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Half-Moon Hollow, Book 1
Description⎮Reviewed Feb. 2018
Narrators: Amanda Ronconi
Length: 9 hours 24 minutes
Publisher: Audible Studios⎮2010
Synopsis: Maybe it was the Shenanigans gift certificate that put her over the edge. When children’s librarian and self-professed nice girl Jane Jameson is fired by her beastly boss and handed $25 in potato skins instead of a severance check, she goes on a bender that’s sure to become Half Moon Hollow legend. On her way home, she’s mistaken for a deer, shot, and left for dead. And thanks to the mysterious stranger she met while chugging neon-colored cocktails, she wakes up with a decidedly unladylike thirst for blood.
Jane is now the latest recipient of a gift basket from the Newly Undead Welcoming Committee, and her life-after-lifestyle is taking some getting used to. Her recently deceased favorite aunt is now her ghostly roommate. She has to fake breathing and endure daytime hours to avoid coming out of the coffin to her family. She’s forced to forgo her favorite down-home Southern cooking for bags of O negative. Her relationship with her sexy, mercurial vampire sire keeps running hot and cold. And if all that wasn’t enough, it looks like someone in Half Moon Hollow is trying to frame her for a series of vampire murders. What’s a nice undead girl to do?
3.75★ Audiobook⎮Nice Girls Don’t Have Fangs could easily have been a four star book for me. It really is as funny as everyone says. Molly Harper’s writing, particularly for dialogue, is witty, clever, and snarky. Out of the three Paranormal audiobooks I started last week, Nice Girls Don’t Have Fangs was the one I stuck with and finished first.
It’s immediately clear that this story isn’t meant to be taken too seriously. Much concession in the way of “suspended disbelief” is required. That’s not altogether surprising in the paranormal genre, but Nice Girls Don’t Have Fangs was missing certain developmental depths that other paranormal series (i.e. Mercy Thompson, Midnight, Texas) use to make their world building more immersive and their characters more dynamic.
Diving into Nice Girls Don’t Have Fangs was like being forced to paddle around in the shallow end of a pool when you really want to dive into the deep end. It’s pleasant enough, but you still want more. What was given in the way of world building was extremely intriguing, but given almost as an aside. I wanted more from Molly Harper. Nice Girls Don’t Have Fangs was refreshing in some aspects, but disappointing in others. The premise and the dialogue were excellently primed for capitalization, but the plot was undercooked and somewhat stilted.
Still, I listened to Nice Girls Don’t Have Fangs in its entirety and pretty quickly, at that. It was an extremely easy listen that didn’t require a lot of mental energy or focus. Jane Jameson’s (the protagonist’s) dry humor was in line with my own and kept me listening. Nice Girls Don’t Have Fangs is great for when you want a light, humorous Paranormal story with one or two steamy scenes thrown in.
Narration review: I’m on the fence regarding Amanda Ronconi’s appointment as narrator of the series. On one hand, I can see why she was chosen. Her southern accent sounded completely authentic and I would be surprised if it wasn’t. It also was refreshing in the way of southern accents, not only because it didn’t sound “put on”, but also because it wasn’t the stereotypical southern accent narrators tend to gravitate towards (you know the one). It hit the right balance between being distinctive and being too thick. Her timing and delivery were also on point, which made Harper’s “zingers” especially funny.
In other areas, however, I found Ronconi’s Pperformance to be lacking. In opposition with the air of naturality used when voicing the protagonist, almost all other characters sounded strained. I applaud Ronconi’s desire to give each character a distinct voice, but many of the female characterizations were over the top and grating, which at times caused me to focus more on the narration than the story. On the other hand, almost all of the male characters sounded alike.
Even so, I will likely still hear more of Ronconi in the future, as she narrates almost all of Molly Harper’s other works. And I do plan on hearing more of Molly Harper’s titles, though I may switch it up a bit before returning to this series. ♣︎
$ Available at Audible/Amazon