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Showing 1-10 of 507 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 524 reviews
on October 21, 2013
This was way too short. I want more Rae Carson! I'm very excited that I'll be reading The Bitter Kingdom soon!

Like with her trilogy, this novella creates such an interesting world. There are music mages and muses. And they are in prison. I want to know so much more about this world!

Rae Carson writes beautifully. She did an excellent job describing sounds in this novella.

I give this novella a 4/5 and recommend it to any Rae Carson fan like me looking to devour anything by her.
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on December 19, 2012
First off, this is a short story. And I don't read short stories. I appreciate them -- I once took an entire college course dedicated to short stories, and I learned that there's an awful lot going on in those little snippets. It takes a lot of skill to successfully execute a short story. Often, I feel that only the cleverest of writers can pull it off. Which, I imagine, is part of the reason why I don't read them. Most of the ones I've tried just weren't engaging enough. They couldn't escape the criticism, "this would have been good if it were a full-length story." And have you ever noticed that a lot of shorts are kind of... weird? So I steer clear of the genre despite knowing full and well that there's quality reads out there.

Dangerous Voices is written by Rae Carson, author of the Fire and Thorns series. I picked up Dangerous Voices during one of my downloading binges of free ebooks from Amazon. Most of such books are novella-length, and I didn't catch that Dangerous Voices was a short until I actually started to read it. I figured, what the hell. I would "bust it out", as one of my favorite people likes to say, then move on to a "real" book.

Expectations are funny things, aren't they? I set off with a lofty mentality, like I was doing this story a favor by reading it. And I was enthralled within the first sentences. I poured over the rest of the story, tea going cold at my side, and I remained enthralled. I can't even break out the standby critique, that cop-out statement, "it was so good, it would have better as a novel." No, this story was perfectly written as it was, and I couldn't imagine it otherwise.

The story is about a man, named Errik, who has been imprisoned so long that he's lost track of the years. Alone and broken, his world is only enlivened by the momentary sunlight that comes through his window. Until a new prisoner is brought in and put in the cell next to his. Llyri is gifted with the music that was taken from Errik -- and the magic that he turned his back on. He knows it's dangerous to speak to her, but he's compelled to make that connection. Will Llyri help him remember what it means to be free? Or will the music and magic be taken from them both?

Several things went right with this story. The language is beautiful and poetic, but it isn't so ornate that it overwhelms the plot. Everything flows seamlessly from start to finish, with not a single obstacle or gap to disrupt the reading experience. And the characters are skillfully crafted. The four entities -- Errik, Llyri, Allon, and "the keys" -- come through as fully developed characters despite the brevity of their appearances. They are the real substance of the story, a narrowed but finely focused lens into this fantastical world of magic and music.

This story did not leave me wanting more -- I was perfectly satisfied. Perhaps my view on short stories is turned around. Or maybe Rae Carson is just that good.
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on December 6, 2012
For such a short read I have to say this book was pretty amazing. I enjoyed how it read, the author has a way with writing that makes it easy to imagine what is being told. Though you "don't" find out why these people are being held prisoners it's pretty self explanatory. I had no problem at all, as some have seemed to, in figuring out what it is these people are being held prisoner for. My only problem with this story is that it ended when I wasn't ready for it to end. This was my first attempt at trying this authors work and I've enjoyed it so much that I will be adding more of their work to my TBR(to-be-read) list.
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on January 20, 2013
I thoroughly understand how hard it is for a writer to compose a short story. By and large publishers of the genre have set in place so many restrictions on what they will accept as a short story that usually the author's creativity becomes stifled during the writing process. Due to such restrictions (i.e.--How many words the story can contain or how many pages it need be) very few modern day writers ever achieve success in the field as did Henry, Poe, or Conrad. Still every now and again an established novelist will pick up the gauntlet, take on the challenge and try something new--that writer will step out of his or her comfort zone and tackle writing a short story.

Rae Carson's "Dangerous Voices" was an enjoyable read. The premise of the story was wonderfully refreshing. No Potteresque influences in this tale: There are no witches, no wizards, no schools of magic, or potions classes to attend in this story. Rae Carson's central character is none other than (the sound of) the voice.

