I feel like Twilight has made the Paranormal Romance genre both explode and also become a bit taboo for the discerning YA reader, ya know? Who wants to admit to reading VAMPIRE ROMANCE? Well I recently listened to a whole bunch of books and and then I realized that all of them were about the undead and half of them also had a romantic component to them. So here is a quick round-up of all the fantastic undead audiobooks I've heard recently.
Insatiable by Meg Cabot narrated by Emily Bauer.
I totally got the impression that Meg Cabot read through Mark Reads Twilight or other criticisms of Twilight before writing this. Meena Harper is, in many ways, the anti Bella Swan. She has the ability to tell hwo people are going to die so when she finds out that the man she's falling for is a vampire, the last thing she wants is to be turned into a vampire. She wants life. She wants a future that includes her friends and her family and sunshine.
Insatiable is quintisential Meg Cabot. Fun, quirky, deceptively light (she always packs quite a bit of substance into her fluffy reads, if that makes any sense), and fantastic. Highly recommended.
Four and a half out of five stars.
Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride, narrated by Jonathan Todd Ross and Chris Sorensen.
At first I was nervous that this book had a severe case of Women in Refrigerators syndrome. (Spoilers here - but really only for the first disc so unless you're super strict I don't know you'd care?) The first female we met was quickly killed off and the second female we meet has already been kidnapped and then gets drugged and tortured some more right in front of us. YAY FEMINISM! But things calmed down a little after that.
Sam LaCroix doesn't even know he's a Necromancer until the had of the local Necromancers comes into the fast food resteraunt where he works and gets super upset at him for not presenting himself to the magical council and then spends the rest of the book trying to kill him. Not so much fun, yes? But this book is. I loved Sam's family (I really love seeing a happy non disfunctional family in a YA book. Yes there were secrets that shouldn't have been kept so long and Sam totally overreacted when he found out about them but if he hadn't overreacted and instead confided in his mother, she would totally have saved the day right then and there goes the second half of the book.)
The audiobook narration is good. There are two male narrators, though, for the two main POVs of the book, but I didn't even realize that until haflway through because the voices were so similar. I had just assumed one guy was doing two slightly different character voices. Not a criticism - the two POVs were different enough that I was never confused - just an observation.
Three stars! Fine holiday fun!
Sabriel/Lirael/Abhorsen by Garth Nix narrated by Tim Effing Curry
These books almost deserve their own post - phenomenal. Tim Curry needs to quit all his other jobs (and I love all his other jobs) and just read books to me. Seriously. Best audiobook narrator ever. And the books! So good! Everybody has been telling me to read them for AGES but I read Mister Monday by Garth Nix and wasn't terribly inspired to read more Nix books after that? But Oh. OH! So. There is the Old Kingdom (magic, the walking dead, modern technology just doesn't work) conected to a more regular world that reads like a pre WWI England. Sabriel has been at a bording school in the regular world for most of her life, only visiting the old Kingdom on holidays. Then her father goes missing and Sabriel goes to find him and discovers the depth of her magical inheritance and oh. OH! So. I'm a sucker for a good world building and the world of the Old Kingdom is perfect. Flawless. The magic is divided into two kids - Charter Magic which is the "good" magic and flows from charter symbols that can be used to do most any magical whatnots and free magic which is dangerous and corrupts. Sabriel's father (and Sabriel and more) is the Abhorsen which is basically the head necromancer in the land. Necromancy is free magic and therefore forbidden but there is one necromancer, the Abhorsen, who works for and with the Royal family to keep all othe necromancers and The Dead in check. And there are bells and cats and really? Just read it. Or better yet listen to it. Because every fantasy lover needs to read or listen to these books.
Five enthusiastic stars
I still have 3 more series to discuss but I'm going to stop here for the moment. Five books in one post is quite enough, thank you!