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First Year Audiobook

First Year: The Black Mage, Book 1

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Publisher's Summary

For 15-year-old Ryiah the choice has always been easy. Become a warrior and leave the boring confines of her lowborn life behind. Set to enroll in the School of Knighthood on the eve of her next birthday, plans suddenly shift when her twin brother discovers powers. Hoping that hers will soon follow, she enrolls with Alex at the Academy instead - the realm's most notorious war school for those with magic.

Yet when she arrives, Ry finds herself competing against friend and foe for one of the exalted apprenticeships. Every "first-year" is given a trial year to prove their worth - and no amount of hard work and drive will guarantee them a spot. It seems like everyone is rooting for her to fail - and first and foremost among them Prince Darren, the school prodigy who has done nothing but make life miserable since she arrived.

When an accidental encounter leads Ryiah and Darren to an unlikely friendship, she is convinced nothing good will come of it. But the lines become blurred when she begins to improve - and soon she is a key competitor for the faction of Combat. Still, nothing is ever as it seems - and when the world comes crashing down around her, Ry is forced to place faith in the one thing she can believe in - herself. Will it be enough?

©2014 Clean Reads (P)2016 Clean Reads

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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Performance


There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

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  • Hudson the Basset
    Maryland
    09/11/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wait Until You Meet Priscilla"

    I enjoyed this story very much. It slowly drew me in and I looked forward to resuming the narrative each time I halted the book. The Black Mage is a story about twins, Ryiah and Alex, attending a magic school. It is a Medieval type world where the twins are considered "low born" by the nobility. Ryiah, the main character, struggles to win a place at the academy. Priscilla is her major nemesis and she takes "mean girl" to the next level. There is the "spare non-heir" to the thrown and all the usual sycophants that help make the story exciting. I will definitely get the next book in the series.
    Melissa Moran does an excellent job as narrator.
    I was voluntarily provided this review copy audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Ashanti
    Calumet Park, IL, United States
    07/02/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Great YA Novel And Promising Start To A Series"

    “First Year: The Black Mage Book 1” is an excellent YA novel about twins, Ryiah and Alex. The two set out to join a prestigious mage academy, but the road to becoming an accomplished mage is not easy. The Academy has a brutal weeding out process that takes power, talent, and a strong will to survive.

    “First Year” seems to be more about Ryiah than Alex. The mage academy teaches three types of magic, alchemy, healing magic known as restoration, and combat. Ryiah, who wants to become a combat mage, has her work cut out for her. Surprisingly, author Rachel E. Carter didn’t make either Ryiah or Alex particularly skillful. Both children are perennially at the bottom of their classes, but they somehow manage to hang on.

    There are other students—supporting characters that are likable and not so likable, but definitely not one dimensional. “First Year” is all about the weeding out process just to earn the right to become mage apprentices. Although that isn’t a whole lot of plot, enough happens in book one to feel like a full length novel without feeling like the novel was padded to reach its length.

    Narrator Melissa Moran did a great job bringing the Ms. Carter’s words to life. She also has a pleasant sounding voice that sounds age appropriate to the characters. Her male character voices weren’t bad either. Sometimes I find male character voices done by female narrators a little comical, especially if the female narrator has a naturally high voice.

    Overall I found “First Year: The Black Mage Book One” to be an enjoyable read/listen and I would definitely like to finish the story by reading/listening to books two and three in the trilogy. Finally, this audio book was provided by the narrator at no cost in exchange for an honest review, courtesy of Audio Book Boom.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Kathleen
    23/12/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A wholesome fantasy"
    Any additional comments?

    This is an entertaining fantastical story. The characters are well developed and interesting. If you like fantasy books that are about friendships and foes, this is a good story. It builds up nicely to an interesting ending. I think it's best for young audiences.

    I was provided this audiobook at no charge in exchange for an unbiased review.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • T. Lynn Moellendorf
    20/12/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I love the story and the writer but..."
    What made the experience of listening to First Year the most enjoyable?

    I just started listening to audiobooks recently and have fallen in love. I don't always have to read the hard copy story, so listening to them is easier.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    The only thing that I felt detracted from the story was that at times the narrator sounded more robotic then human. When speaking for the characters, she had personality. But as narrator, she sounded more like the automatic narrator on my kindle then a real person.


    Any additional comments?

    Overall, this book was enjoyable, but could have been better. I look forward to the second and final book to come out.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Koolaid53
    07/12/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Growing Pains"

    I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

    Harry Potter a little bit, just starting older.

    Magic. Just getting started.

    Romance. Wait and see.

    Underdog. Yes.

    Add them all together and you have a great book. Would recommend this to everyone.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ben
    United States
    02/12/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Appealing but unfulfilling YA"

    My first impression of this book wasn't great. The narrator seemed to over-enunciate every word, the action was spurred by outlandishly implausible events (who jams their entire grasping hand into a thorny berry bush at night on purpose?). However, the complexity of this book lies in its peaks and troughs. It is well-written, but not outstandingly so. The narrators grew on me after an hour or so and I found her to be well-suited to the role by the end. The plot, however, moves from extremely exciting scenes and sequences that pulled me forward, to awkward and unappealing portions that made me contemplate not finishing.

    My primary issue was that I found the main character to be somewhat uninteresting, and to not be worthy of the positive treatment and expectations she occasionally received. Honestly, she's desperate to become a battle mage but seems to have little to no natural aptitude for fighting when compared to other students. Fortunately, many of the secondary characters were quite fun. My other problem was that there is somewhere between little and no world building. We don't really learn ANYTHING about how magic works or interacts with the world. If you try to picture the world this takes place in, it's effectively just one or two vague buildings and a hazy palace off in the mists.

    Clearly, the book is focused on the characters, and to a lesser extent on romance. The author does a good enough job with this that I'm considering picking up the second book. The characters are somewhat stereotypical, but these stereotypes exist because the characters that fit them are intriguing to follow. A love triangle is looming on the horizon in the second book. And I'm crossing my fingers, hoping we'll find out SOMETHING magic and the kingdom and what all these crazily trained mages are FOR in a realm without a war in 60 years. I may have been hoping for too much from YA fantasy/romance, but I've read a few truly excellent ones that set my expectations high. This one is eminently readable, and often enjoyable, but fails to reach greatness.

    I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Jonathan Newton
    25/11/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "OMG BEST BOOK EVER"

    I have been dieing waiting for book 2 this book was amazing.


    I received this book free in return for a unbiased review.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Andrew Hart
    20/11/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "loved it!"

    this story was enjoyable and I feel in this world with enthusiasm. I will be getting the next book. the narrator did an awesome job. her voice was pleasant and she spoke well.

    This audiobook was given by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review via Audiobook Boom.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Meagan
    11/11/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Magical"
    Any additional comments?


    This book reminded me a lot of Harry Potter but a big more graphic with the gore. I enjoyed the book as a whole but at times did find it slow. Overall the book is very intriguing and I did like it a lot and was sad to see the 2nd book isn’t on audible yet. I will be keeping my eye out for it!

    “This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of Audiobookboom”

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Jason Engler
    Atlanta, GA USA
    09/11/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "School with urban fantasy"

    I've always enjoyed urban fantasy over high fantasy. High fantasy tends to focus more on building the world (think Lord of the Rings). Some people really like all the detail and feeling like they're in a new land, but I've never been too fond of it. If that's what you're expecting from this story, it's probably not for you. This story doesn't focus much on building the world. We focus on the main character and our knowledge is limited by her knowledge. We see the training she goes through without really believing in the threat. It's more YA than anything. This is what I like, so I enjoyed the story.

    I thought the narrator did fine. Her characters come to life and she brings emotions to the story. However, she's faced by the same problem a lot of teen novels have, and that is the narrator doesn't sound like a 15 year old girl. Harry Potter and Ender's Game are pretty notorious examples. Luckily the narrator sounds in her 30s which isn't a big issue.

    This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBoom dot com.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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