Audiobook Review: Reflections by Briana Morgan

Saturday, February 8, 2020

I received a free audiobook review copy from StoryOrigin in exchange for an honest review. Even though I received this copy for free, I’m treating it the same way I have discussed any other audiobooks I have reviewed. Now, let’s get to the review!

Reflections by Briana Morgan has been on my list since last year, when I posted my “10 Audiobooks I Want to Listen To in 2019.” Unfortunately, it didn’t make it into my reading schedule. Therefore, when the opportunity came my way to receive a review copy of Reflections, I cleared my reading schedule and jumped on it. One of my goals for 2020 is to read and review more indie authors, so it only made sense to start with Briana Morgan’s work. I’ve known Morgan since I was a freshman in college and have beta read her novel, Livingston Girls. Honestly, I couldn’t be more thrilled to do a book review than I am now.

About the Audiobook

Reflections is a story about Ramachandra “Rama” Ganeshan overcoming her own self-confidence and self-esteem issues after surviving a brutal sexual assault. Oh, and there is also a serial killer on the loose that is murdering teenage girls in Rama’s hometown of Aldale, West Virginia. In order to solve the murders, Rama joins a shapeshifter tribe and finds more than just the answer to Aldales’s murder mystery.

The audiobook is narrated by Kamala Alcantara. The audio runs 7 hours and 7 minutes. The opening and end credits are only around 30 seconds. The chapter lengths vary greatly with chapter 4 being the longest at around 42 minutes. The other chapters normally fall between 10 to 25 minutes.

What I Like

The best part of this novel, apart from the inspiring story are the characters. All of the characters had very distinct voices and mannerisms that kept them from fading into the background. Making the characters distinct is incredibly helpful when listening, especially when there are a lot of characters to keep up with. Rama also stands out as a strong character. Her character arc is inspiring as Rama overcomes her own self-confidence issues and determines to not let her rape define her. I thought Morgan did a great job handling the sensitive issue of sexual assault while keeping it realistic. Morgan is also a strong writer and I find myself loving her word choice no matter what novel I read by her.

The narrator, Kamala Alcantara, was also a shining star in this audiobook form. Kamala is great at making each character pop off the page with her different voices. Honestly, I could listen to her read me anything because she was that good and kept me engaged in the story which is essential when listening to a novel in an audiobook format.

What I Dislike

On the negative side, I did think this novel moved a little slow in the middle. I found myself craving more action, or for Rama to finally make a decision about her life. Indecision is important for Rama’s character development, but it began to become tedious in the middle when the beginning and end of the novel progressed so smoothly. I also wanted more world-building around the shapeshifter clan about why they live in a mine, how they make money, etc. Not including some mundane details about the clan, really tests my suspension of disbelief.

Even though I praised Kamala Alcantara’s narration before, there are some minor audio edits missing from this book that need more refining. For example, some lines are repeated in the recording, that should have been edited out. Also, at the beginning of the novel, there were multiple times when the chapter numbers and titles blending into the text because there wasn’t a beat separating it. Even though these editing errors are apparent, they don’t distract from the story too much.

Final Rating

Overall, I would recommend Reflections to anyone who enjoys urban fantasy, or a good coming-of-age story. The narrator’s talent makes this audiobook worth a listen even if you aren’t a fan of those genres. Morgan’s writing and characters also make this novel worth a read, even with a slow middle. My final rating for Reflections is 4 out of 5 stars! You should totally add this book onto your TBR list. Don’t wait as long as I did!

I believe that Morgan is an indie author that everyone should be keeping their eye on. If you would like to read more by Morgan, she has a novel, Livingston Girls coming out in March that is now available for preorder here. If you enjoyed this audiobook review, you can check out my other audiobook reviews here. If you would like to see what I’m reading next, check out my Instagram. Happy reading!

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