Best Audiobooks of 2014 (Melanie’s Picks)

Posted by on Jan 2, 2015 in Reviews | 41 comments

My Best Audiobooks of 2014


Best of 2014

Melanie's Picks

2014 was a great year for books and audiobooks. Narrowing down the list to just 10 was extremely hard. I listened to some new-to-me authors, the end of some favorite series, some new series by favorite authors and more. I even found that picking new stories/authors by favorite narrator can work to my advantage when I found Michael Koryta’s Those Who Wish Me Dead narrated by Robert Petkoff.

I should also include my honorable mention, As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales of the Making of The Princess Bride written and narrated by Cary Elwes with appearances by Rob Reiner, Billy Crystal, Carol Cane, Robin Wright, Wallace Shawn and more. It is a must listen for any fan of The Princess Bride.

I hope that 2015 can be as good in the book world as 2014. Here’s to another great year.

Burn For Me by Ilona Andrews. Book # 1

Nevada Baylor is faced with the most challenging case of her detective career – a suicide mission to bring in a suspect in a volatile situation. Nevada isn’t sure she has the chops. Her quarry is a Prime, the highest rank of magic user, who can set anyone and anything on fire.

Then she’s kidnapped by Connor “Mad” Rogan – a darkly tempting billionaire with equally devastating powers. Torn between wanting to run and wanting to surrender to their overwhelming attraction, Nevada must join forces with Rogan to stay alive.

Rogan’s after the same target, so he needs Nevada. But she’s getting under his skin, making him care about someone other than himself for a change. And, as Rogan has learned, love can be as perilous as death, especially in the magic world.

©2014 Ilona Gordon and Andrew Gordon (P)2014 HarperCollins Publishers

Murder of Crows, book 2 of the Others Series

After winning the trust of the terra indigene residing in the Lakeside Courtyard, Meg Corbyn has had trouble figuring out what it means to live among them. As a human, Meg should be barely tolerated prey, but her abilities as a cassandra sangue make her something more.

The appearance of two addictive drugs has sparked violence between the humans and the Others, resulting in the murder of both species in nearby cities. So when Meg has a dream about blood and black feathers in the snow, Simon Wolfgard – Lakeside’s shape-shifting leader – wonders if their blood prophet dreamed of a past attack or a future threat.

As the urge to speak prophecies strikes Meg more frequently, trouble finds its way inside the Courtyard. Now, the Others and the handful of humans residing there must work together to stop the man bent on reclaiming their blood prophet – and stop the danger that threatens to destroy them all.

©2014 Anne Bishop (P)2014 Penguin Audio

Clean Sweep by Ilona Andrews, book # 1

On the outside, Dina Demille is the epitome of normal. She runs a quaint Victorian Bed and Breakfast in a small Texas town, owns a Shih Tzu named Beast, and is a perfect neighbor, whose biggest problem should be what to serve her guests for breakfast. But Dina is…different: Her broom is a deadly weapon; her Inn is magic and thinks for itself. Meant to be a lodging for otherworldly visitors, the only permanent guest is a retired Galactic aristocrat who can’t leave the grounds because she’s responsible for the deaths of millions and someone might shoot her on sight. Under the circumstances, “normal” is a bit of a stretch for Dina.

And now, something with wicked claws and deepwater teeth has begun to hunt at night….Feeling responsible for her neighbors, Dina decides to get involved. Before long, she has to juggle dealing with the annoyingly attractive, ex-military, new neighbor, Sean Evans – an alpha-strain werewolf – and the equally arresting cosmic vampire soldier, Arland, while trying to keep her inn and its guests safe. But the enemy she’s facing is unlike anything she’s ever encountered before. It’s smart, vicious, and lethal, and putting herself between this creature and her neighbors might just cost her everything.

©2013 Ilona Andrews, Inc. (P)2014 Ilona Andrews, Inc

My Review

Those Who Wish Me dead - A novel

The newest thriller from Michael Koryta, New York Times best-selling author.

When 13-year-old Jace Wilson witnesses a brutal murder, he’s plunged into a new life, issued a false identity and hidden in a wilderness skills program for troubled teens. The plan is to get Jace off the grid while police find the two killers. The result is the start of a nightmare.

