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The Emerald Atlas Audiobook

The Emerald Atlas: Books of Beginning

Kate, Michael, and Emma have been in one orphanage after another for the last ten years, passed along like lost baggage. Yet these unwanted children are more remarkable than they could possibly imagine. Ripped from their parents as babies, they are being protected from a horrible evil of devastating power, an evil they know nothing about. Until now. Before long, Kate, Michael, and Emma are on a journey to dangerous and secret corners of the world....
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Audible Editor Reviews

The Emerald Atlas author John Stephens has a Hollywood background, so it’s not surprising that his debut novel feels like a movie in the making, with elements that recall the Harry Potter series and other kid-friendly fantasy epics. It’s to Stephens’ credit, though, that Atlas never comes off like a cash-in or a cheap imitation: It has its own fully realized world and compelling characters, and the familiar aspects of the story serve mainly to place it in an honorable tradition.

The set-up is easily relatable and recognizable: A trio of siblings (Kate, Michael, and Emma) have been left to the fates after the disappearance of their parents, bounced from one comically horrific orphanage to the next. Their latest home, however, is somewhat different: It’s a mystical town that hides some magical secrets, and soon the kids have discovered a mysterious book that transports them back in time. There they face down an evil witch who is holding the town’s residents hostage. Wizards, dwarves, and ancient prophecies all come into play in a story that takes advantage of plenty of well-worn genre tropes.

Narrator Jim Dale handles it all masterfully, with a warm and inviting tone and some highly entertaining voices for the colorful supporting characters. Some of it might be a little too colorful, though, as Dale’s animated voice acting can become a little distracting. Still, he neatly delineates the various players in Stephens’ grand tapestry, and enhances the suspense of the various moments of peril. The book ends, naturally, with the set-up for the next installment of a planned trilogy, but it’s a satisfying enough story on its own. We can only hope for the same for the inevitable movie version. —Josh Bell

Publisher's Summary

Kate, Michael, and Emma have been in one orphanage after another for the last 10 years, passed along like lost baggage.

Yet these unwanted children are more remarkable than they could possibly imagine. Ripped from their parents as babies, they are being protected from a horrible evil of devastating power, an evil they know nothing about.

Until now.

Before long, Kate, Michael, and Emma are on a journey to dangerous and secret corners of the world...a journey of allies and enemies, of magic and mayhem. And - if an ancient prophesy is correct - what they do can change history, and it is up to them to set things right.

The Emerald Atlas brims with humor and action as it charts Kate, Michael, and Emma's extraordinary adventures through an unforgettable, enchanted world.

©2011 John Stephens (P)2011 Listening Library

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (797 )
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Performance
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  •  
    hoytann 09-22-15
    hoytann 09-22-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great Narrator/Disappointing Story"

    Jim Dale is my favorite narrator. I listened to all the Harry Potter books and fell in love with Mr. Dale's masterful rendition of the books. The Emerald Atlas seemed like a rip-off of J. K. Rowling's fantastic books. Very disappointing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. M. Sirley Oakland, CA USA 07-18-15
    J. M. Sirley Oakland, CA USA 07-18-15 Member Since 2007
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    "Fun Adventure In Time"

    Overall loved the story and the character development. I'm a 52 yrs old fart and was still able to enjoy the story. Just goes to show you, with the right attitude we all can all stay young at heart!!! I will listen to the next two books too!!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amanda 02-10-15
    Amanda 02-10-15
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    "Great story! Less thrilled about the the narrator"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Sure! It was a great story! I don't mind the obvious influences... at all, actually.
    I thought it was a gripping and engaging and (sometimes even a little bit of a) scary story and in it's own right too, in spite of being obviously inspired by works of Tolkien, Lewis and Rowling among (I am sure) many others. Honestly It's rather difficult to find fantasy-lit that does not exhibit common traits with, if not the above-mentioned authors then, other authors in the category.
    I am looking very much forward to reading/listening to the next two books in the trilogy! :)


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    I am sure that opinion on Mr. Jim Dale as narrator will be much diverse, but for me he just didn’t fit quite right... For one thing the story is set in America and I was therefore a little distracted by the various British dialects (some almost caricature-ish)... And although he was good at doing the adult voices such as the dwarfs and Dr. Pym, I didn’t feel he got the teenage/kid-dialog... I sensed how a kid might say it and – for me – it was just off...
    I am sure Mr Dale would be fantastic at reading Tolkien though!


