• Keep Informed!

    Sign up to receive email alerts for new books, readings & signing appearances, and other interesting literary happenings!

  • My Novels

Archive for the Category » audiobooks «

Audiobook Review: Nine Princes In Amber, By Roger Zelazny

I know that Nine Princes In Amber is considered one of the great fantasy classics, but my reaction: Meh.

First off, I loved Alessandro Juliani’s skillful narration of this book, but I had a hard time caring about Corwin, the book’s narrator.

Written in a style frequently reminiscent of hard-boiled detective novels, awkwardly combined with the occasional bit of pseudo-Elizabethan dialog, this very short book follows the adventures of a man who wakes up, amnesiac, in a private hospital, and makes a daring escape, followed by the eventual revelation of his true identity as a royal price of Amber, a kingdom located in a alternate universe.

Once he discovers who he is (and that he’s part of a large brood of seemingly-immortal, mostly-amoral siblings), he reveals himself to be mostly self-centered, ambitious, and ruthless, with occasional flashes of decency and compassion (though not enough to make him a very sympathetic character). His goal–to prevail against his other brothers, and seize the throne of his late father.

To do this, he forms and breaks alliances with various of his other brothers and sisters, and recruits a huge army of gullible aliens (who believe him a god) to use as cannon-fodder. In a sparsely-described campaign (and how did Corwin manage his supply lines for his 250,000 soldiers as they conducted a perilous march through hostile dimensions?) he manages to gets every last one of his followers killed in an ill-advised and poorly-planned assault upon Amber, and his own life is subsequently placed in grave peril.

While these events were exciting, the book failed to spark my interest in listening to subsequent volumes because I simply didn’t care whether Corwin became king, or one of his other brothers. They all seemed equally arrogant and awful to me, a bunch of entitled, privileged scions who considered all those not of royal blood to be mere pawns in their game of thrones.

Book Review: David Attenborough’s LIFE ON AIR: MEMOIRS OF A BROADCASTER

For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been listening to an absolutely delightful audiobook during my commute to and from the Day Job, Life on Air: Memoirs of a Broadcaster by renowned documentary filmmaker David Attenborough

I grew up watching Attenborough’s wildlife documentaries on PBS, and found this book an absolute joy to listen to, filled with fascinating and frequently-hilarious anecdotes of his globetrotting adventures, skillfully-narrated by Attenborough himself in a warm and frequently-wry manner.

He’s a man who loves animals and people, and his joy in his experiences and discoveries, as well as his deep respect for the various people he met, really came across in this memoir.

This is one of the best books I’ve listened to so far this year–I was actually disappointed on the days when my commute ran smoothly, because it meant spending less time with David Attenborough in Africa, or Australia, or South America, or Tonga, or…

Grade: A

Book Review: The Lies Of Locke Lamora

I just finished listening to the audiobook version of this fantasy novel, and what a fun story it was!

The Lies of Locke Lamora is set in a world littered with the mysterious buildings and artifacts of an alien civilization, master con-man Lock Lamora and his band of sworn brothers set out to swindle the nobility, Robin Hood-style, in a setting that mingles Renaissance Italy and Dickensian London.

An orphan sold to a notorious thief-master, and trained as a pickpocket and petty thief, Locke is a born troublemaker, a restless genius with a knack for biting off more than he can chew, and leaving chaos and unintended destruction in his wake. Along with Jean Tannen, warrior and intellectual, a young thief nicknamed ‘Bug,’ and a set of larcenous twin brothers, Carlo and Galdo, Locke is later adopted by a priest determined to train a select group of thieves to prey upon the city’s upper classes, and ultimately to break the power of the city’s Capo, the master of all the criminal gangs.

Unfortunately for Locke and his gang, a new and mysterious criminal figure, nicknamed The Gray King, is also determined to take over the city’s criminal underworld…and the Gray King has a frightening and powerful sorcerer at his bidding. What follows catapults Locke into a complex scheme of revenge and bloody conflict as he finds himself cast into the role of the city’s unwilling savior.

Loved the high-spirited plot and the sharp dialogue, enhanced by a wonderful performance from narrator Michael Page, who gives each character a distinctive voice and characterization. I’ve already downloaded the sequel, Red Seas Under Red Skies, and am looking forward the publication of the third book in the series in October 2013.

Book Review: How To Flirt With A Naked Werewolf, By Molly Harper

An appealing, snarkily hilarious heroine (a Southern belle from Mississippi, raised in a vegan commune by hippie parents and now rebelling against her upbringing), an Alaskan town filled with quirky and delightful characters, and a grumpy but sexy werewolf hero made How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf the perfect book to listen to on a long drive to and from Los Angeles.

The narration was excellent, and the story was just plain fun. I just downloaded the audiobook of The Art of Seducing a Naked Werewolf, which is the sequel to How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf, and look forward to livening up my holiday travels with more tales of Grundy, Alaska.

What I’m Listening To: Nice Girls Don’t Have Fangs, By Molly Harper

Since I listen to audiobooks pretty much constantly, thanks to a long commute to and from my day job, I’ll occasionally post reviews of books I liked. Here’s the first review.

Nice Girls Don’t Have Fangs (Jane Jameson, Book 1)

On pretty much the worst day ever, small-town librarian Jane Jameson finds herself unemployed and undead in one fell swoop. What follows is an amusing, frequently funny story about her rocky adjustment to the life of a vampire, while trying to find a night job, trying to hide her new existence from her nosy, overbearing mother, and trying to figure out who’s stalking her and harassing her.
The mystery is fairly lightweight, the romance fairly conventional, and the “villain reveals all in a grand speech at the final confrontation” was cheesy and cliched, but Amanda Ronconi’s wry narration and the author’s trademark snarky humor made this an entertaining way to liven up a boring commute.

Welcome And Publishing News!

Hi everyone!

I wanted to share some exciting news that arrived the same week that the new site was launched. My publisher, Awe-Struck Publishing, sent out contracts to add audiobook editions to their current ebook and trade paperback offerings. The audiobooks, when available, will be available through Audible.com and iTunes.

I’m not sure exactly when the audiobook versions of my books will be available, since the backlist of books to be recorded is pretty large, but I’m really excited at the prospect. I love audiobooks–I’ve been an Audible member for years, and audiobooks help make bearable the long daily commute to my day job.

More details will be posted as I learn them.

What I’m listening to right now: Shantaram: A Novel, by Gregory David Roberts. A huge, and absolutely captivating semi-autobiographical novel of an Australian fugitive who finds a new life in India in the 1980s. Fabulous details of life in Bombay/Mumbai, and the narrator is absolutely superb, effortlessly moving between Australian, Indian, Afghani, Persian, British, Canadian, and German accents. Frequently poetic, occasionally brutal and bloody, the audiobook is 43 hours long, and I’m about halfway through right now, and enjoying it immensely.

Switch to our mobile site