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Speaks the Nightbird Audiobook

Speaks the Nightbird

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Publisher's Summary

Audie Award Nominee, Fiction, 2013

Judgment of the Witch

The Carolinas, 1699: The citizens of Fount Royal believe a witch has cursed their town with inexplicable tragedies - and they demand that beautiful widow Rachel Howarth be tried and executed for witchcraft. Presiding over the trial is traveling magistrate Issac Woodward, aided by his astute young clerk, Matthew Corbett. Believing in Rachel's innocence, Matthew will soon confront the true evil at work in Fount Royal....

Evil Unveiled

After hearing damning testimony, magistrate Woodward sentences the accused witch to death by burning. Desperate to exonerate the woman he has come to love, Matthew begins his own investigation among the townspeople. Piecing together the truth, he has no choice but to vanquish a force more malevolent than witchcraft in order to save his beloved Rachel - and free Fount Royal from the menace claiming innocent lives.

©2002 Robert McCammon (P)2012 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

“Edoardo Ballerini performs this story of accusation and fear flawlessly. He effortlessly switches his pitch, accents, and timbre to suit the unfortunate Rachel Howarth, the endless curious Corbett, and the various determined characters, good and evil.” (AudioFile)

"a compelling story that should find a wide readership. Highly recommended for popular fiction collections." (Library Journal)

"An excellent story, full of tension and suspense.” (Stephen King)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (4315 )
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4.2 (3866 )
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Story
4.5 (3882 )
5 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Rachel Oceanside, CA, United States 09-30-14
    Rachel Oceanside, CA, United States 09-30-14 Member Since 2015
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    "Speaks the Nightbird"
    Any additional comments?

    While listening to this book I enjoyed it for the most part but now that I finished it, I'm not sure how I feel about it as a whole. There was never a time when I was just dying to find out what happened next or where I couldn't stop thinking about the book after I finished listening to it. The writing was very very detailed, which made for a long and slow book, but mostly it wasn't boring. The story was interesting and mysterious but I think it unfolded so slowly and in such a way that it was anticlimactic.

    I'm thinking I sort of lost my taste for this book when there was a scene where a man has sex with his horse. It gave WAY too much detail (any detail was too much) and it made me nauseous! I also felt some of the things were a little unbelievable at the end based on the way the characters had been written all the way through the book. It seemed like at the end, all the unrelenting stubbornness just vanished and suddenly all were amicable.

    Eduardo Ballerini is a great narrator and does multiple different voices well, but after a while his voices became grating to me, especially the women's voices. I saw that there was a sequel and I may get it one of these days but I'm not feeling super eager at the moment.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MissRed Aurora, Colorado, United States 09-22-14
    MissRed Aurora, Colorado, United States 09-22-14 Member Since 2013

    Obsessive book hoarder, and intense audible lover.

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    "I didn't expect to be alas enraptured as I was!"
    What did you love best about Speaks the Nightbird?

    The mystery! I'm overwhelmingly a fantasy reader, but when this popped up under the daily deals sale, I figured I would try it. It was a long recording and had decent reviews.

    I struck gold. This book had me guessing. I remember driving and actually saying out loud "so and so did it, obviously" and I was WRONG! That was thrilling!!


    Have you listened to any of Edoardo Ballerini’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I haven't, but I'll be sure to watch for him in the future! He made characters distinct and had a fantastic cadence which made the interactions between characters seem so natural; and Robert McCammon helped too since.... You know, he wrote it!


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    At points I was very nervous. I thought for sure some characters were done for, and that our poor clerk could never get a break!


    Any additional comments?

    I recommend this book for readers who are looking for a mystery novel that will keep them guessing. I know that if I can guess whodunnit by mid novel the. I don't usually finish said novel. I listened to this one through. And honestly, I don't often do that anymore!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris 09-20-14
    Chris 09-20-14
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    "Magnificently written, masterfully narrated"

    This audiobook is a masterpiece. McCammon painted the characters so skillfully, I could almost reach out and shake their hands. The plot grew from interesting to intriguing to riviting. I became caught up in solving the puzzle, to the point I didn't want to put the book down. The narration is excellent, I could listen to Ballerini's voice all day. I've added this series to my wish list, and I'm buying book 2 now!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    SHEILA 09-19-14
    SHEILA 09-19-14 Listener Since 2008
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    "good story but way too long and drawn out"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Probably not. It is just too long. I normally will make an effort to finish a book, even if I have lost any real interest. I keep hoping it will improve. It was at about halfway through that I found myself wishing, hoping the end was near. Even after the mystery was solved, when the killer(s) were revealed and the problems resolved, it kept on going. I finally stopped listening, leaving another 8 or 10 chapters unheard.A really good book for me is one that moves at a good pace overall. It should have a mixture of fast and slower passages. When I begin to long for the end, I my assessment of that book begins to suffer.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    I never finished it, although I felt like the ending for the story had already been established well beyond the end of the recording.


    Which character – as performed by Edoardo Ballerini – was your favorite?

    The narrator did a fine job. I did not have a preference for any particular character. Most of them were substantial, and as each was carefully and tediously defined, I felt like I understood each equally. Some behaviors or actions did not seem to fit 1699, but I can handle of literary license if used sparingly.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    I would not think this book would translate well as a film. If someone tried, it would need some trimming and changes more appropriate for 1699. The story, as written, would not keep the audience engaged.