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    If I could I probably would have.. alas, life had to be dealt with as well ;)


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kylie 01-12-15
    Kylie 01-12-15 Member Since 2009
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    "Excellent story, not great narration"

    I really loved this story, which was rightly billed as a new Narnia. The most original and compelling fantasy book I've read in years!
    I felt like it was let down by the narration though. The narrator was great at doing different accents, but the differentiation between the three main characters was almost non-existent, and he had a tendency to make them sound extremely whiny. At one point when Michael made a mistake, about 5 people said it and each time the narrator pronounced it "mis-tae-ah-eek" with four syllables. Really irritating. Loved the story though, so I'd recommend buying the book!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephanne Dennis Southeastern US 09-03-14
    Stephanne Dennis Southeastern US 09-03-14

    A good story is something that makes life feel... enriched by having experienced it.

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    "Neat Story"

    Jim Dale is a brilliant narrator! !
    Very well written story with nonstop action.
    Would highly recommend to anyone for a quick read or listen! !

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kim S. Brinkley 07-12-14
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    "Entertaining"

    Entertaining story with great narration! Jim Dale always adds depth with hits character voices.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Denise Cochecton, NY, United States 11-20-13
    Denise Cochecton, NY, United States 11-20-13
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    "I loved it, is there more???"
    Who was your favorite character and why?

    the wizard. because I love wizards.


    What about Jim Dale’s performance did you like?

    oh I wish I had listened to him perform the Harry Potter series, but I read them on my own. I can't imagine anyone doing this book better.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    No, but it did keep me listening and wanting more.


    Any additional comments?

    I hope there's more.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tracee Las Vegas, NV, United States 07-12-13
    Tracee Las Vegas, NV, United States 07-12-13 Member Since 2011

    I read a lot. But I listen to books I either would never normally buy or would have a hard time getting through.

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    "Book is excellent love the audio narrator"
    Would you listen to The Emerald Atlas again? Why?

    The narrator Jim Dale is excellent. Has been my favorite since he did the Harry Potter series. Would listen to this book twenty times.


    What does Jim Dale bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He is the best narrator ever in my opinion.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kelly 03-29-13
    Kelly 03-29-13
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    "Good book - bad narrator choice"

    This is a good book, read by the wrong narrator. Stephens wrote a good story with strong emotional appeal. The connections the characters have with each other are well thought out and accessible. However, I so strongly disliked his female voices, I had to stop the audiobook and buy the paper copy to scrub my mind of his annoying, airy, oh-so-bored intonation - ESPECIALLY his Kate-voice. And what's with the Brit accent throughout? And the Scottish dwarves? In Baltimore and Massachusetts? Using this narrator made the Potter/Tolkien derivations that much more pronounced.

    So, overall, I liked the story (paper copy, not audiobook). Yes, it derived a lot of its themes from the overworked children's fantasy genre, but I enjoyed meeting a character who finds elves annoying and silly (yeah, Michael!)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Angie Kansas City, MO, United States 12-15-12
    Angie Kansas City, MO, United States 12-15-12 Member Since 2010

    Immigration lawyer in Kansas City. I like Character driven dramas, fantasy (monsters, magic and witches oh my!) and coming of age stories. Favs include: The Book Thief, The Game of Throne series, Harry Potter Series, Dresden Files, Nightside series, anything by Neil Gaimen, 100 Years of Solitude.

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    "Excellent story and Excellent Narrator"

    Another fantastic story of hero kids overcoming great odds and discovering that they are extraordinary, after a life of being an outcast. Love stories like this. Another creative and innovative story that kept me listening.

    And the narrator is Jim Dale, what more needs to be said. Brilliant beyond what words can describe. he makes each and every character unique and alive. I can't wait to listen to the next book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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