Thursday, June 21, 2012

Audio Book Review: The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healy

The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healy, read by Bronson Pinchot
Release Date: May 2012
Publisher: Harper Audio
Hours: 9 hours 5 minutes, unabridged
Received: Audio copy from publisher


This is a review of the AUDIO version

If you are interested in my review of the book, check out my review. This is only a review of the reader in the audiobook format.

I should preface this review by confessing that I am not much of an audiobook listener. I try every now and then to listen to an audiobook because I feel like I should do something productive and entertaining while doing boring things like walking on the treadmill or folding laundry. But, embarrassingly, my mind wanders.Try as I might, audiobooks are often a struggle for me.

So that is why it is especially notable when I say,

This is the bestest audiobook in the ENTIRE WORLD!

At this point you're probably sick of me gushing about The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom because I've mentioned it, oh, maybe once or twice before...but that's because I'm so gosh darn in love with it. I didn't think my love could grow any larger than it already was, but then I listened to the audiobook...

...and dare I say it, but I think I'm even more in love with the audio version than I am with the print version. It was like taking all of the best traits of movies and all of the best features of books and smushing them together into a package of awesome.
The voices!

Bronson Pinchot doesn't just read the book. He becomes the book. He gives every character their own unique voice and channels all of their character traits perfectly.

You know how in a book the author needs to include things like "X character said" or whatever so you know who is actually speaking? I didn't need that at all here because Bronson Pinchot made all of the voices so distinct that it was as if I were listening to different people talk.

Even the girl characters sounded good, which is a pretty big feat considering Bronson Pinchot is not actually a girl (in case you couldn't tell).

Also of note is that each character has a different accent. Yes, accents! And they totally make sense for the characters. I don't remember the book specifying things like "said Liam with an Irish lilt" but somehow each accent Bronson Pinchot chose seemed like the exact right choice for each character and made me love them even more than I already did.

It's the little things like this that I think really made this reading. It's clear he took the time and effort needed to truly get the book and embody the characters. He did such a good job I almost want him to be the voice actor for every single character in the upcoming movie version (even though I'm sure they'll get, you know, real women and stuff like that).

It's like he took perfect chocolate, and then somehow made it better

Bronson Pinchot managed to avoid one of my biggest pet peeves with audiobooks, namely, I don't like it when the characters don't sound like they do in my head. Erm, I mean, when I read a book I imagine a character's voice sounds a certain way and audiobook readers usually sound NOTHING like how I imagine the character would sound (I cringe every time a woman reader does the "deep manly voice" for the hot hero).

It's like, ok, anyone read the Mortal Instruments series and totally NOT picture that tiny strange-eyed little guy they horribly miscast as Jace? Totally wrong, right?? Any tiny bit of desire I might have had to see that movie shriveled up and died when I saw that casting (especially after holding out hope for Mr. Hot Abs. I mean, Alex Pettyfer).

That's pretty much akin to the crushing, gnawing disappointment I experience with most audiobook voices.

But now think of the joy you experience every time you flip on The Vampire Diaries and see the smoking perfection of Ian Somerhalder not only capturing but enhancing all of the gorgeous goodness (and badness!) of Damon Salvatore (what, please tell me I'm not alone here??).

THAT is what I'm talking about. I mean, no, of course there are no shirtless men in the audio version of The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom (or any version, for that matter. It's MG, ladies! Sheesh). But what I do mean to say is that Bronson Pinchot's voice acting was the absolute beyond-my-wildest-dreams perfect "casting" for The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom. Every time he opened his mouth I basked in the sweet sounds of exactly what an audiobook should be.

Bottom line

I was thoroughly entertained and my mind didn't wander once while listening.

I doubled my workout times so I could listen to just one more chapter, and just one more (don't worry, I made up for it by eating extra ice cream).

I contemplated dropping my freshly laundered clothing into the dirt just so I would have to spend more time re-washing and folding so I could have an excuse to continue listening.

I think I'm going to go now and listen to it again.

I will now and forever compare all audiobook readers on the scale of 1 to Bronson Pinchot.

So, yeah, I recommend it.

Add it to Goodreads!
Buy it on Amazon!

Do you have any questions about the audiobook version of The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom that I haven't addressed? 
Feel free to ask in the comments!

Have you ever listened to an audiobook that had a beyond amazing reader? (My workout routine could seriously use your recommendations!)


  1. Oh geez girl this CRACKS ME UP!!! And I totally want to run out and buy a copy of the audio RIGHT NOW!!! And by run out I mean open up a new tab and online shop. :) But I MUST RESIST!!! I have ZERO book money at the moment, unfortunately.

