This Week, along with my normal reviews, I will be presenting my roundup posts for The Armchair Audies. If this is the first time you’ve heard of the Armchair Audies, the process is pretty simple. Myself, and a bunch of other bloggers have decided to listen to audiobooks nominated for the Audio Publishers Association prestigious Audie Award. The categories I have listened to and reviewed were Science Fiction, Fantasy and Paranormal.
For each category, I will post the list of nominees, with a link to my review. Then I will offer evaluation of category overall. I will be picking which title was my favorite, which title I would vote for if I was a judge, and which title I feel will win. Also, I will include titles for each category that I feel were overlooked. Make sure you check out The Armchair Audies home page at The Literate Housewife.
Today’s Category: Paranormal
Narrated by Bronson Pinchot
Narrated by Oliver Wyman
Narrated by Sophia Westlake
Narrated by Robert Petkoff
Narrated by Lorelei King
For me, Paranormal is a strange category that I have trouble defining. By the strictest of definitions it should be about topics beyond normalcy, for this I imagine Paranormal Romance, Supernatural Thrillers, and Urban Fantasy. In some ways, I figure it’s the catch all category for speculative fiction that doesn’t easily fit into the Fantasy and Science Fiction Categories. There is an interesting assortment of titles that received nominations in this category. We have two Paranormal Romances, one with sexy dragons and the other with sexy ghosts. We also have a moody, dark character driven Supernatural thriller, an ultraviolent Monster mayhem novel just this side of gun porn, and an alternate history Steampunk superpowers tale. As I have admitted in my reviews, I am not a Paranormal Romance fan, and while the two examples achieve their purposes and offer entertaining stories, they really aren’t something I typically enjoy. Yet, I absolutely love the other three audiobooks in this category. To make matters worse, four of the five narrators in this category I consider some of the tops in the industry. I often credit Oliver Wyman for transforming me from an audiobook listener to an audiobook enthusiast. Bronson Pinchot is constantly amazing me with what he brings to an audiobook. Robert Petkoff seems to capture the essence of every book he performs, and while I haven’t listen to many Lorelei King narrations, she is highly respected among many people I trust. Yet, with all these facts in play, one title simply dominated, and was easily my choice for this category.
My Favorite: Hard Magic by Larry Correia
My Vote: Hard Magic by Larry Correia
Who Will Win: Hard Magic by Larry Correia
I have both practical and fanboyish reasons why I feel Hard Magic will dominate this category. First, the fanboyish. Hard Magic is frakkin’ brilliant. Larry Correia has created one of the more fascinating world’s I encountered, bringing together some of the most overused current tropes of the Fantasy genre in a way that makes it all fresh. It is an alternate history, Steampunk novel about people with supernatural powers. Nothing about this novel is pat. Its characters are well drawn, the magical powers unique and the alternate history setting compelling. To make things even better, Bronson Pinchot’s reading was superb. He managed to take an already excellent tale, and make it even better. Pinchot is also nominated for Best Solo Narration for this performance. Hard Magic is the right blend of content and narration which these Awards should recognize.
Some Overlooked Titles: