📚 Shivaree by J.D. Horn

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Description⎮Reviewed Jul. 2016

Narrator: Angela Dawe
Length: 8h 49m
Publisher: Brilliance Audio⎮2015

4.5 ★ Audiobook⎮I am such a fan of anything written by J.D. Horn. His novel Jilo cemented that fact for all of eternity. He does Southern Gothic better than anyone I have read. The writing and the setting of Shivaree were remarkably similar to his Witching Savannah series, as were a few of the characters (namely, Lucille), but the similarities do not go far beyond that.

Shivaree was much, much darker than I anticipated based on its superficial similarities to the Witching Savannah series. I often kvetch about the overused vampire trope in Fiction (particularly YA Fiction), but my god, this is no Twilight. Shivaree more closely resembles something you’d expect Stephen King to have written than Stephanie Meyer. I’ve been starving for this type of dark vampire fiction and I ate every bit of it right up. My only regret is that I didn’t save this for closer to Halloween.

For a standalone novel, Shivaree was given incredible depth and development, as I have come to expect from Horn. And as anyone who has made it past the third installment of Witching Savannah will tell you, the man is also fond of bizarre endings. As far as J.D. Horn goes, this ending was pretty tame, if a little anti-climactic. But the more I think on it, the more this type of ending feels appropriate in contrast to the rest of the story.

I can’t emphasize enough how much Horn did in one novel. Shivaree could have easily been expanded into a series (maybe even preferably). But, in one <9-hour audiobook, Horn still managed to give the reader a fulfilling story with well-developed characters and a world so tangible that feels like it could be stepped into right now. I am seldom this satisfied with a standalone novel, especially one of this size.

Narration review: Whomever has a hand in choosing the narrators for J.D. Horn’s audiobooks needs a pay raise. Within the first five minutes of beginning this audiobook, I knew that Angela Dawe was the real deal. Dawe knew 100% what she was about. Her narration abilities perfectly complemented Horn’s writing and added so much to the story’s atmosphere, as well as the overall listening experience. Her characterization was seriously some of the best I have heard, probably since my last Horn novel. She made his experience so enjoyable and I am absolutely tickled pink to see that she has a very long list of audiobook recordings under her belt. Seeing her listed as narrator will definitely increase my chances of listening in the future! ♣︎

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