The killers, known as the Blackwell Brothers, are slaughtering anyone who gets in their way in a methodical quest to reach him. Now all that remains between them and the boy are Ethan and Allison Serbin, who run the wilderness survival program; Hannah Faber, who occupies a lonely fire lookout tower; and endless miles of desolate Montana mountains.

The clock is ticking, the mountains are burning, and those who wish Jace Wilson dead are no longer far behind.

©2014 Michael Koryta (P)2014 Hachette Audio

My Review

Revenant, Demonica series #11

Hell hath no fury…

For 5000 years, Revenant believed he was alone in the world, a fallen angel beyond any redemption. Now he finds he has a twin brother who had all the light and love Revenant was denied. Caught in a tug of war between Heaven and Hell, he must weigh his thirst for revenge against his desire for a mysterious female named Blaspheme – a female whose very origins could deliver him into salvation… or destruction.

Like an angel scorned

Blaspheme has a deadly secret: she’s the forbidden offspring of an angel and a fallen angel. Hunted by both heavenly and satanic forces, she has survived only by laying low and trusting no one. When Revenant claims he can save them both, how can she possibly believe him? But the powerful angel is persistence incarnate and for Blaspheme, there’s no place she can hide in Heaven or Hell where he won’t find her.

©2014 Larissa Lone (P)2014 Hachette Audio

My review

The Book of Life, All Souls Trilogy # 3

After traveling through time in Shadow of Night, the second book in Deborah Harkness’s enchanting series, historian and witch Diana Bishop and vampire scientist Matthew Clairmont return to the present to face new crises and old enemies. At Matthew’s ancestral home at Sept-Tours, they reunite with the cast of characters from A Discovery of Witches – with one significant exception. But the real threat to their future has yet to be revealed, and when it is, the search for Ashmole 782 and its missing pages takes on even more urgency. In the trilogy’s final volume, Harkness deepens her themes of power and passion, family and caring, past deeds and their present consequences. In ancestral homes and university laboratories, using ancient knowledge and modern science, from the hills of the Auvergne to the palaces of Venice and beyond, the couple at last learn what the witches discovered so many centuries ago.

With more than one million copies sold in the United States and appearing in 38 foreign editions and translations, A Discovery of Witches and Shadow of Night have landed on all of the major best seller lists and garnered rave reviews from countless publications. Eagerly awaited by Harkness’s legion of fans, The Book of Life brings this superbly written series to a deeply satisfying close.

©2014 Deborah Harkness (P)2014 Penguin Audio

My Review

The Wich With No Name, final book of The Hollows Series

After 10 years and 13 adventures, at last the triumphant conclusion to Kim Harrison’s number-one New York Times best-selling Hollows series!

In 2004, Kim Harrison made her debut with Dead Witch Walking, an electrifying urban audiobook novel full of action, mystery, romance, and humor, which introduced bounty hunter and witch Rachel Morgan. Over the course of 12 books, Rachel confronted numerous threats, vanquished a range of cunning and powerful enemies, risked her heart, suffered haunting loss, and nearly lost her life. Now, in The Witch with No Name, Kim Harrison brings back her wildly popular heroine for one final, epic battle.

Rachel Morgan’s come a long way from the klutzy runner fleeing a bad job. She’s faced vampires and werewolves, banshees, witches, and soul-eating demons. She’s crossed worlds, channeled gods, and accepted her place as a day-walking demon. She’s lost friends and lovers and family, and an old enemy has become something much more.

But power demands responsibility, and world-changers must always pay a price.

That time is now.

To save her best friend’s soul and the rest of the living vampires, to keep the demonic ever-after and our own world from utter destruction at the hands of fanatics, Rachel Morgan will risk everything.

©2014 Kim Harrison (P)2014 HarperCollins Publishers

My Review

Magic Breaks, Kate Daniel's #7

No matter how much the paranormal politics of Atlanta change, one thing always remains the same: If there’ s trouble, Kate Daniels will be in the middle of it. As the mate of the Beast Lord, Curran, former mercenary Kate Daniels has more responsibilities than it seems possible to juggle. Not only is she still struggling to keep her investigative business afloat, she must now deal with the affairs of the pack, including preparing her people for attack from Roland, a cruel ancient being with god-like powers. Since Kate’s connection to Roland has come out into the open, no one is safe – especially those closest to Kate. As Roland’ s long shadow looms ever nearer, Kate is called to attend the Conclave, a gathering of the leaders from the various supernatural factions in Atlanta. When one of the Masters of the Dead is found murdered there, apparently at the hands of a shapeshifter, Kate is given only 24 hours to hunt down the killer. And this time, if she fails, she’ ll find herself embroiled in a war that could destroy everything she holds dea.

