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Publisher's Summary

The DFZ, the metropolis formerly known as Detroit, is the world’s most magical city with a population of nine million and zero public safety laws. That’s a lot of mages, cybernetically enhanced chrome heads, and mythical beasties who die, get into debt, and otherwise fail to pay their rent. When they can’t pay their bills, their stuff gets sold to the highest bidder to cover the tab. 

That’s when they call me. My name is Opal Yong-ae, and I’m a Cleaner: a freelance mage with an art history degree who’s employed by the DFZ to sort through the mountains of magical junk people leave behind. It’s not a pretty job, or a safe one - there’s a reason I wear bite-proof gloves - but when you’re deep in debt in a lawless city where gods are real, dragons are traffic hazards, and buildings move around on their own, you don’t get to be picky about where your money comes from. You just have to make it work, even when the only thing of value in your latest repossessed apartment is the dead body of the mage who used to live there. 

Author’s note: This is the first in a new series set in the same universe as my Heartstrikers books, but you don’t need to have heard those stories to enjoy this one. Minimum Wage Magic was written to stand by itself, so if you haven’t listened to the others, don’t worry! I wrote this book with you in mind. Thank you so much for listening!

©2018 Rachel Aaron (P)2019 Audible, Inc.

Featured Article: The Best Women Narrators to Listen to Right Now


When considering a new audiobook, one of the biggest questions listeners have is whether they'll enjoy the narration style. Luckily, there are so many wonderful voice actors performing audiobooks that you might just find yourself gravitating to certain books solely on the strength of the narrator. It was difficult, but we rounded up 10 of the best women narrators with an extensive and diverse list of audiobooks to their credit. Find your new favorite below.

What listeners say about Minimum Wage Magic

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Enjoyed

Great book. Please keep Emily Woo Zeller as Narrator, because she is very good. She bought the book to life. Good story now, I have the start Rachel Arron's other series connected to this story.

34 people found this helpful

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Sibyl

I loved this story. It was fast paced and humorous. It had lots of action and twists. The narration was excellent besides that every now and then Sibyl got a little shriek-ish and super high pitched for me personally. Other than that it was highly enjoyable and I can’t wait for the next one.

60 people found this helpful

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normalize audio please

the performance was great but quiet. I can't always hear when doing other things. normalize.

25 people found this helpful

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Not as good as Heartstrikers, but still very fun

This book is the first in a series that is a spin off from Rachel Aaron’s Heartstriker series. It is set in the Detroit area known as the DFZ or The Detroit Free Zone. Magic exists. Dragons exists. There are even spirits. The spirits that we see in this book are the spirit of the DFZ, which rules in the DFZ and changes things as she sees fit, including moving buildings and roads on a daily basis. There is also The Empty Wind, which is the spirit of The Forgotten Dead. Anyone who dies without someone remembering them. Both of these spirits had a big part in the original series.

This series follows Opal. She’s a human mage who is working as a cleaner. In the DFZ, people who abandoned their homes or don’t pay their rent, their locations are auctioned off. Cleaners purchase these locations and will clean them up for the next tennent. They get to keep and/or sell anything they find in the locations.

Opal is on a big deadline. She owes a very powerful person $10k in just a few days. She is desperate and to buy and get a location cleaned ASAP. She stumbles upon something she wasn’t expecting and even stumbles on to a dead body, which also means she has to wait to see if there are any next of kin. If someone is found, then they get the stuff. She will get her money back, but that will be weeks away.

Opal has an AI that is in her goggles or even her phone that she uses for looking up stuff all the time. The AI is very personable and is Opal’s best friend. Sybil, the AI, is great comic relief in this series. She’s quick the smart ass and is also good and trying to keep Opal from doing anything too crazy.

She also ends up with a partner on this cleaning job from another cleaner, Nikola Kos. He knows that she’s on to something, but not what. He saves her when someone tries to kill her, which is how he knows she’s found something, even if she doesn’t know it. I really liked Nikola and really want to know more about him.

This was a nice spinoff series. It isn’t as good as Heartstrikers, but still a nice series. I will be interested in the next book for sure.

Narration
I think this is my first time listening to Emily Woo Zeller. She did a great job with the narration of this story. I loved all the voices that she chose for each character, especially Sybil the AI. She does a wonderful job with male and female voices. I would love to listen to her narrate more of this series and other books.

**I like to thank the publisher for providing me with a copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.

62 people found this helpful

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Pulls you in

the story and world building were fantastic. I didn't realize this was YA until I was halfway through and I am thankful I bought it now. pretty easy as an adult to sympathize with Opal and her complex situation, wonderful way to help explain it to a younger crowd. I hadn't heard of the Heart Strikers series, but I may have to give it a try too while I wait on the next DFZ book. I also loved that the author took a city like Detroit and rebuilt it to something epic and enviable, a feat I never considered possible of Detroit!

34 people found this helpful

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Couldn't Finish Narration Horrible

The story premise was great, that's what kept me listening as long g as I did, hit the narrator was horrible. Not sure why someone with such a soft voice was selected but really. I will pick up a hard copy and try again because I think this us a worthwhile read. Hopefully others in the series will have better narration.

15 people found this helpful

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The reader speaks to softly and quietly to underst

The reader speaks too softly and quietly to understand. Cannot listen to this book. Sorry

15 people found this helpful

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Very good

I enjoyed the book almost as much as the first Heartstriker book. The narration was great and I liked the story. I believe we see parts of ourselves in others and this book had the same manipulative parentage that I related to in the Heartstriker books.

