Like many people, recent events around the world have has changed the way I think about things, and in a lot of ways has changed the way I think full stop. In fact my mind has been whirring so much the activities I usually do to calm myself stopped working, until I found a solution—audio books!
My intake of audio books has doubled over the last few months, and I thought I would share some of my favourites with you. I think I have said in the past that choosing the audio book option means you not only have to be captured by the story, but the narrater must also connect with you. I recommend always checking a sample before buying. If you don’t like my favourite reads in audiobook format I encourage you to buy the books instead.
Fall of the Gas-lit Empire by Rod Duncan
By now you will have realised I am a sucker for a kick-ass female heroine and an amazing new world, and in this series Rod Duncan has managed to capture both. In a victorian-style world that sees women as possessions, Elizabeth Barnabus lives a double life. She is herself, but also takes on the guise of her own brother to make a living as a detective and thus remain independent.
Everything is going well until she takes on the case of an aristocrat who has disappeared. In her attempts to resolve the mystery she must face her own past as well as the Patent Court, the most feared body in the land, placing herself in extreme danger.
Elizabeth is a strong, resourceful, well rounded character who you will find yourself willing to come out on top. The other characters you meet as this story unfolds are equally compelling and interesting. The England they live in is both recognisable, but completely different, not the least because the development of all machinery is strictly controlled by the Patent Court.
To top it off Gemma Whelan, the narrator does a great job in moving the story along and keeping the listener interested. If you enjoying losing yourself in another world, or simply like a good mystery, then I recommend this series to teens, young adults and adults.Buy The Fall of the Gas-Lit Empire: The Complete Series from Amazon
The Night Raven by Sarah Painter
My next two books are set in modern day London, but show a side of London you may never have encountered. When she was young Lydia’s father left the family business so he could raise his daughter in the suburbs. Not a bad choice given the family business did not always operate not he right side of the law, and were happy enough to use their unique powers to assist in their activities.
Without powers of her own, a grown up Lydia has escaped to Scotland, only to be forced home when her work as a private investigator placed her in a difficult situation. Her uncle offers her a flat free of rent, well not quite free because he wants her to help find a missing cousin. Trying to lay low, avoid the family business and deal with a rather interesting flat-mate, Lydia finds herself slowly drawn into the world her parents tried to keep her from.
I bought this audio book in one of audibles frequent 2 for 1 sales as the second option simply because I loved listening to the narrator Kate Rawson. I have now listened to all three books in the series and have the fourth on pre-order. The Night Raven is fast paced, the characters interesting and believable. In spite of the introduction of magic and powers to modern day London each book in the series presents a good old mystery story with all its wrong turns and dead ends.
Crow Investigations is a good mystery series, an a fun read/listen, but what makes it stand out for me is you are taken on Lydia’s journey. While investigating her mysteries she reconnects with members of her family, attempts to reconcile their business activity with her growing affection for a member of the police force, as well as dealing with some unsettlingly abilities that come come to light. This book is definitely for oder teens and young adults, and people who love Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series will enjoy these books.Buy The Night Raven: Crow Investigations, Book 1 from Amazon
London Falling by Paul Cornell
I blame my enjoyment of the Ben Aaronvich’s River’s of London Series for choosing to start The Shadow Police series. Like those books we are introduced to a force of people dealing with the magical and mystical side of London’s inhabitants. It all starts with a suspect who mysteriously dies in custody having been brought in at the end of a long running undercover sting.
Two of the undercover agents, the analyst assigned to the operation, and a Detective Inspector are tasked with looking into the death. By applying traditional police methods they uncover supernatural forces at work that require more to bring them to justice than they have to offer. Facing what appear to be unsurmountable odds, they must stop this force before more deaths occur.
This is a gritty series, something of a cross between The Rivers of London and a Guy Ritchie movie. The team, Quill, Ross, Sefton and Costain are all flawed and searching for something missing in their lives, yet together they make the perfect unit for investigating surreal happenings. The London they find themselves working in is scary and at the same time fascinating, and it will test their resolve to bring their suspects to justice.
Damien Lynch narrates the whole series and really brings the characters to life. Each book in the series can be read on its own, but together they form an overarching story about policing the supernatural in London. they only down side to getting hooked on this series is only three of the five book series have been published, and there is not date for the last two books to be released. This series is definitely for Young Adults only, and is worth a read for those who enjoy the grittier side of supernatural crime solving.Buy London Falling: The Shadow Police, Book One from Amazon