Sunday, October 4, 2015

Review: Skybound Audiobook by Aleksandr Voinov

Skybound Audiobook
by Aleksandr Voinov
5 Stars

Product Details
Audible Audio Edition
Listening Length: 1 hour and 21 minutes
Program Type: Audiobook
Version: Unabridged
Publisher: 44 Raccoons LTD Release Date: September 24, 2015
Language: English

Available for purchase:

My original book review stands. I won't change it, but I can say without question this audio version enhances the experience of Skybound, beautifully, as well as my feelings for it. Here I will focus on the audiobook itself and the delivery by the narrator.
First and foremost the quality of Matthew Lloyd Davies’ voice is ideal. He has an airy, lofty cadence that imparts the feeling of lift and flight. He doesn't swoop and soar, but instead carries the audience along on the wings that this story is built upon. And most importantly he conveys the brilliance of the writing.
Further into the story there is perfection when Felix's innocence and timidity need to come through. And they do. Not only am I told that his pulse is racing, but I can hear it in the narrators breath.
Finally, the melancholy tone that runs through the book is heard deep down in the vocal chords, but they don't cover up the endless, yet waning, hope that keeps you linked to each word. Despair, pain, loss, utter love and awe are all heard, and felt.  And something that I had somehow forgotten came through clearly, Felix's strength. Yes, this modest man, who has seen so much loss, clings to his capabilities which show his devotion and care. He almost comes across as arrogant,


Germany, 1945. The Third Reich is on its knees as Allied forces bomb Berlin to break the last resistance. Yet on an airfield near Berlin, the battle is far from over for a young mechanic, Felix, who's attached to a squadron of fighter pilots. He's especially attached to fighter ace Baldur Vogt, a man he admires and secretly loves. But there's no room for love at the end of the world, never mind in Nazi Germany.

When Baldur narrowly cheats death, Felix pulls him from his plane, and the pilot makes his riskiest move yet. He takes a few days' leave to recover, and he takes Felix with him. Away from the pressures of the airfield, their bond deepens, and Baldur shows Felix the kind of brotherhood he's only ever dreamed of before.

But there's no escaping the war, and when they return, Baldur joins the fray again in the skies over Berlin. As the Allies close in on the airfield where Felix waits for his lover, Baldur must face the truth that he is no longer the only one in mortal danger.

©2012 Aleksandr Voinov (P)2015 Aleksandr Voinov

but it just allows you to love him all the more. Timid Felix has strength that he doesn't know he possesses. But Baldur knows. And you will too after listening to this treasure.
About the Author
Aleksandr Voinov is an emigrant German author living near London, where he works as an financial editor, writing coach, and complementary therapist. At 39 years of age, Voinov has written more than a dozen novels and commercially published five print books with German publishers. After many years working in the horror, science fiction, cyberpunk and fantasy genres, Voinov is now primarily writing contemporary and historical erotic gay fiction.

Described as a "workaholic speed-writing freak" by fellow writers, a "creative writing class drill sergeant" by his writing 'padawans', Voinov is a self-confessed geek and has enlarged his days by 12 secret hours in return for the sacrifice of ten albino virgin pygmy hippos. 

His characters are often scarred lonely souls at odds with their environment and pitted against odds that make or break them. He described the perfect ending for his books as "the characters make it out alive, but at a terrible cost, usually by the skin of their teeth. I want to see what's at the core of them, and stripping them down to that core is rarely pleasant for them. But it does make them wiser, and often stronger people."Voinov's style has been called "dynamic to the point of breathlessness", "dark to the point of fatalism" and "disturbingly poetic" by publishers and literary agents. A recurring theme in his fiction is "the triumph of the human spirit" or an individual rising to challenge the status quo in a world gone bad.

Voinov has just barely enough time to take care of a Chinese plum bonsai that is looking pretty in the kitchen, and cooks up new ideas for home improvement and increased efficiency. Intellectually, he is drawn to the dark side of human nature and history. As a trained historian, he is fascinated by wars, religion and the conflict between the individual and society.

Interests at the moment include WWII, art history (1900- ), prisoners-of-war, medieval siege warfare, William Marshal and the Age of Chivalry, and whale-hunting. These interests are subject to change from one day to the other, and Voinov single-handedly sustains two bookshops in London.
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