Scarlet Hopewell keeps dreaming about a magical world, a world where winged creatures sculpt with light, where dogs talk, and where Scarlet is the guest of honor at a wonderful party in a castle under the roots of a mighty oak tree. One day her father brings home an abandoned puppy who captures Scarlet's heart. Dakota is fun and loving and smart. Actually, he's really smart - too smart. And a lot too big. News shows start to take an interest.
As the beginning of the school year approaches, strange and ominous storms have everyone on edge, and Scarlet's dreams are getting darker and more vivid. Her magical dream world has another side, a darker side with no interest in joyous parties. When the front door is blown off its hinges one night by three beautiful, silver-voiced men, Dakota leads the Hopewells in their escape - right into the world of Scarlet's dreams.
Scarlet and the Keepers of Light, the first in a four-book series, is a fantasy for all ages about the adventure of growing up and finding the magic within.
©2012 Brandon Charles West (P)2014 Manor Minor Press
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From the very beginning I was hooked, it’s got appealing characters and magic…in general, a little something for everyone interested in YA fantasy. There’s the 14 year old female protagonist named Scarlet, talking wolves, family, fairies, big monsters, creepy people, good people, a library, two worlds in one and….a quest. While the story may be intended for female pre-teens and teens, I believe that all ages and both genders will enjoy it. Overall the story is filled with hope, loyalty, bravery, insightful family ties and lasting friendships.
The narrator, Harriet Stevens, has the perfect voice for the story and while not all her voices are distinctly different her performance is excellent. Harriet Stevens gives life to each character and to the book as a whole by providing the right tone and intonation whether during emotional upheavals, moments of loving tenderness, or wit and humor.
There is one observation I must make. Scarlet seems to follow much the same path as Frodo in Lord of the Rings; I realize many authors throughout history have taken similarities from popular stories of the day and made them their own but this is worth mentioning, especially since LOTR was given a brief mention. The quest begins with Dark Lords or Mortada, (fortunately these creatures are now a cross between the beauty of Galadriel’s woodland fairies and the Nazgul), then on to see the fairies (replacing elves), and off to the dwarves…, finally the group is split. What makes it perfect for all ages is that where LOTR is dark and often times quite gruesome, Scarlet and the Keepers of Light has a lighter flavor which is sometimes a bit scary but mostly it’s family and amazing friends helping a young girl find her own magic.
There are many incredible and exciting scenes throughout this first in the series story and readers will stayed engaged right from the beginning and enjoy every moment of Scarlet’s adventures. Only the future will tell if Scarlet Hopewell stands the test of time but I believe because of it’s charm, appeal and strength it will. I look forward to the next book in this series and thank the author, Brandon West, for his time and hard work in bringing not only Scarlet but all his characters into being.
Please forgive any spelling errors in names but having only audio to work with phonetic spelling is all I can do. I was given this audiobook in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Audiobook provided for review by the author.
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In the audio version a couple of times there’s something done to the voice to give it a nice mystical feel, I think it works really well.
It gave me a Chronicles of Narnia vibe because it deals with a family traveling to a magical world.
I love how the whole family is involved in the story. Scarlet’s story is most important but I can see her father having an adventure of his own. Scarlet‘s sister has a special power which makes me want to see where she goes in the next book.
I am a audio book lover turned Audio Book Reviewer since Nov '14. Love it and now started my own review blog featuring all the reviews here!
Scarlet and Keeper of the Light by Brandon Charles West was a very enjoyable listen. It really was quite different than I expected from the synopsis. Not that it was off from the description it was so much better. All jammed packed into this 7 hour and 32 minute narration.This young 10+ paranormal fantasy with a bit dark, scary moments is a very well laid out book. I would say that this is more of an all of the family listen here!
From beginning to end you can’t wait for the next moment to happen. However, if you are looking for a closure to the end of this book. You will not have it! Since this is a series of 4 books, the ending does hang out there. It grabs you like the Hunger Games series, you can’t wait for the next audio to be narrated. So just be warned not a standalone book. So now onto my thoughts of the audio and book.
Scarlet Hopewell and her family is in for a ride of their lifetime. Or lifetimes? They find themselves running for their life from 3 beautiful, silver voiced men who appear at their homes doorway after it is blown off by strong winds. Learning at that instant their dog Dakota that her father brought home. Is now issuing orders to run and run for their lives. Stunned that their dog can talk and wondering what else he can do. Dakota leads the Hopewell’s out danger and into a kingdom below a large tree.
Scarlet as she looks around finds that everything is like her dream. Maybe this was a dream and they were all in it. Then Scarlet finds out that she is the chosen one to help save a kingdom. That this is not a dream. That she has magical powers.
All the Hopewell’s especially, Mr. Hopewell is skeptical about this whole thing. But, as Scarlet learns how to bring her powers forward and trains with the oldest of the village. Her family is in awe. Not as much as Scarlet thou. She meets new friends along with some who seemingly can’t imagine a human will save them. After weeks of training. Scarlet has to move onto her next level of training her father states that he must go along. They step into an adventure that none of them seen coming.
