My daughter and I gave up on this after 3 tortuous hours, in which we tried to find something redeeming about it. We could not. Filled with cliche after cliche, uninteresting characters, and narrators that give "other world" characters unexplainable German and Indian accents, it was an assault to our ears. Not recommended for anyone of any age.
The storyline could actually be interesting, but its hard to tell, because the writing is neither logical or clear. Character development is spotty. Simon as the main character has the most development, but not much other than he feels sorry for himself and has no backbone. Other characters get thrown in for no apparent reason as they don't move the story along. An example of this is an Indian cabdriver (Abu? - like the monkey in Aladdin? Was that supposed to be funny?). This was a cringe inducing element in the story as the author made Abu into an insulting caricature that stereotypes Indian nationals. Not funny in the least.
The author narrates his own book and frankly, he shouldn't have done so. His opening chapter is read in a saccharine, sighing voice that is overly sentimental and s-l-o-w, s-l-o-w, s-l-o-w! His voicings for characters is irritating (Simon - self-pitying), (Mr. Trudle - inconsistent), (Lord Valen, a "wannabe" Darth Vader with asthma is just bizarre).
The author's wife does a better job with her voicings, Tonya is believable, but Mrs. Trudle is shrill and unpleasant, and Tabitha has a fake English accent which comes and goes unexpectedly.
I have to wonder who proof-read this book to check it for inconsistancies and character development. Who listened to the acting before putting it into production?
This book was written for children, but frankly, children deserve better than this.
I gave it 1 star because Audible wouldn't let me give it 0 stars.