REVIEW by Alexander
AUTHOR: J. Scott Coatsworth
PUBLISHER: Mischief Corner Books, LLC
LENGTH: 3 hours, 13 minutes
NARRATOR: Vance Bastian
Jerrith is running. Kissed by an elf, he can’t remain in his hometown of Althos anymore. Not that he wanted to stay.
Caspian still hasn’t figured out why he kissed Jerrith, but he’s running too. Since he was exiled from the Autumn Lands, his past has been hazy, and his future uncertain. But when a stray memory brings things into focus, the two decide to run toward something together. What they uncover will change how they see the world, and themselves, forever.
At first I thought this was a fantasy book, or set a few hundred years in the past, and quickly realized that there was more to Autumn Lands, more layers than first meets the eye.
I enjoyed the premise, how a stolen moment in an alley could turn into a life-changing turning point for not only Jerrith, but for worldly Caspian. There were events at the beginning that would not have worked had Althos been a larger village, and the escape was made plausible by the lack of technology.
Thrown together, Jerrith and Cas quickly learn to rely on each other, and just as quickly, Cas realizes that Jerrith is more than just a random villager, Jerrith is Cas’ soul mate. Now given the circumstances, they didn’t really have time to sort out their feelings, having to evade capture and survive and all, but the trek itself was how they learned about each other and allowed their feelings to grow.
The world building was well done, enough clear descriptions to allow my imagination to fill any gaps, and the science fiction elements were kept relatively clean and simple, which worked well in terms of ease of reading, and not to give anything away, but I did not see the story ending like it did, although once the final act had been played out, it made perfect sense, and I commend Coatsworth for that “wow” moment.
I really enjoyed Bastian’s narration of the story, how he brought such life to the characters as they undertook their forced journey back to The Autumn Lands. The characterization were distinctive and consistent, Bastian voice was, in my opinion, a great choices, as one of my pet peeves is when the narrator does not match the characters in therms of age / tone. On the technical side, I was pleased with the consistent and appropriate pace and clear diction, which made the story a pleasure to listen to.
I will definitely re-listen to The Autumn Lands and will search out more books by Coatsworth.