This audiobook original will please the author's legions of fans. The new Circle of Magic fantasy features Grace Kelly as Evvy, an apprentice stone mage. She is able to suspend her physical self and explore the depths of the earth, sensing and, at times, influencing the course of nature. With her mentor, Rosethorn, and the powerful Luvo, she is challenged to solve the mysterious withering of an island whose plants and waters are dying. While the production has some over-the-top sound effects, Kelly delivers a strong performance, and the Full Cast voices align well with their characters. Listeners will especially enjoy the author's participation.
Written by Tamora Pierce specifically for the voices of Full Cast Audio, Melting Stones is an unprecedented publishing event: the first time a major novel from a best-selling author has made its debut on audio a full year ahead of the print version!
©2007 Tamora Pierce;(P)2007 Full Cast Audio.
This book converted me to audio books! I have read Tamora Pierce for 22 years now, and was impatiently awaiting her next book. When Melting Stones was released as an audio book, I decided to listen rather than waiting for the hard copy. I'm glad I did.
The story is about Evvy, a character introduced in "Street Magic." She is a fourteen year old stone mage. She gets dragged along on a trip to investigate why the water and plants on an island are suddenly dying. She has no interest in this, because her magic is with rocks. But she quickly gets involved, when it turns out her magic is the most important of the three mages' on the trip.
The narration is excellent, and having different actors read each part truly brings the book to life. Even though the characters don't sound the same way they did in my head, it was delightful to be able to close my eyes and enter the world of a book, even while on the subway or washing dishes.
This is the first book I have read by Tamora Pierce. When I purchase audiobooks, I usually throw in a few young adult titles so that I know what I'm recommending to my grandchildren. I thought this book was engaging and the full audio cast presentation was outstanding. Evvy and Master Louvo, "Fuss pot" and Rosethorn take their magical skills to an island to determine what is killing the plants. From there we learn the problem and are involved in the magical solution. For an audience aged 12-14, this book is delightful, especially for fans of fantasy. But it is equally enjoyable for the adult if one is willing is suspend the belief system. I like that a female saves the day, so this book would be particularly interesting to girls. And one learns something about rocks and volcanoes along the way. After this reading, I immediately went to my local bookstore to purchase it for a young teen who I know loves to read. I was shocked to learn that it is still only available in hardback and they were all sold out. So she'll have to wait. Nicely done and nicely read.
First of all let me say that I am a fan of Tamora Pierce and own the audio versions of 9 of her books. I am also a big fan of Full Cast Audio and have purchased many of their books by other authors as well. That said, I have never bothered to listen to this one a second time.
Although Full Cast Audio did a wonderful job, the story just didn't grab me. I found many of the elements to be less interesting versions of things she had already done in other books. I also didn't find Evvy to be a very enjoyable protagonist.
But I know that everyone's tastes are different. If you are a big fan of Tamora Pierce, I'd recommend reading the print version first, to see if this is something you like, before spending your credit.
All in all, I'd much rather listen to any of the original Circle of Magic books or to Street Magic (the first story of Rosethorn, Briar, and Evvy and a great book) instead.
I downloaded this audiobook as an avid reader of Pierce's many series. I had never listened to an audiobook before but I am certainly in awe of the way that I was drawn in and simply could not stop listening. With Evvy and Rosethorn returning for the audiobook and small mentions of the other characters readers may remember littered throughout, the audiobook also introduced many new and lovable characters.
I recommend this audiobook to anyone familiar with Tamora Pierce's work and also anyone unfamiliar, as one can easily pick up what is happening and get the gist of the unique universe that Pierce has created. This really is a lively, active, and thoroughly enjoyable listening experience.
I believe that children, young adults, and adults alike (as I am myself) would find this just as fantastic as I did. Particularly loveable was the snarky but kind Rosethorn, the wise Luvo. The adventure of Evvy was exciting and it was great to see her develop from immaturity to a young woman willing to take on responsibility. I have now fallen in love with Evvy just as I did the original four 'Circle' members of The Circle of Magic and The Circle Opens.
