Sunday, March 27, 2016

review: the killing jar by jennifer bosworth

Kenna lives a fairly isolated life with her very ill twin sister and their mother. Despite the isolation, Kenna does have a sort of boyfriend, but she fears getting too close to him because of a scary incident that happened when she was a child. Kenna killed a boy with her mysterious powers. After a night out with Blake, Kenna returns home to discover the father of the boy she killed has brutally attacked her mother and sister and is now after her. In the aftermath of that attack, Kenna’s mother realizes she can no longer hide the truth from Kenna and takes her to the commune where Kenna’s grandmother lives. While there Kenna learns about her powers and starts to question her mother’s motives, but then Jennifer Bosworth wisely inserts a twist that leaves Kenna with even more questions.

The Killing Jar initially seemed to be a fairly standard tale of a teen discovering paranormal powers and struggling to still be a typical teen, but Bosworth changed things up about halfway through. Although the twist still aligns with known mythology, it raises the stakes so that Kenna’s choices are more compelling. The one downside here is that the paranormal elements aren’t explained. Even when Kenna is learning about her powers, the origin is never revealed.

About the audiobook: Jennifer Bosworth’s second novel is narrated by Saskia Maarleveld. Although Maarleveld’s voice is excellent and she changed tone to distinguish between characters, there were times when it was difficult to tell if Kenna said something out loud or if it was part of her thought process (Kenna has extensive inner monologues). Dreamscape Media released The Killing Jar in January 2016 and runs 8.5 hours.
4/5
Review copy provided by Audiobook Jukebox.

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