AudioBook Review: Stars: Overall: 4 Narration: 2 Story: 4.5 Taking us back to 1000 A.D., the story focuses on a young girl, Omat and her Inuit tribe – she’s been imbued with the spirit of her father – and raised to be their Shaman – it’s a curious mix of personal conflict for her: as she is a woman, yet expected to deny that part of herself and lead her tribe through challenges and remain strong for then. Even more interesting in this mix that offers great personal conflict and some pretty interesting opportunities to explore ‘both sides’ of her nature, Omat is also tasked with navigating the conundrum that is the gods – and her realization that the gods only exist if someone is to worship them almost seems to underline her unexpected personality with a series of truths and questions that, unlike most stories of this time, feel very modern and tie neatly to the whole existential questions of life and purpose….. But, Omat is not alone in her struggles – with starvation and privations haunting her tribe - a chance encounter with another Inuit tribe brings false hope of survival and opportunity, and reveals an even deeper series of changes and challenges to come in the form of Norse explorers. Already demonstrating her facility of thought and determination to survive, Omat finds a way to curry favor and make a connection to these war-like, savage new people – and bind together in search of survival. Introducing Norse mythology and gods to the story adds yet another layer of complexity that shows the ‘important’ issues and questions for each culture are similar – as gods are there to explain and address each of these issues (health, weather, food, hunt, etc.) and Omat’s rather facile ability to adopt, discard and acknowledge each as she herself is finding a place and a way of being as she grows into adulthood and the mantle of responsibility laid on her shoulders. Narration is provided by the author – and for me, this is a first. The premise of the title was too good to pass up, and while I found several moments where I would have preferred another narrator, the author’s knowledge of the story and ability to present the history and a sense of the conflict inside Omat and her struggles with the often dark influx of fantastical and mythological elements. Beautiful descriptions and a clear presentation allowed the more complex moments to unfold in a way that was easier to follow, although some moments did require a second listen to get all the bits straight. As a story – this was evocative and lush, richly detailed and researched, with plenty of intrigue. I think that it is a story best read for yourself, allowing each moment to be mulled over, rather than being pushed forward by a narration. I received an AudioBook copy of the title from Hachette Audio for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
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Why is Omat supposedly a 'her' in the summary of the book but in the actual book "she" is a 'he'? I'm confused, or is this kind of weird translation? I'm currently reading the sample so this isn't a true review.
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