Thursday, December 22, 2016

The Gender Game by Jessie Ash (narrated by Morgan Tyler)

A little something different today - my first attempt at reviewing an audio book. Jessie Ash was kind enough to claim my aural virginity with The Gender Game, and I gave the story a listen during my lunch-time walks last week.

Let me start with the story itself, which I liked quite a bit. This is a gender-swap thriller involving secret societies, urban legends, and deals with the Devil. Luke is a pompous womanizer, while Robbie is an insecure geek. Neither is exactly tops in their class, so it's a total surprise when their mysterious black envelopes arrive. It seems the two men are going to be entered into a game - with Luke transformed into a gorgeous woman, and Robbie into a handsome stud - and the first to succumb to temptation loses. The story, of course, focuses almost entirely on Luke's struggles to adapt to his newfound femininity, with the story allowing him to develop emotionally and intellectually as he seeks help from a jilted girlfriend and rather stunned roommate. The twist here is that he must come to weigh the promise of love with the guarantee of wealth and power, and decide whether the game is worth winning.

From what I understand of audiobooks, this is a standard narrative production. Unlike the more expensive dramatizations you might get from bestselling authors at major publishing houses, there is no music, sound effects, or other actors involved. Instead, you get a single narrator reading the story, and altering her voice slightly for each character. Not being used to audiobooks, it is hard to comment on that narration, because it still feels weird to have somebody reading me a story. I will say that Morgan Tyler speaks very clearly, and reads at a nice, comfortable pace. I did find the choice of a female narrator odd, however, as most of the characters are male, making her attempts to convey things like cocky arrogance and elderly sarcasm ring false to my ears.

Regardless, I did enjoy The Gender Game, and appreciated the ability to listen to it while going for my lunch-hour walk. Listening to a story is definitely a different experience than reading one, but I would not be opposed to trying it again.


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