Monday, April 23, 2012

Over the past month or so I've listened to Legend by Marie Lu on audiobook, which I bought on iTunes. I just finished the book this past weekend. Now, I think discussing the book itself (a young adult, dystopian novel) could take up its own post - but today I'd rather discuss the format.

Two different narrators - one for the sections from the heroine's (June's) point of view, and one for the sections from the hero's (Day's) point of view. One word: brilliant!

My previous experience with an audiobook a couple of summers back was a little less than ideal, mostly because the book was abridged and it was rather distracting having the female narrator read all of the parts. But I've been on a YA/dystopian kick lately, so I wanted to try out another dystopian novel - and getting an audiobook seemed like a great idea, because then I could listen to it during meals or other times on my iPod without having to actually hold the book (but don't worry - I still love and generally prefer print books to any other format!).

Well, Legend made for an absolutely marvelous audiobook! There's plenty of action and suspense, and lots of tension between the hero and heroine - which is why it's so neat to get both of their perspectives in their "own" voices. Mariel Stern and Steven Kaplan are fabulous narrators. I loved their inflections and the pace of the reading. It really made for a unique reading experience, which leads me to wonder how I might have felt differently about the book had I just read it in print format.

This audiobook experience made me really want to give another audiobook a try. I do love the idea of being read to when I don't have enough hands or I don't want to focus my tired eyes on written pages - or when I simply want to hear a book read out loud and get a different perspective on the story. So I bought the audiobook version of Unearthly by Cynthia Hand. We'll see how it goes!

Question for you: What are your thoughts on audiobooks? Do you enjoy listening to them? Why or why not? How much of your opinion depends on the narrator(s)?

Oh, and do you know of any other engaging audiobooks with a female and a male narrator?? Really, it's such a great idea!

(Audiobook cover image from Barnes&


  1. Okay I don't think I have EVER heard of an audiobook with multiple narrators but I LOVE that idea...most of the time it is one narrator doing multiple voices -- which only works as well as their skill level.

  2. Love audio books, but love, love, love those that are well done. LOL! Makes sense, huh? The idea of listening to a book is great (thus the "love audio books") but I agree that one voice--monotonous and dreary--can kill the experience. When an audio book is read by someone who does different inflections and voices, the experience can be really great. Dee Henderson's romantic suspenses on audiobook are excellent.

  3. Ruth,

    I know, right?? Of course, these 2 narrators of Legend still had to do other characters' voices, but they were really quite good, and I just loved having both a male and female narrator in order to get inside both of the main characters' heads, so to speak. :)

    I guess what we need then are more books from more than one characters' perspective in first-person POV! ;) Definitely works really well for the audiobook format!


  4. Sandra,

    I totally hear ya! I've been curious about the book Under the Never Sky (another dystopian...what can I say?), but I listened to the preview clip, and from that short clip the narrator's voice didn't quite win me over - it just didn't seem to fit a younger character. So, yes, I definitely think the narrator can either make or break the audiobook experience.

    Thanks for the recommendation, as well! I read some of Dee Henderson's books when I was younger - I remember enjoying them back then. :)


    P.S. Krissi Dallas, the author of Windchaser, Windfall, and Watercrossing (I reviewed her books here over the past couple of months), has recorded audiobook versions of her first two books, and I think Watercrossing will also include a male narrator (although I think it might only be for the first part...not sure, though!). :)


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