Audiobook Review | “Halfway Hunted: Halfway Witchy, No.3” by Terry Maggert, narrated by Erin Spencer

Posted Friday, 10 February, 2017 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

Audiobook Review Badge made by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Digital Audiobook by: I am a new blog tour hostess with Audiobookworm Promotions wherein I have the opportunity to receive audiobooks for review or adoption (reviews outside of organised blog tours) and host guest features on behalf of authors and narrators alike. I started hosting for Audiobookworm Promotions at the end of [2016] during “The Cryptic Lines” tour wherein I became quite happily surprised how much I am now keen on listening to books in lieu of reading them in print. My journey into audiobooks was prompted by a return of my chronic migraines wherein I want to offset my readings with listening to the audio versions.

I received a complimentary audiobook copy of “Halfway Hunted” via the publicist at Audiobookworm Promotions (of whom was working directly with the author Terry Maggert) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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On the heart tug of emotional angst stemming out of the cliffhanger from Halfway Bitten:

In case you’ve missed my full ruminations on behalf of the first novel in this wonderfully witchy series, please direct your mouse to Halfway Dead!

Halfway Hunted promo badge provided by Audiobookworm Promotions

When Halfway Bitten concluded – I had mixed emotions. In some ways, I had trouble sorting out my thoughts because I couldn’t quite say I had the same reaction to the second story as I did the first: wicked sweet admiration for the story in whole. No. I honestly had a difficult takeaway, as portions of the story felt ‘off’ to me somehow, something I have sorted out how to explain, if you read the ‘postscript’ on my review.

The hardest part about the ending is how it ends – to be direct, this is the second time I felt overcome by the ending of a novel. The first time was during a read-fest of Lady Darby, of which sadly ended with me unable to resolve my feelings in order to read the adorable pocket sized fifth installment. (see also post) By the time I resolved my emotional angst, I was facing a real-life medical crisis. (see also post) In this particular case, it was simply emotionally gutting – such a sad conclusion and yet, a heroic gesture for someone’s beloved. Wulfric grew on me – as he didn’t warm to me initially – it was through his love for Carlie and the overtures of sincerity he made started me to think about another vampire I liked (ie. Angel; Buffy the Vampire Slayer; Angel series)

Each of the Halfway Witchy stories are progressively moving deeper into the heart of Carlie’s personal growth and the ways in which her life is exponentially complicated through her experiences as a white witch. Maggert threads a hearty threading of realism into the backbone of the series – there are happy moments, sure, but overall, this is a cheeky satire with high octane drama. It’s set in a world just out of the view of our own – if you kept the veil of the supernatural away from your eyes, you could say this is ‘present day, 21st Century’, too. It’s texture of familiarity is enhanced by how Maggert etches into his narrative exchanges of cultural and tradition Americans would readily recognise. This is decidedly American – not just in how he chooses to write his characters’ unique personalities or their delivery of their lines, but rather, how the story is told. You can perceive a lens of grounding out of the author’s own imagination and living memories whilst countered against the unseen and very dangerous supernatural world.

This is why I am so genuinely addicted to this series – you feel like brewing up a warm cuppa and settling in for returning back to a place that feels so much like home. Similar to Stars Hollow if you will. Or any small towne you feel you can cosy up inside and be recognised as a resident rather than as a passing through outsider. This is why despite the cliffhanger giving my heart a lurched out motion of ‘how could this happen!?’ I felt Maggert left in just enough Hope for things to turn around and/or have restitution given down the road a bit in the next installments to where I could handle moving forward. Unlike my feelings on behalf of the recent episode of NCIS: LA (see this thread of a rant of mine) which pushed the envelope too far for me to even consider rational and plausible in regards of ‘where’ a story-line in a family tv series should go.

As an aside, Lady Darby’s story-line crushed my soul, NCIS: LA disturbed my heart and disillusioned my loyalty to a series I’ve followed since JAG (ie: all 3x NCIS are spins of the original) and Halfway Witchy dealt with a twist of fate in such a better way. If you’re going to give a reader (or a viewer) a heart-wreck of a cliffhanger or turning of tides, take after Mr Magget. And, yes… I am going to be reading Lady Darby – after you nearly lose your father to a series of TIAs, even a crushed soul can be repaired. Or in my case, a severe case of amnesia occurred because something more important was hitting my reality. NCIS: LA is falling into the category of Castle & Downton Abbey; not everything can be forgiven. Then again, I boycotted Angel after S2 for similar reasons.

