Thursday, October 6, 2011

Audiobook review: Children of Paranoia by Trevor Shane

Children of Paranoia by Trevor Shane is the first book in the Children of Paranoia trilogy. I picked this one up on the recommendation of The Guilded Earlobe, but I didn't enjoy it as much as he did.

Genre: Dystopian action
Length: 12h 11m
Audio publisher: Penguin Audiobooks, 2011
Read by: Steven Boyer and Emma Galvin
From: Audible

Recap: Joseph is a soldier in a hidden guerrilla war. He lives in society but is separate from it. He doesn't know who his fellow soldiers are. He doesn't know who his enemies are. All that he knows is his enemies are evil and must die.

ReviewChildren of Paranoia a chilling tale that could be taking place right here and now. The book is non-stop action in a world a little too similar to our own that explores themes of duty, love, fanaticism, and revenge.

The story follows Joseph as he goes about his job as an assassin and keeps a record in his journal. He's good at his work but gets no enjoyment from killing. I enjoyed the meticulous planing and carrying out of his assignments, but the journal framework took away a lot of the suspense since Joseph had to survive in order to write his story.

Joseph isn't the smartest or most fearless of his colleagues, and his boredom and depression really come through. He's in his 20's, and the juxtaposition between his job as a ruthless killer and his complete lack of social skills in normal life led to some funny situations. There are obvious parallels between the war Joseph is fighting and religious wars past and present, but Joseph's cult provides none of the community, philosophy, or history supplied by actual religious organizations to inspire such fervent devotion. Instead, Joseph is paranoid with no delusions he can ever be safe.

Reading: Steven Boyer reads the majority of the book with Emma Galvin covering the prologue and epilogue. This is the first time I've listened to Steven Boyer, and I liked his reading. His voice sounds young and is well suited to express both Joseph's deliberation and his depression. Emma Galvin's direct reading style really moved along her short sections.

Final thoughts: Full of violence and action, this dystopian portrait-of-a-life didn't provide enough information on the whys of the world to keep me engaged.

Grade: 2.5 out of 5

Additional views on Children of Paranoia from The Guilded Earlobe, Jenn's Bookshelves, and more blogs.

This post is part of RIP VI hosted by Carl at Stainless Steel Droppings,
Murder, Monsters and Mayhem at Jenn's Bookshelves, and
Sound Bytes hosted by Jen at Devourer of Books.


  1. I have this one as an ebook, though I wish I had the audiobook. Sorry it didn't work out for you. Sounds like the world building wasn't quite there? I'm curious to see what I'll think of it since the reviews are so mixed. I do like dystopian but this doesn't sound like other books I've read in that genre. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the book!

  2. It might be better as a reading book since you can go faster over the slow bits. I guess I like stronger characters. These ones seemed to let the situation control them, and I wanted them to come up with creative ways out. Looking forward to your review!