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What made the experience of listening to Ninja at First Sight: An Origin Story (Knitting in the City) the most enjoyable?
Honestly, Penny Reid is a master story teller. Contemporary romance is littered with tropes, and that doesn't bother me, but I love that Penny Reid doesn't use them. She always surprises me.
What did you like best about this story?
Thinking to myself, 'Oh no, she's about to (Spoiler)' and discovering I was completely wrong.
What does Em Eldridge bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?
She's a good narrator. I didn't really notice her to be honest and that's about the highest praise I can give. When the narrator disappears and it's just you and the story.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
Any additional comments?
I am a fan of Penny Reid's, although I prefer her Knitting in the City books to her other books. I was looking forward to reading another episode of that series even though it was a novella. What this turns out to be is a prequel to an upcoming book. I'm not sure why it was published except to be a teaser, or perhaps to bring a bit more income to the author. (I do support authors being able to earn a good living.) However I felt that this short book was really unnecessary. If this backstory is necessary to the upcoming novel, a skillful author will work it in to the story line; if not, leave it on your computer.
I think the best books are written quite tightly; they don't require prologues or epilogues. A good story evokes all kinds of questions in the readers' minds but doesn't have the need to answer every single one, up to the number of children and grandchildren the heroine has, for instance. The best books leave us with lots to think but do complete the essential story arc. Penny Reid writes contemporary romance, a genre which is often sneered at, although romance readers know that the best romances are as good as books in any other genre. That said, we romance readers still deserve the best writing, and many romance authors really do deliver, and Penny Reid is an author who can meet very high standards.
So why does this little novella exist? It's not particularly well-done or interesting. If it's a teaser for an upcoming novel, we shouldn't have to pay for it. If it's essential to that novel, it should be included in that novel. It certainly wasn't worth my time and money.
I also wish, once again, to request that readers for books are chosen more carefully. I think that actors or whomever it is who wants to narrate books should get voice training. Em Eldridge doesn't do a very good job differentiating between different characters; her male voice(s) are not believable. In addition, she has a regional accent which she should work to eradicate. In particular, she substitutes short i's for short e's, i.e. pin instead of pen. She is a somewhat sloppy narrator as well, and it makes the heroine less believable as the intelligent, talented young woman she is supposed to be.
This is a book that lovers of fan fiction might enjoy; for me it was a disappointment.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful