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I listened to the first book in this series, Fated, a little over a month ago. While I enjoyed it, I felt that the series had much more potential that first book gave us. Claimed really brought that potential out and was much more what I would’ve expected from Rebecca Zanetti. There is much less world-building, so she was able to focus much more on the characters, which is my favorite part of any story. Claimed continued to build on many of the plot points that Fated originally built.
Here, we have Emma, the sister of the heroine of the first book, she has been taken by the evil Kurjans. Dage, the king of the Realm and the vampires knows that Emma is his fated mate and is going after her to get her back from the Kurjans. These two have dreamed about each other for many years, Dage for many more, since he is centuries old. Emma is also a psychic and sees the future in her dreams. She has seen her death and doesn’t want to tie herself to Dage for this exact reason.
Dage is a king and has been since he was very young and the Kurjans killed his parents. He isn’t used to other people not following his orders. Emma has no intentions of following his orders. She has been caring for Cara and then Janie for several years, she isn’t used to taking orders. You can see where this will go in this story.
As per usual for me, it is the side character that really make a story for me. Not only do we continue to the story of the main characters of the first book, but we also have characters like the shifter Katie, the prophet Lily, the witch Moira, all the Kayrs brothers and best of all little Janie and her mysterious friend Zane.
While this is a paranormal romance series, it has the larger overall story arc that means you really need to read the series from the beginning to understand everything that is going on in the story. I tend to enjoy these types of PNR series more. I love that that larger story arc that keeps the reader interested outside of just the romance of the two main characters. This is one of those types of PNR series.
Once again, Karen White knocks this out of the park. I’ve come to always expect an exceptional narration when I see that she is the narrator. She brings great emotion and character voice to the books. Her pace and tone are always where I like to see them. For this book, I would like to call out the accent she uses for the Irish witch Moira. I really enjoyed that Irish/Gaelic accent. She also does a really good job with four-year-old Janie. I really feel her youth when she speaks.
I like to thank Audible Studios for providing me with a copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.
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AudioBook Review: Stars Overall 4 Narration 5 Story 4
Emma is Cara’s older sister, intelligent, independent and fiercely protective of what’s hers. Her father’s alcohol and physical abuse of the girls when young have Emma particularly uninterested in bossy, take charge men that set limits. A geneticist, she is completely confident in her own ability to solve nearly every problem with science, although she does rely regularly on her psychic abilities. Her pairing with Dage is meant to be.
Fortunately, as the King, Dage has more ‘diplomatic’ skills even as his nature is struggling to break free and take Emma for his own. It was cute watching his reactions to her refusal to accept him as mate, and his struggles with his own nature so as not to lose her. The development of the characters as a couple, and their own individual growth trajectories are wonderfully described, even if some of the approaches IN to the relationships are less than soft seduction. These alpha males are used to getting their own way. Of COURSE they aren’t used to being defied, but they never hit anger, but frustration, utter confusion and a touch of the petulant two year old do appear, usually with a laugh from the reader.
The complexities of the realm and worlds are further explained, as the war heats up with the introduction of a virus that threatens a tentative balance. A solid source of tension and immediacy from that ongoing thread is present and ties all of the stories together with the ongoing mystery.
Narration for this series is from Karen White, and she again brings a solid sense of the characters and the emotion to the forefront. I’m honestly wondering just how she kept all of the different voices straight, as Talen, Cara, Emma, Dage, Janie and all the others have distinct tones in their voices and I knew who was who from the first book right off. From a note left on the first review: I know these were all recorded in order, but my brain scrambles thinking about it. Wonderful insets that allow the emotional impact of the words are used: pauses, hesitations, even sighs and smiles all add to this narration that is fast becoming my example of stellar work.
I’m really enjoying this series: the characters, the world building and the narration that breathes life into every moment. A perfect opportunity for fans of the series to start again, or to bring in new listeners who want a long-running story trajectory with characters that intrigue and amuse.
I received an AudioBook copy of the title via Audible Communications for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful