I don’t think audiobooks are talked about as much as they should be, book-blog or booktube, (or maybe they have and I just haven’t been looking hard enough, it is the internet after all) but they’re so immersive! Especially the ones that go beyond the booth, you know those special ones – you’ve got your good over-the-ear headphones on, completely sucked into the story when you hear a few little sound effects added in; the shuffling of wooden pencils or a door soft closing and you smile feeling pleasantly surprised at how much a few soft footfalls could push you even deeper through the portal of ink and wood into that world. (Woah, I must be feeling good today, I never write this well!) And as much fun as it is hearing the narrator’s voice acting abilities in making a distinct voice for each character, assembling a full cast to voice your story is pretty darn impressive.
Audiobooks truly helped me get into reading, as young as 11 years old. (That’s when I got my first library card, that counts as a Hogwarts Letter, right?) But that’s another story, most of them I will be sharing here so I hope you like fantasy cause that’s pretty much all of them, haha. I should read more contemporary, I just haven’t gotten around to it yet. Hopefully, you find something you’ll like!
✨Sound Effects ✨
This was my second supernatural-fantasy-romance-young-adult series ever after Twilight. (Yes, I know, trust me – I remember laughing at it even back then, I don’t regret it, it was very funny!) But not my first audio with sound effects, that goes to the series below. This doesn’t have as much sound as the following, only when Lena’s powers go crazy and the sixteen moons song is played alot from what I can remember. Other than that, it’s just Kevin Collins as Ethan narrating, Eve Bianco joins him as Lena but only for the first book in one or two POV chapters.
✨Sound Effects ✨ *excluding The Diamond of Darkhold for some reason, and it has a different narrator, which kinda breaks the flow, you know? Oh well.
THIS YOUTH (aka middle grade) SERIES! I re-read this every summer, I love so much! Wendy Dillon is such a pleasant narrator, she does a perfectly gluttonous voice for the Mayor and my brain freakin’ exploded at how amazing listening to all the “real” gears whirling and leaky pipes in this dystopian, underground city.
I don’t think I need to mention the Harry Potter series with Jim Dale ‘cause duh but he’s done some other great readings:
– Liesel & Po by Lauren Oliver | Overdrive
– Peter and the Starcatchers Series by Dave Berry and Ridley Pearson (Peter Pan Sequels)
– Peter and the Starcatchers
– Peter and the Shadow Thieves
– Peter and the Secret of Rundoon
– Peter and the Sword of Mercy
*those are the only ones I’ve read, there’s the last book that started the branch off towards the spin-off series, Never Land books which features the minor characters of this series, idk if Jim has narrated them or not.
– This isn’t a book but he did narrate this wonderful TV show called Pushing Daisies, it only has two seasons (canceled) but it’s soo good! Just watch the trailer here, it’s a complete joy!
✨The Joyous Voice of Jim Dale✨
Lynn Redgrave’s reading of the first Inkwork Trilogy Book, Inkheart by Cornelia Funke was wonderful, and then Brendan Fraiser took over for the last two (Inkspell and Inkdeath) after being in the movie adapt. of Inkheart, it was a pretty fun movie 🙂
I really loved listening to Ron Keith growing up, he narrated Matilda and The Witches by Ronald Dahl and his voice along with Kenneth Grahame’s story of The Wind in the Willows is pure poetry.
Mandy William’s narration for Heather Dixon’s Entwined is wonderous, her accent fits the main character well.
Anything by Full Cast Audio is good, I’ve listened to The Light Princess by George Macdonald (there’s a song in here too!) and Princess Academy by Shannon Hale (I’m pretty sure The Goose Girl Series has a full cast as well.)
Graceling – The first book in the Seven Kingdoms Trilogy by Kristen Cashore(Personally to me, it’s a duology, Fire is a companion and isn’t really necessary (and sooo boring!) Bitterblue is more a direct sequel.
His Dark Materials Series by Philip Pullman
– The Golden Compass (or Northern Lights)
– The Subtle Knife
– The Amber Spyglass
ABSOLUTELY AMAZING PERFORMANCES IN THESE!
✨A Full Cast of Characters✨
Focus on the Family Radio Theatre has really amazing audio dramas, they have a full orchestral score, full cast, sound effects – it’s a complete eargasm! The Chronicles of Narnia is one of my favorites, they also have a series called Adventures in Odessey, it’s Christian-based if you’re okay with that. They post different parts of their audiobooks on their respected sites daily if you’re like to listen to them without spending any money. Here’s Whit’s End for AIO and FOTF’s Radio Theatre.
Various Episodes of The Twilight Zone have been adapted into Radio Dramas, with a bunch of different celebrities, The Obsolete Man with Jason Alexander is one of my favorites! It really showcases his range as an actor, more than just Goofy George, he’s done a few of these. There are about 30 collective volumes, as well as individual episodes have been released. They’re great for listening to around Halloween.
✨Full of Drama ✨
*haven’t listened to but heard good things:
The Illuminae Files, of course, have a full cast, and sound effects to them. (and music I think)
The Folger Shakespeare Library has complete dramatizations for Hamlet, Julius Caesur, Macbeth, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Othello, Richard III, and Romeo & Juliet if you ever need for school. You may have to read a specific edition provided by school but you can still listen to these if it’s too boring but still need to remember the story and all that jazz.
BBC, of course, has dramatizations. Too many for me to list.
Nightvale is an interesting podcast about a creepy town in the form of local radio broadcasts (you know weather and traffic forecasts, school closings and such)
Ummmm, that’s all I can think of at the moment, I hope that’s more than enough haha! 🙂
You should check out Overdrive for these, it’s like a universal digital library site, or check if your local library has the service Hoopla (it has audiobooks, ebooks, and movies) if they don’t definitely suggest it! It’s a great service.
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