The mysterious Stalkers show up at almost the same instant 12-year-old Aiden Cain’s grandmother dies. Following his grandmother’s instructions, Aiden decides to seek out a powerful sorcerer at Melstone House. Yet when he arrives, he discovers the man died a year earlier. Melstone House now belongs to the sorcerer’s adult grandson Andrew, who agrees to help Aiden with the Stalker problem. But then other problems come up: a creepy neighbor is stealing power from the land, and magic is leaking between the realms. Dealing with these issues would be so much easier—if only Andrew could remember anything his grandfather taught him about magic. Fantasy legend Diana Wynne Jones, who has captivated young listeners for generations, delivers a compelling and humorous adventure. Steven Crossley’s narration captures the excitement and wonder as newly acquainted characters work together to prevent terrible consequences.
©2010 Diana Wynne Jones (P)2010 Recorded Books, LLC
“Flashes of humor, realistic … dialogue and growing-up moments both painful and authentic create a convincing and poignant read.” (Kirkus Reviews)
I enjoyed the voice, characters and story very much and would like to revisit them another time.
Andrew visits Aidan's foster family and discovers that the story is more complicated than he had realized.
While I liked most of the characters, Andrew - a person of magical talents, but not seeking after power, with, instead, a sense of responsibility and a passion for history, definitely engaged my sympathies the most.
This is a delightful story - suitable for children and adults.
I had already bought and read a hardcover copy of this excellent book, but I like Steven Crossley's reading so much that I bought the audiobook too. Diana Wynne Jones's books are a convincing blend of magic and ordinary life. Her characters are clearly drawn and memorable, The villains are menacing, and the good guys are charming, including the rather dangerous young giant who's filled with glee because his new clothes have zippers. Even the good guys don't always agree (for example, there's a prolonged silent contest over the arrangement of furniture), but we get to see friendship, humor, and loyalty among people willing to go out of their way to help each other.
I want to start by saying that I am a Diana Wynne Jones fan. But her books are always a hit or miss for me. I loved some of her books but I couldn't get into some of the others. I knew I was taking a gamble.
I originally bought the hard cover but I didn't have time to read it, so I downloaded the audible. The book was whimsical like all the other DWJ books, with goofy characters, and silly villains. But what the heck was it about? What was the plot? Who was the main character? First, you have Andrew, who has a weird experience on his way to his grandfather's, who he finds out is dead. Then you have Aiden, who shows up out of nowhere for no reason after his grandmother dies. You have a bunch of insolent, annoying servants, and a handful of odd characters who drop in and out causing all kinds of chaos. This is Jones' style, but it sometimes gets out of hand to the point that the whole reading experience is almost painful. None of the characters are clearly explained. Half the things they say make no sense. And the villains (as in most of DWJ books) are the stupidest villains you ever came across. They always, very pleasantly, explain the bad things they are doing or are about to do. What villain does that? They're not even shrewed. They're just annoying enough that you want the main characters to swat them away (which they usually do).
This book ended with so many things left unexplained. The things that were explained were absurd. A lot of this book wasn't really appropriate for children -- which is cool for me since I'm not a child, but not cool for the kids who were lured in by the colorfully graphic cover that implies a 12-year-old main character. Most of the book was, in fact, in Andrew's adult point of view. The narrator was pretty good, although he did a lot of whining voices, which started to get on my nerves.
If you are a fan, you should probably give this one a try. Just brace yourself because it's not DWJ's best work.
Even the paranormal should have rules. This is bad fantasy.
NO. "Dresden Files" is my standard.
No better, no worse
And suddenly the big tree saves everyone!!!!!! What the .....
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