Fans of Adam Gidwitz and Neil Gaiman will love this middle-grade adventure about two boys, a mysterious, old book with some dark secrets, and a horde of angry demons. Nothing could go wrong, right? When Walter Prairie is struck dead by a bolt of lightning, he's fast-tracked through the Afterlife Academy and assigned as a Guardian Agent to protect a High-Level Target. Walter's HLT, Charlie Dewdle, isn't the most popular kid in school. He's a bit paranormally obsessed. And he has just found an old book that could be used to open the Gateway for demons to wreak havoc on earth.' Now, it's up to Charlie and Walter to fight an eclectic horde of enemies and protect humankind at all costs. But saving the world isn't so easy. Especially when your protector doesn't know the first thing about the underworld, bullies like Mo Horvath are trying to hunt you down, pretty and popular Melissa Bittner is suddenly talking to you, and your parents think you're going crazy.
This short, fun story engages the imagination of not only middle aged kids, but adults too! The interaction between the two main characters had me laughing all the time. You get a healthy dose of demons, magic, action, paranormal events and plot twists. The narrator did a fantastic job, too! His voices for all the different characters were so entertaining, without being distracting. Very well read. I highly recommend this book!
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
My daughter and I loved this book. It is so fantastic. We love Franks’s books. They are engaging and very entertaining.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
This is a fun book for kids and adults. It is a light hearted tale of a young boy who has to protect another boy from demons from the underworld. My favorite character is the demon Hoonga. Even though he's a demon who wants to terrorize the world he's only a little scary and he enjoys torturing his fellow demons by making them play human games with him. At just under 6 hours it's a quick listen and the narrator does a great job and makes it fun. I really enjoyed this book, well worth the credit!
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
This was a creative suspenseful story where the narration can make the difference between black and white or color. the narration was superb and made a good book great!
It is not often that I find a story that appeals to both me and my 13 yr old son but we both agree that Afterlife Academy was a great listen. It kept us engaged from start to finish and we found it hard to stop listening because we were so invested in the characters and wanted to know what would happen next. The narrator did a fantastic job bringing the story and characters to life. I hope there are more stories about the Afterlife Academy
Summary: Charlie finds an ancient book that demons really want to get their incorporeal little paws on. Walter's dead. He's inexperienced as a guardian agent, and he's also got the mega-assignment of guarding Charlie from the demons that are after him.
- I heard the audiobook version. The narration provided was amazing.
- The cover makes a whole lot more sense after you read the book.
- 4/5 characters - Walter and Charlie are pretty well fleshed out. Walter's not particularly likable for some parts of the book though. Charlie seems like a nice enough kid. Mr. and Mrs. Doodle are cardboard cutouts of characters, but I suppose that's okay. It kind of bothered me that the kid sister, Darcey (sorry about spelling, I heard the book instead of reading it) seemed to come and go. There's one family dinner where I think she's completely absent. Kind of surprised me later in the book when they mentioned her again. I loved Hunga and his unique method of torturing people (making them play board games... it's humorous and fitting for a MG story.)
- 4/5 World-building - The world's fairly well-established, though it sort of takes the entire book to get what the rules/regulations are for who gets assigned where. Kind of seemed arbitrary. The rules of demons being able to be on Earth or not and stuff like that are believable as far as such fantasy goes, though again, some "rules" seemed arbitrary just for the sake of fitting the story.
- 4/5 Plot - Some of the conclusions the boys come up with are very large leaps of logic, but they work for the plot. I like that there are several twists and false twists, that's a nice touch. (Sorry if that sounds vague, trying to avoid spoilers.)
- A few minor things didn't make sense - besides the kid-sister coming and going from the book. I'm pretty sure Alton's tenure is reported as 30 years in some spots and 50 years in others. The bad guy's ultimate motivation seemed kind of weak. The title. It's not really about the Afterlife Academy at all. It probably would have made more sense with a Harry Potter-esque title (Charlie Doodle and the ... or focus on Walter - Walter Prairie - Guardian Agent). There could definitely be a book about the Academy itself, but this ain't it. I think maybe 2 chapters take place there or even refer heavily to that.
- Cover's pretty awesome.
Conclusion: Fun story featuring the paranormal in a lighthearted manner.
*I received a free copy of the audiobook I have chosen to review it. All thoughts are my own.*
Fun and original. I really enjoyed this take on afterlife possibilities and paranormal activity from a middle schooler's perspective. Lots of humor and adventure! My favorite thing was the demons playing games.
I highly recommend you listen to this book! It sucks you in from the very beginning. Such a fun and engaging story! Great for all ages! The narrator is very talented and brought this book to life!