• The Key to Fear

  • The Key Series, Book 1
  • By: Kristin Cast
  • Narrated by: Dascha Polanco
  • Length: 9 hrs and 10 mins
  • 4.2 out of 5 stars (104 ratings)

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The Key to Fear  By  cover art

The Key to Fear

By: Kristin Cast
Narrated by: Dascha Polanco
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Publisher's Summary

No touching today for a healthy tomorrow.

For 50 years, the Key Corporation has defended humanity against a deadly virus that spreads through touch. Lovers don’t kiss, or even hold hands. Personal boundaries are valued above all. Break the laws, and you’ll face execution.

Elodie, a talented young nurse, believes in the mission of the Key and has never questioned the laws that control her life. But Elodie is forced to break the rules when she sets out in search of a terminal patient who goes missing while under her care.

From the outside, it seems like Aiden was given everything he could want from the Key - a purpose, an education, and a future. But Aiden knows more than he’s letting on, and the dark secrets he’s keeping could tear the Key’s strict society apart.

When Elodie and Aiden’s lives collide, the fallout will be devastating. What do you do when the brutal system that once kept you safe hunts you down?

Run. 

©2020 Kristin Cast (P)2020 Blackstone Publishing

What listeners say about The Key to Fear

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Really Bad Narration

The narration was so bad I gave up on chapter 11 and returned the title. Which is too bad because I really wanted to see what happens. The narrator has an accent, speaks very quickly, annunciates poorly, and ignores the letter T, all of which make it hard to understand what she is saying. But what really killed it for me was being confused by the long pauses and inappropriate inflection in the middle of a sentence.

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars

Narrator was horrible

Cool story idea. Narrator took breaths mid sentence, no differentiation between characters, didn’t pronounce the ed on the end of words, voice levels were super random and no emotion. Shame because I stuck with the book for about 9 chapters and had to give up.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Teens, a virus, a shoddy government and decent story

What did you like?
I like the narrators voice- nice to listen to- although some pauses didn’t fit the sentence structure.
Decent story in the background. Teens live in a dystopian world.

What did you dislike?
The premise of a virus that renders touching punishable by death - between teens…. From a virus they never lived through.
Shady govn’t aren’t what they seem.
Some gun violence that deserves a trigger warning up front.
A bit silly of a story- but fitting for the times we live in. Def. More enjoyable if the reader is the age of characters:)

Who would I recommend it to?
Teens who like dystopian books a bit on the obvious side and other who
Want background story while they go about their day- you don’t really have to
Pay much attention to this!rka

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Horrible narrator

I couldn’t even make it past the first few chapters. So many mess ups and it was all just so monotone/bland.

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it's awesome

Am going to be honest I couldn't get into it at first but once I got used to the jumping boy was it amazing!!! so worth it!!!

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Horrible narration

The book sounds like it would be a great read but I couldn’t even get past 5 minutes of the narrator.. the way she pronounces the words completely kills it for me… just very hard to get past it

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Good story, but missing in details

I would have liked more description of that future dystopian world. I want to get immersed, feel it, smell it, taste it…. Other than that it was great.

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Narration made me quit

The narrator makes pauses where there shouldn’t be, as if she has to catch her breath after reading too fast. (Which she sometimes does.) I tried to keep listening, but eventually gave up more than halfway through, because it annoyed me too much.

I liked the concept of the story itself, but it all felt a bit cliché & lacking in depth. I never really connected with any of the characters.

The part that especially irked me was the “relationship” between main girl & mohawk boy. She meets up with him once & then feels “betrayed” when “her” boy does something unexpected, with him proclaiming that he’s still the same person she “knows”. I gave up on the book right after that.

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Good book. HORRIBLE narration.

I’ve never quit a book due to narration but I almost did several times during this one. It wasn’t due to her accent but because the random pauses and emphasis on weird places in a sentence just completely threw the whole storyline off. The story itself is good. I really hope someone else narrates the next book or at least practices more before recording.

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Good story, but narration was a bit rough

The story itself was good and I will probably read book 2 on kindle. If the narrator is the same on Book 2 I probably will not purchase it on audible. I did not mind the narrator's accent, but I did find the odd pronunciation, inflections, and pauses in inappropriate places to be very hard to listen to. Others have explained this more, and I agree with them. I would suggest that the author consider having this audiobook re-recorded with a more experienced voice actor.

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  • Lucy Thompson
  • 09-20-22

Can't get past the horrific narration

I quite like the story but I CANNOT listen to the horrible narrator anymore. Guess I'll have to buy an actual book and read it.

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  • Amy Cox
  • 09-10-22

Destroyed by narration

I’m sure I could have gotten into this story of it weren’t for the monosyllabic and painful narration. All emphasis was in the wrong place, she just sounded bored. Couldn’t make it to the end of the first chapter.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Caroline
  • 08-04-21

Truly horrible narration

I like the story, but it was ruined by terrible narration. Emphasis in the wrong places, pauses in the wrong places. Half the time it seemed like the narrator had zoned out and wasn’t concentrating on the contents of the story.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Shani Tallis-Evans
  • 07-09-21

Great story, dreadful narration.

The story was very enjoyable and screams out for a sequel. However, the narration was terrible! The narrator doesn’t appear to be able to sound t’s which makes some of the words almost impossible to understand. There was zero emotion and was read so monosyllabic that one couldn’t distinguish where one sentence ended and another began. I had to slow down the narration to try to interpret what was being said.
That said, I persevered as I wanted to know how the story would unfold. I’m glad I did as it was a very good story. I do hope Kristin writes a sequel, but I really hope a different narrator is used in future.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-27-22

Good story.

The story was good, I enjoyed it but wished the narrator followed the flow of the sentences better, the pauses at the wrong places made it difficult to finish the book.

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  • Leeanne J.
  • 06-22-22

Definitely a good read

I really enjoyed this book, not so much the narrator (sorry). can't wait for next book.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Shauna Priestley
  • 06-20-22

Don’t skip sounds.

Not a fan of T-glottalization. It makes the reading jar and clash. Also many phrases were paused in unusual places which interfered with comprehension.