Genre: Young Adult

The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner

Posted November 5, 2016 by Jennifer in Book Review | , , , , | 1 Comment

The Serpent King by Jeff ZentnerThe Serpent King by Jeff Zentner
Narrator: Michael Crouch, Ariadne Meyers, Ethan Sawyer
Published by Listening Library on March 8th 2016
Genres: Young Adult
Format: Hardcover
Length: 9 hours and 7 minutes
Source: Library
Amazon | Goodreads
four-half-stars

Dill has had to wrestle with vipers his whole life at home, as the only son of a Pentecostal minister who urges him to handle poisonous rattlesnakes, and at school, where he faces down bullies who target him for his father's extreme faith and very public fall from grace.

The only antidote to all this venom is his friendship with fellow outcasts Travis and Lydia. But as they are starting their senior year, Dill feels the coils of his future tightening around him. Dill's only escapes are his music and his secret feelings for Lydia neither of which he is brave enough to share. Graduation feels more like an ending to Dill than a beginning. But even before then, he must cope with another ending one that will rock his life to the core.

Icon TOP READ Icon INFURIATING icon well written icon MOMAPPROVED icon FED-THE-NERD icon AMAZEBALLS

Three Lives That Touched Each Other, Will Never Be The Same!

I do not normally write reviews for novels I read for school, but after being blown away by Jeff Zentner’s The Serpent King I had to write one to help spread the word about this talented debut author and the amazing story and characters he wrote.

Like most books, if I can find it on audio and the narration is good I’ll listen to it. I was happy to find the audio via my library system. The three narrators really brought Zentner’s characters to life. The Serpent King is written in 3rd person with each chapter told through three different characters. Three teenage friends, Dill (narrated by Michael Crouch), Lydia (narrated by Ariadne Meyers),  and Travis (narrated by Ethan Sawyer). These three narrators are so talented and they helped me get through The Serpent King. What do I mean “get through” it? Well, I almost DNF (did not finish) the book after about 25 pages. The religious aspects of Dill’s family was a turn off to me, but after putting my feelings about it aside and seeing how that part of Dill’s life shaped him, I gave myself up to Zentner’s story. I am so glad I continued the book!

I cannot go too deep into my thoughts and feelings on the book without spoiling a major point in the plot but just know that I was so emotionally drained after listening to The Serpent King. I felt ALL THE FEELINGS while listening to this story about three best friends that did not fit in at school or at home. In many cases, they were the only family each other had.

The only reason I did not give The Serpent King a perfect 5-star rating was because I NEEDED an epilogue. Out of all the novels, I have read for my Adolescent Literature class this semester, The Serpent King is by far my favorite. The only reason I did not give The Serpent King a perfect 5-star rating was because I NEEDED an epilogue. I have already added Jeff Zentner’s next novel, Goodbye Days (releasing March 2017) to my wish list. I have no doubt I will love it just as much.

Backwoods Southern Thinking at It’s finest.

Review Breakdown
Characters
four-half-stars
Narration (Audio)
four-half-stars
Overall: four-half-stars

 

The Serpent King is up for TWO Goodreads Best Book of 2016 categories.

About Michael Crouch

Michael Crouch is a New York actor specializing in voice-over. His keen ear and natural delivery have established him as a flexible and creative national talent.

About Jeff Zentner

Jeff Zentner lives in Nashville, Tennessee. He came to writing through music, starting his creative life as a guitarist and eventually becoming a songwriter. He’s released five albums and appeared on recordings with Iggy Pop, Nick Cave, Warren Ellis, Thurston Moore, Debbie Harry, Mark Lanegan, and Lydia Lunch, among others.

Now he writes novels for young adults. He became interested in writing for young adults after volunteering at the Tennessee Teen Rock Camp and Southern Girls Rock Camp. As a kid, his parents would take him to the library and drop him off, where he would read until closing time. He worked at various bookstores through high school and college.

He speaks fluent Portuguese, having lived in the Amazon region of Brazil for two years.

