Audiobook review: Diamond Fire
Author: Ilona Andrews
Narrator: Renée Raudman & Emily Rankin
Audio Speed: 1.25x
Series: Hidden Legacy #3.5
Genre: Urban Fantasy, novella
I always, always love doing a “re-read” of any Ilona Andrew book via the audiobook format, and Diamond Fire is no exception. This wonderful novella is a transitional story in the Hidden Legacy series, taking listeners from Nevada’s story (first three books) to Catalina’s world (future stories). From my original review:
In Diamond Fire, only the prologue is Nevada’s, recounting when she first meets Rogan’s mother. The remainder of the book is Catalina’s tale. The authors designed the story brilliantly so that it makes sense for Nevada to be on the sidelines. I like how Catalina pulls in her family to do the investigative work… just like when Nevada lead the group. While it’s clear she’s learned from Nevada and her mom, Catalina has her own unique style. She methodically investigates and gathers the facts, handling the entire ordeal with a maturity beyond her years.
Knowing that the future of the Hidden Legacy series belongs to Catalina, Diamond Fire is a wonderful transition from the old guard to the younger generation. I am completely satisfied with and happy that Nevada and Rogan get their Happily Ever After. I like that the format is familiar, yet unique to Catalina, and my curiosity is piqued on how she will grow into her own.
Narration: For as long as I can recall, I’ve always listened to Renée Raudman narrate the Ilona Andrew’s titles. They are my all-time favorite author/narrator team, and I was a bit sad to learn that the authors have decided to move away from Ms. Raudman for the future of this series. That’s not a slight to Ms. Rankin, it’s just… it’s always been Renée.
Ms. Raudman opens the story and shares the short prologue of Nevada meeting Mrs. Rogan for the first time. It is familiar and wonderful, but very short. As the story moves from prologue to the first chapter, I was sad hear RR fade away. But then Ms. Rankin storms into the world as Catalina. Her voice is more youthful and sounded perfect for the younger Catalina. She also does an amazing job with kid voices and the various accents. Overall, she is nearly perfect as Catalina. However, as I continued to listen, I found a couple things 1) The voices for the three sisters: Catalina, Arabella, and Nevada, sound similar, and during times of dialogue I found myself confused as to who was speaking. 2) I found that I prefer Ms. Raudman for the more mature voices, like Mrs. Rogan, Connor, Gramma Freda, etc. I feel Ms. Rankin excels at voices for 25 and younger, but I prefer Ms. Raudman’s voice for the older generation, and it’s what I’m used to. I’m certain once I move forward with the series and it’s only shared by Ms. Rankin, those small issues will start to fade away.
In the end, I LOVED listening to Diamond Fire and I continue to love the Hidden Legacy series.
About the Book:
Nevada Frida Baylor and Connor Ander Rogan cordially invite you to join their wedding celebration. Summoning, weather manipulation, and other magical activities strictly forbidden.
Catalina Baylor is looking forward to wearing her maid of honor dress and watching her older sister walk down the aisle. Then the wedding planner gets escorted off the premises, the bride’s priceless tiara disappears, and Rogan’s extensive family overruns his mother’s home. Someone is cheating, someone is lying, and someone is plotting murder.
To make this wedding happen, Catalina will have to do the thing she fears most: use her magic. But she’s a Baylor and there’s nothing she wouldn’t do for her sister’s happiness. Nevada will have her fairy tale wedding, even if Catalina has to tear the mansion apart brick by brick to get it done.