No Rest for the Wicked by Kresley Cole
SOA listening Challenge 2012 Surprise Me 2nd Quarter--Choice #2 Listen to a romance narrated by a man.
Narrator Robert Petkoff
<i>No Rest for the Wicked</i> is the second book set in Kresley Cole's very imaginative universe. It follows closely on the heels of the excellent [book:A Hunger Like No Other|14384], and continues the complex and entertaining world-building started in that book. This book centers around Kaderin the Cold-Heart, a Valkyrie who was "blessed" with no emotions after almost going crazy witnessing the brutal deaths of her two sisters almost 1000 years ago. Her purpose in life now is to slay as many vampires as possible in revenge. That brings her to a lonely castle to kill the vampire, Sebastian. Sebastian was made a vampire against his will and has lived in self-loathing and solitude for over 200 years, drinking only the blood of animals. Both Sebastian and Kaderin end up in a sort of supernatural scavenger hunt called the Hie, where winning could mean changing the past. Along with the adventure, Kaderin has to come to terms with her growing feelings for Sebastian.
Both Sebastian and Kaderin are great characters. Sebastian is an interesting mix of alpha and beta hero qualities, at once demanding and controlling, and yet inexperienced and unsure of himself as well. His beta qualities make him vulnerable and sympathetic, and his alpha qualities make him swoon-worthy. Kaderin was irritating in the first part of the book, but her softening heart makes her a much more enjoyable and sympathetic heroine as the book progresses. The two together are dynamite.
The audiobook is narrated by the talented Robert Petkoff. His voicing of the many accents and his ability to do both male and female characters well makes him a perfect choice for this series. He differentiates the characters very well, even when voicing two males with Slavic accents, or two Valkyrie sisters. His timing and inflection when reading dialogue is excellent. He delivers humorous lines with the right "punch" and is good at knowing just the right inflection needed for the context. My only caveat, and this is a small one, is that the love scenes are delivered a little too dramatically for my tastes, and Kaderin sometimes ends up sounding too breathy. Overall, however, this is an enjoyable story made even better by an excellent narration.