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Six of Crows

Series: Six of Crows, Book 1
Length: 15 hrs and 4 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (10,043 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price - and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can't pull it off alone.

A convict with a thirst for revenge. A sharpshooter who can't walk away from a wager. A runaway with a privileged past. A spy known as the Wraith. A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums. A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes. Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz's crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction - if they don't kill each other first.

©2015 Leigh Bardugo (P)2015 Audible, Inc.

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Performance

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Story

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

I'm obsessed

So while reading reviews, I saw a lot of people being upset over there being 7 narrators. Personally I loved that every character had a voice to it. Sure everyone's rendition of Kaz was mildly different but I loved every single narrator. A round of applause for their ability to bring the story to life. And now a round of applause for Leigh Bardugo, who crafted this masterpiece. Sure you have to get through a mildly confusing first chapter, but it didn't take me long at all to be completely invested in this story and these characters. I loved every single one of them. The dynamic between Nina and Matthias was pretty hot (seriously, I wanted more!). There are so many little twists to this book, so many character complexities, so much cool world-building. Inej is a freaking ninja! Kaz is a criminal mastermind! I'm suffering a severe book hangover until the second one comes out in FREAKING SEPTEMBER UGH. Seriously, read this book, you'll love it, I promise.

119 of 125 people found this review helpful

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

This book is everything!

I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this book. The narrators did a fantastic job bringing the story and their characters to life. I easily fell into the world and not just the first time, but every time I had to pause and then pick it is back up later. The story is enthralling and absolutely enjoyable for anyone. It has a lot of action and a little magic. The concept reminds me of Ocean's 11 but with magic and violence. Leigh Bardugo does a fantastic job of bringing these characters together to pull of a heist and the development of the story and characters was well done. I also really enjoyed how she tied in their backstories and how everything just clicked together. I recommend this to anyone, especially those looking for a good kick butt book featuring a seemingly impossible heist and some of the best characters around.

73 of 78 people found this review helpful

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

7 Narrators, But That's Not a Good Thing

This isn't a dramatization of the novel -- it's a good novel narrated by different characters whose names lead the chapter (think of George R. R. Martin's books). Each narrator reads the whole chapter, and therein lies the issue: there are multiple different versions of every character's speaking voice. Multiply each by the number of different narrators who interpret that character and it gets a bit muddy. It's certainly distracting, and the story arc is developed in a way that there is very little backstory to explain what's going on until you're about 1/3 of the way into the book.

That being said, after spending a few hours immersed in it, you get used to it, even if it grates. The individual performances are fine... but collectively, it's a bit much.

Still, I enjoyed the depth of the characters once I got there, and by the end of the book, I was deeply invested in the storyline and cared about the core group. I'm going to get the second book in the series for this reason. However, I think the book would have been improved in its audio version by choosing a single talented narrator and sticking with him/her. Any one of the 7 actors who worked on this book could have delivered the story with clarity and consistency and I think it would have benefited from it.

145 of 158 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • G
  • 12-18-17

Potential Overshadowed by Poor Performance

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

The storyline, world, and characters in Six of Crows were intriguing and had definite potential to grow into an enjoyable science fiction/fantasy series. However, I spent the entire novel wondering why the author hadn't simply written the book in third person omniscient. Especially because stylistically, the writing in the different chapters all sounded the same. Why would you have multiple narrators who speak about themselves in third person? The alternating perspectives added a layer of confusion to the book that was completely unnecessary.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

There were far too many narrators for a story without a great deal of depth. I've listened to quite a few audio books with a cast of narrators who added to the story, but they helped mainly to add clarity to a complex novel. The narrators in Six of Crows made the story more confusing because they attempted vastly different voices for the same characters. Also, the story is about a group of teenagers and the narrators all sound like old men with a bad smoking habit.

Any additional comments?

The reviews of this book seem to be completely skewed by readers who are more concerned with the presence of a fictional romance than they are about story development or writing style. I would suggest maybe reading the physical book, as the voices of the audio book narrators do not meet the expectations set by the fact that this is a young adult novel, nor match the character descriptions.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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

Threes Across the Board

It took me a while to get through this book. It had a slow beginning. The middle and end are pretty lively. I think this is generally a good heist book. It has some twists and turns to keep you engaged. The perspective characters are solid. The world-building is similarly solid. Bardugo manages to insert enough character backstory into the narrative to really flesh out the individuals' motivations. Just the right amount actually. All in all, a well-executed caper.

