Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman | Audiobook Review

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman | Audiobook ReviewShadow Scale by Rachel Hartman
Narrator: Mandy Williams
Length: 18 Hours 9 Minutes
Series: Seraphina #2
Also by this author: Imprison the Sky
Published by Random House Children's Books on March 10th 2015
Genres: Action & Adventure, Fantasy & Magic, Historical, Medieval, Young Adult
Pages: 608
Format: Audiobook
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon

Seraphina took the literary world by storm with 8 starred reviews and numerous “Best of” lists. At last, her eagerly awaited sequel has arrived—and with it comes an epic battle between humans and dragons.   The kingdom of Goredd: a world where humans and dragons share life with an uneasy balance, and those few who are both human and dragon must hide the truth. Seraphina is one of these, part girl, part dragon, who is reluctantly drawn into the politics of her world. When war breaks out between the dragons and humans, she must travel the lands to find those like herself—for she has an inexplicable connection to all of them, and together they will be able to fight the dragons in powerful, magical ways.   As Seraphina gathers this motley crew, she is pursued by humans who want to stop her. But the most terrifying is another half dragon, who can creep into people’s minds and take them over. Until now, Seraphina has kept her mind safe from intruders, but that also means she’s held back her own gift. It is time to make a choice: Cling to the safety of her old life, or embrace a powerful new destiny?   Praise for Seraphina:   A New York Times Bestseller An Indie Bestseller Winner of the William C. Morris Debut Award Winner of the Cybil Award for Teen Fantasy and Science Fiction An Amazon Top 20 Teen Book of the Year A Chicago Public Library Best Book of the Year A Kirkus Reviews Best Teen Book of the Year A School Library Journal Best Book of the Year A Library Journal Best Young Adult Literature for Adults Selection A Booklist Editors’ Choice An ABA New Voices Pick A Publishers Weekly Flying Start Author An ALA-ALSC Notable Children’s Book An ALA-YALSA Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults Book Recipient of 8 Starred Reviews   “Beautifully written, well-rounded characters, and some of the most interesting dragons I’ve read in fantasy for a long while. An impressive debut novel; I can’t wait to see what Rachel Hartman writes next.” —Christopher Paolini, New York Times bestselling author of Eragon   “A novel that will appeal to both fans of Christopher Paolini’s Eragon series and Robin McKinley’s The Hero and the Crown.” —Entertainment Weekly

Why Did I Listen To This Book?

I feel like it has been forever since Seraphina by Rachel Hartman came out. At least, forever in book blogger years. The wait for Shadow Scale, the sequel has felt interminable. I went about listening to the audiobook because Mandy Williams is a narrator that I do not often listen to and so, I wanted to try something new. Also, for the same reason I listen to audiobooks, because it fit better into my life as an audiobook than as reading the regular physical copy. Also? I was totally pumped to dive back into the world of humans, dragons, and half dragons.

What’s The Story Here?

Shadow Scale is about Seraphina’s journey to meet and gather all of the half dragons to have them help in this war that has broken out in Goredd between the dragons and the humans. So, Seraphina travels all over Goredd to meet the different half dragons in person and unite them. Goredd is vast and diverse. We learn all about the different cultures within Goredd which is actually really cool. Meanwhile, there’s another half dragon, Jannoula who has similar abilities to Seraphina in that she’s able to enter the minds of half dragons. Only, her abilities are a bit more sinister and so, she’s the villain. However, her character is three dimensional and honestly, once you get her whole story she becomes a bit of a sympathetic villain.

OH OH OH and there’s some QUILTBAG in this book and it is AWESOME. Yay yay yay sexuality diversity. YAY!

What Did I Think of Seraphina?

I liked Seraphina’s character development. She has to undergo some serious growth — not physically, but emotionally. Girl has to leave her comfort zone and take risks and to me, that’s awesome. I loved seeing that. I loved seeing her reactions to the different half dragons and the different friendships they kind of form. It’s interesting to take Seraphina’s journey with her through Goredd in Shadow Scale. Hartman has essentially aced characterization when it comes to Seraphina. She’s a half dragon who is complex and fascinating with a great heart. Clearly I am forever and always team Seraphina.

How’s The Romance?

Don’t hate on me for saying this but I thought that the romance in Shadow Scale was a disappointment. Like, it seemed like Kiggs was barely in the story and I missed the romance from Seraphina. Granted, there’s a twist. Still, I would have liked more kissing or hooking up or something.

How’s The Narration?

The narration in Shadow Scale is okay. It’s not my favorite narrated book ever. It’s also not the worst I’ve listened to. I did zone out a lot and I think that if I were to pick all over again, I would likely just read the physical book instead because there’s a whole lot of detail that I missed because I kept zoning during certain parts. I did, however, like Mandy Williams’ narration of certain characters.

Sum It Up With A GIF:

I liked a lot of elements of Shadow Scale. It was okay.

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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.
About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. Unfortunately, I zoned out a little while reading the physical book too! This sequel fell a bit flat for me – I just wanted more of some things and less of others.

  2. I still haven’t picked up this one, and I loved Seraphina. I keep hearing though that Shadowscale is a decent, but not awesome book. I can’t decide if I should read it or not.