Thursday, 20 September 2012

Audio Book Review: Girl of Nightmares

I've rediscovered an old love. And I don't mean an ex-boyfriend, that's not recommended. What I'm referring to is audio books. When I was about thirteen I used to listen to audio books on Saturday mornings while I scarfed down one of my mother's fresh baked cinnamon buns (all part of a balanced breakfast). Eventually I got one of those pesky things called a "job" and the audio books got left behind in the dust.

Recently, I was sent a complimentary copy of the audio book version of Kendare Blake's Girl of Nightmares to review here on the blog. Let me tell you, it's revolutionary, you can "read" while you get six other things done! While listening to Girl of Nightmares I cleaned my house, cooked supper, did laundry, started an outline for my next book. What can I say? I love audio books. And without further ado, here's what I thought of this one:

The Narrator:

To be honest I feel that August Ross' breathy, halting voice didn't suite this story well. Each time I would come back to the story and press play again, I had to concentrate to get back into it, and found myself slightly annoyed with the way he pronounced a lot of his words Think of a soft and breathy William Shatner. Okay, that's a slight exaggeration, but his pronunciation was, at times, weird and jerky. I also found myself irritated with his "girl voice", which was high pitched and falsetto, though I can sympathise with how difficult it would be for a guy to do. Also, while he did Anna's accent really well, his English and Scottish accents weren't great. I think Mr. Ross would be an exceptional narrator for something less violent and action packed though, maybe a romance. I did, however, appreciate that I could tell every voice apart, as he made each character sound different from one another. Also, I did find once I'd been listening to it for a few minutes I didn't notice the things that bothered me any more.

The Book:

Though Girl of Nightmares was good, I still liked Anna Dressed in Blood better. It almost seemed like we didn't particularly need this book. Almost like an afterthought. I wasn't a fan of the order of the Biodag Dubh, on the audio book it's pronounced "beedak doo" which I snorted at the first couple times I heard it. I didn't feel that the order was particularly well developed, and I found myself bored with all the history of Cas' dagger. The other thing was that there was too much swearing for my taste. I'm not particularly picky about that either, and maybe it was just because it was being read out loud. But a lot of it didn't seem necessary. Of course, the character isn't going to say "oh fudge" while he's battling a bloodthirsty ghost that wants to chew his face off, but there were a few 'F-bombs' in the narration that I thought I could have done without.

 That said, Kendare Blake's writing skills still shine through, and the book is in parts, incredibly engaging and spooky. I loved the part where she wrote about the suicide forest, she made that very real, and very very disturbing. I'm sure I was making horrible faces while I was washing dishes. I had mixed emotions about the end of the book. It was bitter-sweet, which I think is a good thing.

Would I buy it?

Yes. I would. I know, I know. You're saying, "but you just complained about a bunch of stuff". Yes, well, it was a review you see! But as an overall experience, I enjoyed "being read to" and Girl of Nightmares was very entertaining. I was super excited to be able to get so much done around the house and read a book I've been wanting to read ever since it came out.

The audio book, Girl of Nightmares gets a seven out of ten on my bookshelf. I recommend it to those who want to get a lot done and read a book at the same time!

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