Re-listen November 2016:
I liked it a bit better this time, but maybe it was because I had listened to it once before and knew the story? Anyway, I enjoyed Kane and Miki more this time around. I'm keeping my original rating of 3,5 stars.
Original review June 2015:
*** 3,5 audio stars ***
Interesting characters and plot including some heavy subjects, but it's not graphic, it's just hinted at. I did feel Kane and Miki got together a bit quickly and the I love you's were too. Their connection was missing "something." I loved Kane's big Irish family, especially his father Donal. The story was wrapped up at the end of the book, with a pretty big "read the next book!" last chapter that set the stage for the next book!
In short. I liked it, but I didn't love it.
The narration was good, but not great. It fell a bit... flat. Sure Kane and his family has Irish accents and Kane's partner had a latino accent, but that's about it. It was a bit monotone, you know? The narration didn't grab me and hold my attention, I found myself zoning out at times and had to go back and listen to the same part over again. I think it might have worked better if I'd listened and read at the same time, but I just listened this first time around.
**** 4 Dispatcher stars ****
I had purposely and intentionally killed a man. I was the direct and immediate cause of his death, That's who I am. That's my job. I'm a Dispatcher
I really enjoyed this just over 2 hours long audio novella! I picked it up for free on Audible (until November 2), not knowing anything about it except it's narrated by Zachary Quinto.
The blurb tells of a day, not long from now, where people who are murdered comes back to life. Like "poof!", the dead body is gone, and they return in a blink of an eye at their home or the place they feel safe. No one knows why or how this started happening, and the story won't tell you either. So the premise is, we learn about the world, but not why it is the way it is.
Having people return once they gets killed made for a new profession where licensed professionals dispatch people (basically killing them) so they can return to life. For instance, they can work at a hospital ER "dispatching" fatally wounded victims of a car crash. Dispatching makes the person reset to hours before the fatal events happened, so it's as if nothing happened. The person returns in 999 cases, though, but there's always a chance that they won't.
In the story we follow Tony Valdez, a Dispatcher, who is approach by Detective Nona Langden, investigating his fellow Dispatcher and former friend, James "Jimmy" Albert's disappearance. Tony reluctantly team up with Detective Langden to help find him. So the plot of the book is the mystery of Jimmy, not how or why people can be dispatched and reappear.
Zachary Quinto was perfect as the narrator. I felt his voice and narration cast an almost noir detective feel to the story. The setting wasn't noir, it just made me feel like it, due to Quinto's deep, slow "Detective" voice, the mystery and the investigation.
There were no smoking, or damsel in distress, though. LOL
I loved that the actual detective in this story was a woman. She had a take no prisoners attitude, and she and Tony had a "I'll mostly tolerate you" partnership, at least in the beginning.
Quinto had great voices for all of the characters. Some of the differences were more subtle, not so easily differentiated from Tony's the main character. But it wasn't hard follow along, or to know who was talking. Zachary Quinto did a great job of the narration. I was especially impressed with the narrating of a very emotional scene at the end. Also having seen Quinto in various roles on screen, I know that he can act angry like no other. There was a brief scene where Tony argues with someone and gets really pissed off. I think it's the first time I've experience a narrator yelling! I loved it. Quinto brings this suppressed rage to some of his characters, and when it gets let loose, it was awesome.
"Of course I'm yelling! I'm fucking pissed off!"
Highly recommended for a short mystery listen with excellent narration.
Interesting interview with Quinto about this audio here.
**** 4,5 fur and feathers stars ****
Audio edition, narrator Tristan James.
8 Hours and 36 minutes.
Cicero’s smile was brilliant as the sun coming from behind a cloud. “I knew you couldn’t resist,” he purred.
“Of course not. Who could resist you?” Tom teased.
“No one with any sense.”
What a great world building! In the prequel The 13th Hex I got just a taste of it, but in this full novel I was fully submerged. As I said in my review of The 13th Hex, the worlds feels like a mix up of the universe of Harry Potter (magic, ministry of Magic, spells etc), THIRDS series (shifters, and investigating paranormal crimes), and The Golden Compass (the shifters being the witches's familiars). All with Jordan L Hawk's own touch, though. It didn't feel copied, just inspired by, and what great inspirations!
I loved the historical setting, and the language. It's a delight read dirty talk in polite English.
“Shall I suck you? Let you fuck my arse, while we make magic together?”
Cicero is the cat shifter, Familiar, briefly seen in the prequel, who works for the MWP - Metropolitan Witch Police, but who hasn't found himself a witch to bond with yet. Bonding is for life, and can only be broken by the death of one of the two, so it's not to be taken lightly. Familiar can also be force-bonded to a witch against their will. Familiar is highly sought after since they are the magical "battery" to the witch's magic.
Cicero was an awesome character. I loved his attitude, quick wit and kohl rimmed eyes.
He had olive skin and black hair, carefully oiled and brushed until not a single strand was out of place. Kohl outlined yellow-green eyes, making their brilliant color even more startling.
Also, his used of the word "darling" was just the icing on the character cake.
“I don’t read the newspapers,” Cicero said with a sniff. “Terrible for the skin. Wrinkles, darling.”
Cicero is partnered up, unwillingly at first, with the patrolman Thomas Halloran who in recognize at once to be his mate witch. Thomas is everything Cicero don't want, at first glance, but he sees what a great man Thomas really is as time goes by.
Thomas has a big dark secret in his past. He holds another secret too, which I won't spoil since it's not in the blurb, but I enjoyed it immensely, and it's very important for the plot in the book.
The bad guys in the story was great. There was real motivation behind their actions, even though they were, you know, bad ones. I liked the political climate Hawk painted with the humans, witches and familiars, and the tensions they made with each other. She made a solid background for the story, and plot. I'm impressed!
I listened to the audio, narrated by Tristan James. He did a great job. He did a posh, and flirty English accent for Cicero, and pretty good Irish accent for Tom.
**** 4 ghostly stars ****
Audio edition, narrated by Jack LeFleur.
10 hours and 6 minutes.
This was a re-read for me with the audio. I read this book three years ago, and I remember liking it, so I thought I'd check out the audio.
Detective Matt Bennett gets called out to a crime scene at Christmas Eve, where the murdered child appears to him as a ghost, and shows him where her body is hidden. This leads him into contact with the medium Kiernan Fitzpatrick. The very hot medium. Matt Bennett is still dealing with his loss of his partner and boyfriend over a year and a half ago, so he's thrown for a loop meeting Kiernan. They start out investigating the case of the murdered girl.
I really liked Matt and Kiernan's chemistry. I liked how they got to know each other, and Kiernan's easy going nature seem to "thaw" Matt's rigid emotional state. They were sweet and hot together. The build up was nice and slow, and very satisfying when they got together.
The case was also interesting due to the paranormal element. The bad guy wasn't that obvious, and I couldn't remember who it was since the last time I've read it, so I was guessing along with Matt and Kiernan.
I feel the narrator did a good job narrating. He's voice for Matt was deep, slow and raspy. A perfect "detective" voice. Kiernan's was lighter, and he had a slight Irish tilt or accent. I really liked that. It was easy to distinguish between the main character, and the secondary characters.
All in all, a great audio, good mystery and a sweet romance.