The Crystal Bridge
By: Charlie Pulsipher
Publish Date: September 1, 2011, Audiobook August 17, 2015
Format: Audiobook - 9 hrs 11 mins
Narrated By: Keith Michaelson
Genre: YA Fantasy
Series: 1st in The Lost Shards series
Impression: A young adult epic fantasy story where we discover the powers each hold.
Kaden is your typical 16 year old boy who can open wormholes to far away worlds. His first trip almost killed him. Now he spends hours inside his Egg, a glowing sphere only he can see, where he glimpses wonder and adventure, but is afraid to travel again.
Aren has the ultimate gift of empathy, seeing into the memories of others and experiencing them as though they were her own. When she turns her ability toward Kaden, it fails to open his memories to her, seeing in their place a golden shell with impossible images flashing along the interior. Aren reaches out to one of these images, plunging Kaden and herself into a world full of unknown danger on the edge of war.
James, a research geneticist for Omegaphil Pharmaceuticals, recreates extinct species with the help of an AI simulation program and the nano nueral transmitters in his head. But, to find all the genetic codes he needs, his altered brain will do anything and go anywhere to find the answers.
Meanwhile, deep within the emptiness between universes, an ancient creature awakes. With inhuman patience it has waited millennia to be freed from its prison and the existence of both worlds is threatened if it can find a way out.
Yellow light flickered along the edges of Kaden's vision and he rolled his eyes at the lightning and groaned.
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My Thoughts and Summary:
*This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBlast dot com, at my request.
Keith, the narrator, is now one of my favorite male voices. Wow. He steals the show in this book for me. The first chapter starts with Kaden full of worry, fear, and panic while trying to stay in control. A child's call for mom when things are scary. Keith hits it. Keith does many different tones for the female voices, adult and young. He also has many different sounds and attitudes for the male voices that give you a strong feel to personality and who you could trust, or maybe keep an eye on. Keith talks in the accent and singing tone of the dwaro. It's always neat to hear this from the narrator as he reads. Brings the language to life. What I find as an added bonus in stories that I've listened to Keith voice so far, is the music lead in with the reading of the title page. It's small, I know, but I really love this and it makes me excited to get to the story.
We first meet Kaden and his ability. He has a light that wraps around him like an egg and he can see other worlds along with visit them. We then meet Aren as she meets Kaden for the first time in school. Her power is different and intriguing. She can feel another persons feelings and see their memories when she makes eye contact. Then we jump to James who is on his first day at his new job as a geneticist for Omegaphil Pharmaceuticals. This meeting is interesting! To see what this company does, creates, and learns about James's brain without him knowing. O.O The man in charge of the pharmaceutical company and overseeing all the projects...well, he's powerful in the way of manipulation and money. He has plans and I was curious as to what he wanted and how these people all come together.
Then we get a quick glimpse at the awakening of Rho and monk Fustis who is 9.4 light years away and knows it's time to use what the gods have taught him for the battle that will happen on Earth. I understood the implications of what Rho is doing or trying to do. But I'm not sure what affect Fustis's hard work was having on trying to counter Rho's actions.
The story has all the elements that I enjoy. Science, mystical magic, and fantasy realms. The story moves forward with the characters and strange things happen to them all. Yet as well done the story was, I found my mind drifted. I even loved the audio narrator and his work. The story is YA Epic Fantasy, and designed as such. I do find in some Epic Fantasy series beginnings there are many details and descriptions that feel to slow the pace for me. So I'm thinking that's what it was. And I was waiting for the paths to cross for all the characters, to see what the connection would be. I was hanging on the words waiting for just some small drop of a clue. THEN! I got it! When Evandrel went through his trials to be a Light Bringer things for Kaden and Aren along with Rho start to draw together. I like this connection for them. Then my mind started to race with what could come.
It's wonderful for young readers looking for fantasy stories with an epic feel. This story has the different character POV's that tell of different events and worlds in motion at the same time. It has the elements of the classic epic fantasy with light fights that young readers can read.
I wondered through the story how the connection between Kaden and Aren with James and Omegaphil Pharmaceuticals, or with Rho and Fustis, would work out. I wasn't sure how it all related to each other, or if it did. Though Rho and Fustis are connected and I think, in some way, are in relation to James and what he can do now. We see them all come together in one moment at the end of this book.
Now, at the end of the book, I want to know how all works out! And what's next with where Kaden, James, and Aren are left. This is the end of the discovery of a new world and the beginning of a connection I've been waiting for. And now we dig in to see how to save the worlds!