With Bated Breath: Audio Sync


June 5, 2013 by Heidi

Hello audiobook lovers!  It’s that most wonderful time again, that time of year when the lovely people at Sync (and their lovely partners in publishing) release two free audiobook titles each week for us as listeners to love and enjoy.  The first round of books actually posted last Thursday, which makes TODAY your last chance to get themso make sure to go grab them before they’re gone!  They work with OverDrive Media Console, a free program you can download to listen and transfer to your portable devices–one many of you audio listeners probably already use with your local library.

Last year, Sync had some amazing titles that resulted in me very much enjoying my summer runs with books like The Eleventh Plague by Jeff HirschAnna Dressed In Blood by Kendare Blake, and Cleopatra’s Moon by Vicky Alvear Schecter.

You can view this year’s full schedule here, but I wanted to take some time to highlight those titles I’m most excited for.  Sadly, I’ve already read a number of the titles (Grave Mercy, The Raven Boys, The False Prince) but I’ll certainly be grabbing them for potential re-reads as they’re all that good!


The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place by Maryrose WoodAvailable June 6th-12th
The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: The Mysterious Howling by Maryrose Wood
Published by Listening Library
Narrated by Katherine Kellgreen

Found running wild in the forest of Ashton Place, the Incorrigibles are no ordinary children: Alexander, age ten or thereabouts, keeps his siblings in line with gentle nips; Cassiopeia, perhaps four or five, has a bark that is (usually) worse than her bite; and Beowulf, age somewhere-in-the-middle, is alarmingly adept at chasing squirrels.

Luckily, Miss Penelope Lumley is no ordinary governess. Only fifteen years old and a recent graduate of the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females, Penelope embraces the challenge of her new position. Though she is eager to instruct the children in Latin verbs and the proper use of globes, first she must help them overcome their canine tendencies.

But mysteries abound at Ashton Place: Who are these three wild creatures, and how did they come to live in the vast forests of the estate? Why does Old Timothy, the coachman, lurk around every corner? Will Penelope be able to teach the Incorrigibles table manners and socially useful phrases in time for Lady Constance’s holiday ball? And what on earth is a schottische?

I read one of Wood’s YA titles, The Poison Diaries, which I didn’t love, but liked enough to want to read some of her middle grade (I’ve also since enjoyed seeing her on some author panels).  Also, it’s narrated by Katherine Kellgreen who’s pretty much perfect for British-esque Middle Grade!


Carter Finally Gets It by Brent Crawford

Available July 4th-10th
Carter Finally Gets It by Brent Crawford

Published by Brilliance Audio
Narrated by Nick Podehl

Meet Will Carter, but feel free to call him Carter. (Yes, he knows it’s a lazy nickname, but he didn’t have much say in the matter.) Here are five things you should know about him:

1. He has a stuttering problem, particularly around boobs and belly buttons.
2. He battles Attention Deficit Disorder every minute of every day…unless he gets distracted.
3. He’s a virgin, mostly because he’s no good at talking to girls (see number 1).
4. He’s about to start high school.
5. He’s totally not ready.

Join Carter for his freshman year, where he’ll search for sex, love, and acceptance anywhere he can find it. In the process, he’ll almost kill a trombone player, face off with his greatest nemesis, suffer a lot of blood loss, narrowly escape death, run from the cops (not once, but twice), get caught up in a messy love triangle, meet his match in the form of a curvy drill teamer, and surprise the hell out of everyone, including himself.

Two words: Nick Podehl.  I’ve honestly never heard of this title, but this is one of those cases where I’ll follow the narrator to (hopefully) goodness.


The Peculiar by Stefan BachmannAvailable July 11th-17th
The Peculiar by Stefen Bachmann

Published by HarperAudio
Narrated by Peter Altschuler

Don’t get yourself noticed and you won’t get yourself hanged.

In the faery slums of Bath, Bartholomew Kettle and his sister Hettie live by these words. Bartholomew and Hettie are changelings—Peculiars—and neither faeries nor humans want anything to do with them.

One day a mysterious lady in a plum-colored dress comes gliding down Old Crow Alley. Bartholomew watches her through his window. Who is she? What does she want? And when Bartholomew witnesses the lady whisking away, in a whirling ring of feathers, the boy who lives across the alley—Bartholomew forgets the rules and gets himself noticed.

First he’s noticed by the lady in plum herself, then by something darkly magical and mysterious, by Jack Box and the Raggedy Man, by the powerful Mr. Lickerish . . . and by Arthur Jelliby, a young man trying to slip through the world unnoticed, too, and who, against all odds, offers Bartholomew friendship and a way to belong.

Part murder mystery, part gothic fantasy, part steampunk adventure, The Peculiar is Stefan Bachmann’s riveting, inventive, and unforgettable debut novel.

Another MG title that’s been on my list for a while now!  Can I just point out that I’m really pleasantly surprised by the amount of MG on the Sync list this year?


