Review of Dragon Blood by Patricia Briggs

July 9, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Reviews 

SFFaudio Review

dragonbloodDragon Blood (Hurog Duology #2)
By Patricia Briggs; Performed by Joe Manganiello
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
[UNABRIDGED] – 10 hours
Themes: / fantasy / dragons / Hurog /

Wardwick of Hurog wishes to live in peace. Destiny has other plans. He is about to be arrested and imprisoned in the Asylum for Nobel Embarrassments and Inconveniences. Worse still, Ward has learned that the same man bent on his imprisonment, Jakoven Tallven, High King of the Five Kingdoms, is seeking Hurog blood to activate the supernatural equivalent of a weapon of mass destruction.Once again Ward must play the fool to survive. Yet, that will not suffice. Ward’s closest companions all must risk their lives and fortunes to keep Jakoven and his malevolent mage Jade Eyes from destroying their world.

After finishing Dragon Bones I was left with some lingering questions and looking forward to this book. For some reason this story wasn’t as much fun. It’s hard to put my finger on exactly why.  My best guess is the pacing. For such a short book, it felt like the plot meandered too much on unimportant details. The beginning was strong. It pulled me right back in again, and I thought everything was good to go. But then it got slow in middle, and felt sort of rushed at the end. I was sort of underwhelmed by the final confrontation especially.

I guess since I wasn’t having as much fun with the story this go around and it made the quality of the writing more noticeable. I’m not one to spend much time commenting on the writing too much. I tend to leave that for English teachers/literary types. I care a lot more about story and character development than I do about how elegant the prose is. If you’re entertaining me, I’m not going to notice bad sentence structure/dialogue.

If I had to sum this book up with one sentence it would be “Hurog means Dragon.” Why you ask? Well because it’s said at least once per chapter. Often more than once. Or at least that’s how it felt. Eventually I groaned every time another character said it.  I wonder if the writing was just as bad in the first book and I didn’t notice. “Hurog means dragon” was said a few times in that book as well, but it didn’t seem nearly so frequent. I didn’t really find the dialogue or prose that bad.

Glancing over other reviews it seems like I may be in the minority. It’s quite possible that if you liked the first book, you may enjoy this as well, but I mostly found it to a disappointing sequel.

As far as the audio goes, Joe Manganiello once again does a fine job without really adding or subtracting from the story.

Review by Rob Zak.

Review of Dragon Bones by Patricia Briggs

June 24, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Reviews 

SFFaudio Review

Dragon Bones by Patricia BriggsDragon Bones (Hurog #1)
By Patricia Briggs; Read by Joe Manganiello
Publisher: Brilliance Audio (print 2002)
Publication Date: 1 May 2014
[UNABRIDGED] – 8 discs, 10 hours

Themes: / fantasy / dragons / Hurog /

 Publisher summary:

We all play roles at times. Wardwick of Hurog played the role of a fool till he reached adulthood, just to keep his father from murdering him. Now he must overcome the image he so carefully built and fight not simply for his birthright but to free the five Kingdoms from tyranny and the rising tide of darkest magic that threatens his world.

Riding into a war that’s heating up on the border, Ward is sure he’s on the fast track to glory. But soon his mission takes a deadly turn. For he has seen a pile of magical dragon bones hidden deep beneath Hurog Keep. The bones could prove to be dangerous in the wrong hands, and Ward is certain his enemies will stop at nothing to possess them.

This is my first novel by Patricia Briggs. The name was familiar to me, but I wouldn’t have been able to have named you any books or series by her.
I couldn’t tell you if this is her usual style of book, but if it is, I’ll definitely be interested in reading more. This doesn’t seem to be as popular as some of her other series though. I found this a quick and enjoyable listen.

It’s a play on the chosen one trope, but there is more of a focus on politics. Our protagonist has been playing stupid for years in an effort to reduce the chances his father finds him a threat and killing him. Unfortunately for him, this means that his father also doesn’t trust him to take over after he’s gone and names his uncle to rule in his place, at least until his 21st birthday. So of course our hero sets out to make a name for himself and show his uncle that he’s not really the fool he’s been pretending all these years. He gets swept up into events bigger than himself and must rise to the occasion or see his friends, family and home suffer.

