Favorite Audiobook Narrators #JIAM2016

Posted by on Jun 20, 2016 in Miscellaneous | 40 comments

Favorite Audiobook Narrators

 

June is Audiobook Month

As part of Audiobook month, I thought I would share with you some of my tips about audiobooks.

Narrators can make or break an audiobook. I’ve listened to books that I thought were just okay or even that I would DNF if it weren’t for the fact that I enjoyed the narration. On the other hand, a bad narrator can ruin the listening experience. If the narrator doesn’t change up the voices where you aren’t sure which character is speaking or they are doing a poor accent can annoy a listener and make them want to quit listening. So in honor of Audiobook month, I’m going to share with you some of my favorite narrators and my favorite series that they’ve done.

Vikas Adam
Vikas Adam narrates the Heartstriker series by Rachel Aaron. I just love his narration of this dragon series. He even won an Audie this year for his performance in this series. Find more books by Vikas Adam on Audible.

R. C. Bray
So far, I’ve only listened to The Martian by R.C. Bray, but it was phenomenal. I can’t recommend it enough. I will be looking for more books by Bray. Find more books by R.C. Bray on Audible.

Angela Dawe
I listen to Angela Dawe narrate the Psy/Changeling series by Nalini Singh. I love her narration of the series. I started off reading the books, but after listening to a few books, I’m hooked on the narration. Find more books by Angela Dawe on Audible.

Luke Daniels
I just started listening to Luke Daniels. I’m listening to Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne. This series is hilarious. While I think the book would be a freat read, but the narration of Luke Daneils really adds to the enjoyment of the story. I can’t recommend this series enough on audio. I’m only two books in, but I’m excited to get deeper in the series. Find more books by Luke Daniels on Audible.

Sophie Eastlake
I really like Sophie Eastlake. She has narrated several books and series that I’ve enjoyed. She narrates the Nikki Glass series by Jenna Black, Elder Races series by Thea Harrison, Chicagoland Vampire series by Choloe Neill and series I still want to try such as Deadly Ops series by Katie Reus. Find more books by Sophie Eastlake on Audible.

Jim Frangione
I started listening to Jim Frangione when I started listening to J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series. I loved his narration of the brothers. I thought he did a great job with the “ghetto speak” that the brothers used and really had their swagger down. I’ve since picked up a few other books by him including Alexandra Ivy’s new series, Ares Security. Find more books by Jim Frangione on Audible.

Lauren Fortgang
Lauren Fortgang is another narrator that I’ve come to love. So far, I’ve only listened to her narrate Jennifer Esteps’s Elemental Assassin series. Lauren Fortgang is the voice of Gin Blano. She pulls off the Southern accent with ease. I even love her voice for Finn, who has a great Southern male accent. I highly recommend you give this series a try on audio. She also narrates the Grisha series by Leigh Bardugo. This is a series that is on my audio TBR list. Find more books by Lauren Fortgang on Audible.

Holter Graham
Holter Graham narrates the Alpha & Omega series by Patricia Briggs. He is a great narrator. I loved his narration of this series. So much so that I decided to try Stephen King’s Christine about a haunted car. I wanted to listen to a King book and choose this one because of Holter Graham. It was a 1000x better than I thought a book about a haunted car could be and I think his narration helped. I highly recommend Holter Graham’s narration. Find more books by Holter Graham on Audible.

Marguerite Gavin
I found Marguerite Gavin listening to The Hollows series by Kim Harrison. This is a fun series that is great on audio. I’ve also started Kitty Norville series by Carrie Vaughn. She has also just started doing the narration for the Alpha Pack series by J.D. Tyler. Find more books by Holter Graham on Audible.

Tavia Gilbert
I found Tavia Gilbert when I first started listening to Night Huntress, Night Huntress World and Night Prince series by Jeaniene Frost. She also narrates the Broken Destiny series by Frost. I’ve also listened to her narrate the Demon Slayer series by Angie Fox. Some series that I want to try by Tavia Gilbert include, Black Dragons by Katie MacAlister, Southern Ghost Hunter Mysteries by Angie Fox and Mark of the Vampire series by Laura Wright. Find more books by Tavia Gilbert on Audible.

Hillary Huber
Hillary Huber narrates the Midnight Breed series by Lara Adrian. She narrates some of the books in the Demonica series by Larissa Ione (I really wish she had narrated the entire series.) I would love to find more books narrated by Huber. Find more books by Hillary Huber on Audible.

