Title: Candy Man
Author: Amy Lane
Narrator: Philip Alces
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Run Time: 4 hrs and 6 mins
At a Glance: The narration of this story is spot on. Philip Alces is a consummate professional.
Reviewed By: Kathie
Blurb: Adam Macias has been thrown a few curve balls in his life, but losing his VA grant because his car broke down and missing a class was the one that struck him out. One relative away from homelessness, he has taking the bus to Sacramento, where his cousin has offered a house-sitting job and a new start. He has one goal, and that’s to get his life back on track. Friends, pets, lovers need not apply.
Finn Stewart takes one look at Adam as he’s applying to Candy Heaven and decides he’s much too fascinating to leave alone. Finn is bright and shiny – and has never been hurt. Adam is wary of his attention from the very beginning – Finn is dangerous to every sort of peace Adam is forging, and Adam may just be too damaged to let him in at all.
But Finn is tenacious, and Adam’s new boss, Darrin, doesn’t take bullshit for an answer. Adam is going to have to ask himself which is harder – letting Finn in or living without him? With the holidays approaching, it seems like an easy question, but Adam knows from experience that life is seldom simple. And the world seldom cooperates with hope, faith, or the plans of cats and men.
Review: I dare you to go to the Audible site and listen to the sample of Amy Lane’s Candy Man and not get sucked right into the story. I have listened to this audio two times and have read the book three times and still, every time I hear or read it I learn something new. Characters and the settings are Amy’s strengths. Wait, no, humor and pacing of the story are her biggest strengths. Oh hell, she’s just the perfect storyteller.
Candy Man is perfect, not too long, not too short, and manages to tell us a story with flawed characters who have fallen short for one reason or another. In this case, Adam Macias’s family fell short in lifting him up as a child, protecting him and helping him shine as an adult. But not all of Adam’s family failed him. Rico is the cousin who comes through with a place to live, a dog and cat to take care of, and words of support when they are needed. It’s up to Adam to re-build his life, but a little helping hand from people who love you never hurts on that journey.
The description of Finn Stewart in the synopsis above is perfect. Finn is a shiny penny, fully invested in Adam, sees all the good in Adam and knows that Adam has so much more to offer. I think the best description I can come up with is that Finn is Adam’s champion. Is the road to love perfect for these two? No way! Adam has to learn to believe in himself and truly love himself before he can commit to Finn. All the characters in this story help that journey: Finn’s family, the employees of the Candy Store, and Darrin, the Candy Man himself, with his Pixie Stix fortunes.
The narration of this story is spot on. Philip Alces is a consummate professional. Just looking over his works listed on Audible shows that he narrates for many different authors in a variety of genres. His accents remained consistent with each of the characters, and I think, most importantly, he was able to capture in Finn’s voice the enthusiasm and positivity.
Candy Man is one of my favorite audios of the year. But really, how can it not be? Amy Lane is a master!
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