Resonance by A. J. Scudiere

Why I Read It: Stefan Rudnicki, one of my favorite narrators.

Where I Got It: Review copy from the publisher via Audiobook Jukebox (thanks!)

Who I Recommend This To: Folks who enjoy modern-day action stories with a twist.

Narrators: Stefan Rudnicki, Carrington MacDuffie, Paul Boehmer, Gabrielle De Cuir, David Birney, Rosalyn Landor, Arte Johnson

Publisher: Skyboat Productions (2008)

Length: 16 hours 25 minutes

Resonance is a modern-day science fiction story set in the United States. The main characters are one flavor of scientist or another; Becky is our biologist with a special interest in amphibians, David is our rock licker (geologist), and Jillian and  Jordan are the CDC medical doctors. A. J. Scudiere did a great job of making all the educated folk real people with flaws, accents, hopes, and the occasional slang. The story starts out with a few oddities – a few folks sick and slipping into comas, a few dozen mutated frogs, some odd magnetic readings on some rocks. These things are being noted by different individuals throughout the nation and eventually they end up in a small community at the same time and start connecting the dots. The magnetic poles are reversing.

The last shift was roughly 65 million years ago, the same time we noticed large numbers of species dying out. Now, humans around the world are dropping into comas and passing away in small pockets which turn out to be magnetic hotspots – where the compass readings are reversed. At first, no one understands why and the CDC docs keep looking for some communicable disease or exposure to explain it. The best the scientists can do is to move people out of the ever increasing and growing hotspots. Each of our main characters have friends and family being affected by this pole reversal. Despite this, they continue to work on to figure a way to save as many humans and possible.

I enjoyed how the author built each character up individually before throwing them all together. Jordan and Jillian entered the story at about the same time because they were both new hires for the CDC. We learn later that Jordan came from an impoverished family and was the first and only to go to college. Jillian has a brain the size of the Earth’s lodestone and her brainy antics are not understood by her family. Becky has a much younger sister and a wonderful family that she treasures. David is a bit of a slut but also a brilliant geologist, who trudges around in the shadow of his world-renowned geologist father.

Roughly two-thirds of the way through the book, the author throws in a twist and I did not see it coming. I love it when that happens! Jillian has to put her brain in overdrive to figure out what is going on and then try to use her impaired social skills to convince Jordan. David has experienced the same phenomenom and needs no convincing. But will Becky ever believe them, even though she wants to badly?

The narrators (a full cast) made this story extra enjoyable. Stefan Rudnicki is a favorite of mine and it was his voice that drew me to this book. He didn’t fail to entertain and give Jordan depth in his expressions. The narrator for Becky was perfect at capturing her small-town girl upbringing and her educated love of frog catching.

What I Liked: Variety of sciences colliding together; the side romance; Becky gets to go around armed part of the time; surprise twist with satisfying resolution.

What I Disliked: David gets off easy; one of the good guys dies in a very disappointing way.