Anthropologist Jillian Ramsay's career has taken a turn south.
Concerned that technology is about to chase mythological creatures out into the open (how long can Sasquatch stay hidden from Google maps?), the League for Interspecies Cooperation is sending Jillian to Louisiana on a fact-finding mission. While the League hopes to hold on to secrecy for a little bit longer, they're preparing for the worst in terms of human reactions. They need a plan, so they look to Mystic Bayou, a tiny town hidden in the swamp where humans and supernatural residents have been living in harmony for generations. Mermaids and gator shifters swim in the bayou. Spirit bottles light the front porches after twilight. Dragons light the fires under crayfish pots.
Jillian's first assignment for the League could be her last. Mystic Bayou is wary of outsiders, and she has difficulty getting locals to talk to her. And she can't get the gruff town sheriff, Bael Boone, off of her back or out of her mind. Bael is the finest male specimen she's seen in a long time, even though he might not be human. Soon their flirtation is hotter than a dragon's breath, which Bael just might turn out to be....
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By jules on 31-01-18
New series has potential, but annoying audio
Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?
Yes, if audio is improved (see below). I love Molly Harper & Amanda Ronconi, and have all their supernatural-themed audible books. I’m not that keen on chapters with alternating POV however, and think the story would read better from one perspective. I like the set-up for this new series, however. Mystic Bayou and its inhabitants are a lot of fun, and there is a huge range of characters and mythologies to explore alongside the how-to-protect-the-town storyline. Main character Gillian is clever, caring, funny, interesting: multi-dimensional and likeable. And realistic! You root for her and feel you could know her, which is exactly what I hope for in a book like this. Her love interest isn’t such a well-developed character, but is likeable.
I will keep an eye out for the next book, with fingers crossed that it’s a bit better (with the quality audio it deserves).
How could the performance have been better?
Switching between male & female performers was distracting. It’s not a play, so having F read some chapters and a M read others meant that you were hearing each character’s voice read by 2 people. No consistency. Also, unnecessary. A Ronconi is excellent at distinguishing a range of characters/voices.
Also, and this was a major issue for me, it sounded as if some passages had been re-recorded and edited on; every so often the tone would change for a few sentences as if the actor had been in a different place, nearer to the microphone etc - then it switched back to the main recording. This was really jarring.
27 of 28 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Kristi on 13-02-18
As someone from Louisiana...
As someone from Louisiana, let me say that I always panic when I pick up an audible set in the bayou. There's too much that can go wrong for me. If the writer doesn't understand the culture or the narrator doesn't understand the accent, I just get annoyed. However, Molly Harper as well as Amanda Ronconi and Jonathan Davis do a nice job here.
Molly Harper has spun a well developed tale with conflict, mystery, interesting characters and an interesting community. I was impressed by the story and would definitely pick up something else from her. I fell like she's probably not from Louisiana, maybe watched a lot of True Blood, but she didn't try to overdo it and shove in a lot of incorrect, Hollywood-ized cultural references. The only thing I can say with certainty is that you don't have crawfish boils on New Years (it's not the season) and you don't boil shrimp with your crawfish because their seasons don't run together. If that's the worst trespass she has, she's in good shape.
Speaking of True Blood, Jonathan Davis' Cajun accent is straight out of Bon Temps. As a matter of fact, he sounds just like Rene from season 1. It's not exactly accurate but it's not a complete disaster either. I appreciate the attempt and the effort to keep it natural and not overdone. Kudos to the narrators for a great job.
73 of 76 people found this review helpful
By Kerri J. on 05-02-18
In general, I am really a fan of Molly Harper, but a few of her books (like the Bluegrass series), have been only marginally better than mediocre; this is one of those. The characters are likable enough, and the story is entertaining enough. But, the characters aren't outstanding, and the story isn't riveting. Perhaps I would have liked it better if I had never read the Half-Moon Hollow series, and so I wouldn't be subconsciously weighing this book against those books, but I have, and so I did.
These characters felt a little flat, like they had a lot of potential, but they just weren't developed quite enough to be all that they could be, and the plot kind of seemed bare-minimum; it was very uncomplicated. Sure, simple plots can become phenomenal stories, with clever and sophisticated crafting; I don't believe this particular simple plot quite achieved brilliance.
Nevertheless, it was still quite readable, and not regrettable.
A note about the dual narration: I have always appreciated Amanda Ronconi's contribution to Molly Harper's novels, and she was no less adept here. Jonathan Davis did a good job. My problem is that their narrations--that is, their respective interpretations--did not go well together, so much so that the shift from one to the other was jarring. Davis isn't (like many male narrators), particularly skilled at female voices, and this was further underscored by the dual narration, because, if he were the sole narrator, it's possible the listener could become accustomed to his female characterizations. Unfortunately for him, he shares narration with Ronconi, who is more skilled at voicing characters of the opposite sex (at least to my ear, anyway). I think the dual narration could have worked if the two narrators had read simultaneously, dialogue-style, but that seems to be done very rarely. Also, these chapters were actually written from alternating perspectives. Anyway, the narration wasn't ideal.
23 of 24 people found this review helpful