House of the Rising Sun Audiobook by Kristen Painter

Posted by on Jun 30, 2014 in Reviews | 22 comments

Review of: House of the Rising Sun Audiobook
Kristen Painter

Reviewed by:
On June 30, 2014
Last modified:November 10, 2015


House of the Rising Sun Audiobook

By: Kristen Painter

Narrated by: Elijah Alexander

Published by: Hachette Audio 05/13/2014

House of the Rising Sun Audiobook cover


3.5 Hearts Rating Image- Hot Listens

Crescent City Series # 1

23 hrs and 59 mins

Whispersync for Voice-ready

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House of the Rising Sun Audiobook Sample

Reviewed by Melanie

House of the Rising Sun was on my list as soon as I saw it. I read Kristen Painter’s House of Comarre series in its entirety last year and loved it. When I saw it was going be on audio, I thought “Score!”.

This book is a slight spin-off of the House of Comarre series. It is set in the same New Orleans with the same world. If you haven’t read that series, don’t fret, you won’t be lost in the slightest. There is some character overlap, but no so much that you will miss anything. While I recommend trying the House of Comarre series, I don’t think it matters if you read this first, so jump on in.

This series focuses more on the fae world, instead of the vampires. There are many different kinds of fae and they are out in the open, so humans are aware of them. Not all of the fae are able to blend in with humans, but some more than others. Our man character, Augustine, really can’t blend. He has six fingers on each hand (not to be confused with the man who kills Inigo Montoya’s father) and horns which he takes to sawing off most of the time (though it seems his hide better than Hellboy’s). Others might only have a difference in skin, eye or hair color that don’t work well in humans.

The world building that Painter has done is great, as I expected. She gives great detail without going overboard. You know exactly what you have to know, without too many details bogging down the story. You really get the feel of New Orleans, which makes me really want to visit.

The characters are great and flawed. Augustine’s mother berates him throughout his entire childhood, as if it were his fault she got pregnant from a fae. He is eventually taken in by a fae movie star named Olivia, who has a small part in the HoC series. She becomes a mother figure to him. Olivia uses him as somewhat of a surrogate child, Harlow, who wants nothing to do with her. Harlow is not a happy person. She doesn’t like being fae. She believes that she is only half fae, and that her father is human. She doesn’t know because her mother won’t talk about him at all. This is the strain between mother and daughter.

Augustine takes on the duty to help protect the city from some rogue vampires who are going around and killing not only the fae, but tourists as well. He pulls together a great ragtag team to help him run the vampires out of town, including other fae, the previous Guardian’s widow and even the full human housekeeper plays a roll. One of my favorite characters is Dulcinea, who is a very close friend and former short term lover of Augustine. She was just a great character who I think will have a great story to tell. I hope we get to hear more about her going forward. I think she will make a great sidekick.

While I loved the story, plot, world building and most of the characters, Harlow really brings the book down. She is just such a brat it is hard to look past all her flaws and selfishness. We do see her grow in the story as she learns more about her family and past. Augustine is such a caring character, makes up for many of her flaws. I just don’t see what he sees in her. He seems to care more for everyone than himself. I just hope this pairing doesn’t bite him on the ass.

kristen Painter

Kristen Painter

A little about me: I’m a former college English teacher, but I’ve held a crazy mix of other jobs including maitre’d for Wolfgang Puck, personal trainer, and sales for Christian Dior Bijoux. On the writing side of things, I’m a two-time Golden Heart finalist and have been on the board of three different RWA chapters. What can I say? I like getting involved. I’m not adverse to bossing people around either.

I have a *slight* shoe addiction and occasionally indulge in an unnecessary handbag. Hah! That was a joke. There is no such thing as an unnecessary handbag. I love make up and jewelry and spa days. Yes, I’m a girly girl. But don’t think that makes me weak. I can (and do) kill off characters with the best of them. Speaking of which…

My forays into writing have been as varied as the jobs I’ve held. I’ve written poetry, articles for magazines, short stories, paranormal romances (that include fantasy, contemporary and steampunk genres) and now I’ve found a home with urban fantasy. I love worldbuilding and few genres give you the kind of license urban fantasy does.

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Elijah Alexander

Elijah started his career, now 17 years in the making, as an actor in New York, where he performed in numerous productions including the Tony Award winning Broadway show, Metamorphoses at Circle in the Square, Shopping and Fucking at NYTW and Throne of Blood at BAM. He worked with the Royal Shakespeare Company for 2 years traveling with Tantalus, written by John Barton and directed by Sir Peter Hall. This production opened in Denver and toured throughout the U.K., finishing its run at The Barbican in London.


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House of the Rising Sun Audiobook Narration

While I don’t think it was great, I don’t think it detracts from the story. The flow and character voices are fine and you can differentiate each character great.

