Carnage (Whispers From the Bayou, #1)by Sandra R. Neeley Published 17 Jun 2018
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Whispers From the Bayou
Raised by a father who curses the day she was born, Carolena finds herself in the swamps of south Louisiana under the guise of overseeing her father’s investments. In truth, she is making every attempt to avoid forced marriage to any of the men he would have her shipped off to. She’s always believed that her husband would love her, would give his very life just to hold her; not be a man who would marry her to claim her father’s wealth. When she arrives in the deep-south, she catches the eye of a local backwoods family of brothers. The eldest, Bobby, decides that he is deserving of a step-up in life, takes her against her will to his hovel of a home at the edge of the swamps to be shared between himself and his brothers. Carolena — not the shrinking flower they think her to be, flees into the deepest, darkest, wildest portion of the swamps in an effort to escape the brothers and their plans for her. Death at the hands of the creatures in these wetlands is a better option, in her mind. Little does she know, she’s also caught the eye of the most dangerous creature there, one of legend — of nightmares. He’s watching her every move, admiring her bravery — and he’s decided he’s keeping her.
Carnage is a Gargoyle. He’s also volatile, dangerous, unpredictable, and lonely. One evening minding his own business at the edge of the sanctuary he calls home, he spies a female. A human female, and she’s running headlong into his swamps, with no regard for her own safety. Then he sees the reason; three men, and they’re hot on her trail, torches in hand, hell bent on catching her before she can get away. He watches as they get closer and closer to her, easily following her trail. Carnage makes a snap decision that changes both their lives forever; he drops out of a tree right behind her, slaps one clawed hand over her mouth to keep her from screaming, wraps her in his huge arms and goes right back to the treetops. He shelters her while the men traverse the ground below, unable to determine why her trail disappeared. Carnage admires this little female — she was brave to run into the swamps alone. There are many creatures lying in wait for just such a meal. But she no longer has to worry about that, because now she’s his. He only hopes that she doesn’t fear him too much once she gets a good look at his blue-grey skin, his fangs and his horns. Because regardless of what she thinks, or the rules of his community — he’s not giving her up.
"Carnage (Whispers From the Bayou, #1)" Reviews
So I enjoyed the concept of this more than the execution really.
It was a little to light in nature for me to fully appreciate this as I was kind of expecting a somewhat darker overall flavour.
I'm not going to major rehash the storyline her as Most of that is covered in the blurb.
What we have is Carolena escaping from her pursuers into the bayou only to be kinda rescued by the stuff of legends a Gargoyle called Carnage.
I say kinda because he has no intention of letting her go so he's actually taking her really.
Carnage wants to take her home with him to keep safe even though humans are totally forbidden in this sanctuary deep in the swamps.
This sanctuary Whisper is filled with all sorts of dangerous supernaturals hiding out from the human race.
So up until now, I'm all good we have a scary-arse gargoyle who speaks little actual language, a damsel in distress, and the beginnings of a fabulous dark dialect all played out in the spooky swamps.
So this is where it lost me a bit; upon Carolena being discovered by the other supernaturals and the instant death sentence this should be and Carnage shouting Mine every five seconds and threatening fellow gargoyle Destroy and vampire leader Enthrall; this then somehow managed to turn very little house on the prairie in nature.
I actually felt like I was in some weird sorta wonderland.
so I'm going to do this backwards and explain what didn't work for me and then end this on a positive with what did.
I thought the heroines name here just didnt flow right; Carolena well I just wanted to call her, Caroline or Carolina, her name just didn't seem quite right almost like a typo but it wasn't.
This also didn't seem that paranormal despite all the supernaturals or historical despite the year setting maybe because it was set in a swamp and some of the said paranormals here seemed just so human in nature I mean Enthrall was walking in sunlight and making Carolena sandwiches for god's sake.
I also wasn't a fan of the whole village type setting and everyone, in my opinion, accepted the human much too quickly than was actually natural here.
I mean they were hiding out from humans and they were all like well your just gonna have to stay as we don't want to kill you.
I also could not understand how Carolena accepted her fate so fast; I mean she didn't once try to escape her captors who she treated like friends from day one.
Also, the bit with Carolena's dad I just didn't get it; why were all the residents of whispers so afraid of him? just kill him already you're all meant to be big bad scary monsters jeez.
He's one human male.
So what did I like well in a nutshell Carnage I adored the huge ugly gargoyle.
He seemed I trifle simple at times but Carolena herself wasn't the brightest spark so they were for me quite easily matched.
I loved his gruff takes no prisoners attitude, his lack of articulate speech and his obsession with that beauty and the beast book was simply adorable.
Carnage is what made this for me.
That and the front cover picture.
It was the actual cover on this one that actually twisted my arm into purchasing I just wish it could have lived up to it.
