BY ALLISON MORSE
Narrated by Christa Lewis
Length: 10 hours 17 minutes
Release Date: May 30, 2018
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Sub-Genres: Romance / Suspense
Who killed 1940s screen goddess Gloria Reardon? Her unsolved murder hypnotized the public with its scandalous details and shocked two generations.
Avid feminist and aspiring filmmaker Kate Bloom discovers long-lost footage that holds the key to who murdered her grandmother. Legendary movie star Gloria Reardon may be dead, but friends and lovers from the Golden Age of Hollywood’s heyday are still very much on the scene, and it seems everyone has something to gain or lose from Kate’s discovery.Enlisting the youthful and brash film restorer Dylan Nichols as her closest ally, Kate becomes haunted by Gloria’s glittering past. Caught between glamorous Old Hollywood and the gritty, exciting New Hollywood of the 1970s, Kate is determined to find out what really happened to her grandmother and in the process becomes the killer’s new target.
Christa Lewis has been awarded 6 of the coveted Earphones Awards since 2015 for her narrations. She is an Audie Nominee 2018 in the Original Work category and a Listener's Choice Awards finalist 2018 in the Short Story/Collections category. She has narrated over 100 audiobooks and works for Audible Studios, Blackstone Audio, Blunder Woman Productions, Brilliance Audio, DAW Books, Inc., Dreamscape Media, Hachette Book Group, Harper Audio, HighBridge Audio and Tantor Media, as well as for noted boutique audiobook publishers & independent authors.
Christa speaks accent-free German fluently, has been featured in AudioFile Magazine, and her narrations have become Audible bestsellers in Young Adult and Literary Fiction. She is a classically trained actress and graduate of Boston University’s 4 year actor training program. Connect with her on Twitter.
Hall Ways Review: Audio book review. In Fallen Star, the layers to the story peel away slowly so that readers know exactly whodunit and why – except they don’t! Author Allison Morse does a wonderful job of leading and then misleading readers again and again to keep things deliciously interesting. And then, there’s a lovely epilogue that takes readers ten years into the future, where everything is neatly resolved – until the very last sentence, that is!
"Gloria. Breathtaking Gloria, eclipsed the puny room, smiling as if she knew it couldn't possibly contain her dazzling self."
So, what’s all the fuss about? The decades-old murder of actress Gloria Reardon is a closed case; the motive is known and her killer is in jail. But as it often happens with legendary movie stars, Gloria Reardon’s memory lives on, almost as a life of its own – especially for Gloria’s grand-daughter, Kate.
What I like best about Kate is that she takes something bad that happens to her and instead of letting it define/defeat her, she parlays it into something good: a cause. Kate becomes a feminist, but it’s not thrown in the reader’s face. Kate’s action and words show she’s overcome adversity, improved herself, and is a strong force to be reckoned with in fighting misogyny and sexual harassment in 1970s Hollywood -- and finding long-buried secrets. This suits her well when she uncovers some presumed lost film footage of Gloria, and Kate doggedly pursues the truth often so blindly that she puts herself in danger.
"Her feelings toward him resembled a stoplight that blinked red and green at the same time."
While there is a romance element to the story, it’s primarily a mystery, and I appreciated that the relationship developing between Dylan and Kate took a back seat to the unfolding of the mystery. A curious addition to the story is the inclusion of paranormal activity; it is inserted a bit haphazardly, and it isn’t explored at all, and that weakens the story and Kate as a character, making it a bit of a distraction. Another distraction from the plot is Dylan’s and Mallick’s movie project though it does provide a vehicle for some of the other action.
"Curiosity and the need for caffeine trumped her outrage."
BONUS POINTS AWARDED: I knew Kate was my kinda lady when her decisions were guided by her need for some coffee. I can relate! And, I like that Kate heads to the library when she needs information (but too bad the librarian was a twit) – granted, it was the ‘70s, so there weren’t too many other options, but I’ll take my useful library mentions where I can get them.
ABOUT THE NARRATION: Christa Lewis is an excellent narrator for this story. She captures the nuances of Kate’s personality, but also the nuances and drama of the Hollywood players: the casting director, the actors/actresses, the assistants. She takes on the numerous accents and personalities so that each character is unique and easily identified (no small feat as there are A LOT of characters). The delivery was a bit slow for me (it ALWAYS is), and because of the format I had, I couldn’t speed-up the listening. Still, I wouldn’t hesitate to purchase another audio book with this narrator if I could control the speed0.
Fallen Star is a great book for readers who enjoy super-smart main characters who won’t let a stone go unturned, complicated plots, and lots of twists and turns. I could see how the author could continue this story into another book, and I would read/listen to it. Thank you to the author and Audiobookworm Productions for providing me a digital download in exchange for my honest opinion – the only kind I give.
Fallen Star Giveaway: $25 Amazon Gift Card
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