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The Chronos Files #1
Description⎮Reviewed Feb. 2016
Narrator: Kate Rudd
Length: 12h 7m
Publisher: Brilliance Audio⎮2013
4.5 ★ Audiobook⎮ I picked up this audiobook during one of Audible’s $4.95 sales. I didn’t necessarily choose it because I’ve seen a lot of great reviews or heard a ton of hype about it, because I haven’t. And I was aware that my friend Dana only gave this 3.25 stars when she read it. But because of Audible’s awesome return policy, I decided to give it a shot anyway since I’m such a sucker for time travel. Timebound is the perfect example of why readers/listeners should ultimately make their own decisions about what to read and not solely rely on other people’s reviews. Dana and I usually have aligning opinions on most things, but we saw Timebound very differently. It is also great example of a shot in the dark that completely paid off. To me, there are few things more rewarding than taking a risk on an audiobook and having it pay off.
I’m a self-proclaimed “mood reader”, meaning that my moods and whims can greatly determine my choice of audiobook and my audiobook experience. I’ve finally learned to quit fighting these whims and listen to whatever my gut tells me at the moment. That usually means a spontaneous and constantly fluctuating TBR. After finishing Me Before You, I wasn’t emotionally ready to begin the sequel, so I decided to go in a completely different direction with Timebound. I liked it immediately, probably because it hit the ground running. There was no dawdling in the beginning and the pace hardly slowed throughout the entirety. This is the first time travel story I can remember that didn’t once compare Time to some sort of body of water.
Timebound has some very unique characteristics and I found the plot easy enough to understand and follow. More than that, I also found it incredibly intriguing and quickly became invested in it. I formed strong attachments to the characters and came to care about their well-being. This book consisted of a lot of action, with periodic unloadings of information that Dana saw as “dumpy” (dumping a ton of info onto the reader at once), but I didn’t mind that so much. I saw it more like “debriefing” than “dumping”, since these episodes usually happened after something very eventful. It’s true that most authors prefer to let important pieces of plot information be revealed more slowly (and subtly) throughout the plot, but I actually appreciated not being made to wait to get the whole story. This allowed me to focus on what was unfolding at the time. I think that this story’s fast pace calls for it in order to not overwhelm the reader during action scenes.
However, there were a couple points that bugged me a bit, like how quickly and easily both Charlene & Trey (I don’t know how to spell their names. #AudiobookProblems) were to accept Kate’s bizarre story of time travel. Those scenes required a little more suspension of disbelief and I felt they should have been more drawn out to be believable. Subtlety may not be one of this author’s strongest points, but she did a lot of other things exceedingly well. I really enjoyed how she used well-known historical events, like The Chicago World’s Fair in 1893, as a backdrop for the action in the story.
I also liked the inclusion of a corrupt cult-like religion run by power-hungry time travelers. That was a nice (and unexpected) addition to the plot. I’ve already learned that this author has a penchant for throwing wild curve balls. I found this story thrilling in an “edge of my seat” kind of way and I bought the second and third installments before even finishing the first.
Narration review: I was delighted to see that Kate Rudd is the narrator for this series and that is actually what tipped me in favor of purchasing this audiobook. I have heard Rudd’s performances before in The Fault in Our Stars and Snow Like Ashes. She is always pleasant to hear and I think she was a great choice to voice the protagonist of this series, also named Kate. If this main character had been voiced by someone else, there is a chance I wouldn’t have cared for her quite as much. There were a few times that I was on the fence about liking Kate (the character) due to her questionable decision-making and accute heroine complex. I think a less enjoyable narrator (one with a whiny or annoying voice) could have sent me over the edge into actively disliking the character. Choice of narrator is that important! Rudd has a considerable narration repertoire, so I encourage you to check it out! ♣︎