Regular price: $24.95

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free.
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price.
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love.
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel.
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month.
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

Rachel Griffin wants to know everything. As a freshman at Roanoke Academy for the Sorcerous Arts, she has been granted to opportunity to study both mundane and magical subjects.

But even her perfect recollection of every book she has ever read does not help her when she finds a strange statue in the forest - a statue of a woman with wings. Nowhere - neither in the arcane tomes of the Wise, nor in the dictionary and encyclopedia of the non-magic-using Unwary - can she find mention of such a creature.

What could it be? And why are the statue's wings missing when she returns?

When someone tries to kill a fellow student, Rachel soon realizes that, in the same way her World of the Wise hides from mundane folk, there is another, more secret world hiding from everyone - which her perfect recall allows her to remember. Her need to know everything drives her to investigate.

Rushing forward where others fear to tread, Rachel finds herself beset by wraiths, magical pranks, homework, a Raven said to bring the doom of worlds, love's first blush, and at least one fire-breathing teacher.

Curiosity might kill a cat, but nothing stops Rachel Griffin!

©2013 L Jagi Lamplighter (P)2016 L. Jagi Lamplighter

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    4
  • 4 Stars
    7
  • 3 Stars
    4
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    2

Performance

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    3
  • 4 Stars
    2
  • 3 Stars
    5
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    1

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    8
  • 4 Stars
    5
  • 3 Stars
    2
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    1
Sort by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Good, but . . .

Any additional comments?

L. Jagi Lamplighter wrote a great story and Shana Buck does a great job of voicing all the characters and catching the emotion. I really liked this book (I read it a couple of years ago and grabbed it when I saw in available on Audible), and it pains me to say it, BUT I can't entirely recommend this recording because of the poor sound quality. I don't know what kind of microphone Mrs. Buck was using, but her voice goes from tinny to airy to echo-y. From time to time you can hear air blowing across the microphone like someone just opened the door into the room, and it wasn't an intended part of the performance. The harsh reality is, given all the background sounds, the only way to fix the audio is to rerecord the entire thing from the beginning.

If you've read and loved the books, then you might consider picking up this, otherwise if this is your introduction to the series, I would advise you to read the books.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Not what you think!

If you could sum up The Unexpected Enlightenment of Rachel Griffin in three words, what would they be?

Entertaining, Inventive, Unexpected!

How could the performance have been better?

Unfortunately, a poor narration made is difficult to immerse myself in the story. The narrator reads as though she were telling a bedtime story to a young child, and frequently stumbles across long sentences. Finally, some of the accents are simply terrible, and it could become troublesome to distinguish one character from another.

Any additional comments?

I was very pleasantly surprised by The Unexpected Enlightenment of Rachel Griffin. While the summary and some common tropes of the genre may remind you of another series about a school of magic, there are a number of significant differences. First, Rachel's world is not our world. While magic is concealed from the masses, this is a world in which monotheism never developed. Although this is not particularly important to this story, I suspect it will play a role in future books. Secondly, the magic system was given a significant amount of thought by the author. Magic is intricately tied to different studies. Math, for example, is a necessary course for students planning to specialize in Thaumaturgy. Finally, this book sets the stage for something big - and not just a group of wizards gone bad, although it has that, too.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

great coming of age story.

loved the book. liked the performance. I had a few problems with the voice performance but it did not delete from the overall effect.

a young lady has a eventful first couple days of school. a magic school that makes more sense than Hogwarts.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Narrated put me to sleep

Boring book. I tried over and over to listen through it to get my moneys worth but finally gave up. Between the unhappy combination of the narrator and the story this book just defeated me.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A Whirlwind of a First Week At School

What made the experience of listening to The Unexpected Enlightenment of Rachel Griffin the most enjoyable?

