Thank you to Magpie for this review of the Dry Land audiobook!
Rating: FIVE STARS
Controlled Descent reminded me of… well, nothing. Why? Because it’s like nothing I’ve ever read before. It’s unique, different, and creates a world that’s based in reality but is unreal. It takes place in a future that is entirely possible… probable even. Humans behave the way we expect them to behave, yet they excel beyond. They survive and thrive even in their darkest moments. You find yourself riveted to the pages, watching as these rich, thick and colorful characters break and bend and bounce back. Each of the characters is intensely drawn, lovingly crafted and they, truly drive the story. It’s not the plot or what is going to happen generally that concerns the reader… the worry, the care lies in what is going to happen to the characters – to Justin, to Parker, Carl, and Allie and Tyler. These characters live in a world that is an uncertain, volatile place; a crumbling political society underlying a technologically and scientifically leaps and bounds advancing one, and it is the conflict between these two spirals that creates much of what the Restoration is all about. It’s a world that a reader can get their boots in and their mind around and live in for a good while.
On a macro/technical level with this book, there were times when I needed to go back a few paragraphs and re-read to understand what was going on, to catch things I missed when the story seemed to take a sharp turn or the dialogue changed lighting quick. The pace moves that quickly, and at times, the reader needs to slow down in order to catch every bit. The writing style is very fluid and very nuanced – the author doesn’t give you every detail, every tidbit of information. While that allows a reader’s own mind to complete the gestalt in a really adventurous, pleasurable way, the reader has to be willing to give it that effort, to become part of that world and observe with their own eyes and deduce with their own mind. If that makes any sense whatsoever. Tl;dr – you cannot be a lazy reader with this book. It forces you to interact, and really… that is a very good thing. This book is a thick, action-packed meaty thriller, not a romance (although there is some romance in it that had me cheering and crying). It’s a steak, not cereal, and it should be savored.
I recommend this highly. Now I’m ready to delve into the rest of the Restoration stories.
The level of detail, the characterization, the plot reversals in the story that made me shout out loud “Oh, no you didn’t!”–all of it was exceptionally well done. The way the author wove the themes and symbolism throughout the story and brought them around full circle in the ending scene was a master stroke of genius. I plan to read anything Jenn Seidler has written or will write in the future. I know I’ll be in good writerly hands and be in for one hell of a ride!
The narrator, Ian Sorensen, totally had me guessing whether he is American or British. He switched between multiple voices effortlessly, and he was all around fantastic to listen to. I’ll also look up his other titles. He’s that’s good.
Bottom line: if you like scifi–or even if you don’t usually!–I strongly recommend that you give Dry Land a whirl. Bloody brilliant stuff.
“Great Syfy Listen!!” – by Anne
I would to anyone who is a fan of this genre…this has it all for the true syfy fan!
When he thought Colby was dead…Ted was so distraught!
I have not, but I would…he is very good!
This would be an interesting movie….
** I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review **
I am a huge Syfy fan..so this was right up my alley…Ted and a small crew of astronauts are sent to the moon to complete a mission to make it habitable…well things go wrong and they get stuck there….the twist is these are droid/human hybrids…such a unique and interesting story, and a great addition to the syfy genre….there is romance, and loss in this story…and it was a great quick listen…and I loved the little bonus story at the end!!! Thank You Audiobookblast(dot)com
This is my second KM Herkes read, and I’m just about to delve into “Controlled Descent” involving the two characters in this book, Carl and Eddie. I really, really enjoyed this. The pacing is perfect, lots of worldbuilding and creation without being heavy handed. As with KM’s other works, she creates a fantastical world but paints it with a fine point brush instead of a spray painter. We’re brought into it as if it’s normalcy, as if it’s our own world and in that way we can live deeper in it. The story really picks up pace and keeps the reader turning the page, wanting more.
The world KM creates is not a perfect one, and it’s not supposed to be. Prejudices run high and it’s a slice of life of our own world, only put under a microscope. It’s a world of divisive lives, of fractured countries, and that’s what the Restoration is all about. I’m excited to get into the rest of this world, as I’ve already loved and lived in the “Extraordinary” world of KM’s other books. This story gave me a slice of life look into Carl and Eddie, and it has me wanting more. As a first foray into the Restoration, this is a great intro. I’d also think that those more familiar with the lives of Carl and Eddie will enjoy this pre-story of the two heroes as teenagers.
And now. I MUST READ Controlled Descent. It’s a moral imperative.
I’ve had the pleasure and the honor to give an interview to Cassie over at BoyMomLovesBooks, and she’s listened to and reviewed my book and Ian’s performance in Dry Land. Check it out… and check out the GIVEAWAY! You may win a copy of Dry Land on audio or a $25 Amazon Gift Card!
Utterly atmospheric. A story woven from the golden threads of myth and mastery.
I didn’t know what to expect when I first started listening to Artemis Rising. It’s not normally a book I would have chosen, it being a YA romance, but I’m glad I did. I loved the historical aspect of this. While the story itself was abstract, almost floating above reality in a sense, fantasy and fantastical, the setting did the plot justice. The Azores are exotic and new to most, full of lush landscapes and open seas, the Portuguese language foreign to most ears. The time was right, as well, the late 1800’s when the world blossomed out, as did the world’s women from the ties of oppression – just like Ava in this tale.
Keeping the story ethereal were the intricate threads of the myths – those of Arethusa and Alpheus and Tristan and Isolde. Now, I wondered, how in the hooey is Cheri going to wend these two unrelated and vastly different myths together, but dang it… she did. I wondered, in a way, while listening to this, why Ava/Arethusa allowed herself to be so tied down to the myths? Why, in turn did Tristao? To me, it was the parental influence trickling down into the children themselves… and then when the children came into their own minds and their own lives it made sense. Much of it was more figurative and symbolic than realistic, and that was just fine with me. It was almost as if Artemis Rising was a new myth, a new tale to be told by the firesides and hearths.
I’ve read other reviews that discuss Ava/Arethusa making her choice between Paganism and Christianity, but I honestly don’t think that’s what it was. Her choice is between allowing external forces to control her life and her destiny, and taking her course in her own hands. I loved the use of name choices in this story, and while an abstract thought, the name truly defined each character, and that was a masterful stroke.
I enjoyed listening to this book but I think I may have enjoyed reading it more, and I may just do that. The narrator’s voice, while lilting, fine, and beautiful, almost song-like, was sometimes heavy handed, too high-pitched or strange in intonation, inflection and diction. I had to go back to the text sometimes to figure out what she was saying with certain words such as Marques. Granted, much of that was my lack of familiarity with the Portuguese language, so I take that bit of blame. I think, however, that the narration was right for the story. It was at times like listening to a mother or a beloved teacher reading to me, and given the poetic, beautiful language of this book, I think that makes sense, and it is a good fit.
Bottom line, I was entranced by the story. I was heartbroken, frightened, on the edge of my seat, and I felt all of the anger, fear, irritation and love right along with Arethusa. And I may have fallen a little bit in love with Tristao. 🙂 I would recommend this to a friend, and in fact, I have. I received the audio book for free, but I intend to buy a Kindle copy so I can revisit it whenever I like.