Audiobook review blitz – Shadow of the Fox, The Alchemist, & Nevernight

I have a confession to make: I’m REALLY bad at reviewing most audiobooks. It isn’t that I don’t enjoy them, or that I don’t have opinions on them, or even that I don’t think as deeply about them. I love them, and lately I’ve been listening to a lot of them since my commute includes a minimum of 45ish minutes walking every day (20-25 each way from the train to the office).

But reviewing them is so hard! I can’t flag quotes that I like. I have no reference on how to spell most characters’ names or foreign words or fantastical components of the world. It’s hard to go back and double-check details I want to clarify before I write a full review.

What’s a girl to do??

I have a possible solution: a blitz of mini-reviews. Minimal details required, but still conveying my opinions on important points. Will it work? Let’s find out with a test run. Here are a few of my recent audiobooks:

Shadow of the Fox

Author: Julie Kagawa
Genre: YA fantasy
My rating: 4/5 stars
Plot (in 10 words or fewer): Japanese monsters, ancient curse, tentative alliances, budding romance, innocence, angst.
Narrators: two, both good, but the one for Tatsumi does an annoying falsetto for most female voices.
Best parts:
– Okame’s humor
– Tatsumi’s internal turmoil (love a tragic backstory)
– So many cool pieces of Japanese folklore (yay #OwnVoices!)
– Flying weasels with sickles for feet??
Worst parts:
– Slow beginning
– Meandering quest plot with few twists until the end
Will I read the sequel? Yes, for sure.

The Alchemist

Author: Paul Coehlo
Genre: classic philosophy/motivational/sort-of-religious/parable
My rating: 3/5 stars
Narrator: Decent, but I found it weird to have a narrator with a British accent for a book about a boy from Spain traveling in Africa.
Plot (in 10 words or fewer): Boy on quest. “Personal legend.” See the pyramids. Profit?
Best parts:
– Nice meditative tone
– Lots of pithy truths/quotes
– It’s a classic I guess?
– The boy is smart, pretty cool I guess
Worst parts:
– Kind of preachy
– The ending was dumb
– The alchemist himself was kind of a dick
– This book is so hyped, I felt let down
Will I read the sequel? Thank god there isn’t one.


Author: Jay Kristoff
Genre: New Adult fantasy (NOT YA)
My rating: 5/5 stars
Narrator: Perfectly captured everything with the tone of the book
Note: this was a reread preparing for Darkdawn
Plot (in 10 words or fewer): Assassin school. Blood. Love. Betrayal. Death. Twists. Magic. More death.
Best parts:
– Stellar worldbuilding (haha pun because it has three suns, so stars)
– Killer female protagonist (figuratively and literally)
– Snarky narrator (with sarcastic footnotes)
– Mr. Kindly, the talking shadow cat
– Plot. Twists. Everywhere.
– Character development is on point
Worst parts:
– Literally none
– This is one of my favorite books
Will I read the sequel? Hell yeah.

I’m planning to do a three-in-one review for all the Caraval books once I get a chance to listen to Finale. And I may go back to do a review for I Wish You All the Best, but I think it deserves a full review of praise, not just a short one like this.

What do you guys think? Is this a format you like? Should I do more of these? And how did you feel about these books?

Much love
Kathryn (“K-Specks”)

10 thoughts on “Audiobook review blitz – Shadow of the Fox, The Alchemist, & Nevernight

  1. Lyn*Nomadic Worlds September 19, 2019 / 8:36 am

    Mini-reviews sound good! I don’t listen to audios though. I tried it but it didn’t work for me 😕

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kathryn Speckels September 19, 2019 / 8:40 am

      That’s fair. It depends a lot on the narrator; I have had to quit some audiobooks because they just didn’t work for me (see my previous commentary on the atrocity of Uprooted lol). And I can only listen when doing somewhat mindless things–walking to work, getting ready in the morning, driving, cleaning the house, etc. Sitting still to listen drives me crazy; if I really want to keep listening, I take out a coloring book or something so I can multitask!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Lyn*Nomadic Worlds September 19, 2019 / 9:40 am

        Lol me too. I can’t just sit still and listen. What annoys me most is when narrators try to change the inflection of their voices to emphasis change of characters. Like a girl narrating and then a male character and it just rubs me wrong. I tried different audio books but then just gave up.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Melanie (TBR and Beyond) September 19, 2019 / 1:53 pm

    I think mini-reviews are great. As a blogger, it also just breaks up the long review after long review – that gets tiring after awhile LOL I love to throw in some mini reviews too.

    I don’t do a lot of audio books because I’m bad at concentrating with them – It’s something I’d like to learn to be better at. I really enjoy them when I do sit down and actually concentrate though. So many of my friends live by them. Audio reviews are essential for someone like me because if I sit down and the narrator is awful, it can put me off from trying again for months.

    Great reviews!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kathryn Speckels September 20, 2019 / 5:43 pm

      Thanks! It took me a while to get used to audiobooks, and it depends a lot on the narrator. And I have to be doing something else, ideally slightly mindless, in order to actually focus. I hope you find some good ones going forward–I’ll be sure to keep posting more of these, so maybe they’ll be helpful 😊


  3. confessionsofayareader September 19, 2019 / 5:23 pm

    I think this is a great way to review an audiobook. I struggle with those, too, and really liked how you formatted this.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kathryn Speckels September 20, 2019 / 5:44 pm

      Thank you!! I was hoping the format would work well, so I’m glad to hear you enjoyed it. Definitely will do more of them going forward 😊


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