Sabriel, Garth Nix Audiobook Review

Morning mortals! How’s it going? (No seriously, let me know in the comments, especially if you’re in the mood for a good old fashioned moan!). Today I have the exciting pleasure of reviewing something which I said I was going to read in a want to read Wednesday. Always fulfilling to tick something off that list! But how did Sabriel stack up to the hype?

Goodreads Summary:

Sent to a boarding school in Ancelstierre as a young child, Sabriel has had little experience with the random power of Free Magic or the Dead who refuse to stay dead in the Old Kingdom. But during her final semester, her father, the Abhorsen, goes missing, and Sabriel knows she must enter the Old Kingdom to find him.

I’ll confess, I didn’t actually read this (what do you mean Judith, how dare you try and review something you didn’t read what does that even mean?!) by which I mean I listened to it as an audiobook (oh I suppose that’s ok then). I’ll start, therefore, by saying that this is a good audiobook. It’s narrated by Tim Curry for a start but it’s also just well produced in general. I’ve listened to both good and bad audiobooks in the past and this definitely falls into the former category.

I’m not sure this is the best book to listen to however, as I think it slows down the pacing a little too much. There’s quite a lot of travelling in the book and the audiobook format doesn’t let you skim read those bits (if you’re that way inclined) so it does start to drag on a little.

What I loved about this book was how old school it felt. Nothing felt like a ‘strong female character’ by which I mean that nothing was a cliché and nothing was trying too hard. It was just good writing with no gimmicks. I think back in 1996 there were so fewer books on the market there was less impetus to add ‘fun’ elements to your plotline tomake it stand out.

That isn’t to say that there aren’t amazing unique elements to this book. The world building is of course exceptional. I loved the idea of the bells to control the dead. My love of Nevernight is not unknown on this blog so of course I appreciated Mogget the ‘cat’ as a companion.

Overall this is a good book. That’s probably the highest compliment I can give a book. There isn’t really one area other than diversity that I can critique it on. Given that I have yet to read the rest of the books in the series I imagine that would make me view this book differently but in the meantime I am very impressed.

My rating: 5/5

All opinions are my own.

What say you? Were you one of the many bloggers who convinced me to read (listen to) Sabriel? Let me know in the comments below!


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