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Sci-Fi & Fantasy

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Darwin8u

Darwin8u Mesa, AZ, United States Member Since 2011

A part-time buffoon and ersatz scholar specializing in BS, pedantry, schmaltz and cultural coprophagia.

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  • "One of the Greatest Fantasy Novels ..."

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    *** First a preamble:

    Just so you know, this audiobook contains Books 1 -4 of The Once and Future King AND Book #5 (The Book of Merlin). I didn't know #5 was included, but was thrilled to discover it came with the rest.

    *** OK, preambulations are done, on with the real review:

    I loved it and my two brats (11 & 13) absolutely enjoyed it, even if many of the jokes, the funky anachronistic blending of the Medieval with the Modern, might have floated a bit over their tiny wee heads.

    Anyway, I think White perfectly captured the magic, power, fears and the joy of both youth and myth with this retelling of early Arthurian legend. White's theme of power and justice ("Might Makes Right") seem to perfectly capture the political Zeitgiest of now. Perhaps, White like Merlin was just writing through time backwards and wanted to capture the queer contradictions of Imperial Democracy in the global 21st century, but wanted to write it in the 1930s so Disney would be around to animate it (ugh) in the 60s and thus make his point resonate better in the early 21st century.

    You might think a novel that basically focuses on a love-triangle (a quadrilateral if you include God), several affairs, a man's struggle between his love for a woman, love for God, love for his best friend, would not hold the interest of a 13 and an 11-year old for long, but this is T.H. White. The characters are so human, so filled with frailties, heroics, and insecurities that White could have written about cooking for 300 pages and my kids would have been rapt from page 1 to the end.

    The story turns, about half-way through, solidly to Lancelot. It is impossible to understand Lancelot without looking at Arthur, Guinevere, Elaine & Galahad. And White digresses throughout TO&FK to capture these stories. The middle of the book pivots as Camelot, under Arthur's leadership, undergoes a change from physical quests (Round Table v. Might makes Right) to spiritual ones (Round Table > Grail quest). This change captures/mirrors the dynamic of Lancelot's own story (the vacillation between the physical and spiritual).

    Finally, the weight of the conspiracies, the betrayals, the killings, and the expulsions are all there pushing against the King (I love when T.H. White calls Arthur - England) and his faith in man and justice. It just isn't to be. Do I need to hide the ending? Am I going to spoil the book for you? Come now, we are all mostly adults here. Camelot fails, but T.H. White explores the failure almost as beautifully as he does the magic of Camelot. He captures the magic of Camelot by focusing on the humanity of the people. He isn't satisfied with making (or keeping rather) Lancelot, King A, Guinevere, and even Mordred locked up in the stale symbols they often become. The trite shadows of type is not T.H. White's jam. He wants to humanize everybody. He wants to show the motives, the nuances of character that makes the reader LOVE these figures not because they symbolize things like bravery, chivalry, or justice ... but because they remind the reader of elements, times, moods and flaws found buried within. T.H. White started with a fantasy novel, but ended with an exploration of war, humanity, love, and hope.

    Look, I'm skeptical of fantasy novels. They aren't my thing. I want literature. I want something that pushes you against the wall of your own head and dares you to think bigger. I think T.H. White was aiming for that -- and holy anachronisms - he nailed it.

    More

    The Once and Future King

    • UNABRIDGED (33 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By T. H. White
    • Narrated By Neville Jason
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1162)
    Performance
    (972)
    Story
    (966)

    The complete "box set" of T. H. White's epic fantasy novel of the Arthurian legend. The novel is made up of five parts: "The Sword in the Stone", "The Witch in the Wood", "The Ill-Made Knight", "The Candle in the Wind", and "The Book of Merlyn".

    Bookoholics Anon says: "Fabulous reading, epic story and a new chapter!"
  1. The Once and Future King
  2. .

A Peek at Emily's Bookshelf

Helpful
Votes
7
 
Portland, OR, United States 32 REVIEWS / 33 ratings Member Since 2012 3 Followers / Following 29
 
Emily's greatest hits:
  • The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom

    "One of the best children's audiobooks"

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    Story
    Would you listen to The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom again? Why?

