Narrator: Jake Urry
Publisher: Richard Whittaker (2016)
Length: 5 hours 38 minutes
Ambrose is in a self-imposed exile after he accidentally killed a man with his magic. Now this wizard roams the wilderness looking for a purpose and possibly for redemption. He comes across Bertold who has a bloodsucker imprisoned. He’s waiting for the sun to rise and roast her alive. Ambrose won’t stand for this and his actions change the course of his life, bringing unexpected companions into his life along with deadly danger.
This tale had some high points, some amusing moments, and a lot of info dumps. Sometimes I was totally engaged and sometimes I was bored. the villains are really easy to spot being brutish, so that took some of the suspense out of the book.
Florentina is the bloodsucker (vampire) that Ambrose rescued at the beginning of the tale. She’s got some dimension to her. She’s suffering from an illness that means she needs fresh blood. Ambrose vows to find a cure for her but his wizard skills are still in their fledgling state. He bumbles his way through the book. Florentina offers some wisdom and acts like a central spoke around which all the other characters rotate.
Each time we got a new character in this tale, there would be a big info dump that would mostly be their back story. It was a rather tedious way to get introduced to each character. It often took me away from the plot. From Florentina to Reggie to the Wolfboy to even Bertold. It was like reading a character development sheet instead of being an integrated part of the story.
Florentina and Ambrose fall in love almost instantly. It’s not even lust. It’s this deep soul-cleaving love. Since it was so automatic I had trouble getting behind it.
The Tookingtons were amusing. They were these little animated flowers that acted as an honor guard for Florentina. Definitely dangerous in great numbers.
By the end, Ambrose and his crew still have some things to wrap up. I smell a sequel in the making. I was very satisfied to see that Ambrose had found his tribe. He’s the stronger for it.
The Narration: Jake Urry is so good in every book I have listened to him narrate and his performance here doesn’t disappoint. He gives Florentina an accent. The Wolfboy gets his own unique voice. The ladies sound like actual women. Ambrose’s emotions are nicely displayed in this narration.
What I Liked: The cover art; the initial set up; Ambrose’s quest; all these misfits that are brought together; ending left room for a sequel; great narration.
What I Disliked: Insta-love didn’t work for me; lots of info dumps.