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Amberlough

A Novel
Narrated by: Mary Robinette Kowal
Length: 11 hrs and 27 mins
4 out of 5 stars (61 ratings)

Regular price: $25.51

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Publisher's Summary

From author Lara Elena Donnelly comes a debut spy thriller, Amberlough, where a gay double agent schemes to protect his smuggler lover during the rise of a fascist government coup.

Trust no one with anything - especially in Amberlough City.

Covert agent Cyril DePaul thinks he's good at keeping secrets, especially from Aristide Makricosta. They suit each other: Aristide turns a blind eye to Cyril's clandestine affairs, and Cyril keeps his lover's moonlighting job as a smuggler under wraps. Cyril participates in a mission that leads to disastrous results, leaving smoke from various political fires smoldering throughout the city. Shielding Aristide from the expected fallout isn't easy, though, for he refuses to let anything - not the crooked city police nor the mounting rage from radical conservatives - dictate his life.

Enter streetwise Cordelia Lehane, a top dancer at the Bumble Bee Cabaret and Aristide's runner, who could be the key to Cyril's plans - if she can be trusted. As the twinkling lights of nightclub marquees yield to the rising flames of a fascist revolution, these three will struggle to survive using whatever means - and people - necessary. Including each other.

©2017 Lara Elena Donnelly (P)2017 Macmillan Audio

Critic Reviews

"[Narrator Mary Robinette Kowal] delivers a stellar performance, imbuing each character, even the minor ones, with a fully realized personality...Kowal's background in theater allows her to maximize the emotional impact of each pivotal event." (AudioFile Magazine, Earphones Award Winner)

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Loved my first read, loved listening to it even more!

This is such a fantastic debut. Mary Robinette Kowal's narration truly brings this book to life. So far this has been my favorite 2017 release!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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This book is both relevant and electric.

Gorgeous at every turn, Donnelly' writing shines under the ministrations of Mary Robinette Kowal. I would absolutely recommend this to anyone who loves debauchery, deco and deviousness.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Josh
  • Medway, OH, United States
  • 04-29-17

good story, terrible voices

the voices were painful to listen to, although the story was good. Read this via e or paper book, not audio.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Decent story but ruined by the reading

The story was relatively interesting, but the terrible audiobook reading honestly ruined it for me. The voices used were incredibly annoying and also inconsistent. I recommend reading the book version of this one.

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    5 out of 5 stars

Great Story, Overly Aggressive Narration

The story is fascinating, but the narrative style was so over-the-top making Kowal’s efforts to make each character distinctive a disorienting experience. It was like listening to a comedian ticking off all her impersonations in rapid succession. Her normal reading voice would have been better for the overall storytelling impact.

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The narration made this book for me



This was a book that I didn’t even know I needed. I would like to talk to Aristide all night.

So much snark in this book. So much glitter and corruption. It feels unpleasantly familiar, and I’m hoping that the later books have more hope. This one was p-p-positively decadent, darling, in a glorious way. It’s making me wonder - can you have that decadence and showmanship and the fun smuggling without corruption and marginalized folks being hurt? I don’t know if you can.

Also, MRK’s narration totally made this for me. The various accents went in PERFECTLY. Cordelia, Cyril, Ari and others all had just the right tones that fit them so well. Ari’s code switching, I particularly loved.

And the transition from Cyril’s voice into Aristide’s in The Letter had me gasping and broke my heart. AUGH.

I’m so excited that I get to just start book 2 ASAP!


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  • Caitlin
  • 03-21-19

Love the voice actor!

Once you get used to the strange accents she really transports you right into the story. I think she was a wonderful choice.