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Audiobook Review | “Halfway Hunted: Halfway Witchy, No.3” by Terry Maggert, narrated by Erin SpencerHalfway Hunted
Subtitle: Some Prey Bites Back

Welcome to Halfway; where the waffles are golden, the moon is silver, and magic is just around every corner.

A century old curse is broken, releasing Exit Wainwright, an innocent man trapped alone in time. Lost and in danger, he enlists Carlie, Gran, and their magic to find the warlock who sentenced him to a hundred years of darkness. The hunter becomes the hunted when Carlie's spells awaken a cold-blooded killer intent on adding another pelt to their gruesome collection: hers.

But the killer has never been to Halfway before, where there are three unbreakable rules:

1. Don't complain about the diner's waffles.
2. Don't break the laws of magic.
3. Never threaten a witch on her home turf.

Can Carlie solve an ancient crime, defeat a ruthless killer and save the love of her life from a vampire's curse without burning the waffles?

Come hunt with Carlie, and answer the call of the wild.

Places to find the book:

on 10th November, 2016

Length: 6 hours and 56 minutes (unabridged)

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the halfway witchy series:

Halfway Witchy book series collage provided by Audiobookworm Promotions
Digital composite of Wooden table with library background. Halfway Witchy book series collage provided by Audiobookworm Promotions; used with permission.

Notation on Cover Art Design: charmed by two, indifferent towards a third

Unlike my admiration for the first two covers, the third cover was slightly less inclined to be liked by me due to how ‘blood’ was the prime feature of the artwork. I’m not a girl who likes vampires or werewolves – not generally – I do have my exceptions (all girls do) but if you were to cast a wide net about the stories of the supernatural and/ paranormal suspense in general – I’m just not the kind of reader / viewer who digs a lot of er, blood. Unless it’s a medical drama – not that I can handle watching or reading medical dramas anymore – in my teenage years I could filter real life from fictional; as an adult, I’ve lived too many years with medical crises to care to always be locked into a soul-wretch of a fictional one. I even wanted to share the promo badges attached to this blog tour – as some of the quotes were my personal favourites – but again. The ‘blood’ is just too .. er, ick for me!? I always par down the blood – my imagination is tamer than most and more expansive in other regards – in true essence, I dial down the gore. Not that I would consider Maggert’s fiction ‘gory’ no, it’s still within what I consider ‘Cosy Horror’ or even ‘Horror-Lite’ but.. yes. This cover just didn’t win me over. I sort of wished for the continuity of the marker tattoos. That was something wicked original now discarded.

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About Terry Maggert

Terry Maggert

Left-handed. Father of an apparent nudist. Husband to a half-Norwegian. Herder of cats and dogs. Lover of pie. I write books. I've had an unhealthy fascination with dragons since the age of-- well, for a while. Native Floridian. Current Tennessean. Location subject to change based on insurrection, upheaval, or availability of coffee. Nine books and counting, with no end in sight. You've been warned.

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my review of halfway hunted:

As Carlie relaxed back into her routine – cooking and keeping an eye out for elusive dangers within Halfway’s outer limits, she stumbled across Exit; a man out of time. She was tipped off about this curious gentleman by her friend at the library; a cheeky reminder of how Maggert likes to set ‘libraries’ inside his stories. Exit was a gentleman, of whom, time has not been very kind, as his century of awareness was not the same as Carlie’s. She took him at face value but also wanted to pry out of him what his story was and to see if she could help him. She immediately took her to see her Gran; a common practice for Carlie as her Gran was a discernible white witch – her years of experience guided Carlie’s youthful yearnings of deepening her own practices, but it was Gran who had a knack for seeing more than what was said about someone.

A brew of tea and a conversation which gently moored itself into a cat-conic pulse of calm, where the people they would question would feel more at ease and less inclined to question their objectives. They learnt he had worked in a mine; having spent the past century in such a mine but without the conscience choice of being ‘awake’ as he had been put until a curse of sorts. The layers of which were not yet known or understood – but Gran and Carlie were tag-teaming his back-story out of him. His was a familiar story given his background and the time-frame of his life being rooted to the earlier portions of the 20th Century. He was a proud man – whose countenance was never so weakened than the condition he was in right now. He was under a spell of unknown origins and this in of itself was worrying; something Carlie tried not to pause over too long.

