Written by Suzie Gilbert⎮ Narrated by Kurt Rhoads, Nance Williamson
Author: J. Marie Croft
Narrators: Kurt Rhoads, Nance Williamson
Length: 10 hour 59 minutes
Publisher: Perch Press
Released: Nov. 4, 2020
Genre: Adventure; Comedy
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In this comic, suspenseful adventure, runaway wife Luna Burke and unsuspecting getaway driver Ned Harrelson are heading from Key West to Ontario with a stolen bald eagle in the back seat.
Licensed to care for injured and orphaned wildlife, Luna Burke is determined to smuggle the eagle out of her husband’s private zoo in Florida, reunite the bird with its mate, and get them both to an eagle sanctuary in Canada. Hot on her trail is her mogul husband, his bodyguards, the police, conservation officials, and an expert government tracker; aiding and abetting her is a smitten young tech guy, a lethal Navy SEAL turned panther advocate, and an underground railroad of wildlife rescuers intent on protecting one of their own. Waiting in Ontario is a legendary old eco-warrior more than willing to provide refuge...as long as they can make it across the border.
Sophia Rose's Review
A wildlife-loving woman wanting freedom from a possessive husband, an anti-social animal-fearing nerd, and an eagle go on the run from Key West to Ontario with an army of seekers on their trail. Sounded like the best of road trips and I was tickled to be along for the ride.
Unflappable begins with a billionaire’s wife dissatisfied with being a trophy wife and realizing that he will never let her simply walk away when he takes a bald eagle from its habitat and mate to dangle as bait to get her back. Luna reacts by staging a rescue of Mars the eagle and her cohort is the newest volunteer at her friend’s animal rescue. At first, she has no plan and socially awkward Ned is shell-shocked that he’s even on this adventure.
I’ve described books as a wild ride before, but Unflappable takes the cake. I had a blast careening along with Luna and Ned as they avoid her wealthy husband’s goon squad including legit government agencies, meet up with so many quirky characters who hinder or help along the way including an Underground wildlife rescue group. The story kept up with the pace just fine and even had time to color in the personalities of Luna and Ned and the other major secondary characters as it went including Luna’s cohort in ‘crime’ back at the zoo, Harper and her love interest.
The intro to the world of extreme wildlife conservation and what the habitats and rescues face with low budgeting issues was informative and fascinating. As an animal lover, I was onboard with the descriptions of them working with Mars and other animals along the way and the good-hearted people who dedicated themselves to this pursuit.
While things are pretty topsy-turvy with the pursuit and all the moving components, there is a personal journey and romance going on. I liked Luna, but I sure did want to jerk a knot in her for pushing away Ned so many times. He’s raw and bumbling in social situations and even in her world of animal rescue and conservation, but he is trying hard and rolling with it all even to the point of being more than just the getaway driver. Full-figured and large personalitied Harper and her handsome law enforcement love interest were my favorites. There is lots of humor in the book, but Harper’s resonated with me the most.
Kurt Rhoads and Nance Williamson did a dual narration of the book. I thought both their storytelling and their ability to voice so many characters was fabulous. They had good grasp of the story’s tone and pacing and really enhanced the listen. That said, I was none too keen on the way the story was split. Their narration was not every other chapter or even large blocks of character POV, but they switched when males or females were speaking so it went back and forth a lot. I got used to it to some extent, but I did find it distracting especially since there were a ton of characters.
All in all, Unflappable was a fun story that hit many emotional facets and opened up the world of wildlife conservation and even the politics associated while delivering engaging characters and situation. Those who enjoy a light suspense with a side of romance should definitely give this a look-see.
Sophia is a quiet though curious gal who dabbles in cooking, book reviewing, and gardening. Encouraged and supported by an incredible man and loving family. A Northern Californian transplant to the Great Lakes Region of the US. Lover of Jane Austen, Baseball, Cats, Scooby Doo, and Chocolate.
Sophia has been devouring books for decades and the love for audio books in particular probably started with the portable turntable record player and hearing, ‘when the chime sounds, please turn the page’. In the last five years of reviewing, she has started listening for review and honing her narration tastes. Sophia is an equal opportunity genre lover though history and mystery, sci-fi and romance will always be the front runners.