” This audiobook is multi-voice narrated with soundtracks and music that were expertly produced.”
Review by Rayleigh Setser
Sera Skohlidon longs for adventure, to be like the brave crusaders of lore. In her guarded imagination, fauns have rejected the Royal Coven, the Coven’s magic, and the questionable trades faunkind makes for it. One day, her quest for answers unearths a family secret that draws her to the heart of the Coven’s malfeasance. With the help of a shapeshifting deadringer, Sera embarks on an epic journey that sharpens her self-image, emboldens newfound confidence with a dashing, cavalier classmate, and levels the magical playing field.
This e-book features 34 full-page illustrations and beautifully considered typography throughout.
Release Date: 9/13/2023
Genre: YA Fantasy | Science Fiction
I received this book from NetGalley. All comments and opinions are entirely my own and this review is voluntary.
Belly of the Beast was a delightful gem to stumble on! This audiobook is multi-voice narrated with soundtracks and music that were expertly produced. I listened to the majority of the book in one sitting and couldn't break my attention away from it! It's an immersive experience. The ideal audience is somewhere between Middle Grade/ YA Fantasy lovers and D&D-obsessed adults. I really think it could go either way because the storyline is intricate enough to keep older readers interested, but the main characters are 14 and 15 years old, so it appeals to younger readers as well. The content isn't overly gory or heavy, either, so mature middle-grade readers would also enjoy it (at the discretion of parents / guardians... I will include a content disclaimer at the bottom of this review). The story is a wild adventure, merging both fantasy and science fiction together in what feels like an epic D&D campaign. Sera is a faun that has tripped onto a family secret and, not one to be told to leave things alone, she begins a quest that not only reveals the answers that she seeks, but could change the way of life for all of faunkind. The world blends haunted forests with space battles and deep sea escapades on alien planets. It's the best of everything and because of how incredible the audiobook was produced, I feel as if I watched it on TV rather than just listened to it. The voice actors, sound effects, and music truly bring this audiobook to life and will have your heart racing right along with Sera! Also, we love audiobooks narrated by the author on this side of the internet *applause*. As for the content that parents / guardians should be wary of: There is only one kiss, as far as romance goes, and it's not descriptive. There is no cursing or overly detailed gory scenes, however, the topics discussed are a bit heavy for younger readers, so I would advise readers to remain 14+ for the reasons below (they are spoilers, so I'll wrap them in spoiler tags): <SPOILER> The major topic deals with child abduction / slavery and harvesting of bone marrow from the fauns' antlers. The scenes are not descriptive, you never see this happening, however, the realization scenes as Sera puts things together and tries to save the children are a little too heavy than what I would typically recommend for middle-graders. </SPOILER> Overall, this was a fun audiobook and I'm looking forward to the rest of the series! I received this book for free via NetGalley. All comments and opinions are entirely my own and this review is voluntary.
Action & Gore:
4. Some action (some mildly detailed battle sequences/fights).
Romance & Spice:
2. Mild content (holding hands and mild kissing).
Cursing & Vulgarity:
2. Frequent substitute cursing (commonplace "craps" etc. and book-specific words).
Other Trigger/Content Notices:
<SPOILER> The major topic deals with child abduction / slavery and harvesting of bone marrow from the fauns’ antlers. The scenes are not descriptive, you never see this happening, however, the realization scenes as Sera puts things together and tries to save the children are a little too heavy than what I would typically recommend for middle-graders. </SPOILER>
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