Amazing Audiobooks (#AA2025) Featured Review: The Diablo’s Curse by Gabe Cole Novoa

  • The Diablo’s Curse
  • by Gabe Cole Novoa 
  • Narrated by Vico Ortiz
  • Imprint / Listening Library
  • Publication Date: February 20, 2024
  • ISBN: 9780593795033

After living most of their existence as the apprentice of a Diablo, Dami finally gets the opportunity to change from demon to human. They only have to cancel every deal they’ve made…in less than a year. This leads them on the path of adventure as they find a lost treasure, and nullify a deadly curse. 

Sometimes the best way to experience a story is to hear it being read to you. Adventures can be among the most exciting to listen to as an audiobook. The Diablo’s Curse is a very humorous adventure that is reminiscent of an old fairy tale. On top of that, this story features a character that is nonbinary. Something that many teens will not only relate to, but also enjoy reading about. It also is an aspect that is unfortunately rarely seen in a majority of literature. 

The narration for this book was phenomenal. Vico Ortiz’s Spanish accent and pronunciations were flawless. Their reading and accurate portrayal of the characters’ voices just added another level to the story, bringing it to life. 
Anyone who loves a good treasure and The Curse of Oak Island, will find similar aspects as they follow Dami and Silas on their hunt for the cursed treasure. This book also shares the similar plot-line of a demon wishing to leave that line of service and wishing to enjoy life among humans, as the television show Lucifer.

– L.B. Ferguson

Other Nominated Titles

Release Date: January 9, 2024
Release Date: February 27, 2024
September 5, 2023

The Selected Lists teams read throughout the year in search of the best titles published in their respective categories. Once a book is suggested (either internally or through the title suggestion form), it must pass through a review process to be designated an official nomination.

Each week, the teams feature a review of one of the officially nominated titles. Additional titles to receive this designation are listed as well. At year’s end, the team will curate a final list from all nominated titles and select a Top Ten.

Amazing Audiobooks (#AA2025) Featured Review: For Girls Who Walk Through Fire by Kim DeRose

  • For Girls Who Walk Through Fire
  • by Kim DeRose
  • Narrated by Mia Hutchinson-Shaw
  • Dreamscape Media
  • Publication Date: October 3, 2023
  • ISBN: 9781666647594

Armed with a spell book from her late mother, Elliott creates a coven of witches with her sexual assault survivor support group. This group of young women plans to exact revenge on their attackers and find the justice they are lacking. While the book warns of blowback, these magical vigilantes are ready to stop their assailants by any means necessary. As the coven gets closer and the stakes get higher, Elliott and her friends will need to decide what justice truly means. 

The magic elements of this story explore the implications of sexual assault in unique ways and open up discussion about individual journeys of healing. The grotesque scenes of revenge give this story a horrific tone, which pairs nicely with its magical realism. Hutchinson-Shaw’s narration ensured that each survivor’s voice was distinct and helped listeners easily distinguish the difference between them. This audiobook’s magic take on real-world issues will compel listeners to continue the conversation on the state of survivorship in our society. 

Readers who are looking for more after finishing All the Fighting Parts by Hannah V Sawyerr and don’t mind a bit of fantasy will find a great follow-up in this audiobook. DeRose’s story is also perfect for readers who enjoyed Girls with Sharp Sticks. This novel is a wonderful callback to movies like The Craft and television shows like The Secret Circle.

-Sarah Carpenter

Other Nominated Titles

Release Date: January 9, 2024
Release Date: February 27, 2024
Release Date: September 5, 2023

The Selected Lists teams read throughout the year in search of the best titles published in their respective categories. Once a book is suggested (either internally or through the title suggestion form), it must pass through a review process to be designated an official nomination.

Each week, the teams feature a review of one of the officially nominated titles. Additional titles to receive this designation are listed as well. At year’s end, the team will curate a final list from all nominated titles and select a Top Ten.