Lorelei King
Lorelei King was one of my first narrators. I started listening with Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs and fell in love. Then later I picked up the Charley Davidson series by Darynda Jones and I think she does an even better job with it. She really pulls out all the stops with the snark in that series. King narrates some other great series that I haven’t tried including the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich, Darklight YA series by Darynda Jones. She also does true stories such as The Stranger Beside Me: The Shocking True Story of Serial Killer Ted Bundy by Ann Rule. Find more books by Lorelei King on Audible.

Allison MacLemore
I was introduced to Allison MacLemore when I listened to My Life as a White Trash Zombie by Diana Rowland. The White Trash Zombie series that I started out reading and really enjoyed, however, once I listened to Maclemore’s performance, I’m no longer able to just read the stories. I have to listen to them. Her narration really adds to an already great story. She even won an Audie award this year for her performance with the most recent White Trash Zombie book. I highly recommend you check out this series, even if you are not normally a zombie fan. Find more books by Allison MacLemore on Audible.

James Marsters
If you don’t recognize the name James Marsters, he was the actor who played Spike on Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV show. If that isn’t enough of a reason to give him a try, the series that I listen to, The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher, is a really great series. I highly recommend you give him a try, even if he doesn’t use the British accent he used on Buffy. Find more books by James Marsters on Audible.

Kate Mulgrew
Kate Mulgrew is another narrator where I’ve only listened to one book, but it was enough to know that she is a great one. I listened to her narrate NOS4A2 by Joe Hill. She did such a great job with with book. She just did The Fireman for Joe Hill and I plan to get that one very soon. Oh, and for all those Star Trek fans out there, Kate Mulgrew played Captain Kathryn Janeway on Star Trek: Voyager. She also won an Audie this year for a book she wrote, Born with Teeth: A Memoir. Find more books by Kate Mulgrew on Audible.

Traci Odom
I’ve listened to Traci Odom do a few things. She narrated the first few books in the Ivy Granger series by E.J. Stevens series, She also narrated the first book in the Shifters Unbound series by Jennifer Ashley. I really want to try Jade Calhoun series by Deanna Chase. Find more books by Traci Odom on Audible.

Britanny Pressley
Brittany Pressley narrates the Black Blade series by Jennifer Estep. I really enjoyed her narration of this YA series. I would love to try more books by her. Find more books by Britanny Pressley on Audible.

Johanna Parker/Charlotte Kane
Johanna Parker and Charlotte Kane are the same person. I love her narration. She narrated several series that I’ve enjoyed including SPI Files by Lisa Shearin, Call of Crows series by Shelly Laurenston and Pride series by Shelly Laurenston (Charlotte Kane). She also narrates some of the books in Kelley Armstrong’s Women of the Otherworld series. I would like to try Fallen Siren series by S.J. Harper. She also narrates Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris. Find more books by Johanna Parker or Charlotte Kane on Audible.

Robert Petkoff
Ah, Petkoff, my favorite male narrator in romance. He narrates the Immortals After Dark series by Kresley Cole. With that series he nails some tremendous accents, Scottish and Russian mostly. He does one of the best jobs of any male narrator for women’s voices. I once picked up a new-to-me author mostly because he was the narrator and really ended up loving the book. Those Who Wish Me Dead by Michael Koryta. It was a great suspense story that I highly recommend. My most recent listen by Robert Petkoff was Before the Fall by Noah Hawley. It was another winner. Find more books by Robert Petkoff on Audible.

Renée Raudman
Renée Raudman narrates everything by Ilona Andrews (Kate Daniels, The Edge, Innkeepers Chronincles) and they are a great team together. Renée Raudman does a wonderful job with accents, snark and male voices. I really love her narration of all the different worlds that Ilona Andrews has built. I’ve also listened to her narrate a few books from other series, like Demonica by Larissa Ione. Find more books by Renée Raudman on Audible.

Amanda Ronconi
I love Amanda Ronchoni’s narration of Molly Harper’s books. This narrator really adds to the humor of the stories that Harper has written. I highly recommend you give these books a try. All of the series are great, Jane Jameson, Half-Moon Hollow or Naked Werewolf. All the series overlap a bit, but can be read separately. She also narrates other series I want to try, Soul Screamers by Rachel Vincent, some of the books in Hot Damned series by Robyn Peterman. Find more books by Amanda Ronconi on Audible.

