A Paul B Audiobook Review: The Lightning-Struck Heart by T.J. Klune , Michael Lesley (Narrator)

Standard

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars          ★★★★★

The Lightning Struck Heart audiobookOnce upon a time, in an alleyway in the slums of the City of Lockes, a young and somewhat lonely boy named Sam Haversford turns a group of teenage douchebags into stone completely by accident.

Of course, this catches the attention of a higher power, and Sam’s pulled from the only world he knows to become an apprentice to the King’s Wizard, Morgan of Shadows.

When Sam is fourteen, he enters the Dark Woods and returns with Gary, the hornless gay unicorn, and a half-giant named Tiggy, earning the moniker Sam of Wilds.

At fifteen, Sam learns what love truly is when a new knight arrives at the castle. Sir Ryan Foxheart, the dreamiest dream to have ever been dreamed.

Naturally, it all goes to hell through the years when Ryan dates the reprehensible Prince Justin, Sam can’t control his magic, a sexually aggressive dragon kidnaps the prince, and the King sends them on an epic quest to save Ryan’s boyfriend, all while Sam falls more in love with someone he can never have.

Or so he thinks.

Sam Haversford is the wizard apprentice for the kingdom of Verania.  For the past eight years, he has been studying under the King’s Wizard Morgan.  His constant companions are a gay hornless unicorn by the name of Gary and a nine and a half foot tall half-giant by the name of Tiggy.  His parents have received jobs within the palace where Sam is being taught.  And the king thinks of Sam as a second son.  Life could not be any better for Sam, right?

Well, there is this problem Sam has of getting himself and his two friends captured whenever they go out on a mission for Morgan or the king.  From battling dark wizards to almost getting “gay fairy married” Sam just cannot stay out of trouble.  Throw in the fact that the knight the Sam has been crushing on for the past five years, Ryan Braveheart, has been promoted and engaged to Crown Prince Justin, Sam’s future boss, his life has its complications.  To make matters worse, Sam realizes that Ryan is his cornerstone, the one person any wizard grounds his magic to as they build upon their base of knowledge.  When Sam is attacked and Prince Justin is taken away from the dragon, the king sends Sam and his friends, along with Ryan to rescue his son.  Sam must make this trip with the one man who he must have for his magic but cannot have because of Ryan’s commitment to the prince.  With the prince to save, Sam resolves that he will complete his mission even though doing so might kill him either physically or emotionally.

I love T J Klune’s books and this is no exception.  Sam is the neurotic protagonist in this story with Ryan serving as the steadying force for him both emotionally and magically.  The various supporting characters that are met along the way bring humor into most situations even if some are meant to be evil.   Sam’s take on evil characters giving monologues about their plans is both funny and true.  I am looking forward to more tales from Sam of Wilds and his crew.  As usual, this is a must read/listen from the author.

Narrator Michael Leslie’s rich voice gives life to the various characters.  His portrayal of the characters allows the listener to distinguish who is talking most of the time.  A couple of times the vocal switch from Sam to Ryan was difficult to discern.  The intonation for Mama, Sam’s fairy drag mother was quite well done while the other female voices were adequate considering the narrator’s deep voice.  The overall pacing of the story was good with tempo and pauses between different sections of chapters easily noticeable.

Cover art by Paul Richmond is dramatic and of course, striking.

Sales Links:  Amazon | Audible | iTunes

Audiobook Details:

Audible Audio, 20 pages, 19 hrs 48 mins
Published December 10th 2015 by Dreamspinner Press LLC (first published July 20th 2015)
Original TitleThe Lightning-Struck Heart
ASINB0195I4B9S
Edition LanguageEnglish
CharactersSam Haversford, Ryan Foxheart, Gary, Tiggy, Morgan of Shadows…more settingVerania

A Stella Review: The Lightning-Struck Heart by T.J. Klune

Standard

Rating: 5 stars out of 5    ★★★★★

The Lightning Struck Heart coverOnce upon a time, in an alleyway in the slums of the City of Lockes, a young and somewhat lonely boy named Sam Haversford turns a group of teenage douchebags into stone completely by accident.

