Honestly, I both enjoyed the heck out of this while being completely irritated. Usually, Podium Audio can be trusted to put out polished works. Yes, the previous books in the series did have a few minor things going wrong, but this one was next-level bad. I genuinely thought at some points that Jessica must be narrating in her garage while someone drove in and out occasionally. And it wasn’t just occasionally; it was all the way through the 26 hours of this. In some parts, the audio quality dropped off so badly that it sounded like it was recorded over the phone.
Now, the story itself continues to enthral me. Vita and Penelope, once again, don’t take the full story this time, with some old characters and some new ones threaded in. This works really well, and we get to see some wildly different perspectives on similar issues.
This one gets a bit darker, with Vita and Penelope both having rather drastic shifts in personality. Sociopathic or psychopathic – I’m not sure, but they are very different characters from where we first met them. Sure, two years have passed with Vita imprisoned who-knows-where leaving Penelope to fall victim to her darker urges.
I’ll need to relisten before I nail down a complaint about a massive Deus ex Machina moment involving a dragon that seemingly came out of nowhere. Perhaps I wasn’t paying attention… but it certainly seemed to.
Narration and production, as I hinted at earlier, were sub-par. The narration probably could have been saved by better proofing and editing.
Will I continue with the series? Sure, the story is one I’m right into, but I won’t be happy about paying full price for shoddy work. I might need to wait until it goes on sale.