Audiobooks I should have read instead

Posted by on Dec 3, 2014 in Reviews | 57 comments

Audiobooks Better Off Read


Better off Read image


Ninety-eight percent of the audiobooks I buy are an educated guess, I normally read a few reviews from the peeps I follow that get the ARCs.

If I think the book is something I’d enjoy I get it on audio if it’s available, or I add it to my wish list. Then I wait for it to be published on audio.

And just as I get lucky with some of my “shot in the dark” purchases, I also get disappointed with some books I was hoping to enjoy after reading the reviews.

So I thought I’d share with you the books that I think might be better reads than listens since the narration didn’t work for me.

Audiobooks I should have read instead

Dark Witch Audiobook cover

While I found the plot entertaining, the narration by narrator Katherine Kellgren failed to enhance the experience.
I can tell she’s a seasoned narrator, no newbie mistakes here, but unfortunately I found her interpretation over the top.
Her increase in volume to convey certain emotions didn’t work for me, and took me right out of the story.
My rating for the experience was 3.0 Hearts, maybe a different approach would have earned  the story a better rating.

Lay it Down Audiobook cover

Lay it Down‘s plot turned out to be more than I expected.
I was expecting another biker’s novel with the usual bad-ass and their infamous lifestyle. And while I enjoy that, I was pleasantly surprised by the mystery and suspense I found in the plot.

After having said that, what drag down the story for me was the narration. I had to make and effort to finish this book on audio.

This another case when a competent narrator gets casted to perform a romance,  but sadly, they lack the romance ” gene.”
And though they excel at reading the narration parts and bringing the hero to life, they fall short when it comes to conveying the romantic aspects of the story. To me this was  due to the poorly performed female voices.
Distractions like that take me out the story, and that’s what happened to me with narrator Tom Weiner‘s interpretation.
My rating 3.5 Hearts.

Isla and the Happily Ever After Audiobook cover

Anna and the Frech Kiss was my favorite Audiobook for 2011. I loved that book! The following book Lola and the Boy next Door also ranked pretty high in my list. So you can imagine how much I was anticipating the last book, Isla and the Happily Ever After.

After waiting a few years for its release, I couldn’t wait to get my greedy little ears full of this book.

To say that this is my biggest disappointment of 2014 would be an understatement. I couldn’t listen to more than five chapters of this audiobook.

I found the tone, the pace and the overall interpretation by narrator Grace Blewer completely wrong and not age appropriate.

There was no emotion in her reading; her pauses felt out place, and the interpretation of the heroine didn’t convey a very likable girl.

All in all, I thought this was a very poor casting for this book. I did switch to the printed copy; I can say I enjoyed way more, but not nearly as much as the first two books. I can’t honestly tell you if the bad flavor I had in my ears from her interpretation ruined my reading experience, or if this just was not Stephanie Perkins’ best effort.

My rating after reading it 3.5
Narration 2.0 Stars.

When The Duke Was Wicked Audiobook cover

I got this audiobook after I read some exciting reviews. I’m a big fan of historical romances – I think is one of the best romance sub-genres for audio.

While the story wasn’t the best I’ve listened in the in this genre, I did find it entertaining. The characters are likable and offer a few good hours of fun, but I feel I could have enjoyed this much more with a different narrator.

Narrator Helen Loyd‘s interpretation didn’t help make the story more enjoyable. I wasn’t a fan of her tone, and I couldn’t be completely transported to the author’s world.

I didn’t find a lot of distinctions between her female and male voices – that’s almost always a deal breaker for me. Nevertheless I did managed to finish it without turning to the Kindle copy.

So in conclusion, I’d not recommend this on audio, although the story still worth a read.

Story 4.0

Narration 3.0

The King Audibook by Tiffany Reisz

Let me start by saying, I’m a colossal fan of this series.
I think Tiffany Reisz is a brilliant writer! She takes you to a dark world of BDSM erotica but let us find the light with her magnificent character development and style of writing.

I always read these novels before I revisit on audio except for last two installments. The Saint and The King were the first to be published at the same time as the printed copy.

I enjoyed Elizabeth Hart’s narration of the Saint (Nora’s book) you can read my review here. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for The King.

While I was OK with her French accent for Kingsly in The Saint, I found it completely wrong for The King. I guess it was OK in small doses, but it didn’t work for me for the entire book.

The King is a Kingsly’s story, so I have no idea why they picked a woman to narrate this book. I’ve never been more sure than I’m now that I would  have enjoyed it more if I have read instead.

I might be hard on that French accent. I happen to have a French friend with a thick French accent, and he doesn’t sound like that at all.
Kingsley sounded cartoonish to me, and that’s a no go! And again, she missed with Zøren too (to be fair, I don’t think anyone can do a good Zøren).  I do have to mention, she’s pretty good with the rest, she’s spot on with the emotions, and you can distinguish the voices. Overall she’s a good narrator,  unfortunately those two misses are a big deal to me.

The story in the King is nothing less than I expected, and good enough to survive an unsuitable French accent.

I can still see the listeners of this series being OK with Elizabeth Hart’s interpretation, some might even find the French accent sexy,  but it just didn’t work for me. I wanted so much more!

Here is Melanie’s review of the audiobook.

Story 4.0

Narration 2.0


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

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