Click here to see all of the current Amazing Audiobooks nominees along with more information about the list and past years’ selections.
Chaotic Good by Whitney Gardner; Narrated by Patricia Santomasso
Publication Date: December 31, 2019
Cameron is a talented clothing designer and seamstress, and her favorite creations are cosplay. When she and her family move from Portland to the smaller town of Eugene, Oregon the summer before her senior year, she wants to put all her effort into her portfolio for design school. Unfortunately, she has online trolls harassing her because of her limited video game and comic book knowledge, and a real-life bully who works at the local comic shop and thinks all girls know nothing about comic book canon and nerd fandoms.
Cameron’s twin brother helps her dress as a boy so she can shop at the comic shop in peace, but her life becomes complicated as she becomes friends with some of the guys at the shop and has to continue her ruse.
There is a predictable rom-com element that many listeners will enjoy, and Patricia Santomasso voices Cameron with a great balance of energy and vulnerability. The plot stresses that art is personal and that people have feelings, even online.
This audiobook will resonate with Dungeons and Dragons players, teen cosplayers, and anyone who has dealt with trolls online. Those who love Big Bang Theoryand Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl will find parallels in the power of being a fan.
Rules for Vanishing by Kate Alice Marshall; Narrated by Jesse Vilinsky, Robbie Daymond, and Rob Shapiro
Penguin Random House
Publication Date: September 24, 2019
Sara’s sister Becca disappeared last year when she left to follow a ghostly road and a legend about a missing girl named Lucy Gallows. When a mysterious text message is sent to Sara a year later, she and a group of friends decide to follow the road and discover what happened to Becca. But the road is perilous, full of danger and not what it appears to be. There are rules that need to be followed if you’re going to travel it safely, rules that if broken could mean you are trapped traveling on the road forever. Sara and her friends must stick together and rely on each other if they’re ever going to make it to the end of the road.
This compelling horror story is uniquely told with first-person accounts, texts, emails and descriptions of police evidence. These different elements are smoothly layered using varying narrators to help the listener distinguish between each part of this creepy, twisty story. Vilinsky’s chilling narration of Sara’s inner dialogue as she navigates the riddles of the road perfectly captures the haunting, foreboding feel of the story.
Not for the faint of heart, this story is perfect for those that enjoy unreliable narrators, recurrent surprises and missing sisters similar to The Tenth Girl by Sara Faring and Here There Are Monsters by Amelinda Berube. If readers are looking for more dangerous ghost roads and supernatural beings then The Devouring Gray by Christine Lynn Herman is a good next choice.