Saturday, November 12, 2011

Audiobook Review Roundup: Snuff, Crossed, September Society

In between the great science fiction I've been listening to lately, I've had to clean by aural passages with some quick listens. These are all sequels or later in series by authors I know and love. They don't really need full reviews, but I wanted to share my two cents.

Snuff is the latest by Sir Terry Pratchett
39th in the Diskworld series
Genre: Fantasy
Audio publisher: Harper Audio, 2011; Length: 11h 29m
Read by: Stephen Briggs

If you've read Diskworld then you know Commander Sam Vimes of the City Watch. In this outing, Sam and his wife, Lady Sybil, visit her country house with their young son. Now, I've read maybe ten Diskworld books. I knew Sam and Sybil were together, but didn't remember a son. Vimes is one of my favorite characters, so it's great to have another story with him. Snuff is marketed as a book for adults (as opposed to Wee Free Men), but there's an awful lot of scatological humor. My favorite part was when Sam and Sybil visited a family with six daughters, much like the Bennets. Sam tells the girls to quit sitting around waiting  for some unemployed layabout to marry them and instead find something productive to do like open a shop. He could give them a year's free rent. Priceless!

Stephen Briggs is an exceptionally good reader. I love his accents, and he really sounds like he's having fun with the reading.

Crossed by Ally Condie
Genre: YA dystopian SF
Audio publisher: Penguin AudioLength: 9h 50m
Read by: Kate Simses & Jack Riccobono

I picked up Matched not knowing anything about the story, and it was such a pleasant surprise. I loved the YA retelling of 1984 and Brave New World. It was great learning about the Society, all of their rules, and the small ways that Cassia subverted those rules. Crossed takes us away from the Society as Cassia and Ky are each sent to the Outer Provinces. There's a lot of pining and some wandering in the desert. I have a very low tolerance for book love and prefer stories where the couple hates each other and calls each other names until they suddenly figure out at the very end that they're Meant to Be. Since Cassia and Ky found out they were Meant to Be in the last book, this one was all downhill. Even worse was hearing both Ky and Cassia's viewpoints. I didn't even have the "maybe he's not that interested in me" suspense. I will fess up that I have a huge crush on the radio announcer Kai Ryssdal from American Public Media's Marketplace, so I'm prewired to love anyone named Kai or Ky, but I'm still not at all excited for the next book in this series.

Crossed is very well read by Kate Simses and Jack Riccobono.

The September Society (2008) by Charles Finch
2nd in the Charles Lenox Mysteries
Genre: Historical mystery
Audio publisher: Tantor Audio; Length: 8h 46m
Read by: James Langton

I picked up the first Charles Lenox novel, A Beautiful Blue Death because I liked the cover. I also liked the story, and Lenox, the Victorian gentleman detective, won me over. The audiobooks just came out this year, so when I saw an ad for the 5th book, A Burial At Sea, I decided had to catch up. In this installment, Charles returns to his alma mater Oxford to solve a missing persons case. All his old quirky friends are here, neighbor Lady Jane Grey, manservant Graham, and eccentric physician friend Dr. McConnell. Lenox is a great detective. He's tenacious, has unlimited free time, and has People to do all the boring bits.

James Langton pulled out 20 or more different British accents for this book. The writing was very specific about which part of England each character was from, and even though I can't tell a Yorkshire from a Lancashire, but they all sounded spot-on to me. I also liked his female voices, which were equally distinct. I kept rewinding so I could listen longer.

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