    Any additional comments?

    It is as if the author was determined to write a massive tome, and sacrificed the story for this goal. Perhaps the editor should have read this book with some objectivity and familiarity with life in 1699 colonial America. I think this 30 hour book could be accomplished in 15 or 20 hours easily. Too bad.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    natalie 09-18-14
    natalie 09-18-14 Member Since 2012
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    "Compelling Story"
    Any additional comments?

    Good historical fiction. Never a dull moment, look forward to reading the next one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lia Sutton, Australia 09-09-14
    Lia Sutton, Australia 09-09-14 Member Since 2009

    I love all genres of books. However, when I listen to audio books as I clean, garden, drive they are better with a lot of heat!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Epic Book"

    This book was outright amazing, the only comparison I can draw for this novel would be something like Law & Order: Witch Trials. Thereby seeing the first lines of the novel indicating the location in the Carolinas, I hear the distinctive DUN! DUN! in my head just thinking about it. There is definitely some shady dealings going on in the town of Fount Royal where an accused witch is on trial and the one and only penalty for cavorting with the Devil is death by flames. For a town that deems itself holy and wants nothing more but to purge it's self from the presence of evil, nearly everyone in the town seems to be guilty of something. But down the rabbit hole Robert McCammon takes us, who is to blame for the atrocities that have been committed in this town? Did the accused truly murder her husband and the Reverend? Is the owner of the town a silent schemer? Does the Dr. in the town have ulterior motives? Does the new Reverend that arrives to the town care too much about lustful ideals than saving souls? What's up with all the rain? Why does my stomach hurt right now? All but the last two questions get answered in this epic book. This book is really long, and I mean REALLY long, but it is extremely enrapturing. This book isn't for the feint of heart, if you are the occasional reader this may not fit the bill for your wants and desires, but if you like to be kept guessing the whole time, it is sure to please.

    Robert McCammon makes every detail matter and I sopped it up like I was eating biscuits and gravy. Sometimes picking out details that I would read knowing that there was an obvious reason why it was mentioned, but having to wait a while until the answer comes to fruition. I'm very glad to know that Matthew Corbett makes an appearance in 3 more novels! I'm already ready to crack open the next volume in the series. I read this book right after finishing Wolf's Hour by McCammon, but this book was a completely different animal. Robert paints pictures in your mind that you can't help but see clear as day, and the dialogue is also quite amazing, as his attention to detail in the character's speech, and talking style is painstakingly rendered. I can only imagine how long it must have been for the author to craft this masterpiece. Also, I'll give a nod to Robert for not including so much detail to the main character being quite the slut that Michael Galatin from the Wolf's Hour was. I have to give McCammon a lot of credit on this novel, and I don't feel guilty in the slightest from awarding this book 5 stars, which is not something I do all willy nilly!

    Edoardo Ballerini was great with the delivery of the story.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    O. Dobrovic California USA 09-02-14
    O. Dobrovic California USA 09-02-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Brilliant !!!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Speaks the Nightbird to be better than the print version?

    I haven't read the print version, but this one is wonderfully narrated !


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Speaks the Nightbird?

    I don't think I can single out just the one, there were so many !


    What about Edoardo Ballerini’s performance did you like?

    It was so smooth I didn't notice it , which is the highest compliment I can give !


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Many!!!


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stefanie Annandale, VA, United States 08-30-14
    Stefanie Annandale, VA, United States 08-30-14 Member Since 2012
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    "A long listen, but worth it"
    Any additional comments?

    This is a very very long listen, and at times it may appear to lag, but it all builds to a story that couldn't be told with any fewer words. I enjoyed listening to it, and trying to imagine what it might have been like to live in those times. Well told.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ms. Lucy Fairfield, California 08-10-14
    Ms. Lucy Fairfield, California 08-10-14 Member Since 2014

    Books are a mainstay of my life! Even the preschoolers and toddlers in my care, have several hundred books, which I rotate based on need.

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    "Incredible story but..."
    What did you love best about Speaks the Nightbird?

    I thoroughly enjoy historical novels and this one was not disappointing. The author gave the reader clear pictures of life in 1699. He also described the characters quite well. But as much as I enjoyed the many different plot lines, those became part of the reason why I had some difficulty toward the end of the book.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    I will not give away the ending. However, the relationship between the primary figures was something that was built up throughout this very lengthy novel. The ending left me wishing the author had done more. Perhaps the relationship I hoped for will surprise me in the other Matthew Corbett books.


    What does Edoardo Ballerini bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I haven't heard him before, even though my Audible library collection consists of well over a few hundred books. After listening to Mr. Ballerini, I will be looking for books he has narrated. He has an excellent command of various accents and it was truly a delight to experience such a talented narrator.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Occasionally I laughed, at times the violence was exceptionally sobering, but from my history classes, I am certain the author did enough research into the miserable lives people had during that period of time, to be accurate.


    Any additional comments?

    Other than being disappointed with the ending, the story was so rich and the narrator was so excellent I purchased the next several books in the series!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karen D. King 08-08-14
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    "Great Book!"
    Have you listened to any of Edoardo Ballerini’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I have not listened to other performances but it was great.


    Any additional comments?

    Long book, but I really loved every minute of it.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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