An Audiobook Review: Onyx & Ivory by Mindee Arnett

This cover is astonishing. It draws a reader in with its strangeness and the tree’s otherworldly twists and turns. Between that and the title, you’d believe you were diving into an epic fantasy adventure or quest… (Sidenote: I didn’t actually see the swords until midway into listening to this book.)

Upon grabbing this audiobook from audible shelves, I had thought I’d be able to tell where this story would take me. As most of you know, I don’t read the synapses before I purchase. I like the unpredictability of it. I like the thrill of discovery. I usually purchase based on recommendation OR seeing the book everywhere. As long as it is fantasy and has magic, I’m your girl.


In my opinion, the cover did not match the story. To me, the cover screams epic fantasy, which it was, and spins an illusion of battle and war… which it wasn’t. Not really. It was pretty… childish. It fell short too often for my liking.

The storyline felt more for a young adult than an adult epic fantasy, and maybe it was meant to be that way, but the story didn’t settle with me at any point during the listen. Often times, I felt like things were way over done. For example, the main character told the reader (or in my case, listener) how MUCH she loved horses…over and over again. Everything the MC did was about her complete, undying, worshiping love for the equestrian species.

Look, doll. I love horses too, grew up with them, and even I was sick of hearing about horses. I semi-get why she used horses so much in this book, but the author could have easily inserted some more animal species and gotten away with it. But, it’s neither here nor there. Maybe in the second book it explains more, I don’t know. I won’t be picking up the second, however, so someone will have to let me know.

Now, for storyline, structure, audio actor, etc.

Aside from the storyline not squeezing even a little of itself into my expectations, the novel plot seemed a bit shaken. I was very frustrated because I went through 1/2 of the book and was positive there was no definitive plot. Several subplots were presented, but nothing definitive. I stuck it out though, because authors can surprise us. When it finally sprang, I wasn’t surprised. In fact, I was disappointed. The plot, and everything that followed, was convenient and predictable.

I was disappointed.

The audio actor was good. I have no complaints there.

I’d consider recommending this book for the younger crowd of Sarah J. Maas fans. Perhaps even the younger crowd of my own series, Rise of the Realms. Maybe midteens?

Rise of the Realms, an epic fantasy series by female author D. Fischer


Pre-order is available. Link below!

“This is what we’re here for, this is what Fate made us to be – a force to stand between the enemy and the innocent.”

#dragonbooks #riseoftherealms #epicfantasy #epictales #fantasybooks #founditonamazon #darkfantasyhorror