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Summary

Growing up in a village of elves is hard when you’re the only human. Especially when humans are hated by all other species in Tellusm. But Fulco is determined to fit in.

After discovering he has the magical power of "sapience" to control beasts, he makes it his mission to join the elven Portare team. A sport where players must ride upon a beast, beat each other with bats, score goals, and influence the outcome of the game with magic.

But Tellusm is uncertain and troublesome. A place where three-headed lizards roam wild, a curse runs rampant turning its inhabitants into mindless monsters, and a violent storm separates it from the rest of the world.

With three gods fighting over the fate of the land, mysterious dreams, alluring strangers, and awakening powers lead Fulco toward the destiny from which his elven parents have been trying so desperately to shield him. As his power grows, so does the trouble that stalks him.

An exciting and immersive coming of age fantasy packed with spellbinding magic, astounding mythical creatures, a threatening menace, growing romance, and a bow tie-wearing werewolf called Gary. Perfect for fans of Patrick Rothfuss, J.K. Rowling, Brandon Sanderson, and Terry Pratchett.

©2020 Ben McQueeney (P)2020 Ben McQueeney

What listeners say about The Spirit of Things: A Gripping Young Adult Coming of Age Fantasy

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Great fantasy tale.

I am not YA, I am 46, but I still loved this story. It has everything you would want a fantasy tale to have, and the narration keeps you listening. Absolutely recommendable.

2 people found this helpful

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Wonderful coming of age Fantasy story

A super beautifully written YA/Coming of Age Fantasy novel, Fulco the only human in a village of Elven's has dealt with prejudice all his life and desperately wants to be accepted. When he discovers the Portare sport and the Sapience or magic the players wield he wants to become the first Hume player on the elven, and then he discovers his own sapience. This is a detailed story with lots of vivid descriptions of the world and its people, action, magic and a little humour, Great dialogue, wonderful rich characters and an engrossing story with a book long enough to do it justice. The first in a series it left me desperate to read the next one. The audio is superb with as great narrator and enhanced with sound effects with give it an extra dimension. Loved it, I Received a complimentary copy from story origin and am leaving a honest voluntary review.

1 person found this helpful

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Enchanting tale.

I love reading fantasy novels so I was looking forward to hearing this audiobook.
It took me a while to get into as I am not used to having background ambience. I stuck with it though, and I'm glad I did.
The world building and characters are so well written and Nigel Peevers effortlessly brings the whole story to life.
I'm not going to give spoilers for this, I am however, happy to recommend this audiobook.

1 person found this helpful

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things get intriguing and curious

Loved this Story. The characters are well written and the pace of the book is steady. I figured out most of the twists just before they were revealed however a few caught me out. I'm definetly going to follow up with the story as Im curious as two how the two themes connect. I have my ideas but need book 2 to figure it out.
The narrator was fantastic. He seemed to enjoy the book too.

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great listen

I really enjoyed this book. listened to it in two days found reasons to keep listening has the makings of a great series of books. this one sets it up well good characters interesting plot developing powers all you can ask for. very well narrated with appropriate music an sound effects that I feel added to the whole experience
bring on book 2 👍

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Excellent

Looking forward to continuing with Fulco on his adventures
This first in the series has set the story well of the young Hume finding his place in the world.

1 person found this helpful

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A gripping fantasy novel & an enchanting audiobook

A gripping fantasy novel with lovable characters, a well-thought-out plot, and an enchanting audiobook.

The Spirit of Things is a coming-of-age fantasy novel about Fulco, an adopted young Hume, finding his place in the world. The book is set in an Elphen town called Tellusm where Fulco – being the only Hume – constantly feels the need to prove himself and protect his adoptive family. I immediately felt for Fulco, through his struggles and each deserving victory. However, Fulco is not like any other Hume. Later in the book, we discover that he actually has the power of sapience. This twist added so much more to the book, creating a theme that is relatable to many of us – a theme of trying to find one’s place in the world and figure out who they are. This is one of the many reasons why I enjoyed listening to Fulco’s adventure unfold.

I listened to the audiobook for The Spirit of Things and must say, I fully enjoyed it. The narrator (Nigel Peever) did a superb job of adding a magical-feel to the already spellbinding book, with the characters’ voices, diegetic sounds, ambient music, and of course the narrator’s smooth, easy-to-listen-to voice. I looked forward to listening to McQueeny’s audiobook each day.

The book itself includes a balance of description and dialogue that was also pleasant to listen to. The world-building was subtle yet effective – I felt like I was really there. Too much description in a book tends to put me off, but McQueeny’s writing is concise and didn’t give my mind a chance to wander.

Overall, I really enjoyed listening to this audiobook. It is well-written, well-produced, and a joy to come back to after each chapter. McQueeny has done a fantastic job; the story drew me in and didn’t let go.

