Amazing Audiobooks (#AA2021) Nominees Round Up, July 1 Edition

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

Chain of Gold cover art

Chain of Gold (The Last Hours Book 1) by Cassandra Clare; narrated by Finty Williams
Simon & Schuster Audio
Release date: 03-03-20
ISBN: 978-1442386402
Cordelia Carstairs wants to be a hero.  Recently relocated to London, Cordelia, although born an angel blessed demon-killing Shadowhunter, is expected to marry to save the family’s good name. Set in the early 20th century, she is expected to follow the gender norms of the time.  However, a new kind of demon has arrived in the city, and Cordelia and her childhood friends (one of whom she is secretly in love with) must band together to save the city in spite of the adult Shadowhunter’s complacency born of several years of demon-free living.

The start of a new Shadowhunters trilogy, this story is narrated by Finty Williams with a beautiful accent.  Readers will feel kinship with the characters as the city goes into quarantine to avoid the sickness being spread by the demons. The book also includes a short story prequel at the end, and fitting music over the credits. 

All readers of Cassandra Clare’s other Shadowhunter books will want to read this new story, starring those characters briefly introduced in the short stories Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy.   Those fans of Will and Tessa from The Infernal Devices will especially be happy to see their children growing into their own here.  Anyone who enjoys the fight between good and evil with excellent fantasy world building like that of Sarah J Maas and Holly Black will enjoy Chain of Gold.

–Cathy Outten

The Guinevere Deception cover art

The Guinevere Deception by Kiersten White Narrated by Elizabeth Knowelden
Listening Library
Publication Date: November 5, 2019
ISBN: 978-0525581673

When sixteen-year-old Guinevere arrives in the fledgling kingdom of Camelot to marry King Arthur, she does so with a dangerous secret. She is not a princess, but a magic practitioner sent to Camelot by the banished wizard Merlin. Her true purpose is to protect the city and its young sovereign from the menace of dark magic. However, the magic Guinevere wields is forbidden, so she must keep her true identity and her mission secret. Anyone in Camelot could be the source of the threat to Arthur, and Guinevere must risk her life to stop the evil forces at work before it is too late.  

The Guinevere Deception is an engaging tale of magic, court intrigue, and suspense. Elizabeth Knowelden narrates Guinevere’s heart-pounding investigations into the threats against Camelot with a quiet, driven intensity. She deftly uses differences in voice tone to distinguish among a cast of memorable characters. Listeners will be drawn in by the complexity of Guinvere’s character and a myriad of plot twists.

Recommend The Guinevere Deception to fans of Susan Dennard’s Witchlands series, Holly Black’s Folk of the Air trilogy, or Kiersten White’s other titles that feature fierce female leads. Teens who enjoy reimaginings of Arthurian legends, such as the tv show Merlin or Amy Rose Capetta’s novel Once & Future, will also enjoy The Guinevere Deception.

-Allison Riendeau

Where the World Ends cover art

Where the World Ends by Geraldine McCaughrean; Narrated by Angus King
Macmillan Audio/Flatiron Books 
Publication Date: December 3, 2019
ISBN: 978-1528848497

Set in the year 1727 in the St. Kilda’s archipelago, far off the  northwest corner of Scotland, a group of boys and a few men from the town of Hirta go on an expedition to Warrior’s Stack, a small sea stack, to harvest its birds for food and oil. When the boat that was supposed to come retrieve them never arrives, they know there could only be one reason – the end of the world happened, and they were forgotten in the rapturing.  Based on a true event, Where the World Ends shows their survival through both humor and humanity. 

Angus King’s Scottish brogue helps to set the scene in this rustic Outer Hebrides seascape, and King moves effortlessly between characters during dialogue. Teen listeners will get both McCaughrean’s sense of place and the love for the characters she has drawn. 

Fans of rich world building like Frances Hardinge’s Deeplight and A Face Like Glass will appreciate the richly drawn world. Fans of the survival story will also appreciate McCaughrean’s A White Darkness, Terry Pratchett’s Nation, as well as both the audio and movie of Yann Martel’s Life of Pi.

Danielle Jones