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  • The Lightning-Struck Heart

  • Written by: TJ Klune
  • Narrated by: Michael Lesley
  • Length: 19 hrs and 49 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (114 ratings)

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The Lightning-Struck Heart

Written by: TJ Klune
Narrated by: Michael Lesley
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Publisher's Summary

Once upon a time, in an alleyway in the slums of the City of Lockes, a young and somewhat lonely boy named Sam Haversford turns a group of teenage douchebags into stone completely by accident.

Of course, this catches the attention of a higher power, and Sam's pulled from the only world he knows to become an apprentice to the king's wizard, Morgan of Shadows.

When Sam's 14, he enters the Dark Woods and returns with Gary, the hornless gay unicorn, and a half-giant named Tiggy, earning the moniker Sam of Wilds.

At 15, Sam learns what love truly is when a new knight arrives at the castle - Knight Ryan Foxheart, the dreamiest dream to have ever been dreamed.

Naturally, it all goes to hell when Ryan dates the reprehensible Prince Justin, Sam can't control his magic, a sexually aggressive dragon kidnaps the prince, and the king sends them on an epic quest to save Ryan's boyfriend, all while Sam falls more in love with someone he can never have.

Or, so he thinks.

©2015 TJ Klune (P)2015 Dreamspinner Press

What listeners say about The Lightning-Struck Heart

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So good!

First, and I cannot stress this enough Micheal Lesley is AMAZING! The Lightning-Struck Heart is already so great by itself but Micheal’s narration brings it to the next level. The voices, inflection, and emotions he puts into his work is everything! He IS Sam of Wilds, not to mention the way he seamlessly switches between characters never once wavering. He expertly brings Sam, Gary, Tiggy, Morgan, Ryan and every other character in the book to life. He is the perfect example of what a great narrator can do. Not to mention the fact that his ability to say half of the things that come out of these characters mouths without so much as hint of a laugh has got to be worthy of an award in and of itself. Even if I had a thousand takes there is no way I could manage it. Needless to say, I would absolutely recommend Micheal Lesley’s narration to any and everyone!

Now for the story. TJ Klue, how on earth do you come up with this stuff? Seriously, your mind must be so bloody interesting. I cannot count how many times this book had me in a fit of giggles. I may or may not have gotten quite a few looks for acting like a complete lunatic in public. Even my fiancé was asking “what’s the matter with you?” when I listened to it at home. But this book is more than funny, its genuinely enjoyable in a way that only a good book can be. Even if you removed every ounce of humor this series is still one I would want to read.

*** Full disclaimer this book DOES NOT take itself seriously. Like at all. Even when the characters are in the direst of situations, they are making jokes and screwing around. So if you are looking for something with serious drama and angst you might want to look for something else. Also there is A LOT of swearing and crude humor. The vast majority of jokes are sex related so if that’s not something you’re interested in or can handle this book may not be for you. (However, if after all that you think you might be willing to give it a try, all I can say is DO IT! I promise you won't be disappointed.) ***

Take this excerpt in which the minutes are read from a meeting of the Ryan Foxheart fan club for example. For context, Tina is the sixteen year old president of the club for which Sam dons a wig and beard to disguise himself as Mervin so he can attend.

“President Tina noted that Mervin looked more flushed then usual and wondered aloud if he had just gotten filatiated by a street whore in the back alley. Mervin responded that at least he would, and I quote “be getting some unlike Tina who couldn’t even find a street walker who would take her money.” President Tina then stated that she wouldn’t be surprised when Mervin came to the next meeting with mouth sores and an itching rash in the most private of places. Mervin replied that if that happened he would just come to her for a solution since she obviously knew so much about itching rashes in private places. President Tina called him a ridiculous cock hound and Marvin said that he had never hit a girl before but that there was always a first time. Dolores then handed out the blueberry muffins which Mervin said he was allergic to and President Tina tried to force feed him three of. The minutes of the previous meeting were read and then for the next four hours there was a discussion on Ryan Foxheart’s biceps.”

Sam has had "a heart boner" on Ryan Foxheart since the moment he first laid eyes on him but Ryan is engaged to Prince Justin who Sam "wants to protect but also punch in the face." The man who will one day be king and for whom Sam will serve as wizard. For now though, Sam is just an apprentice. One who lives in the castle with his best friends, "a hornless gay unicorn built out of rainbows and bitchiness," and "a half giant who wanted to smash everything."
Sam resigns himself to stay away from Ryan and tries to stay out of trouble. However, that all changes when Prince Justin is kidnapped by a frisky dragon who decides he wants to “hoard” him and the king sends the group on a quest to save his son.

