I'm an audiobook addict and blog about books at The Reading Date. My favorite genres are YA, New Adult, Fiction & Memoirs.
The sequel to Legend is so exciting- I couldn’t stop listening. It has lots of heart pounding action and veers off in unexpected directions. The audio experience was also a treat and brought the excitement to life. I think this series is right up there with Divergent, and even though I don’t read a ton of dystopia anymore I’ll always have room for this series.
When Prodigy starts out, Day and June are on the run in Las Vegas. Day is injured and they meet up with Patriot rebels who agree to help them. In exchange, they have to prove their loyalty by agreeing to assassinate the new Republic Elector. Seems like an easy decision, right? The Republic has hurt Day and June in a lot of devastating ways, and maybe it’s the right time to make a change. But things are not all black and white, and Day and June have to decide the best course of action on their own.
Day and June alternate POV again in Prodigy. I have to hand it to Lu that she kept me involved even with the introduction of new characters and through character separations. Day and June have both been through so much, and have each other’s backs, but still have a lot to learn about each other at the same time. Doubts and insecurities plague our duo this time around.
There is more information filled in about the Republic, Colonies, and Patriots and it’s eye opening to learn more about them. Even though Day and June travel to several cities, we still keep tabs on Los Angeles as well. The characters are a big part of why I love this series, though the setting certainly plays a role as well and takes on a character of it’s own in a way. And speaking of characters, Anden, Kaede and Tess play wonderful supporting roles in the story. And I especially look forward to seeing how Anden’s part develops in the next book.
I always know when I have a good audiobook on my hands because I get a cleaner house because I want to keep listening, such as the case with Prodigy. Steven Kaplan and Mariel Stern read the audiobook, and both narrators are new to me. Since I read the book Legend I already had an idea in my head of how the characters should sound. Stern lines up pretty well to how I envisioned June – she sounds like a young girl of privilege from Los Angeles. And Kaplan is outstanding as Day and nails the tone of his character. Both narrators convey emotion in their readings and make the action scenes that much more tense and thrilling. About three quarters into the book I’d barely notice the narration at all because I was so drawn in the story. I’d absolutely continue to listen to this series.
Emily Murdoch’s debut novel and is heartfelt, harrowing, and lovely all at once. This is a tough issue book about abuse and survival that is hard to hear/read at times but very powerful and uplifting too. Tai Sammons’ performance makes the story feel even more realistic.
If You Find Me is the story of 15-year-old Carey and her 5-year-old sister Jenessa. They live in the woods in a camper with their unstable mother who frequently leaves them alone to find drugs. Carey is more like a mother than a sister to Jenessa and they only have each other to rely on. One day, Carey’s father and a social worker suddenly appear to rescue them from the woods. Now they must adjust to life in the real world, including school, technology, what to wear, and how to act. But the woods still haunt them in various ways, and secrets can’t be kept forever.
The descriptive writing would sometimes distract me with its elegance and I’d get lost in the story. Even though the subject matter is disturbing, Murdoch adds lighter moments like a new friend, or a cute dog, to brighten the mood. But at the same time there are certain recollections of Carey’s that hurt like a kick in the gut. The reader learns about Carey’s backstory through flashbacks that hint at the mystery behind Jenessa losing her voice.
Carey has an artistic spirit and a unique way of thinking and expressing herself. She is such a mature character, that it was easy to relate to her from one mother to another, even though she’s still a teen. The sisterly bond is strong understandably, and I rooted for them both to get some well-deserved peace and happiness. My heart soared with each small victory on their journey, and ached for the pain that lingered.
Tai Sammons’ reads the audiobook, and this is my first experience with her narration. Her dialect is spot on and she conveys Carey’s emotional state of being well. The book is set in Tennessee and Sammons’ gives the book an authentic feel with her Southern accent. Sammons’ gets to use her talents on different types of voices like the mean girl, authority figures, and a child’s voice for Jenessa. I’d listen to this narrator again- she delivers a strong, nuanced performance that made me feel all the emotions. Though the book is powerful on its own, the audiobook made me connect even more with the story.
If You Find Me is a great choice for realistic contemporary readers, and one you won’t want to put down.
This installment brings drama, heartbreak, and game changing reveals as it ramps up the intensity. I loved the first book and am even more impressed with the sequel. How often can you say that?
In the first book, Throne of Glass, the world building is set up nicely and we get acquainted with the key players in the series. In the sequel Crown of Midnight, the author gets to have more fun with the characters and push some boundaries. The action, romance, and suspense build to higher levels of intensity. And excitingly, Celaena gets to strut her stuff as the assassin only hinted to in book one.
As the king’s champion/assassin, Celaena has to do his bidding, no questions asked, in order to earn her eventual freedom. She has some trusted allies in the kingdom including Chaol, the Captain of the Guard, Dorian, the crown prince, and Nehemia, a visiting Princess. This series has one of my favorite love triangles currently in YA, since I’m quite fond of both Chaol and Dorian. Depending on who your favorite is, you may be in for some pain as the romance takes a turn for the angst. (But there’s still more books in the series for the author to fix things, right?)
For me as a contemporary fan to rate a fantasy series 5-stars is pretty unusual. But man, I just eat these books up! Sarah J. Maas weaves a great story no matter what your preferred genre is. There are so many emotional highs and lows in this book that you know as a reader not to get too comfortable when things seem to be going too smoothly The plot moves in unexpected directions and effortlessly weaves magical elements into the story.
There is character development with all of the key players in this installment. Celaena is more confident, calculating and kick-ass when she needs to be, while also keeping her softer side. And there are new dimensions to explore in Chaol, Dorian and Nehemia in the sequel. There are so many surprises in this one that I just have to be vague about all the exciting developments in this one.
I again listened to the audiobook, performed by Elizabeth Evans. With all of the action in Crown of Midnight, Evans keeps up by reading with more intensity. She matches Celaena’s growth beat by beat and gets you good and wrapped up in the story. Evans makes all the characters sound unique and with their own personalities so there’s never any doubt as to who is speaking. She uses an appropriate tone for the romantic, action, and quiet scenes and reads with a brisk pace. This 12-hour audiobook just flew by and I was anxious to keep listening to it.
Be warned that this book ends with a big cliffhanger that will leave you clamoring for the sequel.