Hound's Bite: Ivy Granger, Psychic Detective, Volume 5 (Unabridged)
by E.J. Stevens
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PRG Reviewer's Choice Award finalist for Best Urban Fantasy series. Ivy Granger thought she left the worst of Mab's creations behind when she escaped Faerie. She thought wrong. In a cruel twist of fate, Ivy has unleashed a powerful horde of Unseelie beasts upon her city, turning her homecoming into a potential slaughter of innocents. Now Ivy must gather her allies to fight a reputedly unstoppable force - The Wild Hunt. Will the training Ivy received in her father's court be enough to save her city, or will Harborsmouth be forced to kneel before the Lord of the Hunt? She is willing to risk her own life, but some sacrifices come at a cost worse than death. When an ally is bitten by one of The Wild Hunt's hounds, Ivy must face the possibility that winning this battle may mean killing the one person she has come to love most. Hound's Bite is the fifth full-length novel in the award-winning, best-selling Ivy Granger urban fantasy series by E.J. Stevens. The world of Ivy Granger, including the Ivy Granger Psychic Detective series and Hunters' Guild series, is filled with action, mystery, magic, dark humor, quirky characters, bloodsucking vampires, flirtatious demons, sarcastic gargoyles, sexy shifters, temperamental witches, psychotic faeries, and snarky, kick-butt heroines. The Ivy Granger series has won numerous awards, including the BTS Red Carpet Award for Best Novel, the PRG Reviewer's Choice Award for Best Paranormal Fantasy Novel, Best Urban Fantasy Novel, and finalist for Best Urban Fantasy Series.
Stevens crafts an action-packed tale
As if Ivy Granger doesn't have enough problems with her mom being Queen Mab, her father is Will of the Wisp, her fiancé is The king of Kelpies, her adopted son is full on demon and she's a full blown fey; but now one of her trusted friends has gone evil rogue and The Wild Hunt is on the prowl. Can she save her friends and the town she loves? Who amongst her friends will suffer if she loses?
EJ Stevens crafts an action-packed tale which challenges each character to do what is right instead of what is expected. I loved how the various forms of fey/supernaturals were involved demonstrating that differences can be put aside for the good of all.
Character development was solid as was the plot. There were a couple of times where things seemed to take a leap and she had more aces up her sleeve than a casino has chips. That phrase was overused however the story itself was solid and engaging.
This was a bit of a theatrical presentation with sounds and music; often getting in the way of the story. Narrators Melanie Mason and Anthony Bowlin did an amazing job of owning the book with their talented and crafted voices. They never stumbled over one another and their voices fit each character.
There were no issues with the production or quality of this audiobook. Although I felt the sound effects are more of a hindrance than a help.
Audiobook was provided for review by the author.
Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog
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Ivy returns home with hounds on her heels.
*I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.
Ivy, Ceff, and Torn have returned from Faerie, with the Wild Hunt on their heels. Opening the door and going to Faerie has it's consequences, and the Wild Hunt is one for Ivy.
By now you know I'm a sucker for the extras in audio. The first thing we hear are the howls that Ivy hears as she speaks, questioning what the howls are. This has me liking the audio from the first moment. We get a female and male voice team for this book. All feminine voices are performed by Melanie and all male by Anthony. It adds a nice flavor and contrast to the characters as we listen. I like the sound that they give to Herne's voice.
The refresher was shorter in this book, thankfully. Though when we meet someone we get their back story as of now. I'm one for working this into the story not just giving it to me at seeing the person in the beginning of the book. But that's my preference, not everyone's.
At times I found sentences that were more poetic than others. There are also sentences that made the story feel as though it was for a young adult crowd (which it's really not) because it told what was implied the sentence before, instead of letting the impression for the reader be all that was needed. I like how the writing has improved as well. Ivy doesn't just point something out about herself, the events and others guide to that moment of a bigger feeling.
Ivy has grown into a strong woman. She has to do the things that are hard, and stop someone that's dangerous. She's written more in what she's doing than just telling us how she is. Ivy also has to face consequences of what's been done in the past.
This book feels to be deeper in the plot. There is more reason to the Wild Hunt being here than originally thought. And I like the connections to the reasons. They feel on the larger scale than the previous books. There is more to come and more going on outside of Ivy's little world than we knew.
Jinx has her own drive in this book. She's working to free the streets of the dangerous drug Ice. It was something that was used on her and killed another, but that story can be found in Club Nexus. This is a wonderful tie in and building of the character that we've seen through the stories.
I very much enjoyed this story. It felt to tie a bunch of strings from the previous books together here. Everything leads up to something. What the characters have lived through and why the events have happened. I like this connection as the story feels to have a great depth to it.
I love this combination of story and narration
Stars: Overall 5 Narration 5 Story 5
From the first, I’ve been in Ivy’s corner as one weird and otherworldly element has appeared in her world, and she’s adjusted. It’s not enough that around every corner there is something new for her to encounter, adjust to or overcome, but her own personal growth has brought her own history, affected her friends, and brought endless challenges into her life. Stevens has brought fey, witches, fairies, vampires, ghouls and more into this little town of Harborsmouth, and Ivy has always managed to find some sort of solution or accommodation to keep the town safe. But now, a hoarde of unseelie beasts are threatening the city and Ivy must find a way to remove the threat while keeping the Lord of the Hunt and his hounds at bay.
Ivy has SO much to deal with: her father is Will o’ the Wisp, her mother is Mab, the child she adopted is a demon and her significant other is the King of the Kelpies. If that wasn’t enough, one of her friends has been bitten by one of the hounds from the hunt, and is now gone rogue, in all the worst ways. While each book has me empathizing with Ivy, and hoping she’ll pull something out from her sleeve that settles a problem, this book had me on the edge of my seat from beginning to end. Much of Ivy’s path has been an ‘oops’ moment, where one of her actions unleashes something horrible, and then she scrambles to get back in control – this is nothing different, but you have to admire her determination and lateral thinking when she is trying out solutions. Her growth through this series has been exponential, and through it all – good and bad, she manages to hold onto a sense of humor and a belief that things will work out because the good should prevail.
Narration in this story is provided by Melanie Mason and Anthony Bowling and their dual narration brings the characters to light, adding appropriate emotion, tension and weight to the moments as they appear. Clear enunciation, pauses where required, never overstepping on each other’s performance and allowing the words and action to stand forward, even as music was added to bring an atmospheric influence. I’m not against music in stories, and there were some clever compositional choices that did add auditory interest. I love this combination of story and narration, and the series is a unique and interconnected series of events in one small town – a favorite of mine and a great treat for those looking for something different this Halloween season.
I received an audiobook copy of the title via AudioBook Jukebox for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.