Lord of Darkness Audiobook
By: Elizabeth Hoyt
Narrated by: Emma Taylor
Published by Hachette Audio 2/2013
Maiden Lane Series #5
Lord of Darkness Audiobook Sample
Emma Taylor gives a very inconsistent performance and I don’t think she was the right choice for the reading of this wonderful book. I had an inkling I was in trouble when a character was suppose to hiss her words, and instead, they came out regular. Or worse, as you can hear in the sample audio bite, called out a hiss in a high-pitched falsetto instead. Forget about when one is supposed to deliver a threat sotto voce.
Elizabeth Hoyt’s Maiden Lane series is certainly NOT one that a person can pick up in the middle and read as a “stand-alone.” That said, I think this could very well be the Big Reason as to why Emma Taylor doesn’t elevate this story in any way. She doesn’t seem to know the storyline, let alone understand the characters. I’m convinced she hasn’t read or listened to the previous four books in this delightful series.
There are many returning characters, and she doesn’t get them right, sounding way too “stuffy” for my taste. I love English accents, but not ones that all sound like that, most especially the heroes and heroines. She speaks like someone who is trying to impersonate an English accent and only knows to give it a “snooty” delivery. Regardless, her voice of Sarah, Godric St. John’s sister, is very inconsistent. Speaking of which, I believe that “St. John,” in the United Kingdom, is pronounced as one word: “SINdzin” or “SIN-jin” with stress on the start of the word.
I don’t have much heart to go on about her male voices. **sigh** Except to say that the delicious Lord Caire, from Wicked Intentions, the first in the series, has turned into a stogie, pompous old fart, instead of the sexy beast we know he is destine to remain. Abysmal.
The only voices I did like were some of the new characters, as when she was reading the letters from Godric’s first wife. Clara’s voice she delivered with a young, fresh, and happy tone. Odd, since the first Mrs. St. John was dreadfully ill for the last nine years of her life. Nevertheless, I’ll give Ms. Taylor the benefit of the doubt as to their having been written before her infirmity.
While I thought her readings of the Legend of Hellequin at the beginning of each chapter were nice; unfortunately, Ms. Taylor’s pacing is off elsewhere; fast at times and too slow at others. I’m used to adjusting some narrators to fit my ear, and love that my iPod/Touch even has the half speeds in between, but I’ve never had to adjust the speed so many times. I don’t put the blame solely on Ms. Taylor, as I would think, with all our modern technology, the director would note this and have her adjust accordingly. She left me wondering, “Were her recordings done on caffeinated and uncaffeinated days?” If so, all the Legend of Hellequin recordings must have been done together.
I feel like I’ve gone on a long enough rant here, and am feeling quite harsh. So, let me justify myself by saying I truly love this series; it ranks as one of my very favorites. Maybe that is why I feel so disappointed. Still, I felt honor-bound to listen to the whole book on audio; however, I didn’t enjoy it until I took periodic breaks and sought solace in my Kindle version to re-read sections.
Elizabeth Hoyt is a New York Times bestselling author of historical romance. She also writes contemporary romance under the name Julia Harper. She now lives in central Illinois with her husband and two children.
Emma Taylor is an actress based in London.
Credits include: Sam [Shoreditch Bitch, RichMix, London], Vera [The Fat Man’s Wife, London, Tennessee Williams, UK premiere], Sue [The Nanny/ The Gossip, Soho Theatre], Amanda [Innocent Fanatics, Moving Theatre Company, Norwich], Jools [A Coalition Carol, Canal Café], Enid Blyton [Obits, Canal Café], Mina [Dracula, Hackney Empire], Lizanka [Zoyka’s Apartment, Old Red Lion & Edinburgh Fringe], Blanche [Desire, Desire, Desire; Christopher Durang, Canal Café], Anna Zmeyukin [The Wedding; Anton Chekhov, The Shaw Theatre & Moscow], multiple characters [Sam n’ Emma, Pop Tarts, Pleasance, London & Edinburgh Fringe], Amanda [Private Lives, Hackney Empire Studio], Titania [A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Phoenix Arts, Leicester], Nancy [(cover)/ensemble, Oliver, Demontfort Hall, Leicester], Estelle [Huis Clos (No Exit), Jean-Paul Sartre, UK university tour, A La Carte, in French].