Listen Up! #Audiobook Review: Rogue Familiar by Jeffe Kennedy

Posted August 17, 2023 by Jen in Listen Up!, Rating B, Romance, Sci-Fi or Fantasy Fiction Tags: , , , , , , ,

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Audiobook review: Rogue Familiar by Jeffe Kennedy

audiobook cover of Rogue Familiar by Jeffe KennedyRogue Family opens right immediately following the conclusion of previous book. Seliah is upset that Jadren left her while her brother Gabriel lets him go. Determined to reunite with Jadren, she confronts her brother and finds an ally in Nic. 

I loved being tossed right back into the thick of things, Seliah’s outrage capturing my interest immediately. Nic realizes Seliah needs to learn more about being a familiar and gives her a crash course. I enjoyed seeing the growing relationship between the sisters-in-law, along with Nic’s sister Elise. They are forming strong bonds and developing trust.

While I really like this series, and I enjoy the mythology and characters, I found myself frustrated with a couple of things as I reached the midpoint of the book. I recognize that Gabriel and Nic face an uphill battle as they oppose the convocation. I understand Jadren is damaged and doesn’t feel worthy of Seliah. However, the constant rehashing of issues without hope or a solution was repetitive and annoying. It felt like nothing happened for the first half of the story, with the exception of spending time with Gabriel and Nic’s romance, and it’s not even their book!

That said, the story picks up in the second half, and I enjoyed the story more. Jarden faces his inner monster and finds Seliah by his side. The pair explore their bond and give into their mutual attraction. When they decide to fight together, they become the couple I’d hoped for. Jarden backslides some, but it doesn’t go on and on. I LOVE Seliah and how she stands up for what she wants and fights for those she loves. She’s a wonderful character. 

The author has done an amazing job developing her world while allowing the characters the ability to shape magic as they explore and learn new things. It’s exciting because Gabriel brings something wholly new to the table, Jarden has unheard of abilities to regenerate, and both Nic and Seliah are powerful familiars. However, this time around, I felt that the “flexibility” of the magic goes outside the set parameters when Seliah seems to be able to use her magic to find her way, and Jarden uses his “wizard’s intuition” to unexplainably select and use a gadget to save Selly. It felt contrived and a bit Deus Ex Machina. 

Narration: The story is primarily shared via the alternating third person POVs of Jarden and Seliah. There are some chapters also shared from Gabriel and Nic’s POVs. Using a British accent, Ms. Balm narrates the entire story with a deepish and slightly raspy voice. Overall, her performance is soothing and easy to listen to. Giving a partially-voiced reading, she adjusts the dialogue for most characters, albeit just enough to know different characters are speaking. She tends to be a little higher pitched for females, and softer and lower for males. She adjusts appropriately for mood and emotion.

Rogue Familiar is a transitional story. Overall, I enjoyed the journey and where the book ends. I felt the first of the book was slow and repetitive, but the second half was more enjoyable. 

My Ratings
Story: B-
Narration: A-

About the Book:

He left to save her from herself… But who will save him from her?

When Lady Seliah Phel wakes from a drugged sleep to find herself abandoned by her newly bonded wizard, she vows revenge—and to hunt him down. Tracking him through the familiar wilds of the marshlands of her home is the easy part; learning to use her nascent magical skills is something else entirely. So is facing the vast, uncaring society of the Convocation in a time of brewing war.

Jadren El-Adrel is not known for doing the right thing, but getting as far away from Seliah as possible before he drains her dry will be his one noble gesture. So what if she weeps a few tears. Better than her dying in his service—or enabling him to become the ravenous beast that crawls beneath his skin. Unfortunately, in his self-imposed exile, and without the power of his familiar, Jadren quickly runs afoul of the enemy.

As her vengeful quest for recapture becomes a rescue mission, Selly faces all she still doesn’t know about the greater world of wizards and familiars. And Jadren, once determined to walk his own path and stay far, far away from the idealistic fools of House Phel, finds himself aligning with them against the house of his birth. War is coming to the Convocation, which means a clever wizard should pick the side most likely to win.

Sadly, Jadren has never been all that clever…

Author: Jeffe Kennedy
Narrator: Deborah Balm
 Renegades of Magic #2 (Bonds of Magic #5)
Genre: Fantasy w/romantic elements
Audiobook Release Date: July 3, 2023
Publisher: Brightlynx Publishing
Length: 9 hrs and 58 min
Source: author
Audio Speed: 1.3x

Purchase info:
Audible/Amazon (affilate link)

Reviews in the Series:
Dark Wizard by Jeffe Kennedy (Bonds of Magic #1)
Bright Familiar by Jeffe Kennedy (Bonds of Magic #2)
Grey Magic by Jeffe Kennedy (Bonds of Magic #3)
Shadow Wizard by Jeffe Kennedy (Renegades of Magic #1 / Bonds of Magic #4)