Monday, June 14, 2010

Audiobites: Graceling by Kristen Cashore

Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight — she’s a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme, and in her case horrifying, skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king’s thug. When she first meets Prince Po, Graced with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change. She never expects to become Po’s friend. She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace — or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away... a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone.
I first read Graceling in March 2009 and I loved it. I read it around the same time I read The Hunger Games, which I also loved, and felt that both these books portrayed strong, young adult protagonists.After reading a review of the audio version of Graceling and because June is Audiobook Month I thought I would give it a go.

The audio version is produced by Full Cast Audio and each character is representd by a differnt actor. This was a different experience for me. The only other audiobooks I've ever listened to were the Harry Potter books read by Jim Dale (who is AMAZINg and won all kinds of awards for his narration). He does all the voices for all the different characters, so to hear a book with a full cast was quite different.

The audio version of this book gave me quite a different experience than reading the text. One of the things I noticed was how much more attention I paid to the little details. Because the text is being "read" aloud or acted out, there is no temptation of skimming or glossing over any of the text. You hear everything well, unless your mind happens to wander!

I was concerned that perhaps the actors voices they chose to portray certain characters would not match my idea of what the characters should sound like. However, all the main characters had great voices that I found appropriate for each character. Especially Po's voice. Sigh.

The only thing I would comment on as far as the story goes, that I hadn't noticed when I read the printed text, was how anti-climatic the encounter with the villain of the story was. I didn't notice it when reading the story but when listening to it, our protagonists when through sooooo much to evade the villian and when they do encounter him the resolution seemed so rushed like....that's it? Really? I don't know why it stood out to me so much more on the audio than it did with the text.

That being said, the audio version really brings to life, literally, the amazing world and characters that Kristen Cashore has created. I enjoyed this audio book immensely and I intend to check out other Full Cast Audio productions.

I thought I should mention that AudioFile Magazine gave this audio book their Earphone Award which is given to:

truly exceptional presentations that excel in all the following criteria:
  • Narrative voice and style
  • Vocal characterizations
  • Appropriateness for the audio format
  • Enhancement of the text
I would agree! And even if you don't want to check out the audio version I give both the audio and the print version:


  1. LOL, this really reminds me that I should read the book ^_^;

  2. Yuuuumm YEA! You totally should! So good!

  3. Haha that's Ummmmmm, not Yum?! Lol. Oops!

  4. I have this book in my tbr pile too.

    As for audiobooks, I tried one, and of a book I had read before too. I didn't really care for it. :( I guess I prefer to see rather than to hear. LOL

  5. Yes, listening is definitely a different experience. I think I've been lucky with the audio books I've chosen: The Harry Potters, this one, and currently listening to the Screw tape Letters.

    I've been scouring the AudioFiles magazine and other audio book review sites for the ones that have gotten the best reviews/most awards, figured those should be safe. So far so good!

    I only listen to them in my car and it makes the commute to work and running errands more enjoyable!

  6. Alright,'ve convinced me (first on Twitter, hehe). It's going on my list, thanks for the review sweets!

  7. YES! Next, I'll be hounding you to start Hunger Games! Bwhahahahahaha!

  8. Oh thank you for posting the links to Sync and Devourer of books. I didn't know about either.

    I agree with you on how different a book seems on audiobook versus reading. I think the voices really changes how I interpret things.

  9. Janicu,

    No problem! Glad to share the audiobook love. I'm sooo lusting after the nook and it was interesting to hear how you utilize it to listen to audiobooks! I've been lusting after the nook since it came out, with the new reduced price and the wi-fi version...I may be able to afford one sooner than I had hoped! :)


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