Amberlin: Divine Destiny

W. Bradford Swift
Becky Boyd

PARANORMAL:  As the story opens, we meet Amberlin, a young girl who is just beginning to learn she holds magic.  She lives in a religious community, and these powers could get her in a world of trouble.  Luckily, she has her Papa Herb — not only to teach her about keeping these powers hidden, but also to help her fortify these gifts.  Readers are also introduced to Spooks, who is being heavily medicated in a mental facility.  It isn’t until Amberlin gets in trouble that we learn the commonality between the two stories.  Will Spooks be able to help Papa Herb keep Amberlin safe?

This book provides the listener with a mystery and suspense with a paranormal flair, and a good look at familial ties and connections.  W. Bradford Swift has written a book tame enough for younger teen listeners, but also exciting and interesting enough for adults.  Although it is over 7 hours long, it still feels a touch rushed, leaving the listener wanting to delve even deeper into Amberlin’s powers and the mental facility that is holding Spooks.  Even so, the listener will be sucked into this fantasy world and held captive by the characters.

Narrator Becky Boyd has the perfect voice to pull off a young Amberlin as well as the older and more mature Papa Herb.  Her voice is animated and flouncy when appropriate but also serious and intense when warranted.  The sound quality has a slight amount of static, which means the listener does not get the clear and crisp sound they would expect.  That said, it doesn’t take too much away from the enjoyment, making this an excellent audio choice.

Misty Walker