Black Dove

Highbridge Audio. Aug. 2023. 8:45 hrs. ISBN 9781696610872. $19.99. F
McAdam’s (A Beautiful Truth) magically heartwarming latest follows 12-year-old Oliver and his often emotionally unavailable writer father, both mourning their wife and mother, who was consumed by alcohol addiction. Dreading school thanks to a horrible bully and his cronies, Oliver escapes into an odd little shop whose owner protects and mentors him into becoming something more than himself. With genetic editing, mysterious creatures, and a tentative new relationship, what follows is a story that defies convention. It is both realistic and fantastical, mundane and extraordinary. McAdam narrates the audiobook himself, employing his velvety, rich voice and spot-on pacing for maximum effect. The depth of McAdam’s narration enhances the novel, transporting listeners into his seductive, unsettling world. Listeners may find themselves discombobulated, wondering if this is science fiction laced with fantasy and magical beasts. Or perhaps it’s a story about an unhinged scientist taking his experiment too far. Then again, it could also be a story about traumatized children finding their way in the world. In truth, this magnificent work is all of this and much more.
VERDICT A mesmerizing, genre-bending story for fans of Heather Tucker’s Cracked Pots.
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