Oliver Twist by Charles DickensAvailable July 11th-17th
Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
Published by Tantor Media
Narrated by Simon Vance

One of Charles Dickens’s most popular novels, Oliver Twist is the story of a young orphan who dares to say, “Please, sir, I want some more.” After escaping from the dark and dismal workhouse where he was born, Oliver finds himself on the mean streets of Victorian-era London and is unwittingly recruited into a scabrous gang of scheming urchins. In this band of petty thieves, Oliver encounters the extraordinary and vibrant characters who have captured audiences’ imaginations for more than 150 years: the loathsome Fagin, the beautiful and tragic Nancy, the crafty Artful Dodger, and the terrifying Bill Sikes, perhaps one of the greatest villains of all time.

Rife with Dickens’s disturbing descriptions of street life, the novel is buoyed by the purity of the orphan Oliver. Though he is treated with cruelty and surrounded by coarseness for most of his life, his pious innocence leads him at last to salvation—and the shocking discovery of his true identity.

I’m a Charles Dickens lover, in fact, Great Expectations is among my favorite books, but I’ve never actually read Oliver Twist.  Throw in Simon Vance as a narrator, who I’ve recently enjoyed reading Naomi Novik’s Temeraire series, and I’m sold!


Enchanted by Alethea KontisAvailable Aug 8th-14th
Enchanted by Alethea Kontis
Published by Brilliance Audio
Narrated by Katherine Kellgreen

It isn’t easy being Sunday’s child, not when you’re the rather overlooked and unhappy youngest sibling to sisters named for the other six days of the week. Sunday’s only comfort is writing stories, although what she writes has a terrible tendency to come true.

When Sunday meets an enchanted frog who asks about her stories, the two become friends. Soon that friendship deepens into something magical. One night, Sunday kisses her frog goodbye and leaves, not realizing that her love has transformed him back into Rumbold, the crown prince of Arilland — and a man Sunday’s family despises.

The prince returns to his castle, intent on making Sunday fall in love with him as the man he is, not the frog he was. But Sunday is not so easy to woo. How can she feel such a strange, strong attraction to this prince she barely knows? And what twisted secrets lie hidden in his past — and hers?

Another Katherine Kellgreen title!  And one I’ve been dying to get my hands on since it received an Audie nomination (though sadly, did not win).  I wasn’t able to acquire this one from the library, so I was pumped to see it on the Sync list!


Will you be utilizing Sync this summer?  If so, what titles are you most excited for?

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  1. Iris says:

    As always, there are some titles restricted to US only, but I feel there are less of those this year? Definitely lots of titles to look forward to 😀

  2. I love Great Expectations and A Tale of Two Cities by Dickens. Oliver Twist is good too – obviously – but not a favorite of mine. I hope the audio is good, though! I’ll definitely be doing a re-read of TRB on audio this summer, though, and I’ll have to check out some of these other titles soon. Thanks for sharing, Heidi!(:

    • Heidi says:

      For me, listening to classics on audio and enjoying them is 80-90% up to the narrator, and Simon Vance is a good one so I’m really looking forward to Oliver Twist.

  3. Laura says:

    This is so awesome and marvelous and exciting and other words. It’s Awemarveling Etc.

    I just did this. I have two shiny new audio books. And all thanks to you.

    • Heidi says:

      Yay!! Glad to hear it, Laura! New titles come out every Thursday through July, so more shiny audiobooks than you can keep up with.

  4. I’m really excited for Grave Mercy. I want to read that via audiobook, but my library system doesn’t have the audiobook. So come July, I will be all set :)

    Also, I don’t think I’ve ever listened to a book narrated by Nick Podehl, but I’ve heard really great things about his work. I seriously need ot investigate :)

    • Heidi says:

      Right? I will def be listening to Grave Mercy as a reread at some point, I love that series so much. This is your chance to investigate Nick Podehl! He’s great. I haven’t loved every book he’s narrated, but his narration has certainly improved the iffy ones.

  5. I have a difficult relationship with audiobooks (read: SUPER PICKY ABOUT NARRATORS) but I love it when they’re awesome! I’m very excited about this year’s line up. There are some I haven’t read yet, and even though I have physical copies for others I’m still going to download since we’re doing a few road trips this year.

    Thanks for the feature, Heidi! A good reminder of what’s coming up.

    • Heidi says:

      I certainly have narrators I’m attached to, and others I won’t listen to, but I don’t think I’m overly picky. I love Sync though, like I said, there’s a few titles I’ve already read, but I’m picking them up any way for re-read potential. Audiobooks on road trips are the best!

  6. I just downloaded Of Poseidon the other day. I haven’t really given audiobooks a try, and I figured that it couldn’t hurt to give them a chance, especially when they’re free. I think I’m going to end up being pretty selective about those I choose to download and listen to, however. Any with beautiful prose or experimental language are best read, I think. But I do plan on trying out Of Poseidon, The False Prince, Sold, and maybe a few others this way.

    • Heidi says:

      Yay! I really think Sync is the PERFECT way to give audiobooks a chance–I hope that you find some that will work for you! I always download all of them, but if after 10-15 minutes of an audiobook I’m really not feeling it, I’ll go ahead and switch to the print version.

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While the source for each book I review is posted within its review, please assume unless otherwise stated that books reviewed on Bunbury in the Stacks were received free from the author or publisher in exchange for an honest review.