While it is absolutely hilarious (I swear my stomach hurt from laughing on numerous occasions) this book isn’t just jokes. The characters are well rounded, lovable and messy in the best possible way. The plot is fully imagined and interesting and the romance between Ryan and Sam is frustratingly believable. I say frustrating because you will most definitely want to smack them both several times throughout the book but honestly who doesn't act like an awkward idiot around their crush? Then again I might just be projecting. Anyway... this isn't one of those romance novels where two people meet for the first time, jump into each others arms and are confessing their undying love by the end of the week. While those books have their place this is is more of a slow burn. A really slow burn in fact but the journey is an enjoyable one. There wasn't a single moment when I wasn't entertained. I am so happy I decided to get this book and I cannot say how glad I am that this is a series. These are characters are ones I don’t think I can get enough of.

6 people found this helpful

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new favorite book of all time

if you love overly sexual humor (that's not cringy or gross), fantasy, or romance than this book is for you.

2 people found this helpful

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fucking hilarious

I genuinely have never laughed this much while reading before, and then almost cried later on. man's a fucking genius

1 person found this helpful

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absolutely hilarious

never in my life have I laughed so hard at a book. it's ridiculous, but also a genuinely good story, can't wait to listen to the rest of the series

1 person found this helpful

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:)

Entertaining, frequent laughing outbursts, content might be objectionable to some, but I found it hilarious

1 person found this helpful

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Fantastic story and incredible narration!

I loved the book and Michael Lesley brings it to life with his amazing voices!

1 person found this helpful

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Wasn' t what I expected.

The book was full of foul language, as well as lewd and suggestive stories.
I thought I was buying a fantasy book of dragon lore...I got stereotype gay characters spewing profanity and lewdness. Not for me.



1 person found this helpful

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As the character says in the first minutes

This is soooo stupid! Honey it’s a book for a five year old who still thinks gay means sassy it’s so cringe

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Oh my GODS.

The Lightning-Struck Heat by TJ Klune is unlike ANYTHING I have ever read before.

I’m… not sure if that’s a good thing or not.

This novel follows a VERY lively cast of (extremely lovable) characters as they embark on quest after quest. Sam, an apprentice to the king’s wizard who holds unimaginable power; Tiggy, a kind-hearted half-giant who would do anything for those he loves; and Gary, a hornless gay unicorn who speaks in sass and rainbows.

This trio of best friends are the core of this novel, but there are a few characters that deserve an honourable mention. There’s Ryan, a very handsome knight that Sam just so happens to have a crush on, and there’s Justin, the prince, next in line to the throne, and… Ryan’s boyfriend.

That’s all well and good until a sexually aggressive dragon kidnaps the prince, and the king sends Sam, Tiggy, Gary AND Ryan on a quest to save him.

And what a quest it is.

As I’ve said, The Lightning-Struck Heart was different from anything I’ve ever read before. Before I begin, an honourable mention HAS to go out to Michael Lesley, who narrates these audiobooks. I am SO thankful that I decided to listen to this book instead of reading it traditionally, because there is absolutely no way I would have ever finished it if I had tried to pick up a dead tree copy and physically read this.

Simply put, this book is ridiculous. There’s no other way for me to say it, I don’t think. It’s silly and ridiculous and it doesn’t take itself seriously, ever, not even when it maybe should. It is essentially one joke after another. And don’t get me wrong; the jokes ARE funny. In fact, this book is hilarious. Multiple points had me laughing out loud no matter what I was doing or where I was. I snorted at least three times a chapter. I truly, genuinely, enjoyed my listening experience — but I also believe that is LARGELY because I listened to it, and that’s all the kudos to Lesley for being such a talented narrator.

I gave this novel three stars because it is VERY unlikely I would ever read this book again. I would ALMOST call this novel a comedy, and while I didn’t know that going into it, It was certainly funny. It was well-paced, well-written, and well-thought-out, but it's simply not a story I feel like I’d want to consume again.

Now, that’s largely a personal preference, and it’s because I hate pinning. Like, I hate it. It’s the bane of all romance novels to me. Specifically, situations where one character (usually the main character) is helplessly in love with someone who (to literally everyone else in the world) is very obviously in love with them back. However, neither of them ever realize that the other is legitimately interested, especially the main character.

