Audio Reviews, April 1, 2012

Crais, Robert. Taken. 7 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 8 hrs. Brilliance Audio. 2012. ISBN 9781423375654. $79.97; 7 CDs. retail ed. unabridged; 1 MP3-CD.; Playaway digital; digital download. F

Crais presents a fast-paced tale set in the gritty, violent world of human trafficking. Successful businessperson Nita Morales hires L.A.‚ based detective Elvis Cole to locate her missing daughter. The girl and her boyfriend were kidnapped‚ along with a group of illegal aliens‚ by bandits who prey on other criminals. To locate the pair, Cole has himself taken by the gang, while his partner, Joe Pike, works with rival criminals to free Cole and the others. The work’s main appeal is the characters. Crais fills the story with larger-than-life heroes possessing military and intelligence backgrounds, who battle merciless criminals, and both sides appear to have unlimited access to firearms and explosives. VERDICT Reader Luke Daniels does an excellent job presenting the novel. This audiobook is recommended to listeners who enjoy action stories with over-the-top characters. [Crais’s captivating plot together with his crisp dialog makes for swift and satisfying reading, read the review of the New York Times best-selling Putnam hc, LJ Xpress Reviews, 1/13/12.‚ Ed.]‚ Stephen L. Hupp, West Virginia Univ. Parkersburg Lib.

Iggulden, Conn. Conqueror: A Novel of Kublai Khan. 15 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 18¼ hrs. Recorded Bks. 2012. ISBN 9781461826415. $123.75; 2 MP3-CDs. library ed.; Playaway digital; digital download. F

As a child, Kublai rode with the followers of his grandfather Genghis. He was a favorite of his tutors, and his intellect brought him favor in the eyes of his powerful relative. This same intellect led him to the life of a scholar in the capital city. When a family dispute erupts between Guyuk Khan and Batu, also both descendants of Genghis, Kublai is the one to act. The story proceeds through his intrigues and acts of military genius as his brother, Mongke, inherits the Khanate and charges his scholar brother to conquer the Sung territories of China. These battles will awaken the true brilliance of Kublai and forge him into a ruler. VERDICT Richard Ferrone’s no-nonsense narration is a perfect match for this tale of constant battle. This fifth and final installment in the Conqueror series will leave listeners more than satisfied. For listeners who enjoy the works of Bernard Cornwell, or, for those who don’t mind their epics a bit more fantastical, George R.R. Martin. ‚ Lisa Anderson, Metropolitan Community Coll. Lib., Omaha

starred review starPeters, Ralph. Cain at Gettysburg. 13 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 15¼ hrs. AudioGO. 2012. ISBN 9780792785293. $94.95; 13 CDs. retail ed.; digital download. F

Gettysburg has become the best-known and perhaps most critical battle of the Civil War owing to its implications and the terrible casualties. The characters’ points of view on both sides range from immigrant privates and ridge-runner sergeants to that of famous generals George Meade, Daniel Sickles, James Longstreet, and Robert E. Lee. The reader experiences the difficulty of marching through the mud and heat to the gut-wrenching fear of close combat. VERDICT Incredibly well written and researched, this title should enter the ranks of a classic. Peter Berkrot’s narration evokes emotion and a sense of a difficult bygone era. Hauntingly reminiscent of Michael Shaara’s The Killer Angels, Peters’s book is highly recommended. [For a less laudatory take on this title, read the review of the Forge hc, LJ 1/12.‚ Ed.]‚ Scott R. DiMarco, Mansfield Univ. of Pennsylvania Lib.

The following titles are reviewed in the April 1 print issue. Visit our Reviews Center (Beta) for the full reviews.


Goudge, Eileen. The Replacement Wife. 14 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 17 hrs. AudioGO. 2012. ISBN 9780792784746. $89.95; 14 CDs. retail ed.; 2 MP3-CDs. library ed.; Playaway digital; digital download. F

James, P.D. Death Comes to Pemberley. 8 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 9¾ hrs. Books on Tape. 2012. ISBN 9780449011171. $40; 8 CDs. retail ed. Random Audio; Playaway digital; digital download. F

Mayhew, Anna Jean. The Dry Grass of August. 9 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 9¬Ω hrs. Blackstone Audio. 2012. ISBN 9781455131891. $51.75; 1 MP3-CD. library ed.; Playaway digital; digital download. F

Roslund, Anders & Börge Hellström. Cell 8. 9 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 10¬æ hrs. Brilliance Audio. 2012. ISBN 9781455830541. $79.97; 9 CDs. retail ed.; 1 MP3-CD. library/retail eds.; Playaway digital; digital download. MYS

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Michael Rogers ( is Media Editor, Library Journal and Managing Editor of LJ Reviews.