Narrator: Michael Crouch

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 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