Tag Archives: kim mai guest

Incarceron by Catherine Fisher

Incarceron by Catherine Fisher (unabridged audiobook read by Kim Mai Guest; 11 hrs 37 min on 10 CDs): So there’s this gigantic prison, enclosed to the point where its inhabitants aren’t even sure the outside even exists, where everyone is poor and savage. Finn believes he was born outside, though he cannot prove it. Elsewhere, Claudia lives in a world of “protocol” that forces everyone to live like it’s sometime in the 1800s. She’s the daughter of the highly political Warden of Incarceron, and as such she is betrothed to a bratty prince she hates. While I kind of enjoyed not knowing who all was telling the truth or what exactly was real (Is Claudia really outside or is she in Incarceron without knowing it? If not, where is this gigantic prison located?), the characters were kind of flat and the plot was kind of boring. Maybe someone else might get swept up in this world, but I spent much of my time waiting for everyone to just get on with it.

A note on the audio: I question the wisdom of hiring an American narrator when all the characters speak with British accents. Especially when said narrator isn’t especially good at said accents.

Also posted on BookCrossing.

How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff

How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff (unabridged audiobook read by Kim Mai Guest; 5 hours on 4 discs): Rebellious American teenager Daisy is sent to England to live with her aunt and cousins, and a somewhat nebulous world war breaks out soon thereafter. It felt a bit like the author was wondering what would happen if World War II broke out today, except without actually picking specific countries to go to war with. Of course, the enemy’s identity isn’t all that important, since Daisy is the narrator and has little interest in politics anyway. The story is told well, with some horrific scenes, some sad scenes, and some happy scenes, and all in all I found it a perfectly believable representation of how such a person would deal with such a situation. I was somewhat confused by the weird psychic powers held by some of the characters, if only because everything else in the tale was completely realistic. In short, I’m having difficulty summing up my feelings about this book. It was almost equal parts trivial and serious, narrated by a character with whom I only somewhat sympathized. I’m glad to have read this, but I’m not sure I’d necessarily recommend it to anyone else. If I were to recommend it at all, I’d definitely go with the audio version, as I believe the punctuation issues in the print would drive me absolutely bats.

A note on the audio: Guest was quite good as the narrator, but it was a little strange that none of the English characters had English accents. Even so, she managed to make Daisy both believable and listenable as a pretty typical American teenager – no small task, that.

Also posted on BookCrossing.

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