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Publisher's Summary

In a city that never was, sex, scandal, and swordplay combine in a melodrama of manners that takes listeners to a world inspired by Elizabethan London, 18th century Paris, and 1980s New York City. Sexuality is fluid, politics is everything, and outcasts are the tastemakers. Intrigue is afoot when a Duchess, a scholar, a swordswoman, and a genius, are brought together by long-buried lies and truths that cannot be denied.

Full list of authors includes Paul Witcover, Delia Sherman, and Rachline Maltese.

©2015 Serial Box (P)2015 Serial Box

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Wonderful story, flawed narration

(Mild Spoilers below)

As a long-time Swordpoint fan with a beastly commute, I was incredibly excited to see the facinating Tremontaine serial novel appear as an audio book. For the last two weeks I've happily listened to the exploits of Kaab, Micah, Rafe and of course, Diane, Duchess Tremontaine, as I inch my way to and from work. The story is engrossing and the narration mostly fantastic. Mostly.

Narration is shared by Katharine Kellgren, voicing Diana's POV sections, Sarah Mollo-Christensen, voicing Kaab and Micah, and Nick Sullivan, voicing Rafe and occasionally other male POV characters. Kellgren and Mollo-Christensen are both amazing - Kellgren gives an arch, bombastic feel to Diane, her voice dripping acid when Diane is displeased and rising in hysteria when Diane remembers her tragic past. Mollo-Christensen demonstrates the greatest range, showing Kaab light and playful with her friends and still and calm as a jaguar when under attack. She gives Micah the voice of an blunt, earnest, sweet, and above all YOUNG genius. Micah is codedly autistic, Kaab is a foreign noble, and Kaab's lady-love Tess is a Riversider through and through. Each required careful narration, and Mollo-Christensen knocked it out of the park.

And then there's Nick Sullivan.

Nick Sullivan is a prolific narrator, and I'm sure that there are roles that he's well suited for. This story wasn't it. Sullivan fails to inject the smallest amount of emotion into his reading, which means that listener perspective suffers. For example, at one point near the end, Rafe attempts to prostitute himself in order to save his beloved. Reading the actual text makes it clear that Rafe is sad and frantic and desperate. Sullivan sounds like he's reading Cialis ad copy.

Sullivan also gives slightly insulting readings for our female POCs. He gives Micah a flat, nearly robotic voice. He chooses an over-the-top accent for Kaab that doesn't remotely match Mollo-Christensen's, and annoyingly, he mispronounced many Kinwiinik names. His reading for Diane sounds like Mrs. Doubtfire. Part of this may be a function of the production process, as I'm sure the narrators aren't doing table readings or anything. Still, it took me out of the story at first, and his voice never got less jarring. By the end, I gritted my teeth through Sullivan's narration.

In general, I loved the story. And I loved two-thirds of the reading team. Whether the last third is a deal breaker for other listeners, I don't know.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

The best.

Amazing. I loved it. The best audio book I've ever purchased by an order of magnitude.

1 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • nogginthenog
  • 03-31-17

Bravo!

Any additional comments?

I loved the audio edition of Swordspoint much much more than the book, and as soon as I had finished, listened to the other two books in the series which were equally good. When I spotted this series, I wasn't sure if I was going to like it even though set in the same world, as apart from the first and last one, the episodes had different writers. But I needn't have worried - it is equally as delicious, the continuity between each episode is excellent in style and content, and the narrators are all just as brilliant. Now eagerly awaiting the next series - I'm waiting for the box set so I can greedily listen to them in big chunks rather than having to wait for each to be released!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Adam
  • 01-24-17

a strong queer book with a strong plot (for once).

there are few books/series featuring queer romances with good, well thought out, plots. they tend to go south once the sex begins. a well balanced story, enjoyable until the end.