If a year ago you’d tell me that I would be shelling out money on a regular basis to listen to audiobooks I would have laughed in your face. Audiobooks never suited me. I didn’t look down on them, I actually thought they were really cool but they never seemed to work out for me.
When I look back I realise I just had some bad experiences with platforms and not so great narrators. This year I really started getting into audiobooks when I tried out a free trial for both Scribd and Storytel. Let me tell you this, I fell in love. There were so many amazing books to choose from, I could read while doing chores and oh my god I could increase the speed! While Scribd was great, I ended up purchasing a membership for Storytel since it’s extremely affordable in my country whereas Scribd… yeah I’m just a broke college student.
I was also pleasantly surprised at the number of YA books I found on Storytel. I’m literally able to find every new release I’m looking forward to and gosh I’ve had some amazing experiences! A few of the audiobook narrators just transported me right into that book with their beautiful narrations and today I just want to talk about them because audiobook narrators seem to be severely underappreciated 😦
5 Audiobook Narrators Who Transformed My Reading Experience
1. NEIL SHAH
I’ve heard Neil Shah’s voice in The Test which is a short fiction story by Sylvain Neuvel. This story is fantastic at its own level but oh my god the narrator took it to the next level. Seriously the amount of animation that Shah brought to this book was incredible. The panic, pain, shock, and grief – everything was so realistic. I had goosebumps and this book left me heartbroken and also pretty shocked and I would definitely recommend the audiobook experience for this story.
Also by Neil Shah: wow, this guy is sort of a narrator celebrity and if I were to list the books he has voiced we would be here all day.
2. ALMARIE GUERRA DE WILSON
I’ve only heard Almarie’s voice in Ghost Squad by Claribel Ortega but I’m just so impressed. This grown-ass woman had me convinced that her voice was a middle-grade girl determined to save her family. She sounded so adorable and determined and I just loved that I could listen to her sing the Spanish rhymes and songs which just enriched my experience.
Also by Almarie Guerra de Wilson: I couldn’t find any other book by this narrator but I hope more authors contact her for their audiobooks!
3. AYSHA KALA
Okay, here’s the deal. Aysha Kala narrates An Ember In The Ashes series by Sabaa Tahir as Laia and I can’t get her voice out of my head. First off, just her voice, her voice is so amazing I’m in love. Second, she just captures the character so freaking well, I could cry. When I read the second book in ebook format, I just had her voice in my head the entire time and I just feel that Sabaa got herself the perfect Laia.
Also by Aysha Kala: I’m so excited to see that Kala has narrated a lot of books, the most famous ones being Alice Oseman’s I Was Born for This and Radio Silence.
4. JACK FARRAR
Again, I heard this guy as Elias in the An Ember In The Ashes series by Sabaa Tahir and he just makes a great Elias. The combination of Aysha Kala and Jack Farrar had me reading, I’ve never been so into an audiobook. I literally pushed through my headache and finished the audiobook in two sittings. God, I had a bad hangover after that.
Also by Jack Farrar: I don’t think he’s done much other than Sabaa’s works so I look forward to hearing him in other audiobooks 🙂
5. BILLIE FULFORD-BROWN
I heard Billie’s voice in Sea Witch and also Sea Witch Rising by Sarah Henning and there’s something very magical about her voice that fits right into the fantasy setting. I don’t want to give any spoilers but I just love how the narrator had a command over the vast emotions that pan over the books. The second book was especially more different and revengeful and I just- I have no words left. There’s some spell casting in these books too and it was just done so well, I could hear Billie casting those spells all day.
Also by Billie Fulford-Brown: Not only does she have a lot of audiobooks, but she also seems to be an actress which is so impressive. The only other audiobook she has worked on which I’ve heard of is Bone Crier’s Moon.
What are your experiences with audiobooks?
Do you have any favourite audiobook narrators?
How do you listen to audiobooks?