Friday, May 2, 2014

Spring AudioFile Book Reviews: Shaman and Annihilation

The natural world is coming at us full force with these spring audiobook titles I recently reviewed for AudioFile Magazine! First up, we have the Audio Publishers Association's (APA) Audie-nominated title, Shaman, where the listener dives into the heart of a native, rustic world with the warm tones of Graeme Malcolm taking the lead. In the chilling Annihilation, the narrator of The Hunger Games trilogy Carolyn McCormick takes us neck-deep in terror as the natural world bites back at a dystopian human civilization in a big way.


Kim Stanley Robinson
Read by Graeme Malcolm

In this sci-fi world, the line between humans and nature is blurred beyond distinction, but narrator Graeme Malcolm's cadence is steady as a heartbeat. His deep bass gives reserved power to a story that glimpses how we lived 30 thousand years ago. For Thorn, the shaman master, Malcolm uses growling, occasionally animalistic, tones, which are particularly effective when Thorn delivers a blistering admonition to younger male tribe members about the power of the female spirit. Malcolm gives Thorn's apprentice a wavering voice that brings the uncertainty of their futures into stark relief. As delivered by Malcolm, this tale of survival is as shocking and coarse as it is sublime and powerful.
E.E. 2014 Audies Finalist © AudioFile 2014, Portland, Maine

To view this review on AudioFile's Website and listen to an audio sample, click here. 

Image courtesy of Audible, Inc.


Southern Reach Trilogy, Book 1

Jeff VanderMeer
Read by Carolyn McCormick

Area X is a stunning Eden where nature has reclaimed its hold in a crumbling human civilization. The only problem is that humans who attempt to explore it keep dying. Carolyn McCormick narrates increasingly disturbing events with an unwavering calm that makes the listening experience all the more chilling. The latest expedition in the series consists of four women known to us only by their professions; the story is told from the biologist's point of view. McCormick gives a haughty, deep voice to the psychologist, the leader of the group whose intentions may not be what they seem. Her arrogant tone contrasts nicely with the gritty and increasingly anxious tones of the surveyor as the group uncovers deadly secrets better left alone.
E.E. © AudioFile 2014, Portland, Maine

To view this review on AudioFile's Website, click here. 

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