Our Favorite Narrators Pt.III
It’s becoming a yearly Bibliosanctum tradition for us to share narrators that we enjoy. (Okay, we did skip one year.) There’s no better time to highlight the narrators we’ve fallen in love with than the month of June. We’re continuously updating this list as more voices capture our imagination and our hearts with their narration. A talented narrator can take a story and make it a truly memorable experience for readers, and these following narrators are just a few who have commanded our attention over the past year.
Tiara says: Last year, I listened to Martha Wells’ The Cloud Roads and was completely blown away by Chris Kipiniak’s narration of the book. That continued this year when I started listening to the rest of books in this series. While I love the story of the Raksura, I credit Kipiniak’s narration for really gripping me and keeping me emotionally invested in the story of the Raksura as Moon and his court continue to face the many difficulties and hardships life deals them as they try to establish something permanent and lasting for their race.
Mogsy says: I was shocked when I noticed I hadn’t featured Tim Gerard Reynolds on any of our past Favorite Narrator posts yet. A few of the first epic fantasy audiobooks I listened to were the Riyria Revelations novels by Michael J. Sullivan novels, narrated by Mr. Reynolds. Those three volumes comprising of six books add up to almost a whopping 80 hours. A narrator whose reading can hold my attention for that long and make me want to listen to more definitely deserves a spot on my favorites list. For me, Tim Gerard Reynolds is the voice of Riyria, no other voice will do for Royce and Hadrian!
Tiara says: This woman’s voice is amazing! After she was highlight in an audiobook newsletter I receive, I had to listen to something by her. When I reviewed Unholy Ghosts, I’d mistakenly thought I hadn’t listened to anything by her before, but I was wrong. I’d had the pleasure of listening to her in The Help some years earlier. Her range, her command of various accents, everything about her reading is always exceptional. And after looking her up, I realized that I also know her from various shows and movies I’ve watched throughout the years.
Mogsy says: Kate Mulgrew is an American actress probably best known for her role in the TV series Star Trek: Voyager as Captain Kathryn Janeway. But did you know she’s narrated audiobooks too? In the audiobook world, her best known narrative performances are probably the novels NOS4R2 and The Fireman by Joe Hill. Kate Mulgrew has a very distinctive voice, her intense gravelly tones being perfect for tales of horror and suspense. And let’s face it, nothing beats putting NOS4R2 on at night and having Captain Janeway read you a scary story for bedtime.
Tiara says: All of my experience with this narrator has been Star Wars related, and she’s been a real treat to listen to. However, for many years, Ms. LaVoy worked on a popular soap opera series while recording audiobooks in her spare time. For established media that has actors and actresses whose portray characters and whose voices I associate with those characters, it can sometimes be a bit difficult to enjoy listening to these character voiced by one person. See my review of Gears of War: Aspho Fields for a view of that struggle. However, a really good narrator can make me overlook that and just enjoy the story. January is one of those narrators. I enjoyed her voice of characters like Princess Leia without cringing that she wasn’t Carrie Fisher.
Mogsy says: As a fan of the Witcher video games, I had initial concerns that I would have trouble reconciling myself to anyone other than actor Doug Cockle as the voice of Geralt of Rivia, but Peter Kenny quickly disabused me of those notions the moment I heard his performance reading the English-translated audiobooks of Andrzej Sapkowski’s The Witcher series. He has a great voice for expressive storytelling, and is especially adept at doing accents and voices. Kenny is now the voice of Geralt for me, as well as all my other favorites like Dandelion, Ciri, Yennefer, Triss Merigold and more.
Wendy says: Over the years we’ve been doing this list, it’s been easy to pick out the voices that inspire and thrill us and to add to that list as we listen to more and more audiobooks. But lately, I’ve been gravitating toward audio dramas where it’s not about a single person carrying the story, but an ensemble Hollywood cast, complete with music and sound effects. This is what drew me to my year long project of listening to the bible. And not just one version of the good book, but two because it was far too difficult to choose between the cast of Word of Promise versus The Bible Experience. Do I go with Idris Elba’s Isaiah and Angela Bassett’s Esther? Or Richard Dreyfuss as Moses and Jim Caveziel reprising his role as Jesus from The Passion of the Christ? Although my instincts always tell me to follow my heart (i.e. Idris Elba), I have started my listen with Word of Promise and am loving General Zod’s (Terence Stamp) petulant and angry God and Richard Dreyfuss’ fed up Moses.
Prior to these epics, I’ve listened to BBC radio dramas such as The Twilight Zone featuring Stacy Keach, Blair Underwood, Lou Diamond Phillips and more, and recently partook of the first book in a new Alien trilogy which starred Rutger Hauer as the chilling ghost in the machine.