    While I don't usually relisten to audios, I would certainly listen to any additional ones in the series, or other books written by the authors or performed by this narrator. This was one of the best children's audios from the adult perspective, and my son loved it too. He listened to it pretty much at one sitting on a long plane trip.


    Have you listened to any of Bronson Pinchot’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No but I plan to look for them. I'm hoping he continues to record children's audios. His unusual facility with voices and accents, and with humor, make this one of the most lively audios I have encountered. With some audios I have a hard time staying focused if I am multitasking -- not this one!


    Any additional comments?

    My 11 year old and I are enjoying listening to books that concern fairy tales and the like, rewritten to tell the hidden story or otherwise subvert the usual narrative. There seem to be a lot in this genre right now and this is one of our favorites -- if not our favorite.

    Highly recommended for parent-child listening or a family roadtrip. The narrator so amazingly captures all the different voices, and creates so much humor, that the driver would be sure to stay awake!

    I would also recommend this one for adults who enjoying listening to quality children's audios.

  • The Candy Shop War

    "Another great adventure from this author"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Candy Shop War to be better than the print version?

    I didn't read the print version but this fun and adventurous story certainly lent itself to audio. Enjoyable for children and tweens - and their adults. Would be a great choice for a car trip - very lively.


    What about Emily Janice Card’s performance did you like?

    One of the good narrators. I'm not as fond of female narrators but my son thought this book was up there as one of the better narrations. Certainly in no way irritating as some children's book narrators can be.


    Any additional comments?

    Although an entirely different book if you liked Fablehaven you should like this book too.

  • The Land of Stories: The Enchantress Returns

    "Second in the series continues the adventure"

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    Would you consider the audio edition of The Land of Stories: The Enchantress Returns to be better than the print version?

    I haven't read the print version but this is a great book on audio. Fairy tale fantasy type stories seem to translate really well to the audio format.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The fresh take on fairy tale stories we all know. Enjoyable for all ages.


    Have you listened to any of Chris Colfer’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    My 11 year old and I listened to his first book as well (the prior book in this series). They were very similar so if you liked the last one, you will likely enjoy this as well.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    There were several funny moments.


    Any additional comments?

    Colder isn't my favorite narrator which surprised me since he's an actor. He has a flat quality to his voice which I didn't really like. I preferred other narrators in this genre like Bronson Pinchot and Johnny Heller.

    That said, my 11 year old liked the narration. He also found the story engrossing.

  • M is for Mama’s Boy: NERDS, Book 2

    "Even better than the first installment"

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    Story

    My 11 year old son liked this book even better than the first. Johnny Heller is a wonderful comedic narrator and the story is funny for both children and adults. While I wouldn't listen to this by myself, it was very enjoyable to share this with my son, and I think his teenage brother would like it too.

Karen

Karen Titusville, FL, United States 02-27-11 Member Since 2010
HELPFUL VOTES
30
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  • "Enjoyed it!"

    2 of 2 helpful votes

    I listen to anything and everything that Katherine Kellgren narrates. She is a masterful voice actor and absolutely brings books to life.
    This is a fun fantasy. Likeable characters and an easy-to-follow plot. Just a good story to take you away from it all for awhile.

    More

    The Invisible Order: Rise of the Darklings

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Paul Crilley
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (112)
    Performance
    (79)
    Story
    (81)

    The Invisible Order is the first book in an amazing new series by Paul Crilley, skillfully narrated by Katherine Kellgren. Emily Snow is twelve years old, supporting herself and her younger brother on the streets of Victorian England by selling watercress. One early winter morning on her way to buy supplies, she encounters a piskie—a small but very sarcastic fey creature that has been cornered by a group of the Black Sidhe, piskies from an opposing clan.

    Sheri C says: "Fun and Imaginative"

What's Trending in Sci-Fi & Fantasy:

  • 4.8 (121 ratings)

    A Hero's Guide to Deadly Dragons

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Cressida Cowell
    • Narrated By David Tennant
    Overall
    (121)
    Performance
    (115)
    Story
    (114)

    Hiccup is lost in the Library Labyrinth and the Driller-Dragons, Madguts and Murderous, are on the prowl. Hiccup's birthday is not going to be the quiet affair he hoped for.... This book also contains a comprehensive Dragonese Dictionary for those who'd like to dragon-whisper themselves.

