Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Fire Chronicle

Author:  John Stephens
Series:  The Books of Beginning, Book 2
Publisher:  Listening Library
Narrator:  Jim Dale
Year: 2012

Goodreads Summary:
After the tumultuous events of last winter, Kate, Michael, and Emma long to continue the hunt for their missing parents. But they themselves are now in great danger, and so the wizard Stanislaus Pym hides the children at the Edgar Allan Poe Home for Hopeless and Incorrigible Orphans. There, he says, they will be safe. How wrong he is. 
The children are soon discovered by their enemies, and a frantic chase sends Kate a hundred years into the past, to a perilous, enchanted New York City. Searching for a way back to her brother and sister, she meets a mysterious boy whose fate is intricately—and dangerously—tied to her own.
Meanwhile, Michael and Emma have set off to find the second of the Books of Beginning. A series of clues leads them into a hidden world where they must brave harsh polar storms, track down an ancient order of warriors, and confront terrible monsters. Will Michael and Emma find the legendary book of fire—and master its powers—before Kate is lost to them forever? 
Exciting, suspenseful, and brimming with humor and heart, the next installment of the bestselling Books of Beginning trilogy will lead Kate, Michael, and Emma closer to their family—and to the magic that could save, or destroy, them all.

I've had this audiobook for a while and just hadn't got to it because I got distracted by the Night Huntress series and had to listen to all of those. It took me an hour or so to get back into the feel of this series but once I did, I was not going anywhere. I like the way that Stephens builds a story and tells it. He takes the time to develop his characters and let them grow. He shows them dealing with the consequences of their prior actions. He's also inventive with his words and funny . But it's not the kind of funny where he's telling sarcastic jokes and expecting you to laugh. It's just little things thrown in that are funny - like the Edgar Allan Poe Home for Hopeless and Incorrigible Orphans. That's a great and funny name.

This audiobook is narrated by the great Jim Dale. Again, he is almost flawless. The only complaint I have about Jim Dale's narration is I hear Hermoine and Dumbledore when I listen to him. That's not his fault. He just does wonderful and memorable voices.

If you like middle grade fantasies, you should definitely pick up these books.


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