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Description⎮Reviewed Oct. 2016
Narrator: Julia Whelan
Length: 6h 20m
Publisher: Terry Maggert⎮2016
4.75★ Audiobook⎮ Heartborn is the first story of “Angels” that I enjoyed from start to finish and to this magnitude. I usually shy away from angelic tales because I haven’t had the best experiences with them in the past. But having heard and liked Terry Maggert’s writing in Halfway Dead, I begin listening to Heartborn without reservation.
Maggert’s unbridled writing ability is on display in Heartborn. It’s absolutely majestic. Terry’s writing is as beautiful as the cover art. There were several times when I rewound the audio just to hear a phrase again. Heartborn had a direct line to my heart and spoke to it incessantly.
I’m still a teensy bit indifferent about Keiron, most likely from a lack of meaningful exposure to the character. But I absolutely adored Livvy, the protagonist. Her story of living with a debilitating medical condition is reminiscent of that of the main character in Magonia. Livvy was extremely relatable and likable. I connected with her almost instantaneously and rooted for her until the very end. She was an exceedingly authentic character and was certainly no “Mary Sue”.
As I’ve said before, I will never get tired of reading about protagonists with disabilities or significant medical conditions. It’s an extremely refreshing shake up to the usual YA tropes and offers literary representation to an often underrepresented group. I especially appreciated the delicacy with which Maggert approached her medical condition. I can imagine that many, many readers will be able to identify with Livvy’s experiences.
Another thing that intensified my enjoyment of Heartborn were the alternating POV chapters. The paranormal/contemporary universe setting swap was also reminiscent of Magonia, but was better done in Heartborn. Normally when reading stories with alternating POVs, I tend to gravitate towards one of them and suffer through the others. That was not so with Heartborn. I was just as invested in the happenings of Keiron’s noble family as I was in Livvy’s ordinary human life on Earth.
Heartborn presented emotional depth for which I was completely unprepared. In my experience, the first installment in a Terry Maggert series is just the tip of the iceberg. Oh, there are unanswered questions, for sure. They first appear to be plotholes, but experience and intuition tell me they are just thin areas in the plot that will likely be reinforced in coming installments. My enjoyment of Heartborn was more than enough to persuade me to exercise patience instead of frustration and anxiously await Heartborn #2.
Narration review: From the moment I heard Julia Whelan would be narrating Heartborn, I was beyond excited. There are certain narrators that are so consistently spectacular that you know a homerun is coming before they even step up to the plate. She’s a rockstar in the world of audiobook narrating. Julia’s narration of Heartborn was flawless. Her voice acting skills and Terry’s gorgeous writing made for one phenomenal listening experience. I implore anyone interested in Heartborn to consider giving the audiobook a listen. Your ears deserve an experience like this.
➜ This audiobook was graciously gifted to me by its author, Terry Maggert, in exchange for a review containing my honest thoughts and opinions. Thanks, Terry!
$ Available at Audible/Amazon