šŸŽ§Have You Heard?šŸŽ§Audiobooks For Your Listening PleasurešŸŽ§The Best of AprilšŸŽ§Trilogies & SeriesšŸŽ§

Posted April 30, 2023 by RobbieLea in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

For anyone who is thinking this post may be a continuation of an April Foolā€™s Day spoof ā€¦ it really is my audiobook reviews for April ā€“ just a different take on things. Iā€™ve been mulling over the place that continued works have in the literary world because it seems several of the ones Iā€™ve been anticipating have publishing recently and I decided to share my favorites with those who already know that I enjoy this format. So, what is my preference? Is it the trilogy which is one, two, three and done? Is it one of the various ways to handle a series: a continuous storyline that builds with each book which might end with the dreaded cliffhanger, stand-alones that feature the same characters, a spinoff featuring one character from a previous book, or any one of the many ways an author might find to connect his or her books? Iā€™m going to choose some of my favorites and tell you briefly what there is that either kept or keeps me coming back.

The In Death Series

Written by J.D Robb and Narrated by Susan Ericksen

As a long term follower of this series, I can honestly say that the narrator is as much of a reason for me to continue as the storyline is. Susan Ericksen has nailed the voices for the characters to the degree that I can hear each of them in my head whether I’m listening or not. Some of the installments are better than others, but over the years Iā€™ve shared every emotion with Eve, Roarke, Peabody, Mavis, and Eveā€™s chosen family. I would recommend that you start from the beginning with Naked in Death, but even if you choose not to, there is enough information in each book so that you are never totally lost.Ā 

Outlander

Written by Diana Gabaldon andĀ Narrated by Davina Porter

I accidentally started the Outlander series with Voyager not realizing it was the third book in this monumental work. I had to backtrack to the first book after I discovered it was one of those series that I would never figure out without all the background information. The first book is actually entitled Outlander and that is the place to start. This series has been widely popular, and I would be shocked if you donā€™t know itā€™s also a television series. As much as I have enjoyed the visual, I still prefer to listen to Davina Porter’s voices for the characters. Remarkably, the endings leave you wanting more without that annoying quirk of making you want to strangle the author. I look forward to much more of the series from this author and narrator.Ā 

Jack Reacher

Written by Lee Child and Narrated by Dick Hill

Lee Childā€™s Jack Reacher books are a prime example of how if you follow a series long enough, there can be really big changes. A movie has been made featuring an actor who is definitely not Reacher, the author has taken on a partner ā€“ Andrew Child ā€“ and the audiobooks have found a new narrator in Scott Brick, who is very good but he is not Dick Hill. The point of saying all that is to point out that even a well-loved series may eventually disappoint. Give yourself permission to let it go if you prefer. There are too many other series waiting for you!

The Wicked City Trilogy

Written by Beatriz Williams and Narrated by Julie McKay and Dara Rosenberg

Beatriz Williams is undoubtedly a master of ā€œname droppingā€ with her characters. I suppose I could even call them ā€œparachute charactersā€ because occasionally a character from a book youā€™ve already read will just drop into another book even though the storylines are unrelated. Itā€™s kind of like running into someone you know at a party when you didnā€™t know that person knew the party-giver. Family and friends float from book-to-book and era-to-era giving a sense of continuity even if the books are stand-alones. Ms. Williams also makes excellent use of the trilogy format and the Wicked City Trilogy is one of my favorites. I highly recommend her books for content and for narration especially if you are a history lover or if you find it a delightful surprise when characters from different books know each other.šŸ˜

The Joe Goldberg Novels

Written by Caroline Kepnes and Narrated by Santino Fontina

I fell in love with a very bad boy named Joe Goldberg in Caroline Kepnesā€™s debut novel You, and I have loved him through every one of his darkly humorous books. I always smile when I reflect on how I could possibly enjoy such a perverse character so much. I think itā€™s a tribute to the authorā€™s gift that she is able to achieve this reaction, not just from me, but from many others who love Joe and wait patiently for each of his books. Maybe the reason I love Joe so much is because I love Santino Fontinaā€™s narration. He is Joe Goldberg in my head. If you are a bit off-center in your literary taste, give this series a try!

The Black Dagger Brotherhood

Written by J.R. Ward andĀ Narrated by Jim Frangione

Even though I havenā€™t kept up with the Black Dagger Brotherhood recently, the series is a good example of one that grabs your attention in the early books and may or may not hold your interest. The reason Iā€™m adding it to my list is because you should start from the beginning and be your own judge as the storyline continues. I recommend starting with the first book, Dark Lover, and listening to the books in order because there is so much background information in each one, you will be doing yourself and the author a disservice if you donā€™t find out all there is to know about this fascinating group of characters. Love ā€˜em or hate ā€˜em,, they are never dull and Jim Frangione has the perfect voice for them.

The Dragon Heart Legacy

Written by Nora Roberts and Narrated by Barrie Kreinik

The Dragon Heart Legacy, beginning with The Awakening, is the most recent trilogy by prolific author Nora Roberts who is the master of this particular format. The characters bounce in and out of our world and other worlds and it will definitely appeal to those of you who enjoy fantasy worlds contrasting light and darkness, good and evil, war and peace. It is filled with dragons, fairies, and mermaids as well as a few bad actors who provide contrast. Ā There is just enough darkness to keep things interesting, but I think most listeners will find these three books a happy place where there are all sorts of magical creatures who live and love and dance and sing and cook up wonderful food. It’s a fine escape from our earthbound lives.

I would love to read your comments on this subject so please share!

Thank You For Following Us at Literati Literature Lovers and Happy Listening in May!

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