The Best Audiobooks of 2023 (so far)

With the year well underway, you can already enjoy a whole bunch of the best audiobooks of 2023!

From bestselling authors to hidden gems, this year’s selection of my favorite audiobooks has been nothing short of spectacular. I have a mix for you ranging from Thrillers to Fantasy, Cozy Mystery, and Literary Fiction. There are pirates, authors, dragons, aunties, and elves.

Something for every mood!

As usual, I have a special post for the best Romance audiobooks of the year, so make sure to check that out as well, if you are a Romance listener!

Now, sit back, put on your headphones, and get ready to discover the best audiobooks of 2023 (so far)…

Link Info

With every book, I will include links to Audible because we all use it. But I will add alternatives as well! If you buy an audiobook there, you actually own the mp3 and can listen to it in any app. Plus, you support indie bookstores with your purchase! A very solid audiobook service, and you can grab a book from the list below for free with a trial there.
Scribd: A very budget-friendly option for listeners as you can listen to several of the audiobooks below for a flat monthly fee.

**The marked links and book covers on this page are affiliate links. If you use them to purchase something, I earn a fee at no additional cost for you. Disclosure**

Vera Wong’s Unsolicited Advice for Murderers

Vera Wong's Unsolicited Advice for Murderers audiobook cover showing a grey-haired Asian woman with glasses peaking through blinds

Jesse Q. Sutanto (Author), Eunice Wong (Narrator)

Get the Audible book**
Or get it on**
Or get it on**
Or listen on Scribd**

Vera Wong’s Unsolicited Advice for Murderers looks and feels like a Cozy Mystery. But, like other books by Jesse Q. Sutanto, it breaks quite a few rules of the genre.

This is an absolutely delightful Mystery novel, though, and a truly heartwarming book about finding family. I loved all the different characters here and the way the story builds up.

Vera Wong is the owner of a small tea shop that is not seeing many customers anymore. One morning, she finds a dead person in the shop. Between boredom and unhappiness with the police’s work, Vera takes things into her own hands. And with a trick, she draws out all the people who might have had a motive to get rid of the man…

Eunice Wong is one of my favorite narrators, and I could have listened to this audiobook for many, many more hours! Come to think of it, I will probably listen to it again soon.

Vera Wong’s Unsolicited Advice for Murderers by Jesse Q. Sutanto is one of the best audiobooks of 2023!

Related article: The Best Audiobooks Apps to have on your phone in 2023!


A bright yellow cover with eyebrows and slanted black and white eyes looking to the side

R. F. Kuang (Author), Helen Laser (Narrator)

Get the Audible book**
Or get it on**
Or get it on**
Or listen on Scribd**

Yellowface by R.F. Kuang is so incredibly captivating, for an entire day, I did nothing else but sit somewhere, stare at the wall, and listen to Helen Laser bring Juniper to life.

Juniper is an author and endlessly jealous of her successful friend – or frenemy – Athena Liu. Athena has several bestsellers out and movie deals on top of that. She’s also breathtakingly gorgeous. Then Athena dies in a freak accident, and Juniper takes Athena’s latest work in progress and publishes it under her own name.

R.F. Kuang plays effortlessly with comments people make who tell themselves they are so-not-a-racist. The book is entirely written from Juniper’s point of view. And Juniper has so many good reasons (she believes) to do everything she does. She has a seemingly solid explanation for every decision.

And she is absolutely convinced that none of them have anything even remotely to do with racism.

I could not turn this audiobook off and devoured it. Juniper shows all her ugliness, she is pathetic and pitiful, and you just need to know how low she will sink and how all of this will end for her.

This book about racism, gatekeeping in the publishing industry, and online shitstorms is a must-read and not to be missed! Yellowface by R.F. Kuang is truly one of the best audiobooks of 2023 and a book you need in your life right now.

Related article: The Best Audiobook Service based on how many books you listen to!

Fourth Wing

An intricate sigil in black lines with a small black dragon

Rebecca Yarros (Author), Rebecca Soler (Narrator), Teddy Hamilton (Narrator)

Get the Audible book**
Or get it on**
Or get it on**
Or listen on Scribd**

Fourth Wing is a breathtakingly fast-paced, exciting Romance Fantasy adventure!

Violet is the youngest daughter of a dragon-riding general from a country that has created its entire identity from the war with its neighbors. She is pressured by her mother to join the dragon academy.

As the cover says, “Fly… or die”. This book has a truly huge body count. But Rebecca Yaros manages to keep the heroine hopeful and determined. This doesn’t feel like a dark book, even though many of its themes are dark.

