Another Faust Audiobook - Review

Another Faust by Daniel & Dina Nayeri

Publication date: August 25, 2009
ISBN 10/13: 0763637076 / 9780763637071

Category: Young Adult Fantasy
Format: audiobook

Keywords: Morality, Power, Talent, Redemption, Family, Friendship, Audiobook

Find the synopsis on

How I found out about this book:

People were adding this to their TBRs in the late summer, and I added it but kept putting off reading it because it was getting lukewarm, if not outright bad reviews. Then later, I saw the audiobook was read by Katherine Kellgren (who also reads the Bloody Jack & P&P&Z audiobooks, and after whom I have decided to name my future daughter--Katherine Kellgren Donaghe--nice ring to it, no?) which pretty much sealed the deal. I've listened to a dozen or so audiobook readers and she's the best, especially if the book has a huge cast of characters with various accents--you guessed it, Another Faust is one of those books.

My Review:

I pretty much had to listen to this audiobook twice, and am listening to it a third time already--ok, partially because it's confusing--with so many characters and an ever-overlapping/intertwining story line, I really felt the need for a print copy, complete with tape flags, Cliffs Notes, and droid phone with a Wiki app pulled up and ready to go whenever a historical reference comes along that you can't quite put your finger on...

Ok, wait, let me start over. That makes it sound like homework. And while I think that if you're paying close attention you can find meaningful lessons in this book, that's not necessarily why I loved it.

Another Faust is fun. It's guilty pleasure times five. I could identify with all of the characters, even Victoria, the resident mean girl, because she's so driven to succeed and be the best at everything academic. Who hasn't wished that they could stop time like the jaded Valentin, who rewinds and fast-forwards and relives the same moments over and over until they're just right--or horribly wrong, depending on how he's feeling at the time?

I'm probably most like Bicé (say: BEE-cheh) who wants nothing more than to stop time, and spend it reading by herself while the whole world stands still. I'm probably least like Belle--I mean, I want to be gorgeous and popular, too (am I not already? ;-) and I wouldn't trade my soul for it, but I understand the urge. And Christian, poor Christian who just wants to never be poor again, and has decided to pursue the life of a pro athlete (with a little supernatural aid) so he can afford to spend the rest of his life doing what he really wants to do--writing novels and poems. That's pretty much me in a nutshell, except for the pro athlete part.--I'm considering taking up nursing, but haven't made the commitment yet. Any devils out there who want to strike a deal with me?

Great plot & twists. If you're even a little bit culturally literate, you'll know that Faust was the name of a character who traded his soul to the devil for great knowledge (and if you haven't heard of him, that's ok--go hit up Google or Wiki and come back later. I promise not to think any less of you). So it won't come as a surprise that these five teens have traded something in exchange for powers, aforementioned. What does surprise is what each character does with that deal and how their choices intertwine all the way to the conclusion.

Funny as hell. Here's one of my favorite bon mots from early on.

Someone once said that French is the language that turns dirt into romance. Valentin knew this to be true because he lived in Paris, and he knew this to be true because when he wasn't feeling romantic, he was feeling like dirt.

I really did want to run out and buy the print copy so I could mark all the laugh-out-loud parts. It was becoming increasingly difficult to rewind and re-listen to clever bits like that when I was shaking with laughter... Which is why it took me 18 hours to listen to an 11 hour audio book... Which is why I need to figure out a way around my new year's resolution so I can go buy the hardcover! (puts on thinking cap)

Who should read this?

Well, there's no sex, no drugs (well, not really real drugs), and I didn't notice any potty words. (Don't hold me to that, I was sleep deprived and also wildly entertained, so I may just not have noticed.) Er, Valentin has a tendency to get a little frisky, but his adopted brothers and sisters don't let him get away with it.

Because the story is fairly complex I think this would be much more enjoyable for someone with a quick mind that can keep track of all the crazy powers, the changing attitudes, and the army of secondary characters/historical figures. I suggested this for my YA book club because of the potential tricky discussions and debates.

If you just wanted the one cute girl to be with the one cute boy and live happily ever after, this is not the book for you! (You can go read Hush, Hush. You're welcome.)

A Contest? Yes!

Not mine, this time. The brother-and-sister writing team of Daniel & Dina Nayeri are holding a writing contest--deadline is January 31, 2010 so get cracking, young adult authors! All you need to know is right here. No soul-selling necessary to enter.

Another Faust is Daniel & Dina Nayeri's debut novel. Look for the next title in the Another series--Another Pan--in 2010.

Find the authors at / on Twitter @DanielNayeri & @DinaNV / on Facebook

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What do you think? Is this something you would read? If you've already read it, put in your two cents... (no spoilers, please!)