I'm trying my best to listen to the latest Iron Druid book. I loved the audio books for the first three in the series, read by Luke Daniels. Then, around book 4 and definitely into book 5, the style of reading changed. It became broader, the various character voices more extreme, the humor heavily underlined, and, honestly, downright annoying. I haven't enjoyed the audio version of Shattered nearly as much. Now, in Staked, it's gone to a new extreme and I'm actively wincing and shuddering. It is, in short, ruining the book for me. I'm going to go with the print version (of course I have the print version) so that the voicing won't prejudice my reading of the book.
Why has the reading style changed? Is it the producer or director? I know the books changed companies -- the first three were by Brilliance Audio and I love them. Then Random House took over the books, and that's when the reading style began to (in my opinion, obviously) sink into this annoyingly broad, exaggerated, hammy style. Why? Kevin Hearne is a really good writer and it hurts to have the narrator fail the text.
Why don't I see Elliott Jame's Pax Arcana series not more known? Why don't I see more about them? They are really excellent, fun, interesting books, with character development, a nice sexual tension working through the first three, and lots of potential for more entries into the series. I'm just one voice in the wilderness here, but, hey, really, find these books and read them and tell others about them. Or, get the excellent audio versions. No mugging, no broad hints to be sure you "get" the joke. The humor is sly, sarcastic, sharp, and delicious. The world is a unique twist on familiar tropes and ideas, and it's well built. Roger Wayne has replaced Luke Daniels as my favorite reader/narrator.
So, really, why do they seem to be lost in the mass of books? I've just tuned up Charming yet again, and am listening to it to wash the taste of Staked out of my ears. I'll just read it, thank you.
Same thing goes for Daniel Jose Older's books, although in their case, I recommend the audio versions over the print versions (which I will be obtaining because I might get an autograph one day!). The author reads the books and I'm STILL amazed by his reading. He makes no mistakes with his own words, and, really, the poetry and music of his reading might blind me to story flaws, but I really don't care. A lot of very popular, well known music has lyrics that make no sense at all (In A Gadda da vida, anyone?) Go find Half-Resurrection Blues or Midnight Taxi Tango. Listen to them. I command you.