Audiobooks: The Good, The Okay, and The Not-So-Good

In the past few weeks, I’ve started listening to audiobooks. I’m not entirely sure why I avoided them so studiously in the past but I’m so glad that I rectified that situation. If done correctly, audiobooks are amazing! Some of them actually make me feel as if I’m there, watching the story unfold. On the other hand, some of them are just badly recorded or read. After attempting to listen to a truly horrible one, I came up with the idea for this feature! I’ll share the books I’ve listened to recently in the hopes of helping some of you begin (or continue) your audiobook journey with some excellent ones. 

The Good


Title: The Girl With All The Gifts
Author: M.R. Carey
Publisher: Hachette Audio
Narrator: Finty Williams
Release Date: June 6, 2014
Opinion: The narrator did an absolutely fantastic job with this one (it probably didn’t hurt that the story was so engaging). The pacing was perfect and each character, although they were spoken in the same voice, felt different. Everything was well enunciated and very easy to understand.
Overall Rating: 4.5/5

The Scorpio Races
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Publisher: Scholastic Audiobooks
Narrator: Steve West & Fiona Hardingham
Release Date: October 18, 2011
Opinion: I actually DNF’ed this one when I tried reading it in physical form and then absolutely loved this audiobooks. Having different narrators for Puck and Finn’s chapters worked incredibly well. Both of them did an excellent job at bringing the characters to life.
Overall Rating: 4/5



The Okay (Because it really isn’t that bad)


Moon Over Soho
Author: Ben Aaronovitch
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Narrator: Kobna Holbrook-Smith
Release Date: September 28, 2012
Opinion: I have very mixed feelings about this one. Overall, the narrator did a great job but there were a few small things that bugged me. Leslie’s speech was utterly incomprehensible to my ears. Since she doesn’t speak that often, it was okay but when she’s trying to say something important, I’d like to be able to understand it. Other than that, I think my main issue with this one is the plot. I wasn’t a huge fan of the romance storyline in this sequel and it somewhat dominated the second half of the book. Overall, the narrator was good but the story didn’t quite work for me.
Overall Rating: 2.5/5

The Not-So-Good
So far only one book has fallen into this category (luckily). Hopefully next time there will only be books in the other two categories!


Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet
Author: Charlie N. Holmberg
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Narrator: Kate Rudd
Release Date: June 28, 2016
Opinion: I’m not sure if there’s a problem with how this one downloaded or how the audio was recorded but listening to it sounds somewhat like an automated computer voice is reading the text (I actually double-checked to make sure that wasn’t the case). I couldn’t handle it and stopped listening after 20 minutes (I thought it might get better. It didn’t). However, the story still looks sounds interesting and I’m looking forward to reading the kindle version.
Overall Rating: 1/5 (NOT rating the book at all).

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  1. I have been wanting to read “The Girl with All the Gifts”, but in a physical copy. Do you think that the non-audio form of the book is fine (from the way you heard it), or is it better if I listen to it instead?

    1. I definitely think that the physical copy would be good! I actually got book recommendation (I decided to try the audiobook version) from one of my friends who read the physical copy.