The Dan Diaries

The Beyond Series Book 4

Fiction - Audiobook
200 Pages
Reviewed on 03/13/2020
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Rabia Tanveer for Readers' Favorite

The Dan Diaries is the fourth book in The Beyond Series by D.D. Marx. Dan Sullivan had a great life with a good job and Olivia as his best friend whom he knew he could count on. But just like all good things, his life came to a sudden end. In his eternal life, he is a guardian angel and his best friend is his first ward. He needs to help Olivia fulfill her destiny and make sure she is happy. However, it is not easy, especially considering Olivia keeps on going off track and is not on the path she needs to be. Dan is doing his best to give her little nudges in the right direction, but it is not enough. Can Dan find a way to make Olivia believe he hasn’t left her alone and will help her find the happiness she deserves?

Daniel James Lewis’s narration in this audiobook was incredibly well-paced and soothing. He allowed me to have reactions, to be invested and be interested in Dan’s life (or afterlife). His tone and cadence were actually very refreshing; he used his voice beautifully and lured me in. I knew when some action was coming because Daniel’s voice told me so. He painted pictures in my mind and made it easier for me to understand what was going on and how it was all unfolding.

I am not even surprised by this series anymore. D. D. Marx is a magician with words; she knows how to bring the story to life, how to make the reader crave more and how to make sure you are right there with her characters. Dan is a beloved character from the Beyond Series. I loved how he was almost an entity in the previous novels and now we have him smack in the middle of all the action. Dan’s perspective is very interesting; he is charming, hilarious and very observant. I love D. D. Marx’s narrative style; she breathes life in her stories and makes you fall in love with them. Needless to say, I enjoyed this story and I loved Dan’s reactions. It was hilarious, emotional and endearing at the same time.

Christian Sia

The Dan Diaries is the fourth book in The Beyond Series by D.D. Marx, and the author raises the bar even higher in this new entry, crafting a story that gets the reader emotionally involved so that they begin to care about the characters right away. I was pulled in, not only by the clear voice of the narrator but by the dramatic opening with an accident. The aftermath is a strange phenomenon: “I don’t feel any pain; just a warmish sensation running through my body. My unfamiliar surroundings appear tranquil and serene when I hear a voice whisper, “Welcome Daniel.” It is the voice of his assigned Guardian Angel, Gabriel. Dan is to learn about his new mission in the afterlife.

This is a story that has strong hints of the spiritual and the supernatural, told in a voice that is warm and endearing. Daniel Sullivan and Olivia Henry shared a wonderful bond. But then a tragic car accident rips them apart. From the world beyond, Dan’s first assignment is to watch over Olivia, but he can’t interfere directly in her life. While she feels his presence, Dan can only guide her by sending signs that point her in the right direction. But can he help her to love again after her heart has been broken? The idea behind this novel is original and it will have a strong appeal to Christian readers. I enjoyed the way the author explores the link between the physical and the spiritual and the role that Dan plays in this story.

The story is narrated Dan and it gets a completely new flavor. And here D.D. Marx demonstrates a new depth in imagination. The male voice of the narrator is smooth and the voice changes to convey a strong emotion, a dramatic moment, the state of mind of the characters. At times it feels like it is narrated by several narrators. The narrator respects the pacing, and it is easy to feel the punctuation through every line. The Dan Diaries is a rollicking ride for fans of romance and readers who enjoy rich characters. You will want to see the desperate Guardian succeed in steering Olivia towards her destiny. Brilliantly plotted and skillfully crafted.

Romuald Dzemo

The Dan Diaries is the fourth entry in D. D. Marx’s spellbinding The Beyond Series. In this entry, Daniel Sullivan dies in a tragic car accident and is welcomed by his assigned Guardian Angel. Now, he has a new role to play and his first task is to protect and guide his best friend, Olivia Henry, to accomplish her purpose. While Olivia goes through a terrible period of loss, she is struggling to get a grip on things. Dan can’t intervene physically in her life and can only send symbols and signs to pass a message to her. The reader follows the journey as Dan struggles to help her make the right choices and get over her fears, especially that of loving again. Can she trust the strong connection they have? Can she completely embrace his presence — though spiritual — and allow him to influence her from beyond the grave?

The Dan Diaries is a tantalizing story that is beautifully narrated. It is read with emotion and the voice of the narrator comes across clearly; it is strong and captures the nuances of the story neatly. The intonation varies with different situations and moods of the characters. D. D. Marx has composed another beautiful story that will put readers on the edge of their seats. It starts with the crisis — Daniel dying in a car accident — and this introduces a conflict that is well-explored throughout the story. The themes of love, death, loss, life, and eternity are intricately woven into the plot. The characters are real, imbued with humanity and strong emotions. The Dan Diaries is real and inspiring, a story that explores a love that goes beyond the physical.

K.C. Finn

The Dan Diaries is a work of romantic spiritual fiction and interpersonal drama written by author D. D. Marx and narrated in this audiobook format by Daniel James Lewis. The fourth installment in The Beyond Series, this interesting new novel takes us away from Olivia Henry and her highs and lows in life and puts us instead in the shoes of best friend Dan, who died in a car accident at the very opening of the series. What follows is Dan’s experiences in the afterlife and his involvement in Olivia’s life as her guardian angel, especially as he tries to teach her to love again after the heartbreak of losing him.

Having read The Beyond Series and enjoyed its dramas, romances, and heartbreaks many a time, it was truly fascinating to return to it in this new perspective and hear Dan speak for himself. Author D. D. Marx has also pitched this story at just the right level of drama so that it doesn’t feel gratuitous but becomes its own genuine story with Dan’s motivations and his enduring love for Olivia at its center. What results is a fantastic emotional arc and an interwoven plot that will remind readers but also enlighten them from a new angle at the same time.

In terms of audiobook quality, narrator Daniel James Lewis brings Dan to life with dynamic voice action, humor, and great pacing. The quality of the editing is excellent, as always, and the story flows smoothly with well-paced chapters to tell Dan’s tale in full. I really enjoyed the emotional moments of the character especially. Overall, I’d completely recommend The Dan Diaries to readers who adored Olivia’s adventures and are still craving more heartache and drama from author D. D. Marx.

Ruffina Oserio

The fourth book in the Beyond Series, The Dan Diaries by D. D. Marx totally blew my mind. It was far from anything I could have expected, well-narrated with the plot knots beautifully tied and characters so ingeniously developed it is easy to root for them. The story opens with the narrator, Daniel Sullivan, dying in a tragic car accident and finding himself accompanied by his guardian angel. Then he learns his new life and mission after death. But his connection with Olivia Henry takes a new form as he becomes her guardian angel. The only problem he faces is that he can’t communicate directly with her, so how is he going to make her trust him and follow the messages he sends her through signs?

The frustration is strong on the part of Dan, even if he acts from a privileged position. The author introduces the concept of free will in the writing and makes readers look at the relationship they have with heavenly beings differently. They can inspire mortals, but they can’t force their choices on them. The suspense was strong as I listened to the story, feeling Dan's pain as he watches someone who has been very important to him navigate through confusion and uncertainty. The Dan Diaries is well-narrated and the narrator did a great job in allowing the different elements of the story to come out clearly —the strong plot elements, the amazing and elaborately developed characters, and the conflict. The audio is professionally created and listeners will have no difficulty, plus the voice of the narrator is neutral.