This has been a VERY hard task to accomplish.
Just so you know, I have listened to a total of 84 audiobooks between 11/30/13 and 11/30/14. You might think that’s a sh*tload of money (and yes, it might be), but I discovered late 2013 this crazy yet extraordinary gift from Amazon called Whyspersync for Voice (which if you haven’t tried I REALLY ENCOURAGE YOU TO DO SO). It saves you an even bigger sh*tload of money if you compare it to an Audible membership, and based on the possible fact that you’ve had those books sitting in your ever growing TBR pile since the beginning of the electronic age, this is actually an INVESTMENT rather than an expense.
At least that’s how I see it (totally my opinion) since it already knocked out those 84 books I had waiting to be read hopefully before the next solar eclipse.
So because audiobooks literally saved my life to the point where that’s all I’ve played in my car on my way to work since my first purchase, I decided to share with you my TOP 5, or in better terms the 5 audiobooks I mostly enjoyed this year and the ones I think deserve to win a freakin’ Grammy Award or something similar.
I have to point out that this list doesn’t reflect ONLY my love for the book. Of course, the story needed to be great, but that didn’t determine my love for the audio. The audiobook narrator did all the trick. In the Audiobook world, THE VOICE you put in the story is what will make it a KICK ASS STORY. And trust me, I’ve listened to several of my all time FAVORITE books being narrated by people who don’t make the cut, which has DISAPPOINTED me to the extreme, but hey, my love for the book won’t die because of it, they simply did not make this list.
Points I took in consideration to choose these:
- I listened to this audiobook between December 1, 2013 – November 30, 2014.
- I didn’t get to listen to a sample (surprise factor blew me away)
- I have listened to this TWICE cause it’s THAT good.
- I loved the audio regardless of whatever I thought about the book
- The narrator is OFF THE CHARTS great. Mind blowing GREAT.
And without further ado, I give you my BEST audio experiences of 2014:
5# Rock Chick Revolution by Kristen Ashley [Narrated by Susannah Jones]
Oh, GOD BLESS the extraordinary talented Susannah Jones for taking this task to THE MAX and making ALL 8 ROCK CHICKS THE MASTERPIECES THEY ARE in audio. See, I am a devoted Kristen Ashley fan, I know for a fact that anything I pick from her I will like and the entire Rock Chick journey was PHENOMENAL to say the least, now mix that with the absolutely hilarious and catchy voice of Susannah Jones and you have a time bomb ready to explode once people figure out the whole audio trick. Listening to a story you love, narrated with such professionalism and humor is a treat only few will enjoy though everybody SHOULD. I particularly loved them all, but above all, Rock Chick Revolution was THE BEST. All the voices she makes are fantastic, but there is something in Ally’s character that turns it up a notch. I think her best ones are Tex, Lee and Mr. Kumar.
Kudos to both of you ladies: KA, for being the FREAKIN’ QUEEN OF EVERYTHING, and Susannah, for bringing the gang to life with such easiness it will make you think you are witnessing everything from first row at the theater.
#4 Reaper’s Stand by Joanna Wylde [Narrated by Tatiana Sokolov]
This book had it ALL, hands down. And Tatiana Sokolov, contributed to turn it into a wild ride.
Joanna Wylde delighted us with Preacher’s story, and Tatiana Sokolov (with a small collabo from no other than Sean Crisden narrating Preacher’s POV) knocked it out of the ballpark AGAIN. Reaper’s Stand is one of the best books I’ve heard her narrate (and I’ve heard quite a few) and since I hold Tatiana close to my heart (she’s the first narrator I ever listened to since I got myself an audible account) I just knew she would makes us enjoy another kick ass story. The author / narrator combo in this audio book made it reach another level of awesomeness to the point that I listened to it TWICE IN ONE WEEK. Tatiana has this way with characters and male voices that seriously sound so realistic you could hardly tell she’s the one behind them, and not every narrator has that gift. Trust me. To say it was a catchy and fun, and wild and explosive and IMPRESSIVE, is just not enough. It was AMAZING.
#3 The Art of Breathing by TJ Klune [Narrated by Sean Crisden]
Lord Almighty, where do I start?
TJ Klune is with no doubt one of the most gifted storytellers to have ever lived.
See, there is something so special in the way he writes, and how he involves the reader with such ease, you just KNOW there is a magnificent and beautiful story waiting to be read. And when you mix the added bonus of a SUPERB narration from an equality gifted narrator like Sean Crisden, you are officially entering the big leagues.
If you ever read Bear, Otter & The Kid you know what the story is about. So much so, that if you loved it like me, you cried (a river, for real). Well, Tyson and the gang were brought to life (again) in the extraordinary voice of Sean Crisden who nailed it with every single character interpretation. There is no mistake on anybody’s voice, which makes the audio experience a really fun and happy one. If I have anything to say about this, is that it was TOO SHORT! 15 Hours were not enough of this man’s marvelous voice.
#2 Chronicles of Nick: Infinity [Narrated by Holter Graham]
Mr. HBO himself has a legion of fans worldwide. I’m pretty sure the opinion of a random blogger is one of the things he can care less about; but OH-EM-GEE if there is one person I simply WORSHIP when it comes to voice off’s is Holter Graham. From the minute I heard the first sentence of the book, I knew who he was. I knew it would be a MIND BLOWING experience and sure enough, I finished all 5 books in a month. CRAZY! Think about it: approximately 50 + hours of Holter Graham giving a voice to Southern / Cajun Cherise Gautier, mighty Acheron, the winey Heifer Goddess and the rest of the Dark Hunters!
PARANORMAL PARADISE IN NEW ORLEANS!
To me, Holter Graham is one of the greatest narrators on the planet, and to have the HONOR and privilege of narrating a book by none else than mastermind genius Sherrilyn Kenyon….I kid you not, if it was me, I couldn’t sleep.
Infinity is possibly the best one of all 5 narrated by Graham. The voice he gives to Nick Gautier will only make you love him all over again (yes, before he turned all crazy and allied with Artemis)…
#1 Dirty Kiss by Rhys Ford [Narrated by Greg Tremblay]
My audio book experience would have never been the same this year if not for the TALENTED AND BLESSED VOICE OF THIS MAN. Actually, it would have never been the same without the GENIUS STORY of Cole McGinnis and Kim Jae Min. Rhys Ford brought a little bit of light to my life with this series and when I discovered the EXTREMELY WELL NARRATED AUDIOBOOKS, it was like opening a door to a totally new world.
Of all the many, many, audio books I have listened to this year; this is the best one. Hands down.
Greg Tremblay has a GLORIOUS gift. I’m still trying to wrap my mind around the smoothness of his voice and the way how he juggles accents with such a natural way. The easiness he finds in switching characters leaves you speechless. His voice alone is a gift from heaven I wish I had (I seriously sound like a hyena laughing…) so yes, to say his narration talent is brilliant is just not enough.