Welcome to my weekly feature that focuses on audiobooks. It’s time to…
NOTE: This review may contain spoilers from the previous books in the series.
It’s been a few books since I last listened to the Night Prince series, and I have to say the time away seems to have changed my feelings towards the series and narrator. I’m not sure if it’s this book in particular, or if it’s due to what I’ve listened to in the interim, but I’m not enjoying the story and narrator nearly as much as I did a couple months ago.
The story opens with Leila using her electrical talents to try to find which of Vlad’s associates are working with his mortal enemy. Unfortunately, she places herself in danger, and being the controlling, overprotective vampire he is, Vlad puts a semi-permanent stop to her efforts. This puts the pair at odds as neither can find a way to a happy middle-ground where Leila helps. However, as the danger intensifies, Vlad must turn to another enemy for assistance.
The focus of the entire book is finding Szilagyi, the vampire who has pretty much ruined Vlad’s life lately. And while I was temporary irritated at the wall put up between Vlad and Leila, the communication and compromises came much sooner than I expected. Although, I was annoyed at the constant references to Leila’s dreaded “inner voice” and the “he’ll leave you when he finds out what you did” scenes. However, Vlad and Leila’s relationship strengthened even more during the course of the book, and for that I’m grateful. They had a couple of emotionally intense scenes, which reminded me of the reasons why I enjoy this series.
With that said, I have to ask… how many times will Leila be captured and tortured? Enough already. It’s old news and I really hope that it won’t happen again in future titles. And there will be future titles. While Bound by Flames may put a wrap on some of the outstanding, over-arching storylines, the ending provides insight to an even more dangerous threat to Vlad and his family.
Finally, the narration really annoyed me at times when listening to the story. Where as in the past I enjoyed Ms. Gilbert’s non-speaking vocal additions and the way she’d infuse emotion into the voices, this time around I found it to be over the top. Things like Leila’s whiny voice, the silly giggling, and the passion-driven breathlessness sounded forced and overly dramatic. I wonder if I would have liked the story better if I’d read it instead.
In the end, my return to Vlad and Leila was entertaining, even with some of the annoyances. Their relationship is the primary thing I enjoy about the series, and that held strong through the listening of Bound by Flames.