23 hrs and 59 mins
Whispersync for Voice-ready
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.
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.
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.
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.