Ready to get inside my head? This is how I write an audiobook review (and, thus, what I expect to find in other audiobook reviews). Assisting me with this task is Zombiestan. First, the basics. In addition to the regular information I provide (title, author, etc), I add some extras.
Author: Mainak Dhar
Narrator: John Lee
Genre: Fiction; Post-Apocalyptic; Zombie
Pages [I like to include this so you have some idea how long the print book is in comparison]: 202 pages
Audio Length: 6.4 hours
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Source: Personal Collection
Book Rating: 3/5
Audio Rating [giving two ratings is new for me but I think it'll be helpful]: 4/5
Then I include a summary of the book, just like I would in a print review.
When the Taliban accidentally unleash a zombie virus, the world becomes overrun with undead crying “Jihad.” Amidst the chaos, a 17 year old boy, a US Navy SEAL, an elderly woman, and a teenage girl caring for her three-year-old brother find each other. As the undead start to “remember” and become more organized, they discover a secret and set out on a mission to save the world.
Then I share my thoughts, just like I would in a print review (though I might mention something about the audio format here as well).
Combining terrrorism and zombies actually makes a lot of sense. There ended up being a political take on this zombie story that was a little different than others and the book addresses topics that are relevant to our (thus far) zombie-less society. And the ability to remember behavior is a fresh twist on zombies.
I went into this one with high expectations. Zombiestan, while enjoyable, did not live up to these expectations. And there might be nothing to blame for that except the high expectations. Although I did find it somewhat predictable (the love story, the sacrifices).
Overall, if you like zombies, Zombiestan is probably worth checking out. It’s quick and entertaining.
Finally, I share my audiobook specific thoughts. This is very important to me as an audiobook review reader. A separate section like this is not necessary, but if the review fails to mention the production or narration at all, I have no way to judge whether audio is the format for me for that book.
This was my first John Lee listen (I hear he’s a bit of a narrator rockstar) and I thought he did a good job with this one. He was able to switch back and forth between the accents (his Indian and his American were equally convincing to me). But where he really shined was in narrating the three-year-old. He gave him the optimism and innocence that the author intended. I found those scenes to generally be delightful (despite the zombies).
So that’s it. That’s everything I do for an audiobook review. As you can see, if you already write print reviews, there isn’t much to add.
What do you look for in audiobook reviews? Is there anything else you’d like to see from me?
Make sure you check out the other Audiobook Week discussion posts and audiobook reviews over at Devourer of Books.