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Publisher: Hachette Audio

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Audio Review: Dreams of Gods & Monsters by Laini Taylor

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Audiobook, Review, Young Adult1 Comment

Audio Review: Dreams of Gods & Monsters by Laini TaylorDreams of Gods & Monsters by Laini Taylor
Narrator: Khristine Hvam
Series: Daughter of Smoke & Bone,
Also in this series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Days of Blood & Starlight
Published by Hachette Audio on 08 April 2014
Genres: Action & Adventure, Angels, Emotions & Feelings, Fairy Tales, Folklore, & Legends, Girls & Women, Love & Romance, Monsters, Mythology, Paranormal, People & Places, Politics & Intrigue, Suspense, Young Adult
Length: 18 hours 11 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Days of Blood & Starlight

Place(s) Traveled To: Washington, DC // Unnamed, Morocco //Rome, Italy // Eretz

First Line(s): Nerve thrum and screaming blood, wild and churning and chasing and devouring and terrible and terrible and terrible —

I was so excited to receive and audio review copy of Dreams of Gods & Monsters by Laini Taylor as it was one of my most anticipated titles of 2014. And the start of this one lived up to my every expectation that I had. Although it wasn’t long before my enjoyment started to wain and my disappointment grew as the story progressed. First there were all the new characters that were added, which isn’t always a bad thing but they had no real backstory and it took too long to get them to a meaningful point in Karou’s story that they just dragged the story down. I didn’t care about them and hated the time that they took away from Karou and Akiva.

With the addition of new characters there was also a lot of POV changes. Crazy random and no real spacer between them that there were moments where I had to rewind the audio because I though one character was the focus when somehow we’d transitioned into another. It added a small layer of confusion that I could have done without. There was also a lack of indicator to let me know that I had reached the end of a disc so there were many instances in which I listened to the early tracks again before I realized I needed a new disc. And yet there was music to indicate the end of a part in the story so I was a bit miffed that there was nothing at the end of a disc. I hated repeating part of the story as it jumbled up events a bit and it also took my focus off of driving. Which isn’t a good thing when you are dealing with traffic.

But what really bothered me was the story. Nothing happened in this book, all 18 hours and 600 and some odd pages of it. Ok, so saying that nothing happened is a bit much but there was lots of unnecessary filler contained withing the pages of Dreams of Gods & Monsters and a lot of things were repeated over and over and over again. Yes, Laini Taylor writes some beautiful prose but it was more compact and focused in the previous books and I missed that here. In this case her prose was used as smoke and mirrors to distract and deflect from the fact that the story was very slow moving and there there was a lot of build up that ended up going no where. Dreams of Gods & Monsters is filled with the promise of action and apocalyptic things but there is more angst than apocalypse. That and the climatic end scene was more of a whimper than a bang and I may have hurt my eyes from rolling them too much.

There was so much that happened because of crazy unrealistic coincidence. If Karou needed something the means were magically at her fingertips and this was without wishes. Everything just fell into place with a nice tidy bow and there were no real consequences that one would expect from two races that were at war. In all honesty, I half expected certain souls that were lost to somehow be found again in the end as everyone sang kumbaya around a fire. I wanted more action in this story and I wanted to care about how things would turn out instead of hoping and wishing that the end of the audio would come faster than I could listen to it.

In many ways it seemed as though Dreams of Gods & Monsters lost focus and it didn’t so much revolve around Karou as it did act as a set up for the stories of other characters to be told. For me, Dreams of Gods & Monsters seemed to act as a backdoor pilot for something else to come. There were lots of open threads at the end of this book that I won’t be surprised if a spin off series is announced. Of the three books in this series I think that Days of Blood & Starlight will remain my favorite. If there is a spin off I am not sure if I will read it, or listen, it will take a very compelling synopsis to get me to overcome the disappointment that I had with this one.

irishdarkblue

three-stars
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Monday, October 14, 2013

Audio Review: Altered by Jennifer Rush

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Audiobook, Review, Young Adult3 Comments

Audio Review: Altered by Jennifer RushAltered by Jennifer Rush
Narrator: Casey Holloway
Series: Altered,
Also in this series: Erased, Reborn, Forged + Betrayed
Published by Hachette Audio on 01 January 2013
Genres: Mystery & Detective, Sci-Fi, Young Adult
Length: 7 hours 58 Minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible.com
Goodreads
four-stars
Also by this author: Erased, Reborn, Forged + Betrayed

 

Place(s) Traveled to: Trigger Creek, New York // Elk Hill, Pennsylvania // Lancaster, Ohio // Whittier, Michigan // Port Cadia, Michigan // Traverse City, Michigan // Can Marie, Michigan

First Line: For most of the last four years, I wasn’t allowed in the lab.

