Having stumbled upon David Tennant's reading of How to Train Your Dragon, our family became firm fans of the audiobooks of the series. This is the best one yet, and that's high praise indeed.
The story has Cressida Cowell's trademark mix of humour, suspense and action. In fact, this time the suspense is notched right up, thanks to a supposedly haunted beach, a blind witch and ancient stories of kingly betrayal.
The narration is a joy, with Tennant giving full rein to his remarkable capacity for accents. In addition to the regular characters, he brings to life 11 fiancés and their betrothed, the witch and her son, a fierce warrior girl, a heartbroken dragon and some menacing tribal chiefs (one of whom, deliciously, seems to have been inspired by the Kray twins).
The kids (8 and 10) want to listen to it over and over in the car, and it's so entertaining they get no argument from me.
This was a great pick for a bookish 11-year-old who is a big Monty Python and Douglas Adams fan. It gets the big thumbs-up from me (his mother), too.
Characteristically Terry Pratchett--funny and sharp, and deceptively wise and touching in parts. Tiffany, who is 9 when this starts, is a terrific girl character: brave, resourceful and the hero of the piece. The Wee Free Men are hilarious; just part of the charm of Stephen Briggs' excellent narration.
You do have to be on your game: the Men, aka Nac Mac Feegles aka pictsies, have thick Scottish accents. And Pratchett trusts his readers to keep up, rather than spoon-feeding them. For me, that makes it all the more enjoyable.
I chose this hoping it would work for my 9-y-o daughter as well. She enjoyed the first few hours, but did lose interest a little, perhaps due to listening in interrupted sessions rather than on a long car journey. But the 11-y-o just loved it, and is still quoting from it.
Author Cressida Cowell and narrator David Tennant are a brilliant combination. In this slightly shorter story (two and a quarter hours) he does his usual terrific job of bringing each distinct character to life while delivering the laughs, suspense and action that are the hallmarks of these books.
Another terrific narration from David Tennant. He does a great job of bringing to life characters we know from the TV series (Rose, Mickey), as well as new ones (including a deliciously sinister sculptor).
Yes, Doctor Who is a series, so we know everything will work out in the end, but there is suspense along the way, and some touching moments. (There's even a nice bit of trivia about the origin of the name Vanessa.)
We listened to this as a family on a long holiday drive and it was a perfect entertainment.
We didn't know this book (or indeed the series) and hadn't heard a David Tennant-narrated book before, but the whole family--daughter, 7, son, 9, and parents--gives this two thumbs up. We loved it. We chose it for a long car journey, which as it turned out, was made even longer by a holiday traffic jam, and we really got lucky. The story is funny and involving and the narration is terrific, with great variety in the characterisations and beautiful delivery of the humour. I'm about to buy another in the series to store away for our next car trip, and the kids have since acquired two of Cressida Cowell's books. Highly recommended.
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