Christa Seeley's Reviews > The Hum and the Shiver

The Hum and the Shiver by Alex Bledsoe
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Mar 06, 12

bookshelves: 2011, format-audiobook, genre-fantasy
Read from December 13 to 19, 2011

Originally reviewed at < a href="http://christashookedonbooks.blogspot... on Books

The Hum and the Shiver is a fantasy novel, but you wouldn't know it right away. One of the surprising things about this novel, was just how subtle the fantasy was. It started off simply, the only daughter of a local family, returning from Iraq. As the story progressed, however, and you learned more about that family, you were slowly eased into the fantastic elements of the story and before you knew it, you were reading a fantasy novel.

In the same vein, I liked how vague the Tufa identity was kept. At a certain point you know there is something more to them. That they aren't just any old society, with unqiue and quirky traditions. There is definitely something magical going on. Illusions are made, but its not until the very end of the book that you find out exactly what they are. I liked this air of mystery surrounding it and felt like it kept me from making assumptions about what kind of book it was going to be.

The Hum and the Shiver is also filled with brilliant, colourful characters. There were so many loud and large personalities that the story never had a dull moment. Out of all these characters though Bronwyn is by far my favourite. She's brave and strong and outspoken. She made me laugh but she was also someone a felt a real connection with. She was well rounded and her character developed every step of the way – good character development is something I haven't seen enough of lately.

In my opinion, this is a great book, mostly for the reasons listed above, but also because of how open it is to a variety of readers. There's a young female lead (Brownyn), who reminds me of a lot of the strong females you see in YA books nowadays (*disclaimer: this is not a YA novel. This is adult fantasy*), there's strong fantasy elements for those who enjoy the genre, and there's beautiful writing and scenery, right alongside sex, violence and mayhem. It's all here in one neat little package. I highly recommend this book for fantasy fans but also for anyone who's looking for something unique and well written.

Notes on the Audio
This audio was split between two narrators. One who took on all the female parts and the other the male. Both were strong readers with pleasant voices. However, I did run into some trouble. When swtiching between characters there was very little variation between voices and at times I got confused or was unsure who was talking to whom. It didn't happen too much, but enough that I noticed it and had to go back and re-listen to one or two parts.

That being said, I really enjoyed Stefan Rudnicki's narration. He has such a deep and soothing voice. And depending on the scene, it could sound calming, threatening, mysterious etc. It was very versatile and I would listen to other books narrated by him (as long as there was some vocal changes from character to character).
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Reading Progress

12/14/2011
40.0% "Moving slowly, but with the promise that it's going somewhere. I can live with that."
12/15/2011
55.0% "Not as fantasy as I originally thought but still a great story"
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