Friday, November 18, 2016

Audiobook Review: Veiled by Karina Halle

Pub. Date:Oct 25, 2016
Publisher:Tantor Audio
Narrator:Jo Raylan
Length:9 hrs 43 min

Take this review with a grain of salt because if I were to read/listen to this book at a later time, my rating might be different. Going in, I thought this was a standalone paranormal romance... and I really like Karina Halle so I jumped on the chance to review.  Unfortunately, this book did not seem like a standalone to me. It's actually a spinoff of the Experiment in Terror series... which I have not finished reading. This book contains major spoilers for that series (grumble grumble) so it will be a while before I can go back to Terror because I need to forget what was spoiled! This book also borrowed the world building that was in Terror, so I felt like I was missing a lot of necessary information. All those spoilery things that were referenced were the background story for this book (more grumbles).

The long and short of it is that Ada Palomino is the sister to Perry Palomino (from Terror). In fact, Perry and Dex are secondary characters in this story. The demon sightings and ghost hauntings in this story seem to be similar and related to the demons/ghosts that readers experienced in Terror, with some direct overlap between bad guy demons. Ada is a coming-of-age fashion blogger, and her turning 18 seems to be some kind of trigger for her paranormal abilities. When demons start invading her dreams and life, she is assigned her own "Jacob" who is a sort of paranormal protector. I wasn't quite clear on the Jacob's role... starting with why they are all called Jacob. Or how they are made Jacobs. Or anything else about them. This particular Jacob (who went by "J" for short) was a big hunky guy who was millennia old but looked to be in his 30s (still too old for our 18 y/o heroine IMO). The Jacob and his charge are not really supposed to engage in any kinky antics - but the chemistry was there and our couple didn't have the willpower to deny it (for long). So in between dealing with demons and trying to save a loved one from the pits of hell, Ada and J are getting handsy. I'm mentioning this because Ada tended to exclude all else once clothes came off. She only wanted to focus on J and the naked olympics and totally forgot about all the dangerous things that were happening. I'm not a fan of that situation, its a little too much like stopping in the middle of apocalypse to bang because you just had to scratch that itch no matter what was falling down around your head. But I digress.

I'm not talking much about the plot because I really couldn't focus on it. I was so aggravated at not having the back story that I could only really listen to the story on the surface. I wasn't trying to think about the story as I listened or delve deeper into any kind of analysis of the plot. I know I should have stopped listening and put the book aside... but I was on a road trip and it was the only audiobook I had loaded. ::Flails:: It was no bueno y'all.

Plus I had an issue with the narrator. I commend her on being able to do a bunch of different voices, for not being monotonous, and for trying to inflect emotion into her performance. However, she slurred her words together so much that it sounded like she was drunk sometimes. Seriously... instead of "bugs the shit out of me," it sounded like "buzzshi ow me". I had to rewind a lot to try to catch what she just said. Also, her cadence reminded me of William Shatner. It. WAS-FULL. of weird. pauses. that-sped-up-and-dwindled attheendsoyoucouldbarelyunderstand. (Translation. Think of how Shatner speaks in that recognizable cadence. The narrator's cadence was similar in that it was full of rhythmic pauses that would speed up and run together toward the end of the sentence so you missed the ending of the sentences repeatedly.)

I hate that this one didn't work for me because I do like this author... but I think if I had finished Experiment in Terror, I would probably have enjoyed this one more. The spoilers and lack of back story for me just set a bad tone that I couldn't get over as I listened.

I voluntarily reviewed an advanced copy of this audiobook that I received from the publisher, Tantor Audio.

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