Author: Alexis Hall
Narrator: Nicholas Boulton
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Run Time: 6 hours and 42 minutes
At a Glance: Nicholas Boulton’s voice is like butter. The timbre and the cadence are almost hypnotic.
Reviewed By: Jules
Blurb: Ash Winters is barely holding on, near drowning in his own darkness and fear. He lives a gray shadow of a life, sullen and cynical, unable to remember hope or happiness – much less the distant, fading glitterball of love. It has to be a sick joke of the universe that he finds himself hooked up with good-humored Essex boy Darian Taylor, a wannabe model in a sparkly jacket and a fake tan. Darian may not be an intellectual giant, but he’s hysterically funny, and he’s got the courage to challenge Ash to live again.
Just being able to laugh is extraordinary enough to Ash. Loving may be a gift he can’t bear to accept, even if his denial breaks the biggest heart he’s ever known.
Review: Glitterland has been on my radar since its release; I’m absolutely captivated by everything Alexis Hall writes, and both the blurb and cover for this novel were extremely enticing. For whatever reason, though, I hadn’t gotten around to reading it yet, so when the audio was released a couple of weeks ago, I snatched it up immediately!
Nicholas Boulton’s voice is like butter. The timbre and the cadence are almost hypnotic. I was captivated straight away in a manner I’m not sure I would have been if I were reading it on my own. The first chapter was depressing—I don’t want to sugarcoat anything—the material is sometimes dark. Ash is a fairly dark character. But, as I said, I was so captivated by the narration and by Alexis Hall’s undeniably lyrical writing style that I had no choice but to jump in with both feet.
Undoubtedly, my absolute favorite thing about the book is Darian. I LOVED Darian. There was zero pretense with him. He’s honest, unapologetically himself, funny, kind, and bright in his own way. He is truly just so pure of heart. An unforgettable “glitter pirate,” I adored him start to finish.
I also liked Ash very much. Though, he certainly made it difficult at times, as he was constantly trying to hide his redeeming qualities. He was complex and maddening, and may very well not have deserved Darian…but, I loved him anyway. His growth throughout the book was undeniable, and I definitely loved the man he was proving himself to be at the end.
The rest of the characters were sort of a mixed bag…Niall, Ash’s ex-lover/best mate, was an ass. I’m sorry, but he was. He did have a moment of breakdown/confession/attempt at redeeming himself after the big conflict of the story, but it was not enough to win me over. I believe anything he ever did for Ash was purely selfish—to either have something to hold over him, or to be able to control him. He didn’t act as a true friend, and what he did to Ash when he was at an event with him, along with Darian and his friends, was cruel and unforgiveable.
Then we have Amy, who is Ash’s literary agent, and is engaged to one of his college friends (that relationship is also complicated). Amy is fabulous. She, like Darian, treats Ash like he’s “normal,” and consistently acts as a true friend. And, finally, there’s Chloe – Darian’s best friend since childhood—another true-blue friend. Good heart, and nice addition to the cast, even though her part was small.
Glitterland is a nice mix of serious, humorous, and sexy. There are some extremely powerful moments, and Hall does an admiral job of tackling some heavy subject matter—most notably that of mental illness. And then there are some endearingly charming moments, as well as some seriously sexy moments to balance it all out.
I one hundred percent recommend this audiobook. Nicholas Boulton’s narration is everything. Or, as Ash might say…It’s well nice. Pure dead brilliant.
You can buy Glitterland here: