I listened to the first book and it was ok. I'm not sure I will listen to the rest of this series.
The Darby Shaw Chronicles are a fascinating mixture of crime drama, mystery, science fiction, and a little romance. These books are unlike anything I've ever read, but I loved them! Darby was an interesting character right from the start, feisty in her role as a 5-foot-1 female police officer, but with a softer side I could relate to. I really enjoyed Mark as her counterpart - flawed, but tough, loyal, and at times unexpectedly sweet. The first book drew me in with the discovery of Darby's unusual superpower, but I really became hooked on this series in the second and third books. It was fun to see Speidel really hit her stride with the series, and I loved how different, thought-provoking aspects of Darby's superpower kept surfacing. Plus, the changing dynamics in Darby's relationship with Mark added some great tension to their scenes together. Rogers narration style fit the books well, and I appreciated how well she differentiated characters' voices. These audiobooks made a long weekend of driving much more pleasant, to the point I was almost disappointed the car trip was over!
*I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this audiobook*
If you could sum up The Darby Shaw Chronicles: Books 1 - 3 in three words, what would they be?
paranormal, homicide, romance
Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?
Pretty well. Darby Shaw is the center of action, controversy, and an unusual power that often makes other characters uncomfortable. She experiences a wide range of trauma and pain that makes you want to see her succeed. And her romantic life is fraught with complexity. I was not bored!
How could the performance have been better?
I disliked the sing-songy quality of the reader--it sounded unnatural and flattened the excellent writing. Many times, I found myself talking over the audio to "correct" the reader's interpretation of how lines would be said; most of the time I thought her emphasis was "off" and it pulled me out of the story to reinterpret the tone and emphasis from the context. That was pretty frustrating. But the story itself was very good--good enough to keep me engaged despite the performance. I also liked that the reader was able to speak in accents when needed. But overall, the performance was an obstacle to me getting "lost" in the story.
If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?
Murder doesn't have to be the end.
Any additional comments?
Darby Shaw is a typical detective—until she accidentally resuscitates a murder victim and discovers she’s not as typical as she thought.
Author Liberty Spiedel does a great job of blending crime-fighting, murder mystery, action, romantic, and paranormal/superhero elements in these books for a fun read. The books are very well structured and well written, but my favorite element (other than the intriguing irony of a homicide detective who can resuscitate murder victims) is the romantic tension between Darby and her partner, Mark, which is developed very gradually over the course of the book set. Characters are likable, flawed, unique, and come alive on the pages as real people; Spiedel’s writing provides just enough detail that I can “watch” the story unfolding in my mind like a movie.
It’s not for kids (we’re dealing with murder and a believable police force, so there is periodic strong language and a touch of frank sexual description...although no sex scenes), but anyone who enjoys a dramatic criminal mystery, paranormal elements, and some romance waiting in the wings will love these stories.