Darker: Fifty Shades Darker as Told by Christian by E.L. James
Narrated by Zachary Webber
Male POV version of Fifty Shades Darker. Does not stand alone.
Grey was the first audiobook I read read with Zachary Webber as the narrator and he hooked me. He couldn’t be more perfect for Christian Grey. In fact, I think Grey might have been the book that cemented my love for audiobooks. It’s been a long time since I actually read the Fifty Shades trilogy. I have seen both movies many times, but I read the books in 2011 & 2012, so my memory for details is pretty much gone, but the movie was fresh in my head. So a lot of the scenes in Darker: Fifty Shades Darker as Told by Christian were kind of newish for me, though they were all a bit familiar. I’m not sure there was a lot of new scenes, but that’s OK, because seeing it from his POV gives it a whole new perspective.
Christian Grey is one intense dude! The first hour of this 18 hour audiobook was just riveting. He is SO OBSESSED with Ana, it would be creepy if she weren’t just as in love, but you don’t really see her love as much here so he comes off a little more obsessive even than he did before.
“Appearances can be deceptive. I’m not fine. I feel like the sun has set and not risen in five days, Ana. I’m in perpetual night here.”
Hearing his POV, Christian loses a bit of his dominance to me. He comes off a bit more like an obsessed, scared, desperate man than he does from her POV or in the movies. But that’s OK. I loved his intensity and his vulnerability.
“It’s terrifying. It’s confusing. It’s exciting. What are you doing to me, Ana? Where are you leading me?”
The outwardly confident man is so broken and scared and down on himself that it almost hurt to read, you just kind of want to make it better for him.
“Baby, you read me like one of your books; except I’m not the hero. I’ll never be the hero.”
I would have loved to have read this before seeing the movie, because I found it difficult to separate the two. Darker followed the original book, Fifty Shades Darker, and not the edited down movie, so some scenes were very different. But that’s OK, because now I want to read the books and see the movie again! You can say whatever you want about these books, but even rehashing the same story from another POV showcased EL James’ writing. I was completely sucked in and it was one of the rare audiobooks that I was able to just sit and listen to without doing other things. In fact, sometimes I had to, it was that compelling.
- Very intense and riveting, especially at the beginning.
- Stayed true to the original book with all-new insight.
- Felt new and fresh to me even though I knew the outcome.
- Brought out all sorts of emotion.
- The scenes with his mom.
- EL James’s storytelling has just gotten better.
- This isn’t the book’s fault, but I had trouble separating the original book, the movie and this book.
- I would have liked more original scenes that weren’t in the book. Like childhood flashbacks, or meetings with Taylor, or his family.
I have to give it a rare 5+ stars. He will always be Christian to me! Zachary Webber is just absolutely perfect for this role. The intensity, the neediness, the love, the obsession were all done beautifully. Not once did my attention wander. He captured Christian perfectly, and I think the book is made even better by his narration.
The Down & Dirty:
Rating: 4.5 stars, 4.25 Heat, 5+ Narration