Altered Series Order:
Book 0.5 – Altered: The Beginning (03 Dec 2013)
Book 1 – Altered
Book 2 – Erased (07 January 2014)
Book 3 – assumed as many books are trilogies these days

I had never heard of Altered by Jennifer Rush until a blogger friend of mine started to talk about it. A lot. Not only did she talk a lot about Altered but she also kept telling me how I had to read it. As I was looking for a new audio it didn’t take a ton of convincing and I started to listen to it not long after I downloaded it to my iPod. I really liked the story of Altered the plot started off a bit slow but by the end I was on the edge of my seat wondering what new twists and turns would happen next.

I loved the mystery aspect of the whole story though did feel as though there was a whole chunk of story missing. What is the point of altering, not just these boys, but others? What were the alterations made and why? Just how old are they really? And its those questions and more that prevented me from falling head over heels in love with this story. Hopefully those are answers that will be coming in the next book or in the novella that will be coming in December. I am a huge fan of knowing the origins of these and think that those details only add to a story and ignoring them just takes enjoyment away from me.

Another part of the story I enjoyed were the characters. They just all really meshed well together, and while there are reasons for that, it was also a natural bonding and genuine friendship as well. I did think that at times the romance seemed a bit forced and almost wish that it wasn’t included at all. But it wasn’t over the top and never took away from the story. Its a slow build and no insta-love and not the focus of the book. The focus was on the main plot – the escape of the boys and the quest to learn who they were before all the crazy things that happened to them.

Another aspect of the story that was wanting with me was the narrator, Casey Holloway. She just read the story a little too slowly for me and reminded me about how William Shatner spoke in his role as Captain Kirk. It was very halting and I just wanted her to finish a sentence, even just one, without all these crazy pauses. Her voice also felt a bit young for Anna and her male voices could use some work as well. Holloway really seemed to talk even slower for Cas, Sam, Nick and Trev and there were times when they all blended together and I couldn’t always tell which of them were speaking.

If you are looking for a great new sci-fi-eske read then I recommend that you give Altered by Jennifer Rush a try. While I had issues with the audio, I think that this is a great story to read in print. The story is fast paced and one that I think will appeal to boys and girls even though its told from the perspective of Anna. This was a fun story and I am really looking forward to the sequel to see what happens next.

four-stars
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Monday, August 12, 2013

Audio Review + Contest: The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden by Jessica Sorensen

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Audiobook, Contest, New Adult, Review3 Comments

Audio Review + Contest: The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden by Jessica SorensenThe Coincidence of Callie and Kayden by Jessica Sorensen
Narrator: Leslie Bellair
Series: The Coincidence,
Also in this series: The Redemption of Callie and Kayden
Published by Hachette Audio on 06 August 2013
Genres: Contemporary Romance, New Adult, Young Adult
Length: 9 hours
Format: Audiobook
Source: Publisher
Goodreads
four-stars
Also by this author: The Redemption of Callie and Kayden

Place(s) Traveled to: Afton, Wyoming // Laramie, Wyoming

First Line(s): Life is full of luck, like getting dealt a good hand  or simply by being in the right place at the right time. Some people get luck handed to them, a second chance, a save. It can happen heroically, or by a simple coincidence, but there are those who don’t get luck on a shiny platter, who end up in the wrong place at the wrong time, who don’t get saved.

The Coincidence Series Order
Book 1: The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden
Book 2: The Redemption of Callie and Kayden
Book 3: The Destiny of Violet and Luke (Early 2014)
Book 3.5: The Resolution of Callie and Kayden (TBD)

Audio Sample: CLICK HERE

I wasn’t sure what to expect from The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden  by Jessica Sorensen. I knew it was a book that had a lot of people buzzing so I was at once curious and way as I tend not to like over hyped books.  So it was a happy surprise to find that I was quickly sucked into this story. I loved the give and take between Callie and Kayden and my heart broke from them both as they struggled to heal from their childhood wounds. Kayden and Callie each have some pretty big issues to deal with but they manage to help each other along with the support of their BFFs and secondary characters, Seth and Luke. Both of whom I loved.

Callie, Kayden, and Luke all come from the same town and while Kayden and Luke were among the popular set Callie was a social outcast. Partially by choice and partially because teenagers can be cruel. So its very unlikely that this trio would ever become friends but as so many things do, that changes when they all head off to college. Callie works to change who she was and take steps to overcome a childhood trauma and Kayden sees something in her he never did before. A courage and bravery that Callie didn’t know she had when she stepped in because she happened to be in the right place at the wrong time. Seth and Luke have their issues as well that they work to overcome (although I suspect won’t see/learn more of Luke’s story until book 3). Together Seth and Luke help provide some comic relief as well sanity and good advice to Callie and Kayden and they struggle with their pasts and their growing feelings for each other.

The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden is a dual narrative and I loved switched between the two and getting to know them better through their internal monologue. Though I really wish that a male and female narrator had been used. Leslie Bellair does a good job bringing Callie to life but I found that her tone for Kayden, while different in dialogue was the same as Callie’s for internal thinking. This added some confusion to the audio as I took breaks from listening. I would often have to rewind it until the start of a chapter so I knew whose head I was in. Having a secondary narrator would have made the POV transitions so much easier to keep track of. But other than that I enjoyed this one on audio and was glad that it was loaded on to my iPod so I could listen to it in places other than my car during my commute.

I found The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden to be engaging and heartbreaking and a book filled with such hope and promise. I was whisked away to this world and got that oh so wonderful heart-achy feeling that I love in stories. I didn’t really care for the the cliff hanger ending though. It just seemed so abrupt as if someone had torn out the last few pages to the book and I was glad that I had the sequel, The Redemption of Callie and Kayden, so that I could immediately jump back into the world and learn what happened. If I’d had to wait the typical year or so between books as is common in publishing I may have gone a bit mad.

This was a quick book with real characters and filled with some tough issues and raw emotion. Wow, can I use any more cliched buzz words? lol. But its the truth, cliched as the words may be. The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden will tug at your heart strings and make you want to reach into the pages to hug Callie, Kayden, Luke and Seth. It will also make you want to smack certain parental units as well. For their are parents in this book, even though the characters spend most of their time away at school. They are involved and yet flawed as Callie’s parents refuse to see what is in front of them and Kayden’s, well, there are just some people who should be allowed to raise a child. Its truly amazing that Kayden ended up as sweet and amazing (if closed off and jaded) as he did. And I know that a lot of that is due to how Jessica Sorensen wrote him but it was also real. You can see how both Callie and Kayden were shaped by their pasts but didn’t let it define them. Or at least, they decided to change the definition when they looked back and didn’t always like what they saw.

This is a New Adult/Young Adult story that I can recommend highly. There is a lot inside its pages to make you think and holds lots of discussion potential. There are times when its gritty and almost violent but there are so many warm and tender moments as well. All in all, a really well told tale and you should go forth and read it if you haven’t already.

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About the book:

For Kayden, suffering in silence was the only way to survive. If he was lucky, he could keep his head down, do as he was told, and make it through the day. But one night it seemed like his luck-and his life-might finally end . . . until an angel named Callie appeared just in time to rescue him.

Callie has never believed in luck. Not since her twelfth birthday when everything was taken from her. After the worst was over, she locked up her feelings and vowed never to tell anyone what happened. Now, six years later, she continues to struggle with the painful secret that threatens to consume her.

When fate lands Kayden and Callie at the same college, Kayden is determined to get to know the beautiful girl who changed his destiny. Quiet and reserved, Callie still fears letting anyone else into her world. But Kayden is certain that Callie has come back into his life for a reason. And the more he tries to be a part of her life, the more he realizes that, this time, it’s Callie who needs to be saved . .