Rebecca Soler has a very fitting voice for Violet and did an excellent narration! Some reviewers had noted on Audible that the narrator had a cold. But the publisher reacted, and the earlier chapters of the book were re-recorded. Teddy Hamilton reads the epilogue.

This is the first book in a series, and many plot lines are tied up – or at least in a good place – in the end. But there is also a major twist! If you enjoyed A Court of Thorns and Roses, I’m very sure that Fourth Wing will be one of your favorite audiobooks of the year.

The Wicked Bargain

The Wicked Bargain audiobook cover shows a young person with short curly brown hair and brown skin, flames surrounding their hand, the sea and a ship in the background

Gabe Cole Novoa (Author), Vico Ortiz (Narrator)

Get the Audible book**
Or get it on**
Or get it on**

The Wicked Bargain by Gabe Cole Novoa is a very captivating Young Adult Historical Fantasy set in the Caribbean Sea during the time of the Spanish conquistadors.

Mar is nonbinary and the child of a famous pirate captain. They can wield magic which is a very rare and feared trait. When their ship is attacked, they have to find their own way in the world – and they find new friends to support them.

This is a wonderful book full of action, adventure, love, and magic. I always enjoy listening to Vico Ortiz, and it’s fantastic to hear them bring a book with so many Spanish phrases and words to life!

Related article: Nonbinary Books on Audible

Seven of Infinities

The Seven of Infinities audiobook cover shows a Vietnamese woman in a beautiful dress sitting on a silver dragon, surrounded by stars

Aliette de Bodard (Author), Emily Woo Zeller (Narrator)

Get the Audible book in a deal**
Or get it on**
Or get it on**
Or listen on Scribd**

Seven of Infinities by Alliette de Bodard is so good! It is such a unique and captivating story in a very intriguing universe.

Vân seems to be a Scholar, but no one knows that she doesn’t really have a connection to a deceased elder – the requirement for being a Scholar – but instead built herself an implant that shares the knowledge of elders with her. That’s a big no-no in her society!

Sunless Woods is a sentient spaceship (who can also take the form of the person she used to be). By coincidence, Vân and Sunless Woods end up in a murder investigation together when they stumble over a corpse.

The audiobook version of this Cozy Mystery in space is narrated by Emily Woo Zeller, who I absolutely adore! She perfectly brings out the atmosphere of this wonderful story.

This might be a hidden gem, but for me, it’s one of the best audiobooks of 2023!

Related article: How to get Audible books cheaper with Amazon Whispersync

Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries

Emily Wilde's Encyclopaedia of Faeries audiobook cover has the book title in a swirly font on a black background in a frame of swirls and flowers

Heather Fawcett (Author), Ell Potter (Narrator), Michael Dodds (Narrator)

Get the Audible book**
Or get it on**
Or get it on**

Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries by Heather Fawcett is absolutely delightful!

Emily is a researcher and wants to fill any gaps in mankind’s knowledge of the fae world. She travels to a northern country to learn more about their folklore, where she is soon joined by her colleague Bambleby who she despises but who seems to have a much easier time connecting to the local people than she does.

It’s honestly remarkable how this book manages to feel so very cozy, with the cute little rural hut and the academia and general book wormery, while also sporting several axe injuries and things like bloodied hand prints on a window, observed from the outside.

I suppose the atmosphere of this book gives back perfectly the way faeries are portrayed in stories: Often beautiful and fun, gliding through luscious gardens, hosting feasts with all kinds of candy, while they can also be villains, cat-like in the way they play with and torture their prey.

The narration by Ell Potter and Michel Dodds was wonderful and really fleshed out for me how I pictured Emily and Bambleby while listening. This is an immensely enjoyable Fantasy with a slow-burn Romance and one of the best audiobooks of 2023!

Pin this Book List of the Best Audiobooks of 2023 for later:

The Best Audiobooks of 2023, header image showing hands holding a white phone and white earbuds above a yellow book, underneath a collage with the audiobook covers of Yellowface, That Self-Same Metal, Hell Bent, The Wicked Bargain, Vera Wong's Unsolicited Advice for Murderers, Killing Me

Hell Bent

A dead white hare on a light grey background, the title in white letters woven through the photo

Leigh Bardugo (Author), Lauren Fortgang (Narrator), Michael David Axtell (Narrator)

Get the Audible book**
Or get it on**
Or get it on**

I admit, I slept on the amazingness that is Ninth House. But I have caught up now, and the second book in the series, Hell Bent, is outstanding!

Just as the first book, Hell Bent is enchantingly and darkly atmospheric. But Alex is now moving more self-assuredly through the magical world of Yale’s secret societies.

I don’t want to give too much of the storyline away since you might not have listened to the first book yet. But rest assured, you are in for a treat!

