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Posts Categorized: Bruce Mann

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Audio Review: Ash Mistry and the City of Death by Sarwat Chadda

Posted by Irish in Audiobook, Middle Grade, Review1 Comment

Audio Review: Ash Mistry and the City of Death by Sarwat ChaddaAsh Mistry and the City of Death by Sarwat Chadda
Narrator: Bruce Mann
Series: Ash Mistry Chronicles, Book 2
Also in this series: Ash Mistry and the Savage Fortress
Published by Listening Library on 29 October 2013
Genres: Middle Grade, Mystery & Detective, Urban Fantasy
Length: 10 hours 23 mintues
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible.com
Goodreads
four-half-stars
Also by this author: Ash Mistry and the Savage Fortress

Place(s) Traveled To: London, England // Calcutta, India // Lanka, India (Fictional)

First Line(s): “I can’t do it,” said Ash. He’d beaten a demon king. He’d faced an immortal sorcerer. He’d saved the world. He shouldn’t be scared of anything. But fear now grabbed his chest with icy fingers. “It’s suicide.”

Ash Mistry and the City of Death by Sarwat Chadda is the second book in his middle series the Ash Mistry Chronicles. This is a series that is perfect for all Percy Jackson fans and those that just love edge of your seat action. I found the Ash Mistry Chronicles to be better written and more exciting than the Percy Jackson books. The Indian mythology is fascinating and I loved learning more about it. Though there were times when the things that Ash said or did were a bit cringe-worthy. But he is just a teenager and human and as such is prone to making some bad life choices. What is important is that he eventually learns from this bad choices and finds the right path to take.

There is so much to love in this book and I found myself wanting to listen to it every chance I could just to see what would happen next. How would Ash and Pavrati manage to overcome this newest obstacle. What stupid decision would Ash make next and how would he deal with the consequences. Because there are always consequences and that is what I love about a Sarwat Chadda book. Things happen, there is a cause and effect and the characters must deal with the fall out…for good or bad.

Another thing that I loved with this story was the appearance of Elaine. If you’ve read Chadda’s Young Adult series then you’d know her from her role in those books. I loved this cross over and how the two worlds are both the same and different and it just adds a whole new level of awesome to it all. The only that would make it better is if Billi SanGreal had made a cameo of some sort. But then I mentioned that in my review of Ash Mistry and the Savage Fortress and I am sure that it will be something that I will continue to wish for long after this series is over.

The only drawback on this one for me was the narrator, Bruce Mann. I remember enjoying his style in Savage Fortress but this time around there was just something so slow and stilted about it all. It often reminded me of William Shatner back in his 1960s Star Trek days where it seemed to take him 20 minutes to say something that most normal people would spit out in 5. When I tried to speed up the narration it just sounded a bit tinny and cartoonish and so I was forced to deal with the overly slow speaking style.

Despite the poor narration style the story was gripping and engaging enough to keep me engrossed in the story. The action is crazy and over the top and I sometimes forgot that I was listening to a middle grade story. But the worst part of this book, the super most horrible thing…was the ending. Oh Em Gee. That ending! What a killer! Such an edge of your seat, totally took me by surprise cliff hanger ending. And yet at the same time it totally made sense and was so perfect for the story. Its the perfect set up for the third, and final book, Ash Mistry and the World of Darkness. Which is oh so cruelly NOT available in the US. Thankfully though the kind folks at Foyles UK were willing to send it across the pond to me. (Oh internet, how I love thee!)

If you are looking for a new read then you should really check out this series. It is just filled with everything you could possibly want in a book and then some. I am not much of a middle grade reader but if more of the age level was written like this I would definitely be a bigger reader. This series just makes me all bouncy with excitement and I want everyone to read it. So much so that I am giving away the first book in December 2013 and you can enter to win it by CLICKING HERE. Now all that’s left for me is to read the final book…and yet at the same time I don’t want to read it as I don’t want it to end.

irishdarkblue

four-half-stars
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Saturday, November 9, 2013

Audio Review; Ash Mistry and the Savage Fortress by Sarwat Chadda

Posted by Irish in 5 Stars, Audiobook, Middle Grade, Review1 Comment

Audio Review; Ash Mistry and the Savage Fortress by Sarwat ChaddaAsh Mistry and the Savage Fortress by Sarwat Chadda
Narrator: Bruce Mann
Series: Ash Mistry Chronicles,
Also in this series: Ash Mistry and the City of Death
Published by Listening Library on 26 February 2013
Genres: Fantasy, Middle Grade, Mystery & Detective
Length: 8 hours and 8 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible.com
Goodreads
five-stars
Also by this author: Ash Mistry and the City of Death

 

 

Place(s) Traveled to: Rajasthan, India // Varanasi, India

First Line: “That is so not a cobra” said Ash. It couldn’t be.

Ash Mistry Chronicles Series Order:
Book 1 – Ash Mistry and the Savage Fortress
Book 2 – Ash Mistry and the City of Death
Book 3 – Ash Mistry and the World of Darkness

Ash Mistry and the Savage Fortress by Sarwat Chadda is a middle grade fantasy adventure story that will keep readers of all ages on the ed of their seats. I thought that Sarwat Chadda had some crazy intense moments in The Devil’s Kiss and Dark Goddess but in some ways those books pale in comparison to this one. Perhaps Savage Fortress is a tad more shocking as it is a middle grade story and you expect things to be more safe and tame even while the main characters are going through a grand adventure. This is not the case in Savage Fortress this is no safe and tame story but one filled with the gritty realities of life. Ash Mistry and his sister Lucky are visiting his aunt and uncle in India and what was supposed to be a hot and boring trip quickly turns into a race for survival. Not just for Ash and his family but for the entire world.

Chadda wastes no time in bringing the reader into the story and its not long before events really start to unfold. At first there are just a few inklings that something is not quite right and so you peek over the edge for a closer look. When you are pushed from behind and remain in free fall until you smack into the end of the story. As a reader you are helpless to do anything but travel along side of Ash as he makes various choices and hoping with each one that its the right one. For the consequences of making the wrong choice can be dire.

This is one of those audios where I found myself making excuses to go for car rides just so I could get in more listening time. The narrator, Bruce Mann, did an excellent job bringing all the various characters to life. He even did a decent job with the female voices. But where Mann really brings this book to life is with all the pronunciations. Looking through my print copy afterwards there are words and names I know I would have read incorrectly if Mann hadn’t been there to read them for me. He is also pretty brilliant at bringing out an angsty, bored, and oft times sarcastic teenage boy to life. Listing to Ash Mistry and the Savage Fortress and I totally believed that a teenaged Ash was telling me his story. That paired with Chadda’s amazing descriptions and action scenes really makes you think that you are in the story seeing and hearing everything that is being described.

If you are a fan of Chadda’s young adult books then you really need to pick up his middle grade books. Nothing about this book felt middle grade, other than the age of the main character. And if you haven’t read anything by Sarwat Chadda then you really don’t know what you are missing out on. Every book is just filled with amazing story telling and writing to be envious over. These are books that I can’t recommend enough and are brilliant for all ages. Young and old can enjoy these stories and I for one can not wait to dive into the next Ash Mistry adventure as I wait in vain for more Billi SanGreal books. But at least there was a mention of Billi and the Templars in this book. This gives me hope of a potential cross over and no one better pop my bubble of hope if you know what’s good for you! Now go, do yourself a favor and go read these books!

irishdarkblue
five-stars
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