I had looked at this series in print, but it had not held my attention as an adult. I was surprised to find I really enjoyed this production of the book- a very high quality, witty, well thought out performance. All the sound effects were excellent, and alterations in the text made sure that the warnings not to listen/read to such gloomy material came across freshly as jokes.
Aimed at children who are just developing a sense of irony, can be painlessly enjoyed by an adult in the same car.
Although this is the second book of a trilogy I had no problem picking up the plot. Having four different readers for the four different narrators is nice, and they all have very professional, clear delivery and the voices are well matched to the characters.
As they travel on horseback across an America where technology no longer works and people have been 'tweaked' into resembling their inner natures we're in familiar fantasy territory. absorbing but not challenging it's great for listening on a commute where you might miss few words here and there through traffic noise.
I was entertained and informed. There were new ideas for me, as I haven't read or studied in this area, and it was presented well enough to follow in audio. I missed being able to go back and go over an idea or conclusion again- I'm using the Cretive Muvo for audible books and if a lorry passes you and you miss a bit your choices are to listen to the whole book again or miss that section for ever.
No attempt was made to add musical illustration to the audiobook. It was dull, a bit pretentious, and I didn't bother to finish downloading it.
It was a real shock to go down to this telephone quality format. In spite of that, the national park and Anna Pigeon still entertained me.
I had never previously considered the USA as a holiday destination, but this series of books have made me change my mind. I really enjoy mystery novels that are strongly set into the landscape and people, and Nevada Barr does this so well.
Very entertaining and narrated well. Not good for the car, becuase you may want to keep noting down things to check. I borrowed a lot of history books from the library while I was listening to this book, and had a great time discussing with various friends the views the author expresses, especially the view that you can be proud of a country that sometimes does bad things. I laughed myself silly when I found that our British books also censor Helen Keller's political views, and was chilled by Columbas' quoted letters. History writing at it's most thought provoking and entertaining.
Ellie struggling to run the farm and get though school got my sympathy and attention straight away.I had read only the first of this series of books, but this didn't detract from my enjoyment of this latest title. John Marsden is an excellent writer, capable of writing a real crossover book, as good for adults as for the teenagers.
I was swept up in Ellie's world and cheering her on.
I enjoyed this, and will keep an eye out for further titles by this author. I think she'll improve over time, but in this one she interested me in fires enough to do a google images search for the various types of fire marks mentioned in the story- weeping, alligatoring and so on. I also enjoyed some of the cameos of minor charactors- the couple who're well insured but so callous she resents paying out to, for instance.
Great voices, great characters to voice, not too complex or deep for the kids to follow, nice twist at the end that I didn't guess, but was very satisfying.
Heaps to talk about with children if they pick up on things- relative guilt of a baby-killer versus an abortionist for instance, but nothing to give them the real horrors.
This is what historical fiction for children should be- everyone's silent while it's playing, and everyone's talking about it as soon as it stops.
Although I listen to children's books all the time I got so bored with this one I didn't finish it. The world of the Native American tribe seemed much less real than that of many fantasy writers for children. Although the construction was described I didn't get a good mental picture of the birchbark house, nor a feeling of identifying with the culture. The reader seemed to put all Ojibwa words into speechmarks, with little pauses, and the voice was a little too gentle, without engagement with story.No comparison to Laura Ingalls Wilder.
Full Cast Audio should have redone the first couple of pages- the narrator sounded flat and tired as I began to listen. After that I was caught up in the story and tried to find ways to keep listening!
I borrowed the print versions of the rest of the series and read them afterwards, to keep enjoying this consistent magical world.
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