Mara's in hell! Neither one of the guys in her life is talking to her. Paul, her ex-boyfriend, is afraid she's going to give birth to a baby demon, complete with horns and hooves. He wants proof that he's actually the father. And her best friend, Gus, is so obsessed with his new boyfriend and his plans for the late, great Lord Grundleshanks, the poisonous toad, he has no time for anyone else.
After Gus flips the seasons and manages to bring summer into winter, everything starts going weirdly wrong. Summer refuses to leave. Household electronics start going haywire. When J.J., a local boy, vanishes from Mara's car, Mara begins to suspect he's been turned into a rat. But it's such a crazy idea, who could she possibly talk to about it? Then, her dead Aunt Tillie shows up to warn her that Gus is in trouble, and it's up to Mara to save him.
Before Mara can stop him, Gus opens up a portal to hell, and the devil comes calling. Now, she's got her hands full trying to find out what happened to J.J., assuring Paul she's not going to give birth to a mythological creature, and brokering a truce between Gus and the devil before Gus becomes hell's newest resident.
©2014 Christiana Miller (P)2015 Christiana Miller
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"Not a fan of how the narrator did Gus's voice"
Probably not, there were way too many turns, it could've been less complicated.
The ending left you wanting to read the next book, whether or not you liked this one.
She did not have much range with her voices -- the Italian/Latin characters sounded as if they were from Germany & what I disliked the most was Gus's voice. He is a gay guy from LA, not the clown in Stephen King's book IT. I didn't particularly like Marie Rose's rendition of Gus in the first book but it was better than this rendition.
Consistency of narrators across a book series is crucial to me.
"Why oh why did you change narrator?"
I adored the first book in this series and quickly devoured it. Since then I have listened to it twice more. However this one let me down. What happened to Gus? He went from the sexy sounding guy to I don't know what. The part in the book when they kiss...all of a sudden it was icky as the image of Gus in my head had completely changed from hot, sexy guy to the uncle that gives you the creeps. Several other characters also changed but I was more forgiving of those.
Other than Gus's massive change, I liked the story once again and will be buying the next in the series (hopefully with the original narrator). Christiana Miller is a fabulous tale teller and I very much enjoy her work.
"Couldn't listen to that narrator"
Story may have been good but the characters voices are just stupid. In the first book with a different narrator it was smooth and enjoyable but now they just don't work. Gus sounds like an idiot groucho marks.
"What happened to Gus?!"
I loved the first book in this series, so was a bit perplexed by this one. Gus turned into a whiney, rather idiotic sidekick. And what happened to his accent?! For continuity's sake someone should have paid attention to that little detail. I'm not discouraged from reading future books in this series as I love the characters and the world they inhabit (get Gus back on track!), but this sophomore effort wasn't as stellar as the freshman. That said, I still recommend the book. Christiana Miller has created a fun, quirky world worth the visit.
"Great Story - Bad Narration"
The only thing I would change about this book is the narrator. I listened to the 1st book in the series, and got used to the voices of the different characters as interpreted by that narrator. It was distracting trying to figure out who some of the characters were. The worse was Gus's voice. He sounded suave & debonair in book one, and he sounds annoying and whiny in this one. It is enough of a distraction that I've taken to mostly reading the book on my Kindle rather than listening to it.
The story itself is very good.
If you can't read it in book or e-book form, but it was not nearly as enjoyable as listening to book one in the series.
"Narrator Needs A Lot More Practice"
I liked the story but the narrator is doing just that narrating, like she's reading the story to a group. She doesn't become the character at all, which leaves the story very flat. She MUST learn to become the character, not just do a voice change. And her interpretation of Gus seems way off. He's just not as funny and charismatic as the first story.
Barbara Benjamin-Creel sounds 20 to 30 years too old for the character of Mara.
While Barbara Benjamin-Creel does a smidge better job with the voices, I'll take Marie Rose any day. At least Marie Rose becomes the character and the mood of Mara comes through in her voice and it allows the listener to be immersed in the story rather than feel like he/she is being read to.
Bring back Marie Rose or get a different narrator, one who doesn't just read the story to you but becomes Mara.
Also, I strongly urge the narrators to talk to the author and learn Gus' personality. It's poor form for two narrators to have two different visions of him.
"change in narrators"
Enjoyed the story but was put off by having Gus' personality changed from British accented diva to brash, dense minded goofball....
Mostly average. Ending left the way open for another book or two. Narrator didn't help.
"Not the right narrator for this book"
I'm not sure why they had to get a new narrator for this book. I thought Marie Rose had done a wonderful job. This narrator's interpretation of the characters change them completely and I honestly found many of them pretty jarring. She wasn't horrible but she was by no means as good as the last narrator which sort of made the whole book a little bit of a disappointment.
"Fun story poor narration"
I enjoy the antics this Series of stories tells. However it is so frustrating to get into a series to have the narrator change. The new narrator of this series is terrible. Her Gus voice was so grating I almost quit listening. I will not buy the next book if this narrator is back.
I absolutely love the toad witch books I wish there was a book three, however I preferred the narrator of the first book as the narrator of the second book changed the sound of gus's voice and that small change spoiled the book for me but that is the only negative point otherwise fab story I want more
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