Audiobook Mini-reviews: The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon by David Grann; The Year of Fog by Michelle Richmond; and Angelology by Danielle Trussoni

Title: The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon
Author: David Grann
Genre: Non-fiction, history
Publisher: Vintage
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Source: Audiobook from the public library
Audiobook reader: Mark Deakins
First line: On a cold January day in 1925, a tall, distinguished gentleman hurried across the docks in Hoboken, New Jersey, toward the SS Vauban, a five-hundred-and-eleven-foot ocean liner bound for Rio de Janeiro.

This is the type of non-fiction I love, the kind that teaches and entertains at the same time. Percy Fawcett is a fascinating historical figure, and his quest to find the Lost City of Z was an obsession that cost him everything. There are two stories here: the story of Fawcett’s expeditions to the Amazon, and the story of author David Grann’s research on Fawcett that ultimately led him to follow Fawcett’s tracks to South America. The Amazon itself is also a main character, with wonderful description that convinced me that, while it may be beautiful, the bugs are enough to keep me from ever visiting. Mark Deakins is the audiobook narrator, and he has a terrific voice for non-fiction: informative and personable.

Title: The Year of Fog
Author: Michelle Richmond
Genre: Contemporary fiction
Publisher: Bantam Discovery
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Source: Audiobook from the public library
Audiobook reader: Carrington MacDuffie
First line: Here is the truth, this is what I know: we were walking on Ocean Beach, hand in hand.

From the outside, The Year of Fog would appear to be a mystery or thriller. It does have a mystery at its core, but it is also beautifully written fiction about the guilt a woman feels when her fiance’s daughter disappears on her watch. Abby refuses to give up hope that Emma is still alive, even when Emma’s father determines that he must move on or simply curl up and stop living. As Abby searches for some clue to what might have happened on the beach that day, she becomes obsessed with remembering every little detail, convinced that she’s missing something that will lead to Emma’s recovery. Her story is interspersed with the information she is learning about how human memory works, as well as memories from her own past. Professionally, Abby is a photographer, and as the story is told in first person, her knack for capturing people, places, and moments comes through on every page. Carrington MacDuffie’s voice is a good fit for Abby’s and Emma’s story.

Title: Angelology
Author: Danielle Trussoni
Genre: Paranormal fiction
Publisher: Penguin
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Source: Audiobook from the public library
Audiobook reader: Susan Denaker

Oh, the cruelty of the cliff-hanger! I very much enjoyed listening to Danielle Trussoni’s novel about the study of Angelology. She has created a complete history and mythology of the Nephilim: half-human, half-angelic creatures that live among us. The story spans generations, and is intricately woven into the worlds of art and literature and religion. The book was complex without being confusing, and peopled with villains full of malice and heroes and heroines who are human and determined and frail and real. At the heart of the novel is a search for an ancient artifact, the Lyre of Orpheus, which can turn the tide in the battle between humanity and the Nephilim. I did not realize, however, that this was the first book in a planned series, and the ending totally left me hanging – a feeling I do not enjoy. I can’t remember who said it, but this thought sums it up: Write well enough to make me want to read the next book; don’t leave me hanging so much that I feel like I have to. The audio edition is definitely the way to go with this one, as Susan Denaker voices each character perfectly, whether they’re from France, Russia, Japan, the US, or a host of other places.

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14 Responses to Audiobook Mini-reviews: The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon by David Grann; The Year of Fog by Michelle Richmond; and Angelology by Danielle Trussoni

  1. Sandy
    Twitter: youvegottaread
    says:

    Oh crap. Not another trilogy! I’m going to rip out my hair! I just wrote up my review of Angelology, soon to come, and I think I said that I preferred the story just stop. I did enjoy the audio experience on that one. I also have The Lost City of Z in print form, that I will get to someday.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      Sandy – it probably wouldn’t have bothered me as much if I had known going in that it was setting up a series, but for some reason I had it in my head that it was a stand-alone – and then the ending had me looking it up. The author is working on book 2 – Angelopolis – right now.

  2. Rebecca Rasmussen
    Twitter: thebirdsistersgmail.com
    says:

    Ooh the first one sounds amazing. I definitely would love to read about adventures in the Amazon, etc. :) Or hear about them!

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      Rebecca – since I’m a wimp when it comes to exotic climates, bugs, and food – I love being an armchair traveler to those kinds of places through my reading. :)

  3. Vasilly
    Twitter: Vasilly
    says:

    Angelology sounds amazing! I think I’ll wait until book two comes out before I start reading the trilogy. Glad to hear you enjoyed your reads.

  4. I’ve heard The Lost City of Z is great and I’ve wanted to read a Michelle Richmond book for a while. Thanks for your reviews!

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      Kathy – I’m definitely looking forward to reading more of Richmond’s work.

  5. Yvette says:

    I loved LOST CITY OF Z by David Grann when I read it last year. I still love it. This book is screaming to be made into a film, I wonder if anyone will bite.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      Yvette – I did read that Brad Pitt’s production company bought the film rights to Lost City of Z – so maybe!

  6. Beth F
    Twitter: BethFishReads
    says:

    Oh I loved the audio of Angelology — the narrator was fabulous. (hope you plan to link these reviews to Audiobook Jukebox :-) ).

    Thanks for the heads-up on Lost City. I hadn’t really thought about reading/listening to it until your short review.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      Beth – yes, I will definitely link to Audiobook Jukebox – I just wasn’t sure if you’d want the mini-reviews. :)

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