Review of ‘Shattered’ by Lee Winter,
Audiobook narrated by Abby Craden
What a difference an audiobook makes. When I read this novel in 2017 I liked it but didn’t love it. Now, three years later and thanks to the excellent narration by Abby Craden, I have to say that the written text comes alive thanks to her performance and made me enjoy it much more.
Shattergirl is a lesbian superheroine who arrived on Earth a century ago in a spaceship accident along with other aliens. These so-called Guardians made a pact with humans in which they offered protection to people in exchange for refuge on our planet. When Shattergirl goes off the grid, Lena Martin, a Guardian tracker with a reputation of a silver tongue, is sent to find her. But what she finds is more than she bargained for: the brutal truth about humanity and herself.
The book blurb doesn’t do real justice to the story which is understandable as being more specific would give away too much information. Skipping the details, what really surprised me about this book is the intensity of the dialogues between Shattergirl and Lena, the build-up of their relationship, the depth of their emotions. I think this is where the strength of the book rests. This novel could have been easily a theatre play as such is the importance of dialogues. The other side of the coin is that there isn’t too much action for a superhero story and fans of the genre might be disappointed.
There are two lesbian main characters, Shattergirl and Lena, there is chemistry between them, there is intimacy but ‘Shattered’ is not a romance. This is a sci-fi book and trying to read it as a romance doesn’t do the story justice. Having said that, this novel doesn’t lack in the emotions department, there are powerful, devastating and gut-wrenching feelings and Ms. Craden nails every single one with yet another extraordinary narration. Her storytelling is so compelling that the listener can see the action developing in their minds’ eyes. It doesn’t hurt that her choice of voices for each character is spot-on.
Overall, a great lesbian science fiction audiobook. 5 stars.
Duration: 7 hours, 25 minutes