Review: Crystal King

  • Title:
    • Crystal King
  • Author:
    • John Olsen
  • Release:
    • April 5, 2018
  • Format:
    • Audiobook
  • Narrator:
    • Andrew L. Barnes
  • Series:
    • Riland Throne, # 1

I had a difficult time getting into this book at first. It tries to kill off a bunch of characters and set up this intense danger. It doesn’t feel earned because we as readers have no idea who these people are, or why we should care. It spends a decent chunk of time on world-building and setting up the new Baron. I eventually started to care, around the 1 hour, 5 minutes mark left (listening at 2.55x speed).

That last hour and 5 minutes really pulled me in though. The amount of story crammed into that section of the book was impressive. I kept expecting it to be over and it kept giving me interesting scenario after interesting scenario. For me, I think it would hold up better to a re-read (listen), as I’d have some understanding of who these people are now. if you’re a first-time reader, I think you should stick with it. The last third is pretty damn good and well worth waiting for.

I think using crystals to control animals/people is extremely creative. It led to some exciting, and fun combat scenes. I don’t care so much about the lore or how it works, it’s just intriguing how different animals are used for different types of combat, as well as how their handlers develop a bond with them.

Overall, the narration was excellent, he did a superb job with voices and acting out lines. Each character was emoted well and felt unique. The audio did have some issues with ridiculously loud, poorly balanced audio playing during chapter transitions. They drowned out the narration and made it difficult to concentrate on what anybody was saying.

NOTE: This copy was provided to me free of charge as a digital review copy. The opinions stated in this review are mine and mine alone, I was not paid or requested to give this book a certain rating, suggestion, or approval.

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