Betsy Schow returns to the blog today with another fun installment in The Storymakers series, this narrated by Arielle DeLisle.
The conclusion of The Storymakers trilogy brings the story to an end, and is best understood if you have read all of the books in order. Here is where Schow shows us her brilliance in the reality/fantasy duality of the story, and the challenges this creates for Dorothea in her life – and her determination to keep moving forward in hopes for better and more.
Dorothea is back in Kansas, slowly recovering from a coma – and is slowly forgetting ‘home’. After discovering her parents (book 2) she’s desperate to connect to them, but she’s also got a series of regrets about her own behavior and choices made along the way, and while she wants to remember ‘home’ and still keep her connection to Rexi alive, the dual realities provide conflicts and choices – none of which are simple or clear-cut.
Meanwhile, in Fairy-tale land, Rexi is now been crowned King Arthur reborn, and is in a struggle to keep the grail safe – as Camelot has become a series of struggles, battles and enemies. Desperate to NOT be forgotten by Dorothea, the options for Rexi are simple – do anything possible to maintain and kep that connection. For Dorothea, the choices aren’t so simple, and she’s unsure just how far she would, could or should go to keep them and not forget the life she had come to know….even if none believe it was real. Here Schow utilizes her characters to show choices and consequences – with and without regrets, reframing the world Dorthea now exists in against that alternate reality that all but she believe is a dream. With both Rexi and Dorothea discovering yet another challenge to overcome to survive and save their moments, the story manages to untangle all the threads, add the lovely quirks and mashups in neatly, and providing an entertaining, if not always clearly linear, path to the end.
Narration for this story is provided by Arielle deLisle, who manages to become each character: teenaged angsty and often flighty and overemotional girls who are distinctly different, yet surprisingly similar in their determination. Throughout the story, deLisle managed to capture each moment and add clarity and interest, allowing the twists and turns to unfold without over-reaching for emotional impact, and keeping listeners able to distinguish each character with subtle changes in pitch, tone and even pace that felt appropriate to each person, and added interest and variation to the listen.
Best read (or listened to) in order – this is a story that is written for YA audiences, but seems to be clearly presented for the younger YA reader – a bit of immaturity and youth in both conversations and some approaches to challenges keep the feeling of the series decidedly youthful. With plenty of humor, insets from ‘magazine advice’ columns, plenty of references both historic and literary, and a ton of determination to meet challenges and always get up, again and again, the series, and this book, are fun and clever.
Stars: 4 Narration 4 Story 4
Author: Betsy Schow
Series: The Storymakers #3
Also in this series: Wanted
Genre: Contemporary Teen Fantasy
Narrator: Arielle DeLisle
Published by: Sourcebooks Fire, Tantor Audio
Published on: 1 February, 2018
Source: Tantor Audio
Audio Length: 8 Hours: 14 minutes
Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Downpour ♦ Google ♦Audible ♦Tantor Audio
While lying in the hospital in a place called Kansas, Princess Dorthea of Emerald struggles to regain her memory of the events that propelled her out of the land of Story—and to remember how to get home.
Meanwhile, in Story, Rexi, with the help of Excalibur, continues to gain confidence in writing her own tale as she fights to save the land from the Wicked Witch. But as is always the case with evil villains, she is not to be underestimated. Can Dorthea and Rexi save their home while protecting the prince they both love from getting caught in the crossfire?
A copy of this title was provided via Tantor Audio for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.