August/September 2013

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Science Fiction & Fantasy BLOOD OF DRAGONS: Rain Wilds Chronicles, Book 4 Robin Hobb Read by Anne Flosnik The final book in the Rain Wilds Chronicles will be better understood with the background from the prior books. Anne Flosnik picks up the tale as the young dragons and their human caretakers struggle to recover knowle d g e o f d r a g o n m a g i c . Fl o s n i k ' s presentation of characters is consistent with that of the prior books in the series; voices for male characters are a bit strained and hoarse but effective. Na r r a t i n g a t a s t e a d y p a c e , s h e chronicles the parallel stories of the neighboring duke who is seeking dragon parts to stave off old age and the dragons who seek to recover their former glory. Overall, Flosnik creates atmosphere and builds on the characters' relationships. J.E.M. Harper Audio 16.25 hrs. Unabridged Trade Ed.: DD ISBN 9780062190529 $27.99 Dreamscape Library Ed.: CD ISBN 9781624063060 $59.99 ANITA Keith Roberts Read by Nicola Barber Neil Gaiman Presents reintroduces listeners to Keith Roberts's flirty witch, Anita. Anita flits about an idyllic British countryside, tackling magical good deeds in spite of Granny's strict tutelage. Her other hobby is ensorcelling most of the male population. Narrator Nicola Barber quickly enchants listeners with Anita's spells, but it takes a few chapters to puzzle out the story's loose episodic format. Barber realistically portrays Anita's mercurial shifts from delight to despair. She also establishes the contrast between Anita and Granny. Anita's silvery voice sweetly cajoles while Gran's broad shire dialect sounds as thick as pudding. Barber unites the two with carefully paced prose that invites listeners to find magic in every moment. C.A. 2013 Audies Winner Audible, Inc./ Neil Gaiman Presents 9 hrs. Unabridged Trade Ed.: DD $19.95 THE BRIDE WORE BLACK LEATHER: Nightside, Book 12 Simon R. Green Read by Marc Vietor Mark Vietor, the undisputed voice of the Nightside, is in top form delivering Green's final Nightside book. This quickpaced and irresistibly quirky outing sees John Taylor, Nightside P.I. and recently appointed Walker of the Nightside, on the hunt for one last case before his impending marriage. Vietor's familiarity with the series shows as he deftly brings each character to life with subtle inflections and a sense of humor. His narration emphasizes not only the wild inventiveness of the plot but also the emotionality inherent in this series finale. However, several references to Green's other series ensure fans that this is not the last they've heard of the Nightside and its denizens. B.E.K. 2013 Audies Finalist Audible, Inc. 10.5 hrs. Unabridged Trade Ed.: DD $24.95 Mark Vietor is in top form delivering Green's final Nightside book. SMOKE AND MIRRORS: Short Fictions and Illusions Neil Gaiman Read by Neil Gaiman This Neil Gaiman sampler offers further proof that he's an outstanding storyteller and a strong narrator. The collection of 34 short works, some new and some previously published, includes science-fiction, creation, erotic, and horror tales. The stories are often reminiscent of "Twilight Zone" episodes. Gaiman performs each one with fervor and apt character portrayals. His narration is ethereal and enthralling as it brings his imagination to life, the only distraction being the varying success he has employing American accents. Skip the story introductions until after listening to each title. The author's reflections on the origins of each tale are more meaningful after having experienced the work. K.C.R. Harper Audio 10.5 hrs. Unabridged Trade Ed.: DD ISBN 9780062291233 $24.99 THE SILVER DREAM Neil Gaiman, Michael Reaves Read by Alexander Cendese This second book in the young adult InterWorld series was conceived by Gaiman and Michael Reaves and written by Reaves with assistance from his daughter. Narrator Alexander Cendese has a knack for portraying the angst and bravado of 16-year-old Joey and the varied personalities of his cyborgs, as well as the newly introduced character, Acacia. Cendese reflects Joey's high level of energy as he sets out on new missions and tries to remedy his standing as an outcast at the station. In retrospective moments, Cendese keeps the pace moving and savors the dry humor. Joey and his fellow time walkers' defense of the Altiverse will be better understood after listening to the first in the series. J.E.M. Harper Audio 5.75 hrs. Unabridged Young Adult Trade Ed.: DD ISBN 9780062254030 $18.99 August/September 2013 I 53

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