Retired former magazine editor who is working harder than ever as Mr. Dad to his 11-year-old daughter.
I listened to this with my nine-year-old daughter in five short sessions as she read along with the more-than-500-page printed version. Even if you do not listen with a young child, get the printed version. The hundreds of illustrations in the book are magnificent. The recorded version is also enhanced by several mood-creating sound effects which, in my opinion, really added to the enjoyment of the story. The narrator was magnificent in his renderings of all the characters, particularly Georges. If you are hesitant about using a credit for a book that is less than three hours long, make the leap with this one. I guarantee you will choose to listen to it several times because the experience is just that good.
Listened to this one with my 4th-grade daughter and both of us found it to be enjoyable. The animal "familiars" were creative characters and the fictional premise of the story was well developed. A recommended listen.
This was a fun listen with my 10-year-old daughter. It was made even more enjoyable by the fact that we have a beagle and it was easy to imagine him (Walter) in the role of Cromwell. The narrator was excellent and did an especially good job with Howie and Elka. This is not great literature but it didn't need to be.
I am a blind lawyer and aspiring writer, trying to read a little bit of everything but partial to sci-fi and military fiction.
As has been said before, One Second After this is not. That doesn't have to be a bad thing. Unfortunately, much of the promise of this adventure story is hampered, in my humble opinion, by its characters.
Alex is definitely not one of my favorite protagonists. Like many central players in young adult epics, her decision-making process seems consistently limited by the presence of a male character for whom she may or may not have feelings. Obviously, such entanglements are often involved in choosing one course of action or another, but much of this narrative seems driven solely by how Alex feels about a boy. This is a real shame since, as other reviewers have pointed out, Alex puts herself forward early on as a motivated, clever young woman capable of surviving on her own.
Having just come off Pure, where the bombs that ended the world as we knew it fused people to whatever or whoever they were in contact with at the time of the blast, Ashes's premise of selective effects from exposure to EMP doesn't seem quite as out there. If you liked One Second After, Alas Babylon, The Postman or the like and are expecting a modern YA equivalent though, I'd advise you to pack a few extra doses of suspension of disbelief.
Katherine Kellgren's performance seems to be a rather divisive point among reviews. I can understand why, as she engages in what one hires Katherine Kellgren to do, putting distinctive, colorful voices to each character and playing up the action. This means an eight year old girl sounding annoying, will sound annoying. Events that happen quickly, will be read quickly. This style can be jarring if you're not used to it, but she's developed a fair bit of critical praise for good reason I think. In short, I found nothing wrong with it and found it a reason to keep going on more than one occasion when I'd begun to have second thoughts about the book.
And the thing of it is, I actually got into the story. I wanted to know what happened to the characters, even though I didn't necessarily like any of them very much. And of course, the cliffhanger ending was such a surprise that I really have no choice but to continue; any criticisms aside, the author deserves a heap of praise for the last ten minutes.
So are there better stories out there? Sure! But there are certainly many I'd call worse. If you're into the setting, I'd say go for it.