The writing is so vivid, and paired with Lauren Fortgang’s excellent narration, Hell Bent runs like a movie in your mind. Whether you are a fan of Urban Fantasy, Mystery, or Paranormal Romance, this is one of the best audiobooks of 2023!

Thief Liar Lady

D. L. Soria (Author), Zura Johnson (Narrator)

Get the Audible book**
Or get it on**
Or get it on**

Thief Liar Lady is one of the best audiobooks of 2023 for fans of fairytale retellings!

Imagine Cinderella (Ash) was trained by the evil stepmother in the art of schemes and intrigue. They hatch a plan to get the prince to fall in love with the young woman without anyone ever suspecting her of being only after his money and power.

Yes, the glass slipper was placed on purpose!

But Ash has more planned at court than just securing the future of her stepsisters… Thief Liar Lady by D.L. Soria is incredibly captivating and entertaining, with a fascinating magic system and political maneuvering.

While the book takes its time exploring life at court, the intrigue and secrets kept me thoroughly hooked!

I do need to give you a content warning here, as the wedding night isn’t truly consensual. Ash has several reasons why she goes through with it, but none of them is that she actually wants it. Her suffering during that scene is very vividly described and could be triggering.

The narration by Zura Johnson is excellent and brings out all facets of Ash’s personality. I’m very much looking forward to more books by D.L. Soria!

A Song of Salvation

A Song of Salvation audiobook cover shows a young Black woman with short hair looking over her shoulder at the viewer, behind her are colorful swirls

Alechia Dow (Author), Joniece Abbott-Pratt (Narrator), André Santana (Narrator), Logan Rozos (Narrator)

Get the Audible book**
Or get it on**
Or get it on**
Or listen on Scribd**

A Song of Salvation by Alechia Dow is a wild trip through the universe!

The book has these beautiful nods to the cult classic movie The Fifth Element. There’s Rubin, the vivacious podcaster, who feels like an homage to Ruby Rhod.

Then we have Wesley, the quiet, grumpy pilot. And last but not least, Zaira, a reincarnated god!

The story is utterly unique and beautiful. It’s set in the same universe as The Kindred, and after the events of that book. Mind, it’s not officially a trilogy and can definitely be read as a stand-alone.

But if you have The Kindred on your To Be Listened To list, you might want to read that one first and then A Song of Salvation.

Rubin, Wesley, and Zaira meet when Wesley is tasked with protecting Rubin from an alien race that wants to take revenge for some not-so-nice things Rubin said on his podcast about their emperor. Wesley is supposed to bring Rubin to Earth, but then Zaira approaches and tells him he is destined to help her save her home planet.

One thing I particularly loved about this book is how much all three protagonists feel like equals. There’s a beautiful balance in their relationship with one another.

And yet another thing I loved (yes, there is so, so much to love here!) was the outstanding cast of voices!

Zaira is read by Joniece Abbott-Pratt, who always fills her narration with so much emotion that it takes my breath away.

Then there’s André Santana as Wesley. He has such a beautiful voice and a fantastic range of voices.

And last but not least, Logan Rozos brings Rubin and his podcast to life in a way that makes you wish there was a real show like that!

With this excellent performance and the wonderful story, A Song of Salvation is one of the best audiobooks of 2023, and not only for fans of Young Adult Science Fiction!

Discworld – City Watch

In the foreground, Captain Vimes with a cigar in his mouth, a helmet on his head, holding a swamp dragon like a machine gun, in the background we see a huge golden dragon above a burning city

Terry Pratchett (Author), Jon Culshaw (Narrator), Peter Serafinowicz (Narrator), Bill Nighy (Narrator)

Get the Audible book**
Or get it on**

No, these books are not new, but these recently published Discworld recordings are so excellent, there can be no doubt that they belong on this list of the best audiobooks of 2023!

The new recordings are lovingly produced, with so much attention to detail. And the voice casting is on point! Peter Serafinowicz voices Death throughout the entire 41 books, and Bill Nighy reads Sir Terry’s footnotes.

This ties all the books together beautifully. But, of course, you don’t have to listen to all 41 audiobooks. The Discworld has various subseries and stand-alones that you can pick from.

I decided to feature the City Watch specifically on this list because I particularly love its cast of characters and the setting in Ankh-Morpork.

The voice casting for Vimes and the guards is wonderful and brings these lovable weirdos to life! Jon Culshaw has an incredible range of voices.

There were a few side characters here and there that I would have liked to sound different. But that’s to be expected when it’s about a favorite book that you first read with your eyes (several times) and later listen to in audio format.

It didn’t take anything away from my immense enjoyment of revisiting these books I love so much. And I’m thrilled that the City Watch has these wonderful new audiobooks now that I can recommend to you!

