Semester Aboard

More than Magic, Book 1
Narrated by: Starla Huchton
Series: More than Magic, Book 1
Length: 14 hrs and 34 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (22 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Jen Maddox is a few days into her summer study-abroad program and has loved every moment on her cruise ship turned college campus. Everyone tells her the experience will change her life, but none of them realize just how right they really are.

One night, Jen goes out on deck and encounters five other students. She knows Charlie from one of her classes, and he’s a funny, friendly, regular guy. Picture-perfect Dani and his gorgeous wife, Mariana, live right down the hall from Jen, and she has seen TS, who’s built like a truck, around the ship, and recognizes the cute but quiet Thomas as well.

Then Jen sees something that isn’t humanly possible. Jen would have thought that it was all a dream if not for the fact that Charlie, Dani, Mariana, TS, and Thomas are making every effort to cover it up. Suddenly, the five of them are everything but normal, and Jen is determined to figure out what they’re hiding.

When she does, her life really does change. Jen expected to spend her summer studying the cultures of Latin America; she never dreamed she’d learn about a magical culture instead.

But Jen’s childhood fantasy come true is about to turn into a nightmare; there’s something on the ship. Something dangerous. Suddenly, everyone on board is threatened by a creature that Jen never even believed existed. Jen and her new friends might be the only people who can stop it!

Now Jen has to learn everything she can about her new world before it kills her. And her friends. And maybe everyone on the entire ship.

©2012 Elizabeth Kirke (P)2018 Elizabeth Kirke

What listeners say about Semester Aboard

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

AWESOME BEGINNING TO VAMPIRE SERIES!

Absolutely loved it! The narrator brought the story to life! The author weaves a mysterious and magical tale taking place on a ship as Jen travels on a cruise ship acting as a college campus for a semester of study abroad. I thought it was beautifully written and am definitely wanting to hear more in the series! Coming to Audible? I definitely recommend it, it's a fun crazy and magically frightening read! :) I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

2 people found this helpful

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Adventure in a magical mysterious world

I first read Semester Aboard in 2014, and I fell in love with the characters. Elizabeth Kirke creates a magical, modern world that I lost myself in. Her characters are well defined and very complex. Kirke paints a spectacular picture in each port stop. It was so easy to lose myself within the pages. I’ve read Semester Aboard a few times since then and I immerse myself in it each time. Listening to Starla Huchton bring it to life for me again was well, magical. Huchton infuses her passion and intensity into this story. When Jen and her new friends are confronted by a creature on the boat and a fight ensues, I was right there on the ship deck with them feeling every punch, snarl, and bite. It was fantastic! As debut novels go, Semester Aboard is a flawless adventure into a mysterious, magical world. I highly recommend the series and the audiobook.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Magic to my ears

To battle the elements is a part of life that most humans just have to live with. Elizabeth Kirke takes the elements, makes them human and recrafts myth to weave a story that had my running to recharge my batteries to listen long past the time when I should head to bed. Semester Aboard's title intrigued me. As a self-confessed nerd who dearly loved her Semester Abroad studies, what could make them even more exciting but the thought of adding expansive travels on top of cultural immersion? Certainly that was what Jen Maddox signs up for at the urging of her step mom Rachel's insistence that her own Semester Aboard was "a life changing experience". Somehow, we get the idea fairly quickly that their experiences were vastly different as Jen is introduced into a world of Magics - where Vampires, Werewolves and Mermaids really exist and there are bad and scary things that have to be fought off to ensure the safety of humankind. Young Adult stories that have that "Scooby Gang" vibe as absolutely my favorites. I love the clash and play of characters, witty banter, crushes and epic action-adventure. To say that this story had some world-building issues is valid but there was a lot going on - lots of characters introduced very quickly and with more questions than answers for significant portions of the book. Once it started to gel, however, it was on fire - quite literally, as Jen chose fire for her first magic spells. The good guys were great friends who had each other's back and Ms. Kirke does a wonderful job separating them out into vignettes to allow dialogue to help build the story after the midway point which does much to elevate the pace and invest the reader more deeply in all the happenings. The bad guys are terrifying, with plot twists and surprises that had me actually pulling off the road while driving because I was so entranced in one action-packed fight scene. The semester does end and leaves the reader with a little let down, as all travelers have experienced when taking a grand adventure, because there is always a desire for "just a little bit more" but knowing that there is more out there is enough to sustain you until that time. Starla Huchton does an outstanding job narrating this novel - pulling out accents and keeping the story pace and flow moving quite nicely. There are readers that I find I need to speed up the narration on, particularly for stories over 10 hrs, but I kept this right en pointe as it was quite possibly perfect for the story just as it was. I will definitely be looking for her in additional listening opportunities. I give Semester Aboard 4 1/2 Chocolate Dipped Strawberries (and some tacos - they were in Mexico and South America and spent an inordinate amount of time talking about what they were going to eat so I was constantly hungry!)

1 person found this helpful

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Wow!

First off this is one of my favorite authors now, I stumbled onto her by accident at I Love Vampire Books. This became one of my favorite series' a while ago. Ms. Huchton does a great job reading. It took me an hour or so to get used to hearing her instead of the voices in my head :) but I liked that she did different accents and voices for the different characters. I notice I also catch more details when I hear a book then when I read it to myself, because when I read it, I race through sections where it is exciting just to get to the next detail... Thanks for getting this out on audio!!!!

