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The Emerald Atlas Audiobook
The Emerald Atlas
Written by: 
John Stephens
Narrated by: 
Jim Dale
 >   > 
The Emerald Atlas Audiobook

The Emerald Atlas: Books of Beginning

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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

4.3 (885 )
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Performance
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  •  
    JILCAT13 04-07-16
    JILCAT13 04-07-16 Member Since 2016
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    14
    5
    Overall
    "wonderful"

    I loved every minute of it.a lovely story for all pages .can't wait for the next book

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    SewMom Oconomowoc, WI United States 03-15-16
    SewMom Oconomowoc, WI United States 03-15-16 Member Since 2012
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    7
    2
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    Story
    "Emerald atlas"

    Great to listen to, easy to follow and entertaining. I could pick up the story line every time I came back to this book all in all an enjoyable performance. Thrilling but not scary.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kindle Customer 03-05-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    13
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    "Can't Keep Up--Past? Present? Future? Future Past?"
    Have you listened to any of Jim Dale’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    He's excellent. The different character's voices were a bit grating at times. Gotta be in the mood, I guess.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    I've already seen Harry Potter and this seems to be a Harry Potter wannabe book.


    Any additional comments?

    If this is primarily a children's book, I'd be a bit concerned about evil characters telling children, things to the effect: I'm going to make you watch me torture and kill your siblings/parents/friends. I didn't care enough about the characters to feel emotionally connected or concerned. Maybe I am weird, but no, I didn't like it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    HeatherDVM Columbus, OH 11-01-15
    HeatherDVM Columbus, OH 11-01-15 Member Since 2011
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    "A very cute first book to an enjoyable series"
    Any additional comments?

    My favorite part of this trilogy is the narration and the cleverness of the writing. There are lots of "jibs" and "jabs" back and forth between characters and I really appreciate the underlying sense of humor. This is a great Trilogy for kids and adults. It's roughly "Harry Potter" level material without quite as much dark evil. I really enjoyed this series and the first book was particularly cute.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris 10-24-15
    Chris 10-24-15 Member Since 2015
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    2
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    "Enjoyable"

    I mostly liked the dwarves

    ( im not micheal)

    jim dale womderful as always will listen to the next two books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    hoytann 09-22-15
    hoytann 09-22-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    18
    15
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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
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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
    ratings
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    1
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    Story
    "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
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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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

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