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One Of My Favorite Authors

Rachel Aaron is a talented author who writes entertaining fantasy books. Minimum Wage does not disappoint.

I had decided not to write another review but Rachel Aaron is too talented to ignore. My reviews are being bullied by a group of 4 - 8 people who check dislike on all my entrees; thus putting my comments at the bottom of reviews. Effectively silencing me.

120 people found this helpful

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Takes a while to get going

I like the setting and the POV character, but a lot of the early chapters feel like they're repeating emotional beats without adding anything to the plot. Oh look, another messy site with an Obscure Clue at the end of it. And another. Oh, we find out that Opal has a difficult time with her Mum. Except we already knew that. I just... found it frustratingly slow and tapped out at the end of chapter five.

I like the reader a great deal, however, and will give some of the author's related books a try.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Lizo mzimba
  • 10-02-19

Great reviews, but...

This book has great reviews. I've never read any previous Rachel Aaron books, but I thought I'd try this one. However I just wasn't feeling it. Completely failed to emphasise or be interested in Opal Young-Ay. Wasn't interested in Nick Kos, the shifty "cleaner" who gets involved with her. Read 3 hours, I think, then gave up as I just didn't care about what was happening enough to find out.

Plus points - Such a lot of narrators either get over-excited, or read the story like a monotone robot. Emily Woo Zeller does not do this, so if you fancy the story but are worried the narrator will ruin it, don't be.

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  • michael
  • 02-10-19

A good addition to the Heartstrikers universe

A good book in the theme of the authors earlier work. Plenty of references to the Heartstriker series for fans, however there is no need to have read the earlier books to enjoy this one. Well worth a read.

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  • Peter Gee
  • 02-01-19

Fun start to series

Enjoyed this first in a new series after loving her previous series, Heartstrikers, last year. The DFZ is a great setting and it's got fun magic in, and I enjoyed the relationships between the characters. Fun quick read and I'll read the next in the series. Very good narrator so far as well.

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  • Maria
  • 01-11-19

great story

An entertaining audiobook that is well read and has some interesting characters. The only issue I had was with the male voices as sometimes it was hard to tell which character was supposed to be talking.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Abby Carey
  • 05-19-22

Very fun, well-read, and great story

the narrator was fab, she captured characters in a way that let me imagine them clearly. The writing was fun and believable, the world a fantastic place that comes to life. I can't wait for the next one!

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  • Robyn Yellowlees
  • 04-28-22

Rachel does it again! :)

After enjoying Rachel’s Eli Monpress books and the Heartstriker series, I knew I had to try Minimum Wage Magic.

As you can expect with Rachel’s masterpieces, the world building was creative, purposeful and fresh. A treat for lovers of fantasy novels that are looking for something quirky and new. We follow the female lead, Opal, who is a well rounded and strong character as she navigates her job as a Cleaner and a Mage in the DFZ.

The plot took thrilling and unexpected twists and turns while also being well paced to keep you engaged from start to finish. A five star review from me. I was sad when it ended!

The story was also brought to life by a narrator I’ve become fond of after this book. A great performance by Emily Woo Zeller.

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  • Jessica Wolfe
  • 12-03-21

Promising new series

I haven’t read this author’s other series, but as she assumes the reader at the beginning, I didn’t feel like I’d missed anything. Well written and well narrated with a creative and complex world. I’m not sure the protagonist’s plight really landed with the stakes it should but I still enjoyed the story and am happy to read the next book.

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  • Urban fantasy fan
  • 09-24-21

Charming

I thought this book was very well witten, Funny and charming. Rachel Aaron is so good at creating likable characters. It felt just as unique and quirky as her Heartstriker series. I hope she writes many more books like this.

Tha narrator captures the characters very well to.

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  • Kaz Whymark
  • 03-25-21

KAZ 😁 Bedford 🇬🇧💋

I enjoyed the story because it was different to what I usually listened to It's got great character's and good story line so I'd definitely recommend this book 📖 to anyone who enjoy's something different Out of 5 it's a certainly worth a 4

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  • Ellie
  • 12-09-20

Great plotline and well told

Really great voice acting for this, it pulled you into the story so well. I loved sybil's voice! The romantic elements felt a little shoehorned in but overall a very compelling story and a well explained fantasy world.

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  • emmoff
  • 03-04-19

Enjoyable read

An enjoyable new foray into the Detroit Free Zone of the “Nice Dragons Finish Last” universe, but lacking the complexity and humour of the Heartstriker books. There are two protagonists as opposed to a clan of dragons and the narrative was interesting but less complex. That said, I look forward to book two.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Tracey Serna
  • 08-18-21

loved it

wonderfully written, Preformed beautifully..

interesting new story line, told in a way that made me smile , laugh but most of all go there.

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  • Emily
  • 06-29-21

definitely give it a go

I went out on a limb from this book just because no one talks about it, but it's a brilliant listen and trust me you'll also love the follow ups. Rachel Aaron us a brilliant author and Emily Woo Zeller is the perfect narrative. together, they captive the best possible way for Opal to sound and feel. I couldn't imagine anyone else narrating.

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  • Aishah
  • 08-23-20

Should read if you want a change from usuall

Greats story, its different, MAGIC system is different. Great plot, a mixture of tecnology and magic

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  • Steve
  • 07-15-19

Fun

We loved the Nice dragons finish last series written by Racheal Aaron and were not disappointed in this new series.
Set in same world but some years later.
Lots of fun and looking forward to next book in the series.