Steven H. Wilson’s Taken Liberty

[tag]Taken Liberty[/tag] is a free audiobook that I listened to (mostly) at work this summer.

The summary from the above-linked website:

The Confederated Worlds are unparalleled as a society of free people, yet, somehow, slavery still manages to exist. Aer’La, a non-human, was bred to serve as a pleasure slave. Years ago, she escaped her masters and masqueraded as a human, joining the Confederate Navy, where she worked her way up to ship’s Bos’n under the heroic Captain Jan Atal. Now, Aer’La’s secret has been discovered by Atal’s superiors, the media, and the world at large. Branded a sociopath, she learns that even a free society isn’t willing to grant freedom – or justice – to all.

As casual, “please distract me from work” light reading, [tag]Steven Wilson[/tag] succeeds with this work. Aer’La, the character with which we are most concerned, is well-written and feels real. The supporting characters are perhaps more captivating than Aer’La, though–each is distinct and very well characterized. Despite the fact that I was listening over the course of a couple of weeks, I never got characters confused (which is a real problem with some audiobooks). I was particularly fond of the resident good-guy telepath.

Wilson’s reading is as great as his characters. Each character has a distinct voice (and the voices are appropriate to the personalities). It’s been a while since I’ve read an audiobook that skillfully delivered.

If you’re willing to get a [tag]Podiobooks[/tag] account (which is low-key, except for the annoying fact that your password isn’t remembered for more than about 5 minutes), it’s definitely worth a listen. It has the title and feel of a book in a series, so I’m keeping my eyes peeled for future books.