The Lightning-Struck Heart, by T.J. Klune
Narrated By: Michael Lesley
Run-Time: 19 hours, 48 minutes
I received a copy of this audiobook in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Once upon a time, in an alleyway in the slums of the City of Lockes, a young and somewhat lonely boy named Sam Haversford turns a group of teenage douchebags into stone completely by accident.
Of course, this catches the attention of a higher power, and Sam’s pulled from the only world he knows to become an apprentice to the king’s wizard, Morgan of Shadows.
When Sam’s 14, he enters the Dark Woods and returns with Gary, the hornless gay unicorn, and a half-giant named Tiggy, earning the moniker Sam of Wilds.
At 15, Sam learns what love truly is when a new knight arrives at the castle – Knight Ryan Foxheart, the dreamiest dream to have ever been dreamed.
Naturally, it all goes to hell when Ryan dates the reprehensible Prince Justin, Sam can’t control his magic, a sexually aggressive dragon kidnaps the prince, and the king sends them on an epic quest to save Ryan’s boyfriend, all while Sam falls more in love with someone he can never have.
Or, so he thinks.
The Lightning-Struck Heart is quintessential TJ Klune, which means I absolutely adored it! It has characters that are unabashedly flamboyant, sassy and strong… and of course tons of misunderstandings and missed communications. T.J. is a master at writing witty dialogue that will have you in stitches, and his characters are three dimensional, with wants and needs that you can relate to as a reader.
I hadn’t previously listened to any of Michael’s narrations, so I wasn’t sure what I was getting into with this one… but his performance was by far the best I’ve ever heard. He absolutely nailed every single voice, so perfectly that I half expected to see a cast of a dozen voices listed as credits! He manages to be the calm, soothing background narration you want in an audiobook, while still hitting every subtle nuance with full force… with an end result of you cracking up in your car while sitting at a red light, trying to hold back tears of laughter!!!
Audio sample, showing Michael’s fantastic range of character voices!
I hadn’t read the book before listening to the audio, so it was a chance to come at the story completely fresh. And with a narration as perfect as Michael’s, I think it added an entire extra layer to TJ’s already exceptional story! Audiobooks are really special, because when they’re done right they can open up a book in a way that plain text can’t quite manage.
I will say that I felt like the story was a bit too long. And at 19+ hours, the narration definitely reflected that. It took me a very long time to listen to this, grabbing handfuls of time whenever I could. I think a bit of the story was superfluous, and probably would have enjoyed a shorter audio listen as well. But I still enjoyed everything about it!