Bahni Turpin
If you haven’t tried Downside Ghost series by Stacia Kane, trying it on audio is the way to go. Bahni Turpin’s narration is wonderful. She has to do this “Downside speak” that she just nails perfectly. I haven’t had the pleasure of listening to her narrate any other series, but this one is great. She is also one of the narrators on The Help. Find more books by Bahni Turpin on Audible.

Karen White
My first listen of Karen White was listening to the Sin Brothers series by Rebecca Zanetti and then I moved on to The Dark Protectors series by the same author. I’ve really enjoyed Karen White’s narration of both series. She also narrates Animal Magnetism by Jill Shalvis, which is something that has been on my TBR list for a while. Also check out the Cedar Ridge by Jill Shalvis. Find more books by Karen White on Audible.

Gabra Zackman
I’ve listened to two series so far by Gabra Zackman, both written by Rachel Vincent, Unbound and Menagerie. I’ve really enjoyed both of these series. Find more books by Gabra Zackman on Audible.

I’m sure there are many other narrators that are wonderful. There are many that I haven’t listened to yet. I hope to get to more of them soon.

Have you listened to any of these narrators/series? Have I convenience you to give some of them a try? If so, which ones?

Enter our giveaway

Melanie Simmons
I’m Melanie and I live in Ohio. I have two horses and a dog. I’m an animal lover, avid book reader and audiobook listener. I like to live vicariously through fictional characters. I enjoy reading and listening to mostly fictional books in the paranormal genre, including Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance and Horror. My favorite paranormal creatures are shifters, doesn’t matter the flavor.

    40 Comments

  1. I don’t think I have listened to any of these series, but I really like Robert Petkoff also, so I may try that one!

    • So many great narrators out there. Petkoff is one of my favorites. I hope you get to try some of the others.

  2. My favorite audiobook narrators are Santino Fontana and Zachary Webber. I have listened to both Bahni Turpin (The Help) and Explosive Eighteen).

    • I have not tried the first two you mentioned. I’ll have to check them out. I’m sure there are a ton that I didn’t list just because I haven’t found them yet. So much great talent out there. 🙂

  3. Haven’t listened to the first 2 but love all the others, Sometimes I look for the Narrator not books knowing I will enjoy them just for there narration. Xe Sands (Witchcraft Mysteries series), Khristine Hvam (Graveyard Queen, Jane Yellowrock) are also a favourites, oh and Sebastian York lol

    • Those are all narrators that I want to try. I’ve heard great things about them. I actually just listened to Khristine Hvam narrate The Shadow Queen. I listened to her after I wrote this post and I haven’t written the review yet. Thanks for the suggestions.

  4. Yes to Luke, Renee and Holder. I would have to add Will Patton and Sebastian York.

    • Patton and York are both narrators that I want to try. I’ve heard great things about them. I do plan to get them soon. 🙂

  5. Very useful article!

    I have two horses, too, a Dutch Warmblood and an Andalusian.

    • Yay! I have a quarter horse and a retired thoroughbred racehorse. I’ve only had the racehorse for a year, we are still working through some things, but I really like him.

      • Racehorses take some work. My first horse as an adult rider was a recently off-the-track thoroughbred mare. She was lovely. Unfortunately I didn’t have the experience to train her myself or access to a pro trainer, so I found her a home with a more experienced rider.

        • My guy has had some retraining before I got him. He still needs some work, though. I have found that having him at home isn’t working out very well, he has become attached to my other horse and truly needs weaned from him. He doesn’t want to leave the other’s side. Between that issue and the fact that I can’t ride as much as I would like, I’m probably going to have to find a trainer just to get him on a schedule for a while. I actually went to college to train horses, but quickly learned that I wanted to keep it as my hobby and not my career.

  6. I’ve only had the pleasure of listening to a few of these narrators. Need to fix that soon 😀 hehehe

    • I’ve really enjoyed all of these. I hope you get to try them soon. 🙂

  7. I will listen to anything Renée Raudman narrates. She is Kate Daniels to me. She is particularly good at doing different male voices. Renee Raudman doesn’t just narrates, she performs the book.

    James Marsters is Harry Dresden!

