Dark Hope: The Devil’s Assistant
Written by: H. D. Smith
Narrated by: Lauren Fortgang
Length: 11 hrs and 9 mins
Series: The Devil’s Assistant, Book 1
Release Date: 05-14-14
Publisher: Heather D Smith
Urban fantasy usually lends itself pretty well to the audiobook format, so I expected to have a nice experience with Dark Hope. For the most part, my expectations were met. It’s a good fantasy story that I found enjoyable enough so although I took a couple of breaks from it, I didn’t abandon it and listened till the end. If you’re a UF fan, this could be a series worth getting into.
It feels kind of weird when you listen to a narrator for the first time, or at least that’s how I feel. It takes my brain a couple of minutes to adjust and to actually start comprehending what is being told which is kind of annoying but it’s a small price to pay for the ability to have books poured into my brain while doing other work. That said, I now realize that it took very little effort for me to get used to Lauren Fortgang’s narration, which I think is both due to personal preference and her skills. The voice she gives to Claire, the Devil’s assistant is somehow quite suitable for the character and eases you into the strange reality of the damned and the plebs from the start.
I have to say I found the plot somewhat slow moving at the beginning but I pressed on, expecting things to get more interesting and eventually they did. I had a problem with Claire as a protagonist, specifically with her attitude in a couple of places. She just didn’t give enough of a damn (no pun intended) as much as she should have! I can’t quite decide if that was an intentional feature of her character, or an imperfection of the writing but it was there and it bothered me a little.
My sneaking suspicions about the quality of the audio production had no ground this time, thankfully. You just can’t know for sure with self-published audiobooks. Quality was good, the editing was done well, nothing funky about the recording.
Overall, I liked what I heard despite it not being very original. Wouldn’t call it my favorite book ever and that cliffhanger at the end could annoy some of you, but if you’re looking for a solid urban fantasy to follow, I think Dark Hope is a good choice.
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