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Winter’s Gifts, Audio Book

Saturday, March 9, 2024

Winter’s Gifts, Audio Book (2023) Ben Aaronovitch narrated by Penelope Rawlins (Rivers of London)

Winter's GiftsI actually listened to this in February, but missed logging it somehow.

This is Kimberly Reynold’s story, and as such, we get Penelope Rawlins instead of Kobna Holdbrook-Smith.

She does an good job of Kimberly Reynolds voice, but less so of the male characters–especially the ones from Wisconsin. That is a very distinct sound that she didn’t have, but I could let it slide if I hadn’t had difficulty telling the various male characters apart.

I was also reminded how Ben Aaronovitch really didn’t seem to have a handle on midwest winters.

The road couldn’t have been plowed more than half a day previous, but it was already vanishing under fresh snow and I was glad to have the four-wheel drive on the steeper sections.

When we get a steady snow, the plow goes by every couple hours, and the roads can disappear almost immediately–and we are NOT in the midwest. That’s not a ding, just something I was amused by.

One bit I particularly liked was how American practitioners had their own language for magic.

It looked like a stroke, but I had an inkling it was something else.

“What happened?” asked Boyd.

“Rebenstock’s Syndrome,” said Walker. “It’s the reason why doing magic isn’t as popular as you’d think it would be.” He looked up at Boyd and realized that he’d slipped up.

“Don’t move me,” whispered Clarkson. “No aspirin or anti—” She winced. “Anti-coagulants. Not a stroke.”

And that the genius loci were also quite different.

“Can he leave?” I asked. “If he wants to?”

“That’s a good question, Kimberley.” He said my name the same way my kindergarten teacher used to say it. Friendly, gentle, but with a hint of distance, so that you never forgot who was in charge of whom. “If he went back into the world he wouldn’t last a year—he’d be dead or in prison.”

“But he can leave if he wants to?”

“Any time he likes,” said the boy. “But he knows he’s much safer here with me.”

“It’s not right,” I said.

“I didn’t break him and then throw him in the garbage,” said the boy. “That’s all on you.”

I did enjoy it, I just wish the male voices would have been easier to tell apart–especially the Native American voices.

Publisher: Tantor Audio

Rating: 8/10


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