Amazing Audiobooks (#AA2021) Nominees Round Up, May 20 Edition

Click here to see all of the current Amazing Audiobooks nominees along with more information about the list and past years’ selections.

Allies audiobook cover art

Allies by Alan Gratz Narrated by Jamie Cline, Vaneh Assadourian, PJ Ochlan, Matthew Frow, Marc Anthony Samuel, Norah Hunter
Scholastic Audio
Publication Date: October 15, 2019
ISBN: 9781338567182

Allies follows the lives of six different young people on D-Day, June 6th, 1944. Dee a German national who grew up in the states and lies about his age to join the Army, Samira an Algerian girl whose mother is a French resistance spy, James a Canadian paratrooper, Henry an African American medic from Chicago, Bill an English tank driver and Monique a French girl living in a village outside of Normandy Beach. The narrative zips between these six stories which often intersect, telling how each of our main characters got to June 6th and leaving the reader wondering if they’ll make it to June 7th alive. This audiobook is an account of young people’s activity in WWII minus the extreme gore or language found in many adult books. 

Readers will be fascinated by the detailed looks into the different aspects of this historical day. From a parachute jump while loaded with over one hundred pounds of gear to treating a chest wound on a bullet-riddled beach each story line brings fast paced battle and decision making into sharp focus. The narrators do a great job of using different dialects and accents to give more authenticity to their characters making it an enjoyable listening experience as well as an easy way to track when different plots and characters cross paths.  

A great recommendation for teens of all ages, Allies will appeal to readers of Jennifer A. Nielsen’s Resistance and Lifeboat 12 by Susan Hood. Those who have already devoured Gratz’s other WWII era novels such as B-3087 and Grenade will likely be thrilled to listen to this newest title.

–Natalie LaRocque

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Gideon the Ninth: The Locked Tomb Trilogy, Book 1 by Tamsyn Muir; Narrated by Moira Quick
Recorded Books / Tor
Publication Date: September 10, 2019
ISBN: 978-1980004882

Necromancy, sword-fighting, court intrigues, and ancient puzzles, are center stage in the Gothic fantasy space opera. Malcontent and loveless lesbian Gideon has spent most of her life attempting to escape the drudgery of the Ninth and her life of servitude. Just as she is about to escape the Ninth completely, she is given the option to end her sentence legitimately by serving as cavalier and bodyguard to her childhood nemesis, Harrowhark Nonagesimus, who is heir to the Ninth as she pursues the chance to become Lyctor to the Necromancer Divine. When Gideon and Harrow are locked in  with other candidates, people start mysteriously being killed off. 

Muir’s writing is smart, snarky, and sentence-level hilarious, and Quick’s narration captures this. Quick elevates Muir’s world building and character development with her voice acting and range. With a full cast of characters, Quick helps the listener keep track of who is who with the many voices she is able to do. 

Fans of Deadpool will appreciate Gideon’s snarky, but charming, bite. Filled with humor and necromancy this will be a great companion to Lish McBride’s Hold Me Closer, Necromancer. For those like LGBTQ+ books with great world building, this goes in the same vein as Rainbow Rowell’s Carry On, Sara Rees Brennan’s In Other Lands, and Patrick Ness’ The Rest of Us Just Live Here.

–Danielle Jones