Exit has secreted and elusive facts from the past to share with Carlie – the more she learnt the more she wanted to solve what had become of the man whose entire being ached to be back ‘home’ rather than summoned to the present. Exit is still locked inside the past – he has trouble shifting forward, but at the same time, he has issues taking in the fuller truth of Carlie and Gran’s magical lineage.

wulfric and carlie:

There is something quite difficult about their situation – it happens to run blood deep, as Wulfric is part human and part vampire, but it’s the affliction he currently has which has turnt him away from being with Carlie. They have to live apart – separated by more than mere distance and yet, they each hunger for the other. They are soul mates – united and conjoined through their bond but when they must live apart, the difficulties increase between them. Others are aware of their separation and the cause behind their separation – what was quite fitting is how Maggert pulled together a bit more of this sub-plot whilst keeping his main focus on how resilient Carlie remains and how hard she fights to never give up even when a solution is elusive.

Even Wulfric keeps pining for Carlie – to return back to the life he was living before he sacrificed more than his fair share of his soul. He would defend Carlie all over again if it meant to keep her safe but it’s how broodingly anguished he has become away from his true love which breaks your heart to hear about because it just feels unfair how despite his altered state, he’s still only focused on the goodness of his soul and not the darkness which seeks to destroy him.

resident ghosts:

There are moments where Carlie and Gran have to turn their attention to the knowledge the resident ghosts of Halfway can share about any of the oddities befalling their small towne. The ghosts themselves have individual personalities – which Ms Spencer brings to life quite wickedly. You would never know the afterlife was meant to be less adventurous or less, hmm, curiously normal!? I think this is another layer of humour I like about the series – you simply never now what is more normal here vs what is more normal (or ‘ordinary’) here. The cheekiest bit is how all of it merges and melds into this organic moulding of Halfway.

A wordsmith shares his discoveries:

From the very first time you begin to insert yourself into a Maggert story, your going to be treated to wordplay and a wordsmith’s repository of favourite words (or phrases, depending!). This excited me originally because too often fiction tends to blur across language choices, as most writers continuously use the same words all the other writers in their genres or thematics chose to use themselves. Maggert is a good writer for a new reader or one who is becoming more seasoned as a reader who appreciates the curiously treasured words which can not just enlarge one’s vocabulary but heighten one’s awareness of how words can be vessels of more than just thoughts, feelings and observations. Words can anchour you to time, to setting and to a lifeblood of creativity in how words can bend perceptional dimension.

In closing,..

As you might be surprised dear hearts – this isn’t one of my traditional reviews – I spent an inordinate amount of time throughout Thursday and most of the early morning of Friday trying to find the ‘heart’ and ‘centre’ of this story. Normally, I find it quite quickly – because I feel attached to the story-line as it’s unfolding. This time round – I am not sure if it’s my inability to connect to the story itself or the fact, for whichever reason, my mind just ‘shut off’ for this installment. This can happen – I sometimes find when I’m reading serial fiction, I might stumble a bit to read every story in order of sequence. It’s not that there is something entirely wrong with a particular story per se – it’s more to the point, sometimes I just personally cannot connect to what is happening.

I’ve listened and re-listened to the first several hours of this novel and I’m at a loss to understand why my mind wanders, my attention is not focusing on anything other than the harmonic hum of Ms Spencer’s voice and as the hours pass by me, I’m still trying to sort out how to write down my impressions because I’m still waiting for the story. *le sigh* It could be a culmination of things – I’ve been properly exhausted for the past two weeks – due to things going on in my personal life and the issues I had with being disconnected with an ISP who lacked empathy or customer service. Thankfully my new (er, old) ISP has a soul and a heart. I’m not even sure if that’s what has left me distracted either – the problem is I cannot justify nor explain why I am disconnected from Halfway Witchy.

This is a series I love – a series I have felt so invested in and so attached inside, I honestly would get a bit giddy over being able to ‘listen’ to a new Witchy novel! I. kid. you. not! What really surprised me is why I wasn’t connecting with Exit and the mystery surrounding Raina. All I can think of is perhaps this was a bit too rushed for me to step back inside a series I love at this particular moment in time. I’ll re-try to listen to it down the road – honestly, I want to know more about Wulfric and Carlie’s struggle to reunite – is that even possible!? And, Gran keeps mentioning she’s getting on in years but Carlie is trying not to let that resalisation affect her current peace of mind in having her grandmother around. I have so many questions I want to see answered – this is why I know it’s not the story itself, it’s me. I’m just off this week. My focus and my mind are not in sync and thereby – if you are on the blog tour and have recently finished this novel – I welcome your comments! Especially to find which of the characters you’ve felt bonded too the most and what aspects of the series you love finding threading through the serial continuity of the main arc!?

