Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Review: California

California: A NovelCalifornia: A Novel by Edan Lepucki
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received a free audiobook download from the Ford Audiobook Club on Good Reads.

Dystopia post-apolyptic novels seem to be the rage lately, and through it all I've been seeing one particular title (this one) standing out from the others. So I was surprised and pleased when I got an email from Good Reads inviting me to join the Ford Audiobook Club and participate in a free Audible download group discussion.

I really liked this. I wasn't sure at first that I would, as it is rather slow moving. But the more I read (listened), the more intrigued I became with the society of this near-future California. I wasn't crazy about the main protagonists of Cal and Frida, but I found the supporting characters to be very intriguing, and as we got to know them, I kept waiting for that other shoe to drop.

All in all a satisfying read, and Edan Lepucki is definitely on the author map for me now.

Review of the book itself aside, I thought I'd take a moment to critque the narration. Emma Galvin was the narrator here, and just wasn't great. Her voice is pleasant enough in general, and I'm sure she'd be fine to converse with. But reading this, she was a distraction. Her tone never seemed to change, either from one character to the next, or from one sentence to the next. It was almost robotic in nature. A good narrator could have taken this book to another level, but this one made me come very close to abandoning the project early on. I'm glad I stuck with it, as the book itself is rather good. I fortunately became accustomed enough to her voice to push through, but it was a near thing. I'd even considered knocking a star off the review for this, but I felt the book itself was strong enough to stand on its own rating.

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