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July 2016 BOOKLIST
Find more Top 10 SF/Fantasy Audiobooks
This selection of top 10 sf/fantasy audiobooks, reviewed in Booklist from August 2003 to May 1, 2008, represents the best of the genre. Dragons abound, and action and adventure dominate.
The Children of Hurin. By J. R. R. Tolkien. Read by Christopher Lee. 2008. 9.5hr. Trafalgar, CD, $49.95 (9780007263455).
This ancient tragedy of Middle Earth is read by Lee in delightfully melancholy and beautifully sonorous tones. Lee’s performance enhances the story, helping to guide listeners through Tolkien’s complex world.
Dune: The Battle of Corrin. By Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson. Read by Scott Brick. 2004. 25.5hr. Books on Tape, CS, $128 (1-4159-0390-5); CD, $152 (1-4159-0391-3).
Dune fans and newbies will be enchanted by Brick’s marvelous reading. The planet Dune becomes as much a character as that of leader-to-be Paul Atreides.
Empire of Ivory. By Naomi Novik. Read by Simon Vance. 2007. 11hr. Books on Tape, CD, $110 (9781415942420).
In this sequel to The Black Powder War, fighting dragon Temeraire and his crew search for a cure to an unknown epidemic. Speaking in his native British accent as well as various French and African dialects, Vance evocatively re-creates a large cast.
Eragon. By Christopher Paolini. Read by Gerard Doyle. 2003. 16.5hr. Books on Tape, CS, $55 (0-8072-1963-0). Gr. 7–12.
Read by Doyle and enhanced with mood-setting music, the story of Eragon’s coming-of-age from small-town farm boy to successful Dragon Rider is a treat for all ages.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. By J. K. Rowling. Read by Jim Dale. 2007. 21hr. Listening Library, CS, $90 (9780739360408).
Dale’s dazzling performance is unequaled as he exquisitely reflects the necessary drama, emotion, and seriousness of this final book in the popular series.
Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. By Susanna Clarke. Read by Simon Prebble. 2004. 32hr. BBC/Sound Library, CS, $119.95 (0-7927-3530-7); CD, $139.95 (0-7927-3531-5).
Clarke’s historical fantasy is enhanced by Prebble’s solid performance. His perfect pacing and emotionally nuanced British tones evocatively capture this brilliant first novel.
Knife of Dreams. By Robert Jordan. Read by Kate Reading and Michael Kramer. 2005. 32hr. Books on Tape, CS, $129 (1-4159-2239-X); CD, $159 (1-4159-2240-3).
This eleventh title in the Wheel of Time fantasy saga features dual readers imparting tension into the action sequences without overly embellishing an already dramatic plot. Gear up for the final title, slated for 2009.
Mistress of Dragons. By Margaret Weis. Read by Gigi Marceau-Clarke. 2003. 11hr. Macmillan, CS, $35.95 (1-55927-893-5); CD, $44.95 (1-55927-894-3).
Weis’ gripping high-fantasy story is filled with renegade dragons and magical Amazon warrior priestesses. Marceau-Clarke draws listeners into the drama, seen through the eyes of Draconas, a dragon turned human.
Off Armageddon Reef. By David Weber. Read by Oliver Wyman. 2007. 30hr. BBC/Sound Library, CD, $139.95 (9780792747192).
Wyman never falters in his top-notch rendition of this fantasy epic, voicing characters, from Merlin to King Haral, with equal skill. Get ready for the sequel in July.
Shadow of the Hegemon. By Orson Scott Card. Read by David Birney, Scott Brick, and Gabrielle DeCuir. 2007. 13hr. BBC/Sound Library, CD, $99.95 (9780792743705).
The Battle School friends return home to find the war isn’t over. The talented readers expertly portray the adolescents and use fitting accents for many of the secondary characters, including members of Petra’s Armenian family.
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