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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 (4371 )
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4.5 (3933 )
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Performance
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  •  
    jennifer BROOKLYN, NY, United States 03-01-13
    jennifer BROOKLYN, NY, United States 03-01-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A bore"

    Yet another sprawling novel which promises to keep me engaged for days on end, yet has me struggling to get through the first few hours. I'm still trying to get through the first part, after several listens. It's SO boring. I can't imagine spending the next 20+ hours of my life with Edoardo Ballerini's monotonous, melodramatic actor's voice. And the characters are just...bleh. I so wanted to like this book! I do hope to give it another try, but I definitely do not recommend.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Penny Palo Alto, CA, United States 02-27-13
    Penny Palo Alto, CA, United States 02-27-13 Member Since 2016
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    "Loved the book, great reader"

    This was a fascinating look at colonial America. Great listen. One of the best historical mysteries of the last few years

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Angie Marshall 02-25-13 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Started too slow"
    Any additional comments?

    I can't really give a fair review. I didn't make it 10 chapters in. Started too slow. May have been worth the slog, but I couldn't stick it out.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jennifer ARLEE, MT, United States 02-23-13
    jennifer ARLEE, MT, United States 02-23-13 Member Since 2013
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    "The best narrator and story"
    What did you like best about this story?

    McCammon is one of my favorite authors, and his M.C novels are wonderful.


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

    I love this narrator both my husband and I thought he did a great job, I would buy a book just for this narrator


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ray Luoma Princeton, NJ 02-22-13
    Ray Luoma Princeton, NJ 02-22-13 Member Since 2006

    CanadianInJersey

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "What a Find!"
    Would you listen to Speaks the Nightbird again? Why?

    I was intrigued by the idea of an American mystery from 1699. The book exceeded all my expectations. Wonderful prose style, an engaging story and unforgettable characters combined to captivate me from start to finish. The narration was impeccable. For anyone who likes historical mysteries, this is a must-read! And the best part is that McCammon has more books in the series; I'm loading up my cart as we speak.


    Any additional comments?

    A must-read for lovers of historical mysteries.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Margaret Los Angeles, CA, United States 02-21-13
    Margaret Los Angeles, CA, United States 02-21-13 Member Since 2010

    Like you, I love to read. I think I love to listen even more.

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    "Fine story, great history lesson."
    Where does Speaks the Nightbird rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    High


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

    I was fascinated throughout. Characterization was very good; that kept me connected.


    What about Edoardo Ballerini’s performance did you like?

    I didn't notice it. That's good.


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

    No.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dutchie88 Austria 02-19-13
    Dutchie88 Austria 02-19-13 Member Since 2011

    I love reading, have since I was very little. Reading to me is fun, relaxation, acquiring knowledge and so much more. No particular preference for a genre or writer, I will read anything well written. Once gripped by somebodies style of storytelling & writing, I am likely to read everything he or she has written.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not what I expected"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    The story was good but told far too slow for my taste. It seems the author felt that the story needed to be told at a pace common for the era of the plot, but at times I felt like falling asleep. TGF the possibility to "wind" forward. I might be laying the blame at the wrong feet though. For all I know it was Mr Ballerine who set the pace.


    If you’ve listened to books by Robert McCammon before, how does this one compare?

    N/A


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Edoardo Ballerini?

    Not if this is his regular pace


    Could you see Speaks the Nightbird being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    N/A


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dana Davis, CA, United States 02-19-13
    Dana Davis, CA, United States 02-19-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Enjoyable!"
    Would you listen to Speaks the Nightbird again? Why?

    I'm not one for many 2nd listens so most likely no. This book did remind me some of the Lord John series which I enjoy.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joyce 02-16-13
    Joyce 02-16-13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
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    Story
    "another nplace in another time"
    Any additional comments?

    I have an hour ride to and from work. Listening to this audiobook, I find myself disappointed when I arrive at my destination. Love the story, and the narrator, E. Ballerini, is excellent. I will absolutely been listening to more books by R. McCammon

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anne 02-16-13
    Anne 02-16-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    473
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    "Almost put it down... Glad I didn't"

    I dearly loved "A Boy's Life,” although I have read but not listened to it – I may do that soon. So the chance to revisit Robert McCammon was very appealing and the description of the book made it more so as I love historical fiction. While the book almost lost me at first for the same reason that I don't give it 5 stars, it didn't disappoint.

    The beginning is, IMHO, off-putting as it starts off very slowly due - again IMO - to too much detail. The author needs to grab you and get a strong grip on your attention before he bombards you with detail. There were a number of other places in this otherwise gripping and interesting narrative, where I simply longed for some judicious editing. McCammon put me a bit in mind of Diana Gabaldon (the "Outlander" series, a brilliant author of historical fiction who does amazing research and sometimes just can't help sharing every excruuuuciating deeeetail.

    Having said that, I stuck with "Speaks the Nightbird" through the first difficult hour and don't regret it. In fact, I'd love a sequel to find out what happens to Matthew, the protagonist.

    The setting is very well done if you're a lover of historical fiction. In spite of previous criticism of too much detail, I really felt like McCammon's research and skill let me enter the town of Fount Royal - swampy, miserable, haunted, evil place that it was - and walk around and see it and smell it and sense the claustrophobic walls of the inhabitant's lives. He adds detail that, as they accumulate, help the reader understand what it must have been like to live with the amount of ignorance and fear and the almost complete lack of control these people had over their existence. You come to understand what desperation can do to humans and cause them to do to one another. The book is about the many levels of evil that result when superstition and desperation and greed combine in an uncontrollable world.

    I loved the character of Matthew almost from the beginning (or, rather, once the difficult first part was over.) The other characters are all fairly well drawn, although Rachel the witch (a central character) lacked depth until near the end of the book. Some of the characters border on stereotypes, but by the time their stories come together and draw to their conclusions they begin to fit much better and actually make more sense.

    The performance was OK. Not spectacular, but not bad. It didn't annoy me. He has a fairly good range of voices.

    I have avoided rehashing the story, as others have done that quite well, and I have also avoided any spoilers, as this is also a mystery story, but I won't avoid telling you that I liked it a great deal.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • 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
  • 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
  • S. E. North
    Oxfordshire, UK
    4/13/13
    Overall
    "Wonderful historical, mystery, thriller"

    This slowly developing, detailed and descriptive novel brings alive an historical period while weaving a web of mystery. Drawing pen portraits of a collection of frontiers people, all with an unusual history, McCammon introduces the reader to witchcraft and ignorance, murders and an underlying sense of threat. But striding through this grim and frightening landscape is the determined and morally sound Matthew Corbett, judge's clerk. The reader sees the characters and the new town through Matthew's eyes, shadowing his perseverance as he investigates the crimes being blamed on Rachel's witchcraft. Beautifully read too. I will be looking out for the other books in this series!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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