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Born of Vengeance: The League: Nemesis Rising Audio CD – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged
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"Listening to Berman tell this story, one is transported to the future in an outer space full of action and intrigue." - AudioFile Magazine
"Kenyon continues to excel in the genre." - AudioFile Magazine
"...listeners will be riveted from beginning to end with narrator Fred Berman's dramatic presentation. Warning -- readers will be left with a cliff-hanger ending that will leave them looking eagerly toward the next installment of the life and times of Bastien Cabarro and his life-mate Ember Wyldestarr. "Born of Vengeance" is highly recommended to the attention of dedicated science fiction enthusiasts and will prove to be an enduringly popular addition for community library audiobook collections." -Midwest Book Review
About the Author
New York Times bestselling author Sherrilyn Kenyon is a regular in the #1 spot. This extraordinary bestseller continues to top every genre in which she writes, including manga and graphic novels. More than 70 million copies of her books are in print in more than one hundred countries. Her current series include The Dark-Hunters, The League, Deadman’s Cross, Chronicles of Nick, Hellchasers, Mikro Chasers, and The Lords of Avalon. Her Chronicles of Nick and Dark-Hunter series are soon to be major motion pictures.
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We know a lot about Bastian due to previous books and I expected to get a quick rehash of those previous scenes after I found out that Bastian met his true love before we meet him in Dancer's book. Normally this wouldn't have been a problem because Kenyon has done it before in this series with pretty great results, and let's face it, a lot of who Bash is and what he went through is interwoven with the other characters in this series and previous books.
However, what we get in this book is a section (roughly 20%) that is almost word for word cut from Dancers book with only random thoughts from Bastian thrown in to make it appear from his point of view. Now I can understand if this would then lead to deeper insight about Bastian and his troubles, but it doesn't. There is a section where Dancer loses consciousness and the story stops and only begins again when Dancer wakes up. If the rehash of old story is necessary because it is Bastian's point of view why then is it reliant on Dancer's consciousness? I can live with rehash if it adds to the story being told, but we get nothing new from this large chunk of Dancer's book. What makes it seem even stranger is that we learn almost nothing about Ember during this section-how she is coping in the years between their separation, what she is doing or who she is with. It makes this chunck of story seem so out of place in the story of Bash and Em.
Despite this I still had hope for the rest of the book when Bastian finally meets up again with Ember. Unfortunately, their first meet up had already taken place in Jullian's book and that scene wasn't really added to or enhanced in any new way. And then what follows from there was vague and jumpy story wise, ending in the weirdest overthrough and vengeance followed by an epilogue that felt incredibly rushed and busy.
I feel like Bastian and Ember were cheated out of a real story. Their dialogue feels rushed and stilted and none of the scenes feel fully fleshed out. Like how Ember comes to some of her decisions or how Bash gets from point A to point B plot wise. It's so unlike the rest of the League books (which are amazing). This is made all the clearer when compared to the rehashed story. A disparity that you can see in the design and elegance of the previous dialogue and plot from Dancer's book compared with the stunted new dialogue and plot for Bastian.
I will say that I did love the bonus story at the end, but by the time I finished the bonus story I had almost forgotten who the main book was about.
I will still buy the next book and hope the series continues because it is my favorite Kenyon series and I adore it, but hope fervently that the next book will be purely (or at at least 95%) new story and dialogue.
The League series is one I look forward to reading. No question its been a bit of a rollercoaster - with some dizzying highs such as Born of Legend and Born of Silence and some crashing lows such as Born of Fury - but all in all this has been a solid series. Born of Vengeance isn't as abysmal as Born of Fury was for me but it really isn't good.
The majority of the romance takes place "off-stage" with the jumping storytelling of the first few chapters. Boom, Ember & Bastien meet. Blink/Page Turn - its a year later and they are in love and he has asked her to marry him. Blink/Page Turn - "Almost Two Months Later" and small drama ensues. Blink/Page Turn - "Five Weeks Later" and for reasons he's engaged to her sister. (spoiler stuff) Blink/A Few More Pages Turn - "One Year. Ten Month. Three Weeks. Six Days." We get a little on Ember with her sisters and what has happened in those days as described in the Chapter Header. Blink/A Few More Pages Turn (up to chapter 5 now) - "Three Years. Three Months. Five Weeks. Six Days." And we are back to Bastien somewhere nowhere near Ember
60%+ of this book is told with them apart. Again, I ask, where is the Romance?
Let's not Even Address the things that happen like saving Kalea Hauk that happen completely off-stage (in another book which we are supposed to have read), but are still referred to in this one.
Good God, I feel like I am watching Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (an excellent movie that follows the exploits of minor characters in Hamlet in which you will sometimes see flashes of scenes recognizable from the source). We are getting some of this book and some of that book and some of the other books that Bastien has been a secondary character in - because of where Ms. Kenyon decided to begin this story she HAS to do this because we've already 'seen him there' but... it doesn't make for a compelling plot for Bastien and Ember. Maybe if she'd decided to start the story somewhere else she would have let us get to know the characters instead of just plunging us in and then dragging us forward through what amounts to a whole lot of exposition.
This book is a decent - DECENT - expansion on the world of the League books but it is not a book or story in its own right.
One of my favorite parts of the best of Ms. Kenyon's books is the arc of the characters (largely the heroes). She is so good at creating conflict that makes them grow and become more exciting and engaging. In Born of Vengeance neither Bastien or Ember have enough on-stage time to establish this, though there certainly are the right elements in their backstory (or should I say their story as told in the first 62% of the book, as certainly that's how that large chunk of this story reads - as supporting information that will give structure to the plot?).
I just paged back through my kindle - 62% of the way through the story Ember & Bastien come back into each others stories.
Where is the Romance? Well, it starts 62% of the way into this book. And then it is rushed and jammed in among a lot of action that doesn't advance the romance or serve the stories of Ember & Bastien.
It feels as if through a series of challenges including having to incorporate all the pieces of stories from previous books in the series in which Bastien played a role and an extremely choppy storytelling style with weird time-jumps, Ms Kenyon has completely lost sight of what makes her Great Stories so Great - and that is the Romance.