Tanya Huff: Valor’s Choice

Valor’s Choice (Confederation #1)
by Tanya Huff
narrated by Marguerite Gavin
(Sci-Fi, audiobook)

This is a book that I’ve been meaning to pick up for a while. So when the audiobook was on sale on Audible a short while ago, I picked it up to try it out. I’m glad I did! It was a lot of fun. There were parts that I liked more than others, of course, especially since this was an audiobook.

Let’s start with the book itself. I believe this was one of Tanya Huff’s earlier books (and I’m feeling too lazy to Google it and confirm) but it still holds up. The plot is solid, the characters are well-developed, and the world seems fully developed. (Even though we don’t get all of the details of it yet, it does feel like a complete world.) My biggest problem with the book, I think, was trying to determine the different character names. The narrator did a good job with the different types of names, but I have a hard time recognizing odd sci-fi/fantasy by the way they sound. I prefer to read them – I think I just have a better memory for the way the names look than the way they sound. (This doesn’t explain my youthful lack of spelling talent. But that’s another story.)

Anyway, since we touched on the narration, we’ll continue there. I did have trouble with some of the different names because it was an audiobook, but I don’t think that was due to the narrator. Marguerite did a good job with the names, they just didn’t all stick in my head very well. The biggest problem I did have with her narration was her treatment of male voices. (I doubt I could do better, but I’m not paid to do so.) Many of her men’s voices sounded very similar to most of her women’s voices. In some cases – like the the bird race – a higher-pitched male voice was okay. But even the human voices weren’t as differentiated as I prefer. On the other hand, all of her military personnel voices sounded wonderfully appropriate for the military, while her civilian voices were distinct and less militant. All told, I did enjoy her reading of the story.

I really enjoyed this first book in the series, and have already started the second book. (This second one is in paper format, and though I now have to re-learn the names in print vs. spoken, I’m enjoying the read so far. I hope the series continues as good.)


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