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The Emerald Atlas: Books of Beginning | [John Stephens]

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 (703 )
5 star
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4.5 (577 )
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3 star
 (41)
2 star
 (11)
1 star
 (12)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Jace PORT ROYAL, PENNSYLVANIA, United States 11-16-11
    Jace PORT ROYAL, PENNSYLVANIA, United States 11-16-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    6
    5
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    1
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    Story
    "Travel through a magical book"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Emerald Atlas to be better than the print version?

    I enjoyed the audio version better only because of Jim Dale. He has a way of pulling you into the story so you are no longer a listener, but right there with Kate, Michael and Emma.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Emerald Atlas?

    There were many memorable moments to the story. One of my favorites was the scene where the children escaped from the Countesses dungeon and slipped through the forest, only to be tracked by the Countesses wolves. You'll have to listen to find out if they escaped!


    What about Jim Dale’s performance did you like?

    He switches voices for each character, remains true to that character's voice throughout and adds the proper infliction to the voice when called for. If the story reads, Emma shouted, Dale shouts the words Emma speaks. If the story reads, Michael whispered, barely audible, Dale delivers. He is the master of performers.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Grab your photographs and prepare to embark on a magical journey through the Emerald Atlas.


    Any additional comments?

    Well worth the listen. You won't be disappointed!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    amy cedar city, UT, United States 11-08-11
    amy cedar city, UT, United States 11-08-11 Member Since 2010
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Bought it because of Jim Dale"
    What did you like best about The Emerald Atlas? What did you like least?

    The narrator/JIm Dale.
    Who cares about the donuts etc./ to much extraneous filler. I thought maybe Jim didn't get to choose whether he read this one or not. Maybe he did it as a favor to the author. Definitely not in the Harry Potter, Twilight genre.


    Would you recommend The Emerald Atlas to your friends? Why or why not?

    Probably not! Just another book with kids saving the day.


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

    His reputation! All of the different character voices. He's so good!


    Do you think The Emerald Atlas needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    I guess that it has to have one now since the parents are alive but not rescued yet.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    bridget 10-22-11
    bridget 10-22-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    94
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    "brilliant"

    you can't beat jim dale - awaiting the next book. The children are unique and of course there is an old wizard.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jacqueline A Siggers 09-10-11 Member Since 2008
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    22
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Awesome New Series!"

    I loved Emerald Atlas. Jim Dale ALWAYS does such a wonderful job bringing each character to life. I was instantly drawn to this well written fantasy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth Washington, DC, United States 08-25-11
    Elizabeth Washington, DC, United States 08-25-11 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    20
    8
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    0
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    "Good, but no Harry Potter..."

    It's a fun listen and the narration is quite good, but it's not as exciting as the Harry Potter books or as complex and interesting as Tolkien.
    But, overall it's a safe bet for an enjoyable, if not all that memorable, listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Crystal California 07-15-11
    Crystal California 07-15-11 Member Since 2015

    Avid Customer

    HELPFUL VOTES
    69
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    203
    56
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    8
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    "Good Story"

    I liked this story, and I wish the next one was available. I like books with sequels, but I don't like to wait.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    KOH 07-06-11
    KOH 07-06-11 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
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    14
    4
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    "Good first in a series"

    Enjoyable listen, not the best ever written but well done and worth the credit. I am a big Jim Dale fan since the Harry Potter books and the only thing I found unusual was that some of the character voices were very similar to the Potter voices:

    Dr Pym = Dumbledor, Cavendish = Peeves, Gabriel = Madeye Moody, The Countess = Belatrix and a few more.

    I look forward to the next books in the series.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephanie 01-31-14
    Stephanie 01-31-14
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Terrible. Who writes all this morbid stuff?"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    This is definitely for older children, if for kids at all. Why would anyone want stories of death and mayhem and terror to be read to children at all? We had to stop because y 8 year old son was so scared of the content.


    What didn’t you like about Jim Dale’s performance?

    The narrator spoke way too fast and the accent made it very difficult for even the adults to follow.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    The concept of the books was cool, but the ideas and the murder and word choices was not appropriate for children.


    Any additional comments?

    Terrible recommendation and total waste of my money.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Just A Book Person 05-22-12 Member Since 2014
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    33
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    "A fun adventure!"

    I can't wait for book 2! And I always love to hear anything Jim Dale reads. He performs the different characters so well!! Each with a distinctive voice!!!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jill 04-23-12
    Jill 04-23-12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    40
    2
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    Performance
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    "Not good"
    Would you try another book from John Stephens and/or Jim Dale?

    John Stephens -No
    Jim Dale - Yes


    Has The Emerald Atlas turned you off from other books in this genre?

    Yes


    What didn’t you like about Jim Dale’s performance?

    I did like Jim Dale's performance


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    Extremely confusing and difficult to follow

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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