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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 (4365 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Nathan SPRINGVILLE, UT, United States 06-16-14
    Nathan SPRINGVILLE, UT, United States 06-16-14 Member Since 2013

    Love my family...along with guitars, road bikes, cameras, and a good book!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "One of the best books I've read"

    I can't even begin to describe how much I loved this book. 30+ hours was not enough, and seemed to fly by. The language and mannerisms of the characters was perfect, to my mind and imagination, for the time period of the end of the 17th century. The author drew me into the story so quickly, and I didn't catch my breath throughout the process one time! I was kept guessing until the very end, and that is rare for me. So eloquent, and elegant in the prose and pacing of this novel. It was truly a breath of fresh air in a sea of mediocre books and stories. Will listen again soon!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    InsideADog 06-02-14
    InsideADog 06-02-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good Story but Too Long"

    This was a fresh take on a "who done it". I enjoyed the entire story line and characters. The reader is one of the very best out there and I was not disappointed by his perforamnce of this. As is so often the case with mysteries, everything seems to go along making sense, until it is time to pull it all together and people start doing things way out of character or that they just wouldn't do. This is the case with Nightbird. I kept my rating low because the book was so long. Who cares what color pants every guy in the room is wearing? Not me.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    missgrundy San Francisco, CA 05-21-14
    missgrundy San Francisco, CA 05-21-14 Member Since 2010

    Fine art photographer, retired English professor, dog mom to an adorable Maltese mix, long-time Californian, genealogist, what else?

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Slow starter, but . . ."

    It actually took me three tries to get going on this book. It starts off slowly, you have no idea of who the people are, and twice I put it aside to read something else. But finally came a time when I had nothing on my iPad I hadn't read but Speaks the Nightbird, so I sighed and turned it on again.

    Wow. It certainly picked up, and turned into one of those books that you feel obsessed about -- looking for reasons to drive the car, sitting in the driveway listening long after you're home, and so on. There are so many plot twists and turns, it's guaranteed to keep your attention and keep you guessing.

    And the narrator is wonderful. He does the voices beautifully, including the women, which I can't say for all narrators. Others have given you information about the subject matter and details, so I'll just say, Read It. Now.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    barry Yountville, US, Canada 05-21-14
    barry Yountville, US, Canada 05-21-14 Member Since 2010

    barryology

    ratings
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    94
    4
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    Performance
    Story
    "Delicious Guilty Pleasure Tale of the First Order"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Speaks the Nightbird to be better than the print version?

    N/A


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    Wonderful characters, wicked and heroic, sympathetic and pathetic; great setting--time/place, outlandishly detailed and delightfully grisly adventures, an against all odds kind of derring do that wins the day, and so on.


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

    Well for pure over the top, hard to beat Exodus Jerusalem, the fire breathing evangelical charlatan, a character out of Dickens for pure disgust and villainy.


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

    Certainly Corbett's scenes with his mentor and the woman he falls in love with and sets out to save from the massive injustice facing her.


    Any additional comments?

    I have read the whole series up to now. Books 2-4 are all good, but I do not know if I would have picked them up without reading the first one, which predated the author's success with this character. Many found the length of it not to their liking, but it was precisely the length and loving detail that for me makes this book far and away the best of the series (each new installment has been progressively shorter, and suffers as a result), a book that really does stand on its own, a great, long, rollicking delight of an adventure, whether or not the author would have pursued this character (HBO--this would be a natural for you guys) with new episodes in his life.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Ocala, Fl USA 05-02-14
    Amazon Customer Ocala, Fl USA 05-02-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    120
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    "Great writing"

    This book captivated me from the start. When I recognize great writing and a great story I feel like I am using my spare time to good purpose. Set in 1699 this is an historic novel with graphic realism. Not knowing the author I did now know how the ending would work out. I now have the sequel ready to download.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jay Bailey Jerusalem, Israel 05-02-14
    Jay Bailey Jerusalem, Israel 05-02-14 Member Since 2006
    ratings
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    12
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    "Just a winner, all around."
    Would you listen to Speaks the Nightbird again? Why?

    It's a mystery, so it'd be hard to be gripped with the same tension and curiosity a second time. But I hope to find more by this author and narrator.


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

    The fact that he managed to create a voice and tone for each and every character is way more impressive than any one character. It was so real that I genuinely felt transported every time I listened, and could see the faces, expressions and movements clearly, as if I were watching a movie. I've listened to 30-40 audiobooks, and this is without a doubt in the Top 3 -- a great story, yes, but I'd follow this narrator anywhere.


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

    The realism in the plot... the good guys don't always have it easy, the dialogue wasn't predictable, and each time it felt like it was winding down, it jump-started.


    Any additional comments?

    Historical novels are tough because you need to paint a detailed picture of a world (here,, 300 years ago) without spending too much time narrating all the "Stuff" that the reader might not know about the period. Here's it's woven in fluidly.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer 04-30-14
    Jennifer 04-30-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Love Robert McCammon"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Speaks the Nightbird to be better than the print version?

    I can't compare written to audio. I often am reading two books while listening to another.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    I had read the book but it had been many years so I was very interested in what I remembered and what I forgot.


    What about Edoardo Ballerini’s performance did you like?

    I wasn't sure at first but he really grew on me.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes


    Any additional comments?

    I loved this book when I first read it (at that time it was in three different books). I really enjoyed listening to it after all this time and have continued with the other books as well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lisa Jyväskylä, Finland 04-25-14
    Lisa Jyväskylä, Finland 04-25-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Entertaining, atmospheric mystery"

    This is not a literary historical novel with something to say about the time and society it is depicting. If you want that, read e.g. Hilary Mantel and stay away from this (unless you enjoy scoffing).

    This is entertainment fiction; an atmospheric murder mystery with elements of horror, centering around a witch trial in a colonial village. In creating its atmosphere and drama, it evokes plenty of the tropes associated with this setting in popular fiction. However, as such it is very well-written and good quality. I was pulled into the story from the first chapter through great characterization, intriguing setting and an entertaining plot. Perhaps it could have been shorter - it did drag out a bit - and it did get really lurid in places. But overall this was a good find and I recommend the series to anyone who likes gritty historical, horror/fantasy or crime *entertainment* fiction.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    anne RICHMOND, CA, United States 04-23-14
    anne RICHMOND, CA, United States 04-23-14 Member Since 2011

    Artist, publisher/editor

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Engrossing! Great story great performance."

    I kept finding things to do like going for extra long walks or washing the dishes [my husbands chore] so I could keep listening. I purchased it based entirely on the ratings not at all interested in period pieces but I was more than pleasantly surprised.

    Never heard such a great narrated performance and given the amount of characters, accents and the time period, it could have gone horribly wrong. Instead it was perfect and so believable.

    The story is an A1 murder mystery [I usually hate mysteries] set in a time when supernatural beliefs were the norm. The characters are all so complex and I miss them already. I can't say enough. One the best I've audiobooks I've listened to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Florida 04-18-14
    Amazon Customer Florida 04-18-14 Member Since 2013

    Soupie scoop

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
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    "Very entertaining"
    If you could sum up Speaks the Nightbird in three words, what would they be?

    American historical thriller


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

    Matthew Corbett


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

    this book kept me wanting to know what happens next


    Any additional comments?

    I enjoyed the American historical suspense in this book. The way people lived and how the areas we are familiar with were formed. The book was long, but did not seem tediously so. The length make my money last longer. A good buy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • J. PERROTT
    Surrey
    7/7/12
    Overall
    "A beautifully read, chilling tale."

    I have always liked stories about the 17th Century, but good ones are few and far between. This is one of the good ones.

    I often find that novels which are so long struggle to remain gripping throughout, so I approached this one with some trepidation. I don't like to waste my monthly credit! I should not have worried.

