Audiobook Review: Children of Paranoia by Trevor Shane

26 09 2011

Children of Paranoia by Trevor Shane

Read by Steven Boyer with Emma Galvin

Penguin Audiobooks

Length 12 Hrs 11 Mins

Genre: Thriller

Quick Thoughts: Children of Paranoia is a thriller that can appeal to readers of all types. It’s full of everything a reader could want in a tale, adventure, romance, and a lot of great action. Its style translate smoothly to audio and narrator Steven Boyer captures the main character perfectly.

Grade: A+

One of the reasons that I became a book blogger is that I love to recommend books. The sad thing is, I don’t have very many book friends in real life to talk books with, especially those that like the same type of books I do.  Beyond my sister, and a few casual acquaintances, most of my friends aren’t book people, or have highly different tastes than I do and because of that I find myself making book suggestions with qualifications. Oh, I have recommended Ready Player One to people, if they can relate to the many 80’s references and I’ve suggested Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion, if they can deal with zombies. Even with my friends that are speculative fiction fans, I often find myself tempering my recommendations, or justifying why they should check out a book not about space travel or unicorns. It’s actually quite rare to find a book that really cross genre’s that truly appeal to people who enjoy the genres the book touches upon. I mean, sure Stephen King’s Dark Tower Series is a mash of horror, fantasy, science fiction and westerns, but I don’t know many Larry McMurtry fans that love the series, and I know plenty fantasy and sci-fi people who hate it. Yet, what I rarely if ever experience is a novel that falls squarely into a genre, yet I would feel comfortable recommending to almost any lover of a good tale without qualification or reservation. Children of Paranoia by Trevor Shane is one of those rare gems.

Children of Paranoia is a tale of a secret war that has spanned generations. No one truly understands how this war has started, yet it is happening on our streets spanning the globe. There are two sides to the war, yet the combatants don’t fit into any specific racial, ethic or national subgroup. There are written rules governing the behavior of the soldiers involved in the war, yet one unwritten stands true, the other side is evil, kill them before they kill you. Children of Paranoia is a pure thriller, following one soldier, named Joe, as participates in this secret war. Despite the fact that there are no science fiction elements, or supernatural moments, Children of Paranoia fully engaged my speculative curiosity that is only typically touched by the best science fiction tale. The philosophies of this secret war were so foreign that the book achieved an amazing sense of otherworldliness. Yet, it was grounded in reality, those involved in the war could be your neighbor, or your coworkers. Children of Paranoia has everything that readers look for no matter what the genre, a grand sense of adventure, thrilling action scenes, heart ripping emotion, romance and characters you can love and hate at the same time. I am telling you right now, if you have not yet read Children of Paranoia, and it’s not currently on your "To Be Read" list, stop what you are doing right now, run out to you local bookstore, or library, or log onto your favorite audiobook download service and take the steps to add it to your list. I promise you, you will be happy that you did.

The majority of the audiobook was read by Steven Boyer, with a small portion read by Emma Galvin. Children of Paranoia was written in a style that worked particularly well as an audiobook. The book is written as a letter from Joe to the women he loves, describing and explaining events involving both of them. Steven Boyer reads the tale in a whispery conversational tone that fit the book to a tee. I truly felt that Boyer really embodied the character of Joe, and it was as if the character was telling us his story. There wasn’t a huge need for a lot of character voices, but Boyer handled the ones he had to well. Boyer also had a keen sense of pacing, reading the everyday moments of the tale with a steady rhythm that increases to a lightning quick pace during the action scenes. For her small part, Emma Galvin worked as an excellent counterpart to Steven Boyer’s reading, mimicking his pacing well.  Rarely does a novel capture me from the very first sentence, but Children of Paranoia had me enthralled from the moment I hit play until the very end, and left me craving for more. Simply put, I loved this book.