Amy Goldschlager Reviews Echo in Onyx, Echo in Emerald, and Echo in Amethyst Audiobooks by Sharon Shinn

Echo in Onyx, Sharon Shinn; Emily Bauer, nar­rator (Audible Studios, $34.96, digital download, 15 hr., unabridged) March 2019.

Echo in Emerald, Sharon Shinn; read by Emily Bauer (Audible Studios, $30.58, digital down­load, 13.25 hr., unabridged) March 2019.

Echo in Amethyst, Sharon Shinn; read by Emily Bauer (Audible Studios, $30.58, digital down­load, 15 hr., unabridged) March 2019.

It is always a pleasure to review books that, at the ...Read More

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Amy Goldschlager Reviews The Fever King Audiobook by Victoria Lee

The Fever King, Victoria Lee; Michael Crouch, narrator (Brilliance Audio 978-1-7213-3626-5, 11 CDs, $26.99, 14 hr., unabridged [also available on MP3-CD and as a digital download]) March 2019.

The early 21st century of an alternate Earth becomes infected by magic, a plague which kills most but leaves the survivors with powers. The dangerous disease and violent prejudice against the surviving “witchings” splinters the US. The most powerful witching, Calix ...Read More

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Amy Goldschlager Reviews Sal and Gabi Break the Universe Audiobook by Carlos Hernandez

Sal and Gabi Break the Universe, Carlos Hernandez; Anthony Rey Perez, narrator (Listening Library 978-1-98484579-5, $27.50, digital download, 9.5 hr., unabridged) March 2019.

Once again, I’m bending the general rules for this column to review a middle-grade book; suffice it to say that adults will not regret spending time engaging with it, whether or not they have tweens in their lives.

Twelve-year-old Sal, a clever aspiring stage magician, has ...Read More

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Amy Goldschlager Reviews Miranda in Milan Audiobook by Katharine Duckett

Miranda in Milan, Katharine Duckett; Saskia Maaleveld, narrator (Audible Studios, $12.99, digi­tal download, 4.5 hr., unabridged). March 2019.

Fantasy writers never want to accept Miranda’s happy ending with Ferdinand at the end of Shakespeare’s The Tempest. And who can blame them? Ferdinand is the only young man (or perhaps the second young man, depending on how you depict Caliban) that Miranda ever meets; can this really be a ...Read More

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Amy Goldschlager Reviews The Phantom Tollbooth Audiobook by Norton Juster

The Phantom Tollbooth, Norton Juster; Rainn Wilson, narrator (Listening Li­brary 978-1-98488701-6, $25.00, 4 CDs, 4.75 hr., unabridged [also available as a digital download]) March 2019.

There’s plenty of humor and wisdom for the adult listener to discover in this new recording of the classic Phantom Tollbooth, one of the most beloved books from my childhood. Young Milo finds most things that adults want to teach him dull, silly, ...Read More

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Amy Goldschlager Reviews Ninth Step Station

Ninth Step Station, Season 1, Episodes 1-8 (of 11), Malka Older, Fran Wilde, Jacqueline Koyanagi & Curtis C. Chen; Emily Woo Zeller, narrator (Serial Box, 1.99 per episode/$13.99 per season, digital download, aprox. 1.5 hr. per episode, unabridged) January–March 2019.

A devastating earthquake, followed by war with both North Korea and China, have left Japan in general, and Tokyo in particular, partially controlled by the Chinese as well as partially ...Read More

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Amy Goldschlager Reviews The Kingdom of Copper Audiobook by S.A. Chakraborty

The Kingdom of Copper, S.A. Chakraborty; Soneela Nankani, narra­tor (HarperAudio 978-1-98260844-6, $65.99, MP3 CD, 23.25 hr., unabridged [also available as a digital download]) January 2019.

This second in a series picks up five years after The City of Brass, in which Nahri, an orphan from Napoleonic-era Cairo with a magical gift for healing, discovered her true heritage as a Daeva (a tribe of djinn who refuse that name) ...Read More

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Amy Goldschlager Reviews And Other Stories Audiobook by Adam-Troy Castro

And Other Stories, Adam-Troy Castro; Stefan Rudnicki, Gabrielle de Cuir, Justine Eyre, Kathe Mazur & Adam-Troy Castro, narrators (Skyboat Media 978-1-98262931-1, $29.95, MP3 CD, 13.3 hr., un­abridged [also available as a digital download]) January 2019.

Oh, how I love audio-only (and audio-first) books! It gives my life meaning as an audiobook reviewer. Produced by the excellent Skyboat Media, who were also respon­sible for Jennifer Marie Brissett’s Elysium a few ...Read More

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Amy Goldschlager Reviews Vita Nostra Audiobook by Marina & Sergey Dyachenko

Vita Nostra, Marina & Sergey Dyachenko; Jessica Ball, narrator (HarperAudio/Blackstone Audio 978-1-98255504-7, $39.99, MP3 CD, 18.25 hr., unabridged [also available as a digital download]). November 2018.

Lev Grossman’s The Magicians meets Max Barry’s Lexicon in this spooky Russian con­temporary fantasy about a mysterious university in a remote town. High-school student Sasha is enjoying a beach vacation with her mother when a sinister-seeming man convinces her that if she doesn’t ...Read More

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Amy Goldschlager Reviews Elevation Audiobook by Stephen King

Elevation, Stephen King; narrated by the author (Simon & Schuster Audio 978-1-50826047-9, $19.99, CD, 3.75 hr., unabridged [also available as a digital download]) October 2018.

Apparently, not only are the people of Castle Rock ME used to experiencing all kinds of hor­rible supernatural events (as per several Stephen King novels, stories, and a Hulu series), they’re also more than a little homophobic. Well, except for Scott Carey, who’s oblivious ...Read More

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Amy Goldschlager Reviews Rosewater Audiobook by Tade Thompson

Rosewater, Tade Thompson; Bayo Gbada­mosi (Hachette Audio 978-1-54917090-4, $25.98, digital download, 13.5 hr., un­abridged) September 2018.

This first in a trilogy is set in an alternate mid-21st-century Nigeria, in which aliens have landed on Earth multiple times and seeded the atmosphere with mysterious, fungi-like microorganisms. The remaining alien is now permanently located in Nige­ria, surrounded by a biodome which, when it opens, grants miraculous healing powers, causes mysterious biological ...Read More

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Amy Goldschlager Reviews Faerie Knitting Audiobook by Alice & Lisa Hoffman

Faerie Knitting, Alice & Lisa Hoffman; Janu­ary LaVoy, narrator (Simon & Schuster Audio/Blackstone Audio 978-150827645-6, $21.99, CD, 1.5 hr., unabridged [also available as a digital download]) September 2018.

Somewhere I have a half-finished article that I always intended to submit to a knitting maga­zine, concerning the strong parallels between SF geekery and knitting geekery. Both involve a certain intensity of focus on the topic, utilize a specialized vocabulary, hold ...Read More

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Amy Goldschlager Reviews Foundryside Audiobook by Robert Jackson Bennett

Foundryside, Robert Jackson Bennett; Tara Sands, narrator (Random House Audio, $32.95, digital download, 19.5 hr., unabridged) August 2018.

The city of Tevanne runs on magitech: “Scrivings,” writings based on the relics of an ancient magical civilization, are used to power vehicles and all manner of technologi­cal innovations. But only the wealthy merchant guilds and their employees benefit from these, or indeed, from any public services at all. The guild­less ...Read More

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Amy Goldschlager Reviews The Mere Wife Audiobook by Maria Dahvana Head­ley

The Mere Wife, Maria Dahvana Head­ley; Susan Bennett, narrator (Macmillan Audio 978-1-42729783-9, $44.99, CD, 9 hr., unabridged [also available as a digital down­load]) July 2018.

Maria Dahvana Headley transforms Beowulf into a modern, vicious, and lyrical story about racial, class, and gender divides, and the messy legacy of gentrification. Dana Mills was an African-American marine fighting a desert war when the enemy slaughtered her team, kidnapped her, faked her ...Read More

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Amy Goldschlager Reviews Summerland Audiobook by Hannu Rajaniemi

Summerland, Hannu Rajaniemi; Antonia Beamish, narrator (Macmillan Audio, $23.95, digital down­load, 10 hr., unabridged) June 2018.

Rajaniemi’s standalone supernatural spy thriller is set in an alternate Cold War during the 1930s. The British have successfully colonized a piece of the af­terlife, which they call Summerland, and the Soviets have built a supercomputer based on a hive mind of the deceased, controlled by the spirit of Lenin. The two sides ...Read More

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2018 in Listening by Amy Goldschlager

Howdy, listeners! It’s been another year when audio­books seem ever more robust as a medium, plus another year of the inter­minable online argument about whether listening to the audiobook has equal weight with reading the book (hint: yes, yes it does).

But, as is my wont at this time of year, I’m using this space to discuss the listening time I spent being unfaithful to audiobooks, and talk about the ...Read More

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Amy Goldschlager Reviews the Murderbot Audiobooks

All Systems Red, Martha Wells; Kevin R. Free, nar­rator (Recorded Books 978-1-5019-7701-5, $11.95, CD, 3.25 hr., unabridged [also available as a digital download]) October 2017.

Artificial Condition, Martha Wells; Kevin R. Free, narrator (Recorded Books 978-1-5019-7700-8, $11.95, CD, 3.25 hr., unabridged [also available as a digital download]) May 2018.

Rogue Protocol, Martha Wells; Kevin R. Free, narrator (Recorded Books 978-1-5019-7699-5, $11.95, CD, 3.75 hr., unabridged [also available ...Read More

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Amy Goldschlager Reviews Julia Unbound Audiobook by Catherine Egan

Julia Unbound, Catherine Egan; Erin Spencer, narrator (Listening Library, $32.95, digital download, 11.5 hr., un­abridged). August 2018.

The final installment of The Witch’s Child trilogy is a real race against time that practically explodes with plot. Julia’s brother Dek has been captured by the sinister Casimir and implanted with a sac of poison that will kill him in a couple of weeks. To save her brother, Julia has accepted ...Read More

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Amy Goldschlager Reviews The Merry Spinster Audiobook by Mallory Ortberg

The Merry Spinster, Mallory Ortberg; Christina Tra­ister, narrator (Brilliance Audio 978-1-9786-0777-4, $26.99, 5 CDs, 5.25 hr., unabridged [also available on MP3-CD and as a digital download]) July 2018.

The narrator of this short-story collection reads with great feeling and expression. It is therefore a pity that the emotions being exhibited by these modern responses to fairy tales and classic children’s fiction primarily seem to be cynicism and contempt. I ...Read More

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Amy Goldschlager Reviews The Wrong Heaven Audiobook by Amy Bonnaffons

The Wrong Heaven, Amy Bonnaffons; Alex Vail­lant, narrator (Hachette Audio 9781478999676, $24.98, digital download, 6.25 hr., unabridged) July 2018.

I’m typically drawn to new audiobooks by read­ing about them. This is, oddly enough, the only instance that I can recall where I picked up an audiobook after hearing a piece of it. In November 2017, the Public Radio International show “This American Life” broadcast an excerpt of Amy Bonnaffons’s ...Read More

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Amy Goldschlager Reviews Witchmark Audiobook by C.L. Polk

Witchmark, C.L. Polk; Samuel Roukin, narrator (Re­corded Books 978-1-9800-0200-0, $20.95, digital download, 9 hr., unabridged) June 2018.

Dr. Miles Singer, a doctor and military veteran of the war between Aeland and Laneer, is desperately trying to find out why his fellow veterans are com­ing home and brutally slaughtering their loved ones. Then a new mystery – and a new danger – show up at his hospital: Nick Elliot, a ...Read More

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Amy Goldschlager Reviews Brief Cases Audiobook by Jim Butcher

Brief Cases, Jim Butcher; James Marsters, Jim Butcher, Julia Whelan, Cassandra Campbell & Oliver Wyman, narrators (Penguin Audio, $29.95, digital download, 15.5 hr., unabridged) June 2018.

While we wait endlessly for Butcher to finish the next novel in The Dresden Files, here’s a short-story collection to tide us over. The stories take place at various points during the arc of the series about professional wizard and Chicago PI Harry ...Read More

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Amy Goldschlager Reviews The Dragon’s Path and The King’s Blood Audiobooks by Daniel Abraham

The Dragon’s Path, Daniel Abraham; Pete Bradbury, narrator (Hachette Audio 9781549118821, $24.98, digital down­load, 14.75 hr., unabridged) June 2018.

The King’s Blood, Daniel Abraham; Pete Brad­bury, narrator (Hachette Audio 9781549118838, $24.98, digital download, 14.75 hr., unabridged) June 2018.

When The Dragon’s Path, book one of The Dagger and the Coin, first came out in 2011, I searched for an audio version of the book so that I’d ...Read More

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Amy Goldschlager Reviews Born to the Blade, Season 1

Born to the Blade, Season 1, Episodes 1–6 (of 11), Michael R. Underwood, Marie Brennan, Cassandra Khaw & Malka Older; Xe Sands, narrator (Serial Box, $1.59 per episode, digital download, 1-1/5 hr. per episode), April–May 2018.

