Best Audiobook Narrations of 2014 (My Choices)

Posted by on Jan 5, 2015 in News, Reviews | 38 comments

My Choices for Best Audiobook Narrations of 2014

 

Best Audiobook Narrations of 2014

When I listen to an audiobook, the main factor that determines my experience is the narrator performance. I could be listening to an awesome story, but if the narration is horrible my overall like for the book will suffer for it.

Same goes for an average story; an excellent narration can make you fall in love with a book, and make a so-so read a terrific listen.

So I picked the books that I listened in 2015 where I’m sure my fondness for the book in general was due or enhance by the spot on interpretation by the narrator.

So here are my choices for best-narrated books of 2015

You

Psychological Thriller
You audiobook cover

It’s not easy to make you like, let alone sympathize with a sociopath, but when the narrator outright nails his personality and the author intent, you can’t help but to do just that!
Santino Fontana interpretation of Joe, a deranged and delusional, yet very right in so many ways, was pure awesomeness!
Kudos to Santino Fontana for this downright amazing performance!

Tangled

Contemporary Romance
Sebastian York’s portrayal of Drew was perfect, right on! How easy the wrong tone would have sent me to the wrong side of this story. It’s not easy listening to a guy tell you how hot, smart and sexy he is, or how he can have any woman he wants, without thinking “this guy is a jerk!” But Sebastian beautifully brought him to life in a manner that made him sound likable by conveying how Drew beyond his words didn’t take himself seriously. Excellent pace and approach! And, oh boy! He’s got the romance gene!

Sebastian York’s portrayal of Drew was perfect, right on! How easy the wrong tone would have sent me to the wrong side of this story. It’s not easy listening to a guy tell you how hot, smart and sexy he is, or how he can have any woman he wants, without thinking “this guy is a jerk!” But Sebastian beautifully brought him to life in a manner that made him sound likable by conveying how Drew beyond his words didn’t take himself seriously.

Excellent pace and approach!

And, oh boy! He’s got the romance gene!

Review

Written In My Own Heart's Blood

Historical Fiction
Written In My own Heart's Blood

This is a series where I couldn’t get past the first three chapters of the first book when I tried to read it. When I picked up the audio and listened to the outstanding performance by the talented Davina Potter, I never looked back.
Now eight books and seven years later her performance is just as good, if not better than when I first listen.
Her repertoire of accents and different voices, as well as her amazing skill to bring the story to life made this entry another big winner for me in 2014.

Magic Breaks

Urban Fantasy
Magic Breaks Audiobook Cover

Renée Raudman delivers more than their voices; she perfectly fleshes out their essence and personality.

Curran’s voiced is performed with a raspy quality to it- one that conveys his strength, decisiveness and warmth.

Kate’s tone transmits her likability and strength that sprinkled with a little of self-doubt gives us an accurate picture of her character, and let’s not forget her stubbornness that make the clashes with Curran so enjoyable.

Her reading pace and tone maximize the suspense scenes; she’ll have you holding your breath till the very end.

The use of the creepy factor for some of the not so savory characters continue to be the best.

All in all, I absolutely loved her performance, and once again Renée Raudman makes the new entry to Kate Daniel series and incredibly fabulous listen!

Review

Seventh Grave and No Body

Urban Fantasy
Seventh Gave and No body 300x300

Lorelei King is as big of a part to this audio series as any of its characters, that’s a status accomplished by very few and it’s testament to her talent.
Her perfect comedic timing and grasp of the characters make listening to these Audiobooks an special experience.

Once again, her narration makes it to one of my favorites of 2014.

I have to mention that I had hard picking between Sixth Grave on the Edge and Night Broken by Patricia Briggs.

Review

The Pillars of Reailty

Fantasy
The Pillars of reality Audiobook

I was curious to see what this “only on audio” release was all about, so I decided to take a listen.
I was already a fan of narrator MacLeod Andrews. I loved the ease in which he transports you to this fantasy world.
In this distinctly character driven plot, he excels at bringing Mari and Alain to life. He perfectly fleshed out their personality, and in a fantasy novel that lacked the immense world building factor, his interpretation made a huge difference in my enjoyment.

Demon from The Dark

Paranormal Romance
Demon from the dark audiobook

Robert Petkoff is right on! Time after time he delivers with these novels! I had a hard time deciding which one was my favorite; I loved them all!
The man is simply amazing! It’s not easy to enjoy an audiobook even more after you have read it.
Petkoff ‘s portrayal of the characters, the dialog, emotions and the overall mood of the novels is even better than my inner-voice.
I always feel like I’m watching a movie and I have a front row seat.
His interpretation of the main character, Malkom, is spot on! And it earned him a spot in my favorites of 2014

Review

Big Little Lies

Fiction
Big Little Lies Audiobook

To say narrator Caroline Lee’s interpretation of Big Little Lies was amazing, would be an understatement.
After reading some great reviews of the ARC, I waited for the audio and got it right away when it first came out. I never paid attention to the genre, a good thing, after all, this is not one of my usual listens. To my surprise I found myself totally engross and captivated within the first few minutes.
I loved the way she captured the essence of the characters! I felt as if I known these people for a long time. Her tone and voice inflections beautifully transmitted the novel’s atmosphere.
Big Little Lies might not be one of my favorite stories of the year, but her narration deserves a place among my favorites.

