I wasn't sure how much I would like Freema Agyeman's reading of this story, since her voice in the TV series is sometimes a bit high-pitched. But I found her reading voice to be pleasantly pitched and without stumbles. The story of her and Doctor Who's encounter with an intergalactic zoo and the last dodo is interesting and would make a good TV episode. Worth a listen and even a second one in the future.
I am a huge fan of the Phryne Fisher mysteries, both in print and in audio, and this is one of the best. Stephanie Daniel is an excellent narrator, and I cannot say enough about how well she does voices and background, timing and emphasis.
I've recently listened to a couple of new audio versions of long-time sci-fi/fantasy favorites, and I wish the narrators had listened to Ms Daniel as a training exercise.
Very highly recommended.
Once again I am disappointed by the newly published audiobook of an old favorite sf/f book. Maybe Audible Frontiers needs a bit more in their budget for narrators.
Ax Norman did a passable job of reading the book. He did not feature any differing voices for the different characters. Toward the end of the book he began to waver in how he pronounced names - maybe he was getting tired. And Mr Norman's rhythm varied a lot, sometimes fast when it should have been slow and vice-versa.
It was perhaps only my many re-readings of this book that made me hope for better, and that I differed with how Mr Norman chose to pronounce names. The title character in particular, I've always thought of as SASS-ih-nak, not Sah-SIN-ik. Sadly, we can't ask Ms McCaffrey.
I won't be buying any sequels as audiobooks, and definitely not any of Mr Norman's other recordings. In 2013, I've come to expect multiple voices, consistent pronunciations, and timing that suits the story.
This (#12) is one of the best of the Phryne Fisher mysteries, not that it is a great mystery, but because it gives so much insight into Phryne and her background. She was an ambulance driver in WWI from the age of 17, and when the war ended in 1918, she settled for a time in Paris and became an artists' model.
Lovely story, great background, and important in understanding how Phryne became the strong person that she is. Very much recommended.
Stephanie Daniel does her usual excellent job with voices and accents.
I have been hoping for an audiobook version of this series for years. Now that one has been released, I'm so disappointed.
Karen White has a lot of books listed at Audible, but many aren't well-known, at least not to me. She narrated _The Hemingses of Monticello_, but those reviews reflect comments about the same sort of disappointing performance that I've been listening to.
Ms White has a very nice basic voice - the one she uses for the background, the narrative parts. She uses inflections, pauses, emphasis, all good. She got most of the character and place names right, including some very odd made-up-language words and phrases full of glottal stops. What she doesn't show in _Winds of Fate_ is a good repertoire of voices for different characters. Instead she chose to use differing accents for the characters, and she not only made some odd choices but wasn't able to do the accents consistently for each character.
So, starting from the beginning of the book, Kerowyn, a very strong, active, decisive woman, who has a background as a successful mercenary soldier, got an unsure, sort-of Irish accent that doesn't reflect her character. Skif, a young man who spent most of his early life as a thief and scrounger, but who has become a reliable, effective member of an elite group, has a sort-of lower-class British accent but sounds rather like a hick. Elspeth, the young female heir to the throne of Valdemar, has a sort-of snobbish upper-class British accent, and is probably the closest in reflecting the character, but it isn't used consistently. Darkwind, who is a young but mature and powerful mage, woodsman and fighter, started out with a somewhat thin, wavery voice; it got stronger over the course of the book (18.5hrs), but he never sounded decisive or strong. The voice Ms White used for the character of Need, an extremely powerful female spirit lodged in a sword who communicates via mind-speech (telepathy), often changed accent within a sentence or two, with a British-sounding beginning to the vowels and an accent from anywhere-USA at the end.
What's annoying is that the voices are partly right. Kerowyn is from a different country than Skif and Elspeth, and Darkwind is from yet a third country. So a different speech pattern or rhythm for each of them wouldn't be a bad choice. Skif was a street kid, so a lower-class voice was somewhat appropriate; Elspeth is from the noble class and should speak more elegantly than Skif, though they were both brought up in the same city of the same country and so should have some similarities in their speech, but didn't. But the accents weren't done consistently nor were they done very well.
It's especially disappointing because fans of Mercedes Lackey and this series of books have been waiting for years and years for these audiobooks. Of course we have some expectations built in from all the re-reads of the print books, the voices we've heard in our minds. But if the voices Ms White had chosen had been done a bit better, more consistently, perhaps with more practice, this would have been a much better audiobook. Another few months' delay would have been worth it to get it done with more polish.
I was all set to buy the other 2 books in this _Mage Winds_ trilogy as soon as they came out, but I'm not going to do that. Sadly, the comments about the next trilogy, called the _Mage Storms_, though narrated by a different person, have similar sorts of comments about a poor listening experience, and some of those shortcomings are evident in the samples. So I'm not buying those books either. I can't even give this book a 3-star rating, because I didn't like it. It's just barely OK, a 2-star deal. And that's with a book that's been a nearly 5-star read for years and years.
I've previously read the print version, so I like the story a lot. The narrator has a decent voice to my ears (don't know if it's a good Aussie accent, though) for the main character and the intervening comments.
But the other voices she's doing for the rest of the cast are not very good. The very-young girl voices are the most poorly done, and that for the young male assistant is mostly wooden. There's another main male voice and that's done quite flatly.
I've read or listened or watched the TV version of this story many times, and yet it is always fascinating. Stephanie Cole does a decent job of narrating, though she doesn't quite get the New Zealand accent she's trying for. Regardless, it's not annoying, and you are just carried along in the story of how this young woman's past has come back into her life, and how she, her husband, and the very wise and resourceful Miss Marple find the killer who has remained in hiding for so many years.
Joan Hickson was a wonderful Miss Marple on TV. However, this narration (done sometime before her death in 1998, regardless of the publication date shown here) is for me flawed by a distinct lisp and other mouth noises. In spite of loving the story, I finally gave up on listening before it was halfway done, and changed to the older Rosalind Ayres version.
Nell Canning has a very limited range of voices and levels, sometimes nearly speaking in a monotone. She really, really takes away from the story, which I've read before and enjoyed. I am sad that as popular and talented an author as Kelley Armstrong has been so poorly served by her audiobook publishers.
I don't think I'll be re-listening to this. I'll re-read the book instead.
Fascinating story, and Horowitz has perfectly captured the style of the original Conan Doyle tales. Highly recommended!
Many aspects of the joint history of Roarke and Somerset are clarified and explained in this entry in the series. We meet Ian McNab for the first time, and Susan Ericksen treats us to Eve Dallas under the influence of a serious painkiller. It's a serious story, with a vengeful, brutal and bloody killer. Well done!
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