17 Hours | Mamillian Audio| Adult Fantasy| Release Date: 10/06/21
This book is one of a long list of books I read because of TikTok. My interest in this book was initially peaked when I heard Schwab’s interview on Wicked Wallflowers, but seeing it so much on TikTok is what made me sit down and listen to this 17-hour audiobook.
300 years ago, Addie LeRue made a Faustian deal with a dark god to live forever but he also cursed her with the inability to be remembered. Until now.
This book has a unique premise and of the three and 1/2 (still need to finish A Conjuring of Light) Schwab books I’ve read this one was my favorite. Schwab really leads readers through the intricacies of the curse and I’d liked seeing how Addie worked within the confines of her curse and travels from rural 18th century France to modern-day New York City. I think a book that moves through time just works for me.
Over the centuries Addie forms a contentious relationship with ‘Luc’ the god who cursed her, he takes the form of your basic fandom fave with his dress shirts, dark hair, cheekbones, attitude, and light eyes. This character seems to be a fan favorite but I liked that Schwab never lets him be an anti-hero or love interest. Despite his attempts at earning Addie’s favor the book never lets you forget he is the villain.
I can’t really explain it but, to me, Schwab’s endings always feel like she’s wrapping up the story she didn’t tell. Slight spoiler: the book’s ending revolves around the contentious relationship between Addie and Luc, but a large portion of the story is told from the POV of a character who, to me, wasn’t that interesting to even put in this review.
I will say this
I get why this book has mixed reviews. It’s very introspective and espouses on the nature of art, inspiration, and symbolism in a way that can get tiring. I don’t like to speculate about subtext in books but I think this is a writer’s book. Because Addie can’t be remembered she seeks out artists she can be a muse for, that way her influence will be immortalized in songs, museums, and books. I’m sure this is something writers think about all the time.
Narrator Julia Whelan is an audiobook veteran and was able to show off her French accent work in this performance. Whelan is wonderful at creating varied male voices. This book has a male and female POV and they could have easily gotten two narrators. I think it’s admirable that Whelan did the entire 17 hours by herself