Audiobook Review: Reign of Shadows by Sophie Jordan

Posted March 8, 2016 by Nereyda/ 36 Comments

Audiobook Review: Reign of Shadows by Sophie JordanReign of Shadows
by Sophie Jordan
Series: Reign of Shadows, #1
Release Date: February 9th 2016
Published by Harper Teen
Genres: Fantasy, Retelling, Romance, YA
Format: Audiobook, eARC
Narrator: James Fouhey, Phoebe Strole
Length: 8 hrs and 20 mins
Pages: 304
Buy on AmazonBuy on B&NBuy on Audible
Source: ARC received for review purposes, Audiobook Received for Review

Seventeen years ago, an eclipse cloaked the kingdom of Relhok in perpetual darkness. In the chaos, an evil chancellor murdered the king and queen and seized their throne. Luna, Relhok’s lost princess, has been hiding in a tower ever since. Luna’s survival depends on the world believing she is dead.

But that doesn’t stop Luna from wanting more. When she meets Fowler, a mysterious archer braving the woods outside her tower, Luna is drawn to him despite the risk. When the tower is attacked, Luna and Fowler escape together. But this world of darkness is more treacherous than Luna ever realized.

With every threat stacked against them, Luna and Fowler find solace in each other. But with secrets still unspoken between them, falling in love might be their most dangerous journey yet.

With lush writing and a star–crossed romance, Reign of Shadows is Sophie Jordan at her best.

ARC received for review purposes, Audiobook Received for Review in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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I had been really excited for this book when I first heard about it last year.  I mean, just look at that cover and summary?  How could I not be intrigued?  Somewhere in the last few months, I took a much-needed break from YA books.  After hearing Nick tell me how she liked this book, it had me itching to read this once again.  I pounced at the chance to listen to the audiobook for this one and I’m so glad I did!

Cover Inspired Look:

bl reign of shadows(click for more details)
This was one of the book covers that inspired me to start doing book looks again.  I was actually motivated by this awesome and colorful Urban Decay Vice eye shadow palette and wanted to put a look together. It took me a while to get this look how I wanted and it wasn’t until I found this dress a few weeks ago that I finally finished this.  I love this look and would totally love to wear this…if I had somewhere to wear it to. I’m sure people would look at me weird if I wore this to Target (which lets be real, that’s where I spend most of my time).

My Thoughts:

I think my YA break really did the trick because I’ve been in the mood to read all these YA books lately, I think I really missed these kind of books.   I believe I’ve only read two NA books by this author (I could be wrong, I have a terrible memory) and one I really loved, while the other was just okay for me.  I tried reading this a few months ago and found it really hard to concentrate at the time (nothing to do with the book, just life getting in the way) but I knew I still wanted to read this one.  When I found out that it was going to be released as an audiobook, I moved it to my audiobook TBL right away.  Although I have a bunch of new audiobooks to listen to, this was one of my first picks and I was so entertained by this story that I ended up finishing the audiobook in a day.

Maybe it was the fact that I had seen Tangled not too long ago, but this book definitely had more Rapunzel vibes that I was expecting.  I love Tangled so I liked the similarities.  Our MC Luna is blind, but refused to let that stop her from doing whatever the hell it is she wanted to do.  I loved that not only she was strong and fierce (in all the ways that counted) but she was also flawed and made mistakes.  I think that’s always important in MC’s.  Fowler took a little bit of getting used to because he is very closed off and distant and tries very hard to only care about himself, but I enjoyed seeing that facade break away bit by bit.  His relationship with Luna starts off rocky since Fowler’s past makes him stubborn, but it’s hard not to let someone like Luna get to you. I really enjoyed the romance between Luna and Fowler and liked the build up between them.

For a fantasy, this was a bit short but I’ll be the last person to complain about a book being too short.  Especially a fantasy book (I hate long books).  This did feel like a ‘first’ book, which is perfectly fine by me because that’s exactly what it is.  I wanted a few more answers and details, but as with most series, I’ll just have to wait to get all my answers.  I am not a fan of cliffhangers, most piss me off but I actually really liked this one.  It was just how I like my cliffys, exciting, frustrating and just a little bit cruel.  I really liked this first taste we got of the world in Reign of Shadows and I can’t wait to read the next book in the series. I hope we get a little bit more of everything!

