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October 25, 2013 / Leslie

Review – Audiobook: The Never List by Koethi Zan

Never List by Koethi ZanThe Never List
by Koethi Zan
Narrated by Kristen Sieh

Genre: Thriller
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Publish Date: July 16, 2013
Format: Audio, 8 hours | 39 minutes
Audio Listening Level: Intermediate
Rating: 3½ of 5

Publisher’s Synopsis:

For years, best friends Sarah and Jennifer kept what they called the “Never List”: a list of actions to be avoided, for safety’s sake, at all costs. But one night, against their best instincts, they accept a cab ride with grave, everlasting consequences. For the next three years, they are held captive with two other girls in a dungeon-like cellar by a connoisseur of sadism.

Ten years later, at thirty-one, Sarah is still struggling to resume a normal life, living as a virtual recluse under a new name, unable to come to grips with the fact that Jennifer didn’t make it out of that cellar. Now, her abductor is up for parole and Sarah can no longer ignore the twisted letters he sends from jail.

My Thoughts:

This started out very strong as Sarah’s traumatic experience and the effect it had on her was revealed. Because of her ordeal she is paranoid of everyone and everything, and with good reason. She works from home, has her groceries delivered and hesitates to ever leave her apartment, doing so only when necessary. Her desire to forget what happened is so great that she even took on a new identify and began calling herself Caroline.

Now, ten years later, Sarah has decided it’s time to face her fears and testify against her abductor. She also wants to find Jennifer’s body which was never recovered. Inexplicably she sets out on an investigation on her own, without the help of the police. This takes her to some pretty seedy and scary places. This was the part of the plot I found implausible. It’s unrealistic that someone who has been that traumatized could undergo this kind of transformation and be able to function when the previous week she was frightened to leave her apartment. But Sarah did. As she repeatedly headed into danger I kept thinking, “Don’t go in there, anyone can see it’s a trap”, and in she went. And why didn’t she let the police help? I was never clear on that either.

Despite an at times unbelievable protagonist, this is a fast-paced, compelling psychological thriller that was hard to put down. The action moves quickly, changes direction a few times and doesn’t always head where you think it will. Considering the subject matter, an abductor that likes to torture and inflict pain, it wasn’t overly gruesome, although more sensitive readers might find parts of it a little graphic. The details of what happened to the girls during those years in the basement were left to the reader’s imagination.

The audio was performed by Koethi Zan and was a pleasure to listen to. She added just the right amount of urgency and suspense to her narration to match the fast pace of the story. In spite of a few flaws, I enjoyed the book and found it to be an entertaining eight and a half hours.

RIP VIII——————————–
Linked to the R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril, VIII event.
Source: Review copy provided by Penguin Audio.
© 2013 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.



Leave a Comment
  1. irene / Oct 25 2013 9:52 am

    This sounds too scary for me, although very goood. Certainly worthy of the R.I.P. challenge. Boo! Great review.


    • Leslie / Oct 25 2013 10:45 am

      It’s definitely creepy. If you let the story stay with you, you’ll be looking over your shoulder for bad guys for at least a few days.


  2. BermudaOnion / Oct 25 2013 10:02 am

    I think I liked this a little more than you did. Did you feel like things were set up for a sequel?


    • Leslie / Oct 25 2013 10:52 am

      I can see the potential for a sequel now that you mention it. I did like the story – it had a lot of potential – but what bothered me was the feeling it was written for an hour long TV show – the kind where you know the heroine is going to do something completely stupid in order to solve the crime or mystery and of course things turn out just fine in spite of it all. In a novel there is time to explain behavior and give more background and the author didn’t provide enough of that. Otherwise it would have been a 4-star book for me.


  3. Suko / Oct 25 2013 3:11 pm

    This sounds really scary, Leslie! A great choice for the R.I.P. challenge!


  4. Diane@BibliophilebytheSea / Oct 26 2013 6:50 am

    None of the libraries in our system have this book…weird. Guess I’d have to read my eGalley. Sorry it wasn’t better.


  5. Beth F / Oct 26 2013 7:16 am

    We really loved this audio but felt that several story lines were just dropped. Am also thinking that there must be a sequel planned.


  6. stacybuckeye / Nov 1 2013 9:37 am

    I need to write my review for this and it will be similar to yours. Jason and I listened to it on our road trip and I kept saying things like, ‘are you kidding me?’ It was fast paced and kept our interest. She has potential!


    • Leslie / Nov 1 2013 10:06 am

      Yeah, I think a lot of readers were slapping their heads and saying, “Really?”. I would definitely read this author again.


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