This new shared-universe effort created by Michael R. Underwood is a fun little exercise in political fantasy that boasts several sorts of magic. A some­what contentious alliance of floating island nations practice diplomacy ...Read More

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Amy Goldschlager Reviews Blackfish City Audiobook by Sam J. Miller

Blackfish City, Sam J. Miller; Vikas Adam, narrator (Harper Audio and Blackstone Audio 978- 1538497173, $39.99, CD, 10.5 hr., unabridged [also available as a digital download]) April 2018.

After a variety of political and environmental disasters, most of the great nations of the world are either gone or on the verge of collapse. One of the few refuges remaining is Qaanaaq, a city floating on the waters of the ...Read More

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Amy Goldschlager Reviews The Queens of Innis Lear by Tessa Gratton

The Queens of Innis Lear, Tessa Gratton; Kate Reading, narrator (Macmillan Audio, $39.99, digital, 26.5 hr., unabridged) March 2018.

This magic-infused retelling of Shakespeare’s King Lear aims to add backstory and depth to the tragedy, and even rewrite the fates of some of the favorite characters. When Queen Dalat died, her two elder daughters blamed their father King Lear for her demise, and King Lear intensified his study in ...Read More

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Amy Goldschlager Reviews The Coincidence Makers by Yoav Blum

The Coincidence Makers, Yoav Blum; Ira Moskowitz, translator; Fred Berman, narrator (Macmillan Audio, $20.99, digital download, 8 hr., unabridged) March 2018.

Guy, Emily, and Eric are Coincidence Makers; they receive assignments in sealed envelopes to set up chains of seemingly accidental events with profound effects. A synching of traffic lights here, a spilled coffee there, can irrevocably lead to two people “unexpectedly” encountering each other, or a buttoned-up number ...Read More

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Amy Goldschlager Reviews Beneath the Sugar Sky Audiobook by Seanan McGuire

Beneath the Sugar Sky, Seanan McGuire; Michelle Dockrey, narrator (Macmillan Audio 978-1427293794, $28.99, CD, 4.25 hr., unabridged [also available as a digital download]) January 2018.

One day, a young woman tumbles out of the sky, falling into the lake near Eleanor West’s School for Wayward Children, a refuge for children who found portals to other worlds where they had fantastic adventures and then eventually (and usually unhappily) returned home. ...Read More

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Amy Goldschlager Reviews Mad Hatters and March Hares Audiobook, Edited by Ellen Datlow

Mad Hatters and March Hares: All-New Stories from the World of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, Ellen Datlow, ed.; C.S.E. Cooney & Eric Michael Summerer, narrators (Tantor Audio 978-1-5414-1327-6, $42.99, 10 CDs, 12.5 hr., unabridged [also available as a digital download]) December 2017.

It is an interesting experience to listen to an anthology inspired by two so intensely visual books. Both Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking ...Read More

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Amy Goldschlager Reviews Audiobooks by Neil Fishman & Harvey Edelman and Margaret Atwood

Spin: The Audiobook Musical, Neil Fishman & Harvey Edelman; narrated by Jim Dale and a full cast (HarperAudio and Blackstone Audio 978-153851884-7, $19.99, CD, 1.5 hr., unabridged [also available as a digital download]) January 2018.

Angel Catbird, Margaret Atwood; performed by a full cast (Audible Studios, $21.83, digital download, 2.75 hr., unabridged) February 2018.

I admire the efforts of audiobook publishers to provide audio experiences that go ...Read More

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Amy Goldschlager Reviews Senlin Ascends Audiobook by Josiah Bancroft

Senlin Ascends: The Books of Babel #1, Josiah Bancroft; John Banks, narrator (Hachette Audio 978-154916787-4, $24.98, digital download, 14.25 hr., unabridged) January 2018.

There’s been a quiet buzz about this steampunk­ish series ever since the author self-published the first book in 2012; the Hachette Book Group has picked the books up for wider distribution, and I’m happy to have this chance to review this first audio production, narrated with ...Read More

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Amy Goldschlager Reviews The City of Brass Audiobook by S.A. Chakraborty

The City of Brass, S.A. Chakraborty; Soneela Nankani, narrator (Harper Audio and Blackstone Audio (978-153845611-8), $55.99, MP3-CD, 19.5 hr., unabridged [also available as a digital download]) November 2017.

In Napoleonic-era Cairo, Nahri makes a living as a con artist and thief posing as a fortune teller and healer, while concealing the magical talents she actually does possess but does not understand. One night, her grift goes terribly wrong: during ...Read More

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