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Jessi

Minnesota
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Very bland narration and emotionless characters.

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
2 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-23-19

This narration was very dry. It sounded like a Kindergarten teacher reading her students a story with f-bombs and other swear words in it. I almost laughed when the narrator would curse. There was no unique cadence that pulled me into the story or highlighted the characters. There was also no emotional inflection either. I kept waiting for the narrator to lick her finger and turn the page in the picture book.

The story is written in a way that tells readers what they need to know and feel but doesn't allow readers to experience anything with the characters. The opening chapter is a good example of the info dumps that continue throughout the narration. I wanted to experience this. As the story moves through time, the characters are as bland as they were at the start. I never felt anything for them because characters were interchangeable. There were no emotions and no personalities. I got bored. At 60%, I decided to move onto something else.

Overall, this book and narration were a let down. Doesn't help I picked this after listening to "Children of Blood and Bone," which was incredibly narrated! I wanted to feel this story, but the narration and writing style didn't offer me that chance.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Exquisite narration, bringing the emotions to life

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-27-19

I think this book gets a few extra stars just for the brilliant Audible narration. Wow! Bahni Turpin has such a richness in her voice. She was able to create believable differing voices for the two main female characters, Zelie and Amari, as well as for the male perspective in the narrative, Inan. Turpin's voice is a beautiful melody with many layers that truly brought the emotion and magic of this book to life.

I was a bit confused on the time period. Is this supposed to be a story from the ancient past? What of the magic and customs of Nigeria. I've read other reviews which are disappointed by the representation of Nigerian culture, which saddens me. I love historical cultural depth to stories. However, the time was never truly defined.

The voices of Zelie, Amari, and Inan were great. The growth of Amari was so gripping. Inan and Zelie developed too as they wrestled with the gray areas of their quests. However, their romance was predictable and I wished had been kept out of the otherwise breakneck-speed plot line. Overall, though, Adeyemi writes great characters and intense situations that makes it difficult to put the story down. I really could not predict what would happen from one moment to the next, except the romance. That I knew was going to happen the first time their eyes met, and it kind of caused me to roll my eyes a few times.

Overall, I was captivated by the story. Again, probably a lot to do with the amazing narration that really brought these characters to life. I think the cause Adeyemi brings forth is heartbreaking yet beautifully realized in the narrative, and I hope her message of awareness inspires. I was disappointed by the cliffhanger ending though, particularly because this is a long book. I invested a lot of time and didn't get as much out of it as I'd hoped by the end. It was a kind of answer/not-answered ending that drives readers batty.

Inventive poetic tale but slightly repetitive

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-17-19

Perhaps something was lost in the Audible, though the narrator was quite good. I could tell there was poetic narration, but I think the beauty of the structure was lost in Audible. Again, the narrator was wonderful and did a great job working with the repetition, narrative beats, and different voices. But without looking at the construction of the prose, the triple word repetition became predictable and annoying. Nothing with the narrator, again, because she read each triple repeat with different inflection each time. But when hearing it over and over, it got old fast.

Overall, the story was well crafted. The characters were very thoughtfully explored. There was a strong message about how hate is cultivated in a community, which definitely rings clear for today's culture as well. Its scary, sad, and poignantly done.

Rossner's author's note was very compelling and brought a lot of heart into her narration. I appreciated the research and cultural richness in the tale. The snippets of Jewish heritage and language were lovely additions to the prose.

Overall, it was a good story and well narrated. I would have appreciated the prose more if I'd read the book in hand. In Audible, the repetition feels less poetic because of the amount of repeated words (sometimes three or four times in a chapter alone).

4 of 4 people found this review helpful