Audiobook Round-up

What did you read this week?

I fed my audiobook addiction with some great reads. I hope you did too. From the Higgs Boson to the blackgaurds of the fantasy to everyone’s favorite serial killer, this week’s offerings sent me on a wild literary ride.

The Great Courses: Higgs Boson and Beyond

Dive into particle physics. This series of lectures is for the arm chair physicist in you. It explains what the heck a Higgs Boson is and why countries spent millions of dollars to build a collider in the hopes of producing one. Prof Carroll is thoroughly entertaining as he delves deep into quantum field theory. No math necessary! No equations either. This book is heavy on the theory and since that’s what fascinates me, I was hooked from minute one.

A Better Man: An Egil & Nix Tale – This short story was part of the Blackguards: Tales of Assassins, Mercenaries, and Rogues Anthology. Fast paced and full of witty dialogue and that buddy-buddy vibe found in sword and sorcery novels, need I say that I became an instant fan of Nix and Egil? So much so that I ditched the other books I had planned to read this week and downloaded the two Nix and Egil novels that are out now.

The Hammer and the Blade: A Tale of Egil and Nix – Book one of the dynamic duo and they are dynamic. The drama gets real when the guys turn down a job offer from a wizard. Not something the wizard in question is going to let slide especially when he’s got a gewgaw that he wanted the guys to find. I loved every minute of this book and wished it was longer. Lots of action sequences and plenty of characterization. These guys are so three-dimensional I kept waiting from them to leap off the page and start quibbling over gewgaws at the water cooler.

A Discourse in Steel: A Tale of Egil and Nix, Book 2

The guys really had an opportunity to shine in this one as they took on the assassin’s guild. More items, more colorful characters and lots of witticisms. I laughed out loud at some of their dialogue. This one had me on the edge of my seat.

If you have an audible membership, both Nil & Egil books are under $10. So no credit needed and no reason not to pick them up next time you’re in the mood for an adventure with the kind of guys you’d want to have your back.

Blackguards: Tales of Assassins, Mercenaries, and Rogues – It’s an interesting anthology. Lot of talented writers packed into 20~ hours of audio. Anthony Ryan’s short story, The Lord Collector: A Raven’s Shadow Novella, Book 1.5, is part of the audio edition even though audible says that it’s not. Imagine my surprise when I hit hour 18 of the audiobook and the Steven Barnd’s voice came over my headphones announcing The Lord Collector by Anthony Ryan.

Otherwise the anthology is full of good stories. Michael J. Sullivan’s Riyria return in a short story that you can get for free without buying the anthology. (I highly recommend that you do. Hadrian and Royce are awesome in their own regard and Mr. Sullivan tells a great story. There’s several other free offerings concerning the boys of Riyria, check them out here and here). Also, Nix and Egil are in here too in A Better Man: An Egil & Nix Tale. Like any anthology, there are the gems and the just plain weird but that’s what makes listening to them fun. I will forever be grateful to Blackguards: Tales of Assassins, Mercenaries, and Rogues for introducing me to Nix & Egil. So it was a credit and twenty hours well spent.

What’s in Blackguards: Tales of Assassins, Mercenaries, and Rogues:

  • Foreword by Glen Cook (Black Company)
  • Carol Berg, “Seeds”
  • Richard Lee Byers, “Troll Trouble”
  • David Dalglish, “Take You Home”
  • James Enge, “Thieves at the Gate”
  • John Gwynne, “Better to Live than to Die”
  • Lian Hearn, “His Kikuta Hands”
  • Snorri Kristjansson, “A Kingdom and a Horse”
  • Joseph Lallo, “Seeking the Shadow”
  • Mark Lawrence, “The Secret”
  • Tim Marquitz, “A Taste of Agony”
  • Peter Orullian, “A Length of Cherrywood”
  • Cat Rambo, “The Subtler Art”
  • Laura Resnick, “Friendship”
  • Mark Smylie, “Manhunt”
  • Kenny Soward, “Jancy’s Justice”
  • Shawn Speakman, “The White Rose Thief”
  • Jon Sprunk, “Sun and Steel”
  • Anton Strout, “Scream”
  • Michael J. Sullivan, “Professional Integrity”
  • Django Wexler, “The First Kill”
  • Paul S. Kemp, “A Better Man”
  • James A. Moore, “What Gods Demand”
  • Jean Rabe, “Mainon”
  • Bradley P. Beaulieu, “Irindai”
  • S. R. Cambridge, “The Magus and the Betyar”
  • Clay Sanger, “The Long Kiss”
  • Anthony Ryan, “The Lord Collector”

Bargain read:

Death and the Redheaded Woman – I picked this one up as one of Audible’s daily deals and I’m glad I did. It’s a mystery with some fun elements and even more entertaining characters thrown in. The PI’s name is Deeth and jokes abound throughout the book. On the more serious side, Deeth is a Afghani war vet with PTSD living out of his car and dealing with war wounds as he tries to make a living as a PI. The leading lady bugged me. She turned all domestic all of a sudden and started acting like a 50’s housewife. I wanted to slap her. I really did. She had such great potential and oddball weaponry–anyone ever heard of an Atladl? Amanda Ronconi narrated and that plus the low price is what convinced me to purchase. I enjoyed the book but I don’t think I’ll continue on to book 2.

Darkly Dreaming Dexter: Dexter, Book 1 – I just finished this one last night. The writing is powerful and sharp telling the tale of everyone’s favorite serial killer. Getting a glimpse into the inner workings of his mind was priceless. I loved Deb and I’m sure I’ll be reading more about Dexter and his sister in upcoming weeks.

So what are you reading? What’s your next read? Whatever it is, enjoy it.

Go get your read on. Great books are waiting.