Related article: Everything you need to know about the new Discworld Audiobooks!

The Isles of the Gods

Isle of the Gods audiobook cover shows a detailed drawing of a white girl with blonde hair flying over her face

Amie Kaufman (Author), Nikki Patel (Narrator), Homer Todiwala (Narrator), Donnabella Mortel (Narrator), Vidish Athavale (Narrator), Steve West (Narrator)

Get the Audible book**
Or get it on**
Or get it on**

The Isles of the Gods by Amie Kaufman is such a captivating High Fantasy novel!

Every 25 years, a member of the royal family who has magic has to pay tribute to the gods who left the world… 501 years ago. Whoops!

You know the old fairytale and Fantasy trope. After so and so many years, a certain thing has to happen. And usually, you’d expect that our heroes will make it just in time. But wait!

We’re in year 501. The prince is already a year late. He didn’t take this calling very seriously and thought, if it was so important, maybe another relative could go.

But now, war looms, and the prince is pushed to make his way to the Isles of the Gods. He ends up on Selly’s ship, a girl whose home is the sea but who finds herself lost and unhappy after her father sends her away.

This is a sprawling story, and the audiobook read by five truly excellent voice actors is epic. Without a doubt, one of the best audiobooks of 2023!

That Self-Same Metal

That Self-Same Metal audiobook cover shows a Black girl in a medieval dress holding a sword up in front of herself, the tip is dissolved into liquid metal flying through the air

Brittany N. Williams (Author), Patricia Allison (Narrator)

Get the Audible book**
Or get it on**
Or get it on**
Or listen on Scribd**

Set in medieval London (but with magic), That Self-Same Metal by Brittany N. Williams was one of my surprise hits of the year.

Joan can shape metal, but as a child of her time, she knows she won’t inherit her father’s workshop. It would go to her brother, who rather wants to be an actor and is a member of a theatrical troupe led by The Bard himself, William Shakespeare.

Brittany N. Williams perfectly connects real medieval history with a sword-fighting Black heroine, a fae uprising, and a true love for Shakespeare.

Patricia Allison brought this hidden gem of a book to life and turned this enthralling story into of my favorite audiobooks of the year.

Killing Me

A black cover with the title in blue letter, underneath a hotel key showing a small image of Las Vegas

Michelle Gagnon (Author), Jaime Lamchick (Narrator)

Get the Audible book**
Or get it on**
Or get it on**

Killing Me is such an incredibly cool book! I devoured it, and it was quite difficult to move on from this wonderful fast pace and the extremely engaging characters.

Amber is kidnapped by a serial killer. She was sure something like this would never happen to someone like her. But here we are. However, at the last moment, she is saved by a weird person in a ski mask.

From then on, things spiral quickly for Amber, who has a criminal history of her own and can’t afford to be part of an investigation.

I adored Amber and her big mouth! And the author perfectly feeds you one tidbit at a time about Amber’s past and the forces at play in her current situation.

This book made me laugh, but it also has a lot of suspense that had me sitting on the edge of my seat. Jaime Lamchick’s narration brought out all the facets of Amber, and I cannot recommend this book enough to you.

Killing Me by Michelle Gagnon is one of the best audiobooks of 2023 and is not to be missed!

Against the Currant

The Against the Currant audiobook cover shows a Black woman with braids in an apron holding up a plate with treats and holding her finger up in a "shush" gesture

Olivia Matthews (Author), Janina Edwards (Narrator)

Get the Audible book**
Or get it on**
Or get it on**

Food Cozy Mysteries are so awesome, and Against the Currant is particularly excellent at it!

Lyndsay turns her dream into reality and, with the help of her family, opens a West Indian bakery in New York.

Another bakery owner harasses her and soon turns up dead. Lyndsay is the main suspect since everybody saw her threatening him.

I found it really difficult to guess who the real murderer was. But honestly, I like just being along for the ride, and this book captivated me instantly! I loved how all the characters were so fleshed out and real.

Janina Edwards did a wonderful narration, and Against the Currant by Olivia Matthews is an excellent start to a new series. The second book, Hard Dough Homicide**, has just come out in May as well!

I will update this post regularly, so make sure to check in again to discover more of the best audiobooks of 2023! 🙂

If you are a fellow Romance fan, make sure you also take a look at my list of the best Romance audiobooks of 2023 as well!

Audio Booklists / , , , ,

2 thoughts on “The Best Audiobooks of 2023 (so far)”

  1. Oh my lord, I actually did a double take- how are we halfway of 2023 already?? It feels like we just started the year!

    Super excited to get to vera wong- it sounds absolutely hilarious!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *