• Owl's Slumber

  • Trials of Fear, Book 1
  • By: Nicky James
  • Narrated by: Adam Gold
  • Length: 10 hrs and 27 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (152 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Imagine what life would be like if panic ruled your world at the mere thought of going to bed at night. For as long as he can remember, Finnley Hollins has been crippled by his extreme phobia of sleep. Every night is a battle, and every morning isn’t without consequences. The root cause is something he’s ashamed to admit to anyone. It’s his war, and he will fight it alone. 

When an unexpected turn of events lands the stunningly gorgeous Aven Woods at Finnley’s place of business, his life gets turned upside down. 

All it would take is one night together for his secret to be exposed. Finnley wasn’t prepared to fall in love. More so, he wasn’t prepared for his phobia to completely consume his life. Not only is it affecting his job and his relationship, but now it’s affecting his health. What will it take for Finnley to finally admit he needs help?

©2018 Nicole James (P)2019 Nicole James

What listeners say about Owl's Slumber

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

The narrator is really a GOLD!!!

*big sigh* ... OMG! This book was so much better then I thought it would be. I - the lunatic - feared to listen to it, because last year when I read this book, I was exhousted from it. I became Finn while reading, and I thought I'll be sleeping through the book while listening to it. But d**n, I was so wrong! It was SO good i couldn't sleep even if I wanted to. I just wanted to listen to it forever. Adam Gold is really a GOLD in narrating. The things he does with his voice and how he plays the characters... i have no words. No. Words! Perfection.

Finnley and Aven were so awesome together, I fell in love again and again with them. They came alive and everything was perfectly amazing in this audiobook. I loved every scene, but when Ireland was there for the first time I was smiling so hard I think everyone thought I'm crazy - side effect of listening to audiobooks in public.

I highly recommend this book in every format. Plus I highly recommend Nicky James. And Adam Gold. Good God, I recommend Adam Gold!

How good this book was?! Still no words - i'm speechless.

9 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Well written and performed but repetitive

Nicky James is actually one of my favorite authors, for her writing style mainly, along with her ability to write actual gay men who aren't just women in male form, but she does tend to write some duds and this is one of them. Owl's Slumber has an intriguing premise but Finn's somniphobia takes up 98% of the book. We can't go five minutes without him having a panic attack and lashing out at Aven, the other character in this ostensible romance.

In fact, I have absolutely no idea why Aven bothers. I'm obviously not saying it's impossible to love someone with a severe anxiety disorder, but if Finn is contributing something worthwhile to the relationship, we're not seeing it here. From almost the very beginning Finn is rude, combative, ungrateful, and just a general pain in the neck and we don't see ANYTHING positive about the two of them together except for the way Aven protects and comforts him. Aven is getting precisely nothing out of it.

And that's not to say that Aven isn't dealing with stresses of his own, not even counting the ones Finn heaps on him. He's dealing with a homophobic sister and a mother who just sort of lets her daughter be homophobic in order to keep the peace, but we hear virtually nothing about them. Finn's phobia steamrolls over every other possible plot point.

I guess it's remotely possible that Finn is mostly a wonderful boyfriend, but we just don't see it because the author chooses not to include it in the book for some reason. Having read a couple other books in this series, I can say it doesn't really improve; in fact, this is one of the better ones.

Adam Gold is good to the point where he's probably my favorite narrator even though he's barely narrated any m/m books. And the writing is fantastic. I hope Nicky James's more recent books (I'm writing this in 2021) get the audiobook treatment, because they're really amazingly good, particularly The Endless Road to Sunshine, The Devil Inside, and The One That Got Away. I'm just not into this, it's 10 1/2 hours of one character having panic attacks and almost nothing else.

5 people found this helpful

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Raw, gritty and emotional!

This is the first book in the Trials of fear series and can be listened to a standalone.

This book was so much more raw, gritty and relatable in audio.
Adam Gold did an amazing audio delivery and narration.

This book was emotional, angsty and I felt for Finnley.
The characters were real and well fleshed out and the writing style was fluid and gripping.

The author touches upon so sensitive issues and portrays them in a very refreshing and relatable way.

I definitely recommend listening to this one. The narrator did a great job.

4 people found this helpful

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ok

narration good.
frustrating dialog and character development. this writer deals with sensitive topics but sometimes she glosses over real human interactions for subpar storytelling

3 people found this helpful

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So Amazing

Wow!! Just wow! I loved this book, so when the audio came out, I thought I would give this new-to-me narrator a try. I am SO glad I did! The way that Adam Gold narrated this beautiful story was just amazing. I’ve never felt more immersed in an audiobook - ever. Adam’s narration went above and beyond just character voices and I felt as if I was IN the story. I couldn’t imagine the fear of sleeping, but this narration made me understand that fear that Finnley battles nightly. The way Adam conveyed the sadness and desperation of Finnley when he had hit his exhaustion point just pulled at my heart. I *felt* those feelings from Finnley. I equally loved his portrayal of Aven, whose unwavering support of Finnley certainly choked me up at points. This story was so riveting and kept me finding excuses to pop in my earbuds to finish, even knowing the outcome. This story truly brought out a whole range of emotions in me, and I loved every moment of it. Nicky James certainly knows how to break your heart, and slowly mend it back together like no other. If you’re looking for an audio where you’ll lose yourself in the story, I couldn’t recommend this more!

3 people found this helpful

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I NEED MORE NICKY JAMES W/ ADAM GOLD AUDIOBOOKS

Nicky James is a goddess among authors! Her romances are angsty but hopeful. Adam Gold is a god among narrators. His performance intensifies all those angsty and hopeful feelings of the story. They are the perfect team!!!

