The battle to save the kingdoms devastated by the Plague culminates in this exhilarating finale to the Whispers from Mirrowen trilogy. If there is anything more dangerous than the Plague itself, it is the journey that awaits those sworn to stop it. Tyrus, the renegade magic-wielder exiled from Kenatos, knows this firsthand. His original mission through the Scourgelands met a tragic end, leaving him as the sole survivor. Now all hope lies with his daughter, Phae, the uniquely gifted Dryad-born who can not only steal memories but also summon the power of the fireblood - and who alone has the power to breach the lost gate of Mirrowen. But first Phae and the comrades who have come to her aid must survive the most dangerous place on earth: the Scourgelands. The menacing woods prove every bit as treacherous as reputed. Murder, sacrifice, deception, and an epic battle with a beast ensue. Will Phae reach the land beyond the grasp of the deadly Plague...or will the quest through the Scourgelands end in tragedy once again?
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There will be possible ***SPOILERS*** in this review.
The best point of Poisonwell was probably Phae watching the past. It provided answers I was craving. Shion has been a favorite of mine. There is a sadness and darkness about him. It makes him bitter sweet. Tyrus, as usual, was great, and I'm relatively pleased he got the wrap up he did. I do love the story, and at many points I was impressed and pleased with how it was twisting and turning. There's a lot to like about this story, and Tyrus and Shion are at the top of that list. There were some great reveals in the last quarter as well which were very satisfying and entertaining.
There are, however, a few criticisms I have. First off, this book really needed a few more edits. There are several points where the narration comes off as rushed, and amateurish, when I know that Jeff Wheeler can do better. When Phae is watching the past, and Shion's brother is talking about Shion's journey to find the tree, he goes into the "as you know" way of info dumping about what has happened up to that point. The second most annoying point was at the very end when Phae says "Of course. You remember everything I've ever said or done." Jeff, you're readers are more intelligent than that. The concept was only completely drilled into our heads.... The third most annoying incident of this was when Phae thought to herself that Shion's real last name sounded a lot like Shion. It added nothing, and in the "reality of the story" was no more than a coincidence. It instantly snapped me out of the story. The book badly needs more editing. Cleaned up, I know it would shine a lot brighter.
Second, the two middle quarters of the book are spent bouncing from one horrible danger to another, and somehow all the main characters are miraculously saved every single time. It's just too much. Had one of the main characters died, any of them, it would have brought a little more credence to the plot's events. Even if there was more intricate plot, and less action fill in, it would have healed the issue. In that same way, the end is so sickly sweet it's unbearable. The wrap up also felt a bit rushed.
Third, and this applies to all three books, some of the ideas are portrayed as amazing when they are simple, everyday ideas. I'm not sure how to spell it since I've only ever listened to the audio editions, but the Ud Hava is a perfect example. It was an idea that if left out, would have greatly improved the genuine quality of the story. It's a bit like when a child shows you a drawing they've done. They think a stick figure is amazing. It's not. People trying to mislead others is constant and guaranteed. It is human nature. There are also a lot of biblical references, some that are too overt. I don't feel like he'd trying hard enough, and instead taking the easy route on both accounts. It's just a matter of feeling like Jeff can do better.
My final criticism is about the narrator. Practically anyone would have been better than her. Sue Pitkin is an atrocious narrator. She spits her words, makes mistakes, performs amateurish inflections, and can't consistently assign a character a voice, or even an accent. One of the worst pitfalls (pun intended) was when she continued to do a "character voice" after the regular narration started, and several in words realized it wasn't the character speaking and mid-sentence changed back to her normal narrative voice. A lot of Audible narrators could have done much better. Michael Page, who narrated the first book would have been infinitely better. Kate Reading would have been a descent female option for a narrator. Whenever I see Sue Pitkin's name on an Audible book, you can be sure that I will avoid it like the Plague.
Really enjoyed this story (third book), all of the characters previously developed worked well together and details connected nicely, as the story tied up loose ends. Fewer horrid voices from this narrator, although she continues to favor craggedy evil accented male voices for her characters making them all sound old and decrepit. Doesn't work for me. Her female voices were lovely and the story was creative.