    Christopher says: "Not Unabridged"
  • 4.8 (14 ratings)

    Dark Days: Skulduggery Pleasant, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Derek Landy
    • Narrated By Rupert Degas
    Overall
    (14)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (7)

    What can we say, without giving too much away? Not much, is the answer. But what we CAN say is that this book is hilarious, it’s tense, and it’s packed with all the eye-popping action, crackling one liners and imaginative set pieces you’ve come to expect. There’s a new threat to our plucky heroine, of course. But that’s not all. There’s also the little fact of the Big Bad, the uber-baddy who’s going to come along and really, really destroy the world. (Really.)

  • 4.8 (12 ratings)

    Halt's Peril: Ranger's Apprentice, Book 9

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By John Flanagan
    • Narrated By William Zappa
    Overall
    (12)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (11)

    The renegade outlaw group known as the Outsiders may have been chased from Clonmel, but not before killing Halt's only brother. Now Rangers Halt and Will, along with the young warrior Horace, are in pursuit. The Outsiders have done an effective job of dividing the kingdom into factions and are looking to overtake Araluen. It will take every bit of skill and cunning for the Rangers to survive. Some may not be so lucky.

  • 4.8 (10 ratings)

    Slaves of the Mastery: Wind on Fire Trilogy, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By William Nicholson
    • Narrated By Samuel West
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (8)

    Five years have passed. The city of Aramanth has become kinder - weaker. When the ruthless soldiers of the Mastery strike, the city is burned, and the Manth people are taken into slavery. Kestrel Hath is left behind, separated from her beloved brother, Bowman, and vowing revenge. Now Kestrel must find Bowman again, and Bowman must learn the secrets of the Singer people. Only then will they break the power of the Mastery.

    Erica says: "Great Book, Great Series"
  •  
  • 4.9 (10 ratings)

    How to Train Your Dragon: How to Be a Pirate

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Cressida Cowell
    • Narrated By David Tennant
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (10)

    Follow the further adventures and misadventures of Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III as his Viking training continues and his father leads a stranger and the Hairy Hooligans to the Isle of Skullions in search of a pirate's treasure.

  • 4.3 (4816 ratings)

    The Golden Compass: His Dark Materials, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Philip Pullman
    • Narrated By Philip Pullman, full cast
    Overall
    (4816)
    Performance
    (1347)
    Story
    (1367)

    When Lyra and her daemon Pantalaimon decide to spy on a presentation her uncle, the commanding Lord Asriel, is making to the elders of Jordan College they have no idea that they will become witnesses to an attempted murder, and even less that they are taking the first steps in a journey that will lead them into danger and adventure unlike anything Lyra's unfettered imagination has conjured up.

    Arnold says: "A Terrific Book"
  • 4.3 (3571 ratings)

    The Subtle Knife: His Dark Materials, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Philip Pullman
    • Narrated By Philip Pullman, Full Cast
    Overall
    (3571)
    Performance
    (994)
    Story
    (1009)

    In this stunning sequel to The Golden Compass, the intrepid Lyra finds herself in a shimmering, haunted otherworld, Cittagazze, where soul-eating Specters stalk the streets and wingbeats of distant angels sound against the sky. But she is not without allies: twelve-year-old Will Parry, fleeing for his life after taking another's, has also stumbled into this strange new realm.

    Geoffrey says: "The second book in a fantastic trilogy!"
  • 4.5 (3477 ratings)

    Eldest: The Inheritance Cycle, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Christopher Paolini
    • Narrated By Gerard Doyle
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3477)
    Performance
    (1537)
    Story
    (1564)

    Eragon and his dragon, Saphira, have just saved the rebel state from destruction by the mighty forces of King Galbatorix, cruel ruler of the Empire. Now Eragon must travel to Ellesmera, land of the elves, for further training in the skills of the Dragon Rider: magic and swordsmanship. Soon he is on the journey of a lifetime, his eyes open to awe-inspiring new places and people, his days filled with fresh adventure. But chaos and betrayal plague him at every turn, and nothing is what it seems.

