Audiobook Review: The Eighth Guardian by Meredith McCardle

Posted by Jessi (Geo) on July 17, 2015 | 1 Comment

Audiobook Review: The Eighth Guardian by Meredith McCardleThe Eighth Guardian by Meredith McCardle
Series: Annum Guard #1
Published by Amazon Children's (5.6.2014)
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
Format: Audiobook, 386 pages
Length: 11 hours 21 minutes
Narrator: Amy McFadden
Source: I own it

3.5 Stars

Amanda Obermann. Code name Iris.

It’s Testing Day. The day that comes without warning, the day when all juniors and seniors at The Peel Academy undergo a series of intense physical and psychological tests to see if they’re ready to graduate and become government operatives. Amanda and her boyfriend Abe are top students, and they’ve just endured thirty-six hours of testing. But they’re juniors and don’t expect to graduate. That’ll happen next year, when they plan to join the CIA—together.

But when the graduates are announced, the results are shocking. Amanda has been chosen—the first junior in decades. And she receives the opportunity of a lifetime: to join a secret government organization called the Annum Guard and travel through time to change the course of history. But in order to become the Eighth Guardian in this exclusive group, Amanda must say good-bye to everything—her name, her family, and even Abe—forever.

Who is really behind the Annum Guard? And can she trust them with her life?

My thoughts

The concept for this story was amazing! I love anything time travel, and I was impressed with the notion of a branch of the military assigned to monitoring historical events and alteration of them. Very cool! It’s definitely not like any other time travel book out there.

I found the setup of the Annum Guard fascinating! The Annum watches were totally awesome! I liked their system of code names, too: Numbers for first generation, Greek alphabet for second, and colors for the third generation.

I liked Iris a lot, because I found that I identified with her. She made the best decisions she could, and to her, they made sense. Her heart was in the right place. But when Yellow accused her of being selfish, I was kind of taken aback. I agreed with Iris’s decisions and thought they were founded; I didn’t see them as selfish. But when Yellow explained it, it made sense. I could really relate to that, because I think very similar to the way Iris does. Family first, no matter what. I didn’t see it as selfish to put her father before others (that weren’t even her friends).

I have to admit though, Yellow earned my grudging respect. She’s a bit of a snob, and in the beginning I hated her. She was a complete bitch to Iris (not to mention she was very judgmental), and I wanted to slap the shit out of her. Her snide remark about Iris not fitting into the dress pissed me off! But after she teamed up with Iris (unwillingly), I started to see her differently. Despite being forced together, they slowly became friends and started depending on each other. I loved that! And in the end, Yellow wasn’t as bad as I thought she was.

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I loved the concept, the aspect of time travel, and Iris’s character, but there was still something missing for me that kept me from giving this book a higher rating. I’m not really sure what it is, I can’t put my finger on it. Maybe it just felt too short? Which is silly, because the audio was 11 hours long. I think some of it just felt rushed and underdeveloped, but like I said, I can’t pinpoint why. I also didn’t connect as well as I’d hoped. While I loved Iris, I didn’t get much feeling from this story. My emotional slate while reading (listening) was pretty blank, I’m afraid.

The Audio

I chose this book for audio specifically because it was Amy McFadden narrating. She narrated The Darkest Minds and I was highly impressed by how well she did. I’m sad to say that she didn’t wow me as much in this one. I had trouble telling the difference between the characters sometimes because her voice didn’t change very much (which was so NOT the case with Darkest Minds!!). I also couldn’t tell that she was actually saying “Alpha” until they introduced the other Guard members with Greek alphabet names. I seriously thought the guy’s name was “Elpha” because that’s how she pronounced it. I wasn’t really a fan of her narration at all for this book, despite how amazing she was at narrating The Darkest Minds.

Overall Assessment

Plot: 4/5
Premise: 4.5/5
Writing style: 3.5/5
Originality: 4.5/5
Characters: 3.5/5
Pace: 4/5
Feels: 2/5
Narration: 3/5
Cover: 4/5
Overall rating: 3.5/5

Jessi (Geo)

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