbert’s voice were the deciding factors in it moving to the top of my to-be-read pile.
The author covers a lot of ground in this novelette from Marlee’s turning, to her coping with her new reality, to accepting Daniel as her mate. All of this made for a fully-loaded story which is hard to believe considering that the audio’s total run time is only one and a half hours. I really felt for the heroine for having the courage to chase after a lifelong dream, and for the pack’s enforcer for knowing when to push and when to hold steady.
Tavia Gilbert has narrated all of Frost’s books, so I knew that listeners were in extremely capable hands with this latest addition to her repertoire. This adventure is told from Peters’ perspective, and the reader smoothly captured the wide range of emotions that the protagonist experiences. The voices and inflections that she used for the other characters were equally stunning. And, of course, one mustn’t forget the bonus sex scene!
PACK was (hopefully) Jeaniene Frost’s way of opening the door to a world of shifter possibilities....more
I was shopping around for an fun author / narrator combo because nothing on my listening pile appealed to me at the time, andReviewed by: Rabid Reads.
I was shopping around for an fun author / narrator combo because nothing on my listening pile appealed to me at the time, and this audiobook was only $1.99 after downloading the free Kindle edition which made the cost vs reward a no-brainer. MONSTER HUNTER INTERNATIONAL was clichéd to the max with a hero that was made for the job, a similarly perfect female love interest, and Larry Correia dedicated more pages to describing the weaponry than to developing the characters or the world, but bottom line—I was wildly entertained!
This novel really was ridiculously excessive, so if you want a little more substance with your laughs then I’d suggest you try THE DRESDEN FILES by Jim Butcher instead. The humour is comparable, James Marsters excels as the reader, but the writing isn’t obnoxiously implausible. This story was complete, there were no cliff hangers, and it progressed from Pitt’s first encounter with a monster to him staving off the apocalypse as a full fledged member of MIH which was again a huge leap, yet also in all likelihood because the author didn’t know if this would become a series.
I really enjoyed Owen as a protagonist; he was fearless, a bit of a show-off, and brimming with snark which is a trait that I LOVE, especially when I’ve opted to go the audio route. The blurb describes him as an “average guy” when the only thing commonplace about him was his job, and even that was by design. After being a competitive marksman, bouncer and cage match fighter in his youth his goal was to pick the most boring profession possible, thus a CPA. The romance between him and Julie was also super stereotypical, however it fit in with the rest of the overkill.
Listening to the sample clip of Oliver Wyman was enough to hook me into signing up for 23+ hours. His macho tone was exactly what was needed for this three-hundred-pound lead, and he varied it enough so that it was clear when the first person POV was in internal monologue or external dialogue mode. The cast was fairly large, and Wyman made sure to work the accents to assist readers with keeping everyone straight. Even his female voices were good which is saying something because as a general rule the majority of male narrators struggle in this area.
MONSTER HUNTER INTERNATIONAL was so absurd in its hilarity that it was irresistible....more
Kitty has to head back to her hometown of Denver to tend to a family emergency, and in doing so ends up having to face the veReviewed by: Rabid Reads.
Kitty has to head back to her hometown of Denver to tend to a family emergency, and in doing so ends up having to face the very thing that got her and I off on the wrong foot since the first installment of this series. I was happy that Carrie Vaughn made her heroine confront her demons at this point in the story arc because I don’t think that I could have dealt with Norville in her submissive state for much longer. The vampire and police detective threads also picked up where they left off, and the romance took an unexpected turn which left me feeling pretty satisfied with this volume.
When push came to shove, Kitty made the right decision when the time came to face her fears for her mother’s sake, and I was relieved to see her get back on the horse so to speak. Her return wasn’t without its hitches, and she did have a couple of weak moments, but all in all Norville finally found her inner strength. I enjoyed her interactions with her human pack, and the various supes that she’s picked up along the way. My hope is that the winds of change continue gusting well past KITTY AND THE SILVER BULLET because now that I’ve gotten a taste of alpha Kitty, I can’t go back to the omega version.
Vampire politics usually make for interesting plot lines, and this one was no different. The author revealed just enough of their machinations to make me feel like I learned something important about their inner workings while keeping the rest in the dark, and me speculating in-between titles. The romance has taken a completely different direction than what I’d originally anticipated, and although I’m slightly bummed by that, especially after one particularly poignant scene, it shows promise. Albeit, I suspect that something (or someone) might happen that’ll rock the current pairing’s boat.
