The Last Siege
A review of the audio book by Jonathon Stroud
By Neldoreth
January 5, 2010



It looks WWII, no?

Introduction

Despite the bleak cover for this audiobook, it's quite the compelling story. It tells the story of three modern kids who find common ground (both metaphorically and literally) at an old castle ruin in the UK. Despite me not being able to relate to location (having access to old castle ruins - must be nice Britain and the rest of Europe!), I completely related to the characters.


A Little More Detail - but no spoilers

It's a story about teens trying to deal with their powerlessness and their lack of control over their lives. When listening to this story I remembered those days, and I realized that ironically, growing up didn't really change my situation all that much; instead of being controlled by my parents and other unsympathetic authority figures, I'm controlled by my employer and the need to pay bills and take care of a family...

As you can guess, I was quickly swallowed up by this story. In fact, I was so taken in by it that I started actually feeling the environmental and emotional conditions of the characters! When they were cold in the snow, I found myself shivering. When they were anxious, I found myself anxious as well... I won't mislead you here: there was a fair share of anxiety in this book. In fact, even though it was a very well written and composed story, and thoroughly enjoyable, I wouldn't put myself through it again :)

It actually had me up late on a work night; I simply couldn't sleep as the story approached the climax. The story starts quite leasurely and enjoyably, and then quickly snowballs (pun intended - the story takes place in a snowy winter setting!). It actually helped me get a lot of work done on my undead cavalry regiment, but I was tired the next day.

On top of the compelling story, this book was read by David Thorn, who is quite an accomplished voice actor that I have enjoyed listening to before. His presentation was spot on and helped with my enjoyment of the story.


Conclusion

Compelling, captivating, but somewhat stressful. I would recommend it to the emotionally stable out there who want a bit of realistically thrilling teen insanity. If you are in an emotionally fragile state (perhaps because you have kids to worry about and haven't had enough sleep), maybe pass it up until you're in a better mental state... If you're a teen whose frustrated with your stupid parents, this is a book for you! That being said, it's totally worth listening to if you have teens, since it might help you empathize with them! I enjoyed this book while working on my cavalry regiment for my Undead Army project.