Top Ten Tuesday: Audiobook Narrators I Adore

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl, wherein each week bloggers list out their Top Ten.

This week’s prompt was a freebie – so I thought to talk about my favorite audiobook narrators! I have read over a 100 audiobooks at this point, and let me tell you – a good voice actor is crucial for how much you enjoy the book! There are books that have great storylines but their narrators aren’t really good, or they do weird things to character voices and, well, the book is just ruined. I usually switch to ebook/print if I can, in such cases. In other cases, a good narrator makes a good story shine even more, because of their brilliant voice characterization or nuanced voice acting of. Sometimes, I even seek out an audiobook of a particular title, instead of its ebook, just for the narrator. So, lets stop me rambling and lets start me gushing about my top 10 narrators!

Will Patton

The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1)  The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle, #2) Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle, #3) The Raven King (The Raven Cycle, #4)

He has a special place in my heart, because it was his narration in The Raven Cycle that started my love for audiobooks. Before that, I had tried out another audiobook (that I got as a gift) but the narrator wasn’t good, so it wasn’t until him that I really thought to give audio a try. He does a great job with the characters, even with female ones – and the different accents and voices for each character just give it an extra kick!

Marisa Calin

Daughter of the Pirate King (Daughter of the Pirate King, #1) Daughter of the Siren Queen (Daughter of the Pirate King, #2) Witches of Lychford (Lychford, #1)

She is another narrator who does voices well, for male and female voices. Her portrayal of Alosa in Daughter of the Pirate King gave an extra dimension to the character – you know Alosa is a bit of a spitfire, a bit arrogant and Calin’s job with her is so good at bringing that out! She also does the love interest Riden’s voice very well, bringing out the banter between the two quite well. On the other hand, she also does the quieter characters of Witches of Lychford nicely! I look forward to reading Tricia Leveseller’s Warrior of the Wild in her voice, soon.

Steve West

The Scorpio Races The Crown's Fate

Steve West’s voice feels a bit more heavier for younger male characters, but he makes it work very well for Sean in The Scorpio Races and in The Crown’s Fate. His narration is always evocative, and I guess he does broody characters very well, so he remains one of my favorites, despite his older sounding voice. Might read the Unearthed series by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff in audiobook for him.

Katherine Kellgren

My Lady Jane (The Lady Janies, #1)

I’ve only read one book of hers (a majority of hers are MG titles, and only a few YA titles) but I loved how well she did the humor in this book. From the banter between Jane and her husband, to Edward’s painful crush, Kellgren brings out the characters in marvellous detail. I hope to read the Tearling series in her voice; in fact I’ve been holding off on reading the ebooks I already have so that I will read it in audio first.

Fiona Hardingam

The Scorpio Races

I loved her portrayal of Puck in The Scorpio Races; she brings out the ‘vinegar’ of the character so well. Also she nails the petty way that Puck says ‘Sean Kendrick’ – it made me giggle every single time; that’s exactly what I mean when I say a good narrator adds to the way the characters are presented in the book! I don’t have many of her titles on my reading lists but if I ever reread the Furyborn books I will do so in audio.

Marguerite Gavin

The Turn: The Hollows Begins with Death (The Hollows #0.1) For a Few Demons More (The Hollows #5) The Outlaw Demon Wails (The Hollows, #6) White Witch, Black Curse (The Hollows #7) Black Magic Sanction (The Hollows, #8) Pale Demon (The Hollows, #9) Ever After (The Hollows, #11)

First heard her in The Turn, and since then I have been a fan. I even chose the audio editions of some of The Hollows books to reread (she has done all of the books, BTW), because she was doing them. Her voice of Jenks is spot on, with that ‘UHhh Rrrrrrrache?!’ nailing his style; her voices for  Rachel and every other female character were also good but the male voices she did often sounded too similar. Her narration is slower than most, too, so I often have to read it at higher than 1.2X, but its not really a hardship.

Thom Rivera

All the Crooked Saints

I loved his style in All the Crooked Saints, and because the way the story is told in the third person, he does a good job of the storytelling. His voice was light and fluffy, and it gave a more mystical and fairytale vibe to the story. I’d love to read another audiobook by him, but sadly none of his current titles are on my reading lists or my radar, so I guess I wait for whenever the next such one comes.

Cecil Baldwin

It Devours! (Welcome to Night Vale, #2)

Cecil Baldwin is like a ‘duh obvious’ choice for an audiobook narrator because he has been doing the Welcome to NightVale podcast for years now. So obviously I grabbed the audiobook of It Devours ASAP when I learned he was going to be narrating it. To say he brings his characters to life would be an understatement, as Cecil Palmer is Cecil Palmer thanks to him. His is mostly third-person narrative so he hasn’t had to do much voices, though.

Libba Bray

Beauty Queens

Yeah, she actually narrates her own book – and does an awesome job of it! The humor, the ad jingles, the various characters – all done so well! There’s an author’s note of sorts that she does at the end which is also interesting to listen to. Sadly, that’s the only time she has done audio so I guess we wait until the next time she lends her spectacular voice to hers or anyone else’s titles.

Seanan McGuire

Down Among the Sticks and Bones (Wayward Children, #2)

Another author who has done audio for her own title – and quite well, might I add. Her narration brings out the atmosphere of this gothic-ish story very well, the mellow tone of her voice giving it a tragic air. Would definitely love for her to do more audiobooks!


What settings would you like to see more of?

14 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Audiobook Narrators I Adore

  1. Ooooh… I had no idea Libba Bray and Seannan McGuire narrated their own novels! I might have to check them out now.

    A good narrator makes all the difference. I don’t care how good the book is, if your narrator sucks, you’re not going to enjoy it. That said, I recently finished listening to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and it was narrated by Stephen Fry. I swear, listening to his posh and proper voice narrating such ridiculous happenings made my favorite book ten times better.

    Here is our Top Ten Tuesday. Thank you!

  2. OHHH, THIS IS REALLY COOL! I love your take for today’s freebie prompt! And I’ve never tried audiobook before, so this post is really interesting because I just never think about the possibility of having favorite narrator before (?) Excuse my ignorant self but maybe I’ll have my own favorite list too once I get into audiobooks! Great post!

  3. I didn’t realise Seannan McGuire voiced her own books but it makes so much sense. The narration fits so well with her book styles so I’m not even surprised haha.

  4. Pingback: July 2019 Wrap-Up | YA on my Mind

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