To end 2020 with, I have decided to do an audiobook mini review roundup. A couple of months ago Netgalley started letting us read our ARCs as audiobooks, which is amazing. So have a read to see if one of these might be for you!
The Doors of Eden by Adrian Tchaikovsky (Tor, 20/08/2020) is a solid mix of fantasy and science fiction with parallel worlds. Lee and Mal went to explore rumours of monsters in a moor, but only Lee came back. Now, four years later, she is drawn in to a story bigger than anything she ever expected. Another strand of the story focuses on Kay Amal Khan, a trans physicist who is the only one who can help an alien race and is abducted. The Doors of Eden includes six or so points of view in an epic story that spans multiple worlds. It is interesting, smart and well-researched. However I had issues connecting to the story and characters, which led to me not enjoying this one as much as I’d hoped. I think it’s a very good book, though a bit too much on the hard science fiction side for me personally. Add it to Goodreads here, and order a hard copy from Bookshop here (affiliate link) or find the audiobook from Audible here.
The Key To Fear by Kristin Cast (Head of Zeus, 05/11/2020) is set in a world that has been ravaged by a virus, leaving society ruled by the Key. Much like in 2020, people in this story are not allowed to touch or kiss and live according to strict rules. It was disconcerting to listen to a story of a pandemic while being in the middle of a pandemic ourselves. I didn’t particularly enjoy the implications of this story, where years after the disease itself ravaged the population they still live under the thumb of sanctions. While the story didn’t necessarily focus on this, I could not stop my mind from wandering in these directions while listening. It is not the right book if you are anxious in terms of where society is heading and struggle with the changes brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic. Thus, I couldn’t enjoy the story of young love, rebellion and defiance that I would have ordinarily enjoyed much more. Find The Key To Fear on Goodreads here, and order a hardcopy from Bookshop here (affiliate link) or the audio from Audible here.
Secrets of the Starcrossed by Clara O’Connor (One More Chapter, 21/01/2021) is a tale of young love in a world where the Roman Empire never fell and still dominates part of the UK. Cassandra, Devyn and Marcus live in Londinium, which is cut off from the parts of the country still under Celtic rule, and Britons are very much second class humans compared to citizens of the Empire. It’s an enjoyable story, though a bit basic and predictable. A girl falls in love with a mysterious boy while betrothed to another and at the same time finds out that most of her life so far has been a lie. Secrets of the Starcrossed makes heavy use of tropes to tell its tale of woe and resistance. But ultimately, there isn’t much special to this YA/adult crossover fantasy. Find it on Goodreads here, and order a hardcopy from Bookshop here (affiliate link) or pre-order the audio from Audible here.