Thursday, June 6, 2013

Audiobook Review: Palace of Stone (DNF)

Palace of Stone (Princess Academy, 2) by Shannon Hale read by Laura Credidio, January 8, 2013. 7 hours.  Published by AudioGo. Source: Audiobook Jukebox.
Coming down from the mountain to a new life in the city is a thrill to Miri. She and her princess academy friends have been brought to Asland to help the future princess Britta prepare for her wedding. There, Miri also has a chance to attend school—at the Queen's Castle. But as Miri befriends students who seem sophisticated and exciting she also learns that they have some frightening plans. Torn between loyalty to the princess and her new friends' ideas, between an old love and a new crush, and between her small mountain home and the bustling city, Miri looks to find her own way in this new place. Picking up where Princess Academy left off, and celebrating the joys of friendship, romance and the fate of fairy tale kingdoms, this new book delivers the completely delightful new story that fans have been waiting for.
First Sentence:
Miri woke to the insistent bleat of a goat.
Story:
While I may have DNF’d the audio version of Shannon Hale’s Palace of Stone, I definitely plan on one day finishing the story- in print- so that I can see how things play out for Miri and the other girls from Mount Eskle.

Since I did not get too far into the story, due to not enjoying the narration, I don’t really have anything that I loved about the book. Even though I don’t really have anything to say about the story, I was enjoying the author’s writing before I gave up on this one. I really like the way Ms. Hale’s writing pulls you into the lives of the characters; I also like the fact that Miri is imperfect and


The only thing I did not like about Palace of Stone, well, at least the short bit of it that I listened to, was that it seemed that Miri’s character had done some backsliding. It might have been the narration, but to me it seemed that Miri was less independent and more of a scaredy-cat then she was in the first book. Like I said, not sure if that’s how she would come across if I had read the book instead of listening to it, but I felt that her character had definitely taken a few steps backwards in progress. 

Narration:

I wish I could say that I enjoyed listening to The Palace of Stone, but alas, I cannot. While I was enjoying the story, I could not get into the book due to the narration.

While I generally did not like the narration, there is just one point of this audiobook that I did enjoy listening to. The quarry speech songs that introduced a couple of the chapters. Just listening to those sections reminded me of scenes from a couple of movies (like the opening song in Pirates 3) with the low, gravelly sound of the men singing. Unfortunately, the one upside could not make up for the rest of the narration or convince me to carry on with this book.

The one thing that really turned me off from completing Palace of Stone was the narrator for Miri. I wanted to pull my hair out the first time I heard here do Miri's voice because she made her sound like a five year old with a mouth full of spit. To say that I was disappointed would be an understatement.
  I felt that that the reader completely missed the mark with her portrayal of Miri, which made me unhappy because I was really looking forward to seeing how things would play out in the sequel to Princess Academy.

Final Verdict: An interesting story, just not one I'd recommend listening to. 

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