The Dragonfly Season by David Pandolfe (Audiobook Review + Bonus Narrator Interview)

The Dragonfly Season: Streetlights Like Fireworks, Book 2 - David Pandolfe, David Pandolfe, Kerrie Seymour
A quirky YA Psychic Mystery, and second great road trip with Jack, Lauren, and the bug. 

Psychic visions, visits from ghosts and telepathic connections. Must be time for date two.


For Lauren, there's nothing particularly scary about seeing ghosts or experiencing psychic flashes. After all, this is the world she knows. Still, none of that prepares her for suddenly connecting with the mind of Vicky Stearns, a girl she's never seen before. Her confusion soon turns to fear when she learns that the girl went missing earlier that day.

Disclosure: Hovering over the cover and purchasing may give me a small commission (yippee, book $).


SERIES INFO: This is Book #2 of 3 (so far) in the “Streetlights Like Fireworks” series. Book #3, Distance, is available now, with the audio version coming soon.

This is a book that can definitely stand alone; but you’ll miss out on the subtleties of the central relationship if you don’t read Streetlights Like Fireworks first. Plus that is an excellent book, which I am planning to go back and re-read (in audio this time) now that I have finished this one. I’ll post a review when I do. Note: Because Jack, rather than Lauren, is the protagonist of that story, the book has a different (male) narrator.

I have struggled with how to say this - in Book 1, the characters had certain problems, attitudes, and characteristics. In this book, the characters have changed realistically as a result of what came before. They are not just the same people dealing with the same problems in the same ways. I liked the level of growth (or lack thereof). It was not so little that Book 1 seemed irrelevant, nor so much that they weren’t the people I came to love on the first trip. That is an area where some less experienced authors struggle, they change the relationships without letting the characters mature.

Jack resolved his central problems in the first book and is beginning to make the transition from Young Adult to New Adult as he prepares for college. He is centered and stable. Lauren on the other hand, didn’t find what she was looking for, and is stuck unable to move either forward or back. She is lost and she knows it. When it comes to their abilities, however, Jack is still a bit ambivalent while Lauren thinks she’s got it figured out.

The story starts by jumping into the mystery, but then wanders off into character exploration for awhile. This is the place where people who haven’t read the first book might be tempted to quit (obviously I think you shouldn’t). Once they hit the road, however, the pace remains steady, with a good mix of actively pursuing the answers and quietly exploring their relationship. And the resolutions, both in the case and in their lives are satisfying.

I would have liked to see Jack participate more with the psychic stuff, rather than being mostly emotional support. What I am hoping to see in the next book - A bit more of Jack’s perspective/involvement. More romantic progress.

NARRATION: I liked it / She did a really good job on Jack’s voice / Good accents (which are reserved for the minor characters, rather than our Virginian protagonists) / Beyond the occasional accent, side characters didn’t all have their own “voice,” but I never lost track of who was talking / Smooth pacing & production / Listened on 1.25 speed (my usual) -- Just FYI: Pagliacci Pizza should be pronounced the Italian way (Polly atchi), it's very good.

FAVORITE PART(S): When Jack shares the fact that more sunglasses are sold in the rainy NW than elsewhere (having lived in WA myself, this is a fact that I have actually shared with people before) / “Linda Martian” (i.e. resident of Linda Mar) / The scene in the (plant) nursery, where they accidentally bean a customer with a penny tossed at a (non)wishing well.

I COULD HAVE DONE WITHOUT: swearing (it was very mild)

--Enjoyment: HIGH
--Re-readability: HIGH - despite the fact that I know how the mystery works out, I will enjoy spending time with these characters
--Narrator Impact: HIGH - I read this book before I listened to it. I had initially felt there wasn’t enough romance, but the audio performance really helped me feel their connection.

I received this book free in return for an honest review, courtesy of Audiobook Blast dot com.

The Dragonfly Season by David Pandolfe; read by Kerrie Seymour; produced independently in 2015 / Length: 6 hrs 51 min (Unabr) / Available through Audible & Amazon plus iTunes




Who was your favorite character in the book and why?

I really enjoy voicing Lauren, the psychic teenager at the center of the story. (And I'm really excited to be voicing her again in Distance, book 3 in David Pandolfe's Streetlights Like Fireworks series). She happens to be a psychic, but she is very relatable. She is both extraordinary and familiar. She has vulnerabilities and wants just like all of us, but she also has a connection to something that is foreign to most of us.


What was your favorite scene or quote?

This isn't necessarily a specific scene, but I love all of the scenes where the relationship between Lauren and Jack are explored. They are so tuned into each other, so smitten and yet so unsure of themselves. Their banter is really fun. When I read the book before narrating it and then again as I narrated it, I was really pulling for them.


What motivated you to become an audiobook narrator?

Well, a few things really. I love storytelling, always have. I have been a theatre actor for all of my professional career and an acting teacher at the university level for almost a decade. So, my adult life has been dedicated to the craft of storytelling and creating what are hopefully fully fleshed out, memorable and compelling characters. Add to that the fact that I can't remember the last time in my life when I wasn't actively reading something ... audiobooks seemed like a natural fit. As a theatre actor too, it is a tricky art form to consistently participate in when you have a family and a full-time teaching career. And while I actively pursue jobs and work onstage regularly, audiobooks are a means of creation and collaboration that can be done with a bit more flexibility than a theatrical rehearsal and performance schedule.


What's the best part about being a narrator? The worst?

There is so much flexibility and there is a thrill of communicating with your author (and I really hit the jackpot with David!) and then taking on a project solo. Making all of the character choices, acting as your own director, exploring multiple characters. I mean, as a theatre actor, I typically work in an ensemble of actors as we take on a 2 - 3 hour play. But with an audiobook, you are just one person tackling hours of text and action on your own. So, the responsibility, freedom and stamina are a thrill. It does get a little lonely though!


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