——

Available TODAY as a digital download from Hachette Audio, and in trade paperback from Forever, an imprint of Grand Central Publishing. Also out today is the sequel: The Redemption of Callie and Kayden on ebook (which I promise, you’ll want to get your hands on as soon as you finish this one).

 

four-stars
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Sunday, August 4, 2013

Audio Review: Everneath by Brodi Ashton

Posted by Irish in 2 Stars, Audiobook, Review, Young Adult1 Comment

Audio Review: Everneath by Brodi AshtonEverneath by Brodi Ashton
Narrator: Amy Rubinate
Series: Everneath,
Published by Hachette Audio on 24 January 2012
Genres: Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult
Length: 9 hours 42 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible.com
Goodreads
two-stars

Place(s) Traveled to: Everneath // Park City, Montana

First Line: I was picturing his face – a boy with floppy brown hair and brown eyes – when the Feed ended.

Everneath Series Order
Book 1: Everneath
Book 1.5: Neverfall
Book 2: Everbound
Book 3: Evertrue

The first thing that drew me to Everneath by Brodi Ashton was its pretty cover. The second thing that drew me to Everneath was that it was a retelling of a couple of Greek myths cobbled together to make a new story. I’m always a sucker for Greek mythology retelling and there were many raves about this book so I thought, why not? But alas, this book was not for me and its taken me forever to put my thoughts about it down as sometimes the meh reviews are the hardest to write.

The main character Nikki is one of those characters that just makes my eye twitch. She has a limited time on the surface to find a solution to her problem and yet for 3/4th of the book all she does is whine about how little time she has and how much she loves Jack. And I swear it seemed like Nikki thought or said the name Jack in every other sentence. It literally began to make my eye get all twitchy.

Out of curiosity I did a search with the Amazon Look Inside feature and Jack’s name is mentioned 101 times and Cole’s 110…I knew those names were mentioned a lot! Although to be fair I did a similar search with a book I liked and that character’s name was mentioned 134 times…so in this case annoyance is all in the eye of how annoying the main character is.

The mythology of this book was just so-so. Maybe there was just too much that was being used as the source material or maybe not enough. I could see hints of the various Greek myths used in this story and I think that maybe this one would have been a bit better if it had focused on one story. It also has hints of vampirism and I am just getting so tired of those paranormal beasties. No, there aren’t actual blood-sucking creatures in Everneath but the Everliving (the name for Cole and those like him) need to feed off the energies of humans in order to live forever. Its the feeding off of another person that makes them seem a bit vampiric in nature.

Then the worst part of the whole book, the love triangle. Oh sweet baby Jesus do I dislike those. Especially when you have two so uber-hot guys who both desperately want the main character and everything she says or does just makes you want to smack her. There was nothing special about this girl and I don’t get why Jack or Cole wanted her when all she did was mope and whine. It also seems to boggle my mind a bit that for someone who was that Nikki was supposedly in love with Jack for the entire book and yet despite that fell instantly in love with Cole (the typical bad boy to Jacks uber goody-goody persona). Nikki’s life was so bland and ordinary and its never really explained why she decided to chuck it all to be Cole’s thing to feed on. Well, truth told that may have been explained but there is just so much of this book that is so completely forgettable that I kinda wish I’d been able to find the words sooner to write this review.

For me, Everneath is a book where nothing happens until the very end which is this horribly cliched and overly predictable ending that would have made me toss the book across the room if I wasn’t listening on my iPod. Everneath is a very commercial book and I can see how it would appeal to many but its just not my cup of tea. It reminded me in many ways of Twilight – just without the vampires and werewolves. So if you liked that book you’ll like Everneath if you did not, then you won’t. Overall, I found this one to be very bland, generic, entirely forgettable.

About the narrator

I think that the only thing that kept me listening to Everneath until the end was its narrator Amy Rubinate. I first discovered Rubinate’s narration style with Shadows of the Moon and enjoyed her voice and her way of bringing a story to life. And it was Rubinate that drew me to the audio version of Everneath and I am just glad that I listened to Shadows first. It can be hard sometimes to separate a narrator from the characters that they portray and if I’d heard Rubinate narrating the oh so annoying Nikki I may have sworn off listening to other audios by her. The end result with this book was I loved the narrator but I wasn’t a fan of the story she had to tell.

People who liked this book better than I did (Click blog name to read their full review):
Making the Grade – “Everneath is a story of perseverance. It is a story of pure grit, determination, and not excepting defeat. More than that, it is a story of unconditional love that defies all odds.”

The Book Scout – “The plot was extremely unique and Ashton incorporated the mythology in such a new and refreshing way. There were quite a few twists and turns that kept me engaged and several things completely shocked me. I had a hard time setting Everneath down, especially towards the end when Nikki’s time was running out.”

Book.Blog.Bake – “Jack and Cole are both fantastically written characters. They’re both intriguing in their own ways while being complete opposites of one another. The way the characters are written and the subtle themes that run underneath this work make this a 4/5 star read for me.”

two-stars
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Sunday, July 28, 2013

Audio Review: This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Audiobook, Review, Young Adult3 Comments

Audio Review: This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. SmithThis is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith
Narrator: Andrew Sweeney, Marcie Millard
Published by Hachette Audio on 02 April 2013
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Young Adult
Length: 8 hours 37 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Publisher
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, The Geography of You and Me, Summer Days and Summer Nights

Place(s) Traveled to: Henley, Maine

First Line: Hey, we’re running pretty behind here. Any chance you could walk Wilbur for me tonight?

I first became acquainted with Jennifer Smith’s writing with her 2011 contemporary The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight (my review). It was a book that I wasn’t sure I would like as I despise insta-love in stories but in the end I fell head over heels in love. When an opportunity arose to review the audio of her next book, This is What Happy Looks Like I jumped at it. And then when I started it I almost stopped it immediately. If there is one thing that I dislike most in audios its stories that are filled with IM or email exchanges. The start of this one is all emails and it made my eye all twitchy. But I put a call out on Twitter and was told that this wasn’t an epistolary story so I persevered.

This is What Happy Looks Like is a dual POV story told from both the main characters, Ellie and Graham and had a different narrator for each. I love when dual POV audios use different people for the narration. It really helps to break up the story and follow whose head you are in when. The two narrators of Happy Andrew Sweeney and Marcie Millard did a good job with the story. Although I did find that Sweeney sounded a bit old at first I was able to get over that and accept him as Graham Larkin, teen movie star. Millard’s narration sometimes annoyed me but I’m not sure if it was because of her or because of Ellie’s actions. Sometimes it can be hard to separate the narrator from the character they are bringing to life.

I enjoyed this story but there were a few things that bothered me, like Ellie’s so called BFF Quinn. I really dislike characters who claim to be a BFF and then one small incident that has no real effect on them turns them into a raging b*&$h. Quinn’s silent treament and rude behavior to Ellie was totally uncalled for when all Ellie did was not tell her about random email conversations she was having. Seriously? Ellie had no idea who those emails where from so I don’t get Quinn’s reaction. I don’t get why Quinn felt the need to be so mean to Ellie and make her feel bad and that everything was her fault. That Ellie was the one who had to grovel. If I could have punched Quinn in the face I would have, Ellie can do so much better than Quinn.

The other thing that bothered me was basic geography errors. At one point Ellie wants to travel down to Kennebunkport and says that the journey, by car will take around an hour. Instead, she ends up traveling by boat and leaving around 7 am. By 11, they still “have awhile to go” and I just thought to myself, how? Yes Maine is huge but traveling by boat shouldn’t take that much longer than car. It also didn’t add up in terms of where Henley should have been, going an hour south from that point would put Ellie in Massachusetts. *sighs* I do hate when authors don’t seem to do basic research. A few minutes spent on Google maps and a quick chat with someone who sails a lot could have avoided so much. Am I being a bit nit-picky? Maybe but its the little details that really make a story and when they don’t add up they jerk me out of the story and ruin my enjoyment of it.