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars

Fun portrayal of diverse paranormal creatures

This is the first full-length novel in the More than Magic series of new adult urban fantasy by Elizabeth Kirke. It’s a complete story that can be enjoyed on its own, although it is clearly introducing this world and these characters for further adventures. I liked the premise of this book, with a young college student trapped on a cruise ship with various magical creatures during her semester abroad. I loved the portrayal of diverse paranormal creatures and the unique mythology developed for them. I liked the characters, although some of them acted a bit young for their age. Our main character, Jen, seemed a bit bland compared to her friends, who all had fun quirks. The pacing felt uneven; the story seemed to drag at times. There were a few too many info dumps as Jen learns about magic and her friends primarily through dialog. The action scenes were suspenseful though, and kept me listening to find out what would happen next. I enjoyed the narration by Starla Huchton. Her performance was well paced and easy to understand, and I enjoyed the character voices. I think this is a great choice for listening. I own the Kindle book but was given a free copy of this audiobook by the author; I volunteered to provide an honest review.

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Very enjoyable!

I truly enjoy how Jen, our newly discovered witch, is not immediately kickass and perfect like in other books in this genre. In fact, sometimes she practically gets in the way with her inexperience and becomes a distraction, other times she struggles to produce results. It makes her very relatable and kept the story from being predictable which I truly enjoyed as I found myself feeling her frustrations, celebrating her successes, and cheering for her throughout the story. I also appreciated that while she has a love interest, the focus remains on the creation of the series story arc for multiple character personality types. Kirke’s characters love fiercely and the friendships lead to lots of witty one liners and multiple giggle out-loud moments thrown in. If I had to have a critique, it would be that some of the slang from the Magic’s, like “splashy” from the water magical or “toasty” from the fire imp as it was a little on the nose, but it was quirkily sweet and I quickly got over it. Obviously, as I’m already starting book 3 and I was just introduced to the series last week!

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I wanted to like it....

I was initially excited when I stumbled upon this book, especially since it is a series. However, the main character is v annoying. I understand that the author wants you to get a sense of what it’s like stepping in/discovering the magical world for the first time but why does Jen have to be so clueless and helpless when it comes to alll things magic. Currently, forcing myself to finish this book but unless there is serious character development, I don’t think I’ll read the next book in the series.

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Loved it!

Got this on a whim, knew nothing about it just wanted to support a fellow author on twitter... and freaking loved it! Best urban fantasy I've read in a while. Fast paced, with refreshing characters. I can't wait to get the next book!

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Amazing book and narration!

Loved it! Amazing action packed book and fantastic narration! The voices were perfect and the characters were well developed!

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Worlds Expanding

What we have here is … great! You know how they say that books are like a door to another realm ? Or like a mirror into someone else’s existence? Well, this is the case with this book. “Semester Aboard” is a world of magic, on a ship, where teenagers learn and experience new places and much more. It’s so complex and so gripping! Jean has seen something that she shouldn’t have and with that, she is pushed or dragged right into this magical world she had no idea it existed. I don’t want to tell more as this book will surprise you with every chapter, every page. I’m just saying that we have a very interesting magical system, we have a lot of magical beings, for all tastes and preferences, we have a lot of twists and a lot of moments that will keep you wanting more. The characters are all interesting, not only for their abilities but also as individuals. One is funny, another is more serious, we have a relationship that has been going on for some time, we have a relationship forming. We have friendship that builds surely, but gets stronger by the page. I love their interaction and the dialogue is very interesting and funny at times. Another interesting fact is that, while we have a world of magic unfolding before us, we have a group of students aboard a ship, on sea, traveling from place to place and studying. So while we get to see that on board, we see a lot of the outside world. The descriptions are fantastic and I felt a part of their trips and explorations. While I had the advantage to listen to the audiobook, this is still a 14h audio. But the narrator did a wonderful job in my opinion. The way she acts each character helped me experience their emotions better and made me even more addicted to this novel. All in all, Elizabeth Kirke has created something that I love and I want so much more! I cannot wait to read more of this world and follow up on the characters. They evolve so much in “Semester Aboard” so I am curious to see what will happen next. Amazing! I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Elizabeth Kirke. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

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  • Book Addict
  • 09-16-18

An Actionpacked Start to YA Magical Series!

Jennifer is having the time of her life spending a whole Semester aboard a ship sailing down the South American Coastline stopping for trips and excursion as well as taking classes to keep up with their syllabus. One night needing fresh air Jennifer witnesses something that shouldn’t be possible. To keep Jennifer from saying anything that tell her all will be explained at the next port. So for next couple of days she followed and becomes friendly with the most fascinating group on the boat. No one is more surprised than Jen to find she is a witch. So Thomas starts training her, Jen is over the moon. Unfortunately as this is a first in a series there is a lot of magic world building. This is a fun paranormal adventure on board ship with great locations. The narration was excellent with all the voices that had to be done. A great start to a new series, and can’t wait to see how Jennifer progresses with her magic. I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Elizabeth Kirke. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

1 person found this helpful

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  • trufriends
  • 08-13-20

summer

when one summer can change your life and open up your life views (on the supernatural) that most people never see.