Listen Up! #Audiobook Review: The Brimstone Deception by Lisa Shearin


Welcome to my new weekly feature that focuses on audiobooks. It’s time to…


Audiobook review: The Brimstone Deception

Author: Lisa Shearin
Narrator: Johanna Parker
Audio Speed: 1x + 1.25x
Series: SPI #3
Source: Audible/purchased

I originally read and reviewed The Brimstone Deception earlier this year. At that time I wrote of the book:

Although I did enjoy reading The Brimstone Deception, I found that the story didn’t hold up to the previous two titles. The book felt smaller and simpler than the first two, which is something I appreciated, but I also found that I need more. The mystery had some twists, but everything was pretty much straight forward and spelled out for the reader. There was a lot less of SPI and more focus on just Mak and Ian solving the case. I really think I need to reread this one via my audiobook to get a better sense of where The Brimstone Deception fits in the big picture of the SPI Files, and I look forward to it!

The Brimstone Deception AudioSince I had listened to and enjoyed the audiobook versions of the first two SPI Files, I wanted to re-read The Brimstone Deception via audiobook, and I’m very glad I did. I found myself much more engaged in the book and story when shared via Ms. Parker’s superb narration. I didn’t consider the story “smaller and simpler” as I wrote in my earlier review. Rather, it was on par with the first two mysteries. While, I still wanted to see more of the characters we met in the previous book, I found that I didn’t realize they weren’t present because I was more engaged in the “here and now” of the story.

I credit my enjoyment of the story to the narration. Ms. Parker truly brings Mak to life for me, making her more three-dimensional and real. She breathes life into each character, effectively adding emotion into her performance, making me care what happens to the characters, especially Mak. And due to the added emotional factor, I found myself much more on board with the Mak-Rake romantic pairing than I was when reading the book.

The only downside to listening to The Brimstone Deception is I found that the repetition returned. I must zone-out when I read, because I did not notice the constant use and reuse of certain phrases and terms. But when listening, I seem to pick up on every single word, and there is a lot of repetition, just as I found in the previous two books. After a while it was bothersome.

In the end, I am very glad I took the time to listen to The Brimstone Deception. For me, the SPI Files series is clearly a must listen to (rather than read) series. The narration by Johanna Parker adds tremendously to my enjoyment of the books.

Rating: B
Narration: A-


  • I love Johanna Parker. While I haven’t tried to read this series, I agree that this series would be a listen only for me, but then I have a ton of them. I’m glad you enjoyed it better on audio.

    • Yes! I’m sticking with the audio from now on. Johanna Parker is amazing!

  • I meant to say something but sleepy brain so no

    • Get some rest! I know you like her other series… I have to try it!

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