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I don’t care for vampires. They are on the bottom of my monster list. Yes, even the ‘scary’ ones are at the bottom of the barrel of things I consider frightening. That said, Mr. Hartness had a hard row to hoe with me on this one.
All things considered, he did very well.
Hard Day’s Knight was a fun read. The characters were charming, the banter was witty and the concepts were traditional enough to make me gag yet different enough to keep me interested. Every writer needs to make the monster his own, which can be difficult when you’re building your own lore around centuries of legends. I liked how John didn’t info dump his vampire tradition all at once, nor did he beat you over the head with explanations at every turn. He kept the ideas streamlined into either dialogue or narrative, or both.
Humor is a hard sell, but I for one love a funny story. John has a wicked sense of humor, as evidenced by his writing. His quick wit shines through almost every page. True, some jokes fall flat, and you can almost hear the eye rolling wah-wah-wah of a tuba somewhere in the background for a few of them, but even these lines will appeal to someone out there. In short, he is hella funny and this book reflects that.
I have to admit, I love the idea of nerdy vamps. The lead tries not to be the nerd he is, while his bromance sidekick embraces it with an embarrassing amount of zeal. As a fellow nerd I can relate to the love of all things weird and unusual. I understand Jimmy is meant to be the heartthrob, but Greg had far more charm and humanity, making him sympathetic and likable. At times I found myself not caring if Jimmy pulled through or not. His tendency toward being a bit of an asshole left me with a bad taste for him. I understand the need for the balance though. They both can’t be bumbling nerds. Someone has to be quasi normal. My only real complaint about the story is the sudden love interest there at the end. Again, I see the appeal of it and understand it provides a lot of potential plot and character advancement, but to me it kind of seemed tacked on at the last minute. She showed little interest in him, then suddenly she’s all over him? Maybe I missed something. Then again, I don’t like vampires, and maybe the character has a thing for them. Who knows?
Nick Russo did a fantastic job with this one. He settled into the tone of the story early on and kept a tight grip on the tension throughout. His characters were well done and very distinct. Nothing is worse than not being able to tell characters apart when listening to a book. I loved his ladies too. They were feminine without being redonkulous. I will say that I didn’t care for the Mike character’s voice. It was too, I don’t know, breathy for me. I know he was meant to sound gentle and kind, but somehow it came off like he was whispering all of his lines. And the angel was a little too dramatic. These two aside, again, I think Nick did a fantastic job.
In the end:
I would totally recommend this one to both vampire lovers and loathers. I look forward to listening to the next one.
In total, 4 out of 5 zombie hands for the book.
27 of 27 people found this review helpful
A FOLDER MARKED CLICHE
I love snarky, smart ass characters and Hartness tries very hard to achieve that with his main character James. Humor is one of the hardest things to write and John missed the mark by this much. This was more punny then funny. I would compare this to Kevin J. Anderson's Zombie, PI Dan Shambles. It is cute, seems very YA, and not of the caliber of Sandman Slim or Joe Ledger. He gets close, he is in the same area code, but not the same level.
THERE'S NOTHING SEXIER THEN A WOMAN WHO CAN KICK YOUR ASS
I liked the romance angle that came in late to the show. A 6ft tall, hard core, serious female cop with big knockers, what's not to like. This occurred fairly late in the story, but really added another dimension to the book.
KICKIN CHICKIN = WILD TURKEY
The story does get better as it goes along, leading to a very good climax.
IN A VOICE LIKE A FROSTY JANUARY WINDOW
The narrator is good, but like the story he is not a Ray Porter or Will Wheaton, yet he is in the same area code. I believe Porter and Wheaton could have taken this material and done a lot more with it. Having said that he did make the experience better then reading it.
I PREFER JIMMY
17 of 17 people found this review helpful
What made the experience of listening to Hard Day's Knight the most enjoyable?
just a great tale
What did you like best about this story?
all of it totally brilliant
Have you listened to any of Nick J. Russo’s other performances? How does this one compare?
fist time listener so nothing to compare too but can imagine it would be any differant
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
couldnt listen in one sitting just dont have the time but no matter if i could i would and i will listen to it again
Where does Hard Day's Knight rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
This is a comedic style somewhat like Molly Harper. I felt it was a Dresden look-a-like with vamps. No stress but a reasonable listen
What was one of the most memorable moments of Hard Day's Knight?
The explanation as to how Jimmy turned his sidekick Greg. Typical student drunk idiocy.
Any additional comments?
I like the way John doesn't spend pages and pages explaining vampire myths and how they fit into this story. As I read I could see Jimmy and Greg as people, actually I could see my son at university with his mates. The priest reminded me of Michael in the Dresden Books.
The one thing I could not see is how the love interest developed, there was no lead up at all. That part could have been written a great deal better.
Saying all that I quite enjoyed the book.