Monday, October 8, 2012

Audiobook Review: Peter and the Shadow Thieves by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson

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Title: Peter and the Shadow Thieves
Authors: Dave Barry, Ridley Pearson
Narrator: Jim Dale
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Series: Peter and the Starcatchers, Book 2
Edition: Unabridged
Duration: 11 hours, 1 minute
Summary: (taken from Goodreads)
In this riveting and adventure-packed follow-up to the award-winning New York Times bestseller Peter and the Starcatchers, Peter leaves the relative safety of Mollusk Island - along with his trusted companion, Tinker Bell - for the dark and dangerous streets of London. On a difficult journey across the sea, he and Tink discover the mysterious and deadly Lord Ombra, who is intent on recovering the missing starstuff - celestial dust that contains unimagined powers. In London, Peter attempts to track down the indomitable Molly, hoping that together they can combat Ombra's determined forces. But London is not Mollusk Island; Peter is not the boy he used to be; and Lord Ombra - the Shadow Master - is unlike anything Peter, or the world, has ever seen.

Overall Rating: 4/5

I absolutely love the idea behind this series. Instead of retelling the old version of Peter Pan, Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson have simply imagined a background for Peter. This series goes through the days before Peter became the legendary "Peter Pan." It's great, because those who aren't familiar with the story can follow, and those who do know the story can be amused by references to what Peter will eventually become.

Aside from the history behind the characters, this is an entertaining and delightful children's novel. Peter and the Shadow Thieves is the sort of book that made me fall in love with reading. It has all the right elements of mystery, suspense, humor, and simple, good fun. There are dangerous parts that made me hold my breath (especially with Jim Dale's narration!) and completely immerse myself in the story with the characters and root for their victory

As with any fantastic children's novel, Peter and the Shadow Thieves has a terrifying bad guy. Named Lord Ombra, he can steal the shadow of anyone, and he wants the magical starstuff to make him all-powerful. I don't know about you, but I think an adventure book is only as good as the antagonist, and Lord Ombra is a definite win. He seems like a character straight out of a particularly horrifying Doctor Who episode. Our shadows are exactly the type of thing we take for granted, and for Barry and Pearson to introduce a character who is capable of stealing people's shadows -- *shudder* I admit, Lord Ombra has entered into my nightmare hall of fame.

In the end, I think I wanted a little more from the side of Captain Hook and the Lost Boys. In this novel, Peter is in England fighting Lord Ombra and the Lost Boys are left to their own devices against Captain Hook. I know that Peter is the main character, but I would have liked more of a balance between the two. Besides that, however, it's a fun, entertaining read that I recommend for all lovers of adventure and fantasy. The end is satisfying in that it answers the most crucial and biting questions, but it still leaves a lot unanswered, so that I'm eager to continue the series.

There just aren't enough words to say how amazing Jim Dale is as a narrator. He puts life and vivacity in every story he reads. The characters all have their own voices, and he matches his pace, rhythm, and tone to what's going on in the story. If you're at all interested in audiobooks, definitely go for the audiobook version of this one. It is a treat.