From beloved author, director, and actress, Amber Benson...
Unbeknownst to most of humankind, a powerful network of witches thrives within the shadows of society, using their magic to keep the world in balance. But they are being eliminated - and we will all pay if their power falls... When Elyse MacAllister's great-aunt Eleanora, the woman who raised her, becomes deathly ill, Lyse puts her comfortable life in Georgia on hold to rush back to Los Angeles. And once she returns to Echo Park, Lyse discovers her great-aunt has been keeping secrets - extraordinary secrets - from her. Not only is Lyse heir to Eleanora's Victorian estate; she is also expected to take her great-aunt's place in the Echo Park coven of witches. But to accept her destiny means to place herself in deadly peril - for the world of magic is under siege, and the battle the witches now fight may be their last...
©2015 Benson Entertainment, Inc. (P)2014 Audible Inc.
I picked this one up having recently read Amber's Among The Ghosts, a book for younger readers which I enjoyed and I thought I was in for more of the same. This was a little more grown-up which took me a while to get used to. Around the middle of the book there's a sex scene involving a man in antlers and Amber's narration made it a little awkward to listen to. Definitely made it awkward to talk to her about the book a couple of weeks later!
This book felt like it was targeted at women. Not that I felt like I was being excluded but this seemed to be about women and their relationships with other women and it was very interesting to hear Amber talk about characters relating with their mothers and aunts on a female level. Not like many other works of female-centric fiction, the characters never once felt like anything other than unique individuals who happened to be women.
Only downside for me was realising partway through the book that this wasn't going to finish up and that there was a sequel on the way. Mixed blessing as I'd been anticipating more of a climax but also means I can look forwards to the sequel. Get writing, Ms Benson!
I was hooked with the first chapter. Enthralling. Amber added character into her own writing. it was hard to stop. I look forward to listening again.
"The Witches of Echo Park"
I think this book was great! I enjoyed the characters, all the witches and Weir and all the cats, and the story line had me coming back for more. Great-aunt Eleanora was a one of my favorite characters but I really enjoyed Lyse as well. This book was full of up and downs with my emotions but I loved every minute of it! I can't wait to read book 2!
"Loved It !"
While it took a little while to get into the story, once it started, I really loved it! I can't wait for the next chapter of the adventures of the Echo Park Witches!
Amber is a wonderful narrator, in part because as also the author, she really understands not only the characters but the theme as a while!
The depth of characterization of all the fully rounded people that inhabit Echo Park.
Can't wait for the next one!
It was Too predictable, it was boring as ever and to slow to climax then echo park fizzles out. Won't read this one again
I'll be returning this book. The story line was all over the place. The characters wee scattered. Did. Not. Like.
"Ever hoped a main character would just die..."
This story is all over the place. It jumps from one character to the next without giving you enough of a back story. It then adds new characters at the end of the book. There are just too many characters and not enough background to try and keep them all straight.
I actually listen to Death's Daughter series by Amber Benson and I really enjoyed them. This is the only reason I purchased this book.
It's not so much the performance as it is the amount of characters. There are only so many different female voices a person can make until they start to sound the same.
Nope...not a one. It is so bad that I'm actually going to return it.
I actually started this book when I 1st cam out but the main character drove me up the wall so I stopped listening to it. It took me until June to turn the book back on and the only reason I did was because I was waiting on another book to be released. By the end of the story I just wanted the main character to die. I know that sounds terrible but I was just done with her by the end of the book.
The storyline ok. I found the narrator to be monotone. Whether happy, sad, running away - the inflection in her voice was always the same which to me was dull and hard to listen too with any enthusiasm. Hard to believe someone is happy when the voice is flat and tells a different story. Perhaps another narrator may have made a difference to the story. I found the main character annoying and just wanted to push her along. She always seemed to be dragging her feet - like she did not want to be in the story. This in itself was disappointing, annoying and very frustrating. Eleanora seemed to be wanting to push her along with little response from her. Liked the other characters more. For a main character in a book, hard to engage with her.
"It hooked me!"
Lyse leaves her home in Georgia upon receiving word that her great-aunt Eleanora is dying. Eleanora raised Lyse after the death of her parents, and she and Lyse have been close. Eleanora needs to see Lyse before she dies because Lyse is going to need to take her place as head of the Echo Park coven. Lyse has no idea about this part of Eleanora's life as she did not want to burden Lyse with the dangerous responsibilities she will have until it was absolutely necessary. Suddenly, in addition to dealing with the impending loss of her closest relative, she is learning about a whole lot that she never would have believed in previously. She is also realizing that there is very real danger surrounding her and many others.
