Thanks to Sarah for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Release Date: October 3rd, 2016
Synopsis: When vampires Liam and Jon go missing, it’s up to Aisling Green and her friends to find them, but doing so and surviving what awaits won’t be easy.
Battling against things she cannot fight isn’t something Earthen witch Aisling Green isn’t used to, but she must act quickly and outsmart the one that wants her dead and save the lives of her friends before it’s too late.
As they follow the trail, they rescue a most unlikely person, and uncover a deeper, more sinister plot. With the lives of the two vampires on the line, they must fight for their lives, try to rescue their friends, and stop the evil plans. In the face of so much danger and uncertainty, they are forced to go to war and make a discovery that will change everything. The question then becomes at what price will they be forced to pay to survive?
I started Listen with a small amount of wariness because I hadn’t read the first two books in the Earthen Witch series. Sarah assured me though that I’d have no problem following the story, and the premise really intrigued me, so I jumped in and was immediately hooked. Sarah does an amazing job at filling you in on what’s happened in the previous two books and she does so without beginning the story with a huge info dump. Instead, summaries of past events are related throughout the story, which helps keep things moving at a fast pace. I absolutely loved Aisling! She’s a seriously kickass heroine, which in this case is even more impressive, because there’s something happening with her that keeps causing her to pass out at inconvenient moments. She’s someone you’d love to have as a friend because she will have your back each and every time. There’s quite a bit of sizzling passion between Aisling and Connor, but I didn’t connect to him as much, perhaps because this is the third book, so I didn’t get to see how their relationship developed. I still found him likable though, and his devotion to Aisling is really sweet. The secondary characters are an eclectic bunch and are made up of vampires, werewolves, ghouls, zombies, ghosts, a shaman, a sphinx, and even Dracula, who Aisling has always wanted to meet. Her unabashed fangirling over him (he’s a good guy) provides for some of the more humorous moments of the book. There’s also an evil voodoo priestess, Renata, who is one nasty piece of work and makes the heroes’ mission a perilous one. The world-building is fantastic and actually encompasses two worlds, ours and the spirit realm. Each one is thoroughly depicted and makes you feel as though you’re there. I did find the ending a little anticlimactic, but it tied up everything in a satisfying way, and set things up nicely for the next book. Overall, Listen is a captivating and imaginative urban fantasy that adds several new elements which distinguishes it from other books of the same genre. The story’s themes of love, friendship, family and loyalty come through strongly even with all the action taking place. I think it more than holds its own against well-known authors like Kim Harrison, Jim Butcher, and Kelley Armstrong. Listen has not only made me look forward to the next book, but has me determined to go back and read the previous two. What’s obvious to me though, is that Sarah Doughty is a talented author to keep an eye on, and while she may be self-published for now, I’ll be shocked if that status doesn’t change in the near future.