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Birthright by E. J. Stevens
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Birthright

by E. J. Stevens

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My original Birthright audiobook review and many others can be found at Audiobook Reviewer.

Birthright is the fourth book in a series called Ivy Granger Psychic Detective by E.J. Granger. Ivy Granger is a private detective in the world of the supernatural. Having recently discovered her non-human parentage, she is desperate to find out information about her father. She is also presumed dead as the bounty hunters who had hunted her for her inability to control her powers and jeopardize the secrecy of the supernatural world think that they succeeded. But to learn about her powers, and find out more about her father, she needs to enter the Faerie world, learn to use her powers, and then convince those that want her dead that she can control her powers. On this quest, Ivy hopes to enter and return from the Faerie world safely with her friends, be acquitted, and hopefully find out some information about her father.

As this is the fourth book in a series, it would have been helpful to read the previous novels to fully understand the background of the characters, their relationships, and to truly become emotionally invested in the events unfolding. This story is essentially a quest. Ivy and a group of her supporters set off on an adventure. Luckily, Granger does an excellent job covering all the important plot points to prevent readers from getting lost. In general, I thought this was a great story and hints at a well-developed world. The supporting characters were simply amazing and clearly well fleshed out. The end had a great emotional payoff, however, I did find the motives to the villain to be a little weak and often I was really frustrated with Ivy’s actions. I just felt as if she was set up as being stronger than she ended up actually being. Also, there is a portion of time where a large amount of time passes, and Granger did a good job with that without making the story feel like it was dragging. Overall, while I enjoyed this book, I would highly recommend reading the previous novels before this one to get the full effect.

The narration by Melanie A. Mason and Anthony Bowling was well done. I don’t typically love having two different narrators for different genders, but each did a good job with their narrations. All of the characters were distinguishable and definitely had their own personality that was supported by the narration. The production quality was also good. I would recommend this novel to anyone who likes urban fantasy novels.

Audiobook was provided for review by the author ( )
  audiobibliophile | Oct 5, 2017 |
Note: Even though this is Book 4 in the series, I think it works mostly OK as a stand alone.

Ivy Granger, paranormal PI for Harborsmouth, is in hiding. Supposedly she’s dead and she doesn’t want to let her enemies know otherwise. But she needs to work in order to buy groceries. A simple wispy job will lead Ivy on a quest through the Celtic underworld to the Wisp Kingdom in order to learn more about her father.

I’ve really been enjoying this series and Book 3, Burning Bright, has been my favorite so far. Parts of this book have that same quality as Book 3 but other parts felt like they were still in final draft mode and needed just another little push to tie everything together. It’s still a complete story and some significant things happen, so if you’re a fan of the series I still think it’s worth the time. I just think that Book 3 was more polished and that set the bar for this book.

Jinx and Ivy adopted Sparky, a baby fire demon, in the previous book. He’s still around and provides some comic relief. It’s also nice to see the domestic side to Ivy. Then we get to learn a little about Jinx’s family, which was cool. I love that Jinx still accessorizes with a crossbow.

Ivy has to leave on this quest to learn more about her father, taking Ceff (her kelpie prince boyfriend) and Torn (a flirtatious cat sidhe). There’s some pretty cool scenes as they make their way to the Celtic underworld. Very exciting! I love all the mythology built into the plot. Torn has some of the best lines, being a flirt and sometimes sarcastic.

Once we get to the land of the Wisps, big things happen to Ivy. She meets a relative, gets some life-changing news, and these events leave her changed. All of that, big picture-wise, is good. But the details felt penciled in. A certain character comes across as creepy and eventually evil long before the big reveal at the end and Ivy didn’t catch on. I want to believe she was glamoured but sometimes her own internal monologue seems to point out these things and then they’re dismissed in the next scene. I felt this was out of character for Ivy and found it hard to believe.

So we have this evil character and then Ivy’s friends are in peril. Significant time goes by in the second half of the book and I was left wondering why the evil character did not kill Ivy’s friends. It would have been simple, it would have solved problems. So that seemed like another break from logic.

Setting those criticisms aside, the big reveal at the end was great. I am very much interested to see where Ivy goes from here. Her life has been irrevocably changed by this installment in the series. I really like that Ivy is going to be forced to play in the big leagues by these changes.

I received a copy of this audiobook at no cost from the author in exchange for an honest review (thanks!).

Narration: Melanie Mason was once again a good voice for Ivy. She had to come up with some interesting sounds for Ivy when she was in the middle of fight or in pain. Anthony Bowling has replaced David Wilson Brown for all the male voices. Bowling did a fine job, but again, I had to adjust my inner expectations for inflections and such as I got used to Bowling. But once I did, all was well. I loved his voice for Torn, the cat sidhe. He makes a good flirt! I also liked his voice for baby Sparky the fire demon. I’m not too sure why the author keeps changing narrators with this series. I think if I sat down and tried to listen to them all back to back, it would be off-putting. They included a few sound effects, some of which worked well and others were slightly confusing until I was told what the sound, like the roar of the beast they meet on the way to the underworld. That didn’t sound like a roar at all. But other sound effects were spot on. ( )
  DabOfDarkness | Jun 28, 2016 |
*I requested this book from the author or narrator for an honest review.

