12 January, 2012

The Emerald Atlas - Review

The Emerald Atlas (The Books of Beginning #1) by John Stephens
Audiobook read by Jim Dale
Publication date: 5 April 2011 by Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
ISBN 10/13: 0307879763 | 9780307879769

Category: Middle Grade, Young Adult, Fantasy, Adventure
Keyword: Orphans, Adventure, Magic, Books
Format: eBook, audiobook, Hardcover

Kimberly's review: 

Kate, Michael and Emma stick together. One night, many years ago, they were taken from their parents under mysterious circumstances and shuttled away to live in various orphanages. Kate, the oldest, is really the only one who remembers their parents and it is her responsibility to take care of her two younger siblings. It's a good thing she does. Danger and mystery are around every corner and they only way they will survive is to stick together, and solve the mystery of The Emerald Atlas.

What an amazing adventure! I was swept away by the fantasy. The world the children explored was rich and dark, filled with dangerous creatures and larger than life foes. The characters were full of life. I loved the full voices of the dwarves and the sinister countess, who made my skin crawl every time she was spoken about. I fell in love with Gabriel, cringed from the Secretary and wished to have a drink with Wallace the Dwarf. Oh, wait, you mean they're not real? Huh, seemed real to me.

This well woven story is not to be missed. I was pleasantly surprised by how intricate the plot was, how much attention to detail was given to each character. The writing is fantastic, drawing you in immediately and not letting go.

I listened to the audiobook read by Jim Dale. In fact, I was going to buy the hardcover but decided on the audiobook because of Jim Dale, who you may recognize as the voice from the television show Pushing Daisies. He is also the reader on all of the US Harry Potter audiobooks. (The UK ones are read by Stephen Fry.)

Fantastic reader--wonderful story. Don't miss it.

Check out more of Kimberly's reviews at thewindypages.com and follow her on Twitter @thewindypages.


  1. nice review! i enjoyed the audio as well. looks like there's been an audiobook kick going on lately.

  2. Enjoyed your review! Am curious about why the children were taken away from their parents, and their adventures sound fascinating!

  3. Great review. I loved this story story and I also bought the audiobook instead of the hardback solely for Jim Dale.