    Ballerini's narration is superb and he has a great way of changing his voice for every single character so you know just who they are. This, coupled with McGammon's detailed and, sometimes, startling revelations which are revealed steadily throughout the novel make for an fascinating audiobook which thrills and entertains in equal measure. The thirty-odd hours have all but skipped by and, with only another four to go, I can't wait to find out what happens. I'm about to download the next novel in the series - I'm assuming this is the first in the 'Matthew Corbett' novels (Come on, Audible, make your labelling more helpful! This is not the only series poorly labelled. How about some more specific, advanced genre labels?) - because I'm looking forward to seeing in 1800 with Matthew in the colonies.

    A top quality read, highly recommended.

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • Jackie
    basildon, United Kingdom
    4/13/13
    Overall
    "speaks the nightbird"

    This was a very long book and took most of a month to listen to it! but was well worth it in the end. It took it's time in drawing you in and you felt you knew the characters personally. Robert McCammon has a unique insight into the way people lived and their intolerance of anything or anyone different while they were building their America. Also how religion and superstition held sway over their lives .Edouardo Ballerini., as narrator was excellent his voice leading you on and very charismatic. An excellent book. I would recommend it to anyone who has the time to listen and enjoy.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Sparks
    elham, United Kingdom
    6/18/12
    Overall
    "intriguing read"

    After the first couple of hours of listening I decided I was not enjoying this book, but as soon as I stopped listening to it, I needed to know what happened. I then found it compelling listening, with no hitting the fast forward button.
    This is a very descriptive book, with characters I could admire, empathise with and detest, a good storyline.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Sarah
    LISS, United Kingdom
    1/21/13
    Overall
    "A good listen and value for money...but very long!"

    I would say that this is an enjoyable listen and I didn't guess the ending at all so it did keep you guessing throughout, however I feel it was slightly too long and drawn out for me. I found myself forcing myself to listen to it during the end of the the 2nd and the 3rd sections as the pace had really slowed. Having said that the narration was fantastic and I'm glad that I stuck with it. A good story....but not necessarily a great one!

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Sarah
    12/9/12
    Overall
    "Witch or not?"

    A lawyer and his scribe arrive at a new town to mull over whether a local lady is indeed a witch.



    This was a very slow moving book, but that wasn't really a problem. Ideally they could have cut out a lot of humming and hawing, but the historical background to the Spanish and English occupation of Florida was interesting.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Mrs
    Norwich., United Kingdom
    11/21/12
    Overall
    "Good story"

    I downloaded this after reading other reviews and was not disappointed. The story is a little slow to get going, but it soon sweeps you up and has many twists and turns to keep you guessing. I shall look out for others by this author.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Garethman
    9/4/12
    Overall
    "Great stuff from south of Salem."

    An interesting take on the idea of the Crucible moulded into a detective novel. It's a great listen with one or two minor irritations( why the hell does our hero never tell anyone of what he has found out until the end?) However it's a well crafted novel and well appreciated.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Mrs
    Aylesbury, United Kingdom
    8/2/12
    Overall
    "Utterly gripping"

    From the very first chapter McCammon's detailed and skilled narrative transports the listener into the mud, humidity and brutal reality of life in 17th century Carolina. With witch trial hysteria, intrigue and deception thrown into the mix this is a superb novel which twists and turns it's way through to a satisfying conclusion. I can't wait to listen to the next in the series.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Yvonne
    BrightonUnited Kingdom
    5/10/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very, Very Clever"

    This story is not generally my kind of subject matter, but both the author and narrator have gripped me with a very, very clever story, that is as factual and historic as it is murder, mystery.
    I only really downloaded this because I was absolutely blown away by Swan Song which after 34 hours of listening, I was left wishing there were another 34 hours remaining, I was that enthralled.
    I have already downloaded the next 2 instalments in the Matthew Corbett series and I cannot wait. Summed up in 1 sentence ' Robert McCammon doesn't just write, he paints images that immerse you into the very fabric of the story'.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Kindle Customer
    France
    7/13/12
    Overall
    "Speaks the Nightbird"

    I really enjoyed this book. It set the stage from the beginning and kept me enthralled throughout. I felt I was right there the whole time.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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