Review – Audiobook: Resonance by A.J. Scudiere
Genre: Speculative Fiction
Publisher: Griffyn Ink/ Skyboat Productions
Publish Date: October 21, 2008
Format: Audio, 16 hours | 25 minutes
Audio Listening Level: Intermediate
Something is causing disturbing changes across the planet Earth. A geologist discovers evidence of a magnetic shift at the poles, two doctors from the CDC are investigating a flu-like killer disease and a biologist finds mutated frogs and other oddities in the animal world. What do these seemingly unrelated events have in common? Each is occurring in a hotspot, a pocket of reverse polarity. The polar shift, a reversal of earth’s north and south pole’s magnet field, has already begun.
The plot shifts between the hotspots as each of the characters works to determine the cause of the strange occurences. Eventually their stories merge and it appears the mystery of what has been happening is solved. But no, the author throws us a curve and we get a twist at the end that I didn’t see coming.
I enjoy my science fiction intertwined with science fact, and this story does not disappoint. The plot is filled with interesting science both real and hypothetical. I found the detailed analysis to be both intelligent and thought-provoking, but never so complicated that the reader would be lost in the science. While I consider this mainly science fiction, it is a mix of genres: part mystery, thriller and suspense with a little romance all in an apocalyptic setting.
I listened to the audio version and, at over 16 hours, at times it felt a little long. (But that’s my opinion. I find 12 to 14 hours to be optimal for most books.) The audio was easy to follow once I got all the characters and places straight in my mind. The production was an AudioMovie, which was a little different from most audiobooks available today.
What is an Audiomovie? Instead of one narrator, it contains a complete cast with a different actor for each character. It also has a soundtrack with music and sound effects. For example, a phone would ring and the listener hears the ringing in the background; the voice of the caller would have that tinny telephone sound. If someone was hammering, we would hear a pounding sound effect. Some scenes had background music which faded in and out usually at the beginning or end of a chapter.
What did I think of the AudioMovie? It was quite different, but once I became acclimated to the production it was an engaging experience. I enjoyed the full cast narration. One of my pet peeves is a narrator that can’t perform the voice of the opposite sex. I would rather hear multiple actors, especially when there are a lot of characters. The sound effects were distracting at first but after a few hours I wasn’t started when I heard a ring or a bang in the background and they became a part of the story. The music was a little loud and made me think of the old daytime soap operas; for me music wasn’t necessary.
Overall a good piece of speculative fiction with interesting characters that will appeal to a wide range of readers. Those who enjoy Crichton-like thrillers should definitely give this a try.
Source: Review copy.
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