I get that this book is aimed at the teen demographic so it makes sense that the characters be around that age. The characters in this book think they are in their mid 30s to mid 40s the only one who disagrees is the author. She thinks they are all late teens. They all make perfect sense in manor, personal backstory, and speech, except when their ages are brought up. One character being wise and hardened beyond his or her years, I get. Maybe two. But every single one of them, by the exact same amount? Come on.

It was also quite ambitious for the author to take on so many perspective characters. I feel that this was a mixed blessing. It does add texture, but it also gets overused to keep you ignorant of what is going on so that the author can bring out surprises.

The many readers was also a mixed blessing. Some were good. The female readers were generally very good. The male ones were much more uneven. The man reading the main character, Kaz, sounded like he was telling a vampire story to 4 yr. olds around a campfire. He wouldn't just read the words as much as sing some of them. Too much over-emoting. The one reading Jesper's tone was solid, but had different pronunciations for many of the in-book concepts. You'd figure the editor would just tell them that they pronounce "X" a certain way.

It looks like this series will continue though as of this writing, book 2 has not been published. I might check it out. Maybe. It is not going into my list of ones to watch out for. I could take it or leave it.

44 of 48 people found this review helpful

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

New characters, new adventure, same world...

Not YA age but listen to a lot of YA. First I absolutely loved the Grisha trilogy and it would be hard to beat so if you are considering Six of Crows, I highly recommend reading the Grisha trilogy first. However, I think you can still enjoy Six of Crows on it's own. Going to Leigh Bardugo's website can help fill in information on the Grisha orders and the layout of the world the story takes place in.

Formula for Six of Crows will feel familiar, unlikely group pulled together for a crazy, impossible goal. Leigh does a great job of developing each character as the story goes on. By the end of the story you are attached and invested in all of them and aren't ready for it to end. Which is good because this is the first book in a series.

Different than the Grisha trilogy, Six of Crows is written in multiple character viewpoint style which can be a challenge for audio production. For me this was no exception, I found 7 narrators a bit distracting. I think it could have easily been done with one really good female and male narrator. Maybe that can change for the next book...

Overall all wonderfully written, fun action packed story. Can't wait for the next in the series.

63 of 70 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

too many cooks spoil the soup

I think this audiobook definitely suffered from having so many narrators. While they were all good on their own (for the most part; none of them were *bad*, but Kaz’s narrator could get a little over the top and cartoony sometimes), each one had their own take on everything from pronunciation of the world’s words/proper names to the character’s demeanors (which could lead to a single character being portrayed very differently depending on who was narrating at the time). It just didn't feel like it completely added up to a cohesive whole. It wasn't not really the fault of the individual narrators, and obviously any book with multiple narrators is going to have this issue to some extent, but the differences were far more prominent here than in other books that I’ve listened to. The production team definitely would have benefited from sitting down and hashing out everything from “How do we want to pronounce ‘Zemeni’?” to “Should Kaz sound silky and sinister? Haughty and arrogant? Energetic and punchy?”

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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A struggle to get through.

The story just didnt do anything for me and I listen to a pretty big variety of books.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Not sure how I feel about it

It took me a while to get into this book with its shifting points of view. But once it got going as a caper/heist, it got my interest. I was a bit annoyed with the interruptions for the backstories of the characters, though of course they are relevant. A lot of people have remarked that the crew is unbelievably talented and experienced for teenagers, but I just accepted that as part of the fantasy. Also it's an odd setting, not quite Renaissance and not quite steampunk. At the end, when I was finally engaged in the story, it was just over! You are supposed to go on to the sequel, but I don't think I will.

I usually avoid books with multiple narrators as I'm afraid I won't like them all, but in this case all the performers were good.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good story, if a little raunchy

Great character development and a good plot will suck you into this great story. Just be prepared for a little language and and a bit of raunchiness, but can you expect from a book about a criminals and outcasts.

58 of 69 people found this review helpful

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  • Lyndsey
  • 02-16-16

Incredibly well performed

I absolutely loved this book, it was a huge leap ahead of the author's Grisha Trilogy, set in the same universe with completely new characters and a new and gripping story. The multiple narrators really brought it to life. I would definitely recommend this audio book.

28 of 29 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Rosie
  • 12-03-15

Flawless fantasy heist

Where does Six of Crows rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This was one of my favourite books that I have listened to in a while. I bought after reading a few review on a whim, and found that it was engaging, fun and original.

Who was your favorite character and why?

It is hard to pick one as they are all so well developed and have such complex motivation. I loved the wraith and nina, but they were all great

What does the narrators bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

The story switches perspectives, although it is narrated in 3rd person, and each character has a different narrator, giving the performance texture. This also helps to make it easier to follow and remember who you're listening to! In other books, I have found that this technique can be gimmicky, but it adds to the story and enables the author to reveal and hide different aspects of the story well, building suspense and adding depth.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

I don't know... the plot is too unique and interesting to be summarised in one line.

Any additional comments?

The narrative is great, the plot is original and the characters are full. The author has not had to resort to using old tropes and, although some of the romance involved is a bit unoriginal, it added to rather than detracted from the story as a whole. I really enjoyed this book!

27 of 29 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-02-16

Excellent!

Just damn excellent! Intelligent writing, exciting plot, characters with growth and witty relationships. Overall world of the book was interesting and cool.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Emelia
  • 08-19-19

Almost 5* if they weren't all children

This book annoyed me and I almost gave it 3 stars until I took a minute to be rational.

Story: 5*
Setting: 5*
Characters: 3.5* (I loved them but hear me out)

It was absolutely perfect until I learnt the character's ages. There was a point in the book it became a topic and suddenly I was aware all these fantastical, deep, skilled characters were children. It ended up annoying me throughout the whole book and I wish the editor had cut out that one scene. I couldn't help myself getting irritated: why are all these characters so perfect at what they do, but the oldest is 18? It felt *very* Mary Sue. They were all damaged in oh so pretty ways... Luckily, the messy climax/ending pulled this back enough for me to want to read book 2.

I didn't get the full hype with this book because one of my favourite elements of character development was skipped - the development. We are introduced to an already skilled (but infantile) team and fed bits of their history and how they learnt those things. Character growth is the fun part, though. :( Of course, we do see character growth of a different kind, which was emotional and engaging. I think this is the reason I took offence to their ages. If we'd have had a Throne of Glass-esque development arc, I'd have forgotten all about the team being mostly underage.

That being said, it was a great book. I love the characters, their relationships, their personalities. The world was vivid and well built and fun. The story was entertaining and gripping and even though I felt like solutions got pulled out of assholes, I put that into my character rating (I'm being ageist).

I did find myself wanting to listen to the next chapter (I got this on Audible) and really, it is no more guilty of overusing tropes than any other of my fave YA books. I just really wish the editor had removed that one scene. Then I would have been absolutely raving about this book. Maybe I just got old?

If you're a fan of YA fantasy books, especially ones that involve gangs and street rats, give this one a go. Most likely, you'll love it.

15 of 17 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • G
  • 10-20-16

The very best of heist fantasy novels

The characters make this. Brilliantly narrated and a really great setting. 5 stars all round.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mr P Carty
  • 09-23-16

Entertaining Story

A very entertaining story with good characters
and side plots well narrated with different voices
adding to the experience looking forward to the next enstallment

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • crystaltipps_7
  • 08-29-16

Climb, Inej

If you could sum up Six of Crows in three words, what would they be?

Really great world-building

What did you like best about this story?

I loved how the differing viewpoints of the characters merged together to gift the reader with a multi-dimensional Big Picture, as well as delving into each Dreg's backstory to round everything out. The setting was superb, the world-building phenomenal and the emotional impact ranged from in-your-face to very subtle. I've seen the book described as "Game of Thrones meets Ocean's Eleven" and there is some truth in this, since it's a twisty tale of outcast, misfit teens sent off to perform the craziest of heists, but if you're thinking it's derivative, think again. For me, at least, it was startlingly original, hugely entertaining and surprisingly moving in parts.

What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

I was really glad the actor playing Kaz Brekker, teen crime lord extraordinaire, had a genuinely rough, husky voice (or if not, managed to fake it brilliantly), since this is one of his key characteristics in the book. Inej, too (probably my favourite character) also had a wonderfully evocative accent.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

I think I'll leave that to the professionals!
"Kaz Brekker didn't need a reason ... but they all needed him ..." ?

Any additional comments?

