Reviews, Scottish Reads

The Sound at the End

On a near-abandoned research base in an Arctic ice field, a skeleton crew works to ensure the centre doesn’t collapse amid treacherous storms. Officially, Trieste Grayling arrives in order to explore and film a sunken shipwreck for a documentary film; privately, she’s working through a complicated grief. Trieste soon realises she’s not the only one who was attracted to this intense isolation in order to escape her ghosts.

Each of the crew members harbour dark secrets: Mal, the ever-competent medic conducting mysterious therapy sessions, Sweetie, the reclusive engineer with scarred hands, Thorsteinn, the aloof diver tender, Avelina, the temperamental base manager whose stories of home don’t quite add up, Grace, an underwater welder and recovering addict, and Judd, the erratic former member of a ‘90s boy band. As they begin to reach breaking point, each one’s hidden ghosts finally comes into the light.

This audiobook came to me with high recommendations from multiple friends. I was very excited to listen to this as I do enjoy a creepy read. I thoroughly enjoyed this and gave it 4 stars.

The voice acting was amazing! As a Scottish person, I find it so exciting to hear familiar accents on audiobooks (as opposed to people putting on Scottish accents that are usually terrible!). I didn’t hear my own accent but that’s ok, I got the warm and fuzzies from having two familiar sounding voices. This was such a small thing but it increased my enjoyment a great deal.

This book was an excellent example of books that I enjoy in spite of hating most of the main characters. I couldn’t stand Trieste, she was the epitome of the annoying new colleague. After one week she’s insistent on finding everyone’s secrets and generally being super nosy. I chuckled when her colleagues were telling her to just go away and she said ‘I’ll come back later’, completely oblivious to her colleagues just wanting to be left alone. I couldn’t work with her. I hated Mal, the doctor. She was completely inappropriate and dangerous. They were the two worst characters. Everyone else was annoying but to a far lesser degree.

I think that this book was better because the characters were so awful! It worked. If they were nice and likeable, I’d have spent the book worrying about their fate instead of being keen to find out what happened next.

This was the perfect audiobook as it was a full cast production. There were also recordings and moments where the audio gave out or stuttered which helped to add to the disorientation.

I loved the setting of a remote research base in the arctic. Having the characters shut off from the rest of civilisation helped to make this quite the psychological thriller! And I was thrilled. The scenes with the dives gave me chills! In an environment where you can’t be sure of who to trust, going for a wee dive in the arctic didn’t seem like a smart move. The characters weren’t making clever decisions though and I enjoyed the slow falling apart.

I felt so full of doubt while reading this book, in a good way. I wasn’t sure if the characters were imagining things or if they were really happening. I think the setting of an isolated camp really enhanced this.

This book was so creepy and chilling and I was absolutely hooked! I highly recommend it! I love being able to pass the recommendation on.

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