Author: Donna Galanti
Narrator: Chase Bradley
Length: 10h 8m
Publisher:Auspicious Apparatus Press⎮2017
Genre: Science Fiction/Thriller
Release date: Jan. 10, 2017
Evil comes in many forms…
One by one, Laura Armstrong’s friends and adoptive family members are being murdered, and despite her unique healing powers, she can do nothing to stop it. The savage killer haunts her dreams, tormenting her with the promise that she is next.
Determined to find the killer, she follows her visions to the site of a crashed meteorite in her hometown. There, she meets Ben Fieldstone, who seeks answers about his parents’ death the night the meteorite struck. In a race to stop a madman, they unravel a frightening secret that binds them together.
But the killer’s desire to destroy Laura face-to-face leads to a showdown that puts Laura and Ben’s emotional relationship and Laura’s pure spirit to the test. With the killer closing in, Laura discovers her destiny is linked to his, and she has two choices—redeem him or kill him.
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Donna Galanti is the author of the paranormal suspense Element Trilogy (Imajin Books) and the children’s fantasy adventure Joshua and The Lightning Road series (Month9Books). Donna is a contributing editor for International Thriller Writers the Big Thrill magazine and blogs with other middle grade authors at Project Middle Grade Mayhem. She’s lived from England as a child, to Hawaii as a U.S. Navy photographer. Donna enjoys teaching at conferences on the writing craft and marketing and also presenting as a guest author at elementary and middle schools. Visit her at www.elementtrilogy.com and www.donnagalanti.com.
Chase was born and raised in a quiet town in upstate New York. He concentrated on musical pursuits through most of his younger years, excelling in anything that had to do with using his voice. He attended college in Potsdam, NY, where he studied Wilderness Leadership, Sociology and Vocal training at the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam. Chase’s dream since he was a kid was to be a voice over artist and professional musician, but after college he decided to spread his wings and explore the world a bit first. He worked as a mountain guide in Alaska, leading Ice Climbing, Mountaineering, and Backpacking trips. He traveled all over North and South America for work and and pleasure, climbing and skiing everything that stood in his way. After meeting a beautiful woman (in Alaska of all places!) and falling in love, he settled down in Lake Tahoe California, where he currently resides with his wife and two children. Chase has finally returned to his roots and works as a full time voice over artist, and plays weekly shows with his band. Things have come full circle, and the dream has been fulfilled. Chase does commercial voice over work, but has found that his true passion is narrating audiobooks. He has narrated 14 audiobooks to date, with more to come! Chase is constantly looking for ways to improve his narration, and deliver the best possible performance for the authors and listeners.
A Human Element is a story beyond its actual topic. It covers a lot more issues than the alien – human contact. I loved every chapter, as the action and the characters are very complex and well developed. The structure is as well very interesting – presenting how the lives of our main characters change in a parallel way. Ben, Laura and X-10 have a common source: the meteorite that fell when Ben was only a child, the incident in which his parents were killed, but same incident that gave life to X-10 and Laura. Their paths will intersect at one point, for sure.
Ben has had to live a life in foster care, being abused even. He has had to learn to be strong the hard way. Even later, he has had to endure abuse and violence. He has always feared coming back to the place where it all started, though he still feels this attraction.
X-10 is the unlucky alien half that has to suffer the consequences of being different. After his birth, he was raised by a man whose only intentions are purely experimental: to harvest his DNA, maybe even create super humans. His life is one full of hate for mankind, deprived of freedom and happiness. His only comfort is killing and the idea of revenge. Revenge on his better half.
Laura, as opposed to X-10, has been luckier. With a family that loved and cared for her, she has learned the beauty of life and what means to offer kindness. She discovers her unique abilities at a young age and since that moment she has only used them for good. She will soon discover she is not alone and that will have to face X-10.
As I mentioned in the beginning, we follow the life of each of the characters. The reader can understand the tension, the struggle each of them has. And this is very well captured in the book. Except that, we have several themes like accepting the ones that may be different, offering a smile before judging or even homosexuality, as part of our society.
Regarding the narration, I must admit I did not quite enjoy it as much as I would have expected. The voice was more or less flat and the emotions were not very well transmitted with a proper intonation. It felt… read. On the bright side, the words are spoken clearly and I had no understanding issues.
All in all, I give the story a 5 out of 5 stars, but the narration will not receive so many from me – my apologies. This was a great audiobook, with a strong well-structured plot and also well-developed characters. Congratulations to both the author and the narrator and thank you for bringing us this lovely audiobook.
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