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By JTF on 09-30-14
Revving up the Mytholog & Ramping up the Challenge
Christina Farley pulled a rabbit, or rather a Blue Dragon, out of a hat with Gilded; was there anything left in the hat for Silvern? You see, one of the things that made Gilded such a fun, fresh read was the use Korean mythology juxtaposed to modern day Seoul, South Korean and the international students populating this world. So, its sequel, Silvern, had a bit of a challenge; the world Christina Farley created so well is now, comparatively speaking, old hat. Can Silvern generate the same level of excitement with that newly minted shine dulled a bit with use? No, no it can't. Instead it goes even further, generating a whole new level of intensity with established relationships going deeper, a much more involved romp in the Spirit World and a foray into North Korea. It is a slightly darker, more intense world with our protagonist Jae Hwa having to deal with issues and decision making with which no 16 year old ought to have cope. If you thought Jae Hwa was between a rock and a hard place in Gilded, she's between mountain and fire in Silvern.
As I often do, I went between the Kindle and Audible versions (using Whispersync for Voice to keep a smooth transition). Greta Jung did a fine job narrating especially within the dialog. I loved her Marc who came off with a bit of smooth, cool voice without being arrogant. I did notice that the fluidity of the dialog didn't always carry over to the non-dialog reading; I don't remember this being an issue in Gilded, but the pacing within the non-dialog parts could be a bit stilted and awkward. I'm not sure if this was to help clarity, but I didn't hear as much nuance and emotion on the non-dialog narration as when there was dialog between characters. Overall, however, Ms. Jung narrates the work well, conveying both the English and Korean cultural elements well. I look forward to Ms. Jung's narration of the rest of the series.
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