The Midnight Hour is back in business after a brief hiatus which is fantastic news because Marguerite Gavin has a real knack for the protagonist’s on air voice. There was also a fair number of characters in this audiobook what with the vampire/werewolf war, and the narrator made sure to give each of them their own unique tone and pitch; some I recognized immediately from the first novel while as others were brand new. Gavin infused the touching scenes between Norville and her mom with just the right level of emotion as well as the lovey dovey one towards the end.
KITTY AND THE SILVER BULLET was an installment that I could really sink my teeth in to!...more
Every hard hitting Urban Fantasy heroine deserves some down time, but Norville hasn’t exactly done enough to warrant an extenReviewed by: Rabid Reads.
Every hard hitting Urban Fantasy heroine deserves some down time, but Norville hasn’t exactly done enough to warrant an extended stay at a mountain cabin in my opinion, and she definitely hasn’t reached memoirs status yet. KITTY TAKES A HOLIDAY is only installment #3 after all. Carrie Vaughn attempted to fast track this series, and the later chapters came close to accomplishing that; however the fact remains that too much of this audiobook was about the protagonist throwing a pity party in the boonies, screwing up her love life, and not hosting her radio show.
I enjoyed the mystery of who (or what) was leaving dead animals around Norville’s rented digs, and Cormac’s subsequent trial for killing the threat in front of a cop was a close second because it lead to more knowledge about the sexy bounty hunter. Ben surprised me once again! He’s progressed from lawyer, to vampire slayer, to his current condition, and although I was taken off guard by a recent development, I am impressed with how his character is shaping up. Unfortunately, the pacing, and long stretches of inaction stole a lot of the plot’s thunder.
So, let’s recap, Kitty has 1. come out as a werewolf on air, and 2. shifted on live television. That’s a lot for anyone to endure, especially within a matter of weeks. That being said, she’s the only MC that I’ve come across who’s written an autobiography, and quite frankly she’s also the least deserving. Norville began her journey as a submissive, and has made a sliver’s worth of progress on that front, but in this novel she lost ground. There were too many why-me moments, and her jabs at Ariel, Priestess of the Nigh, were petty. I missed listening to the Midnight Hour!
Marguerite Gavin’s performances have been middle-of-the-pack thus far, but she clearly has more talent than the voice inside my head because originally I quit reading this series after two books. She really excels at the radio bits which were MIA in this particular volume, so that was unlucky, and the accents she used for the various members of the Wilson family didn’t quite hit their mark. Aside from those cons, Gavin remains one of the lead reasons why I haven’t abandoned KITTY NORVILLE (again). However, her narration was no substitute for Vaughn’s uninspired writing.
I need a vacation from snoozeville after KITTY TAKES A HOLIDAY....more
Nothing beats discovering an anthology, novella or deleted scene from one of your top Urban Fantasy series unless it’s findinReviewed by: Rabid Reads.
Nothing beats discovering an anthology, novella or deleted scene from one of your top Urban Fantasy series unless it’s finding all three-in-one AND doing so two years after you thought that you’d been forever limited to cameo appearances in spin-off worlds. It’s important to note that some of the chapters in OUTTAKES FROM THE GRAVE break the rules of the NIGHT HUNTRESS universe while as others might spoil a picture perfect ending, but if you’re a hardcore Cat & Bones fan this is a MUST!
This anthology has everything from original / alternate beginnings, middles, and endings of the seven published books as well as things that you’ve always wondered about such as what was in the note that Crawfield wrote to Crispin when she left him, and how their human wedding that never was would have unfolded. There’s also tons of little extras that were edited out due to pacing concerns such as sex scenes, and Jeaniene Frost’s authors’ notes precede each one which was a treat in and of itself.
Practically every character shows up at some point or another, although the focus was on Cat & Bones, so Ian worshipers don’t get your hopes up too much… This collection provided fab insights into the inner workings of the world, and of Frost’s publishing journey. It’s amazing how much goes on in the background, and how much gets edited out of the finished product. Other than a couple of excerpts to add context, this compilation was largely never-before-seen, and thus a great value for the price.
I listened to the NIGHT HUNTRESS WORLD novels, and some of the NIGHT PRINCE titles as well, but read this series in its entirety, so getting to revisit it via Tavia Gilbert’s narration was another huge plus. She’s such a savvy performer; her voices remain of the highest quality, and the level of emotion that she brought to each chapter had me constantly choking up. I wasn’t planning on restarting my Cat & Bones experience anytime soon, but after this audiobook, how could I not!?
