Yen Audio has announced that their first digital audiobook release, Solo Leveling Volume 1, will be read by actor Ki Hong Lee (Maze Runner, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt). This debut publication in the Hachette Audio/Yen Press collaboration will release July 13, 2021, online wherever audiobooks are sold.
Solo Leveling is a Korean novel series by Chugong. Originating as a web novel that boasted over 3 million readers, it is the basis of one of the world’s bestselling webcomics, and the popularity of the franchise only continues to grow. The highly anticipated English-language release of the Solo Leveling comic in print in March 2021 stands out as North America’s biggest graphic novel series debut of the year, according to NPD BookScan. This soon-to-release audiobook edition, as interpreted by Ki Hong Lee, adds yet another format for existing fandom to devour and to engage newcomers in the adventures of Jinwoo, the “weakest hunter of all mankind.”
“As soon as I was introduced to Solo Leveling, I was hooked!” said Ki Hong Lee. “The story of Jinwoo rising from an E-rank hunter kept me engaged and wanting more. Very excited to be doing the audiobook of the first novel and to lend my voice to the character of Jinwoo!”
Ki Hong Lee is perhaps best known as lead runner ‘Minho’ in the Maze Runner film franchise. Lee also appeared in The Stanford Prison Experiment, winner of Sundance’s best screenplay and Alfred P. Sloan prizes, alongside Billy Crudup, Ezra Miller, and Olivia Thirlby, and Lee received rave reviews for his comedic work on Netflix’s “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.” Raised in different cultures from Seoul to Auckland, Lee currently resides in Los Angeles and is represented by 3 Arts Entertainment, Artists & Representatives, and United Talent Agency.
Tom Mis, Hachette Audio’s Executive Producer of this Yen Audio launch title, said: “I am thrilled to be working alongside Yen Press to bring these beloved series to audiobook listeners – starting with Solo Leveling Volume 1! For new fans, this is a great entry point into Yen’s novel offerings and the exciting storytelling that has captured readers’ imaginations around the world. Long-time fans will get to relive their favorite stories from the beginning with Yen Audio productions featuring some of the top voice and screen talent in the industry!”
Yen Press announced its worldwide partnership with Hachette Audio to produce, sell, and distribute digital audiobooks in early 2021, to great acclaim by fans of the formats. Yen Press’s second release is slated for August when the initial volume of the acclaimed light novel series Sword Art Online by author Reki Kawahara will be published as a digital audiobook. In addition, voice casting for this upcoming release, as well the Fall releases Overlord by Kugane Maruyama and The Saga of Tanya the Evil by Carlo Zen, will be announced in the near future. After these initial releases, it is expected that the Yen/Hachette Audio partnership will release regular seasonal adaptations.