Where I Got It: Won a copy from AudaVoxx (thanks!).
Narrators: Fatimah Halim, J. Lyle
Publisher: Belly Dance with Shalimar Ali (2014)
Length: 1 hour 7 minutes
Note: Even though this is Book 3 in the series, it works OK as a stand alone.
Told in a series of short scenes, ancient queens and vampires compete and couple in the past, just as their dopplegangers do the same in our time. From Cleopatra to Dracula, belly dancing to the grind, ancient witch Queen Salome to modern day witch Grany Rosa Smith, this tale is anything but traditional.
At first, I wasn’t sure what to make of this book. It does skip around quickly, so you have to pay close attention. There is also a large cast of characters, so you never have time to get attached to any one character. Instead, you simply have to sit back and enjoy the experience, like watching an hour of 80s music videos. Not every video has to make 100% sense, and they don’t have to necessarily relate to one another, and you certainly don’t get to know the individual band members from the one video they feature in within that hour.
The over all experience was definitely different. I wouldn’t have thought to pair vampires and belly dancing, both of which can be sexy things. I liked that we had more female roles than male roles (something that is still hard to find in today’s literature). However, I didn’t like that at least half of these ladies were in direct competition with each of for a man. Sigh. So cliche.
Still, it was an interesting experience and for an hour’s entertainment, you could do far worse.
The Narration: Fatimah Halim and J. Lyle were excellent narrators. For having to switch characters, locations, and times so often they did a very nice job. I really liked Halim’s rich, full voice that made me think of comfort food and curvy sexy women all at once. J. Lyle had to pull off some accents while sounding like he had pointy teeth, which he did very well.
What I Liked: The cover art; the narration; so very different than anything else I have read lately; belly dancing!; plenty of female roles.
What I Disliked: Often the ladies were in competition with each for a man’s attention, which is simply boring.