In a worlds where dragons are long extinct and magic is dwindling, this is more political than fantastical overall, but there is certainly enough in there to make it more than a historical fantasy.

This is book one of a duology, but I feel like it came to a pretty good stopping point where I don’t feel I need to rush out right away to read the second book, or (given it’s shorter length) like it was simply one book that was split in half.

Joe Manganiello is a fine reader, though nothing special. He neither adds nor detracts from the story at all.

Overall, I found this a fun and lighter book and I’m looking forward to listening to the conclusion soon.

Review by Rob Zak.

The SFFaudio Podcast #262 – NEW RELEASES/RECENT ARRIVALS

April 28, 2014 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: New Releases, Podcasts, Recent Arrivals 

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #262 – Jesse, Jenny, Tamahome, and Seth talk about NEW RELEASES and RECENT ARRIVALS.

Talked about on today’s show: We help Jesse clear off his desk by discussing books in paper (dead trees and rags), “like e-books but thicker”; Tropic of Serpents by Marie Brennan, second in the Lady Trent series, gorgeously illustrated, Darwin meets dragons; why are illustrations dying out, even in e-books?; Scott Westerfeld’s Leviathan features good illustrations; The Raven’s Shadow, third in Elspeth Cooper’s Wild Hunt series; how many print pages in an hour of audio?; more from L.E. Modesitt Jr’s Imager series; John C. Wright’s The Judge of Ages, with allusions to Cordwainer Smith; The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison, smarter steampunk?; a tangent on translating page to screen; Tam likes more fantasy in his fantasy; a tangent on Game of Thrones; a tangent on Citizen Brick and the expiration of the LEGO patent; The Revolutions by Felix Gilman; science fiction was once planetary romance; The PrestigeBest Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year vol. 8 edited by Jonathan Strahan, now published by Solaris, featuring a lot of great stories; and we finally reach audiobooks!; The Scottish Fairy Book, Volume 1; the timeless quality of folktales; Classics Lesson of the Day: Ovid’s a boy, Sappho’s a girl; Steles of the Sky by Elizabeth Bear; we try to puzzle out what a stele is; we praise Bear’s interview on Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy; Elizabeth Bear’s Hammered isn’t romance “because fifty-year-olds never have romance”; Without a Summer, third in Mary Robinette Kowal’s Glamourist Histories series, expertly narrated by the author; Dreamwalker by C.S. Friedman doesn’t seem to be your run-of-the-mill urban fantasy (suburban fantasy?); Indexing by Seanan McGuire, urban fantasy with a postmodern twist; mimetic incursion and Jorge Luis Borges’s Averroes’s SearchNight Broken by Patricia Briggs, eighth in her Mercy Thompson series; a tangent on midriff tattoos and names for tattoos on other parts of the body; Jenny has created a new genre, Scientific Near Future Thrillers!; in the future, iPods will be merged into our eyebrows; science and technology don’t evolve quite how we expect; Neil Gaiman discusses the influence of Ballard and other classic SF writers on the Coode Street PodcastSleep Donation by Karen Russell; Strange Bodies by Marcel Theroux; Boswell is Samuel Johnson’s biographer; Afterparty by Daryl Gregory is blowing up on Goodreads; pre- and post-apocalyptic fiction–no actual apocalypse this time; The End is Nigh, first in the Apocalypse Triptych edited by John Joseph Adams and Hugh Howey; the tech gremlins didn’t want us to discuss Dust, the third in Hugh Howey’s Silo series; Lagoon by Nnedi Okorafor; The Forever Watch by David Ramirez, Jesse thinks the protagonist has too many jobs; “pause resister”, WTF?; Dark Eden by Chris Beckett, already reviewed here at SFFaudio; we struggle to define Pentecostal; religious opposition to the film adaptation of Philip Pullman’s The Golden Compass; Hiroshi Sakurazaka’s The Edge of Tomorrow (originally entitled All You Need Is Kill), Groundhog Day meets Fullmetal Jacket, film adaptation features Tom Cruise; Red Planet Blues by Robert J. Sawyer, a hardboiled detective story on Mars; Noggin by John Corey Whaley; Decoded by Mai Jia; Desert of Souls by Howard Andrew Jones is a refresh of The Arabian Nights; Frank Herbert’s Direct Descent is about a library planet; novella is the best length for SF; Night Ride and Other Journeys by Charles Beaumont, a “writer’s writer” who wrote for The Twilight Zone; Christopher Moore’s The Serpent of Venice is an irreverent Shakespeare/Poe mashup.

