Fast forward to October 2017. My commute was longer and more regular with the new job that I started, so I was listening to more audiobooks, which had never been my prefered method of reading. While browsing Overdrive for audiobooks to try, I came across the Narnia series once again and decided to give them a try. This time I did them in chronological order, which I personally think worked out the best.
I will link all of my goodreads reviews for the series below, in the order that I read them, so that you can read them if you like. And then I will share some overall thoughts on the series, which I ended up really enjoying.
One thing that I enjoyed about the series were the religious tones that colored the story. Maybe this wouldn't be appealing to everyone, but to me it really worked. And if this isn't something that you want in your story, I think that you could still enjoy them for fun, good versus evil tales.
Now, as I said, I have never loved audiobooks. I have a hard time listening to people talk for long periods of time. It gives me a really bad headache. Music I can handle more, but still have a limit. My commute is the perfect length for me and I have really learned to appreciate audiobooks because of it. And the audio format works really well for this series. They are written more as stories to be told, rather than read, so the way the narration works is perfect for an audio version.
Reading the series in Chronological, rather than publication order, makes the most sense to me because you get to see the story unfold more clearly. You also begin with one of the stronger books, as far as writing is concerned, first, which strengthens the rest of the series.
One thing that I both like and dislike about the Narnia books is that they give me this odd, bittersweet feeling. This is something I have never experienced with other portal fantasy, but that I think a lot of authors want to convey. There is a sense of loss when you travel back from the fantasy land you have discovered, and not knowing if you ever get to go back can be painful. But you also have great memories from your time there, so it wasn't all bad. There is something about this mix that leaves me feeling both empty and full that I find oddly appealing.
It's safe to say that this series has ended up being a favorite. It probably won't ever rank among my most loved series, but it certainly had an impact on me and I look forward to reading the series again in the future.
If you enjoy fantasy, I would definitely recommend this. It is some of what really propelled the genre forward for many readers and writers. It's a staple in the reading world that it's kind of odd if you haven't tried it. And I would suggest that you try audio, if you are at all inclined, because it works really, really well.