1 person found this helpful

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Unfortunately the narration is poor

Unfortunately I only managed to listen to 8 chapters. I found the narration extremely irritating and the voices of the characters were awful. Very weak and feeble sounding.They sounded like voices a parent would do reading to a child which is fine for that purpose but not for an adult or even a young adult to listen to. I had already started reading the book (just the first few chapters) and so had already formed my own idea of what the characters so far , were and sounded like and this just spoilt it for me . I really tried to persevere with it because I had been offered a free audible download from the author in lieu of leaving a review for the audible version. I think I would have much rather just had the story read in a straightforward way . I can’t comment on the story because I couldn’t really concentrate on it because of the narration which was too long and drawn out. I’m really sorry as this was my first experience of listening to an Audible fiction book . I’ll continue with the book on my Kindle and hopefully be able to leave a more positive review for that.

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  • bownz
  • 02-07-21

Loved w

I loved it. I will definitely be listening to it again.The narrator was really good. The story pulled me in and I just wanted to keep listening.

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  • Georgia McNabb
  • 30-06-21

Overall a good YA story

This book is especially written for Young Adults and is a good basic story. The Narrator did a fair job, but the laughter he used while recording this story was very evil sounding though from the story you are aware it is supposed to be light hearted. This is the story of a human boy raised in a village of Elves, him being the Only one ever to be part of the village.

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  • Cheryl Spradlin
  • 26-06-21

People are all the same underneath

Into a village of elves a human, or Hume in the elven language, was adopted. Fulco’s differences had always been evident to the elven children, and children being cruel had caused him much grief growing up, but at 17, he began to realize that he had magic. And as he learned to access his magic, or Sapience, and to gain strength in his abilities, He grew more confident in himself as a person, but would he ever be fully accepted in his world? This is a beautiful tale about coming of age and of learning to overcome the bigotry of his community.

It is wonderfully read by the marvelous Nigel Peever.

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  • JKS
  • 10-05-21

Very Enjoyable

The Spirit of Things is Book 1 in the Beyond Horizon series. This story of magic, mythical creatures, and adventure is enjoyable for the whole family. Fulco, a human being raised by an elven family, sets out on a journey. He wants a spot on the elven Portare team, a sport that requires some skill. Fulco has quite the advantage and learns to harness an ability he didn't know he had. I recommend this book and look forward to more.
Narrator Nigel Peever does an amazing job. I really enjoyed all the sounds. I hadn't heard a book narrated like that before. It really added to the enjoyment of the book.

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  • Laura
  • 08-02-21

Coming Of Age Story

Ben McQueeney has created an exciting world with interesting characters, fantastical creatures, and an innovative game. I enjoyed this tale very much and recommend it to others who like this genre. Please note that this book starts and ends with a prologue and an epilogue which are like bookends that hint at another layer to the story, but are not actually represented in the core of this book. Nigel Peever's narration was great but it took me a short while to get used to the way he spoke. I was given a free copy of the audiobook and I have voluntarily left this review.

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  • JH & DDDH
  • 06-02-21

Mature YA Fantasy

The writing in this first book of the series was truly excellent. So much so that I'm surprised it's labeled "YA!" However, it is a coming-of-age story so... At any rate, the world building is strong and on 2 levels, which you'll find when you read it. The characters, both "gods" and others are fully developed over the course of the story. Fulco, our main protagonists, and the only Hum (human) in his village, goes through many changes and develops the ability to control the Spirits and begins to perform great feats in the "Portare" games (and here we have some LitRPG features!). Looking forward to reading/listening to book 2!

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  • C. Jay
  • 09-12-20

A superb magic tale to keep you on your toes

This book is brilliant! Between McQueeney's writing and Peever's performance, this book leapt from printed page to a true piece of life that kept me eager to hear what happens next as Fulco, a hume in the world of elves, tries to understand the visions he's been having, tries to find a way to belong in a world he's not welcome in, and tries to find his way into the world of magic.

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  • Autumn
  • 02-10-20

I’ll listen to this one again.

Nigel is an excellent narrator. Very imaginative sounds. I struggled to stay connected to the story but am thinking I’m just distracted with life so I will have to listen again to be fair to the author.

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  • Kerry Stewart
  • 17-08-20

Good story

This is a good story with excellent narration! I look forward to hearing more in future books. I would recommend it.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 20-07-20

Fascinating Fantasy World and Storytelling

I'm horrible at spoilers, so I'll try to keep it brief. Starting with the narrator, Nigel Peever, he had generally good pacing and clear voice. Also got into the theatrics changing vocal tone for every character, which was impressive. Included background sound effects were also a nice touch (clopping horse hooves, scuffles in fight scenes, white noise in scenes with crowds, etc.).
Getting to the story, a YA high fantasy with vivid imagery and was an interesting fantasy world to explore. The Main Character, a human (or "hume") named Fulco, had a fairly distinct personality and goal and was fun to follow. His family were fairly well-rounded in character, as well, As any YA might have, the story included a romantic interest- Lisythia (I hope that's spelled right), an "elfen," which many fantasy readers could relate to an elf. The way they meet and find interest in each other is adorable. I personally loved the magic system in place in this story, what's known as "sapience." As a stickler for "logic" in fantasy, I found the magic system made sense in how it was created, produced, and used. You will NOT be disappointed. My only major critique as a listener was how noticeable the use of synonyms were, and certain words had some heavy repetition. It's not that they were bad, many were interesting comparisons, but it took me out of the story every now and again when I would notice the repetition. Otherwise, I think it's a good story for anyone to pick up!