3 people found this helpful

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Adam Gold was perfection

Omg this audio was everything! Adam Gold made me fall in love with Finn this time around. I loved this book, but the first time around I didn’t live Finn. I do now. And his voice for Aven gutted me. Just perfect!

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Adam Gold...is just that...GOLD

I think Adam Gold was made for Nicky James books. She always rips me apart with her writing and Mr. Gold further slays me with his performance. They are SO good together. His performance, as always, was perfect and made me feel so much more than I would have if I’d just read this myself.

I have only read/listened to four other books by Ms. James and every one of them is a 5-star read; however, none of them have been easy. This book is no exception. I’ve never heard of anyone who was afraid of falling asleep but wow. And Finley’s history is INSANE.

I was frustrated by Finley quite a bit and never understood why he just didn’t want to get better. I KNOW his history now and see how his father just ruined him but why not TRY to fix it before Aven convinced him to get help?

Aven was more patient and understanding than I would have ever been with anyone. Their relationship seemed forced at times, but Aven was truly amazing with Finley.

I’m not rushing to book two…but I will get to it eventually. I need light and fluffy for a minute now.

2 people found this helpful

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highly recommend!!

This book was amazingggg. So many emotions!! I've already listened to it twice. The narration was amazing and he really brought the characters to life. I highly highly recommend this book.

2 people found this helpful

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Great narration

After listening to and absolutely loving Love Me Whole I had such high expectations for this book. I mean Nicky James does know how to write phenomenal books with broken characters. Sadly Owl’s Slumber missed the mark just a little bit.

First of all, where was the romance? The push and pull, the attraction, the feelings between our two main characters? I was almost at the point where some added sex scenes wouldn’t have been too out of place, just to add something. And if you know me, you know that I never say that. But I just didn’t feel Finnley and Aven as a couple. It all got lost in Finnley’s sleep phobia.

Don’t get me wrong, I liked Finnley and his phobia really intrigued me, but it also overshadowed everything else. I never felt like Aven was allowed his space, I never got to know him. Which is my second issue with this story. Not only didn’t we get to know Aven, even their relationship was on the backburner from Finn’s sleep phobia. Aven was constantly bending over backwards (no pun intended) to help Finn, find solutions and helping him, but Finn never really made an effort towards anything. He was just there, or running away. Brushing Aven off. So I never believed in their relationship, I just didn’t feel it.

Narration-wise, Adam Gold did a wonderful job bringing the book to life. I especially enjoyed the sound effects he added for the inner thoughts and phone calls, it added to the feel of the book, another dimension. It also highlighted that it was a phone call or an inner monologue. What’s more, it wasn’t overdone or exaggerated. I also loved that he added the yawns or giggles (when appropriate) in the story. It’s these small things that can make all the difference for your listening experience.

In the end, this book was a nice enough listen, it wasn’t all that I hoped for and probably not one I’m likely to listen to again, but it was still a nice way to spend an afternoon/evening before enjoying a good night’s sleep – something I know I won’t take for granted for a while to come.

A copy of this book was generously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review for Love Bytes.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Macbandit
  • 07-08-22

Unusual phobia

I wish I knew where to start on this other than to say it’s Nicky James, just what I expected. This author is on every list I have. The stories are so above most I have ever read. Every time I read another story from her I have another book to remember. This is one more original. I had not read/listened to it before as I try to catch up on the older stories but it again points out to me the talent of this author. There is so much emotion all throughout this story. Finn is stuck in a life he never really wanted. He has this sleep phobia and has never found anyone who understand how bad it is. This guy suffers every day of his life and has been somewhat lucky worse things have not happened to him because of it.
Aven suffers his own problems. Some of his family does not accept him being gay. When he meets Finn there is an instant attraction. Aven is almost unbelievable. He sticks with Finn when I’m not sure anyone would. My heart went out to both of these guys because it takes so much from both to deal with these issues.
I have to admit there was a few laughs also. I enjoyed Finn’s behavior at Aven’s sister’s wedding.
This is another reason why I watch so closely for this author’s stories. Each is an original idea with very unique characters and their problems.

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  • Mandy Tunstill
  • 06-17-22

Simply Incredible and Fantastic ❤️

Absolutely blown away by the amazing trial of fear series by Nicky James was hooked from the start and Adam Gold with the narration he's brilliant at bringing Finnley & Aven to life it's emotional and beautiful you're pulled in from the start and taken on rollercoaster of emotions is voice is devine I'm obsessed recommend so much. ❤️❤️

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  • AL
  • 05-05-21

So, so, so amazingly good!

Story: This series is amazing! I did not listen to this story first, but it's definitely a great opener and delivers the same amazing quality as other stories.
Finn and Aven met in very unexpected circumstances, but the instant connection was palpable and the author did a great job showing it. As with all stories in this series, and most in Nicky James' backlist, there is a lot of obstacles ahead of the MCs and the phobia Finn battles is the biggest, but not the only one. The characters are complex and very well created. The descriptions of emotions and mental states are very visceral, but make the reader sink into the story completely. I love that quality about Nicky James' books!
Narration: Great performance by Adam gold! Great voice that was easy to follow and perfectly carried forward all the emotions in the book.

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  • MrsOls
  • 09-04-20

Beautiful story about anxiety

I loved this story about Fin and Avan and their journey together! Nicky James is so good at keeping the balance between the feeling of the horror anxiety is and what it can do to a person but also the people around that person and the romance with true love and HEA.

Adam Gold bring them to life with his deep, calm voice.

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  • Katie townsend
  • 09-04-19

incredible

listening to adam gold bring aven and finnley to life was such a beautiful experience

i felt every moment every word and every emotion

aven and Finnley's storyline is beautiful and emotional at the same time i loved listening to owl's slumber so much and adam gold did a amazing job narrating and bringing their storyline to life perfectly