The author did an excellent job of developing the main character and her friends. As the story went along, the image I had of them in my mind became clearer and clearer. The plot does a bit of world building in the beginning, but then it is off to the races. The author sets her story in a world that parallels our own, but with some rather significant differences, which are introduced and mostly explained through the narrative. This is definitely the beginning of a longer series, and the story points to later works in a way that makes me want to listen to the rest.

What other book might you compare The Unexpected Enlightenment of Rachel Griffin to and why?

It is certainly easy to compare this work with the Harry Potter series, but I also saw elements of Nancy Drew as Rachel tried to puzzle out what is happening at her school.

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

The narrator did a good job of voicing the characters with different tones and accents. This made the reading richer. Unfortunately, the editing was uneven and the pacing was on the slow side.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

At times, it made me laugh, and several times I stayed in the car for a few minutes so that I could listen to the end of a chapter.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • G. Kenney
  • CORTE MADERA, CA, United States
  • 11-02-16

A wonderful, imaginative story

What did you love best about The Unexpected Enlightenment of Rachel Griffin?

The story is delightful, and the main characters are well drawn. The protagonist, thirteen-year-old Rachel Griffin, has a close-knit family and a perfect memory. This is her first year at Roanoke Academy for the Magical Arts, and we watch her develop friendships and the beginnings of her first love interest as she also learns how to rely on herself instead of her parents. And rely on herself, she must--for her fellow students, and ultimately the school itself are under attack from forces wielding powerful, evil magic.

What did you like best about this story?

This is a great book for pre-teen and teenage girls, for Rachel is a role model of a girl who can take on challenges and succeed. At the same time, it is a well-written, intelligent book that does not talk down to its young audience. And Rachel's friends, especially the orphan Sigfried Smith, are interesting characters in their own right.

How could the performance have been better?

The actor has a lovely voice and enunciates clearly, but she was tripping all over her tongue trying to produce the accents that all of the many characters--from all over the globe--have. The accents are not authentic and in many cases indistinguishable from one another (and when an Australian accent sounds vaguely Eastern European, that's a distraction!). The actor would have done better simply to read the book in her own accent, differentiating the voices of the characters by tone or some other means. Also, I couldn't figure out why the chapter numbers and names were spoken with a phony-sounding British accent while the narration was in an educated American accent.

There was an additional problem with long spaces in odd places in the middle of sentences. These were disruptive, as it sounded. Like the sentence was finished, when it wasn't. This problem was especially pronounced. At the beginning of the book, and by the end. It had disappeared. (And I will now stop writing the way the actor talked. You get the idea.)

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

There wasn't just one moment, but I especially liked how the author showed the moments of change when Rachel was growing up. She referred to the "needle of the compass" of Rachel's loyalty and trust, and we watch Rachel learning not to do what an adult tells her, just because they are an adult. Instead, she weighs the moral imperative--a friend's life in danger--and takes action. We watch Rachel becoming a hero!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

The Unexpectedly Hilarious and Dramatic Rachel G.

What did you like best about this story?

There are two things that really surprised me: A), it's really funny. If there's a spin off, it had darn well take place in Magical Australia. B), While it's a very Harry Potter-esque story, there are hints of influences of everything from Narnia to Amber, and the greater mystery lurking in the background is more than sufficient to make me anxious for the next book.

Would you listen to another book narrated by Shana M Buck?

She's a little sing-song fairy tale styled for my tastes, and she stumbles over a few unfamiliar words-- particularly Japanese words and names-- but she gets much better over the course of the book. A little bit of polish would've helped.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

The Unexpectedly Engaging Tale of Magic

I usually listen to audio books at work, but this story sunk it's claws into my ears and wouldn't let me go!

Sort by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Toddy
  • 01-15-18

Disappointed in an weak tale

Having enjoyed J. K. Rowling's works I thought I would give this a go but it is not in the same league. The story has the youngest child at the magic school rushing around solving world threatening problems and needed to step in to assist her professors as they battle dragons in the first five days at school. The characters were shallow and the narrator halting and irritating. Very disappointed.