When I first read about this anthology, I wondered to myself, "How good can it be?" Given its origin, with all stories donated to pay for cancer treatment, I figured that the quality would be low. In fact, just the opposite was true. It seemed that the authors either attacked the project with the gusto born of a good cause, or dusted off that one story they'd been saving for a special occasion. Either way, I loved most of them.
Of note, several of them are set in worlds already created by the authors' novels. In some cases, it really helped to have read the novels (Like the Wheel of Time), but for the majority, it didn't matter.
My personal favorites:
1. The Sound of Broken Absolutes, Peter Orullian. I'd never heard of this guy before, and I don't know much about music, but it was just plain good. Original. Well written. I went out and bought his book The Unremembered and am already enjoying it. Just ticked that there's no audio version of it!
2. The Old Scale Game, Tad Williams. A fun story, enjoyable. Kept me laughing on a road trip.
3. Select Mode, Mark Lawrence. Fascinating story. I looked up his Broken Empire books, (the world this is set in). I was going to buy it, but reading the Amazon reviews changed my mind. I guess they're pretty gruesome. This story was dark, but not upsetting.
4. Unbowed, Eldon Thompson. I have no idea who Kylac is, but it's a good story.
5. All the Girls Love Michael Stein, David Anthony Durham. A simple, feel-good story. I listened to it with my daughter.
I would highly recommend getting the print or e-book version along with the audio. In the written version, each author writes a 1 or 2 page introduction that illuminates the story, and I found this very helpful, especially for some of the ones that required background knowledge or were just plain confusing.
The narration was top-notch. I found myself wondering if the narrators had all donated their skills as well?
Wayne Thomas Batson has done an excellent job telling an interesting traditional fantasy story. Yes, it is aimed at middle school age kids (not unlike Harry Potter or such), but I am a 41 year old doctor and I loved it. I downloaded it because my daughter was reading it, and I the book looked interesting. Plus, it never hurts to find out what your kids are reading!
Yes, it has a Christian influence, but it is not heavy-handed (think Chronicles of Narnia). There are a few slow parts in the first half but by the end it was quite gripping. This one is read by the author himself, who really throws himself into it. All the voices are well done overall, a few of the accents are a little goofy (particularly when he slips into a pseudo-English accent while narrating), but certainly better than I could have done. I definitely think that we need more of this type of author in this genre providing well written stories for our kids (and us!).
As an aside, we also have been listening to it in the car on long road trips, which I highly recommend as a good family way to pass the time without watching TV/DVD for hours on end!
Overall, definitely recommend this audiobook.
Report Inappropriate Content