After a slow start, Dan Wells hooked me in and I'm now hanging out for the sequel so much so that I may have to purchase an actual book instead of buying it from Audible! ('Fragments' the sequel doesn't appear to be on audio book yet *sadface*)
The beginning felt a little weighed down by backstory and medical jargon. But I'm glad I stuck with it. The quality of the writing kept me going at first and then the story kicked up the action and I was hooked. Keira, the main character annoyed me at times but by the end of the book I'd grown to love her.
My one complaint would be a lack of romance. All the connections are there but I feel like the author fails to give us any really satisfying romantic connections. Still, it makes for good tension and I hope there is some pay off for romantics in book two.
As for the performance by Julia Whelan - it was my favourite so far of the books I've listened to on Audible. She had just the right tone, I enjoyed her voices and her intensity was spot on. I will look out for more reads by her.
Overall, a good story about an intriguing world. If you like the new TV series Revolution, you may just like this.
Gillian Flynn is an excellent writer - I love her turns of phrase and unique imagery, so I could read anything she writes. This ending was more predictable than Gone Girl but I still enjoyed the ride. The performance was outstanding, my favourite on Audible so far. I was desperate to keep listening (couldn't 'put it down') so would highly recommend this.
First up, I love this book - it's the best YA fiction I've read in years. I've already read the whole series and bought the audiobook just to 'read' it again. (I love Hunger Games and Catching Fire, not so fond of Mockingjay).
But the narration on this makes it only just bearable for me to listen to. I see this on many other reviews for this book - why has Audible not taken notice? This has to be one of Audible's top sellers but I'm sure they lose sales from people sampling the preview and being unable to stomach the narrator's read. I thought I would chance it because I love the book so much but I can't buy the second one now as it has the same narrator - I will be going to itunes or elsewhere for Catching Fire.
Specifically, the voice is too old. The Hunger Games is written in present tense and is the thoughts of a teenage girl so it should have a young voice for the protagonist.
I would suggest Emma Galvin as the perfect voice for this book. I loved her performance of Kresley Cole's 'Poison Princess'.
But it's not just the age of the voice that's distracting. The little girl voice she puts on for Prim and Rue's dialogue - is horrible and extremely grating when she calls Katniss's name. Even the voice she does for Katniss is far too bubbly and ditzy sounding - Katniss is a kick ass heroine fighting for her life, not a ditzy teenage girl.
And the lullaby!!! Katniss is known for being a beautiful singer! I wish Audible had put some time into sourcing a narrator or a singer to do the lullaby justice.
I'm sure Carolyn McCormick's narration suits a lot of books - I can see she is obviously a skilled narrator. But she is completely the wrong fit for The Hunger Games and it spoiled my enjoyment of the audiobook. If Audible records the book again with another narrator, I would consider buying it.
First let me say that I think Bick is a very talented writer - that's probably what got me hooked into Ashes. The writing in this is still of a very high quality and I will continue to look out for what she writes in the future. But this book just wasn't to my taste - particularly as an audiobook - and I abandoned it.
As a lot of reviewers have said - Ashes (the first book in the series) has a distinctly different tone in the second half of the book. Shadows seems to continue in the vein of the second half of Ashes - which is the half that I didn't enjoy so much.
There was a lot of blood and gore which I understand I should expect from a "zombie book" but it was so relentless it lost shock value and became... a bit gross. It taught me that I probably don't enjoy overly scary or gory Audiobooks - the constant crisis is just too much for me. Listening to it could be a good ploy if you're on a diet though... this book put me off my food a number of times..!
But one of the main things that caused me to stop listening was the fact that there were so many characters, I just couldn't keep up. This was particularly hard to deal with in audio - as opposed to when you have the hard copy in front of you and you can go back and reread to figure out who's who. There is also no recap of the Ashes storyline so if it's been a while since you read Ashes (as was the case for me) you may have trouble picking up the story again.
The performance was good, Katherine is obviously a talented actress. Her blood curdling screams terrified me at times but I'm sure if you like the story, you'll be happy with the performance.
Overall, great writing but too many characters and too much gore for me. If you like gory zombie action - and if you recap Ashes before you start - I think you'll like this book.
After reading the first few chapters I was excited for the story to develop but after a while it began to go round in circles. The characters and setting were intriguing and held so much promise but after some great external action at the start, it turned quite internal with the main character Jacinda constantly at war with herself. I would have preferred more action but perhaps the sequel delivers that. I'm unsure if I'll read it yet though, I loved the premise but didn't quite connect with the characters. I felt there were a few inconsistencies which caused too many questions for me.
The performance was very good.
This is one of the best audiobooks I've listened to, not for the performance unfortunately, but for the story. I really enjoyed Susan Ee's writing. The performance wasn't terrible but it was a little distracting at times.
I really enjoyed all the interaction between Penryn and Raffe the Angel. I saw one review that mentioned there was little romance in this book but I preferred it that way - because it was chock full of UST (unresolved sexual tension!). Penryn's observations of Raffe were potent but never cheesy. The ending gave me just enough satisfaction about Raffe and Penryn's relationship and still left me wanting more.
The performance was fine but I didn't really like the voice Caitlin put on for Raffe. Also, I found her narration a little too cheery for an apocalyptic setting - it seemed too lighthearted for the situation at times.
Yes! I couldn't 'put it down'. I was trying to make it last longer (to use for my workouts!) but I couldn't resist listening to it more often and finished it in a matter of days.
I really enjoyed Angelfall and am looking forward to the sequel.
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