Audiobooks, ratings, reviews (beta)



a woman in a hidden harden, decorative

Author: Arkady Martine –

Publisher: Tantor Audio –

Genre: Science Fiction, Horror –

Overall rating: 5/5 –

Writing: 5/5 –

Duration: 4:12 h (short) –

Narrator: Raquel Beattie –

Narrator/performance: 3/5 –

Impressions: 3/5 –

Performance errors: 0/5 –

Complexity/reading level: 5/5 –

Audience: General


Arkady Martine’s strong streak is building atmosphere and painting with words. I have not encountered her horror stories yet and I was delighted to find this one to be that kind of fiction. The story is quite heavy, very dark and twisted, and absolutely lovely at the same time.

The book features the theme of artificial intelligence and smartass architecture. Its scenes are very reminiscent of a certain genre of video games (liminal, puzzle, surrealistic). There is no real society or no real world-building. The story is short, sketched with enough detail to draw the reader in. The characters seem lonely, the environment – deserted, arid. It is not a funny book though it is written with enough non-seriousness to feel intelligent. The book would be perfect for a film adaptation or even for a work of drama. H. P. Lovecraft would appreciate, I think. I loved the book.

On the one hand, I think that the story is very well-written. On the other hand, I believe the lector is a little too detached for this particular story. She seems robotic – or perhaps just non-human. It was probably the intended effect but it feels a little over the top. The writing is weird enough and another complication adds weight where it was not needed (the storyline is not very easy to follow). Still, what do I know. The lector irritated me but I loved the book anyway so perhaps I am wrong?

Rose House audiobook cover

Yes, the cover is also a little missing the point of the book. It is not bad for a horror story cover, though. I also think the colors are very interesting. Overall, a very good, eye-catching cover.

Cover Photo by Dominik Bednarz on Unsplash