Audible is an Amazon company that compiles thousands and thousands of audiobooks into one place. However, this sheer amount of choice can make Audible very daunting, especially if you have just started Audible and you’re not sure what to listen to (perhaps you might have been convinced by our 5 reasons why you should try Audible by Amazon article that you can find here).
We at FinalBoss HQ have been enjoying audiobooks for a while now and have a range of audiobooks under our belts. Many hours have been spent enjoying the dulcet tones of the audiobook narrators and we have some suggestions that you might enjoy. So, if you’re just starting out on your Audible journey or if you’re an Audible regular and looking for new ideas, here are our Top 5 audiobooks to listen to on Audible.
Audible Honourable Mentions
Before we start getting into the meat (or vegetarian meat substitute) of the top 5, we have a couple of honourable mentions you could lend your ear too. Both of these are ones I have not listened to myself, so I’d feel uncomfortable placing them in a ranking above or below some of my own favourites.
The first is “Ready Player One” by Ernst Cline and narrated by Wil Wheaton (who you might recognise from Star Trek or The Big Bang Theory). This audiobook is suggested by FinalBoss’s Ryan. The story follows Wade Watts as he searches for Easter Eggs in a virtual reality game that the world is obsessed with, in order to become the inheritor for the creator’s fortune. Perhaps people won’t realise that the 2018 Steven Spielberg film of the same name was based on a book, so this is well worth a listen. A sequel called “Ready Player Two” has also been recently released, for those of you hooked by the first one.
Secondly, and perhaps somewhat controversially, we have “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” by J.K. Rowling. This audiobook would perhaps be right at the top of the list for many, being the start of the absolutely phenomenal Harry Potter series, but to tell you the truth, I just haven’t listened to them yet. I’ve read them multiple times though, so I have every confidence that Stephen Fry’s narration of the series is first class. There is sure to be a reason why the series is consistently in the best-selling audiobook titles on Audible, I just haven’t got round to discovering it myself just yet.
5. Red Rising by Pierce Brown
Narrated by Tim Gerard Reynolds, this audiobook is a sci-fi where the worlds in our solar system have been colonised and people are ordered into social rank by colours. The Golds are the masters, ruling and oppressing the other colours and the Reds are the lowest of the low, the physical labour. Slaves in all but name, they toil for a cause they are lied to about. Darrow is one such Red from Mars and he goes through hell and back to make a difference.
This one is a particular favourite of FinalBoss’s James, the story is fast-paced, thought-provoking and action-packed. I personally thought that this one picked up tremendously halfway through. There are currently five books in the “Red Rising” series, so plenty to get your teeth into if you enjoyed this one.
4. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
I bought this one on a bit of a whim when Audible was having one of their frequent sales and I was blown away. A classic that I had been meaning to get down to reading for a while, “Fahrenheit 451” is the story of Guy Montag, a fireman who’s job isn’t to put out fires, but to start them. He spends his days burning books, which are outlawed in this dystopian world. Frankly, the vision into a possible future is haunting and scary. The life that these people lead is intense, and Tim Robbins brings this to life with his powerful, passionate performance. At only five hours long, it’s also a great place to start on your Audible journey if you don’t want a big-time commitment.
3. The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie
The first book in the “First Law” trilogy, “The Blade Itself” is a grimdark (brutal, bleak, quite literally grim and dark) that introduces you to some of the best characters ever created. Despite it being so dark at times, this book (and the rest of Joe’s work) never fails to be laugh out loud hilarious. With the fantastic narrator, Steven Pacey, the characters are brought to life. If you aren’t a massive Glokta fan by the end of the book, there is something wrong with you.
The story itself is fairly basic. The Union is at war in the north and in the south, several point of view characters lead separate lives until the mysterious Magi, Bayaz, brings their lives together in an attempt to save the Union. If you enjoy the “First Law” trilogy, you will also like Joe Abercrombie’s three standalone novels, short story collection and sequel trilogy in the same universe. I promise you, his work just keeps getting better and better.
2. Northern Lights by Philip Pullman
If you have been enjoying the BBC’s adaptation of “His Dark Materials” or wondered what happened after the 2007 film “The Golden Compass”, then I thoroughly recommend the “His Dark Materials” series by Philip Pullman. The first book in this series is “Northern Lights”. This series of audiobooks is an unusual one for me because it is an instance where the audiobooks improved my opinion of a series I had already read. I liked “His Dark Materials” when I read the books but certainly didn’t love them. When I listened to them, all of a sudden, I just understood where the love for this series came from.
The audiobook is narrated by Philip Pullman, but the characters are voiced by a full cast of actors, making it easy to follow who is speaking when. I think it is fair to say that you could potentially get annoyed with some of the characters’ voices but for me, each one encapsulated each character really well. Another reason why I loved these audiobooks is because they are essentially children’s books, they are really easy to follow when you are half paying attention, such as when you are driving.
If you have already heard or read the series, then I also recommend “The Book of Dust” series as well by Philip Pullman. The first, “La Belle Sauvage”, is voiced by Michael Sheen and is set when Lyra is a baby. The second, “The Secret Commonwealth”, is also voiced by Michael Sheen and is set when Lyra is in her 20s. Although they sound like completely different stories, they do lead on to each other, so I recommend listening to them in order and after the “His Dark Materials” trilogy.
1. Red Sister by Mark Lawrence
“Red Sister” is number one on this list for no other reason than it being my absolute favourite audiobook I have listened to so far. The only two audiobooks that I would even consider putting higher than this one are the other two in the same series “Book of the Ancestor”, but I can’t very well recommend those if you’ve not listened to the first one, can I?
There is something about a plucky, young outcast that fights and claws their way through life that really appeals to me. Nona Grey is one such character and she must come to grips with some truly incredible powers and has to learn to live with her horrific past. The world she lives in is a bleak, shrinking place and the people in power are getting more desperate every day. I just can’t describe how much I adore the world, the magic and the characters in “Book of the Ancestor”, it is an utter triumph. Oh, and there is a convent of fighting nuns, what’s cooler than fighting nuns?
I sometimes wonder if I would enjoy this series as much if I read them rather than listened to them. There are flashbacks towards the beginning that I think could have slowed the story down if it wasn’t read to me by the incredible Helen Duff. Perhaps a big reason for my love of the audiobooks, she brings a level of character and emotion to the characters that I haven’t seen anywhere else. And when she narrates between her full arsenal of wonderful accents, her smooth, gorgeous voice sweeps you away with the story. I can’t recommend “Red Sister” enough.
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