Audiobook review: Crazy as a Loon by Hailey Edwards
Ellie and her retired friends are a coven of witches that once worked for WitchLight Hub, and now spend their golden years protecting the residents of Sanford from the mythical and paranormal. When her grandnephew runs into a scare at a camp for shifters, Ellie rallies the troops to save the innocent children.
Crazy as a Loon, the first title in the Yard Birds series, is set in the Black Hat Bureau world a few months or years before Rue moves into the home next to Ellie. We find out that Rue isn’t the only magic-user in town and that Sanford has a bit darker history than Rue knows.
The storyline is interesting, and I like the idea of bad-ass geriatric witches. Having read the Black Hat Bureau books, I am interested in finding out how the worlds tie together. I liked learning about Ellie and her husband Wally’s history and would love to understand more about his curse (her husband’s soul resides in a mounted toy bass).
While the witches and family work to figure out what’s happening at the camp, we also get glimpses of their everyday lives, to include being local matchmakers and busy-bodies. I am not a big fan of the forced romance between Ellie and the pastor, and I’m positive we are going to find out he’s not what he appears to be. I don’t like how hard her friends are pushing it, but I do understand the reasoning behind it.
Having been close friends for years, the group finds ways to pick on one another out of love. However, I didn’t enjoy all of the bickering, both the playful banter between the coven and the more directed barbs between Betty’s family. It was uncomfortable being around so much squabbling. I also had a tough time following the different coven members’ backgrounds. And finally, I’m not really a fan of how the coven use locals as fuel for their magic.
Narration: The story is shared via first person POV of Ellie. Ms. Richardson uses a strong, confident feminine voice, that is altered for age by deepening it. Richardson uses a consistent narrator voice for Ellie while altering the dialogue, giving each character a somewhat unique voice, suited to the age, gender, species, etc. Unfortunately, I found myself confused as to who was speaking at times when coven was together and talking all at once. Additionally, at times I was also reminded of characters from the sister series, which added to my confusion.
In the end, Crazy as a Loon was okay, but not sure I’ll keep up with the series.
About the Book:
Ellie Gleason has protected the town of Samford, Alabama for decades. It’s not as glamours as her glory days as the WitchLight Hub, but it keeps her active during her golden years.
Life is good.
Well, it’s okay.
It be bloodier with a smidge more gore, but retirement is meant to be low-key. It’s not like her fragile bones could handle the strenuous hunt for monsters anymore, even if her current duties are dull as dishwater.
But when her great-nephew shows up on her doorstep in tears—or is he her great-great nephew?—begging for help, Ellie straps on her beloved shotgun, Bam-Bam, and gets the coven back together.
Sure, Betty just had a hip replacement, and Flo would rather flirt than fight, and Ida is busy with her anniversary plans, and Joan is…Joan. But Ellie is certain she can whip the girls into shape in time to defeat the creature preying on kids at a nearby summer camp. She might even have them home in time for dinner.
Author: Hailey Edwards
Narrator: Stephanie Richardson
Series: Yard Birds #1 (Black Hat Bureau world)
Genre: Urban Fantasy, mystery, novella
Audiobook Release Date: January 30, 2024
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Length: 4 hrs; 34 mins
Source: Tantor Audio
Audio Speed: 1.4x
Audible/Amazon (affilate link)