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The Others #2
Description⎮Reviewed Mar. 2016
Narrator: Alexandra Harris
Length: 14h 13m
Publisher: Penguin Audio⎮2014
4.75 ★ Audiobook⎮ I began this audiobook within seconds of finishing the previous installment. When you’re riding the high of a newly discovered series, you do things like that. I will say that I liked this installment slightly less than the first, but only slightly. It continued with the larger, over-arcing storyline, which moved at a steady pace, while the smaller, faster-paced plotlines shifted focus a little in this installment. For example, the main storyline (the growing divide between humans and terra indigene) is steadily picking up steam, albeit at a tantalizingly pace, and the minor plotlines (usually dealing with smaller/internal conflicts) that are happening in conjunction are occurring and being resolved much more quickly.
This installment saw more of Mary Lee and the other humans that work in the Courtyard and not as much of Sam, the wolf pup whom I adored in the previous book. I appreciate how Anne Bishop can artfully juggle multiple minor plotlines in tandem with the overall main plot. This technique gives her the opportunity to develop extremely well-rounded characters, along with an excellently crafted world. Murder of Crows takes the reader even further into the world beyond the Courtyard and it is marvelous. It’s amazing how Bishop’s writing strikes such a delicate and enticing balance that causes the story and its characters to come across as delightfully dark. For me, it’s just perfect, like a really great dark chocolate.
🚩However, I will reiterate the warning from my previous review: This book may not be appropriately suited for everyone. One of its most prominent storylines involves cutting. I won’t say that it glorifies cutting, but it definitely presents it in a manner that could be easily misconstrued, especially by younger readers. Speaking of youngsters, I would suggest counting them out for this entire series. The cover art may be somewhat misleading (maybe just to me), but this is not a Young Adult series. Although it certainly isn’t as graphic as, say, something written by George R.R. Martin, it does openly deal with several things that are adult in nature. Parents, consider yourselves warned.
Narration review: In my previous review, I expressed a minor complaint about certain portions of the narration. Specifically, the unnatural vocal pacing and articulation used when voicing the prose. Although that complaint is still valid, it did not strike me quite as much in this installment. I suspect I have just grown used to this narrator’s narration style. She (Alexandra Harris) does a phenomenal job of voicing the character dialogue. That ability became even more distinguished in this installment because several new characters were introduced. I found it very easy to latch onto the new characters because their voices were so distinct. ♣︎