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specifically in regards to the audiobook:

As I am relatively new to reviewing audiobooks and listening to them with a greater frequency than of the past, I am appreciative of Ms Jess providing a cursory outline of how best to articulate my listening hours on behalf of this audiobook and the others I shall be blogging about or reviewing in future. I’ve modified the suggestions to what I felt were pertinent to respond too on my own behalf as well as keeping to the questions I felt were relevant to share.

About Erin Spencer

Erin Spencer

Erin loves audiobooks! As an actress, they have allowed her to creatively stretch by playing all kinds of characters, all kinds of ages and all kinds of accents! She voiced roles in the Audie award winning title, Illuminae and was also nominated for a Voice Arts Award in the romance category. She has narrated over 100 titles and as an audiobook director has worked on at least 100 more. She has worked for most of the major publishers and also enjoys working with indie writers who are some of the most talented writers out there!

Listening Habit:

As disclosed on my first audiobook review of The Cryptic Lines (narrated by Jake Urry), I find colouring whilst I am listening to audiobooks to be a great benefit for being able to find the right catalyst of focus to soak inside the narrations.

As I was gifted with five beautiful Leisure Arts colouring books for New Year’s – I have continued my admiration of colouring whilst listening to audiobooks for this blog tour! Earlier on the 8th of February, I re-listened to the latter half of Halfway Bitten happily colouring in Colour Art: Colour & Create: Nature. My motivation stemmed from the fact Maggert etches in a hearty presence of the natural world and I wanted to be surrounded by nature – both in his startling realistic narrative and inside the colouring book of my choice! I carried forward inside this colouring book whilst listening to Halfway Hunted – which coincidentally was a deadline-eater, as I didn’t have a chance to listen to the story until almost the moment I needed to start ruminating my thoughts and polish my review for the blog tour! Oy. The best news is that I truly love Halfway Witchy as a series – I’m enchanted by Erin Spencer and so, despite burning midnight oil – the joy was the absorption of the third installment and seeing how Carlie was fairing after the dire straits of Wulfric were revealled!

Number of Times I’ve heard the Narrator(s):

The brilliant news is this is my 3rd Erin Spencer narration

Regards to the Narrator’s Individual Character performances:

Gus: somehow Ms Spencer has found the ability to reach inside a feline mind and give her listeners a beautiful jolt of insight into this Maine Coon cat! She is either a cat lover or intuitively connected to animals and their humans; she has this uncanny way of etching out Gus to where you can nearly feel his tail touch your leg as he gently nudges you whilst you listen to his familiar’s (Carlie) story.

As previously stipulated – Carlie and Gran are two of my favourite characters in the series, and they continue to shine through the voice acting of Ms Spencer.

Brendan: a curiously inquisitive bloke who feels most comfortable at home in the library; his observational sixth sense aides Carlie on more than one occasion. His voice isn’t as confident as most, as I think his character is still a work-in-progress.

Exit: perfection of a man out of time, of old world charm and of gentlemanly sophiscation from a past generation.

Bindi: her voice was so interestingly specific. You could feel her presence was unique in statue but also in purpose. She had a message for Carlie about Wulfric; something quite particular about how illnesses such as his – of how he was altered can be tricky to reverse. She had a lower octave of tone and yet, you could sense the urgency of her message – the way in which it gave Carlie a bit more hope and how Ms Spencer truly knew how to off-set her voice to pull out the differences in all the characters featured in the series.

Regards to Articulation & Performance of different sections of the novel:

Despite having my focus off the mark with the novel, I cannot fault the performance nor articulation on behalf of Ms Spencer. Her voice is quite hypnotic – she makes you want to listen to her narrations simply by how she approaches the process of bringing characters to life. I am never disappointed in her approach or in the choices she makes to voice the uniqueness and interesting personalities within a Halfway Witchy novel. Hers is an organic intuition in regards to how best to bring the individual characters to life – almost as if she is a medium channeling their essences and directly relating them through your headphones.

Preference after listening to re-Listen or pick up the book in Print?