Audiobook Comments: I know a lot of people struggle with Fantasy on audio, but I really love it.  In fact, I struggle when I read Fantasy books so I always prefer to listen to them instead.  Pheobe Strole is a narrator that I am familiar with.  I really liked her performance in the other books I’ve heard by her so I was glad to see that she was narrating this one as well.  I’m always glad to see audiobooks that have male narrators and although James Fouhey is new to me, Harper Teen does a really good job at picking their male narrators so I had high hopes.  I have a tendency to develop a few narrator crushes and James Fouhey is now on my list!  He was such a great Fowler!  I loved that he was not only very age appropriate, but he did such a good job at delivering his lines and different tones for different characters.  His performance made Reign of Shadows even better to listen to!

Click here to read Nick’s review and to see her kick ass collage for this book!

Listen to a sample of the audiobook:

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Nereyda is a 30 year-old mother of two girls with addiction to Friends, fashion, books, Pinterest, Netflix, the color black and a little bit of everything else.

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  • I don’t know how you found the dress – but it fits the book so well! 😀
    I’m glad you enjoyed the book though – It sounds like something I’d enjoy too, because short books are nice – long books are too much for me nowadays, and most fantasy books are too long haha xD

    Geraldine @ Corralling Books recently posted: Why I rarely participate in Top Ten Tuesdays
    • I spend a lot of time on Polyvore 🙂 Still, I hadn’t been able to find ‘the one’ for a few weeks so I was happy to stumble on this one.
      OMG, yes! Finally someone who doesn’t love long fantasy books. I get so bored by them when they are long…

      • I’ve never heard of Polyvore before! I’ll have to check it out!! 😀
        Yeah – especially when they have a gazillion plot threads going on… I just can’t keep up! xD

        • Polyvore is addicting! To me anyway but I love fashion…

  • I enjoyed this one a lot, but it felt more like build up for the second book to me. I didn’t feel satisfied in the end and that cliffhanger didn’t help at all.

    • I actually liked the cliffhanger, most of them annoy me but this one didn’t. It gave me ‘Delirium (by Lauren Oliver)’ vibes. Hope the second book is better for you.

  • I can’t believe you round a dress that matched so well. its is such a pretty dress.

    I did this book on audio too and I did enjoy the audto but the book lacked some for me. I just didn’t feel the connection as much as I wanted but… it is a first book and it was set up well for the second book so I am interested in that. and yes such a Rupunzel vibe. I did like that very much.

    • I had everything but the dress, can’t really do a ‘look’ without a dress so I was super excited when I found it!
      I hope you like the second book better 🙂

  • Everyone that I follow seems to love this book! I’m still unsure right now, but I may give it a go one day. Great review!

    • I think the people I follow are split, they like it or feel meh about it. I think this series can be really great *fingers crossed*

  • First of all, that dress matches PERFECTLY!!! Love the whole look:)

    And yay!!!! I’m so glad you enjoyed this book too! I agree it definitely felt like a first book with a lot of unanswered questions and that cliffhanger, but I still loved it overall. Luna was fantastic I thought:) Can’t wait to see what happens in book two!

    • Yeah, definitely felt like a first book…which it was to be fair. I’m looking forward to the next book!
      And yes, I was so excited when I found that dress. It was what I needed to put it all together 🙂

  • I didn’t even think Rapunzel when I read this one. It wasn’t until someone pointed it out to me that I was like “oh yeah…”

    And yes, Sophie’s Ivy League series! That was actually the first book I read by her.

    • I went back to read the summary to make sure I hadn’t missed out that this was a Rapunzel retelling 🙂
      Foreplay was so good! I need to read more books by her.

  • I really do need to read this and oh my heck those shoes! I want them! I would probably kill myself while wearing them because I don’t do heels well but I love them!

    • I have a love hate relationship with heels. On one hand, heels make me feel pretty, like instantly. Also I’m under 5 feet so I need them. On the other hand, nothing beets my Nikes or my combat boots 🙂

  • Oh I’m a sucker for a cruel cliffhanger! I hate it and love it at the same time. I’m glad you enjoyed this one. I can’t wait to read this one myself. 🙂

    • I don’t mind them when they are well done, but it it’s simply for shock value or to prolong a story then I get annoyed. I hope you like this one!

      • That’s true, it has to be well done! 🙂

  • Your matching outfit is stunning. I hear ya, I have had to take a break from YA lately too, but I am getting back into some of the fantasy and dystopians. I have heard good things about this one and I want to try it.

    • I like to take breaks from genres when I read too many of them or else everything annoys me. Breaks help me miss genres 🙂
      Hope you give this one a shot Heidi!

