Delicate Thorns by Ainsley Shay & Miranda Hardy

ShayHardyDelicateThornsWhere I Got It: Review copy via Audiobook Monthly (thanks!)

Narrator: Angie Hickman

Publisher: Quixotic Publishing (2015)

Length: 2 hours 40 minutes

Shay’s Author’s Page & Hardy’s Author’s Page

She awoke alone on an island and has been so for some time now. She hungers for blood and avoids the sun. She has no memory of who she is nor does she know how she came to be on the island. Then a chance encounter with a group of tourists allows her to leave the island and rejoin society. Her missing past is a constant reminder that she isn’t normal. Her constant awareness of all the walking, talking meals is an annoyance.

Jasmine (for that is the name she chose for herself) fumbles through her life, Part II. At first, it was just about survival, and then it was about a little bit of happiness. She ended up in a larger city, one with a beach and a bad section of town, along with some higher end apartments that are mostly only inhabited by seasonal visitors. As she settles in and starts seriously wondering about her past, she also meets a young, handsome man who lives just a few doors down.

The most intriguing thing about this book was Jasmine’s hidden past. Of course I wanted to learn how she came to be on that island. Was she shunned by a vampire community? Was she once an oblivious tourist who was ambushed on that island and left to die to turn? There were plenty of questions swirling around Jasmine. Eventually, we do get the answers and they were doled out bit by bit, keeping the suspense high. The answer to this particular question was satisfying.

There are only a handful of characters in this book, being a novella or long short story. Jasmine gets the most page time and, hence, has the most development. I enjoyed her character arc from survivalist to answer seeker to someone just trying to fit in and live a life. The young man a few doors down was nice enough, though he was a little too perfect. If this had been a longer story, I would hope that he would have revealed some flaw sooner or later. Other characters show up late in the story so they don’t have time for deep thoughts, but they do play critical roles in unwinding Jasmine’s secret past.

The ending to the story was bitter sweet, and that is how I like it. Jasmine gets some, but not all, the answers and has to make some choices. I am hoping the authors choose to make this a start of a series as there is more for both Jasmine and the reader to explore.

Narration:  Angie Hickman was a great voice for Jasmine, using the perfect mix of anguished, ticked off, and lost soul. Eventually, as Jasmine’s character starts to settle in, we get other feelings. There are some very ugly characters in this book that have very small roles and Hickman pulled these off well too, though it was probably a bit hard. She had a good range of male and female voices, and also accents for a few of the characters.

What I Liked:  The mystery!; the cover art; Jasmine’s character was well rounded and had a good story arc; the ending was satisfying.

What I Disliked:  The handsome young man/love interest was a little too perfect – so perfect it was almost like he didn’t have any character depth.

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