Unreal City

  • by A. R. Meyering
  • Narrated by Jessica McEvoy
  • 7 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Sarah Wilkes is desperate enough to do anything, even make a deal with the devil - or in her case, a familiar spirit. After her twin Lea is murdered, Sarah finds college life impossible and longs to escape. Everything changes when Sarah realizes a familiar spirit is stalking her and offers to transport her to the terrifying and fantastical realm of Unreal City. The payment for admission? A taste of her blood. Unable to resist, Sarah is drawn into an alternate reality that is a dream come true... at first.
The deeper she explores Unreal City, the more Sarah's reality becomes warped. Death surrounds her as people are murdered in the same fashion as her sister. She has no choice but to continue her visits to Unreal City, which grows darker by the day. Is finding out the truth about what happened to Lea worth becoming part of Unreal City forever?

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Amazing

The depth of writing is superb. This is original, scary and mesmerizing. Sara's grief firmed to strength and resilience is inspiring. Felix is a creature you won't be able to forget! I loved it!
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- Kitty L.

A Dream and a Nightmare

What made the experience of listening to Unreal City the most enjoyable?

Be careful what you wish for, kids.
Readers who take on A.R. Meyering’s UNREAL CITY have no idea what they’re in for. I purchased the audiobook version of this novel (and so I hope you’ll forgive me if I misspell a character name or two), looking forward to what I expected would be a rather darker imagining of ALICE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS. And so it was.
Much darker. Just as good. Seriously.
Meet Sarah Wilkes, a young college-bound woman, separated for the first time from her family even as she wrestles with the recent murder of her beloved twin sister Lea. She’s not ready for this, but there’s really nothing else for it. Her friends have given up on her. Her mother waits obsessively for the awakening of Lea’s boyfriend from a coma, for answers that may never come. Real-world forces propel her from the ruined life she has known into a future rife with uncertainty.
Enter Felix. Yeah, he’s a cat. But not really. And he’s only “Felix” because that’s what Sarah names him. He has promises for Sarah, an invitation that cannot be denied. Feed me, Sarah, and I’ll make it all go away. Far away.
We know this is a bad idea. Readers and listeners alike scream at Sarah to back away (No—take it, Sarah, do it, DO IT), because we’re pretty sure this is going to a bad place. Oh, and it is. Real bad. So bad, in fact, that we want to be there ourselves. And the good news is, for the length of this book, we really are.
I don’t want to give too much away. That’s all I’m saying, in terms of plot. But I assure you, readers and listeners both, that here you will find a tale rich in character, from the real-world Sarah and her selfless college friend Joy, to the phantasms, gods, and devils of Unreal City itself: Mama Stella, Blanche, Poe, Felix, the Antler Man …
The thing is, this book will hurt you. For those of us burdened with unresolved grief and the anger that comes with it, the trip won’t be easy. To those of us young enough (or fortunate enough) to not have dealt with these issues yet, perhaps UNREAL CITY will provide some kind of creative preparation for its inevitability. Live long enough, and this pain will find you. A.R. Meyering understands this, controls it, and she articulates it in a complex tapestry of story art that will simply floor you.
And now, full disclosure: I might never have gone down this rabbit hole were it not for the fact that the audiobook is narrated by Jessica McEvoy. I’m so, so glad I did—don’t get me wrong—but it was only by this chance connection that I was even aware of UNREAL CITY. Anyone who has followed Ms. McEvoy’s readings on the award-winning NoSleep Podcast knows the strength and resonance she brings to her narration and character voices. In this instance, she adopts various accents to meet the global demands of UNREAL CITY—Spanish, Scottish, Russian, French, drunken Americana—but far more importantly, she brings to life the hope and despair, the humor and terror, of our existence. And death. Yeah. There’s that, too.
But those are just the “voices,” the characters. What I’ve always appreciated the most about McEvoy’s considerable talent is her narration. In this particular reading, the listener is treated to an anguished lullaby, a magic carpet ride across a landscape of dreams and nightmares, bridged by dark tunnels of bleak reality with only one hand reaching out from the black to guide us though.
Jessica McEvoy has an uncanny ability to channel the exact intended voice for whatever author has the wisdom and good fortune to benefit by her delivery. The creative marriage is perfect for UNREAL CITY.
The journey is cheap. The therapy will probably be expensive, though. Fair warning.


