Author: TJ Klune
Narrator: Matt Baca
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Kyle Thompson & Paul Richmond
Story Rating: 5.0 of 5 Stars
Narration Rating: 5.0 of 5 Stars
Overall Rating: 5.0 of 5 Stars
Release Date: 08/19/2014
Length: 18 hours 49 minutes
Genre: Contemporary, M/M Romance, Mystery, Paranormal, Thriller
Five years ago, Benji Green lost his beloved father, Big Eddie, when his truck crashed into a river. Everyone called it an accident, but Benji knows it was more. Even years later, he’s buried in his grief, throwing himself into managing Big Eddie’s convenience store in the small-town of Roseland, Oregon. Surrounded by his mother and three aunts, he lives day to day, struggling to keep his head above water.
But Roseland is no ordinary place.
With ever more frequent dreams of his father’s death and waking visions of feathers on the river’s surface, Benji finds his definition of reality bending. He thinks himself haunted; by ghosts or memories, he can no longer tell. Not until a man falls from the sky, leaving the burning imprint of wings on the ground, does Benji begin to understand that the world is more mysterious than he ever imagined—and more dangerous. As uncontrollable forces descend on Roseland, they reveal long-hidden truths about friends, family, and the stranger Calliel—a man Benji can no longer live without.
I enjoyed reading this story a couple of years ago, but listening to the audiobook? Sheer loveliness. Sometimes when a reading/listening experience is this wonderful I feel I simply can’t explain just how much I loved a book. Plain and simple, I adored the audiobook version of Into This River I Drown by TJ Klune and cannot recommend it highly enough.
When Benji speaks of his grief over the loss of his father, it feels like a living, consuming entity. It is palpable and grabs with its claws, pulling both Benji and the reader into its river of spiraling questions about what happened to Big Eddie and whether or not his loss is survivable. With the entrance of Calliel, the reader’s faith is tested along with Benji’s as an adventure begins, an adventure that is stunning and poetic, heartbreaking and triumphant. As Benji searches for what is true and right in a world full of darkness and doubt, he not only discovers what in his life is worth fighting for, but also what will make it worth living again.
Benji is sweet and loving but in tremendous emotional pain. Cal is striking in his loyalty and protectiveness and refreshing in his innocence. Together they are perfection, beautifully wrought as individual characters who share scenes that are touching, poignant, and often border on the hilarious. Though their connection is swift, it is unquestionably solid, its depth of emotion believable and heart wrenching. The group of secondary characters populating the quirky small town of Roseland, Oregon, is an odd collection of souls that are vividly drawn and intriguing. All of the personalities here are unique and vibrant, inviting the reader into their quaint little town and holding on tight as Benji struggles through his grief and the truth about Big Eddie’s death is revealed.
I absolutely loved Into This River I Drown. TJ Klune’s writing is magical, lyrical, and engaging. He hasn’t just created a compelling read filled with gorgeous imagery, rich detail, and colorful characters. He has created a journey through the despair of grief and loss, a gripping murder mystery, and a touching paranormal tale all wrapped up in a beautifully tender romance. The interlacing of these elements creates an exquisite, unique tapestry that runs the gamut of human emotion and experience. From its incredibly moving beginning to its chilling, nail-biting climax to its deeply satisfying conclusion, it is without a doubt one of the best reading/listening experiences I have had. Bravo, Mr. Klune!
Matt Baca was the perfect choice as narrator for Into This River I Drown. Listening to his keen interpretation of the various characters along with his beautifully emotional rendering of Benji’s story was a delight. The subtle special effects not only worked extremely well in distinguishing between current narrative and character thoughts and flashbacks, but also enhanced the listening experience. I thought it was an exceptional narration and will be looking for more of Mr. Baca’s work in the future.
I would like to thank the author for providing me with the audiobook of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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