Author: Mark Lawrence –
Publisher: HarperCollins –
Genre: Fantasy, Sci-Fi –
Overall rating: 4/5 –
Writing: 3/5 –
Duration: 18:31 (The Girl and the Stars), 16:49 (The Girl and the Mountain), 20:46 (The Girl and the Moon) (very long) –
Narrator: Helen Duff –
Narrator/performance: 5/5 –
Impressions: 5/5 –
Performance errors: 0/5 –
Complexity/reading level: 4/5 –
Audience: Young Adult
This review refers to three books written by Mark Lawrence: The Girl and the Stars (2020), The Girl and the Mountain (2021) and The Girl and the Moon (2022), as performed by Helen Duff.
In this review I rate narration higher than the writing. There are two reasons for that. Firstly, I liked Helen Duff’s performance and liked it a lot. I do not know her usual style yet but it is fair to say that the approach she took with the Book of The Ice served the trilogy rather well. She applied complete stoicism to all non-dialogues, making some of the longer descriptions of fighting or struggle very elegant. It somehow made the books more pleasurable. The second reason is that Mark Lawrence’s books are long and rich in elaborate descriptions of fighting, bringing to mind expressive anime productions. In some places, the story appeared to collapse under the sheer weight of words. If the narrator anticipated anything at any point, not sharing her thoughts through intonation helped in moments where the story took a surprising turn. Even so, I needed a break somewhere midway the third novel. During this break, I wondered how the voyage could have been made without any wood… Was there an error in the story? The trilogy is surely worth finishing though.
The story contains a couple of cameos and references, one to a character from The Red Queen Series and one from The Wee Free Men (which I found hilarious). I also greatly enjoyed the idea of developing a villain character against the rules, against fate or even against the expected sentiments of readers. This single element makes the story worth recommending.
According to the golden principle of trilogy audiobook covers, there is a mismatch. We already know that this is the way to go with audiobooks and I would not expect anything else. The first two covers are black but the third one is grayish white. They all feature the same girl which of course is a reason to celebrate. Moreover, the lettering is almost the same. The artwork is fine and the style rather typical of fantasy young adult novels, guaranteeing that the books reach their intended audience. Altogether, a successful production.
Cover Photo by Jacob Campbell on Unsplash