Demon Cycle Audiobooks

I never used to be a big audiobook listener. Up until a few years ago, the only audiobook I had ever owned was The Gunslinger, by Stephen King, which someone gave me when I was a kid and bedridden with the flu. It was on cassette tape, so you can imagine how long ago that was.

The Gunslinger was read by Stephen King himself, and in the introduction, he commented on what he saw as the value of audiobooks being read by the author. This was something that stuck with me.

Many years later, when I sold the audio rights to my first novel, The Warded Man, to Recorded Books, I remembered those words, and told my agent that I would like to narrate the audiobook myself. I’ve been told I have a good reading voice, and I already knew how to pronounce all my made up words. I knew which words to emphasize to get the most out of each sentence, delivering it to the listener just as it was in my head when written.

Both my agent and Recorded Books were a bit taken aback by my request. This was not at all the norm, as standard practice was to hire professional voice actor to do narration. But I stuck to my guns, and RB agreed to let me come in to they NY sound studio and audition. It was weird, having to auditioning to narrate my own work, but I went in full of confidence, and delivered a stellar audition.

Or so I thought.

A couple weeks later, they got in touch thanking me for my audition, but telling me they were taking a pass in favor of Broadway actor Pete Bradbury.

Grrr. Who was this Pete Bradbury, and what made him so darn special? I was annoyed, but my agent convinced me to let it go in the interests of delivering the highest quality audiobook possible. I was given audio samples of Bradbury’s work, and couldn’t deny the man was talented.

Soon after, RB got in touch again. Pete had read the book, loved it, and sent a LONG list of words he wanted proper pronunciation for. Character names, Krasian words, stuff I made up, etc.

I was somewhat mollified. If it wasn’t going to be me pronouncing everything, at least they were working with me to make sure it was done right.

A few months later, the 18 hour audiobook was sent to me for a quality check. I hadn’t listened to an audiobook in years, but I am a firm believer that everything with my name on it is part of my global brand, and I want to make sure it is all of the best quality possible. I started listening to it while going for long walks in the park.

I was immediately taken in by Bradbury’s rendition. I had been afraid he would be tempted to overact, making up voices, creating fake accents, and speaking in falsetto for the female characters. Instead, Bradbury made subtle changes in tone and inflection as he read, making it clear who was speaking without resorting to excess theatrics. His voice is deep and rich, with just a touch of gravel. I felt like a kid sitting by the fire as my grandfather read me a book.

I shifted overnight from being annoyed at Pete to one of his biggest boosters, recommending the audiobooks enthusiastically, and listening to them multiple times to help me refresh myself on events when working on the next books. I also became an audiobook fan in general, and have listened to quite a few books by other authors/narrators since then.

Some months later, I learned quite by accident that there were UK audiobook versions of The Painted Man and The Desert Spear on sale. I had known the rights sold in the UK, but had assumed that the producers there, like the ones in the US, would be in touch during production.

On request, I was sent copies of the UK versions of the first two books, but was disappointed to learn upon listening that, having not been consulted, the new narrator, Peter Joyce, mispronounced most every name and made-up word in the books. Statistically, you would think they would have guessed right a few times, but alas. It was difficult for me to even listen.

It wasn’t a matter of the narrator, precisely. While more theatrical than I prefer, Peter Joyce is unquestionably talented, and lord knows we Americans are used to narrators with a British accent. I just felt quite strongly that it was not presenting my work properly and consistently.

This was in 2010. After some discussions with my agents, I requested that the UK license the author-approved Pete Bradbury version of the audio moving forward, to maintain consistency and quality control for the global brand. The decision was mine, and mine alone. The Daylight War was still years from completion, though, so it seemed a distant prospect.

Fast forward to the present. The Daylight War has launched in both countries, with Pete Bradbury as the worldwide audio narrator. I realize this comes as a jarring transition for some UK audio fans who had become accustomed to the Joyce performance, a few of whom have posted their feelings on the blog and on audible. I do apologize for that. However, I continue to believe that Bradbury puts forward the best performance in line with how I want my work presented. Given the chance, I honestly believe he will win over any doubters.

