"John Banks is one of the UK's most prolific audiobook narrators, working for the likes of Big Finish, Audible, Random House and Games Workshop.

He is a true multi-voice, creating everything from monsters to marauding aliens.

He is also an accomplished stage and TV actor."

audible.co.uk 2018

Dawn of Fire Book 1

Dawn of Fire Book 1
Avenging Son

Hello...

...I'm John Banks - welcome to my website.

The majority of my working life has been spent in the theatre with companies including
York Theatre Royal, Cheltenham Everyman, Sheffield Crucible, Bristol Old Vic, Manchester Royal Exchange and the National Theatre in London.

Television work includes Emmerdale, Coronation Street, and 'Allo, Allo!'. I have also worked on a number of radio drama and comedy productions with the BBC.

Since March 2009, I have enjoyed playing a huge variety of characters in more than 270* audio-drama stories with Big Finish Productions, together with The Black Library/Games Workshop, details of which can be found in the postings below.


There are also details listed here of the 187* audio books & stories I've recorded since March 2013,
including the unabridged New Revised Standard Version of The Bible, for companies including audible.co.uk, Hachette, Audible Studios, Podium Audio Publishing, HarperCollins, RNIB, W.F. Howes, Little Brown Group, Penguin Random House, Games Workshop, Orion, Fantom Films & Ladbroke Audio.

(*figures at April 2020)

I hope you find something of interest here and come back soon for further updates.


For all posts, reviews and audio samples, please scroll down...

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Dawn of Fire Book 1: Avenging Son

Thursday, 31 December 2020

New Year's Eve...

And so, the end of an extremely torrid year is now drawing swiftly to a close - thank goodness! 
Just before 2020 fianlly bites the dust, there are the final two releases of the year to mention and here are some details:

 

The Chaos Cycle: Part II Chains of Legacy

After defeating the Warlord of the Turan Khar, Rylan Lauchlin has assumed his place...and his troubles. 


 

Deprived of the ancient magic that allowed the Khar Unity to exist in harmony, their society is slowly dying, and it is now up to Rylan to save it. But only one man has the knowledge to release the magic of the Core - the same man who locked it away in the first place - and that man is imprisoned within Rylan himself.

On the other side of the world, the rulers of the Kingdoms have taken advantage of the devastation of Karikesh to mount a counterinvasion. Gil and Ashra find themselves pressed to protect the people of Malikar from a genocidal campaign aimed at driving them back into the Black Lands.

 

Narrated by John Banks

Run time: 10 hours - 59 minutes

 

©2020 ML Spencer (P)2020 Podium Audio

 

Followed quickly by:

 

Path of The Ranger Book 2:

War has broken out in the North. The Corrupt Lord of the Ice has invaded Norghana with a host from the Frozen Continent. Will the king and the Rangers manage to stop him, or will they die in the attempt?

Darthor is seeking to dethrone King Uthar. He is on his way to conquer Norghana and take the crown. He has invaded the kingdom and has a host from the Frozen Continent at his command; Wild Ones of the Ice, Snow Trolls, Albino Ogres, Semi-Giants, Tundra Dwellers, Arcanes of the Glaciers, and creatures unlike anything anybody has ever seen before.

Uthar gathers together his armies and prepares to repel him. But not all the Norghanian nobles are with the king. The Western League does not support him, and they want to regain the crown for the West, for the Olafstones.

Lasgol and his partners will have to overcome an arduous second year of instruction at the Camp if they want to become Rangers one day. The tests will be far harder and the effort required much greater. Rivalries will surface, but so will companionship and even love. He will find out that he does not know the whole truth about what happened to his parents or about his new friend Camu. New mysteries, which he will have to investigate and solve, will arise and drive him to confront life-and-death situations.

Will Lasgol and his friends survive the second year of training? Will they survive the war? Will he succeed in solving the mysteries that surround him? Will he find betrayal...and discover the true enemy?


Narrated by John Banks

                                                           Run time: 12 hours - 7 minutes

 

©2020 Pedro Urvi (P)2020 Podium Audio

 

 * * * * * 

 

Before I wrap things up here, I just want to say a big 'thank you' to you for visiting these pages over the last year; it is greatly appreciated. Hopefully, in a short time from now, the pandemic will come under the control of the vaccines and we can all go back to living our lives to the full. As we welcome in the new year; with any luck, this time in 2021, will once again, look something like this:

 


 

...all for now, more just as soon as it happens!

 

Happy New Year! 

 

Monday, 21 December 2020

...and then there was this:

Having held my silence for what seems like an age, I'm very pleased to say, that the first instalment of a vast new storyline, Dawn of Fire, is finally here. My recording of Guy Haley's Avenging Son, was officially released on 17th December and is now available via all the usual outlets.

 

Here are some details:

 

Dawn of Fire Book 1: Avenging Son

As the Indomitus Crusade spreads out across the galaxy, one battlefleet must face a dread Slaughter Host of Chaos. Their success or failure may define the very future of the crusade - and the Imperium.

 


 

A great darkness has befallen the galaxy, and the armies of Chaos are rampant. To survive, humanity must retaliate and take back what they have lost. By the will of the reborn primarch, Roboute Guilliman, is the Indomitus Crusade launched - a military undertaking that eclipses all others in known history. From the Throneworld of Terra does the Avenging Son hurl his fleets, their mission the very salvation of mankind.

As vessels in their thousands burn through the cold void, the attention of Fleetmistress VanLeskus turns to the Machorta Sound - a region under attack by a dreaded Slaughter Host of the Dark Gods. The success of the Indomitus Crusade will be determined by this conflict, and the desperate mission of Battlegroup Saint Aster, led by Space Marine Lieutenant Messinius. Even then it is but a prelude to the forthcoming bloodshed.


The new Warhammer 40,000 saga begins here.

 

Written by Guy Haley, Produced by Tara Rawson & Narrated by John Banks 

 

Length: 13 hours - 46 minutes 

 

 

©2020 Games Workshop Limited (P)2020 Games Workshop Limited 

 

* * * * * 


I think it's fair to say, there has been some confusion surrounding Avenging Son and perhaps I should briefly attempt to clarify the situation as far as I understand it. The original audio version of Avenging Son, became available, I think, sometime in August 2020 and it was recorded by a different narrator. My version of the story was recorded in early October and released a few days ago. As far as I am aware, all the reviews of the original have now been taken down from the audible.co.uk website, though for a short time, my name appeared alongside them.

 

At almost £30 per copy, I'm not sure many Black Library listeners will rush to buy an alternative recording of a story they already have, which is perfectly understandable. Perhaps BL are considering some kind of offer to replace the original with the new version; on that, I have no idea, though I think such a gesture would be welcomed. 

 

I don't often post reviews here, but as this has been quite a unique process, around which, there is still a degree of uncertainty, here are edited versions of the only two reviews, currently posted on the audible site, which might shed a little more light:


 
Overall: 5 out of 5 stars   Performance: 5 out of 5 stars   Story: 5 out of 5 stars
 

Thaipugg 19-12-20
 

Now it's fixed, it's amazing!

 

I listened to the first variation of the book and wrote a terrible review, based on the voice acting, it completely ruined it. 

 

Flash forward to this iteration! The Black Library remade this audio book after all the complaints. The legendary John Banks voiced it this time, and it's absolutely amazing. I highly recommend it, it's a home run this time around! 

 

 
Overall: 5 out of 5 stars   Performance: 5 out of 5 stars   Story: 5 out of 5 stars
 
  • James Lloyd Plowman 20-12-20 
  •  

Better than the original version 

 

For those of you who didn’t buy it the first time around, Black Library put out another version of this months ago narrated by a different reader. 

 

My guess is that the backlash from the first version was so bad that BL conceded and brought in John Banks for an emergency re-reading, and are probably going to have him reading the rest of the series too. I won’t say that this new version is completely worth having to buy a second time, but it is a marked improvement over the original, somehow even managing to cut the reading time down a couple hours. Definitely worth reconsideration. 

 

My thanks to James and Thaipugg and to others, on a variety of social media sites, who have expressed their support over recent weeks; it is very much appreciated!

If, by some means, you do get hold of this new version of the story, I hope you enjoy it.



 

* * * * *


There's more work to do before I take a break for Christmas, so I'll wrap things up and simply say, that's ...


...all for now: more just as soon as it happens!

 

Sunday, 6 December 2020

...and other stories!

