I haven’t written an audiobook review in a while and part of the reason is that I committed to listening to The Dwellers Saga Omnibus by David Estes, a Young Adult sci-fi series. I rarely commit to 3 books upfront when I’ve never read or listened to anything by the author, but the ratings were high and it seemed like a good deal. At the time, it was basically buying 3 audiobooks for 1. I’ll be happy to share that I wasn’t disappointed. But, first, here’s the summary from Amazon:
The Moon Dwellers, book 1: In a desperate attempt to escape destruction decades earlier, humankind was forced underground into the depths of the Earth, creating a new society called the Tri-Realms. After her parents and sister are abducted by the Enforcers, 17-year-old Adele, a member of the middle-class moon dwellers, is unjustly sentenced to life in prison for her parents’ crimes of treason.
At the other end of the social spectrum is Tristan, the son of the president and a sun dweller. His mother is gone. He hates his father. Backed by only his servant and best friend, Roc, he leaves his lavish lifestyle in the Sun Realm, seeking to make something good out of his troubled life.
When a war breaks out within the Tri-Realms, Tristan and Adele are thrust into the middle of a conflict as Adele seeks to find her family and uncover her parents’ true past.
The Star Dwellers, book 2: After rescuing her father and younger sister, Adele is forced to leave her family and Tristan behind to find her mother in the cruel and dangerous realm of the star dwellers. Despite blossoming feelings for Adele, Tristan must cast his feelings aside and let her find her own way among the star dwellers while he accompanies Adele’s father to meet the leaders of the moon dwellers and decide the fate of the Tri-Realms.
In their world there’s only one rule: someone must die.
The Sun Dwellers, book 3: With those she’s closest to dying around her, Adele embarks on a secret mission to the Sun Realm to assassinate the president. Along the way she’ll uncover secrets about her relationship with Tristan that she might not be ready to face.
Tristan has a secret, too – one that’s been eating him up inside ever since he met Adele. Will he reveal all and risk the loss of friendship and love at a time when he needs it the most?
These audiobooks felt like one long book – in a good way! When an author writes a series, sometimes the books can get bogged down with explanations, because the author isn’t expecting the readers (or listeners) to remember what happened in the previous book. The Dwellers Saga didn’t have that. It felt seamless. I didn’t really bother to look at the book titles before I started listening, so I couldn’t really tell where one book ended and the next began (I did after I looked back at them). I think this is important, because it keeps the audience absorbed in the story.
There weren’t a lot of twists and turns in the story, but it was well-told and the world was believable. Though it was a dystopian series, it didn’t delve too deep into what got the sub-Earth dwellers where they were. The story rested on the relationships between the characters and the political power struggles threatening to tear them apart. Sometimes I found myself wishing that there was one more twist (I saw a lot of potential for this in the character of Trevor), but I was satisfied overall.
I enjoyed the performances from the two voice actors who narrated the story as Adele and Tristan, Julia Whelan and Will Damron. They were consistent and the variation in voices for the characters were good. There were never annoying, unlike other narrators I’ve listened to. The recording itself was clear with little background sound.
I would definitely recommend picking up The Dwellers Saga Omnibus. It’s a good audiobook all around and sure to please if you like dystopian novels.