Topic Tuesday – Top 10 Audiobooks

Welcome to Topic Tuesday! Today I am going to be talking about my Top 10 favorite audiobooks!

Audiobooks to me are a unique experience. It wasn’t until last year that I really started getting into them. I had listened to some here and there on my way to and from work, but that was almost out of necessity – I needed something to fill the time of driving 1.5 hours both way! In order for me to really love an audiobook and invest those hours into it, it has to have a phenomenal narration. I am so picky with my narrators. My top 10 favorite audiobooks will include the voice actors that I love and why these books are so great!

  1. The Nevernight Chronicles by Jay Kristoff, narrated by Holter Graham – Holter Graham gave an Oscar winning performance when narrating The Nevernight Chronicles. There was never a time where I questioned his artistic choices. His cadence is so unique, his voice for Mia is spot on – honestly, her sass would not have come through nearly as much without him! Sex scenes usually make me uncomfortable on audio, but not these!
  2. The Illuminae Files by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, narrated by a full cast of 20! – This is narrated by a full cast, not narrators switching with POV. It is literally like listening to an awesome SCIFI movie on in the background. Need I say more?
  3. Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, narrated by a full cast – The full cast in this SCIFI adventure switches narrators with each POV! You will hear a lot of your Illuminae favorites in this one! Zila’s narrator is ICONIC.
  4. An Ember in the Ashes series (soon to be quartet) by Sabaa Tahir, narrated by Fiona Hardingham, Steve West, and Katherine McEwan – AEITA is a YA fantasy filled with action, drama, and heartbreak. The narration switches with each POV. You really get into the grit of the story in A Torch Against the Night when we are introduced to Katherine McEwan. Her voice is one of my favorites. She is saw gritty and raw, you can feel all of the characters emotions. I also love her in The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein!
  5. Strange the Dreamer Duology by Laini Taylor, narrated by Steve West – This is an audiobook I can fall asleep to every night. Steve West has a dreamy, lyrical voice that matches the way the books are written. There are a lot of female characters, but his voice wasn’t distracting. I think he did a marvelous job! He also narrates in Gemina as well as AEITA!
  6. Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin, narrated by Saskia Maarleveld and Holter Graham – I just finished listening to this book and I am ready to listen again. Saskia Maarleveld has one of the most breathy, beautiful, and addicting voices. There are books I’m not really interested in, but after finding out she narrates them, I am adding them to my TBR. Her french does not sound forced or fake in this book, which sometimes can easily be ruined with the wrong narrator. Lou would not be the same without Saskia! Holter Graham delivers a perfect performance as the male POV!
  7. The Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson, narrated by Michael Kramer – Michael Kramer took some getting used to. When I first listened to his voice in The Final Empire I honestly was kind of… turned off by it. I was unsure of his deep voice. It sounds like a older guy reading to you by a fireplace and he’s almost falling asleep. It’s weird, I know, but TRUST ME. His narration is GOLD. I am addicted to his voice. He narrates all of Mistborn and I am currently reading the Stormlight Archive in which he narrates them, too along with his wife!
  8. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman, narrated by Neil Gaiman – This was the first audiobook I ever listened to. Neil Gaiman has a wonderful voice for reading out loud. Especially since he likes to narrate his own books, he understands the character, how they would sound in that scene, what their feelings are. It’s truly amazing to listen to him. He narrates Coraline and The Graveyard book as well!
  9. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, narrated by Jim Dale – Can we sing enough praises about Jim Dale? Not only does he give an iconic performance throughout the Harry Potter series, but his tone and accent are perfect for this whimsical tale. I will say, if you aren’t paying attention, you can lose your place very easily with this one!
  10. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by JKR, narrated by Eddie Redmayne – This super short audiobook is a companion book to Harry Potter and it is SO FUN! The fact that Eddie Redmayne narrates it should say enough. There’s also sound effects!

Well, there you have it folks! I’m sure there’s audiobooks I missed or things I forgot I wanted to say, but those are the first 10 that came to my mind so they must be important, right?! Let me know if you have listened to any of these books and what you think! I wouldn’t survive without audio!

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The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Genre:
 Young Adult Fantasy
Image result for the night circusPublisher: Wednesday Books
Publication Date: 
September 13th, 2011 by Doubleday
Rating: 5 stars

Synopsis: The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night. 

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands. 

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus performers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead. Written in rich, seductive prose, this spell-casting novel is a feast for the senses and the heart.


7fbbccef-f9f2-4e70-9e42-a897ab5d5328-1109-000000ba829f5bf5Back before I was really into book blogging and reviewing and mainly just living life on Bookstagram, I read The Night Circus. I was completely drawn into this world that Erin created. I could not believe that something this magical could exist. So when I heard that she was writing another book, The Starless Sea, I knew I had to make sure and get my review up for one of my favorite books!

The Night Circus was the first book that I had really read and enjoyed in the Adult Fantasy category. This book tiptoes the line of reality and fantasy and that’s what really makes this whimsical story so entrancing. It is intriguing, full of breathtaking world building that sets your imagination on fire. I am a sucker for star crossed lovers and this story delivers. However, it is so much more than romance. There are so many cogs in this story that keep it turning, every detail is rich and necessary, every character having different motivations for their actions. I just adored this book.

Things that worked for me (could be considered slightly spoilery):

  • This story being told in different perspectives. Not only are we getting Celia and Marco, but we get characters like Bailey who honestly may have been one of my favorites.
  • The fact that this is a standalone! I am a sucker for a good series and the ending of this wrapped up in a way that still left me with feelings of wonder but with enough closure that I’m happy.
  • The star crossed lovers. Marco and Celia were just such an amazing couple to ship. Both of their powers, natural vs learned, played such a heavy role in building this world (and circus).
  • The cast of characters who were just so unique from one another.

Things that didn’t work for me (could be considered slightly spoilery):

  • Alternating timelines – this wasn’t a huge deal for me as far as changing what I loved about the story AT ALL, but I was listening to this via audio and I kept finding myself totally lost. I switched to the hard copy and it was much easier to understand. Jim Dale is an amazing narrator but I am a SAHM and if I wasn’t paying 100% attention I would immediately drift.

Overall, this book is by far one of my favorite standalones of all time. It’s such a magical book. I have heard a lot of people compare this to Caraval and honestly I could *see* some resemblance but I don’t think it’s a fair comparison at all. I think these are two vastly different stories about a circus and I just loved it! 

You can purchase The Night Circus at most online retailers or find it in your local bookstores! Don’t forget to check out The Starless Sea on Goodreads! Expected publication is November 5th, 2019!

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