2019 Audiobooks

As you can see I listened to a lot of audiobooks this year. In fact this marks the first year that I have listened to more books than I physically read. This was mainly because I spent a lot of time walking in the past twelve months. It also became a good excuse to revisit some beloved works/authors (including ELEVEN books from the Toby Daye series!).
This list is actually smaller than it could have been – there are at least another five books I’m a third of the way into that I’m sure I’ll be returning to in the future.

  1. The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien read by Rob Inglis
  2. The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien read by Rob Inglis
  3. The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien read by Rob Inglis
  4. Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett read by Martin Jarvis
  5. Mockingbird by Walter Tevis, read by Robert Fass and Nicole Poole
  6. The Rook by Daniel O’Malley, read by Katy Carmichael
  7. Strata by Terry Pratchett, read by Stephen Briggs
  8. Stiletto by Daniel O’Malley, read by Maggie Mash
  9. Agent To The Stars by John Scalzi, read by Wil Wheaton
  10. Eric by Terry Pratchett, read by Stephen Briggs
  11. The Diamond Throne by David Eddings, read by Greg Abby
  12. Mortimer & Whitehouse: Gone Fishing, read by Bob Mortimer and Paul Whitehouse
  13. Thief of Time by Terry Pratchett, read by Stephen Briggs
  14. Moving Pictures by Terry Pratchett, read by Nigel Planer
  15. The Android’s Dream by John Scalzi, read by Wil Wheaton
  16. The Day of the Doctor by Steven Moffat, read by Nicholas Briggs
  17. The Last Hero by Terry Pratchett, read by Stephen Briggs
  18. Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire, read by Mary Robinette Kowal
  19. A Local Habitation by Seanan McGuire, read by Mary Robinette Kowal
  20. An Artificial Light by Seanan McGuire, read by Mary Robinette Kowal
  21. We Are Legion by Dennis E Taylor read by Ray Porter
  22. For We Are Many by Dennis E Taylor read by Ray Porter
  23. All These Worlds by Dennis E Taylor read by Ray Porter
  24. Late Eclipses by Seanan McGuire, read by Mary Robinette Kowal
  25. One Salt Sea by Seanan McGuire, read by Mary Robinette Kowal
  26. Ashes of Honor by Seanan McGuire, read by Mary Robinette Kowal
  27. Chimes at Midnight by Seanan McGuire, read by Mary Robinette Kowal
  28. The Winter Long by Seanan McGuire, read by Mary Robinette Kowal
  29. Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie, read by Deanna Hurst
  30. Fast Women by Jennifer Crusie, read by Sandra Burr
  31. Once Broken Faith by Seanan McGuire, read by Mary Robinette Kowal
  32. The Brightest Fell by Seanan McGuire, read by Mary Robinette Kowal
  33. Night And Silence by Seanan McGuire, read by Mary Robinette Kowal
  34. The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan read by Michael Kramer & Kate Reading
  35. Welcome To Temptation by Jennifer Crusie read by Aasne Vigesaa
  36. The Hating Game by Sally Thorne read by Katie Schorr


The End of All Things

John Scalzi

This book directly follows on from the stories told in The Human Division and thankfully starts to reveal the consipiracy behind events right from the start.
Again this is a series of connected novellas and short stories that make up a complete story.
Many characters return from The Human Division but a few new players have impactful appearances.
It’s a satisfying ending without leaving everything too neatly resolved.
Again, good solid Science Fiction written in an enjoyable fashion.
I really needed to know what happened after The Human Division and read this one as an ebook. It was nice to be that involved in a book/world.

Rating: B+


The Human Division

John Scalzi

The Human Division is an entry in Scalzi’s “Old Man’s War” universe. Following from the events of The Last Colony / Zoe’s Tale a new political reality faces Humanity and the other species of the universe.
The book itself is made up of a series of novellas and short stories. These are mainly from the perspective of the previously redundant diplomatic service of the Colonial Union as they try to mend fences with Earth and create alliances with alien races. The central character is a familiar face from earlier “Old Man’s War” books – Harry Wilson.
As events proceed it becomes clear that events are being manipulated through sabotage, cultural manipulation and political shenanigans.
Then the book ends and you’re still in the dark!
Thankfully all is dealt with the next book – The End of All Things.
This is good solid Science Fiction from Scalzi. I enjoy his prose style – it’s not flashy but it draws you in to the story without sacrificing character.

