Audiobook Review: The Jewel (The Lone City #1) by Amy Ewing
Series: The Lone City #1
Published by: HarperCollins, HarperTeen on September 2nd 2014
Genres: Mature YA, Pregnancy, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Source: Audiobook Purchase, Edelweiss
View on: Goodreads
Grab it: Buy on Amazon
About the Book:
The Jewel means wealth. The Jewel means beauty. The Jewel means royalty. But for girls like Violet, the Jewel means servitude. Not just any kind of servitude. Violet, born and raised in the Marsh, has been trained as a surrogate for the royalty—because in the Jewel the only thing more important than opulence is offspring.
Purchased at the surrogacy auction by the Duchess of the Lake and greeted with a slap to the face, Violet (now known only as #197) quickly learns of the brutal truths that lie beneath the Jewel’s glittering facade: the cruelty, backstabbing, and hidden violence that have become the royal way of life.
Violet must accept the ugly realities of her existence... and try to stay alive. But then a forbidden romance erupts between Violet and a handsome gentleman hired as a companion to the Duchess’s petulant niece. Though his presence makes life in the Jewel a bit brighter, the consequences of their illicit relationship will cost them both more than they bargained for.
Honestly, I can see how The Jewel would be a hit or EPIC miss for some readers. Initially, I had an ARC of this book and when I began reading it, I didn’t fall in love with the story. I gave up on it by chapter four and had written it off as another boring novel. However, I was in a audiobook rut and wanted something completely different, something unique that would hold my attention. Oh, and narration is EVERYTHING. Without a good narrator I won’t even consider the book. So, I sifted through several novels, listened to the samples, and gathered my top three. From the moment I heard Erin Spencer’s voice, I knew The Jewel is a novel I wanted to hear. Lo and behold, I gobbled up every word, sentence, and chapter of The Jewel and find myself wishing I hadn’t gave up on it so easily in the beginning.
The Jewel tells the story of Violet who’s been trained to be a surrogate for the Royals who cannot (for some weird a$$ reason) have children, and must use other (younger) women to bear their offspring. The prospective girls learn some type of “magic” (I mean WTF that was so random) that allows them to have the children and have other fascinating abilities. After Violet is purchased and taken away to her new home with the Duchess of the Lake, she’s introduced to the inner politics of The Jewel. Here is where we meet some strange and often cruel characters who will stop at nothing to solidify their power.
Now, given that I LOVED this book, there is one thing I must address. It was rather difficult for me to pinpoint a place in time that the story occurred and I wasn’t really sure about all the “science” behind the women not being able to have children. The plot of The Jewel has to be one of the most unbelievable I’ve ever heard. Trust me, I read an ambitions fantasy novel where people worshiped minotaurs….and THAT was more believable than this. The world building was not too bad, very basic, with not much to go on and you really (really) have to think outside of the box to stay on board with it. But…but….BUT….I DON’T CARE! I still loved, loved, loved, this story! Why?????? I don’t know it was just weirdly cool, kids. I’ve listened to it four times already. THAT should tell you something…
If you like fancy dresses, political scandals, and gossip, then it’s so worth the listen. And, if you have difficulty getting into unbelievable or strange worlds then I do suggest going the audiobook route because it’s so much simpler to listen to someone tell it to you then staring at the written words and trying to make sense of them. Insta-love (but not a really bad one) and unrealistic world aside, I totally recommend it!
Keep in mind though, The Jewel is a Young Adult novel that deals with pregnancy so, if you have young readers at home I suggest you reading it yourself first before them.