    1. I hope you DO buy a copy! It is so worth it. Oh, oops, I'm sorry, I'm doing your wallet no favors :P

  2. I love how you post the excerpt right in your post. That's helpful. I can listen to it while I'm typing this comment. I love this post. I just imagine you leaping up and down, crying tears of happiness. Actually I imagine you a manga like character with a frilly dress who spins with delight and runs in fields of flowers. It just seems joyful like your headings.'s late - that made no sense at all.

    Bronson has a deeper voice than I expected.

    I love the first few lines. I'm laughing already. "Prince Charming isn't a name. It's an adjective."

    1. Glad the excerpt is helpful! It really only gets better from there. The excerpt shows off his voice for the narrator, but you don't get all the fabulous voices he uses for the other characters.

      Your visual made sense, and it's pretty spot on :P

  3. I've gotten really into audiobooks this year - there are some fantastic narrators out there. Usually an audiobook is the first time I'm encountering the story, so I don't have the problem with the audiobooks sounding 'wrong', but I definitely see how it can happen. This books sounds great, though, in either form.

    1. I would LOVE some recommendations if you have them for good narrators. :)

  4. I love when there is a book you love so much that you just want to tell everyone about it always. I really want to read this one. It sounds so fun and I love the premise. I may grab the audiobook now that I hear it is amazing. I actually have been listening to more and more audio books. The Scorpio Races, Divergent, and Insurgent are all really good, but if your mind wanders (mine does sometimes, too), stick to listening to old favorites (Harry Potter! Love Jim Dale) while you're doing treadmill and such.

    1. "I love when there is a book you love so much that you just want to tell everyone about it always."

      Yes! That is SUCH a great feeling. Thanks for the recommendations! You're right, HP would be a great audiobook for me to grab. I've heard Jim Dale does an amazing job. Thanks!

  5. I am always listening to audio books and I love them!! This book sounds really interesting by the way! I'll add this to my to-read or to-listen list LOL :P Thanks for the review!! :D

  6. Well, goodness! Sounds like an audiobook I need to check out. I've never actually listened to one before. Still sounds like an awesome book...and it's really going to be a movie?! I want to read it so much, so I must get on this.


    1. Definitely an audiobook to check out :) This would be a great one to start with, but it also might spoil you for all other audiobooks! I'm pretty sure it's going to be a movie. I forget who, but some big company picked up the rights.

  7. Stop tempting me with this book! I'm going to get it!! I promise! LOL
    The book does sound marvelous! :D I can't wait to read it.

    1. hehehe I can't help it! It's sooooo good :)

    2. I'm in the middle of the Audio! is SOOOOOOO good!!
      I love how Duncan cracks me up! and Liam makes me swoon! I love the many insults Gustav hurls at, well, everyone. And Frederick is such a lovable guy in that "awww, aren't you cute" way.

      At first I didn't think the girl voices were so good but as the narration progressed they became a bit more distinct.

    3. Yay! I'm so glad you decided to try the audio version!! Aren't his voices fantastic?! I'm so, so happy you're enjoying it. I think I partially love the girl voices because they sound so silly.

  8. First thought: Balki from Perfect Strangers is the narrator?! I had no idea he read audiobooks.

    Second thought: Team Damon all the way!

    Third thought: This book had me in stitches while I cataloged it for my library. I'm waiting patiently until it returns to fully bask in its awesomeness.

    1. Yay for Team Damon!

      I hope you can get your hands on a copy soon. :)

  9. great post! I'll be sure to check it out(:
    New follower
    My Wonderfully Dysfunctional Blog

  10. I love audiobooks. This one sounds exceptionally awesome. Don't know how anyone could take the perfect chocolate and make it even better, but if they did I'm in on a sample.

    Did you get this for review, or buy it? If so where? Point me in an inexpensive direction.

    1. You seriously need to read this book, or better yet, listen to it! I think you will absolutely love it. I got it for review, but...hmm...if you don't have any problems with Amazon, it looks like they have it for only $15!

  11. OOOOHH sounds like an excellent audiobook!! :D I have gotten into audiobooks lately and am always looking for new ones. ;) I'll have to look into this one! :D

    Sierra @ Yearning to Read

    1. So so sososoosososoosososooo good! I've never listened to an audiobook that made me RAVE like this one.

  12. I gotta try this one on audio. Sounds so cute.

    1. It is absolutely adorable. The funny parts from the book (which is almost every page) are even funnier in the audio version with all of the funny voices!


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