Thursday, August 23, 2018

Audio Book Review: Innocence Lost

Innocence Lost

By:  Patty Jansen

Publish Date:  March 19, 2014, Audiobook Release July 26, 2018

Format:  Audiobook - 5 hrs 57 mins
Narrated By:  Genevieve Lerner

Genre:  Urban Fantasy

Series:  1st in Ghostspeaker Chronicles series

Impression:  Slow start with potential to a series.

A fantasy loosely based on the historical setting of the Netherlands and western Germany.

Johanna is the daughter of a rich merchant in the kingdom of Saarland. As an only child and without a mother, she has grown up with notions, such as that she wants to take over her father's river trade business in her own name. Courtesy of her eastern mother, she has an unusual ability. She sees things in willow wood: whenever she touches wood, it shows her what has happened around the tree or wooden object. Any kind of magic is not common in Saardam, and the Church of the Triune, which rapidly gains influence in the city, forbids it.
While she goes to church, Johanna also maintains a loose network of magic-enabled people. One of those people is Loesie, a farmer's daughter from out of town.
One day, Loesie comes to town after having been struck mute by magic. She carries a basket made from willow twigs that tells Johanna that a group of bandits with demons is about to attack the city.
But there is no non-magical proof, so she can't tell anyone or she'd be branded a witch. The time of witch-burnings was not that long ago.
Never mind that the army is still approaching, and there are increasing signs that Saardam's embattled royal family might have done something that has angered magical forces in the east. Add to this that the royal family seems to have fallen out with the city's nobility, and that the recent death of the crown princess has left the family with only one heir: the mysterious prince whom no one has seen for years and who has suddenly returned home.
At the annual ball, Johanna's father has brokered a dance for her with the prince. Johanna just wants to warn people of the impending attack.

First Sentence:
Johanna sashayed down the church aisle towards the open doors that beckoned her to freedom.

Purchase At:
Amazon  /  Barnes & Nobles 


My Thoughts and Summary:
*I have listened to this book for my own enjoyment.

This is the first time I've listened to Genevieve. Genevieve did a good job at reading through the story clearly. But, right off the bat I heard lots of space in the recording. There is a metal twang to her voice as well. With the sound of the background, you can hear where the stream was cut, either because she was done or because cut out a section. The sound of the background stops then starts again, leaving it feeling as it's not a constant flow. It sounds like she's in a large empty room, with wooden floors.

The story is a big build up for the King's ball. A lot of world building in the beginning. There is something with Johanna's friend and a potential danger coming to their city, but trying to find a way to tell people without telling about how she learned is a problem for Johanna. With this, most of the beginning is focused on getting to know Johanna and how she doesn't want to marry or go to the ball. Both things her father is saying she must do.

With getting to know Johanna and the buildup to the ball, I found the beginning to be rather slow. If it wasn't for being audio, I probably would have put the book down. Although, I'm not very taken with Genevieve's narration or voice acting as Johanna, and that might be part of the problem. Johanna sounded like a spoiled brat at the age of twenty-four with Genevieve's vocal innuendos.

As we go, the story of going to the ball felt like it was going to turn into a Cinderella type story. But it doesn't. When we get to the ball, things take a turn that draws me into the story. To meet Prince Roald and see how things come together. Now I can enjoy this. I liked the turn things made with Johanna after the ball.

The writing style didn't hit the beat with me. Others may enjoy it more, but wasn't for me. At times I felt that the emotions used were repetitive, and when I wanted emotions they weren't there. I definitely think the narrator could have done a better job, or picked a different narrator. Genevieve was a bit bland or to much attitude that gives Johanna a stuck up feel, which she's not by her actions.

I'm curious about the characters and where they end up next because there is a cliffhanger ending, but I'll likely pass on the series with all others I have to listen to.

****If you found my thoughts helpful, please click Yes at Amazon and/or Audible. Thank you.

1 comment:

LilyElement said...

Cliffhanger *makes a face*