Audiobook Review: Starling by Lesley Livingston

Starling #1
Author: Lesley Livingston
Narrator: Lesley Livingston (author)
Reading Level: YA
Genre: Fantasy/Mythology/Paranormal
Run-time: 8 hrs, 1 min
Released: August 28th 2012
Review Source: Harper Audio
Available: Amazon

Summary: (from goodreads) Mason Starling is a champion fencer on the Gosforth Academy team, but she's never had to fight for her life. Not until the night a ferocious, otherworldly storm rips through Manhattan, trapping Mason and her teammates inside the school. Mason is besieged by nightmarish creatures more terrifying than the thunder and lightning as the raging tempest also brings a dangerous stranger into her life: a young man who remembers nothing but his name—the Fennrys Wolf. His arrival tears Mason's world apart, even as she feels an undeniable connection to him. Together, they seek to unravel the secrets of Fenn's identity as strange and supernatural forces gather around them. When they discover Mason's family—with its dark allegiance to ancient Norse gods—is at the heart of the mystery, Fennrys and Mason are suddenly faced with a terrifying future.

Set against the gritty, shadowed back-drop of New York City, this first novel in award-winning author Lesley Livingston's epic Starling Saga is an intoxicating blend of sweeping romance and pulse-pounding action.

WOW! I just finished listening to the audio version of this book and I am blown away. This story is not at all what I expected. When the story first started out I was a little confused because I thought Mason was a boy. Once I got past that part and realized Mason is a girl, the story flowed a lot better lol.

The story starts out with action and ends with action and a tiny spoiler here, it ends on a cliffhanger that left me sitting at my desk at work and I had to stop what I was doing with a very loud "WHAT?" and my mouth completely dropped open. The story did have some slow parts but being that this will be a series, there was just enough information in this book to get the reader, or in this case listener, familiar enough with the characters to want to come back and see what happens to them and see where this saga goes.


To be honest I was a little skeptical when I heard that Lesley Livingston, the author was narrating this story. I thought to myself, wow this is going to be awkward. I was pleasantly surprised. From the very beginning of this story I was sucked in. The story was good but what had me was the way Lesley portrayed her characters. It was evident from the very first line that there is a special connection between Lesley and her characters. She gave them real voices unlike any other audio book I have listened to. The fear, joy, love and sadness that came through in her reading was breathtaking. If a line said "he said with a laugh", she read it that way and it was so believable I was astonished. There was once scene where Mason was talking to another character and just listening to the audio I could hear her crying like the she would have been if I was watching the scene in a movie.

A good book will take your mind away from the real world and transport you into the story itself so you can see what you are reading. With this audio book, I felt like I was listening to a movie and I had seen over and over again because it was just so REAL.

If being the creator of a story and its characters allows you to read them with such emotion then more authors should take the time to narrate their stories. It made all of the difference in the world and I look forward to hearing more of Lesley's stories if she will be narrating them. So a small shout out to Lesley Livingston...YOU GO GIRL!!!!!!

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