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I read this entire series back-to-back so I'm only going to comment on the first book's board.
I'm obsessed with this series. It's definitely addicting...but by the end of the last book I'm still hanging and holding out for some major relationship development of the heroine. The author basically teases you throughout the series. You keep feeling like "Okay, this book will be the one", but then I'm disappointed by the end and left hanging.
The first two books were my favorite, especially book 2. Book 1 was hard to get into at first, because the world and its many casts of people are very difficult to grasp at first. By book 2, the confusion subsides. But book 2 is definitely worth working through the complicated world development of book 1. Book 2 is AMAZING!
I'm in a love/hate relationship with this author. I love her world (Elantra) and I love the characters. I even love the struggles and challenges and the main story lines. There is so much adventure and mystery! On the other side, it's sooooooo wordy!!! You're in the middle of an intense action/climatic scene and I feel like the intensity and build up get overtaken by the wordiness. It's almost like the author starts out on the right path of being wordy to tease and build up your emotions, but then just keeps going and going until you're like, "enough already, just get on with it...I get that the 'word' is complicated" (you'll know what I refer to when you read it - - not a spoiler).
The narrator is great, though! I'm definitely a huge fan of Khristine Hvam! She does a great job with all the character voices, keeping them separate and recognizable without needing to tell us who's speaking. After soooo many books and a building mass of characters, I'm amazed she keeps pulling out new voices.
I'm a critical person, so don't let my negative comments fool you. I definitely loved this whole series and recommend it. Just brace yourself for difficulty establishing the world and its characters at first, and then dealing with climatic wordiness with each book. If you can get past those, you'll really enjoy the action and adventure. Here's hoping the next two books (I read on the author's blog that book 8 will now be split in two because she had too much to say) will focus more on the heroine's relationship/romantic development. It's about time!
26 of 26 people found this review helpful
I'm surprised that the Elantra books are published by a romance imprint, because there is no romantic or sexual content whatsoever. Instead, this is an immersive fantasy tale. It's a page turner, and while it's definitely guilty of some fantasy cliches, that only improves the pace of the story and the believability of the fantasy world. The races are not the usual vampires or elves, so the world and story feel fresh. The plot reads like a mystery (I think--I don't actually read mysteries), but it unfolds naturally, rather than relying on cheap plot twists.It may not be original or epic, but this is a very darn good listen--thoroughly addictive, like movie popcorn but without the calories.
The best part of this book, though, is the narrator; her voice is clear, and she easily expresses emotion without overdoing it. Hvam does an excellent job voicing the characters (so you always know who is speaking), and it never feels forced. Khristine Hvam has become my favorite reader on Audible, and this book is perfectly suited to her talents.
I downloaded this after listening to the free novella, Cast in Moonlight, that Audible had available for subscribers. I'm now working my way through the rest of this series, and all the subsequent books have been satisfying. I highly recommend The Chronicles of Elantra as a series, and this book is definitely the place to start.
This is a great introduction to a great series, and the NARRATOR CAN'T BE BEAT!
22 of 22 people found this review helpful
There is nothing I didn't like about this audio book and found it hard to put the story down. I bought this after reading a review on Amazon where the writer said that three generations of her family enjoyed this novel, which for me is the test of a really good book.
Cast in Shadows mixes magic, humans and mythical creatures in a very strong plot line of changing politics and treacherous situations. Kaylin, the heroine, is young and naive despite a difficult past. One of the things I enjoyed about the story is that the listener gets to hear her slowly start to grow up, as the story unfolds around her, rather than simply have the fully fledged lead appear without context. As the story progressed and Katlin is forced to face her past, I found myself completely immersed.
Khristine Hvam, the narrator, does a great job acting out the different parts, she has a pleasing voice and acts both male and female, human and mythical creature well. I'm extremely picky about narrators so when if find one I rate this highly, I would argue that the Audio version is better than print alone.
If you are a fan of Anne Bishop's Written in Red, I would expect you to love this book. Although the settings are different the sense of a world where it is normal to walk among mythical creatures and deal with the quicksand of politics and humanoid relations this creates, is present in both.
Cast of Shadows is part of a trilogy, I have already purchased the next one and will come back to listen to this again.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful
Firstly, I picked this book because of the narrator, and Khristine Hvam never disappoints in bringing a book to life and getting the emotions right throughout her narration of the book. The book itself made for an interesting read, interesting enough for me to get to the end. The descriptions of the world and places in which the story was set, were elaborative and somewhat believable but, there were too many different, creepy beings with exhausting, tedious descriptions of their character/nature that added no real value to the story. The author leaves the reader in deep contemplation and continued speculation as there are so many things that "are" but "are not" - I found paying too much attention led to more confusion. The exhausting and continuous narrative of the heroine's thoughts, feelings and failure in education, left me irritable on several occasions. I think the resulting lack of real appreciation for the characters lay in the insufficient information of their past and the workings of their world...Honestly, I'm not compelled to seek out the sequels to this book.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
a good listen and easy to keep up with the characters. narrater was awesome, who actually made it easy to identify each character through each having their own voice. thanks for the journey.
i loved this book! it took me a little while to get into it as the social structure and characters are complex but then i was completely addicted.