Audiobook Review: New versions of the Discworld books

I have listened to many Discworld audiobooks, and my favourite narrator is, and will always be, Stephen Briggs. Stephen Briggs was a fan before he was a narrator and it’s possible to tell from listening to his narration. These new editions all have three narrators – a main narrator which changes with the series, Peter Serafinowicz who plays Death, and Bill Nighy as the footnotes.

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TBR Pile/Audiobook Review: False Value, by Ben Aaronovitch, Narrated by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith

Audible Audio, Unabridged UK Edition, 12 pages
Published February 20th 2020 by Orion Publishing Group Limited

Peter Grant is facing fatherhood, and an uncertain future, with equal amounts of panic and enthusiasm. Rather than sit around, he takes a job with émigré Silicon Valley tech genius Terrence Skinner’s brand new London start up – the Serious Cybernetics Company.

Drawn into the orbit of Old Street’s famous ‘silicon roundabout’, Peter must learn how to blend in with people who are both civilians and geekier than he is. Compared to his last job, Peter thinks it should be a doddle. But magic is not finished with Mama Grant’s favourite son.

Because Terrence Skinner has a secret hidden in the bowels of the SCC. A technology that stretches back to Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage, and forward to the future of artificial intelligence. A secret that is just as magical as it technological – and just as dangerous. 

My Review

The blurb is a lie. Everything is a deception. No, really, Peter has gone undercover, using his gardening leave and the investigation that caused it (death in custody of a suspect – see Lies Sleeping) as a cover. What he finds is a 19th century mystery and a tech guru who thinks he’s created the first true A.I. using a completed analytic engine and a song about Ada Lovelace.

Going under cover brings conflicts for Peter and Beverley, especially after they get to know Peter’s immediate superior and his family (Beverley Brook runs along the end of their garden), and the Librarians of New York start interfering in the operation.

There is the usual explosions and car chases, Peter getting trapped by magical devices, Nightingale being acerbic, Discworld references, and this time with bonus heavily pregnant Beverley.

I listened to this one while I was out and about, or at home crocheting. Kobna Holdbrook-Smith is really good at giving Peter Grant a voice. His intonation and reading speed is perfect.

Highly recommended.

TBR Audiobook Review: Iron Widow, by Xiran Jay Zhao

Audible Audio, Unabridged
Published September 21st 2021 by Penguin Teen

The boys of Huaxia dream of pairing up with girls to pilot Chrysalises, giant transforming robots that can battle the mecha aliens that lurk beyond the Great Wall. It doesn’t matter that the girls often die from the mental strain.

When 18-year-old Zetian offers herself up as a concubine-pilot, it’s to assassinate the ace male pilot responsible for her sister’s death. But she gets her vengeance in a way nobody expected—she kills him through the psychic link between pilots and emerges from the cockpit unscathed. She is labelled an Iron Widow, a much-feared and much-silenced kind of female pilot who can sacrifice boys to power up Chrysalises instead.​

To tame her unnerving yet invaluable mental strength, she is paired up with Li Shimin, the strongest and most controversial male pilot in Huaxia​. But now that Zetian has had a taste of power, she will not cower so easily. She will miss no opportunity to leverage their combined might and infamy to survive attempt after attempt on her life, until she can figure out exactly why the pilot system works in its misogynist way—and stop more girls from being sacrificed. 

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Audiobook Review: Vows of Gold and Laughter, Tale One of the Immortal Beings by Edith Pawlicki  and narrated by Zachary Zaba 


The meeting of four lonely immortals will change them – and the world.

High in the Heavens, an immortal court celebrates the betrothal of Jin, Goddess of Beauty, and Xiao, God of Pleasure. But as soon as the vows are made, the Sun Emperor collapses from a death curse.

Raised away from the Sun Court after her mother’s murder, Jin is called a useless goddess, but she is now the emperor’s only hope. The curse’s cure is locked in the Underworld, and even though the court dismisses him as a hopeless alcoholic, Xiao vows to help his betrothed find the lost key.

They hire a thief who is more interested in stealing the groom than recovering the key, and begin their search at the legendary grave of the Great Warrior – only it turns out he never died. Tens of millennia old, he is a master of everything but his own heart.

Their journey takes them from the icy peaks of the White Mountain and the lush banks of the Kuanbai River to the palace of the Sea Dragon and the halls of the Moon Deer, through court intrigue and bloody battles, power struggles and magical traps. The Heavens, Earth, and the Underworld will forever celebrate their triumphs – and mourn their mistakes.

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Author Bio
Edith Pawlicki lives in Connecticut with her husband, twin sons, dog, and rabbit. She fell in love with words in fourth grade and finds writing necessary to free the worlds and characters in her head. When she isn’t busy being a mom and author, she enjoys cooking and crafts. In addition to the Immortal Beings series, she has also written a YA science fiction novel, Minerva. 

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Audiobook Review: The Jasmine Throne, by Tasha Suri, narrated by Shiromi Arserio

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Published June 8th 2021 by Orbit
ISBN:154910487X (ISBN13: 9781549104879)
Series: Burning Kingdoms #1

Tasha Suri’s The Jasmine Throne begins the powerful Burning Kingdoms trilogy, in which two women–a long-imprisoned princess and a maidservant in possession of forbidden magic–come together to rewrite the fate of an empire.

Exiled by her despotic brother when he claimed their father’s kingdom, Malini spends her days trapped in the Hirana: an ancient, cliffside temple that was once the source of the magical deathless waters, but is now little more than a decaying ruin.

A servant in the regent’s household, Priya makes the treacherous climb to the Hirana every night to clean Malini’s chambers. She is happy to play the role of a drudge so long as it keeps anyone from discovering her ties to the temple and the dark secret of her past.

But when Malini bears witness to Priya’s true nature, their destinies become irrevocably tangled. One is a vengeful princess seeking to steal a throne. The other is a powerful priestess seeking to find her family. Together, they will set an empire ablaze.

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