Tor Books

Posted by Jesse Willis

Recent Arrivals: Blackstone Audio, Macmillian Audio, Penguin Audio, Brilliance Audio + MORE

October 19, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Recent Arrivals 

SFFaudio Recent Arrivals

Okay, here’s nearly a score of recently arrived audiobooks from several publishers. Frankly I think it may be a conspiracy to overwhelm us – to drown us in a gushing tide of massive audiobook goodness. To this I say, oh yeah audiobook publishers? That all you got? Huh? Huh?

First published in 1982 under a Matheson’s “Logan Swanson” pseudonym…

Blackstone Audio - Earthbound by Richard MathesonEarthbound
By Richard Matheson; Read by Bronson Pinchot
6 CDs – Approx. 6.5 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Published: September 2010
ISBN: 1441756886
David and Ellen Cooper came to the lonely beachside cottage in hopes of rekindling their troubled marriage. Yet they are not alone on their second honeymoon. Marianna, a beautiful and enigmatic stranger, comes to visit David whenever Ellen is away. Who is Marianna, and where has she come from? Even as he succumbs to her seductive charms, David realizes that Marianna is far more than a threat to his marriage, for her secrets lie deep in the past and beyond the grave. And her unholy desires endanger the life and soul of everyone she touches.

Book 4 in the urban fantasy private detective series set in New York…

Fantasy Audiobook - Every Last Drop by Charlie HustonEvery Last Drop – The Joe Pitt Casebooks, Book 4
By Charlie Huston; Read by Scott Brick
8 CDs – Approx. 9.3 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Published: 2010
ISBN: 9781441753281
It’s like this: a series of bullet-riddled bad breaks has seen rogue Vampyre and terminal tough guy Joe Pitt go from PI for hire to Clan-connected enforcer to dead man walking in a New York minute. And after burning all his bridges, the only one left to cross leads to the Bronx, where Joe’s brass knuckles and straight razor can’t keep him from running afoul of a sadistic old bloodsucker with a bad bark and a worse bite. Even if every Clan in Manhattan is hollering for Joe’s head on a stick, it’s got to be better than trying to survive in the outer-borough wilderness. So it’s a no-brainer when Clan boss Dexter Predo comes looking to make a deal. All Joe has to do to win back breathing privileges on his old turf is infiltrate an upstart Clan whose plan to cure the Vyrus could expose the secret Vampyre world to mortal eyes and set off a panic-driven massacre. Not cool. But Joe’s all over it. To save the Undead future, he just has to wade neck-deep through all the archenemies, former friends, and assorted heavy hitters he’s crossed in the past. No sweat? Maybe not, but definitely more blood than he’s ever seen or hungered for. And maybe even some tears–over the horror and heartbreaking truth about the evil men do no matter who or what they are.

The Fantasy Book Critic blog calls this one “a traditional, medieval European-influenced epic fantasy”…

Fantasy Audiobook - The River Kings' Road by Liane MercielThe River Kings’ Road – A Novel of Ithelas (Book 1)
By Liane Merciel; Read by Stefan Rudnicki
9 CDs – Approx. 11 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Published: 2010
ISBN: 9781441759221
A fragile period of peace between the eternally warring kingdoms of Oakharn and Langmyr is shattered when a surprise massacre fueled by bloodmagic ravages the Langmyrne border village of Willowfield, killing its inhabitants — including a visiting Oakharne lord and his family — and leaving behind a scene so grisly that even the carrion eaters avoid its desecrated earth. But the dead lord’s infant heir has survived the carnage, a discovery that entwines the destinies of Brys Tarnell, a mercenary who rescues the helpless and ailing babe, and a Langmyr peasant, a young mother herself, whom Brys enlists to nourish and nurture the child of her enemies as they travel a dark, perilous road. As one infant’s life hangs in the balance, so too does the fate of thousands, while deep in the forest, a Maimed Witch practices an evil bloodmagic that could doom them all.

