I am definitely no audiobook connoisseur, but over the past year, I’ve listened to more audiobooks than I’ve ever listened to in my life. (Okay, that’s still not many.) They’ve mostly been Harry Potter audiobooks, since I’m trying to re-read the series with my ears, but then I decided to take a chance on the Aurora Rising audiobook because someone said it was amazing.
Best. Decision. Ever.
I know I’ve already provided you a review of Aurora Rising (read the review here), but I wanted to give you some reasons why I thought the audio version was a teeny bit superior.
Here’s the book info, for you undergrounders that have no clue what this book is about. (What rock have you been hiding under?) ?Aurora Rising
(The Aurora Cycle #1)
Author: Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff, read by Kim Mai Guest, Johnathan McClain, Candice Moll, Lincoln Hoppe, Donnabella Mortel, Jonathan Todd Ross, Erin Spencer, Steve West
Published: May 7th, 2019 by Listening Library
Genres: science fiction, young adult
Format: Audiobook, 14 hrs 4 mins
The year is 2380, and the graduating cadets of Aurora Academy are being assigned their first missions. Star pupil Tyler Jones is ready to recruit the squad of his dreams, but his own boneheaded heroism sees him stuck with the dregs nobody else in the Academy would touch…
A cocky diplomat with a black belt in sarcasm
A sociopath scientist with a fondness for shooting her bunkmates
A smart-ass techwiz with the galaxy’s biggest chip on his shoulder
An alien warrior with anger management issues
A tomboy pilot who’s totally not into him, in case you were wondering
And Ty’s squad isn’t even his biggest problem—that’d be Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley, the girl he’s just rescued from interdimensional space. Trapped in cryo-sleep for two centuries, Auri is a girl out of time and out of her depth. But she could be the catalyst that starts a war millions of years in the making, and Tyler’s squad of losers, discipline-cases and misfits might just be the last hope for the entire galaxy.
1Each narrator brings their character to life.
The number one thing that made me fall in love with the audio version of Aurora Rising was the narrators. The story is sublime in itself, but the characters are what made me love the start of this series – a ragtag assortment of misfits who bicker constantly, but end up being an amazing team – and each narrator really nailed it with the characters’ voices.
My favorite voices were those of Cat and Kal. Cat has an Australian accent (not even questioning how that happened since she wasn’t born in Australia, but I loved it), and Kal has a deep, sexy voice. And in the story, there are these people called G.I.A. agents, whose voices are supposed to be monotone and sexless – they do an awesome job of using a voice synthesizer to bring that to life, which made the listening experience even better.
Another bonus! When reading multiple POV’s in a book, it’s hard for me to differentiate their voices. Listening to audiobooks where they give each character a different voice helps tremendously with separating the characters that much more.
2It was easy to listen to when I felt like I had no time.
If you don’t know this about me, I work 9 hours a day with a half hour commute there and back, all to come back home with one-and-a-half year-old. Spare time is a hot commodity.
This holds true for all audiobooks, but it’s just really awesome when I can listen to my audiobook in various types of situations: on the commute to work or home, on my evening walks, while cooking or doing the dishes, and even while taking a shower (thank you, waterproof bluetooth speaker).
3Audiobooks help me with my concentration.
What turned me off of audiobooks at first was the fact that I would struggle with staying tuned into the story. So listening to Aurora Rising was helping to train my brain from wandering when I was listening. It’s made me a better listener!
The narrators helped with the pronunciations for certain words. Kaufman and Kristoff made up a lot of words, planets, animals, etc., and sometimes I just didn’t know if I was pronouncing it correctly!
5Magellan, the uni-glass.
Between each chapter in the book, there’s a search results page that talks about different aspects of this new-age galaxy that Aurora finds herself in. Tyler gives Aurora his old uni-glass, which is a very intelligent piece of technology, and she names it Magellan after her favorite explorer. The uni-glass pretty much responds on his own throughout the story, like the creepy smart robot he is, and I always had the inkling that he had lots of valuable information to bestow on the squad… but they were always telling him to be quiet. ? Anyway! This quirky little piece of machinery explains Aurora Legion squads, the law enforcement, Syldrathi social customs, risks of Fold travel, and things like the Great Ultrasaur of Abraaxis IV. I really enjoyed these little Wiki-like pages of information, and how Magellan’s personality gives it a unique attribution to the book.
Those are just a few good reasons to try listening to Aurora Rising rather than reading it. So do you think you will give it a try?