I enjoyed this book a lot. I found Lyse an easy character to connect to and Eleanora was an interesting and lovable character as well. It was nice that we got to know some of the peripheral characters with a little more depth than we sometimes do in a book with many characters. This first book in the series did a good job of laying some important groundwork so that we can understand who these people are and what dangers face them. We get so see how people are connected and a glimpse of how they relate to one another. This books gives us some history, some action, some romance, and a glimpse of things to come. I think the author did a good job of giving us enough knowledge and action to effectively make me care about these characters and want to know what happens next. I am eager to continue on with this series.
I thought the narration was great. I felt like the narrator did a wonderful job of giving the different characters distinct voices in ways that felt natural and seamless. I was not taken out of the story by the narration at any point, and for me that is one of the things I look for in an audiobook. The narrator gave Lyse especially a tone and voice that made me feel like I understood her a little better because of it.
"Get ready to be thoroughly captivated..."
Where does The Witches of Echo Park rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
This book ranks in the top three audiobooks to which I've listened.
What other book might you compare The Witches of Echo Park to and why?
I really haven't drawn a comparison to any other book I've read, especially in this genre. The story is unique and engaging, and I'm looking forward to reading or listening to the next book in the series.
Which character – as performed by Amber Benson – was your favorite?
Actually it is a toss up between two characters: Mimi and Eleanora. Both characters sounded so convincingly distinctive, I was often amazed. The sound of Mimi's voice could evoke a sense of dread, while Eleanora's was more welcoming with many traces of Benson's signature sense of humor shining through.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
I listened to the first half of this book over the course of several days and the last half of the book during a four hour road trip. For the things in life I most enjoy, I try to extend the experience, but I would say yes, it was nice to listen to the last half of the story wholly uninterrupted.
Any additional comments?
I read the paperback edition of this book first and really enjoyed it. However, there was something very special about hearing the author narrate her own words. The flow and cadence of the narration was as good as I've ever heard in an audiobook, which made the experience of being read to very similar to reading it oneself. For this reason, I'm inclined to watch for other audiobooks she's done.
"Good character driver listening!"
I found the pace of the book to move a little slow for my liking.
This was my first by this author.
I love it when an author narrates their own book! Amber can bring a very real voice to the story because it is in fact, her story.
Very character driven, Witches of Echo Park has everything I enjoy in a good listen. I thought the characters were well-developed and interesting. Inheriting a coven of witches? Brilliant and unique! I also absolutely loved that the author Amber Benson narrated this audiobook as well. AND did an excellent job.
*Note I found come of the connect to be a little strong for a YA read, I would say this is more New Adult.
loved it and can't wait for the next one. thanks Amber, you helped me get through the boring college days, lol.
"A new kind of witch"
Very much the opening tale in a series, you are welcomed into Benson's coven of would be witches as they face a turn in the tide, their fates headed towards danger.
The characterisation of Lyse and Eleanora shows the maternal friendship between the two are both unified and separate. Their love for one another makes Lyse's journey into the unknowable believeable.
Add to the that a cast of women both young, old and older/ghost and you feel a powerful yet homely bond among the Witches of Echo Park.
While the action is saved for fleeting moments, you are easily submerged in Benson's world. I look forward to listening to the next instalment.
"I can't wait to return to Echo Park and hear more from this series!"
I'll start by saying I am huge fan of Amber Benson and I think this is her best book yet! I was and will always be a huge fan of her Death's Daughter series with it's great characters, wonderfully snarky sense of humour, sex and romance. All of these elements are still here but The Witches Of Echo Park has a very tone. We meet a diverse group of women and it's their relationships that drive the plot forward. They must work, fight and use their magic to protect each and the world from the coming darkness that has the power to destroy us all. Amber is skilled at not only creating characters who the reader or in this case listener will care about but that also feel authentic each with their own personality and quirks that make them unique. The biggest character in the book for me is Echo Park itself you get a real sense of Amber's love for the place itself shines through. Her vivid descriptions not only create a rich backdrop for the story but make want to return again and again. As an actor Amber is able to give each character their own voice literally and adding another dimension to add to this exciting story. If you like urban fantasy with magic, emotion, humour, sorrow, action and more then The Witches of Echo Park is for you. I can't wait to return to Echo Park to find out what happens next.
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