I also thought that Graham gave up too fast and didn’t try very hard to keep Ellie. There was all this initial build up and then brakes pulled. Followed by a time jump with lots of pointless filler, followed by an uber quick resolution. There were no consequences to actions and some things that took place were just so pointless that I wondered why it was in the story at all. The story also just felt so unfinished and I thought that there should have been more. With the print version of Happy clocking in at just over 400 pages it just seems like so much potential was wasted.

One thing that I really enjoyed about Happy was how close Ellie was with her mom. While I may not have always have agreed with Maggie O’Neill’s actions I did admire what she did for her daughter and believed she really cared for her. I dislike the trend in YA books that have uncaring or absent parents. I also really enjoyed the beginning of this story when Graham and Ellie were first getting to know each other. I enjoyed their emails and wish that more of those could have been explored although if there were more I would have switched over to the print form of this book because there’s only so much email in audio I can take.

Overall, I didn’t fall for Happy as I did with Statistical but I did enjoy the story. The writing was a little bit repetitive but I’m not sure I would have noticed that if I’d read it in print over listening to it in audio. Happy is a book that I enjoyed listening too and found myself doing so even when I wasn’t driving to or from work. Which is always a good sign in an audio. Happy is an interesting story and while I may have wanted more from it I don’t regret listening to it. If you are a fan of Smith’s previous book or are just in the market for a fun contemporary then you will probably enjoy this one as well.

three-stars
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Sunday, November 18, 2012

Audio Review: Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor

Posted by Irish in 5 Stars, Audiobook, Review, Young Adult5 Comments

Audio Review: Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini TaylorDays of Blood & Starlight by Laini Taylor
Narrator: Khristine Hvam
Series: Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Book 2
Also in this series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Dreams of Gods & Monsters
Published by Hachette Audio on 06 November 2012
Genres: Action & Adventure, Angels, Emotions & Feelings, Fairy Tales, Folklore, & Legends, Friendship, Girls & Women, Love & Romance, Monsters, Mythology, People & Places, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Length: 15 hours 25 mintues
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible.com
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
five-stars
Also by this author: Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Dreams of Gods & Monsters

Place(s) Traveled to: Prague, Czech Republic // Morocco // Eretz

First Line(s): Prague, early May. The sky weighed gray over fairy-tale rooftops, and all the world was watching.

I am dead.

These words come to you from beyond the grave because I have died and Laini Taylor and her newest release, The Days of Blood and Starlight is the cause. Taylor has reached her hand into my heart, my soul and torn them both out. Crushing them into the dirt and dust on the ground and left me an empty vessel.

Now long time readers of my humble blog might recall the love that I had for the first book in this series, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, but know this that book doesn’t even hold a candle to this one. The Days of Blood and Starlight is definitely among one of the best books that I have ever had the pleasure to read. Second books in a series always leave me wary as you never know how they will move the story along. Days not only moves the story along but it leaves its predecessor in the dust with how brilliant and amazing it is.

Laini Taylor’s prose combined with Khristine Hvam’s narration is a combination that defies words. I loved Hvam’s narration in Daughter but she brings things to new heights in this book. All of her voices are solid and I’d often find myself forgetting that only one person was reading this book. Hvam’s narration just builds a world around you and it all feels so real. I often found myself finding excuses to be in my car just so I could listen to more of this beautiful book.

Days takes all that we thought we knew in Daughter and expands it and changes it and kept me on the edge of my seat with each new twist. This book put my emotions through a roller coaster ride and it bruised my soul. If you think that Romeo and Juliet have a star crossed love then you haven’t met Akiva and Karou. Those two…I…I have no words to describe all that I feel about this pair.

The story itself is also one that is hard to put into thoughts. Its like nothing I have read before and I have absolutely no clue as to where things might go in the third book. Often I’ll have a hint of how a trilogy will progress but Laini Taylor has such a gift for the surprise that anything can happen. And no matter how this story ends I think I’ll be an emotional wreck and yet extremely satisfied. I loved every word of this story even though there were so many scenes that just tugged at my soul. I love how real it feels and I just love each and every character (even those of so evil ones.)