    • Those two are some of my favorites. I just started The Dresden Files last year. I’m fitting them in between review books. I’m actually listening to Proven Guilty right now. 🙂

  8. I like Sophie Eastlake on the Jenna Black and Thea Harrison books but I was sold on the original narrator Cynthia Halloway. I thought she sounded snarkier. I’m new to audio and looking forward to more. I just bought my first Ilona Andrews series to try out Renee Raudman. Amanda Ronconi on the Molly Harper books is the BOMB! And I enjoy James Martsters on the Harry Dresden books by Jim Butcher too (I’m trying to buy them all!) Anne

    • I listened to Cynthia Halloway do the Chicagoland Vampire books. I had quit the series before Sophie Eastlake took over. I did like Cynthia Halloway. She did the Cassie Palmer books too, but isn’t doing those any more either. I don’t know if she has gotten out of the business or what is going on. I did really like her. She did Anita Blake for part of that series too. Glad to have you as another audiobook junkie, Anne!

  9. I am so taking down every narrator you mentioned, and I am definitely looking up audiobooks narrated by them. Girl! You’re feeding my audiobook beast.

  10. Many of my favorites are on this list. A couple of new to me names, that I will check out.

  11. I have listened to a few of the above mentions, Jim Frangione so far is my favorite male narrator.
    I’m still a novice in the listening arena Melanie and always bow to your expertise!
    Thanks for the giveaway too!!!

    • Good luck with the giveaway! There are still many narrators that I haven’t tried yet. Some have been mentioned in the comments here and there are still others that are on my wishlist to try. So much talent out there.

  12. OMG! You have so many of my favorites up there and so many more I want to try! I also agree that a good narration can make a book I’m meh about wonderful and vice versa. Brilly post!

    • Thanks Melissa. There are still so many narrators that I haven’t tried. Some have been listed in the comments. Others haven’t yet. I’ve listened to some books that I know I would’ve quit if it weren’t for the narrator.

  13. I’ve only listened to one audiobook so I don’t have any favorites.

    • If you ever decide to give audiobooks another try, feel free to come back here and find a series that you would be interested in with a narrator that I think you’ll enjoy. 🙂

  14. I know I have at least two of Gabra’s books, didn’t know she does audio narrations. Cool!

    • I’ve not read any of her books. I didn’t even know she was an author until I saw one of her books on a publisher ARC list and she wasn’t the narrator. I noticed that Lauren Fortgang was reading her book, All In.

  15. I find it very interesting to hear how important a narrator is for an audiobook. I haven’t listened to audiobooks myself yet, so I can’t really imagine how much of a difference a narrator can make. Thanks for sharing your favorites!

    • It can make or break an audiobook, that is for sure. I’ve quit books before because of bad narrators. I’ve listened to books that I didn’t love the story because I loved the narrator.

  16. So many to check out! I’ve listened to two of them and enjoyed quite a bit (Eastlast and King). I need to give Petkoff another attempt and see if it was just the book I tried. I know a few who love his.

    • I so love Petkoff. I’ve picked up books from authors I didn’t know based him as the narrator. They were wonderful. He is probably my favorite male narrator.

  17. I just wrote this in a comment on my own blog to you, Melanie… but my favorite narrators are Lorelei King, Renée Raudman, and James Marsters. I notice I like the narrators best in first person narration – when the narrator can transport me into the head of the protagonist. Woot!

    • I love Marsters, but Petkoff is my favorite male narrator. I’ve picked up several books by Petkoff that I didn’t know th author, but ended up loving.

      I also think you need to try Heartstriker by Rachel Aaron narrated by Vikas Adam. i think you would like it. It has humor similar to SPI Files, about a male dragon who is too nice for his family. It won an Audie this year.

  18. What you said sound like a good solid base list to me LOL 🙂 Cause seriously this year I am going to end up with close to 50 between June and November for highlighting 🙂

    • I’m sure there are some that I missed, either because I haven’t listen to them yet or I haven’t listened to them in a while. There are also some that I like, but I only included my favorites that I highly recommend.

  19. I just came to your blog from Sophia’s Delighted Reader article about narrators. I totally forgot the White Trash Zombie narrator, and the narrator for the three Nice Girl books by Mollie Harper that I’ve listened to so far. Love both of those narrators.

    • It is easy to miss great narrators. I started this post way before it went live. I knew I wanted to do this for Audiobook Month. I kept remembering narrators and going back and adding them.

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