Ivy is known to the Faerie world as dead. This grants Ivy time to find her father, learn to control her wisp powers, and get her name cleared with the Faerie Council. Then she can get back to work to earn money again. Ivy and Jinx, at Jinx's determined request, do take one job, surprisingly it's Jinx's dad. He has floating light luring his watchmen away from his junkyard at night. Ivy can't speak the language of the faeries, and needs to find her father to learn and move the iron sick fey to another place. Summer solstice is nearing and Ivy has the key to the faerie realm to learn what happened with her father. She makes the journey and learns more than she ever thought she could about herself.

We get the dual voices of Melanie and Anthony, for female and male characters. Melanie feels the voice of what I hear or think of with Ivy. Anthony does a little voice for Sparky that reminds me of a little kid. Anthony does a few different voices and personalities with his voice for many different small character parts. I do like that the two narrators together gives us the opportunity to have one act out what is happening under the other's narration. They add in a few small audio affects as well, stone sliding over stone and water falling. Cool! However, I don't think it was my ipod but when Ivy and friends get to Faerie it seems the background becomes thicker--Ch 23 on audio. There are a few chapters that sound as though muffled, like the background is thick. after that too. It's not a huge thing but I did pick it up.

The introduction is changed! The part about Ivy being the PI to inquire with, is different. It says that she's dead!

One thing I notice with each book is that we get each characters history the first time we meet them. This is the fourth book and I remember hearing the histories each time. I think at this point, we can back down on that detailed list. But I do like small hints of past events to remind us, and if it's from a novella that's not needed to continue in the series it makes you curious to get them.

Ivy gets a trip into Faerie. She starts to see her wisp side closer, learning more of what she's looking for. She gets time with a family member. But what she learns in the end is a shocker! Just wait until you learn what Ivy finds out about herself. Wow. Ivy's relationship with Ceff also grows. And her friendship with Torn is really something. She spends a good bit of time with Ceff and Torn, and they go through a lot for her. The two do have quick clips back and forth that is competition of each other but so fun too. They do torment each other, at least Torn torments Ceff with quick comments to Ivy. lol. We also have a new friend, Skilly. He grows on you quick.

This story had me thinking about past stories. I think Ivy, or someone, had contact with Queen Mab in a novella, and I need to go back to double check.

This is a series that is quick and easy to follow for me. Seeing it's summer time, I would highly suggest listening to this as you relax for the summer. ( )
  MelHay | Jun 19, 2016 |
Actual rating: 3.5

Whom would you believe: family you've been searching for but know nothing about or friends who have been with you since the beginning?

Quite a twist in your heritage there, Ivy. ( )
  Ayanami_Faerudo | May 23, 2016 |
I started reading this knowing it was the fourth book in the series. I hadn’t read the other books but I usually don’t have a problem jumping into a series midstream. Not so with this one.

The author has built a fascinating world in her urban fantasy series and to fully appreciate and understand the plot, I’d like to have read this series from the beginning. I’m huge on kick butt female protagonists and Ivy Granger is a new favorite of mine. She’s tough, funny, somewhat vulnerable, and loyal to her friends. I just wish I’d met her before so I could see her grow with each new trial she faced.

The story starts with Ivy being dead. Supposedly killed for past transgressions. The what’s and why’s are quickly explained so I was able to grasp the scenario.

As I read more, I stumbled some over the characters I met and how they were involved in Ivy’s life. This is where I almost stopped because I felt I needed to go back and start the series at the beginning. But, I didn’t want to stop. I was having fun and starting to feel like I was getting a grasp on some of the back story.

I’m glad I stuck with this book. Once I relaxed and just went with it, I was well entertained and left wanting more.

The writing is strong, the characters are genuine, and the action is fast and furious.

A good series for urban fantasy fans. I’d recommend you read this series from the beginning though. I didn’t and that’s my bad, so it didn’t affect my rating. I’ll be going back and picking it up from the start. It’ll haunt me until I know how it all began. ( )
  laura-thomas | Feb 1, 2016 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0989488713, Paperback)

Being a faerie princess isn't all it's cracked up to be...

Ivy must go to Faerie, but the gateway to the Wisp Court is through Tech Duinn, the house of Donn--Celtic god of the dead. Just her luck.

Unable to share her secret with Jinx, and with Jenna called away on Hunters' Guild business, Ivy must rely on Ceff and Torn to lead her to Death's door, literally, and back again. As if that wasn't dangerous enough, there's no saying what horrors lay in store within the Faerie realm. Too bad the Wisp Court is the one lead Ivy has in the search for her father--and possible salvation.

Maybe hiding away and dodging sidhe assassins isn't so bad after all...

Birthright is the fourth novel in the award-winning Ivy Granger urban fantasy series by E.J. Stevens.

(retrieved from Amazon Sun, 06 Mar 2016 06:32:00 -0500)

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