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I do like Charlie Cochet's work in particular the Thirds series. However, I don't usually listen to books shorter than 6 hours. Feeling flush with Christmas credits, I decided to buy and listen to this book.
I'm so pleased that I did!
The narrator has a great voice and the performance was superb. Sometimes narrators rush but in this case the pace was just right. The characterisation was good and the different 'voices' easy to follow. Please, someone else employ him!
The story was good: I put it at 4 stars only because I felt that it was a HFN and the author could have continued the story.
If you enjoy paranormal M/M then this is right for you.
The story has an interesting premise: Tiger shifters battle demons through different dimensions, and during one such battle the Soldati King finds his fated mate, who is human.
Much of the world building is through exposition and the action is off page quite a bit, which isn't unusual given this is such a short novella, but in all I thought there was a good amount of world building throughout. The biggest surprise, for me, was how scant the romance aspect of this was especially for a fated mates story.
Manuel Pombo is a new to me narrator. He has a stronger Mexican accent, which is pleasant to listen to, and gave the male character voices, especially the tiger shifters, a strong, masculine sound. I'll admit I was a bit surprised at how he voiced Riley Murrough, mostly because I pictured Riley to have a more New York Irish kind of accent when I read the story.
Pombo does perform different character voices, but they were not always completely distinguishable from one another. I really liked his voice and tone for Khalon, but I did notice that Pombo sometimes lost an accent he was attributing to a character and would then pick it up again later.
He has good breath spacing, but his pacing and tone were off quite a lot in the beginning, and his pronunciation of some words was odd to me and had me stopping to rewind to figure out a particular word (i.e.: sleight sounding like slate).
All of that being said, this really wasn't an unpleasant listen, I mostly enjoyed the narration, especially as Pombo progressed, and the story was interesting with a strong HFN ending setting up a potential series.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
I’d read the first edition in Charmed & Dangerous and liked it quite a lot! There’s not a TON of differences, but it is a bit longer. In any case it’s a really sweet story with a great deal of world building that I hope Charlie makes into a long series!
We have a clueless human who doesn’t know his destiny meeting a very conceited Tiger shifter, a prince, who ends up being his true mate. They don’t HAVE to mate, but if they don’t mate it’s hard work to avoid consequences. Meanwhile, unmated, their lives are in danger so they need to either commit to the mating or quickly get their fates reversed.
It seems like this would be a fast and furious sprint to the finish, but Charlie manages to create this “bubble” where our MCs can explore one another and actually build a relationship. It was a very clever plot device that gave this story a bit more staying power in my mind.
I loved the secondary characters as well, and hope to see them in the future.
What I loved about this was the great reversal where Khalon finally sees the good in Riley – I love those moments! So very sweet! There’s some nice smexy times and exciting adventures, too.
All in all a great short story and hopefully a start to a fun series!
The Soldati Prince is narrated by Manuel Pombo – a new to me narrator and he is AMAZING!
I literally cannot recommend this enough. Go out and listen to the sample for yourself – he’s got this great accent that he can switch from American to… British? I’m lousy at that identification process – but it rocks!
He’s also great with pacing and emotion and his voice is like BUTTER!
Highly recommended! I’m going to be re-listening to this one a LOT!
I really hope we see more of this guy he is awesome the perfect narrator for the story absolutely elevated this to a six out of five.
6 of 5 stars