    Teddy says: "You see growth in the Author"
  • Alice in Wonderland

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Lewis Carroll
    • Narrated By B.J. Harrison
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (319)
    Performance
    (270)
    Story
    (265)

    Alice begins her fantastic journey by following an unprecedented White Rabbit with a pocket watch. While in the topsy turvy world of Wonderland, Alice takes advice from a caterpillar and attends a mad tea party. She meets the Mock Turtle and the Gryphon, and participates in a ludicrous courtroom scene. Each character has its own charming voice, as B. J. Harrison delivers one of his most whimsical performances.

    Amazon Customer says: "Such a good narrator!!!"
  • The Lightning Thief: Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Rick Riordan
    • Narrated By Jesse Bernstein
    Overall
    (3408)
    Performance
    (1564)
    Story
    (1598)

    Twelve-year-old Percy Jackson is about to be kicked out of boarding school...again. No matter how hard he tries, he can't seem to stay out of trouble. But can he really be expected to stand by and watch while a bully picks on his scrawny best friend? Or not defend himself against his pre-algebra teacher when she turns into a monster and tries to kill him? Of course, no one believes Percy about the monster incident; he's not even sure he believes himself.

    Teddy says: "Fun KIDS Book"
  • The Battle of the Labyrinth: Percy Jackson, Book 4: Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Rick Riordan
    • Narrated By Jesse Bernstein
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1917)
    Performance
    (973)
    Story
    (991)

    Percy Jackson isn't expecting freshman orientation to be any fun. But when a mysterious mortal acquaintance appears on campus, followed by demon cheerleaders, things quickly move from bad to worse.

    Felicity says: "The best of Percy Jackson series."
  • Eldest: The Inheritance Cycle, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Christopher Paolini
    • Narrated By Gerard Doyle
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3477)
    Performance
    (1537)
    Story
    (1564)

    Eragon and his dragon, Saphira, have just saved the rebel state from destruction by the mighty forces of King Galbatorix, cruel ruler of the Empire. Now Eragon must travel to Ellesmera, land of the elves, for further training in the skills of the Dragon Rider: magic and swordsmanship. Soon he is on the journey of a lifetime, his eyes open to awe-inspiring new places and people, his days filled with fresh adventure. But chaos and betrayal plague him at every turn, and nothing is what it seems.

    Teddy says: "You see growth in the Author"
  •  
  • The Son of Neptune: The Heroes of Olympus, Book Two

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Rick Riordan
    • Narrated By Joshua Swanson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1858)
    Performance
    (1664)
    Story
    (1669)

    In The Lost Hero, three demigods named Jason, Piper, and Leo made their first visit to Camp Half-Blood, where they inherited a quest.

    Dana says: "Another great adventure from Rick Riordan!"
  • The Golden Compass: His Dark Materials, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Philip Pullman
    • Narrated By Philip Pullman, full cast
    Overall
    (4816)
    Performance
    (1347)
    Story
    (1367)

    When Lyra and her daemon Pantalaimon decide to spy on a presentation her uncle, the commanding Lord Asriel, is making to the elders of Jordan College they have no idea that they will become witnesses to an attempted murder, and even less that they are taking the first steps in a journey that will lead them into danger and adventure unlike anything Lyra's unfettered imagination has conjured up.

    Arnold says: "A Terrific Book"
  • The Sea of Monsters: Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Rick Riordan
    • Narrated By Jesse Bernstein
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2485)
    Performance
    (1242)
    Story
    (1273)

    After a summer spent trying to prevent a catastrophic war among the Greek gods, Percy Jackson finds his seventh-grade school year unnervingly quiet. His biggest problem is dealing with his new friend, Tyson, a six-foot-three, mentally challenged homeless kid who follows Percy everywhere, making it hard for Percy to have any "normal" friends.

    Bridget Westhoven says: "great family fare"
  • A Wrinkle in Time

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Madeleine L'Engle
    • Narrated By Hope Davis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (400)
    Performance
    (355)
    Story
    (357)

    Meg Murray, her little brother Charles Wallace, and their mother are having a midnight snack on a dark and stormy night when an unearthly stranger appears at their door. He claims to have been blown off course, and goes on to tell them that there is such a thing as a "tesseract," which, if you didn't know, is a wrinkle in time. Meg's father had been experimenting with time-travel when he suddenly disappeared. Will Meg, Charles Wallace, and their friend Calvin outwit the forces of evil as they search through space for their father?