I am currently in talks with Voyager, my UK publisher, in hopes of making the Bradbury versions of the first two books available in the UK as well, so there can be consistency moving forward. I was delaying this post until I had a clear plan on that front, but sometimes these things move slowly.

If you’re interested in a more theatrical performance of the books on audio, I recommend giving the Graphic Audio productions a try.

With original music and a full cast of incredibly talented voice actors, Graphic Audio has really created something special and unique that I endorse fully. GA is contracted to produce the entire series, including the novellas. So far they have The Warded Man and The Desert Spear up for sale, but they will be adding The Daylight War, The Great Bazaar and Brayan’s Gold shortly. If you are outside the US, you can visit their international page.

Posted on April 12, 2013 at 8:00 am by PeatB
Filed under Craft, Daylight War, Desert Spear, Fans, Tech, The Daylight War, Warded Man, Writing

133 responses to “Demon Cycle Audiobooks”

  1. I had a rant set regarding the ridiculous and childish attitudes that people have shown in these comments, but I will hold my tongue and leave my opinion as previously stated.

    Mr. Brett I am anxiously awaiting the release of the Graphic Audio version of The Daylight War. I can’t seem to find any release info that’s relevant. Any hints on when that will be released?

    For any who haven’t check out the graphic audio versions, do yourself a favor and check them out. They are spectacular!

    Posted by Veronica, on October 23rd, 2013 at 8:43 pm
  2. Hi Veronica,

    Your restraint is appreciated.

    Graphic Audio is working on Daylight War as we speak. The person who directed the first two books had left the company, but he was brought back as a contractor for Daylight, which I am thrilled about, because the quality of the GA productions of Warded Man and Desert Spear was so high.

    As with the previous books, it will be split into 2 or 3 pieces. The first part will be released in January if the schedule holds, with the remaining parts coming in (relatively) short order.

    To anyone who is wondering about Graphic Audio, they do full cast audio productions of novels with music, sound effects, etc. Their Demon Cycle work has been superb. You can see samples here:

    Posted by Peat, on October 24th, 2013 at 10:09 am
  3. Are we going to see a Peter Joyce edition or is it a case of like it or lump it?

    read a lot of the comment above but no definite yes or no that I can see. would be good to draw a line under it so we know where we stand.

    its great for the GA fans but they’re just not my thing.

    Posted by Si, on November 8th, 2013 at 9:58 am
  4. I’m very interested to know what is coming. be nice t carry on with a British narrator with some character that is easy to listen to I’m pretty sure that peter Joyce is a burnt bridge and that’s fair enough on his part but a shame are. we close to getting somthing in writing but on the other

    Posted by Colin goodger, on November 9th, 2013 at 7:20 pm
  5. I apologize to those who feel this issue has been ignored. Honestly, I have been on top of it since the book came out, but while I do have some influence, final decisions are up to the publishers. They were in favor of switching to a new narrator with a UK accent, but while it obviously means a lot to everyone here, the Bradbury version has continued to sell quite well, making the change less of a priority with the bean counters.

    But that end is settled. Peter Joyce will not be returning. After much searching, we had an awesome new narrator lined up, but then there was a scheduling problem and he was not available.

    It was back to the drawing board, and I, my agents, and editors all went through a ton of samples. We narrowed it down and I picked one I think will do a fantastic job based on his sample scenes. Just waiting for the final word that things are locked-on before I share his name, samples, and estimated release dates. He will be re-recording all three books, as well as The Great Bazaar & Brayan’s Gold collection, and doing the remainder of the series.

    Please rest assured that it is progressing and I will make an announcement as soon as possible.

    Thank you for your patience.

    Posted by Peat, on November 9th, 2013 at 7:40 pm
  6. Happy days peat! Just hope he is as good a Joyce!

    Posted by Chris, on November 10th, 2013 at 12:02 pm
  7. Thanks peat

    Posted by Colin goodger, on November 11th, 2013 at 6:37 am
  8. Thanks for the update!

