Top critical review
What happened to the narrator??? 4 Stars for Story, 2 Stars for New Narrator
on June 1, 2017
First off, I’m VERY happy to have found this author. Ecstatic even. :) I’m currently on sabbatical from my usual favorites-for reasons I won’t go into here. (See other reviews.) Needless to say, I’m so glad I discovered GAA/Shelly Laurenston.
As for this written book, I give four stars for the story…
1. It is a gruesome, sexy, humorous story. I can’t count how many times I have LOL throughout this series. But be forewarned-you REALLY REALLY need to read the full-length novels in order for full enjoyment.
2. Once you meet this family the fab Gwyars AND the Cadwaladrs-(please excuse spellings), you can’t help but fall in love with the whole crazy lot led by two even crazier queens and hope for all of their tales to be told.
As for this audible narration, I give 2 stars since I was able to make it through the listen, even though I had to frequently switch back to reading. Why only 2 stars?
1. When did most of the characters (and some of the places) get new names? Someone should have consulted the author before these recordings began to clarify pronunciations and ensure continuity between readers. There were WAY too many differences with the change in narrator.
2. Honestly, when I began listening with the first book, I didn’t care for Holly Jackson’s narration. It took listening to the 2nd book (AaD) to begin to understand the characters’ personalities better. Still wasn’t all that impressed by HJ’s renditions, but by Gwenvail’s book, I was a fan. HJ still wasn’t my favorite narrator or the best I’ve listened to by far, but I thought she did a great job with many of the characters. Namely-Gwenvail, Keita, Annwyn, Talaith, and Rhiannon. Her arrogant nonchalance, whininess, and snobby disregard were spot on! However, her strong emotions (anger, passion, exuberance) were pretty flat but she was still a decent overall listen.
On the other hand, Morgan Hallet was just disappointing. She totally ruined Annwyn and Rhiannon for me. RUINED. She made them both sound weak and almost too wussy. All of her characters were flat to me. The only distinction I could really make was between male and female characters and perhaps between younger and older.
Neither narrator provided accents, which seemed wrong at first, but when I looked at it as “Xena-like” in its quirkiness (from editor’s review), I think I appreciated those stereotypical British expressions read in a very NON-British manner all the more. Holly Jackson made the series fun. Morgan Hallet-not so much.
Definitely plan on continuing the series on Kindle. Sadly, I’m done with the audiobooks unless a new-decent narrator is found or the original from the first 4 books returns. Which is the ultimate disappointment since I’m such a lazy sow *winks* who does more listening than reading these days.
To Ms. Aiken, and what the hell happened to the Claiming? We got it in the first book and with Dagmar and Gwenvail, but we are shorted in all the rest. WTF?? I want another Rhiannon/Bercelak Claiming-by far my favorite one. I hope we get to experience this meaningful, beautiful ritual again with Izzy and Eibhear in the next book. Don’t just mention it as an afterthought! Please and thank you. :) It felt like you said, “Oh, by the way she got claimed last night”. The End.
And while I have your ear and speaking of getting shorted, I wouldn’t be mad at at least a novella for Morfyd & Brastias. I was really looking forward to reading them getting together, but it seems like they’re story is done. :( I haven’t looked beyond the next story-to avoid possible spoilers, but I’m also itching for Ren’s!
Final Words: I HIGHLY recommend this series, but absolutely start at the beginning with Dragon Actually. Take or leave the audiobooks. If you do take, don’t get too invested in the narration because it changes drastically after the 4th full length book. 4.5 Stars for Kindle format of overall series.