I'm a mom. I have drama in my life. I don't want books with the F-bomb, nor graphic violence. I read for fun and to bring my family together. I read for reducing stress levels. We have never had a television in our home and our children are now mid twenties to 19. We listen together and look for belly-wrenching laughter. So what is it like to live without a TV? Awesomely educational and inspirational. Each new book is a marvel.
The narration and full cast were fantastic! I loved this part of this audibook. The tale did not pull me in though. I have read from others that this is not the best Tamora Pierce tale. It was my first experience with this author and I'm not ready to start another book from her. If the story were more captivating, then I would jump in a buy more audiobooks, but this one just seemed to lack the highs and lows of intensity that make great stories. I'll probably try a different Tamora novel in a few months, just not now. I will certainly look again for Full Cast Audio presentations, this part of the tale was excellent, a 5 star performance.
I really liked the narrators of Evvy, Miriam and Luvo. I thought that they did rather well. Grace Kelly's narration wasn't very smooth at certain times, but her voice acting was great. There were certain points where I felt that she did not manage to provoke in me feelings of tension or dread or anticipation. I also had some trouble determining which lines Evvy was narrating and which lines she was speaking. However, I definitely heard Evvy through her voice so I thought that Grace Kelly did a fine job. Miriam sounded really cute. I was really pleased with the narrator for Miriam. Luvo's voice actor was also rather well chosen. His deep, almost gravelly voice made it easy to identify him as the "heart of a mountain". There were times when I felt that the narrator spoke a bit too quickly for a mountain, but otherwise, I liked him.
The other characters also performed their roles well, but many shared a tendency to sound too careful. The "voice acting" sounded deliberate, unnatural, and forced. The narrator for Rosethorn, I felt, should have spoken more slowly. In previous books, Rosethorn had suffered some issues which even Evvy mentioned that made speech a bit more difficult for her. In this audiobook, the narrator spoke quickly and fluidly, belying Rosethorn's speech problems. I also dislike it when narrators seem to adopt a stereotypical voice, shall I call it for lack of a better word?, and/or perhaps a contemporary tone to a work that would be better suited with a more neutral tone. I did not much care for the tone of the magma "children", in particular Flare (sp?). His voice was a bit too jeering.
This book wasn't my favorite of Tamora Pierce's books but I didn't dislike it either.
Parts of this review was cross-posted from Goodreads.
I downloaded this for a road trip with my 12 yr old budding geologist daughter. The characters are the strongest part of this story, along with Pierce's vision of stone magic. The storyline is good as a whole, but can be a little shaky. (dodging spoilers) The party seems to take an inordinately long time to figure out what is going on, and as the climax is approaching we are treated to two or three chapters of pointless argument.
I guess I'd differ from the rave reviews of the narration - I found it pedestrian at best. The narrators could have brought so much more to the table with some well-chosen emphasis now and again. To be fair, they were hobbled by Pierce's dialog which may have passed on the page, but become labored aloud.
What a treat! It is easy to follow and you are drawn in to follow the adventure of Evy, Rosetorn, "Fuss Pot" and Master Louvo.
I can hardly wait until this release comes out in hardback!
Tamora Pierce, her Melting Stones is as fantastic and special as all her other books. Plus a thumbs up to the narrator and the whole cast! I truly enjoyed it.
"Trapped in a loop"
The story began with lots of promise, as Tamora Pierce has always been an excellent author for young adults and older. However, this book turns out to be something of a disappointment as the same events seem to happen over, and over, and over so that I kept inwardly groaning a "Not again..." to myself as I listened.
The full cast style is charming, though I did find the voice of the main character/narrator somewhat grating. The sound effects and music could have been better. I felt like I was watching anime with those cheesy brief tunes before and after commercial breaks. All in all, not one of Pierce's better books. Stick to Lioness Rampant and subsequent novels in that world if you want a good read.
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