The Original by Brandon Sanderson and Mary Robinette Kowal - Book Review

Write on: Fri, 22 Apr 2022 by  in Natasha's Reviews Read 702

The Original is a fast-paced and entertaining sci-fi thriller, best consumed in one sitting. If you like your audiobooks to go the extra mile, with sound effects and tense music at the appropriate moments, then I'm sure you'll very much enjoy this audio production, though for me, as someone who always listens to audiobooks sped up, it mostly just got in the way.

The cyber-punk worldbuilding is fun but not overly complex, which is good for a story of this length, and the plot is self-contained and refrains from becoming overly messy or meta (as is easily possible when dealing with clones), though I would have liked a little bit more out of the ending. There were a few moments I had to suspend my disbelief, but I was willing to do so for a narrative like this that doesn't take itself too series. At the same time, I really enjoyed how some interesting questions were touched on, such as whether humans would ever be satisfied in a mostly risk-less utopia, or if it would just lead to depression and searching for more and more extremes.

The character-focused nature of the story mostly worked for me, with our main character struggling through a sort of identity crises while being forced to solve the mystery of her husband's death and seek revenge. Overall, if you're looking for a quick engrossing listen and don't mind extra sound effects in your audiobooks, I'd recommend giving this one a try!


Natasha's passion for reading was kindled by her parents and the local library that allowed her family to checkout 50 books at a time. She first fell in love with fantasy through Arthurian retellings whereas her love for science fiction began with Star Wars novels. Nowadays, she still spends her free time reading but also gaming, running a blog (natrosette), and obsessing over TV shows. Maybe if she spent as much time reading as she does looking for books to read, she'd actually make a dent in her TBR.