‘Tis The Season (Audiobook) Review ~ Warm & Sentimental … 9 out of 10!

Author: Alex Jane

Narrated By: Michael Fell

Release Date: October 13, 2017                                   Price:  $4.87 or 1 Credit (Audible)

Reviewed by Elaine

32500574Cover Art:  The cover is set with blue-green tones.  Two men are lying down on what I imagine is a bed.  A brown-haired man is lying with his head on his crossed arms, while a red-haired man is draped across his back, his chin and hand resting on the brown-haired man’s shoulder.  Both men’s mouths turn up in the barest hint of a smile, and they look very contented.  The title, author, and narrator’s names are clear, in white font, and easy to read.  Snow is depicted falling on the cover around them.  The cover suits Aaron and Dylan, and I was glad to see the red hair depicted on the cover.

Synopsis:  The publisher’s summary is compact, introducing Aaron as the main character and neatly setting the stage for the book.  As concise as it is, it really kind of drew me in.

Main Characters:  Aaron and Dylan meet by accident at very emotional times in both of their lives.   They are grief-stricken in their own separate ways.  Alex’s writing style is very descriptive, I could feel the sadness and grief, but also the tentative hope and the strong connection between the two men.

Secondary Characters:  Between Brian, Aaron’s college roommate and Dylan’s brother Kevin and friends the two have themselves a vital support network; the type of close-knit community of people that I love to read about.

Plot:  Two grieving men meet at an inopportune time and take a chance on getting to know each other.  There are a couple of small twists that keep the story interesting.

Narration:  I do not think I have listened to Michael Fell before.  If you are an audiobook junkie like I am, it takes a little bit to settle into a new voice actor.  Honestly, the first thing I noticed about Michael’s work is that he has very clear enunciation.  It really stood out at first, not because it was overly done, but because it is the best job I have heard in a while.   I think Michael has a pleasant, smooth voice and I really liked his take on Dylan.  My favorite parts are when Aaron talks to John – the softness of his voice, the quiet wistfulness, and Dylan’s tearful confession in the epilogue.  The sadness and self-recrimination in his voice were spot on.  I really enjoyed his work and think he was an excellent fit for this novella.

Flow/Continuity:  There were no issues that broke up the flow or continuity in the book.  Novella sized, the story felt complete and moved at a good, steady pace.  I like the notation of the months in the chapter titles, it really cements how much time has passed in my mind, and I am quite partial to it  especially when the story takes place over a more extended period of time.

Conflict and Climax:  Straightforward plot with just a couple of small twists, it was a slow and steady climb without a lot of angst overall.  There are some genuinely heartfelt moments, but even though Aaron and Dylan are not in the best frame of mind when they meet, their healing process did not overshadow the story at all.

Writing Style:  This book was written in third person.

Editing:  No editing issues were heard.

Conclusion:  Alex did a great job with this novella.  I am not partial to shorter audiobooks, and at just under three hours I usually would pass this by.  But I do enjoy Alex’s writing skills, so I thought I would give it a try.  I was pleasantly surprised how much it didn’t bother me at all!  Nothing was missing, and it really felt like a full sized book.  The epilogue played a big part of that.  The heartfelt conversations it contained really touched me personally, and Michael’s talent undoubtably brought it to another level.  I look forward to more of his work and the characters he brings to life.  I definitely recommend this audiobook.

I give this a warm and sentimental 9 out of 10.

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