©2014 Andrew Gordon and Ilona Gordon (P)2014 Recorded Books

Sixth Grave on the Edge

Sometimes I wrestle my demons. Sometimes we just snuggle. (Bumper Sticker)

Most girls might think twice before getting engaged to someone like Reyes Farrow – but Charley Davidson is not most girls. She’s a paranormal private eye and grim-reaper-in-training who’s known to be a bit of a hell-raiser, especially after a few shots of caffeine. Her beloved Reyes may be the only begotten son of evil, but he’s dark and sultry and deeply sexy and everything Charley could hope for. Really. But when the FBI file on Reyes’ childhood happens to land into her lap, she can’t help herself: She opens it…and then the real fun begins. First, Charley finds a naked corpse riding shotgun in her car. Then, a man loses his soul in a card game. Throw in a deaf boy who sees dead people, a woman running from mobsters, and a very suspicious Reyes, and things can’t get any worse for Charley. Unless, of course, the 12 Beasts of Hell are unleashed.…

©2014 Darynda Jones (P)2014 Macmillan Audio

Our Review

Archangel's Shadow

In the wake of a brutal war, the archangel Raphael and his hunter consort, Elena, are dealing with the treacherously shifting tides of archangelic politics and the people of a battered but not broken city. The last thing their city needs is more death, especially a death that bears the eerie signature of an insane enemy archangel who cannot – should not – be walking the streets.

This hunt must be undertaken with stealth and without alerting their people. It must be handled by those who can become shadows themselves. Ash is a gifted tracker and a woman cursed with the ability to sense the secrets of anyone she touches. But there’s one man she knows all too well without a single instant of skin contact: Janvier, the dangerously sexy Cajun vampire who has fascinated and infuriated her for years. Now, as they track down a merciless killer, their cat-and-mouse game of flirtation and provocation has turned into a profound one of the heart. And this time, it is Ash’s secret, dark and terrible, that threatens to destroy them both.

©2014 Nalini Singh (P)2014 Tantor

My Review

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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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  1. Ooo I have a lot of those on my print reading list. I did snag an Ilona Andrews audio this past week. Looking forward to checking that out 🙂

    • Oh, Renee Raudman is one of my favorite narrators. She is perfect for the Ilona Andrews series. I hope you enjoy. 🙂

  2. I read the print copies of a few of these. I think it is great that anyone is composed and ordered enough to rank the books they read/listen to.
    I know I cannot do it – although BURN FOR ME was high on my list.

    • It was so not easy to narrow this list down. I could’ve doubled the list. There were so many great books that came out this year. I hope 2015 is just as good.

  3. Great list Melanie one of those made my list too and there are some listed that are on my wish list and my pile
    Happy 14 to you!!

  4. Great list Melanie one of those made my list too and there are some listed that are on my wish list and my pile
    Happy 14 to you!! And I hope your holidays were Great!

    • Thanks Debbie. My holidays were wonderful, though I’m ready to get back to a normal schedule. I hope you had a good holiday too. 🙂

    • Oh, Clean Sweep was so interesting. Ilona Andrews ability to create interesting and completely diverse worlds and characters simply amazes me. I’m anxiously awaiting Sweep in Peace. I haven’t been reading as they post on the site, because I’m hoping for another audio. 🙂

  5. Of those I’ve only listened to Sixth Grave, but what an awesome list, Melanie! I already bought As You Wish because of your review, and can’t wait to get to it. 🙂

    • If you enjoyed The Princess Bride, then you will love As You Wish. You will then want to watch the movie again to look for all the parts they talk about in the movie. I loved it. Enjoy 🙂

  6. I also LOVED so many of these! A great list indeed…
    It goes to show you, Renee Raudman is all Aces!
    I have Petkoff on my list, just different book 🙂

    • I’ve got some new Petkoff on my TBR this year. Raudman nails it for me everytime. I wish I could find more of her stuff from authors that I liked. Might have to try a new-to-me author with her narrating.

