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The Masked City

The Invisible Library, Book 2
Written by: Genevieve Cogman
Narrated by: Susan Duerden
Length: 10 hrs and 39 mins
4 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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Publisher's Summary

Librarian-spy Irene is working undercover in an alternative London when her assistant, Kai, goes missing. She discovers he's been kidnapped by the fae faction, and the repercussions could be fatal. Not just for Kai but for whole worlds. Kai's dragon heritage means he has powerful allies but also powerful enemies in the form of the fae. With this act of aggression, the fae are determined to trigger a war between their people - and the forces of order and chaos themselves. Irene's mission to save Kai and avert Armageddon will take her to a dark, alternate Venice where it's always Carnival. Here Irene will be forced to blackmail, fast talk, and fight. Or face death.

©2015 Genevieve Cogman (P)2015 Audible, Inc.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Melissa
  • 2016-02-09

That voice!

What did you like best about The Masked City? What did you like least?

I've never been compelled to write a review but at the end of listening to this book, I just have to. The story is fairly predictable in terms of plot line. Not unenjoyable, but certainly it's an easy read. You can listen to this while your brain is doing other things and not miss much. But that's ok. I expect that from this genre and I still enjoy the genre. What made me almost stop listening was the voice of the narrator. Her range of tone is so limited during the narration parts of the book (as opposed to the conversational parts) that it becomes something of a repetitive singsong riff. It just about drove me crazy as I tried desperately to ignore the tone and focus on the actual words. I don't understand it because when she does conversation voices, she's not too bad. I probably will not buy the next book (if there is one) in this series because it's just too irritating.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

More character development and a completely different narrator.

How could the performance have been better?

Please see above. The world of speech has unlimited numbers of tones to use. Use more of them.

Any additional comments?

Just want to say I'm not new to Audible. I listen to books all the time, and have literally hundreds of books in my library. It's the first time I've disliked a narration so much I felt compelled to comment. Listen before you buy this one. I hope your experience differs.

14 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Troy Stevens
  • Kalamazoo, MI
  • 2016-06-27

Susan Duerden tries to hard to sound dramatic

Is there anything you would change about this book?

While I like British narrators, Susan draws outs her words too much in what I believe is an attempt to sound dramatic and it is distracting.

Would you be willing to try another book from Genevieve Cogman? Why or why not?

I was really excited when I saw this was released, but now I'm disappointed. The 1st book was much better and am sad that this one was not as good. Irene, to me, does not seem like the type of person to want to be restricted to one location as her position of Librarian in Residence would imply. She seems the sort that wants to "be free". If Genevieve changes this in later books I may pick them up.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

I would have to say yes for the most part, there were times Susan drew out a word for dramatic effect that slowed down the pace where it should not have slowed.

Was The Masked City worth the listening time?

I actually took a break from this book and listened to 2 others before completing this one, the narration bugged me that much.

Any additional comments?

While I'm not one for changes in narrator in the middle of a series, if one can be found that won't draw out her words so often, go for it please.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • theamazingcatherine
  • Aotearoa
  • 2016-10-19

Tropey fun

A bit slow to get going. (Irene visiting the dragons didn't really grip me.) But the sequence in Venice was glorious and had some wonderful character moments and spectacle. I didn’t know Kai could do that either. I continue to be amused at the pretty people throwing themselves at (she describes herself as not bad to look at but prone to fading into the background ) Irene. Clearly she has Heroic Charisma and hasn't noticed yet.

The reader does great villain voices, but puts a little gush of enthusiasm into every! single! sentence! which I found a bit off-putting. There's no tonal range for when the story gets fraught.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Coral
  • 2015-12-12

The City of Dreams

In some ways I liked this story a little more then book 1: the fay and dragons are detailed better and the effects of order and chaos start to be clear.

Enjoy. PS the narration is improved quiet a bit.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Solveig
  • Iceland
  • 2017-12-18

Good story killed by narrator

I read the first book of the series in and really enjoyed it. The plot was unexpected and the characters interesting. Unfortunately I decided to listen to book two. I was seriously disappointed. I had to be constantly rewinding because I realized that I had been listening for minutes without taking anything in. I don't feel I actually heard enough of the story to judge it. The only thing that really stuck with me was the insanely monotonous narration. I'll have to read the book before I can accurately judge the story itself.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Chelsea Fairless
  • 2016-10-06

Great story, disappointing performance

Would you consider the audio edition of The Masked City to be better than the print version?

No. I honestly could not stand the reader. Her different voices in general were ok, although confusing when two men were speaking to each other. But I could not get over how melodramatic her reading was. Every. Single. Sentence. Was. Dramatic. Thus when things were truly heart-wrenching, it wasn't as dramatic as it should have been because it was all on the same level.

What other book might you compare The Masked City to and why?

It would probably be good for lovers of Sherlock Holmes (even though I've never actually read a Holmes story and so can't really compare) because of the good quality, intellectual, clean adventure and mystery. And generally lovers of fantasy/sci-fi.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

See first question.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Can't say much without spoilers, but I would love to see the water scene in a movie. You'll know it when you get there.

Any additional comments?

Great story! But pick up the print version instead.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Kindle Customer
  • Tucson, AZ, United States
  • 2019-08-24

Entertaining

Entertaining book despite the occasional overly descriptive portions. The performer does a good job with the different voices but sounds a bit "breathy." However, that may be intentional to create an atmosphere.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Rebecca
  • 2017-12-12

irritating

Struggled to finish this one. Not intriguing or flowing and I would often find my mind drifting away from the book while listening.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lynn
  • 2017-12-10

Loved the book, Hated the reader

What made the experience of listening to The Masked City the most enjoyable?

The book itself is great, this is the second of her books I've read, and enjoy the world and the writing style.

Would you be willing to try another one of Susan Duerden’s performances?

NO - she's terrible, all breathy and singsongy. I almost stopped listening to the book.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Angela
  • 2017-04-10

love it.

hated how I was left hanging, but can't wait to read the next one to come...