This audiobook is brought to you by Patrick Lawlor and Siri. Ok, Melanie Ewbanks reads the female POVs (I googled it - she is not Siri), but true story: I was driving to a meeting at a building I hadn't been to before when I first started listening to this audiobook, so I had my GPS turned on. The first time Ms. Ewbanks took over the narration, I seriously thought that my GPS lady got bored and started to randomly narrate the book. (I googled the GPS lady too - not Ms. Ewbanks.) She improves a little as the story goes on - or I just got used to her - but if you want to know what sex scenes sound like when read to you by a Siri-esque voice, now's your chance! (I didn't, so I skipped over them. Even when Lawlor was reading them. Narrators reading sex scenes are just painful.) Patrick Lawlor did a much better job of getting into the material and bringing life and warmth to the story. Unfortunately - as happens too often with dual narrators - the narrators are clearly not in the studio together when they recorded their parts, so Lawlor still has to do female voices and Siri still has to do male voices and I have no idea why you would pay for two narrators and then split up the reading this way. Stop doing this to your listeners!
Sadly, even the best narrators couldn't have saved this book. This has three - count them - one, two, THREE - romances crammed into one long-ass boring romance novel with an attempt at an intriguing suspense subplot to thread it all together. It just doesn't work. Rating them from blandest to most promising, the romances are these:
3 - Charles, Cybelle, Joe - Love triangle. Bored now. Love triangle set during WW II? UGHHHH! At least it's not set in Pearl Harbor? Seriously, it's WW II and that's the best the author could think to do with these characters? STAHP. The only good thing about this part of the story is that Charles and Joe stay friends.
2 - Kelly and Tom - The old "girl kisses boy, boy freaks out and enlists in the Navy, boy and girl don't see each other for 16 years and in all that time they clearly barely even change since they're right back where they left off as soon as they're in the same room again" story. Yeah, nothing new here either. I did like Tom's struggles with his head injury and wondering if he's still capable of leading. I'm just not sure this story actually answers that question. I also liked Kelly's struggles with understanding her father, Charles, and getting closer to him as his health is failing.
1 - Mallory and David - The old "geek boy who's really a nice guy (but not a Nice Guy) stalks beautiful girl and gets her" story. Ok, stalking is a little strong. He just makes himself visible, and he's a lot more confident and self-assured than geek boys tend to be in these stories. Mallory's change of heart toward him is gradual, and while it occasionally threatens to veer into boring romance cliche territory, it mostly avoids it.
The terrorist stalker subplot is one I've read before also, so again, nothing new here. This was published pre-9/11, so maybe the regulations were a wee bit more relaxed then, but I doubt it. If a bomb threat gets called in, it has to be investigated. End of story. If a building needs to be evacuated in a hurry, pull the fire alarm. The ending was convoluted and eye roll worthy, and the negligence on display here by literally everyone except our protags defies logic.
This series is not off to a good start, but I've seen other reviews mention the books get better after this one, so I'm going to at least give the next one a try.
Genre: Adventure / Steampunk / Fantasy / Drama
Year Published: 2016
Year Read: 5/24/2017
Publisher: Image Comics
Series: Monstress Issue #6
I would like to thank NetGalley and Image Comics for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
What is this story about?
In this issue, Maika and her crew finally make it to the Dusk Court, only to be ambushed by the Dusk Court themselves and they ended up locking Maika up in a casket in order to experiment on her. Meanwhile, the Warlord wages war against the Dusk Court, effectively cornering Maika and her crew in the process!
Will the demon inside Maika wake her up in time to defeat the Warlord and her army?
Read this book to find out!
What I loved about this story:
Marjorie Liu has done it again and this time, this issue not only has great character moments between Maika and the demon, but it is also the most action packed of the series! I loved the way that Marjorie Liu wrote Maika and the demon’s relationship with each other as it is quite unique to see the demon and Maika trying to come to an agreement to save themselves from both the Warlord and the Dusk Court and I really enjoyed the funny quips that the demon and Maika has with each other. I also enjoyed the way that Marjorie Liu wrote the action sequences with the Warlord’s army fighting against the Dusk Court as it was written extremely well and exciting to read about as I was sitting on the edge of my seat trying to figure out who was going to win this battle! Sana Takeda’s artwork never fails to amaze me as the war sequences between the Warlords and the Dusk Court are beatifically detailed and I also loved the scenes of Maika and the demon exploring Maika’s inner memories as Maika takes on a ghostly appearance to separate herself from her memories which are in color.
What made me feel uncomfortable about this story:
There are some scary images in this issue, especially of the demons that are shown in this book. I will not reveal which characters are the demons in this issue since I do not want to spoil this story for anyone, but these characters’ true demon forms are truly terrifying to look at.
Overall, “Monstress Volume One: Awakening Part Six” is a truly fantastic finale to the first volume of Marjorie Liu’s legendary “Monstress” series and I definitely cannot wait for the second volume to come out!
Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog