🎧 The Deer and the Dragon by Piper CJ @pipercjbooks #LunaRey @TantorAudio @SnyderBridge4 #LoveAudiobooks

Posted May 13, 2024 by Robin in Book Review / 3 Comments

Review copy was received from Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


🎧 The Deer and the Dragon by Piper CJ @pipercjbooks #LunaRey @TantorAudio @SnyderBridge4 #LoveAudiobooksThe Deer and the Dragon by Piper CJ
Narrator: Luna Rey
Series: No Other Gods #1
Published by Tantor Audio on May 7, 2024
Genres: Fantasy Romance
Length: 15 hours, 45 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Publisher
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three-flames
One StarOne Star

The deities you call aren't always the ones who answer. Marlow needs to believe she's crazy. The alternative would mean embracing the gift―or curse―shared by her mother and she can see angels and demons, including a dark and haunting entity who's been with Marlow her entire life. At least, she believes that's all he is until a fae from the Nordic pantheon strolls into her life and informs her that she's been sharing a bed with the Prince of Hell. A Prince who's now gone missing. Before she knows it, Marlow is deeply entangled in a centuries-old war, stumbling straight into a battleground between mighty beings of myth and legend from powerful pantheons around the world. And who will come out on top may just depend on her and the love she never dared to believe in.

The Deer and the Dragon is the first book in the new series No Other Godsby new to me author C J Piper.  This is a book that isn’t going to be for everyone.  I am not a religious person and have read a lot of stories with the concept of demons or the veil.  Still this book has elements I really struggled with that impacted my experience with the story.  Always a risk when using modern religions and pantheons.

Marlow has been able to see through the veil to some extent most of her life.  Problem is because of her highly religious upbringing and parents she just thinks she is crazy.  The man that visits her must be a figment of her very active imagination and the more she sees him the more delusional she believes she is.  Most of the time she self medicates with either recreational drugs or prescriptions from her various therapists to keep the demons away literally.   At twenty-six, she has spent much of her adult life in this state of being while she writes books about  various pantheons of mythology and religion.  Until the day she realized, she isn’t really crazy and the man she banished from her life is a prince of hell, her soulmate and she is determined to find him.

I struggled with this book for a few reasons.  First, is the main character Marlow.  I never found much empathy or fondness for her.  She is very self centered, even most of the friendships we see her have in the book are very one sided as I don’t see her contributing to those friendships much.  She lives in various states of indulgence, from the drugs and alcohol use to the money she spends on the nice things in life to how she sees the people around her.  When we meet her the only reason she accepted a second date with a person was because of the location he was taking her for dinner, then we find out she has a ton of money so why accept that date?

Second, is her backstory with the escorting.  Marlow worked as an escort for a few years and while I was hoping to see how that work gave her skills to work people it seemed like a really fluffed up version of that life.  She fell into the industry after one very small conversation with a person on the street in a foreign country and it was a very rose colored experience for her.

Third, and probably the hardest for me is that in this Heaven and God are the bad guys and all the other pantheons (Greek, Norse,  Hell etc..) are in a cold war of sorts with Heaven.  Marlow is now the linchpin to that war because of a sacrifice Caliban made to save her.

This story did have some really interesting and cool moments and I did start to enjoy it a bit more after Marlow accepts that she isn’t crazy and the being beyond the veil are real.  That is quite a bit into the story though at about 50ish percent.  I liked both Caliban, Marlow’s love interest and Azrames a demon from Hell that helps Marlow find Caliban after he drops out of communication with everyone.  But that all happens really late in the story.

There is one other main side character, Fauna who is from Marlow’s Norse heritage, who comes to help her when she is coming to the realization that her ‘delusions’ are true and she is the reincarnated lover of the Prince of Hell.  Fauna is chaos and sometimes her character is fun but she also calls Marlow a lot of names, not all of them undeserved but sometimes derisive.  Still Fauna’s character is a lot of fun and that is when the story starts to pick up some speed.

This should work well for people who don’t have any religious hang ups and don’t mind Heaven being the bad guy in story.  Also notable to the story pansexuality, sex work, gender announcements, religious trauma and reliance on drugs.  I’m really on the fence if I will continue the series based on my own struggle with the religious notations in the book.

Narration:

Luna Rey is a new to me narrator.  I enjoyed her performance and the voices she used for all the characters in the story.  She did well with the parts of the story that were supposed to feel heavy or light and helping to evoke those emotions.  Her voice separation was really good and I never had issues distinguishing characters.  I was able to listen to the story at my usual 1.5x speed.

Listen to a clip: HERE

 

Rating Breakdown
Plot
One StarOne Star
Writing
One StarOne StarOne Star
Characters
One StarHalf a Star
Dialogue
One StarOne StarHalf a Star
Narration (Audio)
One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
Overall: One StarOne StarHalf a Star
Robin
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Posted May 13, 2024 by Robin in Book Review / 3 Comments


3 responses to “🎧 The Deer and the Dragon by Piper CJ

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