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This is a beautiful story of love, machination, family and sacrifice. The author has created a fascinating world you want to hear more about and characters that you can not help but fall in love with. Angel based books are not usually my favourite but the unusual take the author puts on these angels is captivating and I enjoyed hearing every word. The different "houses" and types of angels, and the intrigue, decept, manipulation and aggression shown is anything but what you would normally consider angelic. The intertwining story lines, action, heartache, excitement and beauty of this story will capture your heart and your imagination and take you on a journey that you don't want to end. I loved Livvy, her humour, vulnerability, strength and determination makes her character shine and the development of her and Keiron's relationship is pure and tender. The author's ability to draw you into this world with his artful descriptions, flowing style, captivating storyline and amazing characters will have you excited, happy and heartbroken all at the same time and the narrator captured the feel of the characters well, imparting the anxiety, sorrow, love and tension of the different character into her voice. I will look forward to hearing the next audiobook in this series. I received this audiobook at no cost and under no obligation.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
First, and completely shallow I know – just look at that freakin’ cover! Absolutely gorgeous! I listened to the audiobook, but I’d definitely buy a paper copy to put that beauty on my shelves.
Okay, moving onto the actual plot – most of the story splits pretty neatly into two separate parts:
One half is the more traditional fantasy with lots of world-building about the society and culture of the angelic warriors. It focuses on the political intrigues of Keiron’s family — House Windhook — and features action-packed combat Trials as they take on the villainous Crescent Council. This part has an epic-style feel to it, with large scale repercussions and world changing power struggles.
The flip-side of the coin is Livvy’s story, her work in the library and her meeting with Keiron. This part is slower and more reflective, really delving into her character and past. I found Livvy to be a really interesting lead character. She’s complex — much of her personality is affected by her medical condition, but she’s incredibly likeable and I think we’ll see great things from her as the series continues. The romance between the two is well written, and even although the dreaded ‘instalove’ is employed, the romance is subtle and only a small part of their characters.
This story was completely different from what I was thought it would be. I was expecting a relatively bland paranormal romance, along the lines of the sea of Twilight knockoffs out there. Heartborn is so much more than the typical YA paranormal story. The plot is engaging, the characters are deep and complicated and there’s a killer plot twist. Maggert has a very lyrical and descriptive style of writing with some beautiful turns of phrase that somehow manage to avoid purple prose.
My only real problem is that it’s clearly the first in a series and it really feels like it. There’s loads of unanswered questions about the backstory and character motivations, but I’m hoping they’ll be answered in the sequel which I’ll definitely be picking up.
Narrator: Julia Whelan
Whelan is a very good narrator and gives an enjoyable performance. She has a low, soothing voice and an unobtrusive accent that is pleasant to listen to. She speaks clearly and slowly — I didn’t ever feel that she’d skimmed over passages or missed out important information. It made the story easy to follow along with, which I think is critical to a good audiobook.
She provides a good variety of voices considering how many characters there are. Sometimes the characters could have been a tad more differentiated, especially in the scenes between Windhook and the Council, but as generally little description is given to the characters, she worked well with what she had.
The recording is well produced, clear and well-paced – a pleasure to listen to.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful