Thursday, November 29, 2012

Audiobook Review: Reached by Ally Condie

Thursday, November 29, 2012 with 12 comments
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Title: Reached
Author: Ally Condie
Narrator: Matt Burns, Kate Simses, and Jack Riccobono
Series: Matched, book #3 (final book in series)
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Publication Date: November 13, 2012
Source: purchased
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible

After leaving Society and desperately searching for the Rising—and each other—Cassia and Ky have found what they were looking for, but at the cost of losing each other yet again: Cassia has been assigned to work for the Rising from within Society, while Ky has been stationed outside its borders. But nothing is as predicted, and all too soon the veil lifts and things shift once again.

In this gripping conclusion to the #1 New York Times-bestselling Matched Trilogy, Cassia will reconcile the difficulties of challenging a life too confining, seeking a freedom she never dreamed possible, and honoring a love she cannot live without.


Beware:  Mild spoilers for Matched and Crossed but nothing that would ruin any of the books for you.  Just read at your own risk.

I loved Matched.  But I was bored with Crossed until the last quarter or so of the book.  So, where does that leave the final book in this trilogy?  Somewhere in the middle, I guess.  While Crossed was your typical history-laden sequel, Reached ended up being the opposite of typical...at least for me.

Let's start with the boys.  This series did start off as a somewhat star-crossed love story, after all.  After Matched, I loved Ky.  After Crossed, I loved Xander.  After Reached, I love neither.  Allow me to explain: Ky was self-sacrificing when it came to his love of Cassia.  That doesn't change.  But his love becomes all-consuming at some point, and it's all he cares about anymore.  Xander, on the other hand, loves Cassia...as a friend and as his match, and he wants her to choose him.  But even so, he joined the Rising because he felt it was the right thing to do, just as Cassia did.  They'd both seen the wrongs committed by the Society and chose not to ignore them or be ignorant of them any longer, whereas Ky joined the Rising to be with Cassia.

I'm a romantic at heart, and I can see how being told who you can or can't love could make a person loyal to the only person who gave them a choice, but I'm also a realist, and in the middle of a revolution, I'd hope that my priorities were more aligned with helping others escape the persecution and discrimination I'd faced up to this point.  But just as Ky was so steadfast in his loyalty to Cassia, Xander's loyalty tended to wax and wane with the turn the war was taking at any given time:  loyalty to Cassia turned into loyalty to the Rising, which in turn became loyalty to the Pilot.

In Reached, there are three points of view:  Cassia, Ky, and now Xander.  We got Cassia and Ky's perspectives in the last book, but now that I've read from Xander's POV, I think I prefer it to the others.  He's much more matter-of-fact and less emotional and well, less whiny.  The narration rotated between each character as each chapter began, and it helped the story to flow, considering each character is separated from the others when the story resumes in this book.  We get so much insight into what each character is feeling and what they're going through and what part they are playing in the Rising and its efforts to bring down the Society.

The pacing of this final novel wasn't exactly slow, but the book is long and it felt long at times.  And I was listening to the audio...I can't imagine trying to read through some of the slower passages, all the feelings and wondering and waiting.  The audio is actually narrated by three separate narrators, just as the book is split into three different narratives.  Cassia is voiced by Kate Simses, who voiced Cassia in the other novels.  Ky is voiced by Jack Riccobono once again.  And Matt Burns completes the narration from Xander's perspective.  I think I remember not liking the narrator for Ky last time around, and that hasn't changed.  He was just so utterly melancholy, and I know that Ky's situation is pretty dismal at times, but that doesn't change how I feel about the narration.

Reached was a decent finale to this series.  It's definitely made me rethink how I rated Crossed last year.  It's just interesting to me how much a series can fluctuate from beginning to end, especially after such a promising first installment.  On that note, I'm kind of just glad that it's over.  I don't regret the time I've spent with these characters, but I'm ready to move on.

Rating:  Photobucket 1/2



12 comments:

  1. Thanks for the review, it was very helpful. I'm listening to Matched right now on audio, and so far it's good. I find myself drifting away from the story at times but I just hit rewind and it's all good. The story is decent. The further you are into it, the better it gets.

    After reading your review, I'm torn on if I'll read the remaining two books. I hate when the second book is mostly rehashing the first book. In addition to that, Reached also sounds a bit slow.

    Tamara @ Shelf Addiction
    shelfaddiction.com

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    1. Yeah, I really enjoyed Matched -- I read it when it came out, then listened to the audio to refresh my memory for Crossed -- but neither of the other books in the series compared to it, at least for me. :(

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  2. I was extremely disappointed in Crossed as you remember and I am still wavering on finishing the series. I have always liked Xander and was never a big Ky fan. I always seem to pick the wrong boy in the love triangle. I would be interested to hear Xander's voice but inevitably I will likely be disappointed because I have a feeling she will pick Ky. Thanks for the informative review.

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    1. Yep, I do remember because I felt much the same way. I flip-flop boys in triangles a lot. But I usually end up picking the wrong boy, too. :(

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  3. I have heard some of the same from friends who 'tried' to read this last book. It is really unfortunate because the first book was so good! I still liked Crossed but definitely thought it was slow and had major sophomore novel syndrome. I am really interested to see if I will have the same issue you had with it. Thanks for your honest review! :)

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    1. Hmm...I almost gave up on it a few times, too. Reached was better than Crossed for me, but not by much. :(

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  4. Replies
    1. I'm trying to be better about catching up on my series reads. At least right now while there's a bit of a lull in my reading "schedule". :P

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  5. I listened to Match on audiobook and I liked it, but wasn't super impressed. I think I could only continue the series if I kept listening instead of reading, since it wouldn't feel like I was wasting time. (That sounds mean, huh?)

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    1. Nope, not at all...that's why I'm listening to so much audio lately. But the last few I've heard have been disappointments...either the books themselves or just the narrators.

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  6. I was just discussing this issue about this very same book with another blogger. I have not read this series, but it is frustrating when a series declines with each installment. I am sure that some of that is due to expectations and another part of it may be due to the fact that not every book needs to be a series. I like the idea of Lissa Price Starters and Enders. She knew that she would be writing just two books.
    I had also read before that this series never discloses who the enemy is, which I find a little odd. I would expect to find that answer at least in the conclusion.
    I will, of course, read these books at some point. I own the first one and I have read remarkable reviews. Thank you for your informative review.

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  7. Hey there! I saw that the RSS of this site is working without any mistakes, did you execute all the options on your own or you just left the original settings of the widget?

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