www.theoddiophile.com is not currently reviewing books. The page is active for archive purposes and in case I resume reviewing in the future.
For now, I’m getting back to what I love about audiobooks and am relearning how to submerge myself in the story without maintaining a constant analytical awareness of performance and story construction
Hi and thanks for stopping by. My name is Kelli Nichols and I am the Oddiophile. I’m a longtime audiobook listener who likes to talk about them ad nauseam. I’m generally genre agnostic but listen to a lot of Speculative Fiction, Romance, and Mystery/Thriller with a noticeable leaning towards the YA sub-genres within those. Here’s some basic info on how I grade and a few general policies:
Review Policy Statement:
I accept review copies from publishers. Books reviewed on this site may be sourced from a publisher or may be purchased by me. Regardless of the source, all reviews reflect my unvarnished opinion and experience with the book. If the review is for a book that was received free of charge from a publisher, that fact will be indicated in the review.
If you would like to contact me, feel free to use the Contact Us widget on the top left of the page or drop me an e-mail using this link: Oddiophile
How I Grade:
In the sense that all reviews reflects my true opinion about an audiobook, I consider my reviews “objective.” Realistically I’m not truly offering an objective review because I’m not grading strictly on criteria that are black and white (seriously, who wants to read a review that discusses nothing but spelling, sentence construction, and discontinuities in the story?) We all bring our own set of experiences and individual tastes to how we perceive what we read. My reviews are also informed by what my reading history provides me as comparison points for how a book stacks up overall and for how it meets my expectations within what I’ve read in a specific genre.
I tend to use the same scale Goodreads does but I’ve converted it to letter grades. Here’s a breakdown of how I translate the two. To answer the obvious question before we even begin – “I Hate It” isn’t an “F” because if it’s that bad I’m not going to finish listening and so won’t review it. Life’s too short for bad books.
D = Didn’t Like It
C = It Was OK
C+/B = Liked It
B+/A- = Really Liked it
A = It Was Amazing
In terms of narration:
F: I don’t think I’ve encountered one but it would probably be comprised of horrible accents, no character differentiation, mispronounced words, errors in what is spoken vs. what is written, an irritating narrator’s voice or multiple annoying character voices (that aren’t defined as such in the text), and no emotion in delivery
D: Similar to above but slightly better differentiation and some emotion. This can also be the grade I select if the narration is an overall C but there is one big narration problem such as giving the bad guy an evil voice when his identity is not supposed to be revealed until the surprise ending or if you can hear a lot of breathing during narrative portions and not as part of a character’s attributes
C: Occasional problems determining who is speaking, some issues with the narrator’s interpretation vs. what is given in the text (e.g. “he said angrily” but not sounding particularly angry in tone), accents close but not perfect, production issues
B: The narrator’s voice appeals to me; character voices clearly differentiated; accents good; delivery matches what’s indicated in the text; can’t hear narrator breathing or making extraneous noises; few, if any, sound issues (e.g. you can tell where retakes were inserted because the volume abruptly changes), and generally I feel like I am discovering the story at the same time as the narrator (i.e. they deliver “in the moment” narration)
A: I like/love the narrator’s voice, their delivery is faithful to the text, and there is absolutely nothing in their performance that pulls me out of the story: all accents are perfect, I hear male characters as such and female characters sound like women, their portrayal of emotional scenes evokes a matching emotion from me and is never over-done, a complete feeling of real-time discovery as I listen to the story, and no production issues to speak of.
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While I believe that reviews are for readers, I welcome comments or direct communication from anyone with an interest in the audiobook. Although reading (and likely writing or recording) books is a solitary endeavor, the best books evoke emotion or engage the reader intellectually and that invites discussion. Dissent and differing opinions are to be expected but I reserve the right to block commenters or remove comments that are inappropriate, threatening, or counterproductive to a healthy environment for discussion. I currently moderate all comments so please expect a delay between submitting a comment and it appearing on the post.