  • I just bought this one and am excited to read it. I hadn’t thought about getting the audio but I think I’ll save my audio reads for the longer books that I dread (I’m like you, I prefer a shorter book usually). I’m really happy to hear that you really enjoyed this. Hopefully I can read it really soon!

    • Picking which audiobooks to spend my credits on is a struggle! I totally understand! Luckily I was able to get this audio from the publisher, maybe you ca look into that?
      I hope you like this one!

  • Glad you lilked this one and that you are on a roll with YA! I have some coming up to read and have found the few I’ve read this year better than I anticipated (In Real Life, primarily). So yay!!

    • I think I needed a bit of a break from it to be able to enjoy it again. Happened with NA too although I haven’t found a good NA book recently…

  • Awesome review! I bought the hardcover of this book when it came out, but I haven’t read it yet. I’m glad you enjoyed the audiobook! The sample you posted made it seem like this is a great audiobook…I might look into checking it out further. I just started getting into audiobooks so I’m looking for good narrators!

    Kelly @ Here's to Happy Endings recently posted: Review: Burn Baby Burn by Meg Medina
    • Awesome, I LOVE audiobooks! I hope you end up liking this one, book or audio 🙂

  • Now I’m conflicted. I read a couple of not-so-warm reviews for this book today (one was a DNF), so I don’t know…

  • I have been curious about this one!! I love this author, so I am intrigued. But I am not a YA reader, so I am a bit nervous about it. Maybe audiobook is a good way to go!! Great review.

  • Niiiiice! Glad to hear this one’s enjoyable! I’ve been holding off on reading it because of its cliffhanger! It seems like the type to leave me screaming in agony! And if I can delay that agony by reading it later on, then my wait for book 2 is all the shorter! Which this is a duology by the way! Wasn’t sure if you knew that yet! 😉

    Great review!!!

  • So, first, can I have that dress, maybe? I don’t know where I’d wear it either, BUT we could just go somewhere together in it, and maybe people will think we are just extra cool, and not give us weird looks. (Or maybe not.)

    I liked this one too! It was quite entertaining, even though I do think it could have used some more worldbuilding. And I agree that it felt like a “first book”, but like you, I can live with that.

    SO I tried to listen to the audio, because I always say “oh, psshh audio isn’t for me, I could never do it”, and this seemed like a really good time to try. ANd yeah, no, I was right. I’d start to listen and then be like “wait- what did she say?” within the first couple minutes. I tried a few times and every single time, my mind wandered very quickly. So hey, at least I can say I tried, so thanks for that! 😀

  • I LOVE your book look outfit that you put together! That dress SCREAMS “Alyssa” (I need moneyz! lol). I’m glad you enjoyed this book, Nereyda! I adored it – though the ending was all O.O Book two please!

    One day I will try an audiobook! Back to the “I need moneyz!” thing hehe. 😀

    Great review, Nereyda!

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

  • Hmmm… now I’m reconsidering my DNF marking. When I heard about the horrific cliffhanger ending I was a little hesitant, but I still gave it a chance… but at almost 50% I still wasn’t connecting to the characters AT ALL and really wasn’t finding the story going anywhere. I felt like nothing was happen. So I gave up and put it to the side. I’m thinking I may go back to it to finish it at some point, but I definitely wasn’t feeling it this week. So glad you enjoyed this one more than I did, though. The cover is simply GORGEOUS!!

  • I absolutely loved the cover for Reign of Shadows. And I also love that you provided us with a sample audio clip. TOO BAD I HATED THIS. Lol sorry for the outburst, I am very passionate with my feelings.

    I think I am more of a fantasy and worldbuilding person, and definitely NOT a romantic one (haha), which is why this book did not work for me at all. I didn’t know it was going to be all/mostly romance, so that threw me off a bit.

    BUT, I am glad both you and Nick loved this 🙂 And I especially love that you are getting into more NA, Nereyda! COME, JOIN US ON THE DARK SIDE.

  • I swear my TRL is going to kill me this year!!! I know I have to read Reign, but reading has been really slow for me this past month. Maybe I need a suggestion from you to get out of this funk 🙁

  • Nereyda, your cover inspired look is gorgeous as always! Your work with colors is impeccable. I’ve seen some mixed reviews on this book and I wasn’t sure I wanted to read it anymore. Thanks for this review, I think I’ll give it a try in audio (though I’ll probably wait, because I hate cliffhangers). I’ve listened to Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway narrated by Pheobe Strole. I can’t say I was blown away by her performance, but she is not bad.

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