I had the great honor of being a beta reader for this novel when it was first released back in 2017, and now I have the pleasure of getting to review the audiobook version! Fun fact: this is my first time not only reviewing one, but also listening to one, which is a nice milestone for someone with an interest in voice work and creating an audiobook myself!
I present to you, The Rite of Wands, written by Mackenzie Flohr, and narrated by Chris Walker-Thomson!
A Tale of Creators
About the Author: Mackenzie Flohr
Mackenzie is a multi-award-winning author of the YA Fantasy series The Rite of Wands, published by BHC Press, which has caught the attention of Doctor Who and Harry Potter fans worldwide. Readers agree that Mackenzie has crafted a robust tale of secrets, mystery, and uncertain destiny that rivals the works of Tolkien, Lewis, and Rowling.
A storyteller at heart, she loves to inspire the imagination. Mackenzie makes her home in Mount Morris, Michigan, where she is currently penning her next adventure.
About the Narrator: Chris Walker-Thomson
Chris Walker-Thomson is a versatile British actor, voice artist and impressionist based in Chelmsford, Essex. He is most known for his highly-acclaimed portrayal of Doctor Who actor Patrick Troughton in various productions – as well as being a well-established character actor. Chris is also an exceptional impressionist, voice over artist and comedy performer.
There’s a lot to be said about this audiobook, and instead of going strictly on an audiobook setup, I thought that for my review, I could utilize my knowledge on voice work and audio to play with it as well as prior knowledge of the book! I’m gonna stick to my normal technique of “the good, the bad, and the meh.” But, to keep it from running long, I’ll be a bit basic.
I was completely blown away with Chris’s portrayal of Orlynd in particular, mainly because I was always enthralled with his character, and I was curious to see how he would portray such a nervous, yet caring, kind, and virtually hated among his peers kind of character. He nailed the Scottish accent, he completely nailed every layer of Orlynd to its finest, and I found myself excited to listen.
In addition to the voice work itself, I was elated to hear the sound effects, such as cheering and fanfare during the tournaments, or “whooshing” teleportations whenever Mierta was reflecting and traversing through time and seeing his future self. It makes the story feel that much more real.
While I was completely fond of Chris’s vices and take on Mierta’s psychopathy, at times I feel that he didn’t truly execute the beginning of the novel with his development correctly, but that may just be a flaw within myself to witness. Somehow, I was hoping that Mierta would have a bit more… emotion during certain scenes, such as when he sees into the past in chapter three and sees his late mother, or sees the man that he will become. I was hoping that he would be more shocked. But I understand the need to keep it less over-dramatic as well.
Much like when I read the novel, there was very little that I didn’t find myself appealing to, and hearing it in audio form allowed me to gather more perspective on not only what has already been created, but how it could be formed in the sequel (still waiting for that, Mackenzie!) and other stories.
I really enjoyed my first taste of an audiobook, and I’m excited to see what’s in store for the next project! 5/5 for sure!
Audio Excerpt 101
What a twist!
This time, we have an audio excerpt rather than a writing excerpt, and if you’re interested in the project, you can have a little taste of it right on Soundcloud!
If you enjoyed this spotlight, be sure to venture on and explore the others in this tour!