I am an adult, and as such not really the target audience for this series. Just an FYI. I chose this because I loved the work that Jim Dale did in the Harry Potter series.
This story is very good. Compelling, and keeps moving forward. The kids actually behave in reasonable ways. The magic is fun. I enjoyed it.
The one difficulty that I had was actually with the Dale narration: He uses a variety of voices and does them well, but it sounds odd when there is an echo of one of the Potter characters in the "voice" of characters in this series. It's just a bit disconcerting.
Still, very well done with plot, ends nicely, and I do love the narrator.
If you are a fan of magical young adult fiction, this series is right at the top. It stands independent from other popular, similar series and is one I HIGHLY recommend to fans of YA fiction.
This is the sequel to the amazing "Emerald Atlas" and is the second in a trilogy. My children and I cannot wait for the third book to come out! I think that the narrator does a stupendous job and the story itself is fantastic. There are elements of other popular fantasy books in this series, but it definately stands on its own in this genre. The voice is unique. The characters are memorable. The story is incredible.
John Stephens has continued to keep the quality of his wonderful new series high and interesting. The value and enjoyment of these books are even greater because of Jim Dale's award winning skills as a narrator. If you liked the first book you will also like this one. It's definitely a series for younger people but that never stopped me from enjoying a book. Have fun!