To be honest, I purchased this trilogy (Ruby in the Smoke, Shadow in the North and Tiger in the Well) because kids and I have listened to His Dark Materials books recently and liked it to no limits. So if you're familiar with Philip Pullman style, I mean those vivid characters, jaw dropping action and all sorts of misteries happening at the same time, you'll find it all here. What makes it brilliant, outstanding and must-listen-to is Mr. Lesser performance. It's breathtaking. The book is not as epic as Materials, but anyway twist and turns of the plot will catch you and make it impossible to put the book down. It's very captivating, historically accurate and socially relevant novel and the narrator only adds to it.
The world of Abarat is detailed and charming, both good and evil characters are alive and weird in many ways (I especially love it in Barker books). Also, the narrator is divine. I mean it! I did hear those different voices and felt those emotions Richard Ferrone was performing. This book is not as epic as, say, Holy Bible. But the world this book speaks of is fascinating, unusual and passionate. I can't wait for the Absolute Midnight to come!
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