What's bad about the tale? Let's see... I felt that the characters owning the voices were not completely developed. I wanted to know more about them. Who were they before they ended up where they are? Why does each Muse (oops) pick that individual or can others be chosen? Why is society so afraid of the voices? I also want to know what the heck is the gunk on the wall that the central male character prefers eating over his daily meal?
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on June 11, 2013
I do not understand why this short story continues to be judged so harshly. The only reason I could possibly find would be that it is not what one would call a "happy" story.

I liked the fact that the narrator has been broken by his imprisonment. I feel like this conveys how long he has actually been there. It also manages to convey his lack of interaction with others. In a short amount of time the author is able to convey a person who has been reduced to nothing more than a shell of person.

I didn't need any details as to the "why" or the "how" of his situation in order to feel his sadness and despair. I was never plagued with the question of whether he deserved this or not. By the end the reader is made well aware of that particular answer.

I didn't need the play-by-play over the last decade to know the importance of certain events that became a catalyst to the inevitable (though unlikely) ending.

Very few instances can an author convey so much with so little. I love a refreshing short story that gets to the point while still having incredible amounts of character development.

Honestly, it was the best 15 minute investment I have made in awhile.
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on April 4, 2013
Very intriguing read. You can get it for free from the author's website. I was able to download it for Kindle for free, but now it seems like that might no longer be available ...? Anyway, I love the world building that Rae Carson does, even in such a short story. It makes me wish that this were a full length novel and I knew everything that was going on in that world and Errik's life. The writing is beautiful and rich, much like her Fire and Thorns books.
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on March 9, 2013
I hate to say this when I know the story is what impressed her husband enough to start a relationship with her, but I don't think this is the best story to offer for free to introduce herself to new readers.
The story is about 15 pages in length. I have no issue with that, especially given the price, and it does have an ending to it. It is not set in the same story world as her other books, but she does try to give you a sense of how things work in this world, necessarily limited by the setting of a jail.
I guess that's the reason it's unsatisfying -- there is little context. It's an interesting concept, but leaves you wanting just a bit more. The character's narrative voice is a little weird - I guess he has been affected by long years of imprisonment, but that makes him come across as juvenile, somehow. The climax initiated by the new inmate and brought to fruition by the main character feels like something that another prisoner could have thought of at any time. I think most of the flaws are due to the length. If this was meant to be a longer piece, it would have more depth and complexity to it. I think Carson's A Girl of Fire and Thorns and Crown of Embers are excellent. Read those to know what kind of writer she is. I don't think this story tells you.
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on March 13, 2017
This short story seemed to be very easy to read but I would have liked to read more. I look forward to reading more by this author...
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on January 13, 2013
Short stories and I have a love, hate relationship. I love them cause they're short and they get right to the point but I hate them cause the authors create a world I want to know more about.

I want to know why this young man is locked up? I want to know how long he has really been locked up as his voice is raw and he has a growing beard? I want to know what are music mage's? What world they live in where those people have to be locked up?

The wanting is good, makes the read so intriguing and mysterious to the point where you can't look away from the words. You can't stop to take a breather cause you just have to know what's going to happen next. All signs of great story telling and a fabulous plot line!

Even though there is a lot of wanting you still feel satisfy by the way it ended. Answers were given and the big shebang made this feel complete.

Overall, what a great little story that'll have you craving for more from this author. Perfect for people who are looking for a quick read and are looking for great building of the story line.
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on April 15, 2013
I actually read this a long time ago, so I thought I'd write a review for it finally.

Basically, this short story is about people who are music mages that are being held prisoners because of their abilities to use magic through their songs. I really loved the idea of the story and the creativity of it. Although this story is short (of course), there is enough description of Errik's experience in the jail to visualize it and get a good handle on the setting. It made my heart ache for him. It also made me want to read a full length book on this world. Usually, I don't like reading present tense books, but it seemed fitting to this story.

Overall, I think Rae Carson did a wonderful job in such a small package. And the editing was great, I didn't see anything wrong-- or at least nothing obvious to me. I would recommend anyone who loves short stories to read this quick, great read.
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