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The Raven Cycle #4
Description⎮Reviewed Apr. 2016
Narrator: Will Patton
Length: 11h 51m
Publisher: Scholastic Inc.⎮2016
5 ★ Audiobook⎮I could be clever and start this review by quoting a witty line from the book, perhaps even my favorite line or the line that most strongly resonated with me, but I can’t because I would have to transcribe the whole effing book. If I were to describe this story, this series, in one word it would without a doubt be transcendent. Stiefvater’s writing, character development, and world building far surpass anything the Young Adult Fantasy subgenre has thus far produced.
I normally take a slight laissez-faire stance when it comes to my audiobook selection. If an interesting book comes to my attention, I give it a try. Occasionally, I will actively search for something that fits a particular taste I have at the time, but this is the only time I can recall marking a book’s release date in each of my multiple calendars and planners. I typically try to avoid having such high expectations, because they tend to be summarily dashed upon reading. So it’s really saying something about my faith in Maggie Stiefvater that the possibility of disappointment never even occurred to me.
My level of enjoyment is actually best described as a state of perpetual bliss and could not have been higher for a single second of this audiobook. When picked apart separately, it’s hard to identify the exact part of this story that so captivates me. But when viewed together, all elements of this story are just…yes. The feeling I am left with after finishing this series is just… yes. It is reminiscent of the feeling I had after completing Stiefvater’s The Scorpio Races . The feeling of having just experienced one’s own perception of perfection.
But wait just one hot minute: Am I delusional or did that ending not seem entirely like an ending? It’s possible I just don’t want this euphoric experience to end, but I could swear it sounded like she was teasing something more. Did anyone else get that sense?
Narration review: If I am being completely and totally honest, 47% of my anticipation for The Raven King stemmed from the desire to have Will Patton’s voice in my ears again. He is one of those narrators that you either love or hate. Fortunately, I’m on the sunny side of that debate. I ❤love❤ him. He is easily, and I do mean easily, one of my top three favorite narrators. But he’s also a great example of personal preference when it comes to narration. He has such a distinct way of narrating that it’s understandable why he can be polarizing among listeners. I recently had a chat with a fellow audiobook enthusiast who couldn’t stand Patton’s narration of this series and vowed to enjoy it via the traditional book format from there on out. I was a little astonished that her listening experience so greatly differed from my own. The moral of this story is: Listen to audio samples before purchase (and also don’t be afraid to make returns if you had a negative listening experience)!
Will Patton will forever be synonymous with The Raven Cycle in my mind and I am just as sad about having to say goodbye to his narration of it as I am about saying goodbye to the series itself. The two together were a match made in audiobook heaven. Thank you Mr. Patton, for bringing such a beautiful thing to life. ♣︎