Marc reviews the audiobook version of ‘Stranded’ by Andrew Grey. The audio version was published on December 30th, 2013 and is narrated by Max Lehnen. The length is 6 hrs and 41 mins. The eBook version was published on July 14th, 2013 by Dreamspinner Press and is 204 pages long.
Why I read this book:
This book really called to me. I didn’t even read the blurb, just knew I had to read it. When the audiobook-version came out right when I got a new audible credit, I bought it blindly and never regretted it 😉
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Kendall Monroe is handcuffed to a car in the desert.
Is this life imitating art or art imitating life? The only thing he’s sure of is that the situation he finds himself in is a copy of a scene he filmed earlier, only this time, there is no director yelling “cut” and no crew to rescue him. Terrified for his life, Kendall takes comfort remembering happier times with his longtime lover, Johnny. He hasn’t seen Johnny in weeks since Johnny stayed behind to finish his latest best-selling novel.
As he attempts to survive scorching-hot days and freezing nights, Kendall tries to figure out who did this to him. Could it be Johnny, or the research assistant he suspects Johnny is having an affair with? Both options fill him with bitterness. Or is it a more likely suspect? Kendall has a stalker who sends him flowers and always seems to know where he is. But what does this stranger have to gain by leaving Kendall stranded in the middle of nowhere?
‘Stranded’ is an intriguing title, but it gave me the impression of a planecrash or shipwreck with survivors being stranded together. Then, when I saw the beautiful cover, I thought two men would be stranded in their car in the middle of the dessert. I kind of just bought the audiobook, because I am rarely disappointed by Andrew Grey audiobooks and the direction of the story was a surprise to me.
The cover models are very handsome and the car in the middle of the dessert in combination with the colors spiked my interest. The beautiful hues of yellow and orange suggest the heat of the dessert and it looks lonely. I really like the cover!
I know this narrator is one people either love or hate. I have some friends, who think his voice sounds too old for them to imagine a hunky, young man. I admit, while a lot of Andrew’s books have him as narrator, I need to be in the right mood. The way he narrates and his voice are different, but in no way bad. I really enjoyed this narration and for this book and character I think it is perfect.
Kendall is a great actor on the verge of his biggest chance. He’s a stage/musical actor and lands a role in a Hollywood production that would give him the opportunity to show all his talent as actor. The only problems are that he is claustrophobic and has to overcome his fears and the director really doesn’t like him and is a jerk. Oh right, his relationship with his longtime lover Johnny is pretty much doomed. If that alone wouldn’t be enough, the movie not only separates him from his lover but a stalker is after him and as the blurb reveals, Kendall is kidnapped and left for dead in the dessert for real, left alone with his thoughts and fears.
For me, this story felt very fresh and very unlike anything else I have read by the author. It was very well-written and joins my top 5 stories by Andrew Grey (I have read quite a few of his books).
As a big movie geek, I thought the details about the Hollywood production were very interesting and felt exciting and authentic. Scouting for the right location and realizing all the different challenges they have to face, learning how certain things are filmed and generally getting a behind-the-scenes look.
Kendall was a very sympathetic main character and it was said to realize how much his relationship with Johnny had suffered as they both concentrated on their work. My heart broke a bit, when Johnny refused to go with his lover and didn’t even seem eager to visit him.
I didn’t see much of a chance for them and was kind of rooting for Kendall to find someone more deserving of his love, especially when it seemed Johnny was having a guy on the side. I wasn’t sure until the end if Kendall could possibly patch things up, would find someone new or if Johnny even had something to do with the kidnapping.
Right, the kidnapping. This story has a lot more personal drama as Kendall remembers the good days and the bad days of his relationship, but it does in no way lack action. Not only does he give the performance of a lifetime, art imitates life when the same thing that happens to his character happens to him instead. Only the danger is real and he is all alone.
The characters are well-written and the plot made sense, even though it had twists and turns and kept me at the edge of my seat.
I did wish that the story hadn’T stopped when it did, so we could explore the dynamics between the characters further and see which consequences their actions had, but then this is just the first book in a new series. The second book is called ‘Taken’ and will show greedy readers like me more about the characters they have grown to love.
I can highly recommend this wonderful story. It might show a different side to him, but this is Andrew Grey at his best.
The Rating: 9/10 pots of gold (90% recommended). Compares to 4.5/5 or 5 stars rounded up.
Andrew grew up in western Michigan with a father who loved to tell stories and a mother who loved to read them. Since then he has lived throughout the country and traveled throughout the world. He has a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and works in information systems for a large corporation. Andrew’s hobbies include collecting antiques, gardening, and leaving his dirty dishes anywhere but in the sink (particularly when writing) He considers himself blessed with an accepting family, fantastic friends, and the world’s most supportive and loving partner. Andrew currently lives in beautiful, historic Carlisle, Pennsylvania.