Where Scarlet and her family come in contact from the very good like fairies to the darkness of those determine to stop her and their plans. The book has a bit of Nardia to it in a character sense. But, it is a whole new fantasy that I never read before. Some of the characters as well.
There was nothing predictable about this books story line in the least. Each event blends well into the next scene. Each a surprise you don’t see coming. Which made this book a start to finish listen. Sometimes I found myself stopping what I was doing and just really sit and listen to what was going on. Besides the Hopewell’s there is a huge supporting cast of characters. Just when you think that this can’t get any better it tops itself at the surprise ending. Brandon West has a huge winner here with this first in a series of 4 books.
His selection for the narrator Harriet Stevens was right on the money. She does the bevy of characters. She keeps the story going along flawlessly. Hope that Brandon has her lined up for the whole series!!! I like the cover it is simple and to the point. 5 stars Mr. West!
This audio was provided by Minor Manor Press for an honest review. All comments above are solely mine and no one has affected the outcome of my review. Please leave comments and like my review. Refer to all of you friends this delightful listen!
I am at that half a century mark in years. I enjoy audiobooks,cats,rats and most days my family,not necessarily in that order!lol
It was a fun read.
I LOVED this book!The storyline is great!An adventure story with a girl as the savior....will she be able to do it?Read it and find out!The narrator,Harriet Stevens, was wonderful with all the voices and readings.I will be waiting for a sequel to this one.
I have listened to hundreds of books over the past 10 years. This was a very well written and engaging story. I wouldn't put it at the very top, but it was definitely worth the listen.
I was taken in by the story. It was a sort of OZ or Through the Looking Glass kind of journey.
Harriet has a great voice and did changed her voice with the characters. Her accent made me think of England, but it didn't take away from the story.
Young girl fights to save the world.
I found myself eagerly awaiting each chapter and I'm looking forward to the next book. It has a refreshing view on a much written type of story. I think it was aimed at pre-teen/teenagers, but it was still a good listen.
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SCARLET AND THE KEEPER'S OF LIGHT: The Scarlet Hopewell Series Book One
Author: Brandon Charles West
Type of Book: Audiobook - Unabridged
Narrator: Harriet Stevens
Length: 7 hours, 32 minutes
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Release Date: December 31, 2014
Publisher: Manor Minor Press
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐
* I received a free copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.
This is the first book in a young adult fantasy series. The main character is a fourteen year old girl named Scarlet Hopewell.
Scarlet has experienced vivid dreams for as long as she can remember. She dreams of a magical land populated by fairy-like creatures and when she awakes she often turns these dreams into short stories.
When Scarlet's father discovers a small puppy abandoned in the woods near their home he decides to bring the dog home with him. At that moment he has no idea just how significant that small act of kindness will end up being. They name the puppy Dakota.
When three beautiful but terrifying figures appear at the Hopewell's home Scarlet and her family must run for their lives.
They run straight from their home and into an entirely new world. A world of fairies and other magical beings.
It is in this new and magically protected world that Scarlet discovers that she is the center of a prophecy in an epic battle between good and evil. It is up to her to save both the magical world and her own world from being conquered by an evil mastermind.
The narrator has a lovely English accent. This accent is perfect for 95% of the book which takes place in a magical realm. But it definitely threw me off at the beginning of the book when it stated that it was set in the state of Virginia in the United States. Hearing the narrator, plus every member of Scarlet's family and the Principal of her school all speaking with English accents seemed exceedingly strange to me. The only other accent that is used is that of a teacher whose voice was spoken with an African accent. I realize that there are many people living in the United States that speak with English accents, but I found it disconcerting. It definitely did not give me a sense of place, however since the characters are only physically located in the United States for the beginning few minutes of the audiobook it can be overlooked. The narrator's lilting voice is perfect for the magical realm. As the story continued I found myself enjoying the narrator's voice more and more.
This story will appeal to fantasy lovers of all ages, from Middle Grade to Young Adult and to Adults.
The fact that this book ends on a cliffhanger is frustrating. There was no natural ending point and it felt like it finished at the end of a chapter rather than at the end of a book. It is for this reason that I cannot rate this book higher than 4 out of 5 stars.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
(Description From Goodreads)
Brandon was born in Virginia and as the son of an Army Officer spent much of his childhood living in Germany, Korea and several US states.
He is a graduate of the College of William and Mary where he majored in Government and Psychology.
Brandon is a firefighter, former Army officer, father, husband, movie buff and avid reader.
Brandon is the author of several novels including the young adult Scarlet Hopewell series as well as Wake Me When I'm Gone, Wounded Eagle, and Mimic the Devil
Although I love Harry Potter, fantasy is a genre I'm normally a bit cautious of. that said I did actually quite enjoy this book, although it is clearly wrirtten for young adults. Whilst it does not have the depth of Harry Potter, it stil has a nice family feel about it, and would be a good book for a family to listen to together. I very much enjoyed the "dogs" part in the story .
the narrator Harriet Stevens, did a good job bring the story to life, her voice did make the story convincing enough to make you want to listen on.
I was very pleasantly surprised. I see why young people will love this book, but I have to admit I thoroughly enjoyed reading it myself. For anyone who loved the Harry Potter series, I am betting they will not want to put this book down either.
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