    Posted by John, on November 13th, 2013 at 1:44 pm
  9. Awesome can’t wait keep up the good work

    Posted by wpruk81, on November 18th, 2013 at 5:03 pm
  10. Please to announce the new Demon Cycle audiobooks will be read by Colin Mace. I will post a formal blog about it soon, along with his amazing test read. In the meantime, you can find samples of his work here:

    Posted by Peat, on November 22nd, 2013 at 4:30 pm
  11. Thank you Peat for the update sounds like good news – i couldn’t hear a sample from the link you posted but itunes has plenty of previews of Colin Mace’s narration. he sounds easy to listen to clear and i’m hopeful – i gave up halfway through the daylight war couple months ago and not been motivated to return and complete it. my only concern is weather Colin is capable of the depth and diversity of characters, i only listened to a few of his sample but most of the books i could view seemed to only have a need for one main character or single voice narration, i hope Colin can take the challenge of different voices and give the power of the character justice too. but i will await the arrival of the new edition with anticipation of enjoying the story to its completion if that’s where it is leading us. thanks

    Posted by Simon, on November 24th, 2013 at 12:09 pm
  12. Hi Peat,

    I take this news as an early Christmas present! I’ve not listened to any of Colin’s work but having checked out some samples sounds good. Less theatric than Peter Joyce as you clearly wanted, but for me much easier to listen to than Pete Bradbury.

    I hope the release date comes soon – hopefully The Daylight War first!

    Thanks again, John.

    Posted by John, on November 28th, 2013 at 6:30 am
  13. How exciting I wonder what he’s going to be like thanks for the update

    Posted by Colin goodger, on November 30th, 2013 at 5:19 am
  14. Post about the new narrator, including his Demon Cycle audition recording will go live tomorrow morning. Thank you everyone for your patience.

    Posted by PeatB, on December 5th, 2013 at 11:55 am
  15. Where do we find the post

    Posted by Colin goodger, on December 8th, 2013 at 5:49 pm
  16. Posted by PeatB, on December 9th, 2013 at 10:06 am
  17. Such sense of self entitlement! So many people lashing out on the author and anyone else that’s near because they can’t have their entertainment in exactly the form they want it.

    The author did an awesome thing in making himself directly accessible to his fans here, but is probably regretting it now after learning how rude people get.

    Having said that, after finishing the 3rd book, narrated by Pete Bradbury, I must say that I much preferred Peter Joyce. Bradbury just seems too mellow after Joyce. I’ve been wondering how I would have felt if it was the opposite — the two first books by Bradbury and the third book by Joyce. I really can’t tell.

    Thank you for the story, Peter. I absolutely love the books. After more than 30 years as an avid reader of fantasy and sci-fi, I’ve become jaded, I’m sorry to say. But these books are fresh and exciting.

    Posted by Roger, on February 25th, 2014 at 8:28 pm
  18. I have started to listen to the graphic audio and decided to search for the narrated version as the above is poorly produced. Very disappointed to learn that Peter Joyce will not be reading the rest of the cycle. As someone else pointed out it is the readers/listeners imagination which is also important. This is a sterling tale which would only be enhanced more if the reader were to relate more to their indigenous culture. Please reconsider.

    Posted by WrathofKhan, on April 27th, 2014 at 4:37 am
  19. Hi all,

    The Colin Mace audiobooks will be available starting October 23! The new audio recordings will include all three books, the novellas, and Colin Mace will be the voice of the U.K. Demon Cycle going forward. Peat has listened to all the audiobooks first, and everything has been approved!

    The audible page hasn’t been updated with the new narrator, so it isn’t available for pre-order yet, but watch this space as October nears:

    Posted by megelizabeth, on September 1st, 2014 at 9:39 am
  20. Thanks for the update Meg, have a week of soon so that works well for me!

    Posted by John, on October 17th, 2014 at 4:16 am
  21. Hi all,

    The audiobook for The Daylight War, narrated by Colin Mace, is set to be released on November 27th. You can pre-order it on Audible now:

    Thank you everybody for your patience!

    Posted by Meg, on November 18th, 2014 at 11:26 am
  22. Thank you Peter

    while I totally understand your reasons for making a change I found the British narrator much easier to listen too so it will increase my enjoyment of the later titles in the series

    Any chance you could convince Audible in the U.K to let us swap our old recording for the new ones?