Amazing Audiobooks (#AA2025) Featured Review: What the River Knows by Isabel Ibañez

After the mysterious death of her parents, Inez Olivera sets out from her home in Argentina to visit the place they lived and lost their lives, Egypt. There she meets her new guardian and his handsome assistant who try to send her back home to Buenos Aires. Instead, she sneaks onto a ship headed to the archaeological site where her parents were last seen in the hopes that she might uncover the truth behind their disappearance. Along the way the magic she is using to guide her search ends up leading her to uncover more than just the truth about her parents’ death.

What the River Knows is a historical fantasy set in Egypt in the 1880s. It is full of adventure, mystery, magic, and intrigue. The immersive setting, engaging plot, and strong characters come together to create a world that will draw readers in and keep them engaged with twists and turns. The narration of Hamad and Osorio does an excellent job expressing the emotions and tension of the characters and situations in the book. The narrators have a strong grasp of proper pronunciation of words in multiple languages in the book.The use of music and multiple narrators was also a nice addition to the overall production.

Readers who enjoyed Divine Rivals by Rebecca Ross or books by Chloe Gong or R.F. Kuang would enjoy this story. It would also be a perfect read for fans of The Mummy. Additionally, readers who enjoy mythology based stories like the Kane Chronicles by Rick Riordan would find elements of this book appealing.

-Haley Shaw

Other Nominated Titles

Release Date: February 27, 2024
Release Date: September 26, 2023
Release Date: November 7, 2023

The Selected Lists teams read throughout the year in search of the best titles published in their respective categories. Once a book is suggested (either internally or through the title suggestion form), it must pass through a review process to be designated an official nomination.

Each week, the teams feature a review of one of the officially nominated titles. Additional titles to receive this designation are listed as well. At year’s end, the team will curate a final list from all nominated titles and select a Top Ten.

Amazing Audiobooks (#AA2025) Featured Review: Till Human Voices Wake Us by Rebecca Roque

  • Till Human Voices Wake Us
  • by Rebecca Roque
  • Narrated by Imani Jade Powers
  • Imprint / Blackstone Publishing
  • Publication Date: February 27, 2024
  • ISBN: 9798212338356

Seventeen-year-old Cia does not wish to dwell on her fiery and mysterious past. That is until her best friend is found dead in the Quarry. Everyone believes her death was a suicide. Cia, though, believes differently. Especially, after she digs deeper into her town’s secrets, some of which involve her own family. 

Till Human Voices Wake Us takes the reader on a roller coaster of compelling and dark twists and turns. It is a young adult mystery/thriller that incorporates a lot of topics almost at once. Some of the topics featured in this novel include teen pregnancy, drug abuse,  secret societies, corruption, and LGBTQ characters and relationships. Yet, the author, Rebecca Roque, still somehow manages to keep it all from being overly complicated. 

The narrator did a fantastic job with narrating this story. She brought the characters to life, complete with accents, expression, diction, tone, and suspense. The reading and inclusion of Spanish, when spoken, sounded fluid and natural to the ear. All these aspects just add that extra layer to the overall performance.

Readers will find similar themes, pace, and of Holly Jackson’s A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder, Maureen Johnson’s Truly Devious, and Barry Lgya’s Time Will Tell will definitely love this story. They will find many of the same suspenseful elements as suspenseful tone, edgy betrayals, and young adult sleuths digging deeper and deeper into those specific societies’ and even family secrets. 

 -L.B. Ferguson

Other Nominated Titles

Release Date: Oct. 31, 2023
Release Date: September 5, 2023
Release Date: February 20, 2024

The Selected Lists teams read throughout the year in search of the best titles published in their respective categories. Once a book is suggested (either internally or through the title suggestion form), it must pass through a review process to be designated an official nomination.

Each week, the teams feature a review of one of the officially nominated titles. Additional titles to receive this designation are listed as well. At year’s end, the team will curate a final list from all nominated titles and select a Top Ten.