According to the Wikipedia entry, in the universe of The Runelords, there exists a “unique magical system which relies on the existence of distinct bodily attributes, such as brawn, grace, and wit.” Well, that explains it, apparently I was secretly abducted from there as an infant [he said with a brawny, yet very graceful wit].

Blackstone Audio - The Runelords, Book 3by David FarlandWizardborn – The Runelords, Book 3
By David Farland; Read by Ray Porter
16 CDs – Approx. 19.1 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Published: August 2010
ISBN: 9781441753045
Certain works of fantasy are immediately recognizable as monuments, towering above the rest. Authors such as J.R.R. Tolkien and Terry Goodkind, come immediately to mind. Now add David Farland to that list, whose epic fantasy series began with The Runelords. Wizardborn continues the story of the struggle of Gaborn, now the Earth King, who has lost his powers but continues to lead his people. He must contend with the threat of the huge, inhuman Reavers, whose myriads Gaborn and his forces must now pursue across the nation. It has become Gaborn’s fate to follow, even into the depths. Raj Ahten, the great warlord endowed with the strength and qualities of thousands of men, once the primary threat to Gaborn, now struggles to retain his own empire. His war of conquest thwarted, his very life is now threatened by the Reaver thousands. And a young girl, Averan, who has eaten a Reaver and absorbed some of its memories, becomes a keystone in the search for the dark Reaver lair.

Check this out, it’s read by one of our reviewers, Mary Robinette Kowal!

Fantasy Audiobook - An Artificial Night by Seanan McGuireAn Artificial Night – An October Daye Novel
By Seanan McGuire; Read by Mary Robinette Kowal
16 CDs – Approx. 19 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Published: 2010
ISBN: 9781441858085
Changeling knight in the court of the Duke of Shadowed Hills, October “Toby” Daye has survived numerous challenges that would destroy fae and mortal alike. Now Toby must take on a nightmarish new assignment. Someone is stealing both fae and mortal children — and all signs point to Blind Michael. When the young son of Toby’s closest friends is snatched from their Northern California home and his sister falls into a coma-like state, the situation becomes way too personal. Toby has no choice but to track the villains down, even when there are only three magical roads by which to reach Blind Michael’s realm — home of the legendary Wild Hunt — and no road may be taken more than once. If she cannot escape with all the children before the candle that guides and protects her burns away, Toby herself will fall prey to the Wild Hunt and Blind Michael’s inescapable power. And it doesn’t bode well for the success of her mission that her own personal Fetch, May Daye – the harbinger of Toby’s own death — has suddenly turned up on her doorstep…

If it’s a plucky WWII time travel story set during London’s Blitz it must be Connie Willis…

Science Fiction Audiobook - Blackout by Connie WillisBlackout
By Connie Willis; Read by Katherine Kellgren
16 CDs – Approx. 19 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Published: 2010
ISBN: 9781441875167
Oxford in 2060 is a chaotic place. Scores of time-traveling historians are being sent into the past, to destinations including the American Civil War and the attack on the World Trade Center. Michael Davies is prepping to go to Pearl Harbor. Merope Ward is coping with a bunch of bratty 1940 evacuees and trying to talk her thesis adviser, Mr. Dunworthy, into letting her go to VE-Day. Polly Churchill’s next assignment will be as a shopgirl in the middle of London’s Blitz. And seventeen-year-old Colin Templer, who has a major crush on Polly, is determined to go to the Crusades so that he can “catch up” to her in age. But now the time-travel lab is suddenly canceling assignments for no apparent reason and switching around everyone’s schedules. And when Michael, Merope, and Polly finally get to World War II, things just get worse. For there they face air raids, blackouts, unexploded bombs, dive-bombing Stukas, rationing, shrapnel, V-1s, and two of the most incorrigible children in all of history — to say nothing of a growing feeling that not only their assignments but the war and history itself are spiraling out of control. Because suddenly the once-reliable mechanisms of time travel are showing significant glitches, and our heroes are beginning to question their most firmly held belief: that no historian can possibly change the past. From the people sheltering in the tube stations of London to the retired sailors who set off across the Channel to rescue the stranded British Army from Dunkirk, from shopgirls to ambulance drivers, from spies to hospital nurses to Shakespearean actors, Blackout reveals a side of World War II seldom seen before: a dangerous, desperate world in which there are no civilians and in which everybody — from the Queen down to the lowliest barmaid — is determined to do their bit to help a beleaguered nation survive.

