Audio Review: Clean Sweep by Ilona Andrews, Narrated by Renee Raudman

Audio Review: Clean Sweep by Ilona Andrews, Narrated by Renee RaudmanClean Sweep by Ilona Andrews

Series: #1 Innkeeper Chronicles
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Published by Indie/Self Published on March 19, 2014
Length: 7 hours 55 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
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four-stars      one-flame

After reading a great review from Kimberly @Caffeinated Reader blog, I was eager to try this one.  I was already a fan of the Kate Daniels series by the author and love their blend of worldbuilding, action plots, and slower developing character plots.

Clean Sweep is the first book in a series so it had the job of introduction and providing a compelling story.  I like how they steadily revealed the characters and the Innkeeper world.  It’s an interesting blend of sci-fi and urban fantasy.

The story opens with Dina Demille the Innkeeper of her newly reopened inn discovering that something large and predatory has begun eviscerating and eating the neighborhood dogs of her small Texas suburban town.  Her first guess is the handsome and fit werewolf who claims the neighborhood as his turf, but Sean Evans is as mystified as she is.  He doesn’t even seem to know who or what she is even when she has to use magic against him.

Dina’s job and priority is the care of the Inn and her sole guest, but she is well aware the attacks will escalate and eventually go after the vulnerable humans around her.  She will not stand by and watch it happen even if other innkeepers would.  Sean is not one to let it go, either.  They work together and figure out just what they are up against even as she brings Sean up to speed on just how much bigger and badder his world really is.

Soon, the trouble escalates when a clan of vampires gets involved and Dina realizes she is in deeper than she knew.  With the aid of her inn, her trusty broom, her Shih Tzu dog, and the two alpha males who insist on treating her as fragile, they prepare to do battle with the predator and his beasts wrecking havoc.

Alright, the story grabbed my attention from the beginning.  I enjoyed the characters, the fun elements of the world particularly the whimsical and possibly sentient inn itself.  The conflict was formidable and posed trouble, but I confess that I was more interested in Dina and her world, Sean, the galaxy of interesting people out there, and of course the vampires.

There was mild lag, but I expected it since Clean Sweep had the job of introducing matter.  I do hope the broader mystery of what happened to Dina’s parents and her ongoing efforts to gain higher rating for her inn will continue to be addressed in the series.  The opening relationships and hint of attraction and resistance between the three main parties was a good hook.  I found Dina’s permanent inn guest a hoot and hope the duchess is around for more.

I chose audio format for this one and was tickled to experience Renee Raudman’s narration for the first time.  She did a bang up job.  I loved how she brought Dina alive for me.  The subtle, dry wit of the story was brought out under her capable storytelling as was the excitement of the action scenes.  Her character voices and accents were well done.  I would definitely listen to more of her work.

All in all, it was a great start and promises to only get better.  Fans of the author pair, of sci-fi, and of urban fantasy should definitely give this book/series a try.

Challenges Met:

Romance Roundabout #15 UF
Literary Pickers #16 robe
Audio #4
Mt. TBR #8
COYER #49

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.
  • I like vampires in all kinds of ways and this does have an interesting story line.

  • I’ve wanted to read this for awhile, but wanted to wait until a few were out. I don’t want to read them online as each chapter or whatever comes out. I’m thinking it’s about time now. And Raudman is such a good narrator!

    • I didn’t even know they were a serial on the blog until after I listened to this one. I don’t blame you for not wanting to wait for those to come out. I’ve got all three of the released novels, but it will take me a while between each so book four will likely arrive before I catch up.

  • It was the first series I tried apart from the Kate Daniels series (but I have the Edge one) and I had a really nice time with it. The others are good too

    • Oh good! I plan to tackle the Edge series next since it is connected to this one, I’m told.

      • it’s the first time that I hear that the two are linked. I didn’t know

        • I can’t remember where I saw that mentioned. I think it was someone’s review maybe. I’m not entirely sure how they are linked maybe some crossover characters.

        • There is a small link. Some of the characters from The Edge make an appearance in book two of this series (and one is mentioned a lot in book three). You can read either series without having read the other. I love both series (well everything by Ilona Andrews, especially with Renee Raudman narrating).

          Melanie @ Hot Listens & Rabid Reads

          • thank you Mel!

          • Aha, appreciate you letting us know, Melanie. And good to know that it doesn’t matter which series is started first. I was hoping I’d be alright.

  • So glad you started this series. It is a favorite of mine. Also glad that you got to experience Renee Raudman. She is one of my favorites. She narrates pretty much everything for Ilona Andrews.

    Melanie @ Hot Listens & Rabid Reads

    • I can’t believe I waited so long for both series and Renee Raudman. I’ve heard great things about both. I went and snatched up books two and three right after listening.

  • YES…I love this and the series just gets better. I patiently wait for the audios of these.

    • Now that is great news. I thought this one was pretty good so better and better makes me happy. 🙂

      LOL, I couldn’t wait so I went to Amazon and got the ebooks and added the whisper sync which is the cheapie way to get the audios. And I have it in both now.

      • that is how I got them too, but didn’t read. I have to listen to Andrews’ books..lol

        • A while back, that concept wouldn’t mean as much to me, but now that I’ve experienced several good narrators, I get it. I had to have the rest with Raudman narrating. I can’t imagine Charley Davidson or Mercy Thompson without Lorelei King’s voice. And I can’t imagine Atticus O’Sullivan not having Luke Daniels’ voice. 🙂

  • I love this book! I have read it and listened to the audio. Renee Raudman does a fantastic job with it. I think she does all of the Ilona Andrews books so I have listened to her many times. Glad you enjoyed it, Sophia!

    • I most definitely did, Carole. Now I know what all the folks praising Renee Raudman were on about. 🙂 I’ve got the next two books locked and loaded.

  • I am curious about this one, I already read some good reviews and now hearing your thoughts as well makes me even more curious. I have this one on my wishlist. I like how the main character is an innkeeper and all the paranormal stuff going on sounds itnerestign as well. And it sounds like the audiobook version was well done. Great review!

    • Oh yes! This one was a wonderful surprise for me. I think you might enjoy it.

  • I do love these two but so far haven’t started these. It’s funny but I kind of want to start them just to read about the inn. lol

    • You really do. Her inn has a personality of it’s own. And her broom? Coolest thing ever. I want one.