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Friday, January 16, 2015

Audiobook Review: The Dragons of Dorcastle by Jack Campbell

Title: The Dragons of Dorcastle
Author: Jack Campbell
Narrated by: MacLeod Andrews
Series: The Pillars of Reality, book 1
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Audible Studios
Source: Review copy from publisher
Format: Audiobook
Length: 11 hrs and 27 mins
For centuries, the two Great Guilds have controlled the world of Dematr. The Mechanics and the Mages have been bitter rivals, agreeing only on the need to keep the world they rule from changing. But now a Storm approaches, one that could sweep away everything that humans have built. Only one person has any chance of uniting enough of the world behind her to stop the Storm, but the Great Guilds and many others will stop at nothing to defeat her.

Mari is a brilliant young Mechanic, just out of the Guild Halls where she has spent most of her life learning how to run the steam locomotives and other devices of her Guild. Alain is the youngest Mage ever to learn how to change the world he sees with the power of his mind. Each has been taught that the works of the other’s Guild are frauds. But when their caravan is destroyed, they begin to discover how much has been kept from them.

As they survive danger after danger, Alain discovers what Mari doesn’t know—that she was long ago prophesized as the only one who can save their world. When Mari reawakens emotions he had been taught to deny, Alain realizes he must sacrifice everything to save her. Mari, fighting her own feelings, discovers that only together can she and Alain hope to stay alive and overcome the Dragons of Dorcastle.
The Dragons of Dorcastle is the first book in the The Pillars of Reality series by Jack Campbell. Narrated by MacLeod Andrews.

The blurb more than explains what this book is about, so I won’t delve more into it.

I was very excited about listening to this audiobook, I had heard great things about Jack Campbell’s books and I thought this was my chance. Sadly, my high expectations were not met. Maybe if I wouldn’t have expected much from it I would have liked it more.

My biggest problem was that everything was too easy and too perfectly “there” to work in the characters favor. From the way they meet, to the circumstances that bring them together, to them “falling in love” and finally, to them solving the mystery of the dragons of Dorcastle.

Mari is a good heroine, but at the same time she is a bit frustrating. She is smart, but headstrong and suffers from episodes of teenager angst.

Alain is my favorite of the two, maybe because he is the one that grows the most. There is an obvious change from the Alain from first chapters, to the one at the end and I liked seeing him change.

The romance, if I can call it that, was a big disappointment because there was zero chemistry between the characters. I would have believed in a friendship between them, but not a romance; maybe a romance could have blossom in future books, but involving them romantically in this installment was premature and completely unrealistic.

The story is interesting enough and it is what kept me listening. I liked the idea of the two enemy guilds and I liked the idea about the prophecy. I only wish the world building would have been better developed.

Even though I had some problems with The Dragons of Dorcastle I would like to continue with the series. I want to know what Campbell has in store for Mari and Alain in future books.

MacLeod Andrews does a really good job with the male voices, but sadly his female voices weren’t that strong. In couple of instances it was difficult to discern who was who, because his voices sounded very similar and in another instance, I wasn’t sure if one character was male or female, it was female. Apart from that, Andrews does a good job interpreting the story. His narration was another factor that kept me listening.

My Verdict: 3 ½ Paws
Narration Verdict: 4 Paws

Other books in the series
The Dragons of Dorcastle
The Hidden Masters of Marandur (February 10th)

Other reviews Goodreads


  1. I will wait for you to review book 2 then ;)

    1. You won't have to wait long, it'll be released soon. ;)

  2. I think I've listened to MacLeod Andrews on something else, but I can't remember. Great review. I don't think this is a book for me.

    1. He has narrated many titles, including many of Nora Roberts' books. I listened to Reckoners by Brandon Sanderson narrated by him, he does a good job with those.

  3. Expectations are the darnedest thing. It's difficult not to have none, but they do have a way of derailing a read. I have a really tough time with male narrators that fail at female voices because in an audio that's the only way for listeners to differentiate the characters.

    Carmel @ Rabid Reads

    1. I try not to have expectations before starting a book, but... sometimes it happens.
      I agree, there are only few narrators good a female voices.

  4. I think it would've been better if there was no romance at all.

    1. Exactly! It went from I know you to I love you, without any chemistry or anything. :(

  5. I really enjoyed this one Marcela, and I particularly love McLeods' narration. It was one of my favorites for the year, sorry you didn't enjoy it as a much as I did. Most fantasy narrators can do very good with accents, but very few have great female voices.
    The book was just good to me, but in my case the narration mad it better.


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