I love how Days is told from many points of view as it just helps to add so many layers to the story. I love how it broke my heart, mended it, and then broke it all over again. I love how even though there were tears in my eyes that it was filled with hope. Hope is a very powerful thing and I have hope in the events to come that are still untold. But I also dread the day when the third book is released. Because even though its at least a year away I am not ready to let go of this world and these characters. I just want to live in this world forever and I know that this book, this series, will be a favorite of mine for years to come.

five-stars
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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Audio Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Posted by Irish in 5 Stars, Audiobook, Review, Young Adult4 Comments

Audio Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini TaylorDaughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Narrator: Khristine Hvam
Series: Daughter of Smoke & Bone,
Also in this series: Days of Blood & Starlight, Dreams of Gods & Monsters
Published by Hachette Audio on 27 September 2011
Genres: Action & Adventure, Angels, Emotions & Feelings, Fairy Tales, Folklore, & Legends, Fantasy, Girls & Women, Love & Romance, Monsters, Mythology, People & Places, Young Adult
Length: 12 hours 32 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible.com
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
five-stars
Also by this author: Days of Blood & Starlight, Dreams of Gods & Monsters

Place(s) Traveled to: Prague, Czech Republic // Marrakesh, Morocco //Eretz

First Line(s): Walking to school over the snow-muffled cobbles, Karou had no sinister premonitions about the day.

I am always wary of the over-hyped book. The one that everyone is not only talking about…but raving about as well. When I hear of those books, especially when they were on my wishlist, I grow very wary and don’t always want to pick it up. Because more often then not when I read those over-hyped books I am disappointed and when I turn the final page I sit there and think…did I read the same book as everyone else because that just wasn’t good. I was initially excited when I picked up an ARC of Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Tayler at BEA but then it quickly moved into the uh-oh I’m not so sure about this category as it began to be hyped up on twitter and blogs. So I waited to read it and it wasn’t until other hype-skeptics started to also rave about this book that I thought about giving it a go.

Since time is a valuable commodity and I had this brand new audible.com account I thought that I would check out the audio version of it (because even though I have the ARC AND a signed hardcover I just needed another copy of it.) In the end, I think I made the right choice as the audio was FANTASTIC. I can’t get over just how amazing Khristine Hvam was a narrator. She did such a wonderful job with all the accents and never once did I doubt who was speaking. She brought all the characters to life and with the rich prose of Laini Taylor’s writing this story just came alive inside my head.

I loved the mythology that Taylor used to build her world and I loved the world itself. This was an angel book that is so very different from all the multitude of angel stories out there. Its a mystery filled with many twists and turns that it will keep the reader guessing. Its a love story and one filled with adventure and travel. Its a book that is filled with so much goodness that its almost impossible to put it all into worlds. Its a story that I couldn’t stop listening to and would often sit in my car with my eyes closed as the story played so that I could better visualize it all. Karou’s story is absolutely fascinating and I loved the added bits that were told from Akiva. Heaven knows I adore a well told dual-point of view story.

The only thing that I didn’t like about this book was the 100 or so page flashback that occurred towards the end of the book. I get that it was necessary to flesh out more of the history of the protagonists but it really took me out of the story and I grew impatient for it to end. If I hadn’t been listening on audio I would have been sorely tempted to just skip that section all together. I would have preferred it ever so much if Taylor had broken up that flashback over several chapters…mixing it in better with the contemporary part of the story. That is the part that I fell in love with and while the past was interesting I liked the hear and now better.

Also….don’t even get me started on that ending! Gah…the ending alone makes me wish that I had waited even longer to try this book because I really really really need to know what happens next. Before I started this book I didn’t realize that it was going to be a series (I know, I know it was posted everywhere but I just wasn’t paying attention) but the ending definitely lets the reader know that there will be more. It screams it and as I reader I am now desperate for it. I want to know more about these characters. I want to know if Karou will succeed in her mission and I want to know just what will happen with Akiva. This book is filled with so many emotions for me. There is the happy, giddy, heartachy ones and the ones that make me want to curl up in a ball and cry. I was ripped to shreads as I read it….and to be honest I wouldn’t have it any other way. This story wasn’t perfect but it was so very good and so beautifully written that I just couldn’t get enough. Can it be next September already?

five-stars
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