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Sci-Fi & Fantasy

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Jefferson

Jefferson Jonan-ku, Fukuoka-shi, Japan Member Since 2010

I love reading and listening to books, especially fantasy, science fiction, children's, historical, and classics.

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  • "A Modern Classic Epic Flawed by One..."

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    I eagerly purchased this audiobook of T. H. White???s complete The Once and Future King, because for a long time Audible only had the individual books available. And I loved the first four books, which begin with the halcyon fantasy of The Sword in the Stone, in which the boy Arthur (???Wart???) is educated by an anachronistic Merlyn. The scenes describing the daily life of a medieval castle during different seasons are vivid and beautiful, while those recounting Wart???s fantastic adventures and transformations into various animals are imaginative, suspenseful, and humorous. White loved and respected flora and fauna (even snakes), and this first book is encyclopedic and fantastic, dense and rich, absorbing and moving.

    From the second book, The Queen of Air and Darkness, which opens in the cold north as Queen Morgause boils a black cat alive while her four sons are telling the story of their grandmother???s rape by Arthur???s father, begins the increasingly dark movement of the novel, centered on the tragedy caused by Arthur???s family history and the romantic triangle between himself, Guenevere, and Lancelot (The Ill-Made Knight). In the 2nd through 4th books White most closely follows Malory, though he also moves the era forward from the 11th to the 15th century and empathically imagines how medieval men and women felt and thought with modern psychological insight. At the same time, he writes plenty of joie de vivre, questing and combating knights, and fascinating details about medieval life (food, fashion, feudalism, etc.).

    The novel really concludes with the 4th book (The Candle in the Wind) as the last battle between Arthur and Mordred is about to begin, but this audiobook then adds The Book of Merlyn, which may be good for completists, but which I found disappointing, as on the eve of the last battle Merlyn takes his former pupil off for a night of anachronistic political and philosophical debate with Badger and company about why humans wage war and what might be done to prevent it. Apart from Arthur changing into an ant and a goose to experience two different social systems, there is little ???story??? in this last book: too little Arthurian Matter and too much Whiteian Musing.

    Jason Neville does a marvelous job reading the long work, effortlessly giving different characters distinctive voices and personalities without over doing it (so that, for example, his female characters sound like human beings rather than like a man imitating ???women???). And his King Pellinore reminds me of John Gielgud.

    I recommend this audiobook for anyone interested in the Matter of Britain or philosophical and well-written fantasy.

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    The Once and Future King

    • UNABRIDGED (33 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By T. H. White
    • Narrated By Neville Jason
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1157)
    Performance
    (967)
    Story
    (961)

    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!"
  • "Witty and Engaging Light Magykal Fa..."

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    Magyk (2005) by Angie Sage has many typical children's magical fantasy genre elements: the lost seventh son of a seventh son possessed of extraordinary magic power, a princesses in hiding, an evil necromancer, good wizards, witches, and ghosts, supernatural creatures (like boggarts, brownies, and dragons), legendary magical artifacts (even a lost ring found underground in the dark!), and spells and magical rules for every occasion her page-turning plot requires.

    Sage's novel adds to the genre a usurping dystopian governing body (the Custodians) with a penchant for rationalizing people, excluding women, and banning magic. Sage's good characters, a balanced mix of adults and kids, are very appealing and great fun to spend time with: Marcia Overstrand (the purple pointy python-skin shoe wearing ExtraOrdinary Wizard), Arthel Melle (the avuncular ghost of the former ExtraOrdinary Wizard), Silas (the unambitious and good-natured Ordinary Wizard who is a seventh son), Nicko (one of his sons who likes boats), Jenna (the princess on the run), Boy 412 (a member of the Young Army, "the Pride of today, the Warriors of Tomorrow"), and even Stanley the message rat (Sage does for message rats what J K Rowling never does for message owls: gives them their own point of view). And best of all Sage writes with enjoyable and engaging wit and style. I often laughed out loud at the lines her characters speak and the situations in which they find themselves. Magyk feels lighter and wittier than the Harry Potter books. Her slimy and poisonous Magog creatures are nightmarish, but also prone to greedy foibles, and her Dark Lord DomDaniel (back from the Badlands with a vengeance) snores and drools while he sleeps.