My biggest complaint is that the narrator seemed to force the Cajun and Southern accents on the characters. The voices just didn’t go with what I was picturing in my head for some the characters. They were almost so stereotypical that it was a little bit of a turnoff. I’m normally an accent junkie.

I love listening to accents when they are done well and not that these accents were bad, they just didn’t fit for some reason. As I got more into the story, it didn’t bother as much as it did in the beginning. I will continue to listen to the series going forward, if they keep this narrator.

I like to thank Hachette Audio for providing me with a copy of this Audiobook in exchange for an honest review.

Reviewed by Ml Simmons



  • 3.5
    editor rating
Loupe Duffy
A mom, a wife, a friend, a happy ending addict, an Audiobook junkie, a wine lover and geek wanna -be. I'm constantly looking to be blown away.
Loupe Duffy

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  1. I’ve never read or listened to anything by this author, but I met her at RT and she was wonderful. I really like the sound of this, so I added to my wish list after I read your review.

    • I did enjoy this book and the other series by her, though I read it and didn’t listen. I think you would like it.

  2. I haven’t read the HoC series so I was a little hesitant to start this one but just as you mentioned I wasn’t lost at all. I really enjoyed the world building and Augustine throughout this book, but Harlow really made herself hard to like IMO. I saw her as a bratty and selfish teenager when she’s obviously in her twenties, right? (I don’t even remember…LOL) I hope her characters does some major growing up, it would suck to read another book with her if she doesn’t change! Great review Melanie 🙂

    • Thanks Lori. I agree that Harlow was not only hard to like, but she made me almost not enjoy the book. And yes, she was out of college, so that would put her in lower twenties I would think. Maybe being with Augustine will help her. I loved him. 🙂

  3. I have been curious about this series, but I am not sure I would do this on audiobook, it is so long and if you had a bit of trouble with the accents. I am also not thrilled about the main character being bratty. Thanks for the honest review. Much appreciated.

    • Augustine is great character and makes up for a lot of the short fall of Harlow. I just hope that going forward, she either has a lesser role in the series or grows up. I hope you enjoy.

  4. Jen The Book Nympho listened to this one and had the same narrator issues. Not sure why he decided to add character accents that didn’t have any. LOL

    • There really isn’t mention of accents in the book, so I think he thought that since it takes place in New Orleans, everyone should be Cajun or extra Southern. I know Jennifer was tweeting with the author about it. The characters, according to the author, don’t really have an accent.

  5. Whoa … something just dawned on me while listening to the sample. I prefer male narrators. Every female narrator I’ve listened to hasn’t impressed me, I just don’t get into it, but I like the male voices. I feel more interested with them. Weird. Now I need to analyze what this means about me…

    • I have male and female narrators that I love. Some males work better for some stories and some females for others, just depends. I will say that Robert Petkoff, Phil Gigante and Jim Frangione are some of my favorite male narrators.

  6. I have her other series on my TBR! The accents might get on my nerves will have to listen to the sample and see if I can tolerate it.

    • It took me a bit, but I got used to it. I would recommend you read if you choose not to listen. The story is a good one.

  7. Glad you liked this Mel, I didn’t like the characters much and Harlow reminded me of Hellboy too. I want to get to the bottom of this house and why it’s so special.

    • Thanks. I think the story about the house will come out more in future stories, along with more on Olivia too.

  8. OOo I’d totally forgotten about this one! It sounds fantastic. Too bad about the character blip but at least some growth was seen 🙂 That’s always a good thing.

    • Yeah, I think she will be better in the next book. The other characters were all great.

  9. I have the 1st book in HoC series, but I still haven’t managed to read it actually. The cover is gorgeous. Augustine sounds like a great character, too bad Harlow brought the story down for you. I think I’ll probably read HoC and then this spin-off, because I’m a “freak” like that, lol. I prefer to read everything in order.

    • The cover is a little misleading. It makes you feel that the main character is a female, when it is really Augustine’s story. A great book and the cover is eye catching, so that is good.

  10. This was a 3.5 star read for me too because of Harlow. I just could NOT connect with her. However, by the end she’d evolved a bit, so I’m optimistic about book 2. Lovely review!

    • Thanks. I think this series has great potential. I’m hoping that Harlow either has a smaller part to play or is more mature like the very end of the book. Maybe Augustine will make her grow up some.

  11. This is one of those series that I think I’m going to wait a bit before picking up. I read most of Painter’s House of Comarre series too, and I really liked the first few books, but then I got bored, or distracted, or something, and never finished it. AND while the world-building in this does sound great, and I love the Fae, if I don’t like the characters, none of that matters. Maybe in a few books Harper will become likable, and I’ll reevaluate. Great review, Melanie!

    • Thanks. You know, sometimes it is better to wait until a series is out to start it. You can read all the books back to back, or at least closer than a year apart. Plus, you can see how others review it to see if the series gets better throughout.

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