A Bloody Good Cruise

Diana Rubino
Narrator: Anthony Lee

PARANORMAL:  Romance writer Mona Rossi coordinates a themed Italian cruise to bring some positive publicity to the sometimes-maligned genre.  She is newly divorced, and when her marriage tanks, her popularity drops as well. The cruise ship is part of a luxury Italian cruise line; Fausto Silvius is the cruise physician, an ancient vampire, and Mona’s current love interest.  There are vampire hunters onboard the ship, and one wants to kill Fausto.  Mona’s best friend, Tessie, is involved with Quintus Silvius. Tessie is unaware that Quintus is a vampire, and the men want Mona to tell her during this cruise. Mona can’t yet commit to become a permanent part of Fausto’s life by becoming a vampire. 

The premise for this audiobook is clever and establishes new norms for vampire behavior:  these vampires appreciate gourmet food and wine, and can be out during the day without burning to a crisp.  However, there are mistakes within the story, such as characters handed the same candles twice within three minutes in the catacombs, or the same word (urgency) used twice within the same sentence. This audiobook combines genres creatively, which adds interest and keeps the listener engaged.

The production quality of the audiobook is good.  There are not any extraneous noises or unexpected sounds within the recording.  Unfortunately, the quality of the narration is spotty. The narrator has approximately three distinct voices that he uses for every character:  Midwestern feminine, Midwestern masculine, and Eastern European vampire.  There aren’t many distinguishable differences between each of the main characters.  The voice quality is uneven and several words are mispronounced.  Nevertheless, the listener stays engaged to find out what happens to each of the main characters.  This is a fun, creative audiobook experience that knocks the vampire stereotype out on its fang!

Carey Sullivan