Who was your favorite character and why?

Felix. Of course. He's going to be everyone's favorite!


What about Jessica McEvoy’s performance did you like?

Be careful what you wish for, kids.
Readers who take on A.R. Meyering’s UNREAL CITY have no idea what they’re in for. I purchased the audiobook version of this novel (and so I hope you’ll forgive me if I misspell a character name or two), looking forward to what I expected would be a rather darker imagining of ALICE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS. And so it was.
Much darker. Just as good. Seriously.
Meet Sarah Wilkes, a young college-bound woman, separated for the first time from her family even as she wrestles with the recent murder of her beloved twin sister Lea. She’s not ready for this, but there’s really nothing else for it. Her friends have given up on her. Her mother waits obsessively for the awakening of Lea’s boyfriend from a coma, for answers that may never come. Real-world forces propel her from the ruined life she has known into a future rife with uncertainty.
Enter Felix. Yeah, he’s a cat. But not really. And he’s only “Felix” because that’s what Sarah names him. He has promises for Sarah, an invitation that cannot be denied. Feed me, Sarah, and I’ll make it all go away. Far away.
We know this is a bad idea. Readers and listeners alike scream at Sarah to back away (No—take it, Sarah, do it, DO IT), because we’re pretty sure this is going to a bad place. Oh, and it is. Real bad. So bad, in fact, that we want to be there ourselves. And the good news is, for the length of this book, we really are.
I don’t want to give too much away. That’s all I’m saying, in terms of plot. But I assure you, readers and listeners both, that here you will find a tale rich in character, from the real-world Sarah and her selfless college friend Joy, to the phantasms, gods, and devils of Unreal City itself: Mama Stella, Blanche, Poe, Felix, the Antler Man …
The thing is, this book will hurt you. For those of us burdened with unresolved grief and the anger that comes with it, the trip won’t be easy. To those of us young enough (or fortunate enough) to not have dealt with these issues yet, perhaps UNREAL CITY will provide some kind of creative preparation for its inevitability. Live long enough, and this pain will find you. A.R. Meyering understands this, controls it, and she articulates it in a complex tapestry of story art that will simply floor you.
And now, full disclosure: I might never have gone down this rabbit hole were it not for the fact that the audiobook is narrated by Jessica McEvoy. I’m so, so glad I did—don’t get me wrong—but it was only by this chance connection that I was even aware of UNREAL CITY. Anyone who has followed Ms. McEvoy’s readings on the award-winning NoSleep Podcast knows the strength and resonance she brings to her narration and character voices. In this instance, she adopts various accents to meet the global demands of UNREAL CITY—Spanish, Scottish, Russian, French, drunken Americana—but far more importantly, she brings to life the hope and despair, the humor and terror, of our existence. And death. Yeah. There’s that, too.
But those are just the “voices,” the characters. What I’ve always appreciated the most about McEvoy’s considerable talent is her narration. In this particular reading, the listener is treated to an anguished lullaby, a magic carpet ride across a landscape of dreams and nightmares, bridged by dark tunnels of bleak reality with only one hand reaching out from the black to guide us though.
Jessica McEvoy has an uncanny ability to channel the exact intended voice for whatever author has the wisdom and good fortune to benefit by her delivery. The creative marriage is perfect for UNREAL CITY.
The journey is cheap. The therapy will probably be expensive, though. Fair warning.


Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I would have, if I'd had the strength. It's very powerful, though. Too strong for one sitting.


Any additional comments?

Bravo, Jessica McEvoy!

Read full review

- Marcus Damanda

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-16-2015
  • Publisher: A. R. Meyering