• The Wrack

  • By: John Bierce
  • Narrated by: Adjoa Andoh
  • Length: 7 hrs and 37 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (89 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Plague has come to the continent of Teringia.

As the Wrack makes its slow, relentless march southwards, it will humble kings and healers, seers and merchants, priests and warriors. Behind, it leaves only screams and suffering, and before it, spreads only fear.

Lothain, the birthplace of the Wrack, desperately tries to hold itself together as the plague burns across it and its neighbors circle like vultures. The Moonsworn healers would fight the Wrack, but must navigate distrust and violence from the peoples of Teringia. Proud Galicanta readies itself for war, as the Sunsworn Empire watches and waits for the Wrack to bring its rival low.

The Wrack advances, utterly unconcerned with the plans of men.

©2020 John Bierce (P)2020 Podium Audio

What listeners say about The Wrack

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

Riveting

I was a bit skeptical at first but there’s a few things that this book absolutely nailed.
The narration was phenomenal!!! So expressive, while sometimes the characters blurred together for me, I couldn’t get over how good it sounded. The story itself is super well done, from an epidemiological standpoint I was floored. Bierce put so much research and depth into the wrack that it felt like some other real life events.
I’m an instant Adjoa Andoh fan now, loved her performance.

4 people found this helpful

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Authors be careful what you write about!

It’s creepy how much this story gets right about our current situation right now; even down to the symptoms. I realize that it was just published, but I read a post by the author from 2019 where he writes about being in the middle of finishing up this book. I wonder if he edited it in the past few months to be more relatable but it still seems like a eerie focus to take up and then have come to life almost immediately as one finishes a project. It’s like the myth of the magic paint brush with a pen instead.

Apparently life imitates art now so I am just going to say this story is uniquely fascinating because it’s both fantasy and reality; go ahead and be forewarned you will be unsettled and drawn into a magical world that is uncomfortably familiar and entirely believable. I haven’t finished it yet so I have to hope that it’s got an ending that will give me confidence in this world.

4 people found this helpful

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A Book You Might Want to Read More Than Once

This story was complex and had a lot going on. I really enjoyed the audio, but still plan to reread a digital copy myself. It was hard to put down. Although the setting of this book is very different from today’s world, the human reactions were very realistic and I could imagine people behaving similarly today. Actually, it isn’t too hard to imagine as we are living in a global pandemic.
Loved it; highly recommend.

2 people found this helpful

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An great addition to John's overall project

After listening to the first 5 books of of John Bierce's Mage Arrant series I learned of this title and decided to check it out. This addition to his multiverse project is astounding because it has a different feel and style than the Mage Arrant series. I think this gives a good overall depth and shows that John has versatility as a writer. It has made me more excited for the upcoming additions.

Adjoa Andoh is a talented narrator. This is the first book I've heard her narrate and I am looking forward to hearing her more. I feel that listeners are often more critical of women narrators, I've read it may be that a quality of the general higher tones to woman's voices compared to men's makes certain sounds stand out or something, I'm not sure exactly, nor am I certain why it is that I have not found many woman narrator's performances worth mentioning. Perhaps it is because I have such a deep voice myself or maybe I'm deficient in someway. In spite of whatever the reason, I find Adjoa's voice pleasant to listen to and her work impressive. I'm always impressed by narrators that manage to have diverse voices for multiple characters and how well they keep them organized. I'm sure a lot of work goes into this and someone is probably checking for good consistency, but it is still notable.

1 person found this helpful

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B**** better work!

Adjoa owns this story more than the write does. I loved loved loved how this is just so well written Having my jaw drop every five minutes. Yay.

1 person found this helpful

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More Interesting than Entertaining

I was honestly a bit disappointed by this book. I have very much enjoyed the Author's Mage Errant series, and bought this book mostly on the strength of that series. While the writing is just as good, I was expecting a fantasy story set in the context of a major pandemic. Instead, I got an almost slice-of-life exploration of how a major pandemic would affect a fantasy world. If that sounds appealing to you, then I recommend this book, because I think my disappointment was mostly just unmet expectations.

As for the narrator, she was fine, but not amazing. She did quite a variety of voices, but more than a few times I found a voice distracting, pulling me out of the story rather than into it.

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Great performance, largely forgettable story

Adjoa Andoh always knocks it out of the park with her reads. Unfortunately, her talent feels wasted here with The Wrack. What there is for story lacks for any real character development, and overall, it just falls short of being anything memorable. It's not a bad story. However, it's also not a good story.

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Well written

The Wrack was really well written, slightly triggering from the Covid-19 perspective, yet still a great read.

The subtle ways of reactions people have, the mourning, the subtle way that you are able to empathize with a religious belief of (marking the names of the dead). Despite not having such a belief, the fact it garners emotional response shows this was well written.

This book is definitely worth a read.

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Choppy story and obnoxious accents

I loved the author’s 5 previous Mage Errant novels so I decided to give this one a try. I’m only half way through but I’m considering dropping it all together.

The story had a lot of potential. As always, John Bierce is the best world builder I know. Where it falls short is the organization of the story, or should I say stories. The book is made up of short stories that link together with each story feeling like it’s from a different perspective. It’s a cool idea but just makes for a choppy story when it comes to character introductions. In order to understand the larger story you have to give the entire thing your COMPLETE attention. Which makes reading it exhausting.

The narration… I don’t know if it’s the narrators fault or perhaps some direction from John, but the accent interpretation for Yousef and others that share his accent is horrendous. It sounds like a bad combination of Spanish and maybe… Scottish? Almost every R is rolled which is very annoying for some reason. I understand that it’s an accent from another reality but I can’t help but feel it’s just a bad mashup of real accents.

To be honest, I would give the book 1 star, but out of loyalty to John Bierce, I’m giving it 2.

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A story of a different sort

I have not yet finished this book, but I wanted to sit down and write a review for it now that I am about halfway through.

This in not an adventure novel, there has been no action, no antagonist, only mystery and exposition. Nearly every chapter is from a different perspective, and many are not directly connected. I would say this novel is somewhat like a mystery documentary and much more dry than the mage errant series.

These things may push away many readers, but I must say this is still a very interesting book. Despite it's dryness and heavy exposition there is a weight to the book that keeps my attention held firm. I very much look forward to seeing how it progresses.

The mark against it for me is nitpicks againts the narrator. She is clear, and professional, with no cardinal sins such as mouth noises, but her accent work is jarring at times, like she is trying too hard. Her normal speaking voice is quite pleasant though.