We are teaming up with AudioFile Magazine, the place for audiobook reviews, narrator interviews and audiobookish content, to present AudioFile Magazine’s Picks of the Best New YA Audiobooks for winter listening. This Earphones Award-winning list has fantasy, historical fiction, and long-awaited series finales.
by Tomi Adeyemi | Read by Bahni Turpin
Bahni Turpin exquisitely narrates the second book in this fantasy series, Legacy of Orïsha. Her steady pace and West African accent draw us into the story of Zélie, a Maji warrior, and Princess Amari– both of whom fight against a monarchy that threatens to destroy the people of Orïsha. The listener is able to connect and sympathize with these two magical beings, even after they have made terrible decisions that produce violent consequences. They are relatable, overwhelmingly passionate, and humanly flawed. A riveting audiobook! Earphones Award Winner
by Mildred D. Taylor | Read by Allyson Johnson
Both author Mildred Taylor and narrator Allyson Johnson fully meet expectations in concluding the Logan family saga, which began in 1975. Johnson warmly welcomes listeners as if inviting them to sit by the fire to hear this family story. The heroine of so many of the Logan books, Cassie, is 19 at the time of the Civil Rights movement. She leaves behind both her beloved land and the hateful prejudice of Mississippi when she moves north and then goes to California. But she discovers that prejudice exists everywhere. The drama of the plot and the depth of the characterizations ensure that this audiobook is unforgettable. Earphones Award Winner
by Rosaria Munda | Read by Christian Coulson, Candice Moll, Steve West
This dragon fantasy rife with political intrigue has three narrators. Christian Coulson portrays Leo, the last living member of the ousted ruling class, who is hiding in plain sight as Lee, a dragon rider who is competing for the coveted Firstrider position. Candice Moll voices Annie, another contender for Firstrider, whose family was murdered by Lee’s father. Steve West’s voice is stately and resonant as he delivers the flashback sequences that show Lee and Annie’s shared childhood in an orphanage. Coulson’s Lee and Moll’s Annie are both very likable, and the narrators do an exceptional job expressing the characters’ complex emotions as they begin to question the new meritocracy’s harsh caste system. Earphones Award Winner.
by Justine Ireland | Read by Bahni Turpin, Jordan Cobb
Two narrators portray the dynamic relationship of the heroines in this compelling sequel to DREAD NATION. In an alternate history, zombies risen from Civil War battlefields are turning folks into undead across the country. Alternating chapters reveal the viewpoints of two African-American characters, both trained assassins who struggle to find their true identities. Themes of human experimentation and prejudice take a back seat to the tense action in this gripping audio. Earphones Award Winner
by Libba Bray | Read by January LaVoy
Narrator January LaVoy returns for the final installment of Bray’s Diviners series. The dead are rising, and only a band of supernaturally gifted people can stop them. There are more than 25 characters in this story, ranging from an African-American boy to an adult woman with a Russian accent, and the choice to leave it all to LaVoy was inspired as she needs no supporting cast. This is an audiobook one wishes would never end. Earphones Award Winner
Which audiobook are you excited for?