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Birthright by E. J. Stevens

Birthright - E.J. Stevens

Note: Even though this is Book 4 in the series, I think it works mostly OK as a stand alone.

Ivy Granger, paranormal PI for Harborsmouth, is in hiding. Supposedly she’s dead and she doesn’t want to let her enemies know otherwise. But she needs to work in order to buy groceries. A simple wispy job will lead Ivy on a quest through the Celtic underworld to the Wisp Kingdom in order to learn more about her father.

I’ve really been enjoying this series and Book 3, Burning Bright, has been my favorite so far. Parts of this book have that same quality as Book 3 but other parts felt like they were still in final draft mode and needed just another little push to tie everything together. It’s still a complete story and some significant things happen, so if you’re a fan of the series I still think it’s worth the time. I just think that Book 3 was more polished and that set the bar for this book.

Jinx and Ivy adopted Sparky, a baby fire demon, in the previous book. He’s still around and provides some comic relief. It’s also nice to see the domestic side to Ivy. Then we get to learn a little about Jinx’s family, which was cool. I love that Jinx still accessorizes with a crossbow.

Ivy has to leave on this quest to learn more about her father, taking Ceff (her kelpie prince boyfriend) and Torn (a flirtatious cat sidhe). There’s some pretty cool scenes as they make their way to the Celtic underworld. Very exciting! I love all the mythology built into the plot. Torn has some of the best lines, being a flirt and sometimes sarcastic.

Once we get to the land of the Wisps, big things happen to Ivy. She meets a relative, gets some life-changing news, and these events leave her changed. All of that, big picture-wise, is good. But the details felt penciled in. A certain character comes across as creepy and eventually evil long before the big reveal at the end and Ivy didn’t catch on. I want to believe she was glamoured but sometimes her own internal monologue seems to point out these things and then they’re dismissed in the next scene. I felt this was out of character for Ivy and found it hard to believe.

So we have this evil character and then Ivy’s friends are in peril. Significant time goes by in the second half of the book and I was left wondering why the evil character did not kill Ivy’s friends. It would have been simple, it would have solved problems. So that seemed like another break from logic.

Setting those criticisms aside, the big reveal at the end was great. I am very much interested to see where Ivy goes from here. Her life has been irrevocably changed by this installment in the series. I really like that Ivy is going to be forced to play in the big leagues by these changes.

I received a copy of this audiobook at no cost from the author in exchange for an honest review (thanks!).

Narration: Melanie Mason was once again a good voice for Ivy. She had to come up with some interesting sounds for Ivy when she was in the middle of fight or in pain. Anthony Bowling has replaced David Wilson Brown for all the male voices. Bowling did a fine job, but again, I had to adjust my inner expectations for inflections and such as I got used to Bowling. But once I did, all was well. I loved his voice for Torn, the cat sidhe. He makes a good flirt! I also liked his voice for baby Sparky the fire demon. I’m not too sure why the author keeps changing narrators with this series. I think if I sat down and tried to listen to them all back to back, it would be off-putting. They included a few sound effects, some of which worked well and others were slightly confusing until I was told what the sound, like the roar of the beast they meet on the way to the underworld. That didn’t sound like a roar at all. But other sound effects were spot on.