Story Rating: 5 stars
Audio Rating: 4 stars
Narrator: Kai Rubio
Length: 9 hours, 14 minutes
Cross is the second book in S.E. Harmon’s fabulous Formicary duology. I absolutely adored these two books, and when the chance came to review the audio, I jumped on the opportunity to experience them once again. The books are a set and make up one long story. Cross picks up immediately after Chrysalis, and the books must be read in order. So there are some spoilers here for the first book (both in this review and my original ebook review). So if you have made it this far and haven’t read book 1, run, don’t walk, to check out Chrysalis because these books are so, so good.
This second story brings Christian’s adventures to a conclusion, plus adds even more excitement, not to mention some horrifying answers to just what is going on in the Formicary. I love that this story shifts from Christian being sort of a lone wolf to now seeing him team up with Gray, Chaos, Nick, and some of the other super soldiers. Watching them all join together to take out the bad guys is thrilling and intense, plus we get a lot of bickering and banter that adds some humor amidst all the suspense. This is such an exciting duology and Harmon really brings such creativity to this world building.
We also see things resolve for Gray and Christian personally and I just adore them together. Christian may be gruff and anti-social with just about everyone, and he could kill you 10 different ways before breakfast, but he absolutely melts for Gray. The love Christian has, and the way he will move heaven and earth for Gray, just gives this such a nice balance on the romantic side with the more suspenseful parts of the book. I love that it makes Christian this sort of mushy bad ass and they are such a fun couple. If you want more detail on my thoughts on Cross, be sure to check out my original review for the ebook.
I listened to this in audio by narrator Kai Rubio and I think he does a really nice job with the book. Rubio gets the tone and the pacing really well, balancing out the intense and quieter moments so nicely. Christian is appropriately snarky (as are Nick and Chaos), and Gray’s sweetness comes through well. These books are a little challenging, as Christian has a strong internal narrative, so in audio format it can be tough to convey when he is thinking and when he is speaking out loud. But Rubio does as well as I could ask with this difficult style. My only real issue is that while Christian has a very distinctive voice, Gray, Nick, and Chaos often sound quite a bit alike, to the point where I often mistook who was speaking. Rubio has varied voices for the minor side characters, but for some reason, these three men really sounded similar. However, overall I think the narration works well and I really enjoyed revisiting these two books in audio.
As I said, I just adored this duology and found the audiobooks a lot of fun as well. If you like suspense, snarky main characters, and (mostly reformed) bad guys with a soft heart for the one they love, this series is worth checking out.