A Song Was Playing

I Never Heard It Like That

Fiction - Action
296 Pages
Reviewed on 07/26/2022
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Jamie Michele for Readers' Favorite

A Song Was Playing: I Never Heard It Like That by Golden November is an interactive novel that is part of The Milestoneville Book Series. There are many who have not been introduced to the prolific author November's storytelling style, wherein the scenes are wholly actionable and meant to be read out loud in a group setting. Stock photos that depict the immediate environment a character is in for the scene are provided in full color. There is a continuity of characters between the books and many of the settings are the same, but each book introduces wild new adventures and new characters to share it with. This installment takes us from predicaments like a non-mathematical math magazine employee being stuck in an elevator with the consummate math guy, Octo, before all is saved and he is off camping with Sparkle. From here, the infamous “mystery tour” commences, people require saving and we get a very clear close-up of a canine's mouth as Tessa screams.

There is a line in chapter eight, a chapter before a full metal armor sword fight at a Renaissance fair happens but after JBT is interrupted when cooking for Claire, where JBT and G are rappelling down a waterfall and G says, “Safety first.” A male friend who is familiar with Golden November novels but new to A Song Was Playing changed his line to “Safety second!” We all fell over laughing because it is a genuinely accurate line for how November makes characters work for their supper. The character Tessa was the spanner in this storyline, and you really have to appreciate her hustle, but her bedside manner is in desperate need of some etiquette. My favorite exchange in the entire book is the back-and-forth jabs between Tessa and Flower Rose, which is brilliantly delivered in November's single-line zings. This is, yet again, another winner for Milestoneville and was a blast to play act.

Pikasho Deka

Are you in the mood for something different? An action-packed novella where character interactions are what drive the narrative forward, perhaps? If the answers to one or both the questions are yes, grab a copy of A Song Was Playing: I Never Heard It Like That. Written by Golden November, the book opens with Octothorpe (Octo) getting a call at 3 a.m. in the morning from his boss, Smith, who asks him to retrieve a mysterious briefcase. Accompanying him on the mission is another agent called Sparkle. But things go sour when Octo and Sparkle miss their pickup and get lost in the woods. It is now up to rare book hunters G and JBT to find the missing agents. But now someone else has the valuable briefcase. Can Octo and Sparkle prove themselves to GN ever again?

Filled with mesmerizing pictures and crisp and concise dialogue, A Song Was Playing: I Never Heard It Like That feels like a 70s action movie where every single scene takes the plot in a direction you never could've guessed. Author Golden November brings back some of his popular characters once again in a book that is filled with quirky characters, colorful dialogue, and plenty of action sequences. Although Octo and Sparkle feel like the main protagonists, it is G and JBT who steal the limelight with their usual back-and-forth and witty banter. I always have a good time with Golden November's books, and this time it was no different. Recommended to fans of old action movies.

Asher Syed

Foregoing traditional reading and instead acting out the parts presented is the signature style of Golden November's writing. This is employed once again in the next and wildly entertaining installment of The Milestoneville Book Series, A Song Was Playing: I Never Heard It Like That. Where screenplays are usually adaptations of books and short stories that are littered with scene direction and lengthy column notes, November streamlines the experience with the skill of a seasoned director. Gone are all of the aforementioned and in their place are color photographs, some of which the author's fanbase will recognize as staples across the series. There are voices both familiar and new, some who we know will stay, and others who are just passing through.

A Song Was Playing ranks among the top three books in Golden November's catalog. I have my favorite characters and Sparkle is one of them. She is a standout in this particular novel and while my wife has a tendency to play her part, given my baritone voice I filled in as Octo and put it to use by singing: “A song was playing — I never heard it like that!” Given that this is the title of the whole darn book, I would consider it a win. Those in the room who were subjected to my singing were less inclined to describe it as such, however. I like the way the author pulls components from one book to the next because it genuinely lets their regular readers feel as if they know the characters. There's growth that evolves with each subsequent installment. I'm waiting for the next release and when it comes I will be quoting JBT on it: “I get first grabs.”