This is the 2nd book in the Rai-Kirah trilogy, which I originally read in print five or six years ago. This past November, I started listening to the series in audio during commutes. I’m a terrible audiobook listener, but this series is one of my very few successes.
In my review of the first book, I wrote at excessive length about my difficulties with audiobooks and why this series is working for me, so I don’t want to repeat myself too much here. However, I do want to comment again on the narrator, Kevil Stillwell. He sets the perfect tone for the main character, the first-person narrator for the story, and he uses recognizably distinct voices for the other main characters. Most of his reading is done in a fairly understated way. When he does get more dramatic, it’s always at an appropriate moment, and it has occasionally given me chills. For me, it’s so much more effective when a narrator saves the drama for special moments.
This story begins a couple years after the previous book ended. It tells a complete story, with the main issues resolved at the end, but the foundation needed to truly appreciate it is set in the first book, Transformation. I wouldn’t recommend reading this book first. There were many new and interesting twists that built on the things we had learned in the first book. In particular, we learn a lot more about the demons and how the Ezzarians ended up being responsible for protecting the world against them.
There was a lengthy section around the middle that started to feel like it was dragging a little. Our main character is cut off from everything familiar and, most importantly, he was cut off from all of the secondary characters I enjoyed so much. The story was still interesting, but my attention started drifting more frequently than it had before. I remember being completely absorbed by the entire series when I read it in print, so my perspective is likely the result of listening to it over a very long period of time in audio, a format with which I have trouble paying attention to begin with. Instead of that section lasting for a day or two of reading, it lasted for weeks’ worth of commutes.
There were several great moments throughout the book, and I particularly loved the ending. I’m not going to have any more opportunities to listen to audiobooks this week, but I look forward to starting the final book next Monday.