Review Breakdown
Characters
four-half-stars
Narration (Audio)
four-half-stars
Overall: four-half-stars

Arcana Rising by Kresley Cole

Arcana Rising by Kresley Cole

Posted October 25, 2016 by Jennifer in Book Review | 2 Comments

         The team of Cole and Galvin continues to deliver mind-blowing stories to my earbuds! The Arcana Chronicles is a unique series and I’m always excited to get my hands on a new installment. I get so wrapped up in the story and the characters that everything else just falls away. Total immersion happens when I listen to Emma Galvin deliver an award winning performance. Arcana Rising brings us one book closer to the series wrapping up (sobs), it also answered some questions from previous books but left enough unanswered that we will have a plate full of goodness when Cole comes back with The Dark Calling in Spring of 2107. And yes it ends with a cliffhanger but if you’re a fan of this series […]


Audio review: Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr

Audio review: Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr

Posted October 6, 2016 by Anne in Book Review | 5 Comments

       I listened in preparation for NOLA Storycon. There is every reason I would not like Wicked Lovely; it’s young adult. I’m not sure yet if the classification is urban fantasy or paranormal romance since this is the first in the Wicked Lovely series. The first book always has possible world-building issues. There were some but not as many since it is about the fae but Aislinn is not fae and has some misconceptions. There weren’t an overwhelming amount of details for this reason. I learned slowly along with her. I had trouble getting started listening, trying a couple times and couldn’t get going and then, I did. The narrator, Alyssa Bresnahan, must have done well because I was able to focus on the story […]


Day Zero by Kresley Cole

Day Zero by Kresley Cole

Posted August 1, 2016 by Jennifer in Book Review | 1 Comment

    I love the letter at the front of Day Zero from Cole that involves a SPOILER WARNING. She says she cannot deny nor confirm something that fans of the series have been speculating about one of the characters. I won’t say what that is so that I don’t spoil anyone reading this review that has not started the series yet. I just wanted to let you know what Day Zero should not be read as a prequel! I had no idea that Day Zero was a companion guide to the Arcana Chronicles. I thought it was just a novella giving us the story from other characters’ POVs. But it’s both actually. We get info about the major arcana and snippets from some their […]


Paper and Fire by Rachel Caine

Paper and Fire by Rachel Caine

Posted June 30, 2016 by Anne in Book Review, Giveaway | 12 Comments

    Complex and well-written, The Great Library series could be reread and more details discovered each time. There are bits of humor and romance but this is fantasy, set in history with magic. Books are revered, as they should be. There is a war happening, both political and actual, with a David versus Goliath feel. I really loved getting to know these characters in Ink and Bone, and this continues. They are so important to me; I am so worried about them. The suspense is high with the threat of death constant. Young, smart and capable, Jess and his friends use their talents to the fullest. Their situation is treacherous. Allies are developed which works out …. sometimes. The allies may help, or die, […]


Bright Blaze of Magic by Jennifer Estep

Bright Blaze of Magic by Jennifer Estep

Posted May 13, 2016 by Jennifer in Book Review | 3 Comments

     If you ask Lila Merriweather how she spent her summer break, she would tell you that she became a team player, made some friends, has a new boyfriend, and helped take down some bad guys. You know the typical teenager’s summer. Bright Blaze of Magic was a nice wrap up of the Black Blade trilogy by Jennifer Estep.  Lila gets her closer from the past and a has bright looking future with the Sinclair family. Well done Estep! I like that Lila’s story was told in a trilogy, there was no unnecessary over-drawn drama that you get with some long running series. Estep gives you some fun characters, action, mystery and a little violence (I would have liked to see more blood and death but I’m […]


Thrifty Thursday: Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Thrifty Thursday: Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Posted April 14, 2016 by Anne in Book Review | 4 Comments

      THE PURPOSE OF THRIFTY THURSDAY IS TO PICK A BOOK WHICH WAS FREE (AT SOME POINT). It’s currently $ 5.99 on Amazon, Nook, and Kobo.   It was free on November 10, 2015. This choice worked on many levels. It was a Kindle freebie and I’m trying to read and review some of my massive collection of those. The author is Jennifer Armentrout. She will be at Nola Storycon so I want to have read some of her books.   Obsidian is a young adult paranormal story.  There are high school kids, aliens and action / adventure. There is even a budding romance.  I liked the characters but wanted more depth. This makes it clear to me why I don’t read young adult very […]


Dark Heart of Magic by Jennifer Estep

Dark Heart of Magic by Jennifer Estep

Posted October 26, 2015 by Jennifer in Book Review | 5 Comments

    Jennifer Estep doing what she does best . . . writing strong and sassy heroines that have a taste for vengeance, justice and yummy food. Dark Heart of Magic takes place a couple of weeks after Cold Burn of Magic and Lila finds herself part of the Sinclair family. Which is really weird for her since she has lived on the streets for the last 4 years with only one friend, Mo. Now she’s living in a mansion with other people and pixies. There are rules to follow and people who care about her. But Lila tries her best to keep her distance since she plays on leaving when the year she agreed to stay is up. But there’s one person that Lila is having […]