Sunday, September 23, 2007

QB's Aural Quickies


"So, HEARD any good books lately?"
"What did you think of...?"


Here's the Quickie answers to those questions. Click on the Links for more info.


Silhouette Nocturne - Raintree Trilogy

1. Raintree: Inferno by Linda Howard (no website found) - Dante and Lorna
narrated by Stefan Rudnicki and Hillary Huber





2. Raintree: Haunted by Linda Winstead Jones - Gideon and Hope
Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki and Theo McKell





3. Raintree: Sanctuary by Beverly Barton - Mercy and Judah
narrated by Stefan Rudnicki and Gabrielle de Cuir





Note that I've linked to the print versions because I do not recommend the audio books.


Series Category: M&Ms - a bit lighter and/or not quite as satisfying as Peanut M&Ms, but still Oh-So-Enjoyable! (B,B-,C+,C)
Narration Category: Dark Chocolate - loved by some, just "meh" to me (C-,D+)
Flame Height: 4.5" out of 9"

Here's the thing, I bought and listened to book 1, Raintree: Inferno, and thought it was interesting enough that I wanted to find out what happened next. So, when Audible had a sale, I went ahead and bought the next two books. Big mistake. Why? Because I wasn't too thrilled with Stefan Rudnicki's narration in book 1 but I figured I just needed to get used to his style. By the middle of book 2, I found him outright irritating. By book 3, he had me considering rushing out to buy the print books just so I no longer had to listen to him.

At first I thought I would enjoy having each book read by two different narrators. The books are written in third person, but some sections are written more from the male or female lead's POV and that's when the narrator would change. But Stefan Rudnicki should never, ever, EVER attempt female voices again. He just comes off as trying to mock women. And neither him nor Gabrielle de Cuir gave me anything that even vaguely evoked a little girl in book 3. But, what REALLY had me gnashing my teeth was the.extremely.slow.narration... I.so.wished.for.a.fast.play.speed.on.my.MP3.player... Instead.of.making.the.narrators.sound.like.chipmunks.on.crack, fast.speed.would.have.made.their.endless.droning.bearable... I'm.fairly.certain.I.would.have.enjoyed.the.stories.more.if.I.wasn't. praying.for.the.torture.to.finally.stop... What.made.it.worse.was.that.each.of.the.three.books.takes place.simultaneously.over.the.same.week... Which.would.have.been.okay, except.that.the.narration.made.it.feel like.I.was.listening to.an.endless.looping.replay.of.Groundhog.Day... Usually.I.anticipate.the.end.of.a.book so.I.can.find.out."who.done.it"... But.in.this.case, I.wanted.to.reach.the.end.so.they'd.STOP.doing.it...

The stories, however, were interesting. A bit light, but different enough that I wanted to stick with them. The basic premise is that the descendents of ancient witches, sorcerers, wizards and other magical humans formed two clans-- the Raintree, who have integrated into the human world, and the Ansara, who were defeated by the Raintree two hundred years ago, but have secretly been rebuilding their clan and preparing for another Raintree/Ansara war. Each member of these clans has powers in varying degrees. For instance, Gideon (book 2) can call up and absorb the power of lightning/electricity and can see and converse with dead people. And we get a kinda sorta Romeo and Juliet story in book three. The ending is a bit over the top, but I still recommend these books (in print) if you are looking for a concept you haven't read before.
Piquant Opines (print version): RT (books 1,2,3- 4.5 stars),

5 comments:

Melissa said...

OK, I was interested in trying audio, but now I'm not quite sure if I'd like it. Sounds like they should really invest in some professional voice help. Right now I'm finishing The Sapphire Pendant a must read for those who enjoy romance. For now, I'll just stick to books and think about audibles later.

QB said...

NO, Melisa, WAIT!! Scroll down to the next two posts-- those were audio books I LIKED! Or go over on the far right and click on Confectionaries: Audible or Confectionaries: Brilliance_Audio. I've run into a couple of narrators that weren't right for a particular book, but I also have listened to some where the audio book was BETTER than the original print book!

I personally can't imagine living without audio books!

Melissa said...

Thanks QB, I'll have to listen to a one and see how it sounds. I guess it would be nice to listen to your fav book while driving in the car, or even cleaning the house.

Anonymous said...

I tried narrating the book as best I could. I am truly sorry that you found my performance so very lacking.

I enjoyed narrating the book tremendously and felt that I had conveyed that ... there is an anonymity to the Internet that allows such criticism; thinking that the narrators/actors are not somehow "real" and that your comments will never touch anyone "Real." Your words do sting.


I tried my best. No one sets out to read a book badly.

I am sorry it was so painful for you.

GdC

Bev(QB) said...

Honestly, I do not assume that my commentaries are anonymous. In fact, I've been quite surprised by how many people DO discover them-- including authors and narrators. And, had I known that you would read what I wrote someday, it still would not have changed my opinion of these audio books.

Sharing my love for books- both print and audio- is something I enjoy very much. When I've really connected with a story, author, narrator, character, etc., it makes me all kinds of happy to make sure others know about it.

But the flip side of that is, if I don't like something, I will not lie and say that I did. Plain and simply, these books were NOT a good fit for Stephen Rudnicki, but I also suspect that the blame for the irritating slow pace should probably be shared equally between him and the director. That doesn't eliminate the chance that I will ENJOY his or YOUR narration of another story someday.

In fact, there is another narrator that I ADORED and sang her praises for her narration of one rather mediocre story, but later found she was a horrible choice for a completely different book by a different author. That has little to do with her talent, and more to do with the fact that the 2nd story just wasn't a good fit for her voice and style.

The only time I specifically mentioned you was when I stated that you could not do a voice that evoked that of a child's. I don't see how that could "sting". I imagine that is a weakness that a lot of narrators share.

Look, we don't know each other, but please allow me to give you a piece of advice. You really need to grow a tougher hide and not view reviews of your work the same as attacks on you as a person.