    Posted by Nick, on November 30th, 2014 at 5:05 pm
  23. Well he’s no Peter Joyce abit dull but better than the yank

    Posted by Colin goodger, on November 30th, 2014 at 5:16 pm
  24. Nick, I’ve tried to find a way to let people swap the old recording for the new, but as yet this is a corporate thing I have little control over. Negotiations ongoing. You might try re-downloading the file from audible now that the new narrator is up and seeing what you get. Let me know if it works.

    Posted by PeatB, on December 1st, 2014 at 3:38 pm
  25. Hey Peter,

    First of all can I just say kudos to an amazing series of books. Not for the first time have I read and re-released (and again re-read) the series! I struggle to find another series that can compete with the incredible and mind gripping creation and depth of the story. I throughoughly look forward to seeing the next story in the cycle and the one after that. Sending you lots and respect and admiration from Australia.

    As for this debate I can completely understand where you come from. As an actor/dancer/choreographer myself I understand when an artists vision for something becomes fixated and focused, in your case how the story is to be told. Being judged for a decision that you made based on what feels right is never an easy thing and it’s great to see that you’ve handled it with professionalism and integrity.

    I (unknowingly) downloaded the first and third books in the series as audiobooks being narrated by Pete Bradbury and the second story narrated by Peter Joyce. I merely assumed that the initial reader was unavailable for the job (as we as artists often aren’t available for everything that comes our way). I definitely noticed the differences in the readers and found myself drawn to Pete Bradbury’s telling of the tale. From his take on the Krasian accent to the subtle changes in tone and pitch, none of it being overdone. I understand the disappointment for other listeners but I respect your decision to commit to the initial vision you saw as the writer. Peter Joyces version wasn’t without its praises but just didn’t make the mark for me either. But I also believe there is a third version, read by a Colin (someone)? What happened there?

    I guess having listened to both version by what I thought was being forced into it, my judgement is a little less biased towards one particular actor. Having said that I think Petes version of the story feels more at home, for me anyway.

    Once again, thank you for producing such a well written series. Don’t leave us hanging too long for the Skull Throne!



    Posted by Jake Paul Green, on December 10th, 2014 at 10:41 am
  26. Hi Jake,

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts! Peat and his publisher decided to re-record the entire series so that it would have one consistent narrator for new listeners.


    Posted by Meg, on December 11th, 2014 at 11:02 am
  27. Hi Peter,

    If the problem with Joyce was mispronouncing words, have you heard Mace’s massacring of your words? He says ‘ev-ja’ and ‘eave-ram’… this doesn’t follow the pronunciations you’ve posted. And he’s not even consistent because he says ‘in-ever-a’. Given how he pronounces ‘eave-ram’, he at least ought to say ‘in-eave-rah’.

    Joyce was far superior. Your solution is an utter fail.


    Posted by Sam Caddick, on January 7th, 2015 at 6:02 pm
  28. what a mess! …. Colin Mace version is no solution at all. I had to get a refund it was that bad! Peter Joyce made the story an epic experience. Pete Bradbury version is dull but it’s the only option left on the table…. I’m gutted, but I would rather Bradbury narrate the rest of the series than never complete the series! What a bloody Mace! and for what??? accents and mispronunciations… I thought the changes in the pronunciations that Joyce used during the book reflected the idea that the Greenlanders used some words differently to the Krasians. so the listener got a better sense of the cultural shift. for instance early in the warded man Joyce pronounces the word for the Demons as ‘Carlings’ but later the pronunciation chances to ‘Core-lings’ as we discover that the creatures rise up from the ‘core’. But The lost city ‘Anoch sun’ is definitely more fitting of Joyce’s pronounciation than Bradbury’s “Anock soon” come on! Brett you can’t seriously be backing Bradbury with that slip. Also Joyce’s pronunciation of most of the similar names and Krasian words was clear and easy to discern because of how he emphasised the words but Bradbury has trouble reading some of the Krasian with clarity and it becomes difficult as the listener to recognise who and what he is referring to. Ohh and what is a “crass-ian” anyway… again Bradbury must be wrong – the “Krasian” for Krasian is “Kraysian” as Joyce puts it not “Crass-ian” as Bradbury puts it. lets have a vote….

