Thicker Than Blood
Written by: Claire C. Riley, Madeline Sheehan
Narrated by: CJ Bloom
Length: 13 hrs and 32 mins
Publisher: Tantor Audio
My original Thicker Than Blood (Thicker Than Blood, #1) audiobook review and many others can be found at Audiobook Reviewer.
Thicker Than Blood by Claire C. Riley and Madeline Sheehan has some similarities to other zombie apocalypse novels. The world they create is very, very bleak. There is constant danger and the living are often worse than the zombies. Bad things happen. It is a zombie apocalypse novel afterall. The big difference between Thicker Than Blood and others in the genre is two women are the main characters. All the action is told through their eyes, they narrate alternating chapters. The story is what happens to them, other than the dead husbands, only one male character has a significant role.
The story starts about several years after the virus overtook the world. Leisel and Evelyn and their husbands were very close friends before the world went down the drain. After the virus wreaks havoc, Leisel and Evelyn have only each other. Leisel is generally the delicate buttercup and Evelyn is the tough as nails dame. Both women evolve through the novel. I liked female main characters. I did not like way women are portrayed as totally powerless in the post apocalypse world. I guess I am a firm believer in brains over brawn. I did not like the use of sex as a means of illustrating the male dominance over the females in the world. I never really felt any connection to Leisel or Evelyn. They were almost too extreme to be believable. Liesel was too weak and Evelyn was too strong. A more believable character would have been somewhere in between. All in the all, the story was good, not great, not groundbreaking but worth the read.
The major problem I had with this audiobook was the production values and the narrator. It is somewhat hard to separate what was caused by the production values and what was the weakness of the narrator. To try to rule out any issues from my devices, I listened to this audio book on a Samsung Galaxy S5 phone, a Samsung Galaxy Tab 4, and a Dell desktop computer with speakers. I tried both devices with JVC bluetooth speakers. No matter what device or speakers I used, the sound was tinny. It reminded me of listening to a recording on a cassette recorder (showed my age there).
I had to adjust the volume way too often. I could not just listen. I had to be ready to adjust the volume down for the raised voices and then back up for the quieter conversations. The production team should have make sure the volume was consistent throughout the entire book. Finally the narrator, CJ Bloom, was difficult to listen to. Some of the time, she had a very nice voice. But most of the time her voice was strident. So many sentences were said with so much emotion forced through them. It was exhausting to listen to. Again whoever was in charge of the production should have been picking up on the issues with the sound quality as well as the narrator’s performance.
I would be willing to try another audiobook narrated by CJ Bloom. It may be a simple case of me not liking the style she narrated this one in. I will eventually try another book by the authors, either another collaboration or a solo effort.
Audiobook provided for review by the audiobookreviewer.com