The Raven Audiobook by Sylvain Reynard (review)

Posted by on Feb 24, 2015 in Reviews | 46 comments

Review of: The Raven Audiobook
Sylvain Reynard

Reviewed by:
On February 24, 2015
Last modified:August 24, 2022


The Raven Audiobook

By: Sylvain Reynard

Narrated by: John M. Morgan

Published by : Penguin Audio 02/03/2015

The Raven Audiobook by Silvain Reynard


4 Hearts rating image Hot Listens

The Florentine Series # 1

13 hrs and 35 mins


The Raven Audiobook Sample

Raven Wood spends her days at Florence’s Uffizi gallery restoring Renaissance art. But an innocent walk home after an evening with friends changes her life forever. When she intervenes in the senseless beating of a homeless man, his attackers turn on her, dragging her into an alley. Raven is only semiconscious when their assault is interrupted by a cacophony of growls followed by her attackers’ screams. Mercifully, she blacks out, but not before catching a glimpse of a shadowy figure who whispers to her…

Cassita vulneratus.

When Raven awakes, she is inexplicably changed. Upon returning to the Uffizi, no one recognizes her. More disturbingly, she discovers that she’s been absent an entire week. With no recollection of her disappearance, Raven learns that her absence coincides with one of the largest robberies in Uffizi history – the theft of a set of priceless Botticelli illustrations. When the police identify her as their prime suspect, Raven is desperate to clear her name. She seeks out one of Florence’s wealthiest and most elusive men in an attempt to uncover the truth. Their encounter leads Raven to a dark underworld whose inhabitants kill to keep their secrets…

This edition only: Includes Bonus Scenes

©2015 Sylvain Reynard (P)2015 Penguin Audio


The Raven (4.0 Hearts)

I had a love-hate relationship with Sylvain Reynard’s writing in the Gabriel’s Inferno series. There were so many things I loved about the first book in that series, as well things I didn’t like at all. One those being how pretentious I found his style.

With that said, I’m glad I stuck  with that series b/c I ended up really enjoying the series as a whole.

The Raven is a spin-off from that series.
In Gabriel Inferno, professor Gabriel had is his possession the priceless Botticelli illustrations, which he gave to the Uffizi Museum. Those who read those novels will remember this part clearly.

Unfortunately, these art wonders had already an owner. An owner who has vowed to recover his property and to punish those that had his art in their possession.

That owner happens to be The Prince, an 800-year-old powerful vampire and the ruler of the city of Florence.
Lucky for the Professor, there’s a play for power brewing in the vampire world and that has The Prince preoccupied.

Raven Wood is an ordinary girl. She’s not much to look at, she is a little chubby and walks with limp. Her solitary life is divided between her work and her small apartment in Florence.

Raven’s job as a restorer of Renaissance art  in the Uffizi museum puts her right on the Prince’s path. A path that’s not only is going to open her eyes to a supernatural hidden world, but it’s also going to change her life forever.

My thoughts.

The Writing.

I LOVED the descriptions and almost poetic depictions of Florence. Sylvain Reynard is an excellent author. If you come to enjoy his writing he never fails to take you into his worlds with his seductive, intelligent and atmospheric style.

The Story.

The mystery that surrounds the Prince and his supernatural world is really interesting. It reminded me a little bit of the Volturi in the Twilight novels, which is not surprising since Gabriel’s Inferno started as a fan fiction of those novels.
I enjoyed the gothic feeling I got from the story. It’s set in the present, yet is had a feeling of antiquity that separates it from other modern Vampire Novels.

The Characters.

The I love Raven! There’s a pretty determined little heroine under the insignificant  facade. I love seeing her character’s layers unravel and finding out what broke her inside and out.
The Prince! He’s dark mysterious, powerful, ruthless and yet honorable.

The romance.

Not the most passionate or scorching hot I ever read, not by a long shot – but it’s definitely a unique love story. I was sorry I didn’t get to fully understand the Prince’s attraction to Raven – nevertheless the story’s mystery, intrigue, beautiful descriptions, smart writing and the bit of action had me enjoying all 13.5 hours in the novel and looking forward to next book in the series.

All in all, I enjoyed it. I recommend this to casual romance listener.

I think this story can be fully enjoyed without having listened to Gabriel’s Inferno. I also didn’t read the novella, The Prince, but I never felt lost. I wouldn’t discourage anybody from starting there, but it’s not on audio.

Grey earphones

The Raven Audiobook Narration

(5 Hearts)

There are quite a few instances where the enjoyment of an audiobook is unequivocally due to the narrator performance. This was the case for me with The Raven.

I had not doubts in my mind of John M. Morgan’s capacity to bring and even add another layer of emotive feelings to Mr. Raynard’s writing.

The beautiful descriptions and imaginary in the text are even more grand, not in a way that falls into melodrama, but in a skillful way that lets you experience the story without falling into pompous territory.

His Italian pronunciations are excellent and give the novel a true feeling of Florence, all under his masculine well-moderated voice.

I had a bit of a problem with the female voices in Gabriel’s Inferno, but that’s all behind. I enjoyed all the characters interpretations of The Raven.

All in all, I loved narrator John M. Morgan‘s interpretation of this novel and I’m looking forward to listening to his performance of the next audiobook in the series.

Sylvain ReynardI’m interested in the way literature can help us explore aspects of the human condition – particularly suffering, sex, love, faith, and redemption. My favourite stories are those in which a character takes a journey, either a physical journey to a new and exciting place, or a personal journey in which he or she learns something about himself/herself.

I’m also interested in how aesthetic elements such as art, architecture, and music can be used to tell a story or to illuminate the traits of a particular character. In my writing, I combine all of these elements with the themes of redemption, forgiveness, and the transformative power of goodness.

I try to use my platform as an author to raise awareness about the following charities: Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep Foundation, WorldVision, Alex’s Lemonade Stand, and Covenant House. For more information, see my Charities page.

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Narrator John Michael MorganJohn M. Morgan is a writer, director, singer, actor, teacher and storycarrier who has worked in many contexts over the years, including film, television, theater, and schools. His BA from Wheaton College is in Literature with an emphasis on creative writing and mythology. He also has an MFA in Acting from Southern Methodist University and a second MFA in Film Production and Directing from UCLA. John was born in Chicago, Illinois and was raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota. His screenplay, THE CAVANAUGHS (which he wrote with his co-writer, Meg LeFauve) was selected for the Sundance Writers Lab. John also attended the Sundance Directors Lab as a directing fellow. While in development with THE CAVANAUGHS, John continues to write, direct, perform and teach. When he graduated from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas he co-founded Kitchen Dog Theater, now a longstanding, multi-award winning theater. When he moved to Los Angeles, he worked in various arenas: as an actor or director in film, television, commercial voiceovers, and on stage. He has also worked as a singer, performing in musicals, chamber pieces, new opera pieces and world music festivals.


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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.
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