Ignite me

YA Dystopian
Ignite me audiobook

Kate Simses portrayal of this dystopian novel is fantastic.
The way she transports you to the setting is nothing short of amazing.
Her interpretation didn’t spare me any emotions, I felt it all!
She conveyed the feeling and the somber mood of the novel with great authenticity without neglecting the light moments, especially with this being the final book.
The characters’ interpretations are excellent.
Maybe the book wasn’t my favorite of the three, but in no way I can blame it on her performance.

I Belong to You

Contemporary Erotica
I belong to You audiobook

Having Sebastian York bring Mark Compton to life almost made my year!
I’m a huge fan of this series! And having two narrators for the last two books has been a real treat, but having Sebastian bring the most mysterious and enigmatic character in the series to life was a real pleasure!
The way he conveyed the vulnerability in this iron man was amazing.
I truly felt his inner struggles.
Sebastian portrayal put soft spot in my heart for Mark Compton, which I never thought possible.

I also have to mention the fantastic job Grace Grant has done with this entire series. She’s been terrific with her interpretations through out the whole series. I loved both of their performances!

Lupdilup signature

Loupe Duffy
A mom, a wife, a friend, a happy ending addict, an Audiobook junkie, a wine lover and geek wanna -be. I'm constantly looking to be blown away.
Loupe Duffy

Latest posts by Loupe Duffy (see all)

    38 Comments

  1. I forgot that Demon from the Dark came out this year, since the book was release so long ago. You know Petkoff is one of my favorite narrators. The book “You” looks really interesting too. Not even a full week into the new year and my TBR list for the year is growing like crazy. 🙂
    Melanie recently posted…Best Audiobooks of 2014 (Melanie’s Picks)My Profile

    • The narrator was awesome! I got this book when I read a review over at Christy and I can see how the narrator beautifully captured the authors intent, any other interpretation would made the character just creepy, I think…Although he’s is creepy..lol
      Loupe Duffy recently posted…Best Audiobooks of 2014 (Melanie’s Picks)My Profile

  2. I read all of the previous Outlander installments, but listened to the most recent one, and I absolutely LOVED Davina Potter’s narration. Renée Raudman & Lorelei King are of course old favourites of mine, and I just recently discovered the smexyness of Robert Petkoff thanks to Melanie. *swoons* Great list!
    Carmel recently posted…Early Review, Spotlight and Giveaway: Hungry Like the Wolf by Paige TylerMy Profile

    • Ah…Davina Porter is wonderful, I’m so glad she deliver for you even after having read almost the entire series. I’m so glad you’re enjoying Robert Petkoff 🙂 he’s awesome too!
      Thanks Carmel!
      Loupe Duffy recently posted…Best Audiobooks of 2014 (Melanie’s Picks)My Profile

    • Those to girls always make my list, I love their work. I’m glad you’re going to be doing more listening, I always on the look out for audio recommendations so I know I can get them right way..lol
      Loupe Duffy recently posted…Best Audiobooks of 2014 (Melanie’s Picks)My Profile

  3. You either listed some of my favorite performances (Tangled, Ignite Me) or some of the audiobooks I really want to try. I loooooove MacLeod Andrews! He’s fantastic. And of course Yorkie is really good, but I like him in adult books rather than him playing a 20-something character. His voice is too damn manly!
    Nereyda recently posted…Audiobook Review: Mai Tai’d Up by Alice Clayton!My Profile

    • I hope you enjoyed those two as much as I did!
      These were all great narrations for me, even when some of the books didn’t make it to my top 5, I still LOVE the narrations.
      Thanks Grace 🙂
      Loupe Duffy recently posted…Best Audiobooks of 2014 (Melanie’s Picks)My Profile

  4. Excellent picks. Even though I don’t listen to audio very often. I still love a lot of these books/authors. I listened to the sample for Kate Daniels … I don’t think I could get into it now. I have her voice so ingrained in my head now, that it’s weird to ‘hear’ her a different way.
    Christy recently posted…Amour Amour by Krista & Becca RitchieMy Profile

    • Yeah that happens a lot when you have read more than a few books in the series (previously). I’m always more demanding in those cases, it’s hard to beat our inner-voices, although a few narrators have done that in case, like Robert Petkoff on IAD.
      Loupe Duffy recently posted…Best Audiobooks of 2014 (Melanie’s Picks)My Profile

      • Yeah, the only time I’ve been able to do that is with Luke Daniels as Atticus. I read the first book, but listen to them now because Luke blows anything I do in my head out of the water. He IS those characters. Even Oberon.
        Christy recently posted…Amour Amour by Krista & Becca RitchieMy Profile

        • Some do just that! I’ve only listened, never read them, although sadly I’m only on book #3 in that series…Luke Daniels is perfect for that series! But I also enjoyed his performance on The Swan and the Jackal..too bad he didn’t narrate the whole book 🙁
          Loupe Duffy recently posted…Best Audiobooks of 2014 (Melanie’s Picks)My Profile

  5. How wonderful that we readers have so many venues in which to enjoy our passion of reading. Thanks for sharing your tops in narration!

