Review by: Morgan HobbesOutsider: A Forbidden Island Short Story by Lianne Simon is a short story set on Eilean nan Sìthean, a remote island of Scotland forgotten about by the rest of the world. I'm not going to pretend to even think about spelling any of the Gaelic words (except for the few I've picked up looking inside the ebook version), but it's a beautiful story of a young fairy named Màiri who is on the cusp of bonding to her soulmate and, maybe, changing gender as part of this.
For the Daoine-Sìth (see, copy+paste Gaelic! :) ), their biology is different from the "outsiders" - mankind. They become one or the other during a bonding where they are magically linked to their soulmate - which one they become is much of a coinflip.
The Fair Folk of Eilean nan Sìthean rightly fear mankind. As the backstory in the blurb says, a weapon of war struck their island and killed off a large portion of those who lived there. There they live, isolated from the rest of the world, never seeing a human.
Until one washes ashore, near dead. What follows is a beautifully written and narrated account of Màiri as she fights to save the outsider.
Narration by Katie Hart was top notch. I can only assume the pronunciations were correct. Hart's voice suited the story perfectly. Just right for narrating a tale of Scottish fairies. A few minor issues with sound quality towards the end where it sounded like... I can only describe it as sounding like speaking too close to the microphone and making an odd sound. Not enough to put me off, but enough for me to notice. Other than that, I loved Hart's reading.
One last thing, and something I'm thinking of including a little more often in my reviews - check out the cover art! I know you're not supposed to judge books by their covers (a load of codswallop if you ask me, there are perfectly valid reasons but I won't get into them here) - but I love the artwork on this. A gorgeous watercolour mermaid if ever I saw one.I was given this audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review. I have not let this gift affect nor influence my opinions of this audiobook and have left an honest review.