The Emerald Atlas (The Books of Beginning #1)The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens

I once tried to listen to Jim Dale read the first Harry Potter book, and stopped less than an hour in. I won’t say I’ve been completely won over to his voice, but it did feel well-suited to this fantasy/time travel adventure, particularly the voices of the dwarves!

While the story itself didn’t feel completely original, it did have a few elements that made it feel fresh. I enjoyed the combination of traditional children’s fantasy (the evil Countess and her frightening creatures, the dwarves, the children setting off on a quest/adventure) and time travel, which I tend to think of as it’s own category (traveling to an actual time in our history, as opposed to traveling to a time in a fantastical history). Some of the characters felt a bit flat at times, and I occasionally had trouble remembering which child had which adventure. Apart from that, an enjoyable story that I’ll recommend to my legions of fantasy fans.

Source: my public library

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