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But not so much the narrator.
I've read this story myself at least 4 times, I love it that much. I purchased the ebook before it was split into two separate books. Maybe because that's the way I've read it, but I like it better as one. This one just felt unfinished and it was a very awkward place to end it.
I love Charlie and Diego and I'm eager to read about their further relationship development.
I also love the storyline and various characters.
I'm not sure I'll continue listening to the future audiobooks in this series. Although Zachary Antonioli isn't bad, he's not great either. I think it's more a tribute to Jeff's writing that we can tell which character is speaking, rather than the narration. Zachary managed to get some inflection in his voice at some places in the book, but he really didn't distinguish voices much at all. I'm sure it's difficult to do that, but it makes the book sound so much more alive to give each character a distinct voice.
Barely into the book, I was so distracted by the narrator's obvious cut-and-paste performance I almost quit listening. It felt like they went though and sliced out any and all silences in the performance, and simply cut and paste any corrections in without caring about audio levels or mic quality or tone-of-voice differences. And then there were several obvious places where they forgot to cut out the narrator's obvious corrections and restarts of sentences. It's like they completely rushed the editing of this audio book and it suffers for it.
Fortunately, the reading does get better about 10-15 chapters in, presumably because the editor got bored with making the book move at light speed for whatever reason, and finally let the narrator breathe a little more. I just wish they hadn't screwed up the beginning several chapters so much. The narrator himself is decent, though because of the weird cut-and-paste editing, he has obvious changes in tone mid-sentence a lot.
The book itself is good, once you get through the open few chapters of dancing around the subject of witchcraft given away on the front cover. It has an intriguing premise and a believable cast of characters. It sometimes felt a little like the book was telling me how the protagonist felt more than showing me, but I enjoyed it, especially once I got to around chapter 20, when the plot finally got moving. The chapters are short, which feels like a detriment, cutting the action apart so often, sometimes to just continue the scene in the next chapter right where the previous left off. One chapter literally cut off mid-conversation just for a cheap cliffhanger that was immediately backpedaled at the start of the next chapter! And the descriptions are thick with flowery descriptions, which works well for a bunch of scenes where showing instead of telling adds a lot to the story, but bothered me immensely when I was watching the "time remaining" tick down, which leads me to the book's biggest pitfall...
There's no ending! It just kind of STOPS at some point, with absolutely nothing resolved and every single plot thread left hanging. It feels like the author took a much longer book and just chopped it in two or three parts and released the first part as a "complete book", when it's most certainly not. There's still rising action taking place in the final few chapters, still build up for the big overarching thread in the penultimate chapter, and then the book just stops! It's not even a cliffhanger ending! It's just a normal chapter that finishes it off, and then the Audible guy says he hoped I enjoyed the production. That's not how you end a book!
My recommendation is to maybe wait for the next book(s) to arrive before reading this one, because this is HALF a story. And maybe by then, they'll get a competent editor to fix this performance too.