    Posted by simon, on March 15th, 2015 at 8:38 pm
  29. I listened to “The Warded Man” with Bradbury, & then listened to “The Desert Spear” by Joyce. I was very disappointed with Joyce’s performance. By the time “The Desert Spear” came out I had listened to “The Warded Man” three times, & having Joyce mis-pronunced so many words was very jarring.
    So it probably depend on who you started listened too. I have not listened to Mace’s performance yet & may never. I now own all the book & novellas narrated by Bradbury, & would be very disappointed if Pete did not bring him back for every book in the series.

    Posted by Matthew, on March 18th, 2015 at 8:20 am
  30. Bit of a late response I know but I’ve recently been listening to my set of the first three in the cycle & I must say, I’m relieved Peter Joyce is gone!
    For some unknown reason, here’s how my set rolls

    Painted Man – Pete Bradbury
    Desert Spear – Peter Joyce
    Daylight War – Pete Bradbury

    Though I deeply loved Jardir’s accent & the other Krasian accents in Desert Spear I truly HATED how Renna spoke! & Joyce consistently pronounced names wrong (Rojir as Row-hey?!! WTF?!!!) it jarred so badly with Bradbury that almost all the way through DS I wanted to hurl my iPod across the room & listening to anyone from Tibbets Brook became painful!
    I’ve read some of the stupid snarky comments from other UK fans & I have to disagree, i would much prefer to hear the words spoken EXACTLY how the author wants them pronounced! It’s Peat’s world, we are just visiting ????

    Have listened to a sample of Colin Mace I’m quietly hopeful that he’ll mesh well with Bradbury so I can buy skull throne by Mace & all I’ll have to replace is Desert Spear, no big loss!!

    Posted by Zara, on March 20th, 2015 at 11:06 pm
  31. […] author wrote about his experience with the audiobook version on his blog, and I think he sums up Bradbury’s reading very well. Rather than come up […]

    Posted by My Favorite Audiobooks | Title to be determined, on March 26th, 2015 at 9:57 am
  32. Hi

    I live in the UK and really enjoyed listening to the first 2 books. I felt that was in part due to the narration of Peter Joyce. The way he voiced Ahmann Jardir was just awesome!

    I found I couldn’t really get into 3rd book due to the different narrator and spent over 2 hours scouring the different audio publishers website looking for a version of the book narrated by Peter Joyce.

    I was a bit taken aback when I found, according to this page, that the author actually decide to go with Peter Bradbury. I wish he would reconsider but I suppose its a bit late now.

    Hope Colin Mace’s rendition of Skull throne is a good one……

    Posted by Abdul, on March 28th, 2015 at 11:19 am
  33. Dear Mr Brett

    Thank you for going to the trouble of re-recording new UK versions of the audio books. I feel you have been fair and generous to do so.

    However I see that the new recordings are by Colin mace and not Peter Joyce. Could yourself or someone please explain to me WHY the new UK books haven’t been recorded with Peter Joyce? I can understand if he was unwilling or unavailable to record the new books and you had to meet a deadline therefore you went with a different narrator. I hope that either one of these issues is the reason why Peter Joyce wasn’t used.

    I have inferred from your posts and responses that you seem to have grudge with Peter Joyce. If the reason he’s not being used on the re-recording is simple because you don’t like his reading, then thats just pathetic. All your readers want is Peter Joyce to continue. I really do hope that isn’t the case and I’m sure it isn’t.

    I love your books and can’t wait to move on with the storey (as I couldn’t bare the Bradbury version) i am stuck on the second book. Ill be happy to buy and listen to the UK re-recordings (even though its not Peter Joyce) so long as there is a genuine reason he wasn’t used for the re-recordings.

    If someone could please get back to me with a response as then I can move on with my life and enjoy your wonderful writing as I’m started to get frustrated.

    Thank you very much, Kindest regards.


    Posted by Will Busby, on April 30th, 2015 at 12:54 pm