Super Powereds: Year One
By Drew Hayes
So, Drew Hayes is my favorite author. My favorite series of his is his Super Powereds series (which I’ve reviewed twice already for Cannonball!) I am in love with Kyle McCarley as an audiobook reader (and I even follow him on Twitch to support him and to hear him talk!) So when I saw that they were rerecording the audiobooks, I was taken aback. Why mess with perfection? Kyle McCarley’s voices were the voices of the characters! How were they going to ruin it?!? Graphic Audio advertises “A Movie in Your Mind,” so they have full cast and sound effects. I was still doubtful.
After getting into it, it’s not that bad. The words are the same, after all. Some of the characters have changes that I can totally understand. Alice, for example, sounds a bit valley girl, which makes sense as she grew up in LA. Mary has an accent from somewhere, which is off-putting at first, but makes sense with her background (I can’t remember where she’s supposed to be from.) Roy’s accent is still southern, and Nick’s sounds pretty similar too.
Some of the changes I was not about. Mr. Transport and Mr. Numbers were given English accents, although Mr. Numbers is more posh. But knowing outside information, I’m not so sure about those. Mr. Numbers was a punk-ass kid, and Mr. Transport ate “beerios” for breakfast after high school. Both sound very American to me. Also, it seems that accents would be one thing the Company would try eliminate. Every time Dean Blaine talks in class, there’s an echo as if he were talking in a microphone at a podium for class. But the class sizes are not all that big. You don’t need a sound system for 30, or even 40 people. The biggest ones I have are Vince and Thomas. Thomas is described as being a black character, and he is voiced by what sounds like a white actor. Vince, on the other hand, is voiced by a black actor, but is described as a white character. It’s not that big of a deal, but I can tell, and it throws me. With Kyle’s reading, he had very different voices for different characters. Here we have different actors, but sometimes their voices sound very similar, so I’m not quite sure who they are right away.
Sometimes the ambient noises add to the general effect. Some of them, not so much. I don’t really need to hear chewing sounds, or prolonged wet kissing noises. For the longest time, every time someone went to fight, they made what I can only describe as an anime noise, you know, when they’re charging at someone? And then they totally missed some places where noises would have been perfect, like the date!
I will always recommend the Kyle McCarley version of this series, because it is far superior in my mind, but I will continue to follow the Graphic Audio version, both to support Drew Hayes and because they’re available through hoopla, so I don’t have to pay for them. (The first book was split into three parts for the Graphic Audio version, and that gets pricey!) But for some people, this might be their jam. Maybe the sound effects will appeal to some people. Hey, if it gets more people involved in the fandom of Drew Hayes, I’m all for it!
Five stars for content, four stars for production
(This fulfills the 2021 CBR13 Bingo square of “Self Care” because what’s better than revisiting a favorite book?)