This audio collection contains two novellas by Brandon Sanderson.
Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell
Silence is the owner and proprietor of a safe way-stop in the Forests of Hell, where Shades are attracted to movement, noise, and violence. She seems a crabby matron, but in truth, she has a secret – at night, she has a secret identity, collecting bounties of criminals in order to fund her way-stop. This story takes her through the night of her attempt to capture one of the most notorious criminals in the Forest.
Thoughts: I was sucked into this story and this world immediately, and remained on tenderhooks the entire way through. Kate Reading reads this novella and does an amazing job (as always!) with all the characters. I don’t want to give anything away, but I love Sanderson’s blend of positive and realistic in his treatment of characters, and the world-building, in even such a short work, is fantastic. Loved it!
The God-emperor Kairominas, liveborn and living in a perfectly-simulated world of his own, must leave his realm to visit neutral ground. Purpose: to have a date and procreate with another liveborn from another perfectly-simulated world. Existential crisis follows.
Thoughts: I had a really hard time getting into this one. That’s partly because it’s more sci-fi than fantasy, but it’s more than that. Kairominas (Kai) is a difficult character to sympathize with in the beginning. He feels very robotic in a way, which makes sense given the environment he’s in. There was also the audio narrator, Christian Rummel, who wasn’t bad but also wasn’t my favorite kind of narrator. I think I would have preferred to read this one in print. However, once Kai got into the neutral world and I met his date, Sophie, things started to change and I got hooked. I do admit that the whole story fell a little flat for me, though, by the end. It was okay, but I definitely preferred the other novella in this collection.