"I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library." — Jorge Luis Borges
Usually when I enjoy a book I'd say I couldn't put it down but in this case I simply didn't know where the time had gone. Although at the start of the story it looks like it will mainly be romance there soon develops a very interesting plot with several twists and turns (which you can't always see coming a mile away). Charlaine Harris is brilliant at characterization and you are drawn in as much because of their faults as their good points.
Usually I prefer an English narrator but Alyssa Bresnahan is brilliant, reading in a very natural tone, with an accent that seems to suit the story and voicing the different parts very well.
It is important to know that this book is the last in the series. I hadn't realized this when I bought it in the sale and now the earlier books are spoiled for me, so I would strongly suggest getting those first. The order is: Grave Sight, Grave Surprise, An Ice Cold Grave and Grave Secret. As far as I can see at the time of writing this review, Audible does not stock the first title in this series. I would not be put off buying the other books because of that, even as a stand alone Grave Secret it is a great read and I will probably go back and buy the others at some point too.
Although I loved the films and would recommend them to any syfy movie lovers, yet again it is a case of the book being so much better than the films. For a start this book is split into three separate stories, two of which are barley referenced in the film and to do them justice each would need a film of its own. The character progression that you get throughout the books of both the dark and light characters, as they learn, grow and develop their beliefs really sets the stories apart. The series is written beautifully with wonderful imagery, imagination and plot. The machinations of both the dark and light others has every bit the excitement of John le Carré plots and the universe is just as realized despite the vampires, magicians and sorceresses that it is populated with. The narrator is, in my opinion, one of the best I have heard doing both male and female voices and varying accents equally well so that it is like listening to a play with a full cast. There is nothing that I would criticize.
I can't think of another author quite like Anne Bishop her worlds are so different to anything else out there. Her characterisation is so good that you're often seeing the world from several conflicting points of view and often sympathizing with all the main characters. Her description and sense of her world is so real that many other writers feel bland in comparison.
She contrasts the engaging almost childlike hope and innocence of her heroine with a complex world where fairy tale creatures fluctuate between benevolence and horrific actions, many humans are worse still and the socio-economic climate is ruled by a powder keg of racial and political tensions.
I'd put this series in my audiobook top ten. I've already re-listened to the previous novel before this came out and found it to be one of the few that I enjoyed just as much the second time and it will be the same with this book. You do need to read this series in order.
Alexandra Harris is a brilliant narrator not only does she draw you into the story like any good narrator but she is so good at voicing the male as well as the female characters, that I often forgot that I was listening to just one woman.
Anne Bishop clearly writes for a female audience but although I heard the first book in the series referred to as young adult, having read the second I personally wouldn't put such a tag on this series. I'm in my late thirties and can see the book appealing to a much wider audience. The heroine is 24 not a teenager and Bishop doesn't flinch away from any of the harder issues which although not gratuitous are clearly spelt out.
The storyline of this book flows well and the narrator has a good calming voice and to me it did not matter that it was an american accent as the storyline was enthralling. Again there is humour, twists, unexpected foes and allies, with Felix doing his best to keep alive. This is a series of audio books that I would certainly listen to again and again.