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Audio Book Review: A Human Element

A Human Element - Donna Galanti

*I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Donna Galanti and Auspicious Apparatus Press. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.


Chase is a new voice for me. In the first chapter I wanted a little more emotion from him, to feel Ben's excitement at looking at the starts and his stunned sorrow at what happened when the meteorite hit. After listening, Chase did do some softer tones with the female characters or deeper tone if noted for a male character. But not a lot of difference between characters other than that. Chase was an okay voice for me. The audio felt clean and no mistakes while I listened.


We have two characters we follow through their lives, Laura and Ben. Ben lives a completely different life than Laura, it's a bit darker in growing up and living. We see little things that Laura does to help those she meets and cares for. Ben...I wasn't sure he has any abilities, but he's had a rough life after the meteorite crashed into the cabin his parents were in. We get the answer to why Ben is so important. But Laura has abilities and we see that from the beginning. There is something more to her.

I know the beginning is building up our relationship with the main characters, building who they are from main events in their lives. But it felt slow for me. We get glimpses of their lives over the years, moments that are (I guess) to be huge impacts on them. I liked Laura but not Ben as much. I should feel bad for Ben with his upbringing, but I just didn't feel it.

Laura makes a vow when her parents die, to never use her powers again. I found this to not connect for me. She wasn't there to try to help them when they died, so that wouldn't connect to her powers. The other two vows, yes they fit and connect. Though I grew to accept this vow as the book progressed.

We get most of the story between Laura and Ben. But there are a few moments that we get from others. The other views share input on if that person is really good or bad, or shares about things we don't know yet. These characters are interesting and highly influential to out main characters.

Each chapter gives us the year it's happening in. We also get told how old everyone is. It's specifically given, so we don't have to do that math but feels like it's an extra in each chapter. After a while, I got tired of being told.

In the chapters there are moments where we reflect on things that happened or how the character came to this moment. Sometimes, with being audio, I would get confused as to when I am in their lives. But then the author would give a solid line that lets me know what I read was a reflective moment and where we are now. There's a lot of reflective moments.

I struggled with believing Laura and her reasoning. At times it felt like she was doing what the author wanted, not living her life. That sounds strange as it's written by the author, but her movements didn't feel to have a continuous flow for me all the time, she was going through the actions of the story. I guess it's more I just didn't feel the sympathetic or empathetic feel for the characters.

The story felt traditional in the genre it's written. This isn't a bad thing, just didn't wow me either.