In pursuit of truth, justice, and an end to spoilers!
A Certain Slant of Light is a different slant on a ghost story, and I really enjoyed watching the way it progressed. The two main characters are ghosts looking in on the living world, at first experiencing it without being noticed and later going unnoticed for what they really are. The prose is lovely and elegant, the story emotional, and once I got into this it was hard to stop listening. The story felt fully fleshed out, and yet I was left wanting a bit more at the end. That's probably a mark of a great book but for myself I would have prefered just a little bit more info in a couple areas, but overall this was a great listen!
This is very much a love story, so be warned to expect a bit of mush. I found that part of the plot a bit rushed, not in terms of pacing but for the characters, and there were several times I found myself aghast at the lack of foresight shown by the main characters in some ways. Let's just say that not all ghosts haunt Girl Scout meetings, where we were taught to tread through the forest so as to leave as little damage as possible! That's a thought that was with me pretty much throughout the whole book!
This is listed as a young adult novel, but it's one of the most adult ones I've come across and I wouldn't think of limiting this to a teenage audience. This is not at all a kiddie story. There's a good bit of sexual content, which, although never crude, might be something for which parents might want to prescreen for younger teens.
The narrator is just right for the part. She perfectly captures the hushed urgency of the gentle-souled Helen, a ghost desperate to communicate yet terrified of notice.
With a serial killer at large and the body count rising, my first thought was that this would be aimed at older teens. Now that I've read it though, I'd say it was more for younger teens. There's an edge of The Disney Channel's version of high school here, although the serial killer is hardly toothless.
Violet is worried about normal things for a teen. Boys, school, lack of coolness. She and her long-time best friend are leaning towards becoming more than just friends and that takes up a huge amount of her mental time... And she has the secret ability to find dead things. It's not something she's happy about, but she can't help but know where they are. Meanwhile, a serial killer is escalating in the area, which a girl with her abilities can't help but notice, even if she's noticing and thinking about her would-be boyfriend at the same time.
The narrator isn't the best with additional voices, but otherwise I thought she was fine. Check the sample!
Overall, I'd say this book was good but not great. I'm in no hurry to listen to the next book in the series, but I liked this well enough while I was listening.
I really enjoyed this one, and I'm a grown-up! It's strong on plot and the pace never slows -- there's a lot of action in this book. The story came to at least part of a conclusion, but the big picture is far from done at the end of this book. Fun book, and I'll happily continue on with this series!
The made-up cuss words like "clunk" seemed clunky themselves at first, but I adjusted quickly. This is a children's book, after all. Why there was only ever one girl in the story has yet to make sense either, so we'll have to see if that's ever explained.
There are some scary parts that might be too much for younger readers. Aggressive icky things drag victims screaming to their doom or chase them around the maze from the title. The camera doesn't fade to black during those times, which will either make the story more exciting or too scary, depending on the reader. An earlier reviewer mentioned this being a little much for his 10-year-old, and I'm not surprised. Age is relative, but parents might want to keep this in mind.
Most of the time I don't care for the author narrating their own books. However, I can't imagine anyone else reading The Wizard of Dark Street. I had a slight problem getting into the story but never considered not listening to the book because of Shawn Thomas Odyssey's narration. His reading of this book is delightful. I couldn't stop listening to his lilting voice and telling of this tale. He brought the characters to life like nobody else could have. Once the story was set up, I couldn't wait to find out what was going to happen next. I highly recommend this book for adults who like books such as the Harry Potter series as well as young listeners.
I loved Oona. She had so many layers and such enthusiasm for life. I also enjoyed Adler very much. He had heart and character and the accent used by Shawn Thomas Odyssey for him was always fun to hear.
His delightful accents and bringing the characters to life.