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As someone from Louisiana, let me say that I always panic when I pick up an audible set in the bayou. There's too much that can go wrong for me. If the writer doesn't understand the culture or the narrator doesn't understand the accent, I just get annoyed. However, Molly Harper as well as Amanda Ronconi and Jonathan Davis do a nice job here.
Molly Harper has spun a well developed tale with conflict, mystery, interesting characters and an interesting community. I was impressed by the story and would definitely pick up something else from her. I fell like she's probably not from Louisiana, maybe watched a lot of True Blood, but she didn't try to overdo it and shove in a lot of incorrect, Hollywood-ized cultural references. The only thing I can say with certainty is that you don't have crawfish boils on New Years (it's not the season) and you don't boil shrimp with your crawfish because their seasons don't run together. If that's the worst trespass she has, she's in good shape.
Speaking of True Blood, Jonathan Davis' Cajun accent is straight out of Bon Temps. As a matter of fact, he sounds just like Rene from season 1. It's not exactly accurate but it's not a complete disaster either. I appreciate the attempt and the effort to keep it natural and not overdone. Kudos to the narrators for a great job.
30 of 32 people found this review helpful
UPDATE : The audio issues below have been fixed! i love Jonathan's reading. His voice as Bael will melt your heart!
This story is spot on Molly Harper. The characters are great and the angst is not over done. Amanda Ronconi did a wonderful job. The main turnoff was Jonathan Davis's editing. I really enjoyed his reading! He did a wonderful job bringing Bael to life. there were times his re-dos sounded like they were recorded over the phone and other times the quality made it sound like someone else was reading. Did anyone listen to this production before it was published? I'm a huge fan of two readers, they really bring a story to life, but the constant fluctuation of Jonathan's sections was distracting. As a side note, I would love to hear more from Jonathan in the future, I hope more books in this series hosts him as a narrator.
81 of 88 people found this review helpful
Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?
Yes, if audio is improved (see below). I love Molly Harper & Amanda Ronconi, and have all their supernatural-themed audible books. I’m not that keen on chapters with alternating POV however, and think the story would read better from one perspective. I like the set-up for this new series, however. Mystic Bayou and its inhabitants are a lot of fun, and there is a huge range of characters and mythologies to explore alongside the how-to-protect-the-town storyline. Main character Gillian is clever, caring, funny, interesting: multi-dimensional and likeable. And realistic! You root for her and feel you could know her, which is exactly what I hope for in a book like this. Her love interest isn’t such a well-developed character, but is likeable.
I will keep an eye out for the next book, with fingers crossed that it’s a bit better (with the quality audio it deserves).
How could the performance have been better?
Switching between male & female performers was distracting. It’s not a play, so having F read some chapters and a M read others meant that you were hearing each character’s voice read by 2 people. No consistency. Also, unnecessary. A Ronconi is excellent at distinguishing a range of characters/voices.
Also, and this was a major issue for me, it sounded as if some passages had been re-recorded and edited on; every so often the tone would change for a few sentences as if the actor had been in a different place, nearer to the microphone etc - then it switched back to the main recording. This was really jarring.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
When Jillian’s career takes her to Mystic Bayou, Louisiana, she thinks it’s a simple case of documenting the facts and learning about the shifter species. When one of her interviewees turns up dead her warm reception turns a little frosty but a dash romance can heat things back up. She quickly realises that Mystic Bayou has a little more magic than the average town.
This is a great introduction to a promising new series. I’m already a big fan of Harper’s work, particularly when it’s on audiobook, and it looks like she has plenty more to give. Jillian is her typical flawed but sweet character and the mixture of humour and romance is just right. I’m hoping book two finds a date for the mayor.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful
What didn’t you like about Amanda Ronconi and Jonathan Davis ’s performance?
Amanda was great, as always but there were inconsistencies in Jonathans' performance and issues with his production / editing. I would've preferred just Amanda.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Best story I've listened to for some time. Full of good moments and exciting plots.