    • Isn’t? It’s been a blessing for me to be able to enjoy as many books as I have while on the move..lol I don’t think I could have read half the book I did if I did print 🙁
      Thanks Debbie 🙂
      Loupe Duffy recently posted…Best Audiobooks of 2014 (Melanie’s Picks)My Profile

    • OMG! Isn’t she wonderful? I can listen to those 44 hour books and be upset when they are over..lol I LOVE that series.
      Lorelei King its wonderful, you can’t go wrong with Mercy Thompson, Charley Davidson or Stephanie Plum – I love them all..lol
      Thank Sophia, I hope you do too 🙂
      Loupe Duffy recently posted…Best Audiobooks of 2014 (Melanie’s Picks)My Profile

  6. Renée Raudman rocks my face off and I loved Lee in Big Little Lies and You was just fantastic on audio. I cannot wait for the second book. I also love, love love the narrator for The Others series and I hope to God she does Vision in Silver. I also thought Morrison did an amazing job with King’s last audio. Ooo and Will Weaton is amazing.
    kimbacaffeinate recently posted…Golden Son by Pierce BrownMy Profile

    • I saw that you had those on your list, those were just exceptionally good performances to me. I LOVED Murder of Crows, but I can’t say the same for Alexandra Harris’ narration, and funny b/c I did LOVED her performance of the first book…Don’t get me wrong it was really good, It just didn’t rock my face off (I like that…I just added another phrase to my English vocabulary…lol) I’m making a note of the other two narrator you mentioned 🙂
      Loupe Duffy recently posted…Best Audiobooks of 2014 (Melanie’s Picks)My Profile

    • These are all really good narrators Anna, so if you come a cross a book you want to listen and they narrating it, you’ll know the narration won’t be a problem. I don’t know about Coraline Lee, that was my fist, but I thought she was perfect with that book.
      Loupe Duffy recently posted…City of Eternal Night Audiobook by Kristen Painter (Review)My Profile

  7. I have to say I never listened to an audiobook, so I can’t really say much about it, but I can imagine having a good narrator can really make an audiobook.
    Fun to see which were the best narrated audiobooks you listened to this year!
    Lola recently posted…Review: Forbidden by Kelley ArmstrongMy Profile

  8. Thanks for sharing! I’ve never listened to an audiobook, but I want to try one this year! The novel YOU sounds awesome- glad the narration worked so well.

    -Lauren
    ShootingStarsMag recently posted…Movie Review: Into the WoodsMy Profile

  9. Darn!!! I have You in hardback, now I’m wishing I had audio. That sample sounds like it fits the character really well.

  10. I so agree about narrators and several of these are my favorites too. Love Renee Raudman and Kate Simses! I’ve only read the first Charley Davidson book, but loved that narration too! I need to go through your other books and them to my audio wish list!
    Berls recently posted…Becoming Jane Eyre by Sheila KohlerMy Profile

    • These were narrations that I absolutely loved, some of the stories didn’t make my favorites, but as listening experiences they were all aces.
      Kate Simses was terrific for those books! I thought she did so much for the story 🙂
      Loupe Duffy recently posted…Screwdrivered Audiobook by Alice Clayton (review)My Profile

  11. I’ve been dragging my feet on jumping into more Outlander books after slogging through the first one in audio (soooo long!). Glad you were able to get through Written In My Own Heart’s Blood easier in audio format. Your take on the narrations of the LRJ & Cole books makes me think I should switch over to audio for those, too.

    Great post!

    • They are long, but I always enjoy getting back to their world. I can do a lot other thing while I listen to the books, so it’s a lot easier to do them on audio. I really enjoyed Lisa’s books narration, she does a great job with the first few books and then in the last 2 you get 2 narrators, I like that! 🙂 The guy that reads IAD is plain awesome!
      Thank Anya 🙂
      Loupe Duffy recently posted…Golden Son Audiobook by Pierce Brown (Review)My Profile

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Audiobook News & Reviews – 1/05/15 - […] Listens has their list of Best AudioBook Narrations of […]
  2. Sunday Post - […] had a couple of posts this week highlighting the best Audiobook Narrations of 2014. Check out Loupe’s picks and…

Post a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.