    Patricia says: "Thank You for a New Narrator"
  •  
  • The Titan's Curse: Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Rick Riordan
    • Narrated By Jesse Bernstein
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2090)
    Performance
    (1053)
    Story
    (1063)

    When Percy Jackson receives an urgent distress call from his friend Grover, he immediately prepares for battle. He knows he'll need his powerful demigod allies, Annabeth and Thalia, at his side; his trusty bronze sword, Riptide; and...a ride from his mom.

    Craig says: "Percy's not just for kids"
  • The Heroes of Olympus, Book One: The Lost Hero

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Rick Riordan
    • Narrated By Joshua Swanson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2152)
    Performance
    (1310)
    Story
    (1329)

    After saving Olympus from the evil Titan lord, Kronos, Percy and friends have rebuilt their beloved Camp Half-Blood, where the next generation of demigods must now prepare for a chilling prophecy of their own.... In a brand-new series from blockbuster best-selling author Rick Riordan, fans return to the world of Camp Half-Blood. Here, a new group of heroes will inherit a quest. But to survive the journey, they'll need the help of some familiar demigods.

    Matthew says: "Great Book, The Narrator Was Alright"
  • Elixir: A Covenant Novella

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Jennifer L. Armentrout
    • Narrated By Rob Shapiro
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
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    (0)

    Aiden St. Delphi will do anything to save Alex. Even if it means doing the one thing he will never forgive himself for. Even if it means making war against the gods.

  • Journey to Rainbow Island

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Christie Hsiao
    • Narrated By Elizabeth Burnet
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    Yu-ning thinks her perfect life on Rainbow Island will never end -- until a nasty dragon called the Obsidigon returns from beyond the grave. Now her beloved island is in flames, her best friend has been kidnapped, and the island's Sacred Crystals have been stolen. To make matters worse, she must venture into the dark corners of the world to uncover secrets best ignored, find a weapon thought long destroyed, and recapture seven sacred stones -- without being burned to a crisp by a very angry dragon.

  • The Last Unicorns

    • UNABRIDGED (4 mins)
    • By Edward D. Hoch
    • Narrated By Glenn Hascall
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    A pair of unicorns has been spotted and one young man is intent on buying them from the old man. The pair were purchased in Africa and brought to the region as beasts of burden and for breeding purposes. Will the young man be successful - or turned away? An interesting fictional twist on a familiar tale. Narrated by Glenn Hascall.

  • A World Without Princes: The School for Good and Evil, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Soman Chainani
    • Narrated By Polly Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    In the epic sequel to the New York Times best-selling novel The School for Good and Evil, Sophie and Agatha are home, living out their Ever After. But life isn’t quite the fairy tale they expected. When Agatha secretly wishes she’d chosen a different happy ending, she reopens the gates to the School for Good and Evil. But the world she and Sophie once knew has changed. Witches and princesses, warlocks and princes are no longer enemies. New bonds are forming; old bonds are being shattered.

  •  
  • The Fairytale of the Morley Dog

    • UNABRIDGED (41 mins)
    • By Mike Dudek
    • Narrated By Fiona Schirmer
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    This is a Fairytale of Johnstown, PA's Morley Dog. In this version the history of the dog is revealed with the magic of how the dog comes to life to save people.

    Supposedly eye witnesses describe the events of the dog coming to life, even though they have had several beers. The history traces it back to a meteor that was used in the metal of the mold, and the mold itself being made in the Black Forest of Germany. You know, the Black Forest of giants, witches, princesses, and wizards.

  • How the Dragons Got Their Colors

    • UNABRIDGED (6 mins)
    • By Cheryl Matthynssens
    • Narrated By Valerie Gilbert
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    One day, a little gray dragon decided that being gray was just not right when the world was so full of colors. Follow the little dragon on his journey to gain color for his scales and learn how being kind gave him a special magic to become King of all the dragons.

  • The Roar

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Emma Clayton
    • Narrated By Jane Collingwood
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    In the future, twins Mika and Ellie live behind The Wall, a concrete barrier made to protect humans from animals that have gone crazy with plague. Then Ellie goes missing, and Mika is the only one who believes she’s still alive. Mika can feel Ellie’s presence through a futuristic arcade game released by the government, and the farther he gets in the game, the more he realizes their entire world is built on a foundation of lies.