- By Jamie Stroble
- Posted Monday, April 13, 2020
Spotlight on Great Audiobooks
Highfire by Eoin Colfer; narrated by Johnny Heller
Introducing Wyvern, Lord Highfire -- "Vern" for short. This 3,000-year-old dragon, the last of his kind, spends his days drinking vodka and watching TV in the Louisiana bayou.
AudioFile Golden Voice narrator Johnny Heller imbues this quirky, suspenseful fantasy with a playful reading in a totally engaging bayou accent. Heller has narrated almost 600 books for all ages and won a boatload of awards. His advice to readers? “Know the characters and be a conduit for what the author wants to say.”
Where the Light Enters by Sara Donati; narrated by Kate Reading
The pursuit of justice brings the Savard cousins together in this sequel to The Gilded Hour. In nineteenth-century New York, women's advancement has brought out the worst in some men. Two trailblazing female doctors continue to aid disadvantaged women society wants to forget.
Audie Award winner Kate Reading's dramatic narration complements author Sara Donati's evocative prose. Reading’s main goal when narrating? “Aligning with the truth of the character and the truth of the story.”
Cold Storage by David Koepp; narrated by Rupert Friend
When Pentagon bioterror operative Roberto Diaz was sent to investigate a suspected biochemical attack, he found something far worse: a highly mutative organism capable of extinction-level destruction. He contained it and buried it in cold storage deep beneath a little-used military repository. Now, after decades of decaying in a forgotten sub-basement, the specimen has found its way out and is on a lethal feeding frenzy.
Homeland actor Rupert Friend's gritty American accent and understated reading heightens the tension in this action-packed thriller. Cold Storage is Friend’s first audiobook narration, and fans will surely be clamoring for more after this performance.
The Right Swipe by Alisha Rai; narrated by Summer Morton and Brian Pallino
Two rival dating app creators find themselves at odds in the boardroom but in sync in the bedroom. Rhiannon Hunter may have revolutionized romance in the digital world, but in real life, she only swipes right on her career, and the occasional hookup. The cynical dating app creator controls her love life with structured rules. Only there aren't any rules to govern her attraction to her newest match, former pro-football player Samson Lima. The sexy and seemingly sweet hunk woos her one magical night and disappears.
Summer Morton and Brian Pallino alternate narrating duties for this steamy dual perspective romance. In fact, Morton and Pallino are both veteran narrators in the romance genre, and their chemistry really shines in this sizzling first installment of the Modern Love series.
Narrators You’ve Got to Hear
Roy Dotrice, 1923-2017
Many of us got hooked on the Game of Thrones TV show and books, but if you’ve got a lot of time and a desire to hear the beloved (and reviled) characters brought to life by the amazing Roy Dotrice, absolutely do it. His recording of A Game of Thrones was recognized by Guinness World Records for having the most “distinct and distinguishable” character voices in an audiobook (224!). Sadly, Dotrice passed away in 2017, and his amazing vocal abilities are sorely missed in the world of audiobook narration.
Todd McLaren gets you hooked right away in book one of S.M. Stirling’s alternate history “Republic of Nantucket” series - Island in the Sea of Time- and his steady, well-paced and clear narration will make you want to keep listening to the series. McLaren also narrates the audiobooks in Stirling’s “Emberverse” novels, an epic fantasy series with 15 installments and counting, if you want to hear more of him in action. McLaren, a multiple Audie Award winner, spent 20 years in radio before switching to narration and voice-overs. He can also be found narrating novels such as Wyoming Brave by Diana Palmer, and the Atlantis alternate history novels by Harry Turtledove.
Best known for her outstanding work on Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander novels, Porter is another Audible Narrator Hall of Fame member. She uses her Scots heritage to really make those performances shine. Porter has said that out of all her work, the Outlander books have been her favorites. She’s also narrated Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina and a multitude of other titles. Her performances are intelligent and meticulous, and her lovely British accent is perfectly suited to her material. “A flexible voice,” notes Davina, “is essential for audiobook narrators, as is the ability to make quick changes and maintain a comfortable narrative level for long periods.”