Friday, December 30, 2011

Murder at Midnight

Murder At Midnight - AudioMurder At Midnight - Audio by Avi

Travel back to Medieval Times when the printing press was the newest technology in the land and magic was feared. King Claudio outlaws magic and Magnus is thrown in jail. Magnus' newest servant is a mission to save him from jail and a sentence of death.

I do not read many stories set in Medieval Times, but Avi shares a wonderful tale of mystery. I particularly enjoyed the new technology that travelers brought to the city - a printing press. A great treasure was discovering that a Printer's Devil was the individual who set the type and brushed on the ink. The sticky ink would cover the worker and make him (or her) look like a devil.

Avi wrote this story in 2009, but it is a prequel to Midnight Magic written in 2004. I am interested to see where the story leads in the next book.

As far as the narrator goes...I waited too long to write this review. I would slot Woodman in the average category. Nothing dynamic stood out and I finished the audiobook, so he has an enjoyable voice.

Reviewed from a library copy.

Audio Book Details...
Murder at Midnight by Avi
Series: Book 1, Midnight Magic
Read by Jeff Woodman
Produced by Scholastic Audiobooks
Number of Discs: 4
Total Time: 4 hours, 55 minutes

Monday, December 26, 2011


Brandon Mull created the world of Fablehaven in 2006. The idea of a sanctuary for mystical creatures intrigued me and I set the book on my "to-read" list. It wasn't until I discovered the audiobook of Fablehaven at the library in 2009. What a great solution! I will listen to Fablehaven. I was blown away by the story and the narrator E. B. Stevens. I was also thrilled to have jumped in late as a reader. I only needed to wait one year for the last installment of Fablehaven. I don't want to give too much information away, but I want to interest every reader (or listener) to find Fablehaven and enjoy Mull's creation.

Fablehaven opens with Seth and Kendra being dropped off at their Grandparent's home. They have never been there and they would rather not be there. Grandpa welcomes his grandchildren and shares a mystery with Kendra. Kendra uncovers a secret and precocious Seth follows right along (at least when he's not running ahead and getting into trouble). When the siblings realize the enormity of Fablehaven's existance, there is no going back to living normal. Their journey continues as they meet friends, enemies, creatures of light and creatures of dark. Friends and loved ones come and go, but Fablehaven needs to stand so the Sorenson family has a home and the world will not be overrun by dark creatures.

I could listen to this series over and over again. Mull's play with words is fantastic. He doesn't use simple words for little listeners (or readers). Adults, teens and tweens will enjoy these novels. Similar to Rowling, Mull doesn't shy away from difficult subjects including betrayal, loss and battle. As people have stated for years..."I laughed, I cried, it was great!"

The narrator, E. B. Stevens is amazing. Stevens created so much feeling with each character. Some characters required a some computer enhancing, but it did not take away from the storyline. I believe it enhanced the characters. Stevens creativity places next to Jim Dale in my book. I look forward to hearing Stevens' voices again.

Fablehaven (2006)
8 CDs and 9 hrs, 30 mins
Rise of the Evening Star (2007)
10 CDs and 12 hrs
Grip of the Shadow Plague (2008)
11 CDs and 13.6 hrs
Secrets of the Dragon Sanctuary (2009)
12 CDs and 15.6 hrs
Keys to the Demon Prison (2010)
14 CDs and 17 hrs, 45 mins

Friday, December 23, 2011

Fear Itself

Fear Itself (Keepers of the School, #2)Fear Itself by Andrew Clements

Fear Itself is the second book in the Benjamin Pratt & the Keepers of the School series by Andrew Clements. Clements continues the story right immediately from book one - We the Children. The closing scene involves preparations for a boat race. The opening scene is the boat race. Mystery, adventure, and believable characters keeps these tales moving! Clements uses cliffhangers very well in Keepers of the School. I'm at the edge of my seat waiting for book three - Whites of Their Eyes - coming January 2012.

I was pleased to hear the return of narrator Keith Nobbs. Continuing with the same reader for books in a series is very appreciated! I hope to hear more from Nobbs in 2012.

Reviewed from a library copy.

Audio Book Details...
Fear Itself by Andrew Clements
Series: Book 2, Benjamin Pratt & the Keepers of the School
Read by Kevin Nobbs
Produced by Simon Schuster Audio
Number of Discs: 3
Total Time: 3 hours, 30 minutes

Friday, December 9, 2011

No Passengers Beyond This Point

No Passengers Beyond This PointNo Passengers Beyond This Point by Gennifer Choldenko

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Tompkin siblings are traveling on an adventure. Their home was sold and they're on their way to live with their Uncle. Strangely enough before their reach their Uncle's home, they discover the city of Falling Bird. Mom told them to stay together, but it's difficult in Falling Bird and even worse to try to find answers.

Are you familiar with Choldenko's Al Capone series? If not, I would highly recommend those two books. If you are familiar with Al Capone, don't jump into this novel with the same mindset of historical fiction. No Passengers Beyond This Point is a modern tale of loss, questions, tragedy, answers, and family. A very good friend recommended this book, but warned me...this is not like her other stories. Too true, friend. I was intrigued by the layout of the plot. As an adult, I guessed the answer too soon. I believe the wonder of Falling Bird will amaze elementary students when they listen or read this story.

No Passengers Beyond This Point was read by three named artist - Becca Battoe, Jesse Berstein and Tara Sands - one for each child. I recongized Jesse's voice at the actor for Percy Jackson. It was very difficult not to picture Percy Jackson. The gals were all right. Becca shared a very amused and annoyed elder sibling. Tara shared an enthusiastic and inquisitive young child. All in all - they pegged the roles well. Using multiple voices worked well with the books as each chapter featured a different sibling. I would like to see this style demonstrated in other novels.

Reviewed from a library copy.

Audio Book Details...
No Passengers Beyond This Point by Gennifer Choldenko
Read by Becca Battoe, Jesse Bernstein and Tara Sands
Produced by Listening Library
Number of Discs: 5
Total Time: 6 hours, 6 minutes  

Monday, December 5, 2011

Never Stop Listening

Welcome to Adolescent Audio Adventures! Although Internet connections might come and go, jobs might change or a move might occur, I encourage you to never stop listening to audio books. Audio books entertain, enlighten, and engage. This year has been an amazing adventure! I will be posting the books I have enjoyed over the last couple months. Feel free to share what you have been enjoying as well! Happy listening, friends!
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