While the author-narrator did an outstanding job voicing the villains, his other reading abilities (for the main characters and narration) do not match the professional narrators I've grown used to. As for the story, if you've read the first three books, you know what you can expect.
As a computer science professor, I was eager to listen to it, but it was neither funny nor clever. The best thing about it is the title.
I thought "The City of Sparks" and "The People of Ember" were excellent (five stars), but this book was a big disappointment. It is just typical young adult fiction without the complexity and depth of its two predecessors. I recommend moving onto a different series instead, such as His Dark Materials.
This story about a foolish but gallant gentleman and his loyal and resourceful servant will remind you of Don Quixote and other classics but is fresh and enjoyable. In addition to being an entertaining story, it is also satirical and can be enjoyed by a broad range of ages. If you like Philip Pullman's other stories in the fairy-tale genre (such as Clockwork and Count Karlstein), you will probably like this, which is just as clever but funnier.
If you liked Time Stops for No Mouse, you'll love The Sands of Time. The story and narration are at least as good, and I enjoyed seeing old friends again. Like the first, it is an entertaining satire.
From the description, including the favorable review from School Library Journal, I thought this would be a children's story. It isn't. There are numerous references to the uglier aspects of piracy and slavery. Still, the book is a lot of fun. It's a rare swashbuckler with strong women characters.
Some children's books charm people of any age. This is not one of them. While it may be good for youngsters (as another review suggests), my husband and I found it a little dull. If you're a grown-up looking for a mouse story, I instead recommend "Time Stops for No Mouse", also offered by Audible, which we found to have both greater complexity and charm.
It started off a little slow, but this story of betrayal and its consequences went on to become sit-in-the-garage gripping. It has greater psychological depth than the typical swashbuckler. The reader was disappointing, using the same voice for very different characters (such as the faithful servant and the duplicitious mercenary). The only superior book I know of in this genre is The Count of Monte Cristo.
My husband and I enjoyed listening to this story. Since it is about mice, you might expect it to be a children's book, but I think young children would be baffled or bored by the spoofs of modern art, opera, and other institutions. I recommend it for teens and adults who like children's books.
Despite the high quality of the reading, I did not enjoy this nearly as much as "Right Ho, Jeeves", which I considered far more entertaining and engaging. I'd recommend this only to devoted Wodehouse fans, not to the casual listener.
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