Of course, this catches the attention of a higher power, and Sam’s pulled from the only world he knows to become an apprentice to the King’s Wizard, Morgan of Shadows.

When Sam is fourteen, he enters the Dark Woods and returns with Gary, the hornless gay unicorn, and a half-giant named Tiggy, earning the moniker Sam of Wilds.

At fifteen, Sam learns what love truly is when a new knight arrives at the castle. Sir Ryan Foxheart, the dreamiest dream to have ever been dreamed.

Naturally, it all goes to hell through the years when Ryan dates the reprehensible Prince Justin, Sam can’t control his magic, a sexually aggressive dragon kidnaps the prince, and the King sends them on an epic quest to save Ryan’s boyfriend, all while Sam falls more in love with someone he can never have.

Or so he thinks.

“I don’t have time for all the relations and courting and wooing bullshit,” I said. “I’m a wizard. I havequests.”

“Uh, you’re an apprentice,” Gary said. “And you’re sent on errands.”

“You know how you wanted to dye a strip of your mane purple?” I said.

“Yes. Because I’d be beautiful.”

“Well, too fucking bad,” I said savagely. “I’m not going to do it. You’re just going to have keep it white. Forever.”

“You promised!”

“That was before you were a jerk!”

“Oh my gods,” Gary said. “Lartin. Get over here and untie me. I want to kick Sam in the fucking face.”

“No! He’s going to untie me so I can hex the shit out of you. Lartin. Get your ass over here and untie me.”

Um,” Lartin said. “I don’t know if you guys understand the point of being captured. Like… I captured you? Right? And so—”

I’m really terrified right now. A review for The Lightning-struck Heart? Almost impossible to write, as a matter of fact scratch the almost, just impossible. What am I going to say about this amazing book? It was perfect, hilarious, unbelievable, I laughed so much. It was simply fantastic, I peed myself every sentence I read. There aren’t funny moments, it’s a continuous of crazy characters, crazy scenes, crazy facts that follow each other at every moment. At the end I wasn’t sure if I was more in love with Gary, the hornless unicorn, or Sam, the prudish wizard (apprentice, sorry Gary!) or TJ for creating something like that. I just knew I wanted more and more of these guys and this world. So hurry up, TJ!

The Lightning-Struck Heart has some specific qualities that made this book precious and unique. The humour is the most evident. I can honestly say I have never read something like that so far, always so much over the top, you have to read it to understand, there are really no words I could write to describe it. I just can tell you to buy it. Then, the dialogue. Just wow! Simply engaging and together with the well developed and eclectic characters cast, made impossible to put my tablet down for a minute. Luckly the book is a long one so I could get my full fix, I was so satisfied at the end. Moreover there’s the all “feeling section” to consider. Really, the emotions and the feelings that  pervade the story were overwhelming, in a good way of course. Love, friendship, loyalty, and not least lust. They sprang out from every word.

“It’s you,” I said, not able to look away. “It’s how I feel when I’m with you. How I think I’ve always felt. You’re my lightning-struck heart. It doesn’t matter about the cornerstone. It doesn’t matter about who I am or who you are. Not to me. I think it would have always been this way for me. Even if we had never escaped the slums. Ever since the beginning. Ever since I’ve known you, you’ve struck my heart, and now I have to let you go because you’re not mine to keep. I need someone that I can be strong for. But I need someone who can also be strong for me.”

I want to add that this book was just the confirmation of the great talent TJ has, a terrific gift he absolutely needs to continue to share with us. Of course it’s totally different from the BOATK series or the Tell Me It’s Real one (BTW are you ready for The Queen & The Homo Jock King?), but the genius is there, just amplified at the nth degree. Freaking perfect! I just wish I could give the story more stars, five are not enough.

Cover art by Paul Richmond. It’s not what I’m used to see with this artist work and I honestly wouldn’t have recognised it as his but I like this cover, it’s fitting and powerful.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | All Romance (ARe) | Amazon | Buy It Here

Book Details:

  • Published July 20th 2015 by Dreamspinner Press
  • Kindle Edition, 533 pages
  • ASIN B011PVYANK
  • Edition Language English