I usually enjoy young adult fantasies but Troubled Waters is so dull I stopped listing. I gave it a fair shot, hoping something would move the story forward but finally decided I didn't want to spend further time on it. I lost interest in the outcome. At the point I stopped listening, more than a year had passed since the story opened. The book read more like an outline than a completed novel. The characters are lifeless and lacking in emotion. If Zoe mourned her father's passing, the reader did not get to share in her grief. If she was afraid of what would happen to her when she was forced to marry the king (which didn't happen), the reader could not sense her fear.
When it was revealed that Zoe was 23 years old, I was shocked. At no time does she express interest in men, in marriage, in what her futures holds for her. In most societies, a young woman of her age would have some sexual thoughts and desires. Zoe is a blank. When Zoe escapes from the man taking her to marry the King, she casually goes on her way and life go on. She never wonders if they are looking for her, and if they are, the reader does not experience the search. When her long lost relatives discover she lives and is the Prime, not of them plot against her. They help her and welcome her. It feels false. There is no tension or conflict.
This could be a perfect family book because it contains (at least until the half-way point) no sex, no sexual innuendo, no drugs, no cursing (not even a "darn"), no racial tension, no evil, no conflict, no violence. Unfortunately, there isn't much to hold the interest of listens.
I enjoyed the narrator and would listen to her again.
Several reviews have mentioned how Trouble Waters does not compare well to the author's other works. I don't know if I will try another and compare or not.
I personally love when an author creates a new social structure within the story. In this case, the world the characters reside in is dictated by random fortunes that are drawn when a child is first born. These fortunes don't necessarily reveal themselves in obvious ways, but definitely play a part in creating the personality of their recipients.
One thing I don't particularly like about this story is how obnoxious the main character starts to sound. I think she stops being all sensible and strong, and instead starts to sound downright bossy.
avid audiobook listener, sociopath, nerd.
It's pretty typical fluff. Zoe is an interesting character, and this was a pleasant enough listen. It made good background listening at work because I didn't have to fully pay attention to understand the story. The narration was great.
Story seemed very young adult fiction focused, simplistic, with very unrealistic plot development. I've enjoyed some of the author's work in the past, but this was not a good representation. The narrator mispronounced many words and names, and her accents were very inconsistent.
She messed uo and put Foley with the wrong princess in the following books. wonder how she'll fix that mistake in her writing. I want a temple with a blessing container to help guide my life.
An avid reader of fantasy fiction, I have held author Juliet Marillier in high esteem. Sharon Shinn now shares that high standing. I loved Troubled Waters! I was excited by the theme of the 5 elements throughout the story. I loved Shinn's writing, level of detail and her ability to tie up all loose ends in a coherent way. I also loved actor Jennifer Van Dyck's exquisite reading. I highly recommend this book to all fantasy enthusiasts. I look forward to reading subsequent books in the series.
I can't take Sharon Shinn I swear to god another one of her infuriatingly heartwarming love stories will kill me, how many more in this series? I need it immediately.
I liked the narrator most because of how her voices were identifiable without being annoying or overpowering.
This heroine didn't follow the pattern. I really loved that. Sharon Shinn takes what might have been a simple Cinderella story and turns it on its head. Zoe Ardelay loses her father and is whisked away to become the fifth wife of the king. It will create balance.
This is a world where numbers come into play. 5's and 8's are lucky. Each element has a prime--a person who carries the full force of that element with them. There are politics and intrigue at work as well.
The worldbuilding was nicely done and very subtle. I enjoyed the Blessings and the fact that they played such an ongoing part in this world.
The character of Zoe Ardelay may well be one of my favorites ever. She was stubborn. She was impulsive. She made mistakes that made sense for her to make. She just seemed real to me. She didn't understand her power. She also didn't really do a lot of work around learning it until it was nearly too late.
This audio performance was very well done as well. The narrator gave each person a distinct voice.
I've already put books 2 and 3 on my wish list.