• The Key to Fear

  • The Key Series, Book 1
  • By: Kristin Cast
  • Narrated by: Dascha Polanco
  • Length: 9 hrs and 10 mins
  • 4.2 out of 5 stars (78 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

No touching today for a healthy tomorrow.

For 50 years, the Key Corporation has defended humanity against a deadly virus that spreads through touch. Lovers don’t kiss, or even hold hands. Personal boundaries are valued above all. Break the laws, and you’ll face execution.

Elodie, a talented young nurse, believes in the mission of the Key and has never questioned the laws that control her life. But Elodie is forced to break the rules when she sets out in search of a terminal patient who goes missing while under her care.

From the outside, it seems like Aiden was given everything he could want from the Key - a purpose, an education, and a future. But Aiden knows more than he’s letting on, and the dark secrets he’s keeping could tear the Key’s strict society apart.

When Elodie and Aiden’s lives collide, the fallout will be devastating. What do you do when the brutal system that once kept you safe hunts you down?

Run. 

©2020 Kristin Cast (P)2020 Blackstone Publishing

What listeners say about The Key to Fear

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Really Bad Narration

The narration was so bad I gave up on chapter 11 and returned the title. Which is too bad because I really wanted to see what happens. The narrator has an accent, speaks very quickly, annunciates poorly, and ignores the letter T, all of which make it hard to understand what she is saying. But what really killed it for me was being confused by the long pauses and inappropriate inflection in the middle of a sentence.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Horrible narration

The book sounds like it would be a great read but I couldn’t even get past 5 minutes of the narrator.. the way she pronounces the words completely kills it for me… just very hard to get past it

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Good story, but missing in details

I would have liked more description of that future dystopian world. I want to get immersed, feel it, smell it, taste it…. Other than that it was great.

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Narration made me quit

The narrator makes pauses where there shouldn’t be, as if she has to catch her breath after reading too fast. (Which she sometimes does.) I tried to keep listening, but eventually gave up more than halfway through, because it annoyed me too much.

I liked the concept of the story itself, but it all felt a bit cliché & lacking in depth. I never really connected with any of the characters.

The part that especially irked me was the “relationship” between main girl & mohawk boy. She meets up with him once & then feels “betrayed” when “her” boy does something unexpected, with him proclaiming that he’s still the same person she “knows”. I gave up on the book right after that.

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Good book. HORRIBLE narration.

I’ve never quit a book due to narration but I almost did several times during this one. It wasn’t due to her accent but because the random pauses and emphasis on weird places in a sentence just completely threw the whole storyline off. The story itself is good. I really hope someone else narrates the next book or at least practices more before recording.

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Good story, but narration was a bit rough

The story itself was good and I will probably read book 2 on kindle. If the narrator is the same on Book 2 I probably will not purchase it on audible. I did not mind the narrator's accent, but I did find the odd pronunciation, inflections, and pauses in inappropriate places to be very hard to listen to. Others have explained this more, and I agree with them. I would suggest that the author consider having this audiobook re-recorded with a more experienced voice actor.

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Narration made it difficult to enjoy

I love good dystopia, and this story as written has all the hallmarks. I nearly have up on it several times, however, because it's just poorly narrated. It sounds like the narrator was recorded on a cold-read, and not a very confident cold-read, at that. She pauses at all the wrong places and emphasizes with all the wrong inflection, so you're left trying to figure out what the heck the author was trying to say. If I were the author I'd be very angry about this reading.

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Good story, annoying narration

I almost stopped listening to this several times. The story is interesting enough that I would read a written sequel. I wish the cursing had been left out since it’s more of YA fiction and it’s unnecessary. But there’s no way I would listen to another audiobook by this reader. Some mistakes I could overlook like the time “O nine thirty hundred”. But she repeatedly emphasizes the wrong words in a sentence and inappropriately inserts her own periods mid sentence. This drove me crazy.

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Great concept, love the world she is building!

This is one of the most original books by Kristen Cast. I only wish she delved deeper into the personal relationships to really make her reader fall in love with the characters. This is an easy listen and I totally recommend it. The narrator is wonderful. I only wish Cast had not sold herself short on character development through the relationships she established.

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story was good

The story was good but the narration was a bit lackluster for my taste, still will listen to the next book.

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  • Caroline
  • 08-04-21

Truly horrible narration

I like the story, but it was ruined by terrible narration. Emphasis in the wrong places, pauses in the wrong places. Half the time it seemed like the narrator had zoned out and wasn’t concentrating on the contents of the story.

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  • Shani Tallis-Evans
  • 07-09-21

Great story, dreadful narration.

The story was very enjoyable and screams out for a sequel. However, the narration was terrible! The narrator doesn’t appear to be able to sound t’s which makes some of the words almost impossible to understand. There was zero emotion and was read so monosyllabic that one couldn’t distinguish where one sentence ended and another began. I had to slow down the narration to try to interpret what was being said.
That said, I persevered as I wanted to know how the story would unfold. I’m glad I did as it was a very good story. I do hope Kristin writes a sequel, but I really hope a different narrator is used in future.

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  • Leeanne J.
  • 06-22-22

Definitely a good read

I really enjoyed this book, not so much the narrator (sorry). can't wait for next book.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-20-22

Don’t skip sounds.

Not a fan of T-glottalization. It makes the reading jar and clash. Also many phrases were paused in unusual places which interfered with comprehension.