10 Audiobook Narrators We Love
It’s no secret we’re huge fans of audiobooks here on The BiblioSanctum. Whether you’re on the road, busy working, or just generally have your hands too full to read, listening to audiobooks is a great way to enjoy books thanks to the talented voice actors and actresses who narrate them. This “10…” post is inspired by some of our favorite narrators who bring these stories and characters to life!
At the top of our lists is Simon Vance. The quality of his performances is undeniable, and if you doubt us, he’s got the Audie and Earphone Awards to prove it. And the sheer number of books that he has narrated is staggering! It’s no wonder the majority of the audiobooks on our Audible.com wishlists are narrated by Mr. Vance, including books we’ve already read, but want to hear him read it anyway. None of us could pick a favourite performance, so instead, why not check out his favourite!
Mogsy says: An accomplished actress, Lorelei King is definitely a favorite narrator of mine. Not only that, one of the first audiobooks I ever listened to was read by her – Moon Called by Patricia Briggs. I thought they couldn’t have chosen a better voice for Mercy Thompson, and since then I have picked up most of the other audiobooks in the series. Sure, I could have read the books, but I’d much rather listen to Ms. King’s performance. She certainly made an impression on me, and played a huge part in launching my interest in audiobooks.
Wendy says: My mage may have fallen in love with Fenris almost entirely because of his voice in Dragon Age II. And I may have started listening to The Laundry Files series entirely because they are narrated by Gideon Emery. Emery’s voice peppers many other video games that I play, so why shouldn’t I let him invade my reading hobby too. Lest you think my opinion of his narration is entirely biased by my infatuation, I am pleased to report that he does an excellent job narrating the Atrocity Archives, expertly maneuvering through various characters and bringing the right amount of feeling to each of them.
Tiara says: Most people know him as Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Fewer people know that he narrates Jim Butcher’s The Dresden Files with the exception of one book. Admittedly, as a fan of the short-lived show, it took me a minute to get over the fact that he wasn’t Paul Blackthorne when I listened to Fool Moon, but once I did, I was impressed with how he really brought the book to life and made a promise to listen to the rest of this series on audiobook due to his amazing performance. He has the perfect voice and attitude for the urban fantasy series.
Mogsy says: The fantasy audiobook lover will be no stranger to Michael Page. His recent performances I’ve enjoyed include books by Joe Abercrombie and Scott Lynch, but Mr. Page has been narrating audiobooks since 1984 and has recorded over two hundred titles and won several awards since. In the past, I’ve been motivated to pick up the audiobook versions of several books on my TBR solely based on his name attached to them, which probably accounts for the great number of fantasy titles he’s narrated in my library.
Wendy says: When I started listening to The Raven Boys, I was a bit surprised that a male was narrating a book with a female lead, surrounded by a large group of females. I’m still a bit new to audiobooks, so this might be more common than I realize, and there are male characters, some of whom have their POVs front and centre. Either way, once I got over my little mental stumble, I came to really enjoy Patton’s narration, and particularly loved the voice he gave to my favourite character, Ronan. I’d describe him as a dangerous creature, a poisonous coil ready to strike who deals only in cold, hard truth. Patton found all of those elements in Stiefvater’s writing and brought them to life in his narration.
Tiara says: No, not Freak On A Leash Jon Davis, but how metal would that be? Jonathan Davis/Narrator, as I often see his named written probably because there are so many people named Jonathan Davis, has an impressive catalog of books he’s narrated ranging from Star Wars to Halo to Vonnegut’s Galapagos. I first heard him narrating one of the tales in the book Stories and again in a book about human sexuality called Sex At Dawn. I felt he was one of the stronger narrators in both books. Recently, I’d listened to D.B. Jackson’s Thieftaker because it included two things I loved, history and magic, and I really loved Jonathan’s performance and how he brought the pre-Revolutionary War world of the conjurer Ethan Kaille to life.
Mogsy says: Star Wars books are a guilty pleasure of mine, and I’ll read them whenever my brain is in need of some pure mind candy. Ever since I discovered their audiobooks, though, I’ve been indulging in them a lot more. One reason for this is because of Marc Thompson. Between the wide range of voices he does and the wicked pew pew sound effects, Star Wars audiobooks are actually fun. Mr. Thompson also has the overwhelming task of making the average of 30-40 characters in each book all sound distinct, while emulating the voices of prominent personalities or alien species that are already well established in media like the Star Wars movies, games, or TV. I’d say he handles it spectacularly — just check out this video on how he can pull off his Star Wars character voices spontaneously, including Yoda, Han Solo, C-3PO and more.
Wendy says: Juliani played one of my favourite characters in Battlestar Galactica and I recently listened to him narrating John Scalzi’s contribution to the scifi compilation, METAtropolis. He and Scalzi were definitely the highlight of the compilation. Juliani captured Scalzi’s lighter tone, playing up the straight-faced sense of humour without losing the ‘moral of the story.’ While I didn’t enjoy the rest of this particular book, I’m glad I listened to it because now I intend to listen to more books narrated by Juliani.
Tiara says: I did not really care much for The Drowning Girl, but I thought Suzy Jackson did a phenomenal job narrating the book. She played the part of Imp so well, but sadly, the story itself never grabbed me. Suzy Jackson’s performance did, though, and I went in search of other books she might’ve narrated. Surprisingly, I’d heard pieces of quite a few of them such as The Beauty Myth for a discussion I participated in and I’d listened to the story she narrated from Kiss Me Deadly. She doesn’t have a huge collection of book she’s done. She seems to be an up-and-coming narrator, but if she continues to deliver strong performances, she’ll be someone we’ll see (or hear, rather) often.