Thursday, May 8, 2008

Aural Pleasures: Personal Demon by Kelley Armstrong

Book CoverPersonal Demon, Women of the Otherworld 8, by Kelley Armstrong
Narrators: Laural Merlington and Todd McLaren

Watch the book trailor.

1. Bitten (narrator: Elena)
2. Stolen (narrator: Elena)
3. Dime Store Magic (narrator: Paige)
4. Industrial Magic (narrator: Paige)
5. Haunted (narrator: Eve)
a. Chaotic - in Dates from Hell anthology (narrator: Hope)
7. Broken (narrator: Elena)
8. No Humans Involved (narrator: Jaime)
b. Twilight - in Many Bloody Returns anthology, (narrator: Cassandra)
c. Stalked - in My Big Fat Supernatural Honeymoon anthology, (narrator: Clay)
8. Personal Demon (narrators: Hope & Lucas)

Category: Peanut M&Ms - mmmm...devour... sigh... then reach for the next one. My daily dose of Insanity-B-Gone. (A-,B+,B)
Flame Height: 4” out of 9”

Half-demon tabloid reporter Hope Adams has a secret. Like full demons, she loves chaos. She thrives on it. She needs it.
Most of the time, Hope feeds the hunger by helping the interracial council. But it's never enough. So when Benicio Cortez offers her a job infiltrating a gang of young supernaturals, she thinks she's found the perfect solution. Instead, she finds a tinderbox of greed, desire and ambition. And when it ignites, a world is going to explode.

Personal Demon centers on Hope, who is half demon and half human. But it is also a continuation of Lucas and Paige’s story, both of whom we’ve met in more than one book. Todd McLaren narrates the chapters focused on their story and told through Lucas’ POV.

First of all, my biggest problem with this audio book isn’t even anyone’s fault. I am SUCH a fan of Laurell K. Hamilton’s Merry Gentry series, which is also narrated by Laural Merlington, that it was difficult to listen to this audio book without hearing Merry’s voice instead of Hope’s. Fortunately, the story was engaging enough that I just gave myself occasional mental slaps to let go of Merry while I was listening. The biggest distraction was that Merlington uses the same vocal inflections for Hope’s hot-and-bothered voice that she does for Merry’s do-me-now voice and it would take me right out of the story! Again, not Merlington’s fault AT ALL, it’s HER VOICE, after all, not much she can do about it, is there?

As for Todd McLaren, who really didn’t get nearly enough “ear time”, I REALLY liked his narration voice AND his character voices. I hope I run into one of his books again.

While I liked the overall plotlines in Personal Demon, in fact I think the story was engrossing, the fact is that I just don’t find Hope all that interesting. I knew we had met her in an earlier book because I had a vague memory of her, but when I looked at Armstrong’s backlist and saw which previous story was told from Hope’s POV (Chaotic - in the Dates from Hell anthology), I realized that I had absolutely no recall of what it was about. I don’t DISlike her, but she’s just too forgettable to serve as a main character. I found my mind drifting off when she wasn’t interacting with the other characters.

The saving grace in this book, besides the overall storyline, was that a nice portion of the book is devoted to Lucas, his family, and the Cortez Cabal. VERY interesting developments there and I’m not breathing a word about them except to say that we should expect some future book(s) to tell more of their story.

Bottom line: Entertaining audio book and, while the series doesn’t have my booklust bubbling over, it’s still definitely interesting enough to remain on my auto-buy list.
Piquant Opines (print format): RT, LV, Dark Angel

Have you read this book? Feel free to review or link to a review in the comments. Even if you don't agree!

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