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I've listened to all the Cassie Scott audiobooks and enjoyed them very much. This well-written book features Madison, Cassie's shy, retiring, not-so-confident friend who is blessed with a power of music that simmers within, waiting to be recognized. I always wanted to know more about Madison, and am glad Ms. Amsden decided to write a book dedicated to this character.
Madison has been so badly treated in life that you just wanted to take her in your arms and tell her she really is a wonderful person. Rejected by her horrible father (I wanted to throttle him), a recent beau, and numerous other people, Madison just needs to be loved. She's so sweet... and it broke my heart to get inside her head and feel her emotions.
As the book progressed, I grew to love the girl, in spite of her inability to think straight about her own feelings, especially those involving Scott. My frustration was compounded on Scott's end, because he also rejected or denied his own feelings for Madison. I do believe I yelled at them quite often to "wake up and smell the proverbial coffee!" while listening to the audiobook in my car. But by the most-satisfying culmination of the story, it was all good.
What most amazed me was Christine Amsden's ability to create this world of werewolves and vampires and magic that seemed so authentic...so very real. The rules, the details, the parsing out of power, the role of the alpha male...all of those elements immediately drew me into the story and I felt as if this whole new world truly could exist, that I just hadn't "discovered" it yet. Very well done, Ms. Amsden!
I enjoyed Ms. Frank's performance. I found the voice she used for Scott and some of the other men in the story to be a little bit too strident or harsh. But I loved the soft, shy voice she chose for Madison. I also really adored her singing voice, especially when she sang, "Hush Little Baby." It was absolutely lovely.
But now what? I want to know more about Madison and Scott's life together, especially after (no spoilers) what happened in the last scene. We can't just leave them here, Ms. Amsden,and I, for one, are hoping you are working on a sequel!
Any additional comments?
I really enjoyed the Cassie Scot series and was happy to devour it as part of the author's promotional tours. So I jumped when given the opportunity to review this audiobook spin-off novel with a side character in the original series. While the original series is a 4-star read for me, this spin-off is more of a 3.
I really liked Madison in the series and wanted to know more about her gift and see her find happiness. I enjoyed getting to know her more in this book and to see how strong and loyal she is. She would do anything for her family and her loved ones, no matter what was at stake. I admire that in a character. I also enjoyed getting into Scott's head a bit and really understanding his feelings for Madison. He is definitely an Alpha male werewolf, with his fierce protective nature and sense of duty.
But I didn't love everything about the novel. The first thing that bugged me was the narrator. As it turn out, this same narrator does the audio for the original series. But I read those as ebooks, so I didn't know. She sounds... more like a news reporter than a story teller. There were some emotional scenes that just didn't come across as such.
Another issue I had was the story was a bit formulaic. While the original series had twists and some unique situations, this was a bit more like a typical urban fantasy/romance. The characters took forever to communicate, and just kept assuming things about each other (a peeve of mine in many romances) and denying their feelings. I feel like that trope is just overused.
But, I really liked how twisted and dark the plot became, with the creatures and experimentation. I also loved the family comes first theme that carries through this book's plot.
Overall, a good read, just not as good as the original Cassie Scot series.
I received this audiobook from the author in exchange for my honest review.