"Haven Divided (The Dragon's Brood Cycle, Volume 2)" by Josh de Lioncourt
Author: Josh de Lioncourt
Narrator: Reay Kaplan
Length: 16 hours 44 minutes
Publisher: Draconis Entertainment⎮2019
Series: The Dragon's Brood Cycle, Volume 2
Release date: Feb. 19, 2019
Emily Haven and her friends have been given the seemingly impossible task of uniting the worlds - a mission they failed once before, in another lifetime. But Emily made a promise, and she intends to keep it. A small boy risked his life to save hers, and while Michael sets out to rejoin the Dragon’s Brood, she heads east with Celine and Corbbmacc to rescue Daniel from a band of desert slavers.
Time does not stand still, however, and the dark legends are true. They deal in blue fire; they deal in death; and they travel through the long nights on autumn winds. Samhain has come, and this year, the harvest will be in blood, gold, and souls.
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**I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Josh de Lioncourt. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.**
Sooo…I REALLY struggled with “Haven Divided”. While I loved its predecessor, I found this one way too complicated for casual enjoyment. There were entirely too many moving parts, too many stories, and too many people to keep track of. I’m pretty sure the gears in my brain started smoking about midway through, and that’s not what I tend to be looking for in my fiction. Don’t get me wrong—I enjoy a complex, unique tale, but this was overmuch.
As in “Haven Lost”, the descriptions were vivid, beautiful, and detailed, and the characters showed a smooth, natural growth that made them feel very much like real people. It was interesting to follow Emily’s little group…and it was honestly the only one I found myself caring about. Not enough time was spent with the others to make the reader truly care about what’s happening to them. We’re expected to get equally caught up in Emily, Selene, and Cormack’s chase after Daniel; Casey and Jeff’s coming together; Marcum’s struggle with the truth; Mona, Garrett, Michael, and The Wizard’s interactions with the Brood; all the weird shit happening at Seven Skies; and a handful of rather distracting one-off chapters with other characters. Cycling through each mini arc in the grand scheme of the overall tale was exhausting and more than a little it frustrating.
While I think Mr. de Lioncourt lost sight of the forest for the trees, I will say that following Emily’s little band was pretty captivating. Her blossoming romance with Cormack, the heartbreak of seeing the toll Selene’s magic takes on her, Rascal’s antics…these truly felt like real people despite the magic and strange settings. These three work well together and I was proud of Emily for keeping her word to Daniel. Emily’s struggle to come to terms with being out of her own world, and the realization that her world no longer exists, almost brought me to tears a few times. It was jarring to have to keep switching away from that to see what else was going on in the world, and if i wasn't so invested in Emily, I might very well have DNF'd "Haven Divided".
As before, Reay Kaplan did a lovely job as narrator. She had a lot of characters to portray and her voices were a little inconsistent at times, but not enough to be distracting. This lady is a professional and it shows in the masterful quality of her work. I'll be listening to more by her in teh future for sure!
Bottom line: Kinda wish I’d stopped listening at the end of “Haven Lost”, to be brutally honest. If you’re a reader who likes extremely complex stories and doesn’t mind a ton of perspective-jumping from chapter to chapter, you might enjoy this, though.
Josh de Lioncourt, a proud Ravenclaw, enjoys creative projects in a variety of fields, including fiction, music, software development, blogging, and more. He has written on Apple accessibility for Macworld and Maccessibility, hosts or participates regularly on several podcasts, and writes and records music with Molly, his wife. Josh enjoys the works of Stephen King, the music of George Michael, Masters of the Universe, and Los Angeles Kings hockey. He also happens to be blind.
Reay Kaplan is a professional Actor, Puppeteer and Voice-Over Artist in the Atlanta area. In addition to narrating over 50 audiobook titles, Reay is also the voice of Windy the Lungs in the Emmy Award winning series, The Organ Wise Guys. When not behind the mic, Reay is a Resident Puppeteer and Teaching Artist at the Center For Puppetry Arts in Atlanta.