    The fertility of imagination and richness of style in Magyk don't approach that in, say, Catherynne Valente's The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, but Angie Sage does write more magical magic than J. K. Rowling. Although Sage, like Rowling, does a fair amount of mundaning of the fantastic (as in having Marcia cast clothes cleaning spells), she is also capable of writing scenes that make the world come alive with a fresh perspective, as when the last Shield Bug goes into earnest and confused action, when the Dragon Boat appears in an underground temple, when the ghost of Arthel hugs Jenna and makes her "feel as though a warm summer breeze had wafted through her," when Boy 412 stares awe-struck at the "haze of [purple] Magyk energy" on Marcia as she casts a spell and sees her "brilliant green eyes glitter[ing] as she gaze[s] into infinity, observing a silent film that only she could see," and when Jenna goes outside Aunt Zelda's cottage to watch the marsh wake up in cold dawn beauty and thinks about her identity and family and childhood dreams and sees "a fishing boat crewed by chickens."

    One thing lost in the audiobook version is Sage's portentous capitalizations and faux-archaic spellings of words like Magyk and Darke and use of bold font for the names of spells, because when the reader Allan Corduner says them they of course sound as if they were spelled and printed normally. But you gain so much by listening to the audiobook, because Corduner relishes reading the novel and keeps just the right 75-25 balance between tongue in cheek and heart in mouth, making everything more funny and magical and moving than it would be if one were only reading the physical book.

    Will I go on to read/listen to the following six novels about Septimus Heap? Hmmm. If I find them on sale and myself with plenty of time I might, but I am in no hurry right now, because this first novel is a little longer than necessary and ends with satisfying closure.

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    Magyk: Septimus Heap, Book One

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Angie Sage
    • Narrated By Allan Corduner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1514)
    Performance
    (644)
    Story
    (654)

    The first book in this enthralling new series by Angie Sage leads readers on a fantastic journey filled with quirky characters and magykal charms, potions, and spells. Magyk is an original story of lost and rediscovered identities, rich with humor and heart.

    Lindsey says: "Very enjoyable"
  • "A Comical Cracked Fairy Tale with a..."

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    This was an enjoyable novel, a pleasure to listen to. As a Pratchett novel, it is very funny, with just the right amount of thoughtful and disturbing bits, as it plays with genre clich??s and expectations and wittily blurs the differences between "story" and "reality."

    Maurice is an amazing cat: self-centered, cocky, scheming, sarcastic, possessed of a good conscience???and sentient. The various rats in "the Clan" are neat, too, Dangerous Beans (the physically weak seer and spiritual leader), Peaches (the irritatingly ethical conscience), Darktan (the experienced and brave trap removal squad leader), Sardines (the entertainer), and so on. The rats' coming to terms with becoming sentient is vividly, humorously, and often poignantly depicted. The animals' stupid looking boy, Keith, has some surprises inside him. The far too imaginative, budding grim fairy tale authoress the Mayor's daughter, Malicia, is an appealing character. And the "evil" villain has a convincing and sad origin. The violent, scheming, arrogant, callous, and cruel side of human nature is tellingly exposed, too. And there are countless guffaw, chuckle, or smile points sprinkled throughout the story.

    And Stephen Briggs does a marvelous job reading all the voices of the various characters, giving each one its own accent or pitch or personality and injecting plenty of wit into the already witty novel.

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    The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents: Discworld Book 28, (Discworld Childrens Book 1)

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Terry Pratchett
    • Narrated By Stephen Briggs
    Overall
    (55)
    Performance
    (35)
    Story
    (35)

    Rats! They're everywhere: in the breadbins, dancing across tabletops, stealing pies from under the cooks' noses. So what does every town need? A good piper to lure them away. That's where Maurice comes in. But he's only a cat (though one that talks).

    Jefferson says: "A Comical Cracked Fairy Tale with a Bite"
  1. The Once and Future King
  2. Magyk: Septimus Heap, Boo...
  3. The Amazing Maurice and h...
  4. .

