I have been captured by the world of audiobooks. Listening to the personification of each character is like receiving a whole new perspective. Of course, my enjoyment of the audiobooks depends greatly on the narrator and their ability to bring each character to life. The narrative should keep each character’s voice separate from the other characters, not allowing one voice, or accent, to bleed into another.
In the case of The Dark Elements, narrator Saskia Maarleveld has a bit of trouble keeping the character voices defined. She also changes some character voices throughout the series.
For example, Roth has a mostly normal voice, but the essence of the voice changes unexpectedly. Whether growling, or whispering, the voice should be recognizable as his. The same problem exists with the voice of Zane. While I realize that an individual’s voice sometimes changes in modulation, the tone of the voice used should still sound like the same character.
This is a problem throughout the three books, and it effects all the male voices, except Grim. Maarleveld does a wonderful job with his voice, and it makes all the difference in conceptualization.
For the most part, she does an excellent job with the female voices, and I have to say that all of the male voices do sound decidedly male. If she works a bit more, focusing on consistency for each characters voice, she has the potential to become very good.
About the story… listening to the story again, I noticed a couple of inconsistencies, and a couple of things that required a huge stretch of the imagination. Though I didn’t notice these are things while reading the series, they became obvious to me once I listened to the story.
I give the narrator 3 stars, and the Dark Elements series 4 stars
The Dark Elements Series is written by Jennifer L. Armentrout, Narrated by Saskia Maarleveld, Available at Audible.com