Summer Listening | Wyatt’s World

The winners of the 2018 Audie Awards were announced last night, May 31, at the New-York Historical Society in New York City, helping to launch audiobook month. Here are some great genre picks to fill a display and suggest as sure bets to patrons.

  • All Systems Red by Martha Wells; read by Kevin R. Free (Recorded Bks.).
    With Rogue Protocol coming in August, Exit Strategy in October, and Artificial Condition out in May, this summer is the perfect time to start Wells’s “Murderbot Diaries” series. Winner of the Nebula Award and a finalist for this year’s Hugo, this first installment features a self-aware security cyborg with a dangerous past tasked with guarding a group of scientists on an expedition. Narrator Free tells the fast-paced story with a wonderful range of voices, capturing the tension and the “Murderbot” state of mind.
  • The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin; read by Robin Miles (Hachette Audio).
    Winning Hugo Awards for The Fifth Season and The Obelisk Gate and honored with a Nebula Award for this last book in the trilogy (also a finalist for this year’s Hugo, to be announced in August), Jemisin’s genre-crossing fantasy offers a stunning summer read. Miles’s performance earned her an Audie nomination for Best Female Narrator, with the book itself an award contender in the Science Fiction category.
  • Awakened by James S. Murray & Darren Wearmouth; read by James S. Murray (HarperAudio).
    Actor and comedian Murray’s debut novel, written with veteran author Wearmouth (Fast Forward), delivers a fast-paced sf thriller about a deadly disaster on a newly constructed subway line in New York City. As in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, the victims of this train learn too late that the engineers mined too deeply, awaking an ancient danger better left alone. Seasoned performer Murray narrates this chilling tale, already optioned for a TV series.
  • Crimson Lake by Candace Fox; read by Euan Morton (Macmillan Audio).
    One of the pleasures of summer vacation is getting away from it all. That concept is doubled in Fox’s novel, set in Queensland, Australia. Readers can armchair travel to this fun locale, with characters who also need a reprieve, as each is accused of dark crimes and now involved in a new one. Morton’s heady narration is seething with atmosphere and emotion.
  • The Thief by J.R. Ward; read by Jim Frangione (Random Audio).
    In this latest installment of Ward’s popular “Black Dagger” series, a sprawling paranormal urban fantasy/romance, yet another threat to the vampire world is set into action. With a broken heart and long shadows trailing after her, Sola Morte has left town with her grandmother. Only the imminent death of Assail brings her back, and the two slowly undertake a courtship characterized by sweetness and family, despite everyone in this world being caught in a pretty dark web. Frangione, a longtime reader of the series, approaches his performance in a straightforward manner.
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Neal Wyatt About Neal Wyatt

Neal Wyatt compiles LJ's online feature Wyatt's World and is the author of The Readers' Advisory Guide to Nonfiction (ALA Editions, 2007). She is a collection development and readers' advisory librarian from Virginia. Those interested in contributing to The Reader's Shelf should contact her directly at Readers_Shelf@comcast.net

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