One of the first things that struck me about Gilded, besides its ridiculously cool cover designed by Abby Kuperstock, was how fresh the story seemed. ..Show More »If you examine any individual element, it's been done before: protagonist girl with abilities of which she is unaware and a willingness to go where angels dare not tread, the cool and slightly shy boyfriend who the object of the gorgeous girl's desire, the over-worked and slightly overbearing widowed father who hides his true care and concern under a gruff exterior and the insanely powerful, other-worldly bad guy. Then again, I and the best chefs in Paris can use the same ingredients to prepare a meal but you'll want to eat the end result of their cooking over mine. While there is nothing really new under the sun, Christian Farley melds the characters, worlds, writing style and narrative elements to make something really fresh and new. The writing is clear, the dialog crisp and the storyline twisty enough to be fun and keep you guessing while not so winding that you can't remember your way.
As I often do, I went between the Kindle and Audible versions (using Whispersync for Voice to keep a smooth transition). Greta Jung did a beautiful job narrating, fully allowing you to immerse in Jae's world. Her pacing was spot on; I particularly liked her smooth-talking Haemosu.
Revving up the Mytholog & Ramping up the Challenge
Christina Farley pulled a rabbit, or rather a Blue Dragon, out of a hat with Gilded; was there anything left in the hat for Silvern? You see, one of t..Show More »he things that made Gilded such a fun, fresh read was the use Korean mythology juxtaposed to modern day Seoul, South Korean and the international students populating this world. So, its sequel, Silvern, had a bit of a challenge; the world Christina Farley created so well is now, comparatively speaking, old hat. Can Silvern generate the same level of excitement with that newly minted shine dulled a bit with use? No, no it can't. Instead it goes even further, generating a whole new level of intensity with established relationships going deeper, a much more involved romp in the Spirit World and a foray into North Korea. It is a slightly darker, more intense world with our protagonist Jae Hwa having to deal with issues and decision making with which no 16 year old ought to have cope. If you thought Jae Hwa was between a rock and a hard place in Gilded, she's between mountain and fire in Silvern.
As I often do, I went between the Kindle and Audible versions (using Whispersync for Voice to keep a smooth transition). Greta Jung did a fine job narrating especially within the dialog. I loved her Marc who came off with a bit of smooth, cool voice without being arrogant. I did notice that the fluidity of the dialog didn't always carry over to the non-dialog reading; I don't remember this being an issue in Gilded, but the pacing within the non-dialog parts could be a bit stilted and awkward. I'm not sure if this was to help clarity, but I didn't hear as much nuance and emotion on the non-dialog narration as when there was dialog between characters. Overall, however, Ms. Jung narrates the work well, conveying both the English and Korean cultural elements well. I look forward to Ms. Jung's narration of the rest of the series.
RE: the Narrator : Would have given less than a full star but wouldnt let me. Point is, She didnt/Couldnt change her voice to suit the characters(Mal..Show More »e/Female; Accents were mixed in 1 person; etc.). Like she didnt even try to sound like guys or girls. Hope there is another book- U left it open. So thats good but please try to get someone else to Narrate it. My rating on this Series would have been more if I wasnt falling asleep. Sry... Dont mean to be so harsh. But I've read alot worse. Sry. & Good Luck on the next book. lol.. i hope.