OUTTAKES FROM THE GRAVE will make you fall in love with NIGHT HUNTRESS all over again!...more
KITTY NORVILLE and I first met back in 2010 when I started my blog; at the time I found the heroine rather spineless, and I dReviewed by: Rabid Reads.
KITTY NORVILLE and I first met back in 2010 when I started my blog; at the time I found the heroine rather spineless, and I didn’t particularly care for Carrie Vaughn’s werewolves. I forged on to book 2, didn’t see much improvement, and decided to call it quits. Now, five years later, the series has concluded, and I’ve decided to give it another chance in audio. Marguerite Gavin’s narration caused me to bump my original rating up by a star, and my second impression kinda left me scratching my head as to why I was so harsh to begin with.
KITTY AND THE MIDNIGHT HOUR still didn’t bowl me over with its mild level of Urban Fantasy badass-ery, although I did find myself enjoying the story and the characters more than expected given my initial assessment. The off-scene rape bits are probably what tipped me over the edge originally, and I’ve since encountered far worse over the course of my fictional wanderings *cough* Anne Bishop’s THE BLACK JEWELS trilogy *cough* that I barely batted an eye at them. Also, now that Norville is out from underneath Carl’s wing it seems unlikely that there will be a repeat.
The inclusion of a werewolf POV is borderline mandatory in a series with a fury protagonist IMO, and Vaughn’s spin was to my liking. The possibilities for future plot threads are practically endless as well given Kitty’s outstanding issues with the pack, the barely explored vampire angle, and the potential for her to become a police consultant, not to mention all of the cray-cray her callers could throw at her on any given night. In addition, it helps to know that there are only fourteen installments because it shows that the author has a plan of attack.
Marguerite Gavin is a new-to-me narrator, and given the impact that she had on my overall opinion of this title, I’d say that she just significantly increased the odds of me staying the course. The subtle adjustments of her tone and pitch with regards to Kitty’s “radio” voice and that of her wolf’s were well executed, especially her three-way on air dialogues. I enjoyed Gavin’s European accents, although they did seem slightly out of context, but that was in part due to some holes in the secondaries’ backstories which she can’t be held accountable for.
KITTY AND THE MIDNIGHT HOUR needed a few years to ferment, at least for this listener....more
This audiobook shed some light on the mystery that is Alexander Reyes Farrow by giving listeners a brief overview of his childhood, and the evolutionThis audiobook shed some light on the mystery that is Alexander Reyes Farrow by giving listeners a brief overview of his childhood, and the evolution of his relationships with the various characters that make up this series. The tone of the story was miles apart from that of the full length installments; it was much darker, told from a male POV, and with limited snark. I really enjoyed the protagonist's interactions with his sister and his BFF, and seeing Charley through Reyes' eyes was a great opportunity to gain extra insight into one of my favourite heroines. I was also glad that they stuck with Lorelei King as the narrator; she's the main reason why I splurged on the audio instead of the much cheaper eBook....more
I enjoy a good whodunnit murder mystery, and that's precisely what BLOOD OF THE DEMON was, but with a paranormal edge. I'm still not entirely sure whaI enjoy a good whodunnit murder mystery, and that's precisely what BLOOD OF THE DEMON was, but with a paranormal edge. I'm still not entirely sure what's up with Ryan (although I do have a few guesses), and the Rhyzkahl thing was inevitable, so even though Kara's path is a tad predictable there's still a sizable chunk of unknowns to keep listeners engaged. Liv Anderson is definitely a narrator that I would recommend, especially when paired with Diana Rowland's writing style. ...more
The pacing of this series has been gaining speed with every new installment, so although I did find myself wishing that DarynReviewed by: Rabid Reads.
The pacing of this series has been gaining speed with every new installment, so although I did find myself wishing that Darynda Jones would just get on with it already, overall I enjoyed the breather that THE DIRT ON NINTH GRADE provided. Also, what reader hasn’t wished for the power to turn back the clock, and re-discover their favourite characters all over again? This book allowed fans to do exactly that, well until the ending catapulted us into an oh-shit free fall that is.
One thing became evident in this novel; Charley’s memories aren’t what define her. She’s still the quick-witted, trouble magnet that we’ve come to adore, even though she now goes by Janey Doerr. I loved that her oddball personality was able to come through in spite of her retrograde amnesia. The theories that she came up with whenever one of her powers manifested itself were priceless as well from Davidson thinking she’s a genius for knowing multiple languages, to being a time traveler.