Good afternoon and thanks, as ever, for stopping by! Another gap in updating the pages here alas, though for reasons, I'm sure all regular visitors will be familiar with by now; having lots of work and no free time, just about covers it. Some of the recording projects I've been involved with recently, are now becoming available and there are more releases to come before the end of the year, though for now, here are details of the latest:

Nexus and Other Stories

A Warhammer 40,000 anthology

Take your first steps into the adrenaline-fuelled fiction of the 41st Millennium with a thrilling collection of tales, including an action-packed novella pitting noble Ultramarines against sinister necrons.

 

Within this book you will find Nexus, a fantastic new novella by Thomas Parrott.

In a galaxy beset by war, where the Adeptus Astartes are all that stand against annihilation, the Ultramarines are exemplar – noble, honourable and oathbound to the protection of mankind. Where the predations of the alien, the witch and the heretic threaten the Imperium, the Angels of Death fight to oppose them.

Brother-Sergeant Allectius wages a brutal war of attrition against a seemingly endless xenos foe. But when the vile necrons unleash a mysterious pall over him and the people he protects, Allectius must take his fight beyond the walls… for more than just victory, now their very survival is at stake.

Also included in this book is a host of awesome short stories to give you a flavour of the many warring armies that exist within the worlds of Warhammer 40,000.

 


Nexus by Thomas Parrott
Kraken by Chris Wraight
Redeemer by Guy Haley
The Test of Faith by Thomas Parrott
The Darkling Hours by Rachel Harrison
Lightning Run by Peter McLean
Missing in Action by Dan Abnett
The Crystal Cathedral by Danie Ware
To Speak as One by Guy Haley
Where Dere's Da Warp Dere's a Way by Mike Brooks
Redemption on Dal'yth by Phil Kelly
Void Crossed by J C Stearns
Light of a Crystal Sun by Josh Reynolds
War in the Museum by Robert Rath
Headhunter by Steve Parker
Duty Unto Death by Marc Collins

 

Narrated by Andrew Wincott, Richard Reed, Emma Gregory, John Banks & Toby Longworth

 

NB: running time for this antholgy is listed by Black Library as 8h-47m and by Audible as 18h-48m 


 * * * * *


These stories are particularly orientated towards an older child/young adult listener:

Descendants of the Fall: Publisher's Pack

 


Contains books one and two of Descendants of the Fall:

Warbringer, Book 1

Centuries ago, the world fell. From the ashes rose a terrible new species - the Tangata. Now they wage war against the kingdoms of man. And humanity is losing.

Recruited straight from his academy, 20-year-old Lukys hopes the frontier will make a soldier out of him. But Tangata are massing in the South, and the allied armies are desperate. They will do anything to halt the enemy advance - including sending untrained men and women into battle. Determined to survive, Lukys seeks aid from the only man who seems to care: Romaine, the last warrior of an extinct kingdom.

Meanwhile, the queen’s archivist leads an expedition deep beneath the earth. She seeks to uncover the secrets of the Gods. Their magic has been lost to the ages, yet artifacts remain, objects of power that could turn the tide of the war. But salvation is not all that waits beneath the surface. Something else slumbers in the darkness. Something old. Something evil.

Wrath of the Forgotten, Book 2

A war is brewing between the kingdoms of humanity. Bound and broken, Lukys stumbles through the darkness. Whispers come from all around, the voices of the Tangata, inhuman enemies of mankind. He should already be dead. But the Tangata have a secret, one that might finally end 10 long years of war. If only he could escape and bring word to his people. But what chance does a failed soldier have against the terrifying powers of the Tangata?

Meanwhile, the queen’s archivist flees the wrath of her former master. A foreign king offers asylum, but the man is an enemy of her people. And his aid will cost far more than just her loyalty - he seeks the magic of the Gods. With the hounds drawing close, Erika must commit the ultimate betrayal to keep her freedom. Is she willing to pay the price?

                               

                             Written by Aaron Hodges & Narrated by John Banks

                                               Length: 16 hours - 14 minutes

 

 * * * * *


Originally released as individual downloads, Heirs of Grimnir is now available as a CD collection:

Heirs of Grimnir

A Realmslayer audio drama

When the Runefather of the Unbak lodge is killed, his Runesons set out to find his killer and avenge him – with the throne going to he who wins the day!

