Audiobook Review: Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust

Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust

Published: July 7, 2020 by Flatiron Books

Buy this book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository


Synopsis: A captivating and utterly original fairy tale about a girl cursed to be poisonous to the touch, and who discovers what power might lie in such a curse…

There was and there was not, as all stories begin, a princess cursed to be poisonous to the touch. But for Soraya, who has lived her life hidden away, apart from her family, safe only in her gardens, it’s not just a story.

As the day of her twin brother’s wedding approaches, Soraya must decide if she’s willing to step outside of the shadows for the first time. Below in the dungeon is a demon who holds knowledge that she craves, the answer to her freedom. And above is a young man who isn’t afraid of her, whose eyes linger not with fear, but with an understanding of who she is beneath the poison.

Soraya thought she knew her place in the world, but when her choices lead to consequences she never imagined, she begins to question who she is and who she is becoming…human or demon. Princess or monster.

Review: ***Disclaimer I received a free copy of this audiobook in exchange for a free review. Thank you NetGalley and MacMillion Young Listeners!***

The first thing that drew me to this book was the cover. It’s very eye catching and striking. Now that I have listened to the audiobook, I can say with certainty that it is the most perfectly descriptive book cover I have ever seen. The serpent twining around a rose is a perfect representation of this plot.

I found the audiobook narrator to be delightful for this book. There are a lot of words and names that are Persian in origin and quite difficult to pronounce, but she did perfectly. Her tone and characterization for Soraya was exactly the way I imagined in my head.

This plot was an interesting mix and was also where it lost a star for me. It started off with a huge bang. Within the first 20% Soraya’s entire world explodes in violent drama. Then the plot really slows down and frankly I didn’t know what the point was for awhile. It started to get a little boring. Then the ending picks back up and the pace races all the way to the end. I loved the story but I felt the middle could have been shorter and the book would have been better off for it.

And in one last fangirl moment, Soraya’s romance was so romantic. I mean, what more could a girl ask for than someone who promises to bring your enemy to you on their knees. Swoon.

Overall I really loved this book and the audiobook does it perfect justice. I highly recommend it.

3 thoughts on “Audiobook Review: Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust

  1. Tricky getting everything just right, pace, beginning/middle/end, story, characters…

    But things have to be intrinsically interesting at each level – even if the story is slowing a bit. Hard to balance.

    I think slow parts are much harder in audio – because the listener is stuck with the narrator’s pace, even if a part of the story doesn’t require as close attention as other parts. Dialogue needs to be snappy, description efficient… and the narrator can only do so much with what she receives.

    Glad you liked so much of it.

    1. All true. I think the problem here is that the first portion gave me a lot of action, but then we slowed things down for character building, world building, myth building. All of that was incredibly important to the end portion but since we started so action packed it was a stark contrast. So not bad, just different.

      1. Some pace is organic to the story, some designed by the author, some, unfortunately, accidental.

        I try not to do things by accident.

        And quiet parts can have constant microtension. One of the things that has stayed with me for an adult lifetime is, from Ursula Le Guin’s novel The Left Hand of Darkness, “The king was pregnant.”

        It is a bomb in the middle of world and character building, and grabs and locks down your attention in the middle of a description.

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