I’M DREAMING OF AN UNDEAD CHRISTMAS
Half-Moon Hollow — Nice Girl’s Don’t Spin Off
By Molly Harper
NEW! Pocket Star/Simon and Schuster | November 17, 2014 |
E-Book ISBN 9781476784540 | 130 pages
Audible Audio Edition: narrator Amanda Ronconi
Listening Length: 3 hours and 43 minutes
Program Type: Audiobook
Publisher: Audible, Inc.
Audible.com Release Date: December 5, 2013
Amazon/Audible: Free Download
E-Galley provided by publisher for review. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented hereinare my own except as noted. But last year I listened for fun – it was free!
Experience the vampire world for the holidays through the eyes of Gigi Scanlon in this e-novella prequel to The Dangers of Dating a Rebound Vampire from beloved paranormal romance author Molly Harper!
College co-ed Gigi is headed home to Half-Moon Hollow for her first Christmas since her sister, Iris, was turned into a vampire by her beloved undead husband, Cal. Iris is working overtime to make this holiday as normal and special as possible. After all, it’s taken her months of working with Jane Jameson and the Hollow’s vampires to convince herself that she won’t bite her baby sister on sight.
Gigi has her own worries. She’s falling out of love with her high school sweetheart, Ben, and has no idea how to tell him. She’s got a secret job interview with terrifying teen Council official, Ophelia Lambert. And there’s a handsome but cagey vampire following her around town and then disappearing before Gigi can confirm that he’s not, in fact, a figment of her fertile imagination. Holidays with family are complicated. Christmas with an undead family can be downright dangerous. – See more at: http://books.simonandschuster.com/Im-Dreaming-of-an-
This was the first audiobook I listened to and it was, and still is as of this past Thursday, free! I saw on NetGalley (a professional reader service) that it was coming out this November as an E-Book and decided to read the e-book format.
I love Molly Harper; when there is something out by her I will generally read it as fast as I can. I worried I would be a little bored re-reading a book I had heard not terribly long ago. But I really wasn’t.
I used to have issues with audiobooks that I no longer experience and which don’t apply here, so I changed my review to reflect the newer experience with this one!
In the audio book last year, I noted the narrator gave each voice a slightly different tone, but always as if filtered through the first person narration. As if GiGi was sort of imitating the person. She offered an appropriately upbeat, well modulated narration with feeling but without acting. In my reading, I didn’t find that an issue, as I didn’t recall the voices Amanda had utilized. I knew most of the characters from prior books but, I don;t really have voices for them in my head.
I enjoyed Gigi, a character from THE CARE AND FEEDING OF STRAY VAMPIRES. Back then she was a student in high school but now she’s a twenty year old in college. She’s matured a lot and is no longer really difficult for her sister Iris who owns the vampire concierge service in their area. The sisterly relationship has matured as well. Iris is still quite the parent having raised Gigi after their parents’ deaths, but she is giving her more space And her husband, a vampire who fought in the Trojan War has become a semi-father figure. He is also amusingly concerned with security and keeps attacking her like the Kato and Clouseau in the Pink Panther movies.
The theme of what does “normal” mean in a family full of vampires, with werewolf friends is the crux of the story. Iris is now a vampire, and what is normal has to be rewritten for them. Iris wants to give GiGi a happy and human Christmas (Just like the ones they used to know). But, as GiGi tells her they aren’t normal and that is fine with her.
GiGi also has a bunch of stuff happening – it’s mentioned in the blurb, but she is definitely at a crossroads in her life. Decisions she makes now are going to be with her for the rest of her life.
While GiGi and the other characters feature the delightful snark that seems endemic in Half-Moon Hollow, I did feel the story was without a central event; or maybe it was just that no one was trying to assassinate another character. It had a lot of little things going on, and ties up Iris’s and Cal’s story is nicely tied up of it’s loose ends, but there wasn’t one huge, major story.
There are several climaxes of story lines but without any of them feeling like the “main plot.” Maybe the main plot has to do with GiGi’s interviews or her boyfriend, or just reintegrating into her sister’s life now that she is a vampire. But, it is more like a bridge, or a prologue to the next book, a peek for which is appended. This peek reveals what the big string is that makes this a bridge or prologue.
I still enjoyed it — both formats. Either the audiobook or the e-book are perfect to read while traveling to wherever you spend your holiday.
But it doesn’t stand alone. Because it’s a novella, explaining who’s who is abbreviated (though attempted). I don’t think you have to read ALL the books in the Nice Girls and Half Moon Hollow series, but at least a couple will make this a better experience. I don’t know why you wouldn’t want to read them all anyway — I just love them!
As always, Molly’s story is a humorous, feel-good tale, filled with charming, loyal characters who, whether supes or mortal, you would love to have at your holiday table!