Friday, February 24, 2017

Book Blogger Hop No. 85: Multiple Narrators

Welcome to the Book Blogger Hop,
hosted by Billy @

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to find out the topic of next week's question, click HERE.

This Week's Question

How do you feel about books
with multiple narrators?

(Submitted  by Eli @ 

My Answer

This is a very interesting question!  Books featuring multiple narrators are not all that common. I certainly haven't read that many; in fact, I've only read one, as far as I can recall. However, I've seen them on the blogosphere, whether on other blogs, Amazon, or Goodreads.

I really do like this technique, but only if it's done in a very skillful manner. Not every writer can handle it. The thing is, an author has to be able to "speak" in different voices. Unfortunately, I think that some writers might have difficulty achieving this, and thus, all of their characters tend to "sound" the same.

Back in 2012, I read three books from a series titled "Heven and Hell" (no, this is not a typo), by the paranormal and YA author, Cambria Hebert. The first book, Masquerade, tells the story through four different narrators. I found this entirely satisfactory, and not distracting at all. Hebert was able to create very distinctive personalities for each of these narrators, so that I knew when each of them was telling the story. Of course, it helped that each one had their own section of the book. Still, I found it very easy to experience the story from each of these different viewpoints.

Here's a quote from my review of this novel:

"Hebert's story is highly original and unique.   For one thing, she has four different narrators telling the story: Heven, Sam, The Hate, and The Hope. The last two are supernatural beings, but their identity is not revealed until much later in the novel.   I especially like the idea of contrasting these two.  It's amazing to see how an evil being twists the events taking place into something utterly depraved, while the same events, seen from the perspective of a good being, take on a shining beauty.  Furthermore, using these two narrators has the effect of drawing the reader along, turning pages to find out, among other things, just who and what these narrators are."

As you can see, I thought this author was highly succesful in creating a story in which multiple narrators did indeed work. Although I haven't read any other books where this technique is used, I would definitely be open to doing so! Again, in the right hands, this would make a story not only more complex, and thus, more interesting, but also more compelling, as the reader would be eager to find out how these various viewpoints all tie in to the grand scheme of the story.

I think I'll seek out more books whose authors employ this technique. In my honest opinion, it's well worth it!

You can read my entire review of Masquerade, by Cambria Hebert, HERE.

What are your thoughts on
this topic?
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  1. This is an interesting question. Your comments on the topic are also very insightful. Heven and Hell sounds so very good.

    Multiple narrators can work very well. Perhaps the best example that I can think of is Charles Dickens's Bleak House. Some chapters were narrated by the main character Esther. There chapters were written in Third Person. That was so unconventional and might not really even count as part of this category.

    I just finished The Shore of Women by Pamela Sergeant. That book had three narrators which worked very well.

    Have a great weekend.

    1. Hi, Brian!

      Yes, this is an interesting question. I haven't come across books using this narrative technique very often. This one, though, is a great example of the skillful use of it!

      This YA novel delves into some very serious, deep themes, and does it very well indeed! Also, the romance is very satisfactory!

      I had no idea that Dickens had employed this technique, too. I must admit that I have never read "Bleak House". Now that you've mentioned it, I must definitely get to it!

      I haven't heard of "The Shore of Women"....OMG....gotta look into that one!! Looking forward to your review!!

      Hope you're having a great Sunday! Thanks for the terrific comment!! :) :) :)

  2. It is a bit confusing, but it doesn't turn me away.

    Thanks as always for your wonderful answer.

    1. Hi, Elizabeth!

      Yes, it can definitely be confusing, if not done right.

      Aw, thank you for the compliment!! Hope you're having a terrific Sunday!! Thanks for commenting back!! <3 :)

  3. Interesting answer. I'll have to look up the book you mentioned.

    1. Hi, Nicki!

      Thanks!! You should definitely take a look at this book! It's well worth reading!!

      Thanks for commenting!! :)

  4. You have only read one book with multiple narrators? That's certainly interesting! I find that a couple pf the books I have read in this style often have a twist or big reveal at the end that ties them all together. I never realized until I read this post!

    1. Hi, Edel!

      Yup, only one! Lol. Something tells me I need to check out other books using this technique.

      Actually, I now remember that a second narrator is used in two of the books of The Twilight Saga -- "Eclipse" and "Breaking Dawn", but this person only narrates certain portions of the book.

      I need to read more books using this technique, as it can be very interesting! And especially because of the big reveal you're mentioned!

      Thanks for the great comment!! :)

  5. I agree that if this technique is done right, then it's all right for the most part.

    Here’s my Book Blogger Hop!

    Ronyell @ Rabbit Ears Book Blog

    1. Hi, Ronyell!

      Oh, absolutely! Nothing could be more annoying than reading a book in which this technique just doesn't work.

      Thanks for commenting!! :)

  6. I enjoy books with multiple narrators quite a bit. I love having the different perspectives and views. I agree with you about it being a problem with the narrators all sound the same though--that's one of my pet peeves on the topic). I think there are many authors who are able to do it well though, thankfully.

    I haven't read Heven and Hell, but it does sound interesting! I'll have to check the series out.

    Thank you for sharing, Maria. I hope all is well!

    1. Hi, Wendy!

      I guess I must seek out more of these books, since I had no idea they were that common. The multiple narrators sure can add interest to a plot, if the technique is done well, and the "voices" are not confusing. Thanks for letting me know that there are many authors who are able to do this well!

      As for the Heven and Hell series, it's a GREAT one!! There are parts of it (I've read the first three books) that are a bit creepy, but I know this won't bother you! Lol. And the fact that I read these books DESPITE "the creepy factor", which DOES bother me, means they are truly worth reading!

      You're very welcome for the sharing! Yes, all is well! Thanks so much for your lovely comment!! <3 <3 :) :)

  7. I agree that it's the author's ability to differentiate the narrator's voices that makes this technique work. When it's done well, it can make a book very interesting, but when it's not done well it's just confusing.

    This was my complete answer:

    1. Hi, Kym!

      Exactly. No writer should even attempt this technique unless they are absolutely SURE they can handle it.

      Thanks for he comment!! Hope you have a great week!! :)

  8. Two multi-narrator books that we love are Dark Inside by Jeyn Roberts and The Passage by Justin Cronin; I don't believe either would appeal to you, since they're both paranormal thrillers, but the multiple narratives are done SO well. I love multiple POVs when they're done the right way because you get so hooked on one narrative that you don't want to change to another one, but then that one ends up being just as absorbing! Wonderful post *hugs* <3<3<3


    1. Hi, Mckenzie!

      Oh, I haven't heard of those books! I'll go check them out, though, just in case!

      Yes, I love multiple POVs when they're done well. And what you say is so true -- you end up getting pulled in by the second narrative! Lol. But still, I do enjoy reading books whose authors use this technique!

      Thank you so much for your kind words!! HUGS!!!! <3 <3 <3 :) :)


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