  7. Some of your favorites are my favorites too, like Murder of Crows and Sixth Grave. I read Burn for Me, but I want to listen to it too, maybe this year.
    One of my audiobooks goals this year is to listen to the Kate Daniels series, luckily my library has all the audiobooks. 🙂

    • You will love Renee Raudman. She is just as good as Lorelei King. They are two of my favorites. I’m so excited for Visions of Silver. I did a relisten to Written in Red in December and plan on Murder of Crows in January or February.

  8. Andrews is always a safe bet on audio. And I love The Others.

    • There were tons of great books this year. It was so hard to narrow it down to just 10. I could’ve added another 10 easily.

  9. Ha- Ilona Andrews made it on the list three times, huh? I want to check out Clean Sweep, but crap, I know I’ll want to read it and it’ll just depress me. I’ll never catch up on their books.

    • I do love them. If it makes you feel better, Clean Sweep is book one and book two isn’t out yet. If you read or listen to Clean Sweep, you’ll be caught up in at least one series. The same can be said for Burn for Me. LOL. 🙂

      • I read Burn for Me and loved it. I’m just now getting into the Kate Daniels series – love it. But have a few to read before I’m caught up. It just seems like they have so many books!

  10. I planned to read Burn For me but shit happened and I didn’t have enough time! Grrr!

    Happy 2015, Melanie!

    • Stupid real life getting in the way of reading. LOL I know the feeling. I’ve still got a bunch of books from 2014 that I haven’t listened to yet.

      Happy 2015 to you too!

  11. Having almost completed my listen of Burn for Me, I can totally see why it was your number one pick. It’s a fabulous audiobook! I haven’t listened to Magic Breaks yet – I’ll save and listen before the next book comes out. And while I really enjoy the Others series, the audio still isn’t in my Top 10. But the stories are pretty darn good!

    • The Others isn’t a series for everyone, the narration even more so. I love Ilona Andrews. That writing pair can do no wrong in my book. 🙂

  12. I totally agree on Murder of the Crows and Sixth Grave. I still have to listen to Revenant and Burn for Me….Hopefully soon.

    • I don’t know if Revenant was my favorite book, but it would be close. He was my favorite hero. You will love Burn for Me, it is everything you would expect from Ilona Andrews.

  13. Hells yeah for Magic Breaks. I just got Burn for Me so I am reading that next.

    • I just love Ilona Andrews. Everything publish works for me. 🙂

  14. I have most of these in kindle version, Melanie. But since I’m participating in the 2015 Audiobook Challenge, I might just get a few of these to listen to 🙂
    Happy New Year!

    • I hope you enjoy. I know I did. 🙂

  15. Hey, Magic Breaks is on my best of 2014 list too!:)
    I also loved Archangel’s Shadow and Burn For Me.

    • There were a ton of others that easily could’ve made the list. So many great books came out in 2014. I still have some that I haven’t even gotten to yet. LOL

  16. I still need to read quite a few of these, but I do see some familiar ones 😀

    • I listened to several new-to-me authors and series this year. I’m hoping to do the same this year. 🙂

  17. After you said you listened to Revenant I now want to listen to the entire series in Audio. A friend (berls) has gotten me more into Audio recently and I am actually liking it more than I thought I would.

    Great list. A bunch of really great books 🙂

    • I did love Revenant and loved it on audio. The problem with the Demonica series on audio, is that they don’t keep a consistent narrator. Some narrators are better than others, though Hillary Huber, who does the majority of the series, is the best one. The only narrator I didn’t like was the one who did Reaver. I hope you enjoy.

      Berls is great. I’ve gotten some suggestions from her too. 🙂

  18. Hooray, I’ve got a few of these in my queue! Glad they won’t be a waste of time. Thanks for the post!

    • I hope you enjoy as much as I did. 🙂

  19. They certainly were good paper copy reads so I can imagine they are fun to listen to as well especially a Charley Davidson book.

    • Lorelei King really nails the Charley Davidson series. I haven’t read any of the books, and I can’t imagine not having her read it to me.

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