My name is Ardis and I am an avid reader and budding writer. I want to share my love of books with others. I work with kids and am interested in finding and creating books that will ignite the reader in everyone. Contact me at: ardis.atkins@gmail.com

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Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Audio Book Review: The Speaker by Traci Chee

Please Note:  I received a copy of this audio book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  This did not influence the opinions of my review in any way.  I am also an Amazon Affiliate.  If you buy the book through the links on teh book cover, I will get a very small fee.

Synopsis (From Goodreads):
Having barely escaped the clutches of the Guard, Sefia and Archer are back on the run, slipping into the safety of the forest to tend to their wounds and plan their next move. Haunted by painful memories, Archer struggles to overcome the trauma of his past with the impressors, whose cruelty plagues him whenever he closes his eyes. But when Sefia and Archer happen upon a crew of impressors in the wilderness, Archer finally finds a way to combat his nightmares: by hunting impressors and freeing the boys they hold captive.

With Sefia’s help, Archer travels across the kingdom of Deliene rescuing boys while she continues to investigate the mysterious Book and secrets it contains. But the more battles they fight, the more fights Archer craves, until his thirst for violence threatens to transform him from the gentle boy Sefia knows to a grim warrior with a cruel destiny. As Sefia begins to unravel the threads that connect Archer’s fate to her parents’ betrayal of the Guard so long ago, she and Archer must figure out a way to subvert the Guard’s plans before they are ensnared in a war that will pit kingdom against kingdom, leaving their future and the safety of the entire world hanging in the balance.

The Speaker is the follow up novel to a book I enjoyed called The Reader. The series follows Sefia, an orphan who learns there are mysterious items called "books".  She soon discovers a magical book that shows the future!  I really enjoyed The Reader, but for me, The Speaker is very slow going.  It plods on and on and I found it less entertaining than the previous book.

What I Liked:
I still like the main characters of Sefia and Archer.  They are a tortured pair.  Sefia feels horribly guilty for something her parents have done, and Archer is haunted by the murderous deeds he was forced to do when he was kidnapped by the Impressors.  Their relationship is beautiful and heart-breaking.

There are new characters as well.  The King of Deliene, Edwar, is cursed to die young.  He is secretly in love with his right-hand man, Arkadamen .  Ark shares his feelings, but is bound to kill him.  And Edwar is convinced that if he declare his feelings, Ark will die.  Talk about a dilemma!  

As Edwar is being slowly poisoned by Ark, he begins to accept the inevitable; he even embraces it as a way to escape.  The relationship of Edwar and Ark illustrates how depression works.  Even though he loves him, Ark seems incapable of saving Edwar.  Of course, if Ark stopped poisoning Edwar, that would save him, but...  It's complicated.

What I Didn't Like:
This is a monster of a book at over fourteen listening hours.  There is a lot going on, but I felt as though this book should have been broken into two novels.  The twin stories of Sefia and Archer, and Edwar and Ark, don't converge.  While they are both compelling, I felt I was reading two different books.  I understand that the author has a vivid world of characters with her novels, but I think she needs to pair down the action into a manageable size. 

Maybe it's because I just finished another book with amazing narration (The Book of Dust, performed by Michael Sheen), but I found Kim Mai Guest's performance very dull.  She mostly speaks in a monotone, and her characterization of Sefia makes her come off as a wimp.  Yes, I am being harsh.  But given the length of book, the narration needs to be compelling.  And it wasn't.  At all.


Release Date:  November 7th, 2017

Genre:  Fantasy

Publisher:  Listening Library

Performed by: Kim Mai Guest

Listening Length:  14 Hours, 12 Minutes

Page Length:  512 Pages

Source:  Random House Publishing

Format:  Audio Book

Recommendation:  This is one time where I would recommend the book over the audio book.  If you enjoyed The Reader, you will like this book, but, it is fatally too long. 


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1 comment :

  1. Oh no! I loved the first book so much, though I must admit, I can only listen to contemporaries. I have to read SFF books, otherwise I get lost. Sorry this didn't work for you.


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2020 Reading Challenge
MsArdychan has read 2 books toward her goal of 120 books.


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