 



The mighty Unbak lodge is beheaded. Runefather Aruk-Grimnir and his heir, Angruk, have been assassinated in their hearth by a vile and mysterious foe. To restore the honour of the Unbak and determine who will take up the mantle of Grimnir, the fearsome Runesons declare that whoever can slay the killer of their kin will be declared Runefather. 

It is a perilous task that will take the Fyreslayers into the heart of enemy lands, battling the most ancient foes of the duardin: the accursed skaven and fiendish grots. It is a deed no true son of Grimnir would turn from. Can the Runesons restore the honour of their lodge, or will they fall alongside their father and brother?


Performed by John Banks, Cliff Chapman, Steve Conlin, Sean Connolly, and Stephen Perring

Written by David Guymer and Produced by Matt Renshaw

  Running time 1 hour and 12 minutes

 

* * * * * 

 

Last week's audiobook was completed on Thursday and I start work on the final book of 2020 tomorrow, so I fully intend to savour the rest of today's 'free' time. More soon, but for this update, that's...


...all for now; more just as soon as it happens!

 

The Lore of Direchasm

Direchasm

A C'tan Shard Rises 3

Indomitus: Necrons 2

A Lord Among the Stars 1

Angels of Death Preview

Ultramarines

Psychic Awakening

Warcry: Death or Glory

Warhammer 40,000

Flight. Redefined.

Reviews & comments:

The Malazan Empire

Over the course of this 8 book series, the amazing John Banks has had to create and voice 648 distinct characters!

Neil Gardner - producer

The Door In The Wall & War of The Worlds

Not often I buy another version of an audiobook I own, but after hearing John Banks' narration of The Door in the Wall by Ladbroke Audio, I had to buy their version of The War of the Worlds. Banks has a great reading voice.

Andy Frankham-Allen - writer

The Books of Babel: Senlin Ascends, Arm of The Sphinx & The Hod King

Mr. Banks does superb work, and I recommend the audiobooks wholeheartedly!

Josiah Bancroft - writer

Mervyn Stone: The Axeman Cometh

John Banks is a voice genius...

Nev Fountain - writer

Mervyn Stone... played by the note-perfect John Banks.

Matt Hills - Reviews in Time and Space

Dr. Who: The Sleeping City

I also must draw attention to John Banks who is an exceptional voice artist and in this one story performs more characters that I can count. ... it is listening to episodes like this one that really do let his talents shine through.

Tony Jones - Red Rocket Rising

Highlander:

...playing several parts, was the brilliant Big Finish regular John Banks - it was as if there were about 40 different actors in the other booth.

James Moran - writer

I went for the best of the best and brought in voice artiste extraordinaire John Banks.

Paul Spragg - producer

Vienna:

...also features the mind - bogglingly versatile and reliable John Banks

Jonathan Morris - writer

Dead Funny:

The acting is first rate… wonderfully played by John Banks as Richard – his impersonation of Eric Morecambe is worth the admission money alone.

Beverly Greenberg: Bolton Evening News

Mr. Happiness:

This early and unfamiliar play by David Mamet is a character study of a 1930s radio counsellor, dispensing suave advice to his devoted listeners. John Banks brings out the wry comedy of this – comedy quite unappreciated by the character – with a clever range of gesture and vocal tone.

Jeremy Kingston: The Times


All My Sons:

This is a beautifully crafted piece ...and it affords a wonderful opportunity for John Readman* to do his All-American Boy act as Chris Keller. This most polished and well observed performance as the blighted son of a blighted father must rank as one of his finest accomplishments yet. ( * see Profile)

The Stage

The Ordeals of Sherlock Holmes

Kudos should also go to John Banks. Lestrade can be a thankless part, but Banks rose to the challenge, playing a pivotal role in this decades long arc.

Raissa Devereux - SciFiPulse

The Judgement of Sherlock Holmes

John Banks is multi-tasking, both as the superb Lestrade and also the villainous and no doubt moustache twirling Sebastian Moran. They sound completely different and I bow to his talent.

Sue Davies - SFcrowsnest


Further reviews and comments are included with specific postings throughout the site.

The War Doctor

The War Doctor
December 2015