I have no words for this one, I figure they must have been stolen and placed in the title…

Fantasy Audiobook - Going MutantGoing Mutant: The Bat Boy Exposed
By Neil McGinness, Dr. Barry Leed PH.D. (MBS), and the Editors of the Weekly World News; Read by Patrick Lawlor
5 CDs – Approx. 6 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Published: 2010
ISBN: 9781441890665
The Weekly World News team uncovers the definitive and faux-tastic story of Bat Boy, from his hardscrabble origins in the caves of West Virginia to his global influence inthe twenty-first century. Going Mutant reveals how Bat Boy has heeded a call to service that has embarrassed less forthcoming mutants: During the Gulf War, he deployed with the Special Forces. In the Bush years, he earned a special commendation from the government for his use of sonar, which led troops to the spider hole housing Saddam Hussein. And now Bat Boy joins forces with an unlikely crew of soldiers, scientists, and swamp mamas to battle a global pandemic that threatens to destroy our planet. This is an intimate look at the half bat/half boy, who has until now been shrouded in mystery (despite countless sightings and a megahit musical). Here, Bat Boy’s life is illuminated through a series of public and private documents obtained by the equally mysterious Dr. Barry Leed of the University of Indianapolis and through Weekly World News clippings. All this information comes together in this new Bitingsroman that reveals an archetypal American trickster who has risen from his lowly origins to become America’s favorite freedom fighter.

What did Neal Stephenson say to his audiobook publisher after Anathem? “If it ain’t Baroque don’t publish it.” [BA DUM DAM TISH]

Science Fiction Audiobook - King of the Vagabonds by Neal StephensonKing Of The Vagabonds – The Baroque Cycle #2
By Neal Stephenson; Read by Simon Prebble
10 CDs – Approx. 11 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Published: 2010
ISBN: 9781441876515
A chronicle of the breathtaking exploits of “Half-Cocked Jack” Shaftoe – London street urchin-turned-legendary swashbuckling adventurer – risking life and limb for fortune and love while slowly maddening from the pox. . . and Eliza, rescued by Jack from a Turkish harem to become spy, confidante, and pawn of royals in order to reinvent a contentious continent through the newborn power of finance.

This one’s opening story features Sookie Stackhouse at a Dracula’s birthday party! I can picture the dialogue now:

SOOKIE: Happy B’day Dracula.

DRACULA: Sookie, I vant to sook your blud.

Horror Audiobook - Many Bloody ReturnsMany Bloody Returns
Edited by Charlaine Harris and Toni L.P. Kelner; Read by Luke Daniels and Teri Clark Linden
11 CDs – Approx. 13 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Published: 2010
ISBN: 9781441862563
You’re invited…to a celebration of vampires by a baker’s dozen of favorite authors. Sink your teeth into thirteen original stories, each one a fresh and unique take on what birthdays mean to the undead. From Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse attending a birthday party for Dracula to Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden battling bloodsucking party crashers, these suspenseful, surprising, sometimes dark, sometimes humorous stories will ensure you’ll never think of vampires or birthdays quite the same again.

According to Wikipedia, this novel was first published in 1993, as a paperbook. It became the first book in the “Sianim series.”

Fantasy Audiobook - Masques by Patricia BriggsMasques
By Patricia Briggs; Read by Katherine Kellgren
8 CDs – Approx. 10 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Published: 2010
ISBN: 9781441892256
After an upbringing of proper behavior and oppressive expectations, Aralorn fled her noble birthright for a life of adventure as a mercenary spy. Her latest mission involves spying on the increasingly powerful sorcerer Geoffrey ae’Magi. But in a war against an enemy armed with the powers of illusion, how do you know who the true enemy is – or where he will strike next?

