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Jessica

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Alexis Hall is brilliant

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-02-2019

I was a little dubious about this book as the blurb kind of describes a common theme, but Alexis Hall is one very talented writer and I quickly found myself utterly engrossed. I find his similes original and vividly descriptive (e.g. ‘folded like a lawn chair’), but it’s his choice of characters to portray that really captures my attention. In this book we have perfectly capable people who manage to get through every day life without a problem, yet once their hands turn idle their thoughts devour them in a relentless surge. Although thoughts of self loathing are not as dominant in this book as they were in Glitterland, they none the less strike a familiar chord within me and I appreciate that immensely.

Stories of BDS&M have become quite common since 50 Shades, for better or worse, but this one really is different and Alexis is able to show that as much as say it. I really am in awe of his style of writing as much as his choice of themes and pure talent. I hope that one day his works are recognised worldwide and he gets the acclaim he truly deserves.

Narrators: I found the narrators to be mediocre only when it came to distinguishing between various characters. I occasionally had to rewind and listen again to try and work out who had said what, but otherwise elocution and delivery were wonderful. I feel they captured the personality of their respective characters perfectly.

Product placement

Overall
1 out of 5 stars
Performance
1 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-12-2018

I cannot understand how this scored 4/5 stars. Perhaps all the product placement paid for the rating?
First of all, I miss Simon Vance but in a way I’m also glad he didn’t put his good name to such an atrocity of writing. Saul Reichland has a very limited and uninspired range. I found it difficult to distinguish between characters and I found our favourite characters to be stilted.
Second, there’s the ralationships between established characters. It’s almost as though Lagercrantz felt he could do a better job than SL and strove to fix whatever holes he felt SL left in the first couple of books by overcompensating in this one. He tries to reshape relationships and events to suit his opinion of the story. E.g. According to Lagercrantz, Beckman actually doesn’t care for Berger’s relationship with Blomkvest at all. In fact, apparently he quite resents it. (Apologies for misspelling their names.) I feel this doesn’t at all mesh with the little we know of Beckman.
Third, there’s the writing style. At first I contributed it to a bad translation but soon it became evident that the problem lay in the fact this is just poorly edited fan fiction. EVERY character has a back story and we are forced to endure it before we even get to the main story. Way too much detail goes into insignificant stuff, like Blomkvest gave a glancing review of someone wearing jeans and shirt, casual compared to his usual garb. A couple of minutes later we are forced to endure paragraph upon paragraph of the subject’s decision to wear each article of clothing. Every dialogue is overwinded, with one character speaking to the other as though he or she is entirely new to the subject, recapping events we have all read through or they already lived through together.
I’m sure there are many more points to be made about why this is terrible but honestly it’s just not worth the time or effort to lay it out there. I won’t be continuing with the series and I will be requesting my credit back, please.

1 person found this helpful

Little character development

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-12-2018

If you don’t mind a lead character who can switch between helpless, innocent, whining maiden, unwittingly powerful supe, and someone willing to fight for some of her friends some of the time, then you might enjoy this. I liked the plot and the world of supernaturals, their lore and interactions but Sara’s continuous “why me” and feeble, terror-stricken act were a major turn off for me. I was probably 45% inclined to give the next book I this series a whirl but they gave us a taste of it and it was clear that Sara hadn’t matured any so I’m not going to waste any more time on this series and author.

Caitlyn Greer gave a good performance though she is incapable of supplying accents and in the end there were just too many characters for her to give each a distinguishing voice.

Narration was off-putting

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
1 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 25-06-2018

I found it difficult to follow through to the end on this. I dare say the story had potential but Ari Graynor proved a dreadful narrator. Unable to give characters any variance and often unable to capture the spirit of an exchange, she quite deftly turned me off.

The storyline is about a 15yo girl who seems rather more naive than usual so it might not have been all AG's fault. Otherwise, good descriptions and a couple of crosses I didn't see coming so there's definitely potential. But I won't be continuing with the series if AG is narrating it.

Epic fail

Overall
1 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 19-07-2017

The funniest part of this book is the blurb. The rest is simply a weak plot, clearly written by a young bloke. The narrator isn't too bad but there are many characters and there's only so much one can expect from a narrator.

The plot is very weak. Basically, it's about an ordinary, geeky bloke (Alex) who was a virgin until 19 despite having the hots for a few girls/women during school and since. He rescues an angel and a succubus (both women) from certain doom and they are now bound to serve him instead of heaven and hell. The succubus acknowledges her link with the new master first and willingly becomes his sex slave, but urges him to have sex with as many other women as he can find - apparently it helps her to regenerate her powers after the fore-mentioned doom.

