Welcome to my weekly feature that focuses on audiobooks. It’s time to…
Author: Nalini Singh
Narrator: Angela Dawson
Listening Speed: 1.0x
Audiobook Source: Tantor Media
Nalini Singh is one of my favorite writers, and I am an avid follower of her Psy-Changling series. This is the first time I’ve listened to one of her new releases via audio book before reading a hard copy. It was an interesting experience. Not only did I enjoy the story, but I learned about what type of reader I am.
Overall, I liked Shards of Hope, even though it wasn’t quite what I expected. I feel that the romance of Aiden and Zaira was not balanced within the overall plot of the future of the Arrows. Their story felt like the background to Aiden trying to secure and create a family or pack for the Arrows. Though I really enjoyed the plight of the Arrows, the predominance of this plot line gave the book a more urban fantasy feel than paranormal romance. Aiden and Zaira’s journey had similarities to a few other previous pairings, though there were enough unique characteristics that though it felt familiar, it still was fascinating and touching.
This story starts very slowly as compared to some of the other novels in the series. In fact, I felt that it was moving very slowly until about the fifty-percent mark. It was then that the story really started moving, the action and romance barreling towards the conclusion. There were quite a few different groups that needed to come together and there were quite a lot of pieces to get into position before the story could reach its climax and begin the resolutions. All of this, although it slowed the progress of the book, was very fascinating and intricate. I found the political ramifications very intriguing. The ending resolution was surprising and holds such promise for more in the future novels.
Nalini Singh is an expert writer. Until this experience, I never realized the nuances and subtlety of her writing, or rather how many I’d miss by listening to the title before reading it. I’ve listened to a Psy-Changling novel via audiobook after having read it a thousand times or more via my ereader. I enjoyed the experience of hearing it, but the plot and the characters were familiar if not memorized. This time around, I felt as if I were missing things. When I read a book, I am completely engaged in that activity, ignoring all else around me. When I’m listening to an audiobook I am also doing something else (driving, working out, cleaning, cooking, etc). I am not wholly focused and immersed in the story as a result. So as I was listening to Shards of Hope, I found myself feeling as if I had missed things and going back to re-listen to sections to complete the story. I will be rereading Shards of Hope on my ereader so I can experience the depth of the story. But I will say, I don’t think I will listen to a Nalini Singh story again before I have the opportunity to read the book. I simply do not want to miss out on the intricacies of her beautiful storytelling.
I have heard Angela Dawson narrate other books in the Psy-Changling series. Her performance of Shards of Hope was good. I enjoyed her voices, though the differing female voices are more distinct than the males. Although it was a bit difficult to determine which character was speaking when there were several males speaking, I was still able to follow who was speaking and when. I would listen to her again.
All in all, I liked Shards of Hope and look eagerly towards the next offering in the Psy-Changling series.