Friday, May 28, 2021

The Ninth Session ~ Audio Book Blog Tour & Review!

Written and Narrated
by Deborah Serani

Length: 6 hours and 52 minutes
Publisher: TouchPoint Press
Released: April 16, 2021 
Sub-Genre: Suspense

An edge-of-your-seat psychological thriller that brings a unique mix of psychotherapy and sign language and Coda culture. Just when you think you have it figured out, think again! Dr. Alicia Reese takes on a new patient. Lucas Ferro suffers with crippling anxiety, and as sessions progress, he begins to share the reasons why he's struggling. As Ferro's narrative becomes more menacing, Reese finds herself wedged between the cold hard frame of professional ethics and the integrity of personal truth. And, finally, when Ferro reveals his secrets, Reese learns how far she's willing to go, and how much she's willing to risk and willing to lose to do the right thing.

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HALL WAYS REVIEW: Audio book review: Because I always go there, I’m going to start by saying I love the cover of The Ninth Session because it pairs so nicely with a psychological-themed story, and both the cover and premise are attention-grabbing. Also, because time for even reading with my ears is so hard to come by these days, I love that this audio book has a running time of under seven hours (less than 200 pages in print). Before I even read a word, I already loved three things about the book.

Happily, the book lovin’ continued as I listened to The Ninth Session unfold. Reading/listening is akin to unpeeling an onion, layer by layer, but finding out that the core could be rotten. Main character Alicia is a psychologist, and author Deborah Serani uses the vehicle of Alicia’s therapy notes for readers to not only get a great summary of events with patient Lucas Ferro, but we get real insight and connection to Alicia. We are hearing her thoughts, reflections, and feelings fresh off the sessions with Luke, but Alicia integrates her patient observations and ones of herself. It’s clinical, but it’s fascinating.

Readers may be impatient with the humdrum details, but these are important because they underscore Alicia’s humdrum life. I kept looking at how much time was left in the story because I knew something was coming and then BAM! It does. The pace and plot escalate quickly from humdrum to HOLY COW level.

As much as the novella-length book is perfect for my reading needs right now, I would have liked more fleshed-out characters, some fine-tuning on plot, and a bit more out of the ending. But don’t get me wrong: The Ninth Session is a really satisfying story as it is. I just want more!

If you’re paying attention to loose threads, you might figure out a major component of the big reveal – but there’s no way you’ll predict the details of it. WOW! The Ninth Session has some unexpected and delicious twists. I absolutely recommend it and look forward to this author’s next book.

ABOUT THE NARRATION: The author narrates her book, and she does it admirably. While there aren’t truly distinct voices (she uses different pitches to voice the characters, though), there is never any confusion between characters due to the writing in the dialogue scenes. I really enjoyed the sound effects added in the scratching of pen on paper as Alicia is taking notes in her office. I did bump up the listening speed to 1.5x, but Serano’s pacing is steady, her diction clear. And the quality of the recording was excellent. Without hesitation, I would listen to her narrate another book.

Thank you to the author and Audiobookworm Promotions for providing me an audio code in exchange for my honest review – the only kind I give.

    I received this audio book as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Deborah Serani. The gifting of this audio book did not affect my opinion of it. 
Deborah Serani is an award-winning author, writing about psychological topics in many genres. She is a psychologist in practice over 30 years and a senior professor at Adelphi University. Dr. Serani has worked as a technical advisor for the NBC television show, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit - where a recurring character, Judge D. Serani, was named for her.


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