Runner and mother of two from Hove, UK. Relies on good audiobooks to stop the kids from fighting in the car. Occasionally buys one for her.
I bought this as a Halloween listen for the 3 and half hour drive to Bristol - crossing my fingers. We'd listened to a few Eva Ibboston and she doesn't disappoint.
The result was bliss. My boys (aged 5 and 7) were practically silent the whole way, totally wrapped up in the story. There was some cheering, laughing and an "OH NO" from the back at critical moments, but they loved it.
This would be ideal for a Harry Potter fan. A young boy is adopted by a Hag as her familiar, as her toad refuses to do any more magic. The Hag then, unwillingly, is forced to take him on a quest and he ends up in a similar, yet parallel, magical word. All ends happily although, frankly at points, you are left wondering how.
There are some scary moments (like Harry Potter) so I would not recommend this for the very young or nervous types. We listened to it on the motor way in pitch darkness, and the effect was electric. Very spooky!
My local reading library is divided into ability sections. Wild Born was the next level up to books my 8 yr old son is reading, so I thought I'd get the audiobook.
The 4 main characters are 12 years old, so I suppose its aimed at the 8 to 12 yr bracket.My 6 yr old son didn't understand some of the vocabulary ("What's a precipice?" He shouted from the back of the car) but he did enjoy the thrust of the story.
I was not entirely convinced by the narrator - her range of "voices" isn't very wide, but at least she's consistent with them - but the story cracks along at a rapid pace. This was great for us as its the Easter Holidays, and we had quite a few half hour plus drives. How it would've worked for the more stop/start school run I'm not sure. So: mild peril, one death (sensitively handled), children in control, magic superpowers bestowed by a spirit animal (they choose you, not everyone gets one). As soon as it finished, they were begging me to get the next one. Result! Oh and a proper cliff hanger ending. You'll want to have the second book on stand by, just in case.
I had noticed on the library paperback that Scholastic had a computer game to accompany the book (www.spiritanimals.com), so I let the boys on that too. This allows you to choose your hero, bond with your spirit animal and go off on a quest. The combination is dynamite. To get more money etc you need codes from the back of the books in the series. Whilst this is no use with the audiobook, if you had a reluctant reader you were trying to tempt into doing to actual reading, it would definitely be worth a try.
My 6 yr old struggles with the computer game (lots of reading on screen instructions, which bores him after a while). I spotted him in the garden with a green cloak from our dressing up box, attempting to "bond" with one of our cats. It's that kind of a book.
Trying to match the requirements of a 6 yr old / (well read) 8 yr old plus parents is tricky. Every now-and-again you get it right - this book definitely did it for us.
To get ALL the jokes, it probably helps to be 40+ and have read Tolken, Terry Pratchet, watched Xena Warrior Princess, Wizard of Oz and the like. But if you haven't, its ok. There is still plenty to be entertained by, provided (of course) you are into warrior heroes, ogres and magical spells in the first place.
In fact, there's so much going on ALL THE TIME that I'm quite happy to listen to this one over and over. From the flying wardrobes, to the migraine prone dragon, to the adventures of the tiny teaspoon ... it all cracks on merrily. If you are driving, you may well miss some of the good bits (concentrate on the road!) and be happy to go back. My two laughed so loud at some bits, they missed the next 5 minutes, so we had to rewind anyway.
The narration is excellent. Lots of different characters well maintained. My son found book 2 at the library but to be honest, I think my reading skills might be a bit of an anti-climax. Here's hoping Audible have it too.
How Brian Jacques continues to pull this off I will never know. This book had me tense and angry one moment, then feeling all warm and mushy the next, only to have me on the point of tears the next and in-between this rollercoaster of emotion I was frequently left laughing myself silly.
From heroes you love to vileness you just love to hate, not to mention the plethora of other characters ?The Sable Queen? is a story that will have you gripped from the off set. And is filled with a cast whose exploits you can?t help but want to follow. With fights between good and evil, evil and evil there is more than enough intrigue to keep anyone happy. Not to mention the odd fight between good and good, there?s nothing quite like the relationship between father and daughter.
Yet another terrific Redwall book that will delight, both, fans and newcomers alike.