Crossed by Ally Condie – Audiobook Review

Crossed by Ally Condie, narrated by Kate Simses and Jack Riccobono
Published in audio by Penguin Audio, published in print by Dutton Juvenile, imprints of Penguin

I previously reviewed the first audiobook in this series, Matched.

Synopsis:

From the publisher:

In search of a future that may not exist and faced with the decision of who to share it with, Cassia journeys to the Outer Provinces in pursuit of Ky – taken by the Society to his certain death – only to find that he has escaped, leaving a series of clues in his wake.

Cassia’s quest leads her to question much of what she holds dear, even as she finds glimmers of a different life across the border. But as Cassia nears resolve and certainty about her future with Ky, an invitation for rebellion, an unexpected betrayal, and a surprise visit from Xander – who may hold the key to the uprising and, still, to Cassia’s heart – change the game once again. Nothing is as expected on the edge of Society, where crosses and double crosses make the path more twisted than ever.

Thoughts on the story:

So, the reason I used the publisher’s description here is that nothing much really happens during Crossed. Yes, Cassia searches out Ky in the border provinces, but even as they are both living much more difficult lives than they ever did in the heart of the Society, and yet it seems that nothing occurs. Basically the entire thing is a set up for the third book in the trilogy. What Crossed does have going for it, though, is that we learn a great deal about Ky’s history, and about just how deep the uprising against the Society really goes. This set up is promising for Condie’s next book, however.

Thoughts on the audio production:

Kate Simses is still a great casting call for Cassia. She is young-sounding enough to be convincing as a teenager, and conveys the teenage drama well without making it overly angsty. I was somewhat less impressed by Jack Riccobono. He is ever so slightly old-sounding for Ky and is a bit ridiculous when trying to give voice to Cassia during Ky’s sections. Simses does a much better job doing voices for the boys surrounding Cassia.

The sound effects in Crossed are not used as judiciously as they are in Matched. They are nearly absent in Crossed until a point near the end where music is used for no apparent reason. It is quite odd, really.

Overall:

I have to hope that the last book in this trilogy will be told exclusively from Cassia’s point of view, so that Kate Simses can narrate the entire audiobook. Other than this, Crossed was very much the transitional book for this series and, although it was not nearly as strong as Matched, it is setting up what will hopefully be a very interesting conclusion. If you liked Matched, you probably need to read this before the third book is released.

Buy this book from:
Powells: Audio/Print*
Indiebound: Audio/Print*

I’m launching a brand-new meme every Friday! I encourage you to review any audiobooks you review on Fridays and include the link here. If you have reviewed an audiobook earlier in the week, please feel free to link that review as well. Thanks to Pam for creating the button.

Source: Library.
* These links are all affiliate links. If you buy your book here I’ll make a very small amount of money that goes towards hosting, giveaways, etc.
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Very Bad Men by Harry Dolan – Audiobook Review

Very Bad Men by Harry Dolan, narrated by Erik Davies
Published in audio by Penguin Audio, published in print by Amy Einhorn Books, both imprints of Penguin

This is the second book in the David Loogan series. I previously reviewed the first book, Bad Things Happen.

Synopsis:

Things have mostly settled down for David Loogan; Grey Streets is chugging along fairly well, and his relationship with Elizabeth Waishkey is quite good, with David all but living with Elizabeth and her daughter. Until one day David finds a manuscript outside his door detailing the murder of multiple individuals who have recently died and the threat of another man who is next. All of the victims have one thing in common, they were the perpetrators of the Great Lakes Bank Robbery years earlier. Now Loogan must discover who is killing them, and why.

Thoughts on the story:

I just love Harry Dolan’s David Loogan series – even if I do have a tendency to mix up the author and character name for some bizarre reason. These mysteries are super smart with a literary bent to both the writing and the plot. Loogan’s job as the editor of a small literary magazine devoted to mysteries is a fantastic hook that Dolan, who is an editor himself, plays perfectly. Very Bad Men succeeds because it manages to provide both a feeling of continuity with Bad Things Happen and a plot that is fresh and not merely a rehashing of the first book.

The plot of Very Bad Men kept me guessing to figure out what exactly was going on and who was behind it, while at the same time coming together in a very plausible way.

Thoughts on the audio production:

Erik Davies is so exactly David Loogan that it is almost eerie. He doesn’t excel at narrating women, though, and they took a more prominent role in Very Bad Men than they did in Bad Things Happen, so that detracted a bit from the audio experience. For a more details on the audio, please see my review in Audiofile Magazine.

Overall:

Another smart, engaging thriller from Harry Dolan, complemented by more great narration from Erik Davies. Recommended.

Buy this book from:
Powells: Audio/Print*
Indiebound: Audio/Print*

I’m launching a brand-new meme every Friday! I encourage you to review any audiobooks you review on Fridays and include the link here. If you have reviewed an audiobook earlier in the week, please feel free to link that review as well. Thanks to Pam for creating the button.

Source: .
* These links are all affiliate links. If you buy your book here I’ll make a very small amount of money that goes towards hosting, giveaways, etc.
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