Book 1 in “The Inheritance Trilogy.” If I lived in this world I’d try to get into the crown making business.

Fantasy Audiobook - The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. JemisinThe Hundred Thousand Kingdoms
By N.K. Jemisin; Read by Casaundra Freeman
10 CDs – Approx. 12 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Published: 2010
ISBN: 9781441886453
Yeine Darr is an outcast from the barbarian north. But when her mother dies under mysterious circumstances, she is summoned to the majestic city of Sky. There, to her shock, Yeine is named an heiress to the king. But the throne of the Hundred Thousand Kingdoms is not easily won, and Yeine is thrust into a vicious power struggle.

Is it any coincidence that the shortest audiobook in this list is the one I am most looking forward to hearing? There’s actually a simpler explanation, it’s an old Harry Harrison novel. Bingo!

Science Fiction Audiobook - The Stainless Steel Rat by Harry HarrisonThe Stainless Steel Rat
By Harry Harrison; Read by Phil Gigante
4 CDs – Approx. 5 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Published: 2010
ISBN: 9781441881076
Jim DiGriz is caught during one of his crimes and recruited into the Special Corps. Boring, routine desk work during his probationary period results in his discovering that someone is building a battleship, thinly disguised as an industrial vessel. In the peaceful League no one has battleships anymore, so the builder of this one would be unstoppable. DiGriz’ hunt for the guilty becomes a personal battle between himself and the beautiful but deadly Angelina, who is planning a coup on one of the feudal worlds. DiGriz’ dilemma is whether he will turn Angelina over to the Special Corps, or join with her, since he has fallen in love with her.

I half get this joke. I’ve heard the name Garrison Keillor. He’s got something to do with NPR right? Yeah. I guess the Canadian version of GK is Stuart McLean and The Vinyl Cafe. The Stuart McLean version of this book would probably feature very polite zombies who were overly proud of their city and asked if you minded if you ate your brains.

Brilliance Audio - The Zombies of Lake Woebegotten by Harrison GeillorThe Zombies of Lake Woebegotten
By Harrison Geillor; Read by Phil Gigante
9 CDs – Approx. 10 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Published: 2010
ISBN: 9781441880369
The town of Lake Woebegotten, Minnesota, is a small town, filled with ordinary (yet above average) people, leading ordinary lives. Ordinary, that is, until the dead start coming back to life, with the intent to feast upon the living. Now this small town of above average citizens must overcome their petty rivalries and hidden secrets, in order to survive the onslaught of the dead.

If this scenario actually plays out I’d try to start an underground newspaper and point out, to our alien overlords, that human souls are not actually enslavable and that their whole purpose for invasion is doomed to utter failure.

Fantasy Audiobook - Valentine's Exile by E.E. KnightValentine’s Exile
By E.E. Knight; Read by
10 CDs – Approx. 12 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Published: 2010
ISBN: 9781441815767
Possessed of an unnatural and legendary hunger, the Reapers have come to Earth to establish a New Order built on the harvesting of enslaved human souls. They rule the planet. They thrive on the scent of fear. And if it is night, as sure as darkness, they will come. In a valiant rebellion against a half century of occupation by the Kurians, the newly formed Texas Republic and Ozark Free Territory have dealt the vampiric aliens their first major defeat. Resistance member David Valentine is revered as a hero for his part in fighting to regain Earth”s freedom. But a dangerous enemy within his own ranks soon has Valentine facing charges for his handling of the Quisling prisoners – humans who have become pawns of the Kurians in order to survive. When former Quisling – and now loyal freedom fighter – William Post is badly wounded, he asks Valentine to find his wife, who has vanished into the darkness of the Kurian Order. With the help of old friends and new allies, Valentine traces her to a mysterious, heavily guarded compound in Ohio. And what Valentine finds within will shake his sanity to its very core… Bonus Audio: Includes an exclusive introduction by author E.E. Knight.

We got two review copies of this audiobook, one was sent to our Canadian HQ, one was sent to our fortified compound in small town USA. They know where we live!!! It’s got a really slick looking promo trailer too.

