Phil Gigante's eargasmic performances of all the books in the Highlanders series are the perfect mating of story and storyteller and I can't imagine merely reading these stories from a printed page ever again.
While no one will ever mistake Phil's voice for a woman's, I quickly was no longer conscious that a man was voicing the female characters. He uses a higher pitched voice for women, but there's something else there too... a softness, a vulnerability... something... that does not scream "man mocking woman".
Now the men's voices? OCH! I'm pretty sure that the scenes where they are all together should carry embedded warnings, "Warning: the following scenes carry serious risk of Death by Eargasm"! Drustan's voice is my favorite- Gigante uses a deep growling brogue imbued with Drustan's complete confidence in himself. Dageus' Scottish brogue by way of Liverpool reflects his mischievous, "Hail fellow, well met" personality- when he isn't possessed by a baker's dozen of ancient evil Druids, of course. Phil gives Adam both a sidhe and a human voice that never quite loses his seductive sidhe arrogance. Cian's sexy brogue contains an underlying anger and iciness which, considering he's been trapped in a mirror for hundreds of years, seems more than appropriate, but gradually one can detect a subtle thawing and underlying warmth.
In addition to bringing the main characters alive, Phil G. puts just as much effort into making the secondary characters seem real to the listener. Whether voicing an old woman, one of the villains, or even a child, Phil plays his voice like the fine instrument it is to make every character distinctive and believable. He also adds special effects that bring the story to life-- wait till you hear his effect for Druid "Voice"!
Those entertaining extra touches are why Phil Gigante's performances are not to be missed!
I FORCED my way to finish book 1, ON THE EDGE (aka The Big Giant Head cover) in print, but since it IS an Ilona Andrews series (LOVE Kate Daniels), I figured I’d give it another try only with the audio book of book 2, BAYOU MOON. The audio book IS marginally better, however I’ve come to the conclusion that this series just isn’t for me– it’s just too hopeless and depressing. I really forced my way to finish out of sheer stubbornness.
However, kudos to the narrator Renée Raudman who provided the bulk of any enjoyment I got out of the book. Seriously, if the exquisite Johanna Parker ever gets tired of narrating the Sookie Stackhouse series, I would highly recommend Raudman to take over.
So I guess that if you liked The Edge series book 1, you will LOVE the audio of book 2 because of the narration. But if, like me, book 1 didn't work for you, then don't bother with book 2. I'll just stick with Ilona Andrews' Kate Daniels series and I'll be letting the Edge series drop by the wayside.
Judith Ivory‘s Victorian era "lady and the cowboy" story would have been a light, enjoyable read on it’s own, but the narrator, Barbara Rosenblatt, breathed life into Liddy and Sam. She narrated the book in a non descript American accent, then gave Liddy an upper class British accent that was somehow filled with humor, vulnerability, and playfulness. And the fact that a woman was doing Sam’s voice was lost to me in seconds because his mumbly Texas drawl WAS Sam. I think I smiled through most of this audio book. What a JOY this was to listen to!
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