I picked up this book because I'm a big fan of the 'Writing Excuses' podcasts. I love Brandon Sanderson's books, so I thought to try Dan Wells's.
As usual I went for the Audiobook version. Let me tell you, it was horrible. I've tried for several weeks to get past the first chapters.
I hope the narrator doesn't talk like that in real life. I truly hope for him in real life he doesn't speak every sentence like it has an exclamation mark in it. It made listening to it impossible for me.
Look, you don't have to narrate as well as James Marsters or Bronson Pinchot, or even Michael Kramer... All I ask is that you speak as you would naturally do. A little bit of dramatization is ok (a lot of it is great, as long as you know what you are doing).
Don't audiobook narrators have to auditions for the books? Don't publishers care
I imagine they don't. After all, the book has been bought, the money is already in their pocket, so why would they care? But I say, it's bad for business. I for one will avoid any audiobooks that have this narrator in it.
Dear publishers of audiobooks. The narrator matters. Big time. It makes a lot of difference. For instance, I almost put away this book and avoid the writer for the next few years because of the narrators awful performance. A different example is the graphic audio version of Warbreaker: I thought the book just so-so (a little bit boring and predictable, see my review on it) from the audible Michael Kramer version... but when I re-read (re-listened) with the graphic audio version I was very much impressed and entertained to the amount of unable to stop listening, despite the flaws the story has.
Narration matters. Have so more care with it.
Now, that's for the rant. On to the book.
I obtained an ebook version of this book in order to see if it was really as bad as the narrator made it out to be. I started again from the beginning, and this time it was an entirely different book.
I like the character of John Wayne Cleaver and as a person with Asperger Syndrome I can quite relate to his emotional 'handicap'. Rather, I was more confused about the other character's inability to understand him :-)
It is very clear in the book that the author is new to writing and being published. The book feels rough, unpolished. Not as a style and certainly not on purpose. Pacing is a bit off and the story style changes with abrupt bursts. But the idea of the story is very interesting, so that makes up for all the flaws.
It was interesting enough for me to want to read the second book in the series.
I believe it is classified as young adult (correct) and horror (absolutely incorrect). There was no horror in the story, not that I could find. Yes there were two monsters, but they were in no way anything close to actual horror or suspense. Actually, I was really looking forward for John to let his monster free and see what mayhem it might cause... but no such luck. Maybe better next book.