SHAMANKim 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
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Southern Reach Trilogy, Book 1Jeff 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.