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Seraphina Audible – Unabridged

4.4 out of 5 stars 603 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audible Audio Edition
  • Listening Length: 13 hours and 15 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Listening Library
  • Audible.com Release Date: July 10, 2012
  • Whispersync for Voice: Ready
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008J8LXOW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank:

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By O. Lisa on July 14, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I hate it when I have the impression that I am reading a different book from other readers whose opinion I value. Hate it. Unfortunately, it happened with this book. I've read some really glowing reviews but, alas, I can't just - partially - share the love.

Objectively, Seraphina meets all the requirements to become the next epic fantasy series: it has an original take on a fairly exploited theme - dragons -, an amazing world-building, a well formed, strong main character, a 5-star-worthy writing style.

But let's go in order:
The story is set in a world where two species exist: dragons and humans.
Dragons, powerful creatures, mathematical minds, able to take human form (saarantrai) to interact with people, reject all emotions as weakness, to the point of excising them from their brains.
Humans, constrained in their fragile bodies, fear dragons above all else and despise them, even in their human form, to the point of racial discrimination. These two species have been at war with one another for the longest of times, except for the past forty years when a rather unstable truce gave apparent peace to the world. Now it's the time to renew the peace.
So, dragons. And humans.
And then, there's Seraphina. She is the unthinkable, a half-dragon. It is imperative her identity remain a secret, but when the Prince of Goredd is found brutally murdered and all fingers point to the dragons, Seraphina becomes the unwilling protagonist of an investigation to unveil a plot that is threatening to jeopardize an already unstable peace and which will oblige her to face her most dreaded nightmare: the truth about herself.

Sounds awesome, doesn't it?
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
One of the things which instantly caught my attention in the descriptions of this novel was the ability of the dragons to change their shapes to mimic the human body. That concept just absolutely opened up an entire realm of possibilities for this author. As it turned out, the saarantras (dragons in human form)are still not able to feel human emotion, but at least they can interact with humans without scaring them to death. That was simply one of the new world concepts this author invented to make a fascinating novel. The broad concepts of mathematics and music are also key to this new world along with bigotry and diplomatic negotiations. But I'm getting carried away and rushing too far along. The book description states that it is intended for ages 12 and up and it is perfectly appropriate for someone as young as 12. There is nothing of a sexual nature in the novel. I do think that the story was a little slow to engage my interest because the world building is so prominent in the first third of the novel, but don't give up on it. You will miss a real treat if you do.

This story concerns the central character of a young woman, Seraphina Dombegh, who has spent her entire 16 years of life hiding a secret. Now circumstances are beginning to change and Phina is having a harder time dealing with all the new happenings in her life which make the secrecy more urgent and yet harder to maintain. She has recently been hired as the music assistant to the court composer and her first difficult job will be to play a flute solo at the Invocation for the funeral of Prince Rufus. Feeling is running high because it would appear that the forty year peace accord between humans and dragons has been violated.
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6 Comments 78 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It's quite a shame that we've been conditioned by the environment to expect everything we experience to compel us from the outset.

I do know that not every book will have the same appeal to every person, and that's okay. But so many of the negative reviews for this (or less than fully positive) complain about the novel's slow start.

It does indeed start slow. By embarking upon the first page you have been dropped into a wholly unfamiliar world where a whole lot of stuff is about to happen. And happen it does, from page 83 (according to my Kindle) onward you feel the momentum build into a crazy train of story that you won't want to leave. But up until page 83 you are getting your bearings. Bearings that have to balance you through some admittedly _different_ stuff. But that's okay. Because that's what Hartman needs to do to make the story meaningful. I'm not going to complain about those 83 pages of groundwork because they paid off spectacularly well.

My only complaint at all is that this is being marketed as a YA book. I know that's what is hot right now. I know that "YA" is the magic word for selling copies of anything. But is this YA? I consider it a fantasy novel with a young female protagonist. I hesitated to read it at first because I'm tired of YA, tired of all the Hunger Games wannabes clogging the shelves. This is not a "wannabe" of anything. It is its own magnificent work, original and real.
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Format: Hardcover
I didn't know much about this book other than that it featured dragons which was reason enough for me to read it. As popular as dragons are, I still have not read much fiction with them. I had also seen several positive reviews of the book, albeit with some cautions about a slow beginning.

So recently I picked the book up and was soon consumed by the world created and especially the characters. I just loved them all so much and I really want to underscore that as I don't always have such a powerful positive reaction to characters. Of course there is main character Seraphina, half-human, half-dragon, who reminded me very strongly of Alanna from Tamora Pierce's series, perhaps because of the deception both must perform to maintain their place at court. Seraphina is not even supposed to exist, living in a country where humans and dragons maintain an uneasy peace. She must keep her dragon parts tightly under wraps even as the two world collide and she possesses a unique mindset to maintain that peace. Because of her covert way of life, Seraphina often lies, trying to maintain the masquerade; although this usually bothers me in a character, I completely understood her reasons and strongly sympathized with her.

After Seraphina, we have her uncle Orma, a dragon secretly masquerading as a human. He has served as her teacher and mentor and serves as our prime insight into the mind of dragons. They're kind of like Vulcans, with an emphasis on logic and pursuit of knowledge while despising human emotions like love, and Orma seriously reminded me of Spock in his careful way of speaking as well as his confusion over the human world.
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