Release date: the 17th of 2014
Written by: Tim O’Rourke
Narrated by: Keely Beresford
Series: Kiera Hudson Series One
Length: 6 hrs and 27 mins
Source: purchased through Amazon Audible
When 20-year-old police recruit Kiera Hudson is posted to the remote town of The Ragged Cove, her life is changed forever. Investigating a series of horrific murders, grave desecrations, and missing persons, Kiera uses her unique ability of seeing, and soon realizes her own life is in danger. When Kiera falls for police officer Luke Bishop, not only are her mind and heart opened to a terrifyingly new world, she comes to suspect that Luke might be involved in the killings. In a race against time to unearth the truth, Kiera must discover the identity of who – or what – is behind the gruesome deaths on her Vampire Shift.
“Vampire Shift” is Book One of The Kiera Hudson Series One.
Let me start out by saying that the reason the book didn’t receive 4 or even a 4.5 heart rating from me, is all because of the Keely Beresford. This is the first time I listen to an audio book, where I haven’t already read the book – and Keely’s narrating was just too over the top and childish for me. Her narrating reminds me of parents reading to their children, and doing those over the top different voices for different characters. Granted it works when you’re about to tug your child into bed, and want to finish their day with a nice bed time story. For me it did not work at all – it was actually rather annoying, and it stole the attention from the plot. Some of the chapters that were really suspense filled made me laugh, because of the way she read it out. Such a shame!
Aside from the horrible narrating, the plot is great! This is not your run of the mill sparkling vampires, who forsake their very nature to save humans. Nuh-uhh! These vampires are dark, twisted and live (if that’s what they do), to spread terror into the very humans who’s blood they crave. The world building is great and the author pays a great attention to detail. Through this, he managed to create an angst filled setting. Everyone was a suspect. Without carrying around a big obvious sign on the forehead, the good guys seemed to be the bad guys, and with constant twists and turns being thrown into the mix it was so hard to guess who I should be cheering on.
One of the thing I feel like I often criticise authors for, is their character building and development. This is one of the rare cases where I have no critique. None at all. All the characters, protagonists and antagonists alike, were all richly formed and felt three-dimensional. All of them – even the secondary characters, felt whole and I had no problem connecting with them and despite the annoying Keely Beresford, I did at times feel like a part of this world.
Now this book is advertised as a paranormal romance story, which is almost misleading. I mean sure there’s the paranormal aspect, which is covered by the vampires. Then there’s the romance, which is supposedly covered by the typical man and woman instant love aspect. However, that’s the only part that doesn’t feel like it’s explored completely. I actually think this is one of the first times I read a romance book written by a man, but as I recently read one where the male author nailed it, this leaves a lot to be desired. It’s almost like the author distances his work from it, even though he’s the one leading his characters towards it. Sure the “L” word is mentioned, but it’s almost like the characters doesn’t even believe it themselves. It’s hard to describe, but it’s like one of those really bad films where the actor reads out the script, but there’s no feeling behind it. That’s how the romance feels in this book.
However, I was greatly impressed by the author’s creativity in bringing his world alive and the plot would probably have kept me on the edge of my seat, if I had been reading the book instead of listening to it. However, as I purchased the 6 books in the series in an audio bundle, I will be listening to them all. Time will tell whether or not the narrating voice improves!
Do you like paranormal romance with a touch of horror? Do you enjoy reading about vampires when they don’t sparkle? Have you read this book or are you planning to read it? Let’s talk in the comments!
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