And this book has a lot of pining. Then it has even more longing. The pining and the longing were just… they were almost more than I was capable of handling the first time around, let alone a second time. It just wasn’t for me, which is totally okay! I know that’s a trope a lot of people like, but I personally found it exhausting in this novel.

Additionally, there were a few comments and jokes made that made it clear this novel was published in 2015. I am very interested to see how things change throughout the series, as I know the final book was published this year.

Now, I do want to end this on a positive note. Again, I DID enjoy listening to this book (and I am continuing to enjoy the rest of the series), so I want to highlight some of the things I specifically loved.

Firstly, I would like to take my designated <em>Klune is fantastic at narrative voices</em> moment and just gush over Sam.

As a main character, Sam is incredible. He is lively and loving and he cares so, so deeply, even if he often hides his hurt behind a mask of humour. It was a lot of fun to read a character like this, one who was amped up on (largely) false bravado that somehow wasn’t false at all? He’s a series of contradictions that I don’t understand even after listening to him for nigh twenty-hours.

But while I might not understand him, I DO love him.

I also absolutely adore the queer found family that exists in this novel. Klune is a wizard in his own right when it comes to crafting this type of heart-warming found family, and he does it time and time again in his work. The Lighting-Struck Heart has one of the most amazing casts I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting, and I love all of them.

Even Justin with his prickly heart, though that took a LARGE portion of the book to get to.

(Also, the KILF!!! The K I L F!!!)

The Lighting-Struck Heat puts a very interesting twist on magic, and I really enjoyed the magical system Klune created for this novel. This, along with Sam’s level of power, made for an exceptionally interesting read. Any time the novel got a little bit more serious during an action scene, I was on the edge of my seat listening, riveted to hear the way Klune skilfully crafted his world.

In all, I didn’t give this novel a three-star rating because it wasn’t good. No, The Lighting-Struck Heart is an INCREDIBLE piece of fiction that is exceptionally written. It is silly — often to an extreme that can take some getting used to — action-packed, and ripe with emotion.

Unfortunately, this novel heavily features a theme I’m not a huge fan of, which made certain parts difficult to get through; that, coupled with the way it doesn’t take itself seriously, means I would only recommend this novel (and series) to people looking for a light-hearted read filled with A LOT of sex jokes.

Now, if that sounds like a good time? You HAVE to check out this book.

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Fantastic !!!!

I have no words to describe how much I enjoyed this book. It was brilliant and I laughed till I cried.
Thank you TJ Klune for all this joy you gave me.
Thank you Michael Lesley for an wonderful performance and bringing these characters to life.

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  • Rain
  • 2015-12-23

Absolutely brilliant

I cannot say enough about this book. First, a warning; it's not for everyone. It is devastatingly funny, but the humor is sometimes crude. For me, it was quite amazing. I was constantly laughing and rewinding to my favorite parts. In over 19 hours, I never once felt like it was slow or boring. I'm doing my best to write a spoiler-free review, so it will not do the book justice.

I'm not one for warm and fuzzy relationships, nor relationships that are too easy or too anguishing. The interactions between Sam and Ryan make this relationship my favorite of all books I have ever read or listened to.

Every character was fleshed out, unique, and worked flawlessly in this story. I cared about each character, laughed at all the bad guys, and was never confused about what was going on. The details were plentiful without being too much.

The performance was phenomenal. The narrator's voices were very different, so I knew who exactly was speaking, and each matched the character perfectly. There was emotion in every word. It was not just a narration; it was a masterful performance full of emotion, laughter, and passion.

I would happily listen to anything this author and narrator ever created. I hope there is a sequel, that it comes soon, and that it has the same narrator. I will listen to this over and over again. It was more than worth the credit.

107 people found this helpful

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  • Belen
  • 2015-12-13

There aren't enough stars for this...

Any additional comments?

The Lightning-Struck Heart or, as it was originally titled, Unicorn Star F**ker, is a fantastic story of love, friendship, longing, loss, and hope.

Is this funny? Yes. Yes, it is. It's hilarious. Straight up - I was obnoxiously laughing so hard and so loud for so long that I actually began to feel sorry for the people around me. Sorry they were being subjected to my overt hilarity and sorry they were not reading this magnificent and wondrous book so they too could laugh uproariously.

Does this book make your heart ache? In part. Yes, it will, a little. What can be more sad than wanting someone so desperately, but knowing you can't have him?