I haven't owned this audiobook for long, or the print version either, but it got under my skin very quickly. I've listened to it a few times, read the book a few times and have already pre-ordered the sequel, The Crooked Kingdom, which is released towards the end of September 2016. It's that good.

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Mr. T. Dodd
  • 11-06-19

"Stick at it, I have read worse"

There is a good bit of "original" thought in this book at times which is spoilt by the predictability in many areas. However as you get towards the end there are a couple of twists, that were well setup earlier in the book, that have convinced me to download the next book.

The basic premise of the tragic child learning to survive by turning themselves into a heartless cold character has been done many a time before, and I am not a great lover of the style of writing. Each chapter or section is delivered from the perspective of one of the central characters which grates on me but others will love it.

The performance of the narrators of the audio book are however very good which always helps !!.

In summary it is worth a read that finishes well....

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Sam
  • 03-05-19

OK story

Finished the book, but was not fond of the voices. As they did not relate to the scenes ie emotion. Character development was... Ok.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Chris
  • 02-02-17

You really get sucked into the story

Great book , couldn't stop listening to it
You really get sucked into the story as it progresses
Highly recommend this book

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • kaapua
  • 10-18-16

Too many narrators

I loved The Grisha series but just didnt connect well to this audiobook. I found the number of narrators distracting, and didnt enable me to get a good feel for each character. The five main narrators all take turns at narrating a chapter, including voicing each others characters - so I found this disrupted the flow of the book. Story was ok but felt very predictable.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • peastri
  • 05-18-18

An unexpected favourite for the shelf

I can't tell you exactly what makes a book good whether it's characters, story, personal context or mood. What I can say is when I lose track of what chapter I'm on, when I don't check the time left and when I'm itching to get away from work just so I can listen or read some more, that's when I know I'm on to a good thing.

I really enjoyed Six of Crows, a lot more than I thought I would. It wasn't overly flashy but the characters and story did more than they were required to do to keep my interest and I was sad when it ended, sad in the way that usually results in the dreaded book hangover.

I would recommend it for older readers who are looking to dabble in YA or those after something a little lightweight. I actually feel it's more geared towards them and most likely why I enjoyed it a lot more than some of the more popular YA I've been reading lately.

For the audio fans: I don't think it was necessary to have multiple narrators here. Maybe if it were written in first person it would have had more purpose. Also some of the younger characters sounded much older than they were supposed to, particularly the males as the voices were too mature for their age. That said, they all read well and it is made very clear who's perspective you are following at any given time.

Cover: Not much to say here really, I like it. Clever use of the crow’s wings to create the buildings and the typography is nice and flowy without being obnoxiously so. Full marks from me.

In short: Loved it. Give it a go if you're after something a little lighter from the saturated grimdark market. Maybe not if you're after the typical YA of overly swearing kids and academy training, you won't get that here.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kira Van Bremen
  • 12-16-16

Pure literary gold

This is one is amazing it's all the words and more. I loved it from start to end and now on to crooked kingdom. I can't wait to finish this duology. Action packed novel and I've fallen I love with the characters. Just brilliant!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Shelly
  • 12-05-16

one of the best books I've read in a long time

It is not very often I come across a book that I absolutely love. This is one of those books. The characterisation was perfect and it was so strategically written. I can't wait to read the next book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Darcy
  • 11-26-16

Six of Crows

This book is amazing, I loved it. Leigh is such an amazing writer can't for for book 2

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Polina
  • 03-29-16

One of the best readings I've ever heard

If you could sum up Six of Crows in three words, what would they be?

The best heist story

What did you like best about this story?

The backstories

What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

everything, perfectly casted, except for the age, the narrators seem older

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I was on the edge of my seat throughout

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ruby Siemsen
  • 11-06-19

What a load of narrators

Awesome book, loved it and the characters! The narrators were awesome, but there were definitely too many. One male and one female would’ve sufficed just fine. But once I got used to all the different voices it was easier to transition between chapters.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-16-19

Fantastic

Absolutely fantastic book! It’s been sitting on my Wishlist for over a year until I finally listened to it and I wish I had read it sooner. Excellent character development and unpredictable plot. Refreshingly believable and unique story.
I really enjoyed the narration as well.
Thank you!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-10-19

Fantastic

Very action backed and engaging. All the characters are written so well. Highly recommend this story

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Sarah
  • 08-24-19

Fun and adventurous

I loved the different narrators, although I wish each person read their own lines. Other than that, no complaints from me chief.