📚 The Crown by Kiera Cass

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The Selection #5

Description⎮Reviewed May 2016

Narrator: Brittany Pressley
Length: 7h 12m
Publisher: HarperCollins⎮2016

5 ★ Audiobook⎮I put off writing this review for almost a day, not because I wasn’t sure how I felt about it, but because I wasn’t sure how to put those feelings into words. Returning to the Schreave Family and the world that was introduced to me in The Selection felt exactly like slipping into a pair of well-worn sneakers. Some series are more difficult to return to than others, for various reasons. With other series, returning to them feels like reuniting with family. From the very first chapter of The Crown, I felt at home again. Through five books and several novellas, these characters have become so familiar to me that saying goodbye to them was heartbreaking. This was the second time that I have recently had to say goodbye to beloved characters with the conclusion of a series (the other being The Raven King). But my feelings of farewell differed slightly in regards to The Crown because of the crossgenerational aspect this series has taken on in the last two installments. I can’t be sure, but I think that this must be sort of like what grandparents experience when watching their children grow up, have children of their own, and then (hopefully) seeing those children grow up and get married also. If you’ve read this series, you probably understand exactly what I’m saying.

My only complaint (you know I have to have one) is that the ending felt a little weak to me. I was expecting a more climactic finish, as we saw in The One, but the author chose to take a more diplomatic (and therefore less exciting) approach to resolving the story’s final conflict. There were several perfect opportunities to insert a twist or turn in the plot, but Cass decided to ignore nearly all of them. This ending seemed more similar to that of her standalone novel The Siren than it did to The Selection, which didn’t please me that much. I also feel like this installment should have been at least an hour or so longer. It was pretty short for a finale (shorter than the previous four installments) and I think the ending would have benefited from being drawn out a bit more.

While I don’t think I enjoyed Eadlyn’s story more than her mother’s, mostly because of the way it was told, I do think I liked Eadlyn better as a character than America. There were times when America had a pronounced “heroine complex” which could make her hard to stand. Eadlyn was definitely flawed (often coming off as cold and entitled), but that actually drew me to her. I found myself comparing the two women quite a lot. The crossgenerational nature of the final two installments (Eadlyn’s story) is one of the best things I have had the pleasure of experiencing as a reader. It’s fairly common for authors to explore a character’s background and ancestors in special installments or novellas, but few look forward into the future. That’s what made Eadlyn’s Selection (installments 4 & 5) special to me. I wish more authors would do that (*ahem* Maggie Stiefvater- I want to see Blue Sargent’s children).

Narration review: Brittany Pressley was an incredible narrator. I mean, absolutely phenomenal. She went above and beyond what would have been acceptable. She injected so much emotion into the performance that I should actually blame her as much as Kiera Cass for the roller coaster of emotion I went on throughout this experience. And the voices. Oh, the voices! I swear, she adapted her voice in someway for every single character. Which, as you know, was quite a feat because there were a ton of them. She especially did a spectacular job of voicing the male characters, which is not always easy for a female narrator to do. The tone of her voice perfectly conveyed Eadlyn’s personality and dripping sarcasm. Everything about Pressley’s performance was P-E-R-F-E-C-T. I couldn’t have loved it more. ♣︎

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