Bobert, Cookie, Osh, Garrett and Agent Carson’s attempts to keep Charley in the dark were an absolute blast because of the heroine’s ability to detect lies, and feel people’s emotions. It made deceiving her next to impossible, so most of them kept their distance except for her BFF. *queue awesome Cookie antics* Reyes’ frustration at being estranged from his soul mate was palpable, but the heart wants what the heart wants, even when the brain forgets!
This installment was rather tame in comparison to Jones’ customary CHARLEY DAVIDSON stories. There was still a throng of plot threads what with Mr. Vandenberg’s conundrum, Erin’s baby woes, and the otherworldly intrigue that surfaced in the closing chapters. However, they were slow moving, and the recap didn’t show up until the conclusion was well underway which made finding my way after an eight month break more of a hurdle than it should have been.
I liked THE DIRT ON NINTH GRAVE almost as much as Charley loves coffee! ~4.5 Stars...more
I've been enjoying this series thus far, but this installment really brought it! The porn star murder mystery had barrel-of-laughs written all over itI've been enjoying this series thus far, but this installment really brought it! The porn star murder mystery had barrel-of-laughs written all over it, doubly so with Harry Dresden on the case. BLOOD RITES put a lot of the characters' roles into perspective; Murphy tries being a vigilante on for size, Ebenezar is not what he seems, and Thomas—I did NOT see that one coming. This book was a turning point for THE DRESDEN FILES, and... PUPPIES! ...more
This audiobook centered around the fae, and the Denarians which are two pretty formidable powers in this universe, so this was one action-packed instaThis audiobook centered around the fae, and the Denarians which are two pretty formidable powers in this universe, so this was one action-packed installment! That being said, the drama in Harry's life is beginning to spiral out of control which made the story a little chaotic at times. I'm always happy to hang with Murphy, Michael, Thomas, Kincaid, Molly and Mouse, and things tend to get extra interesting whenever the Archive becomes involved. Still, the plot felt like it was a mishmash of previous ones what with Marcone causing trouble, and the Winter/Summer Courts out to ruin Dresden's day. The sarcastic dialogue and James Marsters narration alone makes this series a must, but this title made me feel relieved that I listened to SMALL FAVOR just-for-me, and could opt out of my usual lengthy review because otherwise I probably would have picked this novel apart. ...more
This volume was high on magic, but low on detective work which wasn't the best trade-off; however the action and characters helped to re-balance the sThis volume was high on magic, but low on detective work which wasn't the best trade-off; however the action and characters helped to re-balance the scales. Murphy was particularly awesome in this installment as was Harry's brother, Thomas. Molly got on my nerves a bit with her complete disregard for how her actions impacted others. She's learning though, as was evidenced by her growth towards the end. I really liked Ramirez too. When he called Dresden out on his sketchy behaviour, I expected the worst, and he surprised me. Lasciel's plot thread was another aspect that caught me off guard as well. Ooh, and MOUSE! And, here I was thinking that *I* had the best dog in the world. WHITE NIGHT definitely had a lot to offer, and I can't wait to discover what mischief Harry & co get into next....more
The horror convention setting was great fun, and I enjoyed watching Harry adjust to his new role as Warden because doing the right thing, and enforcinThe horror convention setting was great fun, and I enjoyed watching Harry adjust to his new role as Warden because doing the right thing, and enforcing the laws of magic aren't always synonymous, and a bit of tough love ensues. Charity opened up some as a character which brought on a few interesting new developments, although whether Molly Carpenter will add any value to this universe is still up in the air. I see potential, but another male Urban Fantasy author whom I'm a fan of attempted something similar, and the results were disappointing. It'll all come down to Butcher's plan of attack. Future story line speculation aside, PROVEN GUILTY did this series proud. ...more
So, this audiobook was pretty epic. End review. No, but seriously there's Necromancers, a zombie t-rex, Harry gets a wizardly promotion, there's a weiSo, this audiobook was pretty epic. End review. No, but seriously there's Necromancers, a zombie t-rex, Harry gets a wizardly promotion, there's a weird love triangle going on, although I don't think anyone is actually getting any, Bob gets kidnapped, and then there's the whole Lasciel thing. I loved this installment to bits; there was action to the max, tons of future possibilities open up for this series, and I bow down to James Marsters' grasp of Dresden's character. Butters made for an awesome sidekick, and Mouse was something else too. Highly recommended! 4.5 Stars...more