Audiobook Reviews

Haven’t done one of these in awhile! Here are some quick reviews of some things I’ve listened to lately:

Cinder/Scarlet – Marissa Meyer: I didn’t think I’d enjoy this series much because, while I like fairy-tale retellings, I’m not a big science fiction fan. After listening to Cinder, however, I found myself actually wanting to continue the series (which actually doesn’t happen much for me!) I freely admit that I would like these stories more without the science fiction aspects, but that’s solely my personal taste. I liked Cinder more than I enjoyed Scarlet, but I think this is primarily because of the narration. They were both narrated by the same person, actually, but I found the quality poorer in Scarlet (the narrator read a lot of words too fast, almost like she was tripping over them, and she sounded more nasally). However, I am still looking forward to Cress, which I’ve got on hold right now.

What I like about this series is that it turns the fairy-tales into totally new stories. It doesn’t mock them (which I dislike), but it certainly makes unique tales out of vague shells from the old versions. I also really like Cinder and Kai’s relationship, and want to see them together again!

Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List – Rachel Cohn & David Levithan: For about the first half-hour of this audiobook, I thought I was going to love this story. But then…it just fell for me, and kind of kept falling. I found both Naomi and Ely to be annoying, selfish, oblivious, shallow characters, and I couldn’t connect to them at all (and thus, couldn’t really care about their problem). I liked girl Robin, Bruce the second, and Gabriel, and found their sections of book redeemed the overall story for me a bit. But, in the end, I kind of thought that those characters deserved better than what they got, and thought both Naomi and Ely needed a lot more work.

This audiobook has a different narrator for each section told by a different character. I enjoyed this, although there were a couple of characters who only had a single section, which seemed pretty unnecessary to me.

Jim Henson: The Biography – Brian Jay Jones: I am not a non-fiction reader. I just find it really difficult to read a non-fiction book from cover to cover (I am too tempted to skip to the interesting bits and go about my day). I had actually already done that this with book, too, but I really wanted to read the entire thing. So, I compromised, and listened to it, instead! I love Jim Henson’s work, and wanted to really like the man as well, but in truth I didn’t know that much about him. This biography was extremely comprehensive, and just a wonderful look at the good (and occasionally less-than-perfect) aspects of Jim’s character. It made me appreciate his work more than I already did, and it made me happy to see that the man I believed him to be was, in fact, how he really was.

The narrator of this audiobook had a pretty monumental task, because there were tons of quotes by different people that he had to read, as well as several character voices he had to attempt. And I have to say, he did a good job. Whenever he quoted different people (including Jim Henson, Frank Oz, Richard Hunt, Jane Henson, Kermit, Fozzie, etc. etc. etc.), I knew who was “speaking”, which made the whole listening experience more enjoyable.

2 Responses so far.

  1. Deshipley says:
    Thinking on the format of a nonfiction book I've seen lately (not a biography; a behind-the-scenes companion to a TV series, for whatever that distinction may be worth), it could potentially be quite the challenge figuring out the order in which to narrate the book's sections, which are sometimes a mishmash of two or three blocks of different text happening on the page. I expect that's just one element of many a good narrator would have to think about before stepping up to the mic.

    Regarding "Cinder" and sequels, I feel I'm going to have to give them a try, one of these days. Like you, science fiction isn't generally my thing, but I am a big fan of fairytales, and so might quite enjoy the series on that score, and several of my friends have been raving about it. I'll keep my eyes open the next time I'm at the library.

  2. Mere Joyce says:
    Yeah, like I said, I would like them more without the science fiction aspect, but I enjoy the relationships, and the twists on the fairy-tales themselves!