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Narrator's voice sounds completely different

3 out of 5 stars
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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-10-2020

I've never left a "negative" review before, so let me begin by saying that I LOVED this book. Even though I couldn't listen to more than a few hours of the audiobook, I have already read the paperback 18 months ago and I remember loving it. I also thoroughly enjoyed book 1 and 2 as audiobooks. This one however, I am very sad to say, is ruined by the complete change in the narrator's voice. I don't normally mind slight changes, and I'll overlook a whole range of things when it comes to narrators because I feel it's important to keep the same voice for a whole series. But I can't listen to this one. The narrator's cadence, inflection, and even accent lilt is completely different from book 1 and 2.
That might sound really fussy of me, but consider:
When the narration voice changes THIS dramatically and the novel is written from first-person perspective, it is not only the narration that is affected. The voice of the character (Paige) telling the audience their story changes, and when that happens the audience's perception of all the character's motivations, attitudes and dedications changes as well, which in turn affects how you perceive the entire story. Characters go from sounding sincere and heartfelt in the first 2 books, to suddenly coming across as flippant and nonchalant in this one. Other characters sound too harsh for their personalities. Paige seems like a different person. All because of the voice shift from the narrator.

There are also other issues with the accents and continuity. Wynn for example, a character we've been told sounds as though she came from Dublin, had a perfect thick Irish accent in book 2. In "The Song Rising" however, she's suddenly being given an English accent that shifts from Londoner to Camden as if the narrator can't remember whether Wynn is meant to sound like Ivey because they both came from the same community. Likewise Ognena Maria's accent shifts in the beginning of the book. A few hours in, hers does begin to improve while Wynn's becomes worse.

I don't know what's caused this shift. I hope that it's a case of the producer of the audiobook directing the narrator poorly, and in which case I hope it's resolved for the rest of the remaining 7-book series. I hope that whoever's job it is to track continuity actually pays closer attention to which characters are given which accents in future books. Above all, I hope the narrator returns to reading the books as she did for 1 and 2, as they were fantastic. I don't want to see the narrator changed, just reading the way she used to!

This is a great book, but poorly narrated.