Apologies to Queen. I refer to “another audiobook” in my blog title. I finally gave up on the better quality YA audiobook I was listening to this morning. It was becoming so mechanical, more boxes being ticked off on the author’s check sheet. Two competing love interests? Check. Formerly powerless person suddenly finding power and being thrust right into the center of everything? Check. Death of a relative to ratchet up the stakes? Check. One of the “bad” people being revealed as good? Check.
The writing was decent enough, but I’ve heard this story before. Like a hundred times in the past few years. There was nothing highly original about it. Nothing about the MC that sparkled. Just another “girl who had it tough suddenly finding good.” Hunger Games did it way better I’m afraid. Even Divergent did. Maybe it’s just me becoming jaded on the constant stream of YA dystopia, all of it written and promoted by agencies with their eyes towards “movie deal”. None of it is lasting work that, fifty years down the road, anyone will remember much about.
So I switched to something I very much hoped to like better. Star Wars: Aftermath, by Chuck Wendig, a book I’ve really been looking forward to. Let’s start with the good stuff (so far): snappy writing, interesting plot, new characters I’m not familiar with hooked in with some old ones we didn’t see enough of in the original movies (Wedge Antilles, for one). The sound quality is excellent as well, nice and loud and with a fantastic narrator.
The bad? Well, like the previous Battlefield Earth, this is an overproduced piece of fluff. Sound effects, music, and lots of other distractions float along with the reading. Okay, I get it, you’re trying to set ambiance, pull us into this world we all know so well. But hey, folks, guess what? I KNOW this fucking world! When the narrator tells me about tie fighters firing at a Corellian freighter, I fucking know what that sounds like! And I don’t need music to tell me how to react emotionally.
Sigh… I’ll probably go ahead and power through this one, though, even with the extra sounds and music. The writing is too good not to, and I’m digging the story already. But fuck you, Disney. Fuck you right up the thermal port.