Steamborn by Eric R. Asher : An Audiobook Review

Jacob, a tinker’s apprentice and sometime thief, has lived his entire life in the mountain city of Ancora, protected by the city walls. These towering barriers keep the Deadlands creatures at bay, but the monsters move higher into the peaks every year. More and more, they breach the defenses of the Lowlands while the Highlands rest easy.

A swarm overruns the walls and wreaks utter devastation on the Lowlands. Charles, the old tinker, suspects the attack may not be natural. With help from Jacob’s closest friend, Alice, and Samuel, one of the city’s elite spider knights, Jacob and Charles will uncover a terrible darkness at the heart of their city

I can still remember picking up a copy of this book for the first time a couple of years ago and how much I enjoyed reading it, so I was excited to see the audio book appear on Audible. I’ve been on an audio book binge these past few months, so I figured if the book was as good as I remembered it to be, then the audio book would be worth the purchase. Steamborn by Eric R. Asher is just as amazing as I remembered it to be, though I think I may have enjoyed listening to the book even more than I did reading it. I actually made the mistake of starting the book at work and having to turn it off because I was focusing more on it than on the work I was supposed to do.

Even though I knew what to expect this time I was still struck by how much I enjoyed the world and characters of Steamborn. Out of all the war-torn or post-apocalyptic books I’ve read over the years I would say Steamborn is easily my favorite. I just love how hopeful I found the story and the characters to be. Even when the book was at its worst, the characters refused to sit down and just give in to their fear or to hopelessness. That hopeful atmosphere is something I don’t think you see a lot of in this genre and I think Eric R. Asher writes it very well.

While I loved just about everything in Steamborn, I still think that the characters are what stands out the most about it. Out of all the new characters I’ve been introduced to over the last few years Jacob is easily my favorite. The relationships between him, his mentor Charles, and his best friend Alice really make the story I think. I loved listening to the realistic way they interacted with each other and the world around themselves as the story progressed.

Normally I wouldn’t review a book twice like this but I thought the audio book really deserved a review of its own. I don’t think I’ve been so impressed by a narrator in awhile now. Saskia Maarleveld did a fantastic job narrating this book, I thought she gave every character their own unique voice and managed to pack enough emotion into her reading that you could almost feel everything that Jacob and his friends felt. I’m going to be really disappointed if she’s not the one to narrate the rest of the books in the series as they release. She was a large part of what I enjoyed so much about this audio book.

Steamborn is one of those books that I just can’t recommend to people enough, and I think the audio book is worth purchasing even if you’ve already read the book. I already can’t wait for the next book to release in audio book format.





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