Rating: B+


The Unkindest Tide

Seanan McGuire

This is the very latest book in the October Daye series and another where the price of the audiobook just wasn’t justifiable (at least for now).
This the book where the long teased story of the Luidaeg calling in the debts of the Selkies is told.
It’s a cracking read but another one where things happen in the plot more to extend the length of the book than serve the story.
The accompanying novella is interesting but slight and only tangentially related the the main book.

Rating: B+


Night And Silence

Seanan McGuire

As my re-read of the October Daye series progressed I finally came to the first one I hadn’t read before. So I read this one while I had it’s audiobook on the go.
October is recovering from the trauma of events in The Brightest Fell when she’s called in to investigate a missing college student – her own daughter Gillian.
This was another very enjoyable installment in the series and contained quite a few cracking twists that impact on the long arc of the series.
The only issue really was that it felt less like a novel and more like a couple of novellas mashed together.
The accompanying novella is intimately tied in with the events of the book and are very illuminating in ways that I found tantalising about the direction of the series.
Lots of fun but not any kind of entry point.

Rating: B+


This Is How You Lose The Time War

Amal El-Mohtar & Max Gladstone

This is – of all things – an epistolary novella where agents of the two sides engaged in a time war start communicating with letters hidden through ever more elaborate means up and down the time stream.
This is just a fantastic piece of very well written Science Fiction. It’s a really engaging read and I highly recommend it to folks who like SF.

Rating: A-


A Red-Rose Chain

Seanan McGuire

a red-rose chainThe latest instalment of the Toby Daye story finds her in Portland on a diplomatic mission to avert war between Faerie kingdoms. Obviously this being Toby nothing quite goes to plan.
I read this because I have been going through the series as audiobooks and this was the first I couldn’t find at a reasonable price. So old-fashioned physical reading was my only option.
Last time I read this I gave it a higher rating because I genuinely really enjoy the October Daye series but on a re-read in the context of the series it felt like a lesser work. Still good but not as good as the best books in the series

Rating: B


99% Mine

Sally Thorne

Darcy is a world travelling wild child and photographer except she’s stuck in her Grandmother’s old house helping renovate it for sale. The contractor is her childhood friend and crush Tom and he’s going crazy dealing with Darcy and her twin brother who are co-owners and want different things.
This is not as good as the previous offering by Ms Thorne. The Hating Game, while flawed, was a lot of fun. This one is laboured and I struggled to get through it.
Hopefully it’s just a sophomore slump and we’ll see better work in the future because that first novel held a lot of promise.

Rating: C


The Forgotten Beasts of Eld

Patricia A. McKillip

Winner of Best Novel at the inaugural World Fantasy Awards. It tells the story of Sybel, a daughter of wizards, who keeps a menagerie of magical creatures in her high mountain home.
She is removed from the world and knows little of other people and then one day a baby is left with her to keep safe from the King of Eldwold.
How she is changed by that event and the consequences that flow out from that point form a unique kind of fantasy tale.
The distinguishing thing about this book is the quality of the writing. It’s really unlike anything else I’ve ever read in the Fantasy genre. The words flow like a sing-song fairy tale. Somehow retaining the structure of prose but feel of the poetical.
I found it fairly difficult to get into but the last half of the book is incredible.
I really don’t know if it’s going to be everyone’s cup of tea but I suspect I’ll be thinking about it for a long time.

Rating: A-


Don’t Panic

Neil Gaiman

In this highly entertaining biography (a young) Neil Gaiman profiles the life of Douglas Adams with a particular emphasis on the many versions of The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide To The Galaxy.
Features interviews with Adams himself and many of his collaborators over the years. Also includes unused snippets of TV and radio scripts, the original pitches for Hitch-Hiker’s and more.
Gently aping Adam’s style Gaiman manages to make all of this into a very enjoyable package.
I wouldn’t recommend buying it at anything more than cover price but it’s worth the read.

Rating: B+