A Peek at Jefferson's Bookshelf

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Fukuoka, Japan 22 REVIEWS / 22 ratings Member Since 2010 78 Followers / Following 1
 
Jefferson's greatest hits:

John Reader

John Reader United States 03-18-14 Member Since 2004
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  • "Even better than the first!"

    4 of 4 helpful votes

    What the author did with time travel was very creative. I'll never look at time travel the same way again. It's not confusing, just very very well done. And how he was able to take a book written in the first person and give you views that weren't from the main character's perspective was very crafty.

    The author laid very nice ground work in book one, but this book is where the series really shines. A great story with great characters.

    Two thumbs up and five stars all around.

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    Noah Zarc: Cataclysm: Noah Zarc, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By D. Robert Pease
    • Narrated By David Radtke
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    Thirteen-year-old Noah Zarc rockets to Venus in a quest to learn more about his past. He refuses to believe his father is really the monster everyone says he is. Could there be valid reasons for everything he's done, including abandoning Noah at birth? While searching for answers to secrets no one wants to talk about, even those that have remained hidden for over a thousand years, Noah becomes embroiled in a mission that could cause the greatest cataclysm in the history of the solar system.

    John Reader says: "Even better than the first!"

What's Trending in Sci-Fi & Fantasy:

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

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    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Derek Landy
    • Narrated By Rupert Degas
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    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By John Flanagan
    • Narrated By William Zappa
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    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.

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

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By William Nicholson
    • Narrated By Samuel West
    Overall
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    Performance
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    (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"
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    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Cressida Cowell
    • Narrated By David Tennant
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    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Philip Pullman
    • Narrated By Philip Pullman, full cast
    Overall
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    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"
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    The Subtle Knife: His Dark Materials, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Philip Pullman
    • Narrated By Philip Pullman, Full Cast
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    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 (3467 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
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    Performance
    (1527)
    Story
    (1554)

    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 Lightning Thief: Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Rick Riordan
    • Narrated By Jesse Bernstein
    Overall
    (3405)
    Performance
    (1562)
    Story
    (1596)

    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
    (1914)
    Performance
    (971)
    Story
    (989)

    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."
  • Alice in Wonderland

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Lewis Carroll
    • Narrated By B.J. Harrison
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (318)
    Performance
    (269)
    Story
    (264)

    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!!!"
  • Eldest: The Inheritance Cycle, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Christopher Paolini
    • Narrated By Gerard Doyle
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3467)
    Performance
    (1527)
    Story
    (1554)

    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 Once and Future King

    • UNABRIDGED (33 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By T. H. White
    • Narrated By Neville Jason
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1157)
    Performance
    (967)
    Story
    (961)

    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!"
  • The Last Olympian: Percy Jackson, Book 5: Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Rick Riordan
    • Narrated By Jesse Bernstein
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1955)
    Performance
    (979)
    Story
    (996)

    All year the half-bloods have been preparing for battle against the Titans, knowing the odds of victory are grim. Kronos's army is stronger than ever, and with every god and half-blood he recruits, the evil Titan's power only grows. While the Olympians struggle to contain the rampaging monster Typhon, Kronos begins his advance on New York City, where Mount Olympus stands virtually unguarded. Now it's up to Percy Jackson and an army of young demigods to stop the Lord of Time.

    Anandasubramanian says: "Jesse Berstein IS Percy Jackson"
  • 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
    (2086)
    Performance
    (1050)
    Story
    (1060)

    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 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
    (1856)
    Performance
    (1661)
    Story
    (1666)

    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 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
    (2482)
    Performance
    (1241)
    Story
    (1272)

    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"
  • 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)
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    (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)
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    (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)
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    (0)
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    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.

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  • How the Dragons Got Their Colors

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

  • Cinder Fella: Prince for a Day

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 27 mins)
    • By Kevin Scannell
    • Narrated By Kevin Scannell, Abigail Scannell
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
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    On the fictitious island-nation of Fiaba (which is the Italian word for fairytale), there is great unrest. After succesful revolutions in America and France, citizens on the poor side of the island demand change. In an attempt to subdue the revolt, the king offers the princess's hand in marriage to a commoner. It is just a public relations scheme to placate the poor. Marco Palladio, aka Cinder Fella, is an 18th century slacker who wins the lottery when he wins the competition to marry the princess.