Monday, March 18, 2013

Review: Graceling (Audiobook)

Graceling  by Kristin Cashore
Series: Graceling Realm
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Length: 12 hours and 31 minutes
Narrator: David Baker, Chelsea Mixon, Zacharay Exton
Source: eLibrary
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His eyes, Katsa had never seen such eyes. One was silver, and the other, gold. They glowed in his sun-darkened face, uneven, and strange. She was surprised that they hadn't shone in the darkness of their first meeting. They didn't seem human....
Then he raised his eyebrows a hair, and his mouth shifted into the hint of a smirk. He nodded at her, just barely, and it released her from her spell.
Cocky, she thought. Cocky and arrogant, this one, and that was all there was to make of him. Whatever game he was playing, if he expected her to join him he would be disappointed.

In a world where people born with an extreme skill—called a Grace—are feared and exploited, Katsa carries the burden of the skill even she despises: the Grace of killing. She lives under the command of her uncle Randa, King of the Middluns, and is expected to execute his dirty work, punishing and torturing anyone who displeases him.
When she first meets Prince Po, who is Graced with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change.
She never expects to become Po's friend.
She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace—or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away...a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone.

My Rating:

My Review:
The Graceling Realm series is so imaginative and introduces readers to a world where people have special powers that others fear called Graces.  For many, including Katsa, her Grace is more a curse than a blessing.  She finds herself as a personal enforcer and mercenary for her uncle because of her unique skills.  When a series of mysterious events occur, she finally finds the strength to do what's right and seek the truth to a recent puzzle.  For all her strength and skill Katsa finds that she still has a lot to learn.

On the story...
I absolutely loved Graceling.  I fell in love with the world-building, the premise, and Po.  I just love Po.  I didn't love Katsa because she came off a bit robotic to me and I didn't connect the way I did with Po.  I loved that Katsa was the ultimate heroine and didn't fit any stereotype at all.  This was also a well-balanced story.  We get a little bit of romance, a whole lot of action, a decent amount of mystery, and so much creativity.

On the narrators...
This was a full cast audio and I'm still not sure how I feel about that.  There were multiple narrators, music, and sound effects.  I'm so accustomed to none of that being present that I found it a bit more distracting than helpful.  It didn't keep me from enjoying the story but I'm thinking I like things simple from my audiobooks.

I realize I am late in the game as many have read this one ages ago.  Books like this make we questions why I don't step out of my comfort zone more often.  I'd recommend it in book form the audio does a great job.
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  1. I loved this book so much and I'm so happy every time I see a new positive review. I'm sorry you didn't connect well to Katsa - she's one of my all-time favorite characters - but I did love Po too. He was perfect.

    I'm not a big audiobook listener, so I've never had an experience with an ensemble cast. I might just have to try the audio version next time I want to reread Graceling.

    Bekka @ Pretty Deadly Reviews

    1. I connected with Katsa much better than I did with Fire but there was something about her that lacked emotion. I'm not sure what it was.

  2. I agreed. I had the audio format and it was a bit distracting. The book was still great though!

  3. I was so disappointed by this one and did not like Katsa at all. She was weak somehow

  4. I've been meaning to try this for ages.

    You bring an excellent point about full cast audios. For newbies they are perfect. For people who are use to them, they're great. But for audio fans unaccustomed to it, they must be distracting. Great honest review!

    1. Thanks! I agree that a different audience might prefer the full cast. I'm glad I could compare.

  5. I really need to read this one! I keep hearing how great it is, and I love imaginative reads.

  6. I'm so glad to learn this one is a full cast audio. I have only listened to one audio book which was one person but am interested in hearing lots of different voices too. Graceling's audio will be one to keep on my list.

    1. I think this one would be great if you want to try a full cast audio. It's a great book.

  7. What a cool story! I know what you mean about too many sound effects and voices being distracting. I came across an audiobook like that a few months ago and it drove me nuts.

  8. hmm...interesting concept! i think i would be distracted by many voices on the audiobook.
    good review. i like how you set this review up

    1. Thanks! I'm always evolving. I'm glad to know this way works for you.


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