This also at times has some interesting moments but they were just for me overshadowed slightly by Carolenas rather annoyingly wingy personality.
I so wish I could have liked this more than I did I really do.
I did finish and there were some enjoyable instances mainly due to Carnage, I also thought this was such an interesting premise just not really for me.
If you like a lighter flavour with your fiction then this one is that despite the cover and the disclaimer.
Reviewed By Beckie Bookworm.
Well, color me surprised. This turned out to be way better than I thought it would be. Not 100% perfect, as I found the heroine to be a bit childish at times, and I wasn't overly fond of both Enthrall and Destroy in love with the heroine as well. But other than those two little niggles this was a fantastic book, and I really want book two ASAP!
I wasn’t sure how much I would enjoy a book about a gargoyle that actually looks like a gargoyle. The horns, the fangs, the gray skin. But I did! I loved Carnage sooo much! He was an incredible alpha male with an intense “mine” attitude, the drive to protect and possessive as all get out. His ability to communicate through language is extremely limited but it actually led to some of the most touching scenes I’ve ever read. His happiness was palpable, his anguish extreme and everything he felt was plain to see, feel and experience along with him.
Carolena was a wonderful heroine in that she didn’t dash head first into trusting this strange creature but she was able to quickly discern the nature of his heart and let her own heart lead the way. She was strong and independent for a woman of the early 1900s and I couldn’t have loved her more.
This has several incredible secondary characters that I can’t wait to read about. The world they live in, while being in the swamps of Louisiana, was the perfect backdrop for this band of misfits. I fell in love with each and every one of them as well as all that was good and bad about them.
Overall, this was a wonderful read that I know I will certainly reread again and again.
Safe [spoilers removed]
Triggers [spoilers removed]
Warning - This book is super sweet
I do love a good gargoyle book and this cover and blurb put this on my list.
But the book itself wasn’t anything like I expected, more on that later.
Carolena finds herself running for her life into the swamps of south Louisiana. She’s rescued by Carnage a huge horned gargoyle.
Now I loved the idea behind this. A hidden village of supernatural creatures living together out of the sight of humans.
And I absolutely loved Carnage, the fact that he couldn’t speak well and yet Carolena understood him. His possessive nature and the way he constantly claimed her.
However the story wasn’t exactly what I expected. I don’t know if it was the cover that suggested (certainly to me anyway) a darker read but it turned out to be incredibly sweet. Think Little House on the Prairie with the Brady Bunch sweet.
While I loved Carnage and most of the other characters I found Carolena annoying. Irritatingly annoying and I also didn’t like that the H and h spent most of the book apart.
If I’m being critical the book was a little too long for the content and far too sweet given the cover. I also found it juvenile in places.
Or maybe that’s just me?
I don’t want to make this a spoiler review but there was something towards the end of the book that just seemed out of character. This is a small thing but I like things to add up and this didn’t for me.
DNF at 30%
I was lucky to read several good books in a row, including superb Iron and Magic, so, I guess my tolerance level for beyond mediocre is at the lower end.
I love gargoyles and Carnage is a sweetie but something about the writing itself is rubbing me raw – small town/ bayou setting does not automatically require simplifying character’s depiction and dialogue to such extent that it stops being charmingly naïve and becomes annoyingly childish with a hefty dose of stupid. A villainous hick named Bobby, gargoyles named Carnage, Murder and Destroy (shorten to Troy, who behaves as a spoiled brat), vampire named Entrall, who walks in the sunlight, does laundry and makes himself sandwiches and, of course our FC, Carolena(?) who is TSTL. The cover has more intensity and drama than an entire book
Let me start by saying this is one of my favorite reads of 2018!!! Carnage is one of the best paranormal characters I've ever read. Carnage is a gargoyle who is very volatile and feared by most of the inhabitants of the whispers. But when carolena runs into the bayou to escape three brothers who are on a mission to rape and do harm to her carnage makes the decision to claim carolena as his own,knowing that he is breaking the laws of the whispers by bringing a human into their home. What a awesome storyteller Sandra is!! Her characters are all so interesting from carnage who is a gargoyle with a terrible temper,but with carolena he is so sweet and endearing, love him so much. The way he takes care of carolena is beautiful,you can't help but love him. Then theirs enthrall he is a vampire and the leader of this group of paranormals,he too is a fascinating character.Then theirs destroy he is a young gargoyle bad boy oozing with charm and he starts out by causing trouble for carnage and carolena,but he's just lonely and doesn t want carnage to have someone,but he knows that carolena only wants carnage. I can't wait to find out more about all these characters and see them all get someone of their own. And I hope we hear and see more of Lore one of the ancients who is deadly and feared by all,but who is so intriguing !!! A mixture of good and evil and barely hanging into his sanity! Can't wait for the next book in this series which will be destory's story!!!