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Saturday, October 29, 2011

Audiobook Review: Moonbane

Title: Moonbane
Author: Al Sarrantonio
Audiobook Narrated By: Kevin Readdean
Length: Unabridged
Publisher: CrossRoad Press
Genre: horror
Copy for review provided by the publisher via the narrator in anticipation of an honest review
Listen to a sample

Synopsis:When amateur astronomer Jason Blake and his son are out star-gazing one night, thousands of meteors suddenly fill the sky. Some of them fall nearby, but when Jason and Ritchie go to investigate, they are attacked by a werewolf-like creature, and Ritchie is injured.

This is a novel of relationships, of apocalyptic adventure, and very personal sacrifice. Fast-paced and gaining speed with each minute, Moonbane is a poetic novel that works on a number of unexpected levels, running the gamut from taut suspense to outright mayhem.

Just in time for Halloween, a spooky audiobook for your listening pleasure! I broke my unofficial cardinal rule of audiobooks with this one, which is that I read the print book first and then listen to the book afterwards, and I'm happy to say that I enjoyed this book just fine. It was creepy, weird, horrific, and ponderous all at the same time, with some deft twists and elements that I didn't expect.

What starts off as father-son bonding time goes horribly, horribly wrong as poet Jason and his son, Ritchie camp out to watch a meteor shower that actually is the contamination of the earth by pathogens that cause lycanthropic madness. Richie is injured, and you can probably guess what happens next: he's infected, and he goes crazy.

That isn't a spoiler, believe it or not, because the real action in the story stems from Jason having to figure out just what the heck he's supposed to do now that he's got a lycanthrope for a son and the world' gone crazy. These meteors fell all over the place, you see, so the end of the world is literally unfolding in real time for Jason. My favorite parts of the story dealt with Jason trying to gain information and figure out how he's going to survive in his new environment, where he has to avoid all the typical post-apocalyptic pitfalls, like starvation, but also some new ones, like being eaten by werewolves. Nothing serious, I'm sure. He also should have gone grocery shopping a little earlier- doesn't it figure that the world starts ending before you have a chance to get to the store?

The author does a good job of communicating just how horrific the whole experience is for Jason without bogging the story down, and the narrator keeps the pace and flow of the story moving nicely as well. The story was long enough to be engaging and detailed but short enough to listen to in a day, which is nice. This isn't something that I necessarily would have picked up on impulse, just because of where my reading/listening habits tend to lie, but I'm glad it was brought to my attention. If you're looking for something spooky for your Halloween weekend, consider that need met.

Overall Grade:
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