*This book was supplied to me by Audiobook Reviewer. This review was originally published on ABR’s website.*
I don’t have any easy time finding fantasy books I like. I’ve read many bestseller fantasy authors and I haven’t cared for any of them. I find it’s best to read indie author fantasy, but I was still looking for something epic, a long journey into another world.
I finally found it.
Haven Lost is perfection in every way, ranging from its excellent pacing to its thorough explorations of not just a world but cities that are opposites. I didn’t find anything a far stretch because de Lioncourt is always careful to explain why or how something makes sense, and yet he crafts it so that it feels like part of the story, not like an author trying to explain something to his readers. I liked the main character, Emily, who is very strong but has her weaknesses. She’s not impossibly perfect and she’s no cookie-cutter character. Her allies – and enemies – are the same.
By the time the book ended, I felt as if I had been on an adventure with the characters. It was as if I had endured everything right alongside them, and when I looked back at all we’d come through, I didn’t know how de Lioncourt did it so beautifully. I never once felt the story drag. There was constant movement of the plot and advancement of our understanding of the world. De Lioncourt’s pacing moves the story at a pace that feels realistic, not so fast that I wanted more time in any scene, and not so slow that I wanted the book to move forward. It was simply…perfect!
The voice talent, Reay Kaplan, was excellent. She spoke very clearly, performed the accents accurately, and maintained a sense of excitement where it was appropriate. She even sounded teary in a couple of places that called for it. I would say I’d rather listen to the audiobook a second time than read the book in paperback, simply because I felt Kaplan enhanced the reading experience.
Haven Lost is a fantastic read for both fantasy beginners (it eases you into the fantasy part in a way that isn’t harsh or ridiculous) and those who know the genre well. I would recommend it to anyone, and I can’t wait for the second book!