Above by Isla Morley | Audiobook Review

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

Above by Isla Morley | Audiobook ReviewAbove by Isla Morley
Narrator: Madeleine Maby
Length: 13 Hours 57 Minutes
Published by Simon and Schuster on March 4, 2014
Genres: Fiction, Thrillers, Suspense
Pages: 384
Format: Audiobook, eARC
Source: Borrowed, Publisher
Buy on Amazon

“Reeled out with the chilling calmness of a Hitchcock film, Above haunts as it illuminates. Deftly told, this tale of human resilience in the face of madness is a horror classic for our times” (Lynn Cullen, bestselling author of Mrs. Poe).

Blythe Hallowell is sixteen when she is abducted by a survivalist and locked away in an abandoned missile silo in Eudora, Kansas. At first, she focuses frantically on finding a way out, until the harrowing truth of her new existence settles in—the crushing loneliness, the terrifying madness of a captor who believes he is saving her from the end of the world, and the persistent temptation to give up. But nothing prepares Blythe for the burden of raising a child in confinement. Determined to give the boy everything she has lost, she pushes aside the truth about a world he may never see for a myth that just might give meaning to their lives below ground. Years later, their lives are ambushed by an event at once promising and devastating. As Blythe’s dream of going home hangs in the balance, she faces the ultimate choice—between survival and freedom.

Above is a riveting tale of resilience in which “stunning” (Daily Beast) new literary voice Isla Morley compels us to imagine what we would do if everything we had ever known was taken away. Like the bestselling authors of Room and The Lovely Bones before her, Morley explores the unthinkable with haunting detail and tenderly depicts our boundless capacity for hope.

Why Did I Listen To Above by Isla Morley?

It has been years since I’ve requested Above by Isla Morley on Netgalley. At the time of request, dystopian books were the THING to read. And well, I had this insatiable appetite. So, this book appealed to me on both a dystopian level and also a CRIME level. Of course, I just kind of let it sit on my Kindle until I got a free trial of Scribd after buying the Ultimate Homemaker’s Bundle (disclaimer: I work full time and am not a homemaker but the bundle still appealed). When I saw Above available as an audiobook on Scribd, it got added to a list I made on there of Netgalley books that I still have outstanding in my queue. SO HERE WE ARE with me listening to this utterly ENGAGING book.

What’s The Story Here?

Above by Isla Morley is told through the perspective of Blythe Hallowell. When the story opens, she is sixteen and living a happy life with her family in Eudora, Kansas. Her parents are farmers. She lives in a small town. Anyways, she goes to this event and is going to meet her crush at the bleachers, but he does not show. Instead, she is abducted by this weirdo survivalist from the library, Dobbs. He keeps her imprisoned for years — claiming that some awful dystopian things are going on above ground. She endures abuse – and well, there’s sexual abuse too. Also this may trigger people who have experienced a miscarriage. Anyways, eventually, Blythe makes her way above ground — with a son in tow. Her son has never experienced the world outside of the silo but Blythe will do whatever it takes to protect him. So, there’s a whole lot of choices to make and it is an entirely different world from the one that she remembers.

How Did I Like Above?

I found myself quite surprised by Above. I mean, I was expecting to like this book. However, it has been years since it has come out. The hype is over. It is not like I have been hearing about this as a throwback must read. BUT IT IS. You know how people still talk about Room? Well, this book is also in that kind of vein, too. It’s different, but still worth discussing. I think there is a lot to unpack. Like, with Hobbs. There’s no question he is a villain. However, he is a villain with SHADES and well, it is complex. I like complexity in what I read. There are parts of this book that are very difficult to read — especially as a new parent. I think that Morley just really nails down a lot of emotions and I was so engaged by this book.

How’s The Narration?

Madeleine Maby brings Above to life with her narration. I listen to A LOT of audiobooks in the course of a year. Maby is someone I don’t recall if I have heard before, I don’t think so? Anyways. She’s a superb narrator. Her Blythe voice sounds right on point. Her pacing is good. She has this interesting accent. I just really think this is an audiobook you should listen. Read this book if you’re ready to come back to dystopian books and also here for adult fiction.

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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. […] read this book. Of course, I had to listen to it because I am going through this project where I am listening to as many of my Netgalley queue books as […]