I am so wicked attached to this audiobook and how it was narrated – rather than seeking out the print editions, I might be so inclined to see if there are posters (even mini-posters) of the cover-art or if there will be editions of these audios on CD; as I’d rather have a tangible connection to the audiobooks rather than to collect the books in print. I know that sometimes strange – as I spoke about how much I love to listen to audios and read books in print in tandem recently; however, in this particular case, I am simply in awe and joy of Ms Spencer’s performance, I do not want to nettle out my own interpretation that might stray away from hers to the point I would lose the experience of what the narration gave me.

A bit like how sometimes you see a motion picture adaptation of a novel!? For me, this happens one of two ways: either I am aware of the book before it goes to screen OR I have the disadvantage of not recognising it’s a novel (either a new title or one I never knew of previously) – I either watch the film first or I read the book first. Rarely though it does happen, do I see the film first and not want to read the book. This is one of those times where I have fully embraced the adaptation that I do not want to concede to meet the original it’s based upon as to me, I feel like the adaptation has heightened the original and is the best interpretation of it’s story’s soul. -fully stand by my original reaction!

In closing, would I seek out another Erin Spencer audiobook?

I am truly, truly hoping the fourth installment of Halfway Witchy: Halfway Drowned will go on an audiobook tour this Spring. I am so positively addicted to this series, I would love the chance to continue to soak inside the heart of this wicked brilliant paranormal series! Mind you, even if it doesn’t tour – I’ll have to sort out a way to bring it home – I’ll go into Witchy withdrawal, you guys! This is of course hopefully after I’ve been able to re-listen to Halfway Hunted and sort out what the disconnect was for me this time round! Oy.

If you would like to know more technical details about the sound quality, etc.

please refer to my review of Halfway Dead – which is linked at the bottom of this review.

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 This blog tour is courtesy of Audiobookworm Promotions:

Audiobookworm Promotions Event Host badge provided by Audiobookworm Promotions

Whilst participating on:

Halfway Hunted blog tour via Audiobookworm PromotionsI am thankful to continue hosting with Audiobookworm Promotons, as  I’ll be showcasing many more audiobooks – not just through the lovely tours via Audiobookworm Promotions, but through selecting audiobooks through my local library as well as the ones I hope to purchase in the future, too! If your an avid audiobook listener, I welcome your commentary and recommendations especially for YA Paranormal stories such as this one or Paranormal Suspense or Cosy Horror you think I might enjoy seeking out next!

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{SOURCES: Cover art of “Halfway Hunted”, collage graphic of the Halfway Witchy series, book synopsis, narrator biography, narrator photo, author biography, author photo, badge with excerpt from “Halfway Hunted”, Audiobookworm Promotions badge and the audiobook tour badge were all provided by Audiobookworm Promotions and used with permission. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets embedded by codes provided by Twitter. Blog graphics created by Jorie via Canva: Audiobook Review Banner and the Comment Box Banner.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2017.

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About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Friday, 10 February, 2017 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 21st Century, Animals in Fiction & Non-Fiction, Apothecary, ArchDemons or Demonic Entities, Audiobook, Audiobookworm Promotions, Author Found me On Twitter, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Cats and Kittens, Clever Turns of Phrase, Coming-Of Age, Cosy Horror, Cosy Horror Suspense, Dreams & Dreamscapes, Earthen Magic, Earthen Spirituality, Environmental Science, Equality In Literature, Faeries & the Fey, Fantasy Fiction, Folklore and Mythology, Ghost Story, Ghosts & the Supernatural, Good vs. Evil, Gothic Literature, Gothic Mystery, Horror-Lite, Humour & Satire in Fiction / Non Fiction, Immortals, Indie Author, Light vs Dark, Modern Day, Nature & Wildlife, New Adult Fiction, Parapsychological Gifts, Parapsychological Suspense, Philosophical Intuitiveness, Political Narrative & Modern Topics, Premonition-Precognitive Visions, Realistic Fiction, Shapeshifters, Small Towne USA, Sociology, Speculative Fiction, Spirituality & Metaphysics, Supernatural Creatures & Beings, Suspense, Sustainability & Ecological Preservation, The Natural World, Upper YA Fiction, Urban Fantasy, Vampires, Vulgarity in Literature, Walking & Hiking Trails, Werewolves, Witches and Warlocks, YA Fantasy, YA Paranormal &/or Paranormal Romance, Young Adult Fiction

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