"...I’m sorry I made an oath. I did it because I thought it was the right thing to do. And I’m sorry that I can’t break it. But you have to believe me that it’s always been you. I promise. I promise." His voice cracked and my hands shook. "I promise, because when I look upon these stars, there is nothing I wish for more than you."

Is this just an OTT Fairy-tale on crack? No. No, it's not. Or, well, it's not only that. There are so many nuances to this. It has humor, heartache, and, most importantly, lessons to be learned about life, love and sometimes letting the things you love go even at the expense of your own heart and soul.

And, oh, the characters!

Wizard Apprentice Sam Haversford aka "Sam of Wilds" is maddening, fantastic and wonderful in all his blurty over-the-top goodness.

Sir Ryan Foxheart, is dashing and wonderful and...an asshole. But not an irredeemable asshole. Which is good.

The sidekick characters are utterly sublime! (Gary, the hornless gay unicorn, Tiggy, the half-giant, Sam's parents, Morgan and Randall the wizards, Kevin the dragon, Mama, Sam's fairy drag mother, the King, Pete, the guard...gods I could go on and on...) They all steal spotlight every time they appear on page again and again.

I *literally* loved every single minute of this.

If you are a fan of Monty Python, Mel Brooks, Top Gun, and The Princess Bride - then you will love this book. You will want to have this book's babies.

If you are a fan of T.J. Klune's, and love his characters Derrick "Bear" McKenna (BOATK), Paul Auster (TMIR), and Sandy Stewart (TMIR) - then you will love this book. You will beg for more ( by the way, T.J....MORE PLEASE!!! ) Literally.

Never fear, dear readers! You get an HEA, but it's also left open for more adventures. And, oh, how I want them. I literally want them so much. Literally.

Michael Lesley takes this funny, makes your heart ache, cracktastic fairy tale and maked it infinitely relatable to anyone who loves humor, sarcasm, sassiness, and even sadness.

This is fantastic in all senses of the word. Run, do not walk, to buy this audio!

HIGHLY, HIGHLY, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!

45 people found this helpful

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  • Shannon Dee
  • 2015-12-30

Best audiobook of 2015!

What made the experience of listening to The Lightning-Struck Heart the most enjoyable?

The narrator seemed to truly understand and enjoy the content so it was so much fun to listen to!

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Lightning-Struck Heart?

I can't even pick one! I love TJ's writing and wordplay and it was so well done by the narrator that the entire thing just tickled me!

Which scene was your favorite?

Again, not sure I could pick one but the opening scene really gets you into the style and humor of the story

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I REALLY REALLY tried!

24 people found this helpful

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  • C. T.
  • 2015-12-24

The Go Word Is "Sam"

I love "Tell Me It's Real," but "The Lightning-Struck Heart" just took loooove to a whole other level! With best friends like Gary the hornless, gay unicorn (aka the perversion queen) and Tiggy the half-giant (who smashes and hugs with his whole heart), resigned and reluctant mentors like Morgan and Randall (respectively), a caring king and a butthole of a prince, a frustrating and sometimes stalker-y love interest (Ryan) this great book needs only one more ingredient (besides overly sexual dragons and fairy kings, though it has that, too) to make this book not just pretty awesome, but a vision of pure awesomeness almost too beautiful to put down EVER (okay, maybe that's a bit much...sort of): Sam of Wilds! With his kind heart, sassy mouth, bad sex puns and even worse jokes (love Wassa's name), and the fact that EVERYTHING wants to have sex with him, especially in front of Ryan, he makes a fabulous and fun and downright lovable main character.

And to Michael Lesley: you make this book and these characters really come alive. No other narrator that I've heard could do a more amazing job for these books and queens of sass than you!

24 people found this helpful

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  • Tina
  • 2015-12-13

Awesome!

This book was exactly what i needed, I love this book I was laughing my ass off it was awesome, the narrator was great. This audiobook is Hilariously funny and enjoyable wow so must fun thanks TJ Klune and Michael Lesley for making my day. ( Warning DO NOT listen to this book outside you home because people will think you are losing your mind or high). I highly recommend it 5 star.

21 people found this helpful

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  • Kevin Smith
  • 2016-01-28

Like a Sassy Gay Princess Bride

Would you listen to The Lightning-Struck Heart again? Why?

Yes! Just pure entertainment, It's wonderfully funny, yet has it's balance in the achingly familiar longing for what you dream (but don't think you can have). It is an adventure tale that is both filled with excitement of perilous situations and the great delight of the just plain wacky ones.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Lightning-Struck Heart?

