I've listened to both Alanna and Wild Magic, I liked the production of Wild Magic MUCH better. The narrator (the author) is fine. She very clearly enunciates but it really is much like listening to an accent, it doesn't detract from her narration at all.
The echo effect for the character's thoughts is a bit old but I haven't any idea how to do it better so I guess I shouldn't complain about that too much.
The cast is very good. I particularly liked the casting for Arum (sp?), the wizard, and Daine's horse.
I loved the book, and unlike the other reviewers, had no problem with the full-cast production (although I did love the job Trini Alvorado did on the previous series).
I just wanted to warn the users of the Creative Labs Nomad Zen Extra that this is one of the books that causes the "playback error" bug referenced in the FAQ. I got very frustrated a couple of times due to the tech issues.
Full Cast Audio should have redone the first couple of pages- the narrator sounded flat and tired as I began to listen. After that I was caught up in the story and tried to find ways to keep listening!
I borrowed the print versions of the rest of the series and read them afterwards, to keep enjoying this consistent magical world.
Yes, even though I adore Mrs. Pierce, I don't particularly like her narrating. However, it is something I got used to and can live with. What made me cringe was the reader playing Daine. Good grief! What a whiner! Even though she can be described as horrible, a true fan of Mrs. Pierce's work (which I am) would not regret this still interesting audiobook.
Loved the story for a long time now. The voice actors renewed it for me. Would love to be able to turn the music part off. It did not enhance the story. For the most part it actually pulled me out of the story. At least the music was only at the beginning and end of the chapters.
When I was a young pre-teen I first found Tamora Pierce's book Wild Magic. It was my first real exposure to a strong female lead, particularly in a fantasy novel. I choose it because of horses on the cover at the time. When I found it as an audio book I was excited at a chance to re-read it (again). I was wary of a full cast audio recording, having not heard one before. The choices they made for the characters were perfect for this series. It feels particularly special that the author is narrating the story as well.
I feel like a few of the voice actors were a little bit TOO exuberant and the phony accents were off putting , but it wasn't bad enough to ruin it. It was still an excellent story, and the parts were well read.
Fun, coming-of-age, empowering
Only because it's also about animals: My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell.
This is actually a Full Cast Audio recording. Pierce narrates and a full cast fills in with character voices. Initially it took me a while to get used to this style since I'm so used to one narrator doing all the voices, but the cast now feels like a second family -- familiar, warm, and friendly. I love all the other books Pierce recorded with this cast and listen to all her books at least once a year.
I vividly remember the first time I read the paperback version of this book in fifth grade. I've been in love with Tamora's Pierce's books ever since. As with all her books, you have to remember that Pierce is writing an authentic medieval time period, so her characters encounter and deal with situations that might be considered more mature than expected for their age.
This coming-of-age story is an exciting adventure that shows that family isn't just restricted to those people you're related to. It also reminds readers of all ages that all animals (not just our furry four-legged companions) are a special part of this world and should be treated with respect and dignity.