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An audiobook review of Street: Empathy by Ryan A. Span, narrated by Nicole Quinn

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Street: Empathy

Written by: Ryan A. Span

Narrated by: Nicole Quinn

Length: 11 hrs and 39 mins

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date: 05-11-12

Publisher: Gryphonwood Press

The first half of the audiobook was excellent. I was paying attention. I was sucked in. The narrator Nicole Quinn did such a good job with all the voices. No complaints there. The story showed a lot of promise, luring me into intoxicating murals of wildly creative mind trips painted underneath the feet of unsuspecting characters that are put straight into potentially huge plot revelations.

The whole time, I could not wait to find out what would happen next. What equally satisfying bombshells may the author possibly drop on me? Sadly, it turned out, that after the first eight or nine chapters, rather then maintaining that quick tempo, the story dives straight into extrapolation of unneeded filler just until the end of the audiobook. The style of the author  is actually quite good and very smart but the story turns out to be somewhat lacking. Certainly, that wouldn’t be an issue for some readers/listeners, as special effects and exploding fireballs might be enough for many movie goers, but it wasn’t fully satisfying for me.

With all that out of the way, it’s not hard to see that the story is made to look genuine and sincere coming from the protagonist, Gina – a very well thought out and likable young woman. I think the sexual tension involving her sounded a little forced but maybe it’s just the author being a male, and he generally didn’t go overboard with it. Let’s just say that if Gina wasn’t in the story I probably wouldn’t have bothered with the rest of the book.

The rest of the characters were acceptable and even showed some charm here and there. It’s a bummer that just when things got interesting the audiobook ended. I get it – it’s a part of a series and the author wants to save some things for the next novel, but still I feel like something was unrightfully kept from me.

The more suspenseful scenes were compromised by the overabundant usage of conveniences which ruined the suspense I was supposed to experience. Without going into unnecessary detail that might spoil the plot, there were moments like “This door is locked, how do we open it? Don’t worry because I have this thingy to help us while I explain in a whole new paragraph how said thingy is totally plausible and not made up. ” Well, not in those words but you get the general idea.

If we put all that aside, the last two chapters had me biting my nails including that awesome end scene which I thought was satisfying and not quite final, just the way hinting of the next big adventure should be like. Street: Empathy is a smartly written book with a strong female leading character (masterfully performed by Nicole Quinn) and a beautifully described setting, but the substance beneath the sugary candy shell isn’t that good and the awesome ending comes too late.

Street: Empathy Audiobook
Street: Empathy is a smartly written book with a strong female leading character (masterfully performed by Nicole Quinn) and a beautifully described setting.
3.5 / 5 stars

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