There really are too many great moments to pick just one. What stands out is the sheer abundance of little moments. A line here and there, or the description of a scene or situation in the voice of the main protagonist and storyteller.

Which scene was your favorite?

There are so many scenes that I could think of, but then immediately think of others that could also be considered as a favorite. While not a scene, the relationship between the three friends (Sam, Tiggy The 1/2 Giant, and Gary The Hornless Unicorn) is so well done and complex it makes every scene between them eligible for the title of favorite.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It is extremely funny, and I found myself laughing out loud many, many times. But underneath the goofy situations, and sassy dialogue, is the ache of life not being like your dreams, or even easy. Characters that seem shallow and one-dimensional can open up for a moment and show their own aching heart.

Any additional comments?

A lot of "gay" fiction centers in the theme of not being accepted, by yourself or by society. It is refreshing that in this book being gay is thought of as just as valid as being straight, and not treated as anything but just another way of being.

19 people found this helpful

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  • Donald
  • 2016-04-08

Beyond the stars...

I have always enjoyed TJ Klune's work but this story has got to be one of the best that I have listened to since I began listening to audiobooks. The author's wit and writing style had me experiencing every emotion that one could possibly consider. They dynamic between Sam, Garry, and Tiggy was just awesome and the love between Sam and Ryan could be felt (physically) through the words. Adding to the majesty of the words is the excellent narrative abilities of Michael Lesley. Each character was brought to life with the differing vocals assigned to each. What an amazing talent he is! Exceptional is not nearly a strong enough adjective to describe the awesomeness of this book!!!

14 people found this helpful

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  • HaloLove
  • 2015-12-31

"And he smiled."

Any additional comments?

Who is this TJ Klune (who writes beautiful love stories that make you laugh, cry, and want to protect these imaginary people you fall in love with) and how can I get Michael Lesley as my personal narrative of EVERYTHING?!

I came across this awesome duo when I found " Tell me it's real," and got in trouble at work for laughing out loud, AGAINST MY WILL! And I was infected with the same, laughing against my will, while listening to this story.

"It was like getting hit in the face with a puppy made of ice cream and good dreams."

This story of a 'coming of wizard age' tale full of love, lies, requited and unrequited love sets you on a journey full of laughs and ' WTF did I just hear?!' With a sweet giant willing to smash anyone who tries to hurt his besties, a beautiful angelic unicorn name Gary (seriously, a unicorn named Gary lol) and a young wizard with no internal filter whose in love with the immaculate and dashing Ryan, it was impossible not to fall in love with this 19+ hour tale.

"I don't need to love u for all the things u could be, I already love you for all the thing you are."

Michael Lesley! 💖Michael, 💖Michael, 💖Michael!
1. Sexy as Ryan
2. Hilarious as Gary
3. Achingly funny as Sam
4. And Phenomenal as every other character in this story

"I'm going to awkward hug the f**k out of you."

13 people found this helpful

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  • Riva
  • 2016-01-16

Epic and Magnificent!!

Epic and Magnificent!!! That is how I would describe this wonderful book and performance. For have not doubt, Mr. Lesley does NOT read this book; he performs it in a way that you "experience" this book. The combination of TJ Klune's imaginative, funny and poignant fantasy adventure and Micheal Lesley's amazing performance is the stuff of dreams. The story of Sam and Ryan and their marvelous Scooby gang of friends and family had me grinning from start to finish. At 19 hours you would think it would drag, but it didn't. And that is primarily due to TJ Klune's wonderful writing. He makes these characters so endearing that you can't help but get swept up in their lives. Of course there is the usual warning about listening in public. You will laugh out loud and get strange looks and wide berths. But it is so worth a little public shaming. The ending seemed to infer they may be more adventures to follow. I really, really hope there are.

12 people found this helpful

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  • K.S.
  • 2015-12-20

LOVE T.j klune

This author is absolutely amazing. I am in awe of the way his mind works. His books are serously funny mostly because of the fact that the main chacter telling the stories are sarcastic, unlucky and batshit crazy. This book is not different than his other books in that regard. It is however a lot different than the bear, otter and the kid series since this one is set in a fantazy world. The love story always seem to be the background story in the book and you do not get to know the love interest of the MC very well - he seems mostly to be "the pretty one" that he pines after due to his look. But it does not matter since i generally never listen to his books for the romance but for all the the snipy comments and impossible happenings that makes them fun to listen to. I still like the bear otter and the kid series better but this is absolutely worth the time too.

11 people found this helpful