Fantasy Audiobook - No Mercy by Sherrilyn KenyonNo Mercy: Dark Hunter #19
By Sherrilyn Kenyon; Read by Holter Graham
7 CDs – Approx. 9 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Published: September 2010
ISBN: 1427209693
Live fast, fight hard and if you have to die then take as many of your enemies with you as you can. That is the Amazon credo and it was one Samia lived and died by. Now in contemporary New Orleans, the immortal Amazon warrior is about to learn that there’s a worse evil coming to slaughter mankind than she’s ever faced before. Shapeshifter Dev Peltier has stood guard at the front of Sanctuary for almost two hundred years and in that time, he’s seen it all. Or so he thought. Now their enemies have discovered a new source of power- one that makes a mockery of anything faced to date. The war is on and Dev and Sam are guarding ground zero. But in order to win, they will have to break the most cardinal of all rules and pray it doesn’t unravel the universe as we know it.

Here’s an independently published audiobook that supports the establishment of Hogwarts style academies (with classes that teach you how to avoid being a Manchurian Candidate).

Fantasy Audiobook - Need for Magic by Joseph SwopeNeed For Magic
By Joseph Swope; Read by Justine Moral and Chris Dooly
2 MP3-CDs – Approx. 13.5 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Swimming Kangaroo
Published: June 14, 2010
Digital Availability: Audible.com
Need For Magic is an unabridged telling of the thought provoking and dangerous novel by Joseph Swope. Chris Dooly and Justine Moral combine their voice talents to offer a fantasy world where listeners can hear the gruff rumble of dwarves, the ancient wisdom of elves, and even the accented spell work of wizards. The arch-villain is not a dragon, wizard or overlord. The evil one is a charismatic woman who knows what people need. By masterfully playing to everyone’s need for approval and their need to feel important, she inspires fanatic devotion and gains the throne of a large nation. Even those with great magical power or deadly skill with a sword have needs. As a result, they too are played like puppets by her deft hand. Listeners should be wary that they will hear an echo of their own needs and maybe even a bit of magic they can bring into their own world. Need For Magic is also an exploration of social psychology. Indeed, the magic of Need for Magic is based on documented psychological studies gone awry. Conformity, persuasion and obedience are powerful forces that few can resist. Cults, the Stanford Prison Experiment, Stanley Milgram’s work, and the Stockholm Syndrome are examples of power more dangerous than any magic spell or dragon’s fire. Magic and Social Psychology, like all forms of power, can be used for good or ill. History is filled with leaders, dictators, and heroes who seem to have had a magical hold over others. There are few things more powerful than a group sacrificing for a common goal. The magic of Need for Magic is alive and well today. It can be practiced by anyone who listens to and watches what needs people seek to fill.

From Australia, set in a fantasy land that looks suspiciously like Britain, aimed at kids 8 to 12 (with hoodies), and looking good doing it…

Fantasy Audiobook - Ranger's Apprentice (Book 9) Halt's Peril by John FlanaganRanger’s Apprentice (Book 9) Halt’s Peril
By John Flanagan; Read by John Keating
11 CDs – Approx. 13.5 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Published: October 2010
ISBN: 0142428515
The Rangers are in trouble and not everyone will survive. The international bestselling Ranger’s Apprentice series turns up the tension in John Flanagan’s latest epic of battles and bravery.

Is the superhero genre is becoming a sub-class of urban fantasy? If so I hope he gets to fight an elfin girl with a dragon tattoo that her parents told her that she would regret getting in just a few years.

Fantasy Audiobook - Hero by Mike LupicaHero
By Mike Lupica; Read by Dan Bittner
5 CDs – Approx. 5 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Published: November 2010
ISBN: 9780142428191
Fourteen-year-old Billy Harriman can feel the changes. The sharpening of his senses. The incredible strength. The speed, as though he can textmessage himself across miles. The confidence and the strange need to patrol Central Park at night. His dad had been a hero, a savior to America and a confidante of the president. Then he died, and the changes began in Billy. What Billy never knew was that his father was no ordinary man; he was a superhero, battling the world’s evil. This is a battle that has been waged for generations and that knows no boundaries. And now it’s Billy’s turn to take on the fight. It’s Billy’s turn to become a hero.

[Thanks Scott!]

Posted by Jesse Willis