The sex scenes are not in the slightest bit steamy and are interrupted by side plots almost line by line. The author's lack of interest in the sex scenes kind of shapes the plot to simply being about a young, geeky bloke who has gone from being solo to being a polygamist with women draping themselves all over him and no repercussions (jealousy or tension) to speak of.

1 person found this helpful

cover art

What a Mind F, and not in a good way

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
2 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-07-2017

All rosy and hot until about an hour from the end and then it went downhill, fast. The last hour was such a twist I was sure I must have missed something, a lot, so I had to listen to it all again. Nope, I didn't miss anything.

The storyline is full of holes. You can forgive most of them since the majority of the story is going so very well, but the twist at the end comes out of the left field and just doesn't make sense.

The narrators... most of them are pretty well talentless. You can't distinguish between dialogue and the POV character's inner monologue. Having four narrators is definitely the right choice but there was no help for the times they had to read for the other characters in dialogue.

So so soooo much better

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 21-06-2017

This is now my favourite book. Ms James has finally proof-read and edited her work, she's pulled out a thesaurus and she's constructed a work of art.

Some of the exchanges between Ana and Christian seem to be a little different, but I think that makes it a little bit better. I'm positive that it wouldn't be so good without the background knowledge of Ana's side of the story, but we do have that and so the calibre is truly raised.

It's interesting to realise just how little Ana actually spoke: it was often difficult to discern between her inner monologue and spoken dialogue but finally it is apparent thanks to this book.

And, finally, Mr Webber is a much better narrator than Becca Batoe. There's just no competition between them. I believe it's even easier to distinguish between Christian's thoughts and his spoken dialogue, although there's a little difficulty discerning some of the flashbacks to the present scene.

I hope that Ms James has published the rest of the series from Christian's side, or that she intends to. The bar has been set. Will she meet it?

Rating the series as a whole

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-06-2017

I've been listening to this series for a week or two now and am quite captivated by it as a whole. The stories are interesting and diverse, and for once we have couples that don't doubt each other at the first sign of an interfering troublemaker. It makes the story a lot shorter, but such a relief from the norm!! What I really enjoy is that all these stories force the characters to be open and honest with eachother in a very short period - 2 to 3 days for the longer novels and within a few hours for the shorter ones.

I love Kristen's willingness to branch out on how the supernaturals should behave. E.g. vampires can and do eat regular meals like humans, and newly turned vamps aren't all that worried about being tempted to kill their human friends.

BJ Harrison is a bloke and this is the first time I've listened to a man narrating a romance series: I love his work. Very nicely done. He has a tiny little bit of trouble giving sisters different voices but then I'm equally appreciative of the fact that he doesn't give them different accents like some narrators do in an attempt to differentiate the characters. The men in this series all have different voices and and it's truly wonderful to listen to the variety, but even better for these characteristics to remain constant throughout the entire series.

cover art

Insufficient character building

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 19-04-2017

It's almost like the bones of what is potentially a half decent story. If it weren't for the near-flawless elocution of Fiona Hardingham, I would not have finished this book.

The story has half a dozen main characters that are often separated and flits between them with little or no warning. There is much to built on... it's almost as though the author has got more going on in his head than what he managed to put on paper.

There was absolutely no build up for the antagonist. He literally came out of nowhere in the final 20 minutes.

Such a shame. The concept really does have a fair bit going for it, if only someone could build on it.

I will not be buying the rest of this series. It did not end on a cliffhanger in any way, shape or form so no loss there.

cover art

Engaging

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-04-2017

I have put off getting this book for years. Sooooo sorry I did that. I had to buy the entire series. I just couldn't wait for the monthly credits to roll around.

My one and only piece of advice is that you should not, ever, read the blurb for one of these books. I wasted the first 8.5 hours of the final book (9 hours!) waiting for something worse to happen before I realised that the blurb was misleading.

Saskia isn't the most talented narrator but she does a fair job and you can readily distinguish between most of the characters.

Mack is a foul-mouthed young woman who just wants to do the right thing and have the same done by her. An orphan and raised by a pack of shifters (thank you, Helen, for finally giving a broad range of animals people are inclined to shift into!), Mack has self-defence skills that let her hold her own in the pack.

At times the plot gets a little wish-washy but it moves along quickly enough that you don't have too much time to think about it. And I think it's this pace that makes the whole experience that much better.