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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 (1032 )
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4.6 (884 )
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Performance
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  •  
    J. Opper 03-09-17
    J. Opper 03-09-17 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Loved this. Reminds me of HP"

    Jim Dale is a national treasure. What great fun and very similar to all of the adventure in the magical world of Harry Potter. Highly recommended for anyone who loved the JK Rowling books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michaela McClintock 11-02-16 Member Since 2015
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    16
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    "Jim Dale brings alive a wonderful fantasy world."

    I re-listen to this over and over, falling in love with the characters Dale brings to life, every time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    SmartShopper 10-30-16
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    "Is JK getting royalties for this?"

    This book reads like the author studied JK Rowling very, very carefully and with an "I could do that" attitude lifted her ideas... Now if it turns out that this was written first, I'd have to say they were ideas whose time had come. I had a bit of guilty pleasure with it because the first 3/4 of the book feels like a new JK book and I do love Jim Dale. He uses many of the same voices that he used for Harry too! If the character development had been better and the story clear, I might have even forgiven the author with the idea that it was a JK tribute. This was not to be. The story got way too murky and complicated and the characters lack the souls that were there from the beginning in the characters of Harry's story. Maybe the author is a young guy finding his way... Perhaps he will find his own voice and a really excellent story later on. As for me, I'm moving on to more original good stories.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carmen Athol, ID, United States 09-24-16
    Carmen Athol, ID, United States 09-24-16 Member Since 2014
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    "Original and entertaining."

    I like this book. It did it feel like it was not a spin-off of any other recent magical books. I'm eager to read the next one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dr Hesper 09-01-16
    Dr Hesper 09-01-16 Member Since 2015
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    14
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    "Fun book!"

    This is a book about a trio of kids that go on a magical adventure. The reason I chose the book is because it is narrated by Jim Dale, the guy who narrated the Harry Potter books in the USA. He's my favorite and can bring the characters to life!

    The book was fun and is suitable for families.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Craig ZACHARY, LA, United States 08-15-16
    Craig ZACHARY, LA, United States 08-15-16 Member Since 2010
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    "Very Entertaining"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This is the first book I have read by Stephens. He is an excellent story teller and I shall continue to read his books in this series. Jim Dale is one of the finest narrators, and I have listened to hundreds of audio books. I highly recommend this audio book.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janet R. Fisher 07-16-16 Member Since 2014
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    2
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    "Love This Series"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    YES!!! Great story, wonderful narration. Did not want it to end!


    What other book might you compare The Emerald Atlas to and why?

    The entire series 'Books of the Beginning"


    Have you listened to any of Jim Dale’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No have not listened to any of Jim Dale's other performances. But he does a GREAT JOB of narrating.


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

    Cried at times, Laughed a lot!


    Any additional comments?

    GREAT! Entertaining! Loved these books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    matthew culp 05-29-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Jim Dale- Brilliant."

    Jim Dale brought this book to life in a way that makes every Harry Potter fan proud...

    If your a diehard Potter fan like myself than I HIGHLY recommend this series. I was looking so long for a story that made me feel the way Potter made me feel. I thought to myself, Jim Dale was perfect with Potter, why not see what else he has done. which led me here.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JILCAT13 04-07-16
    JILCAT13 04-07-16 Listener Since 2003
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    18
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    "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
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    "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

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