Saturday, July 13, 2013

Audiobook Review: Attica by Gary Kilworth


Author: Gary Kilworth

Narrated by: Simon Vance

Length: 10.0 Hours

Published: 2013 by Blackstone Audio

Rating – 3 of 5 Stars




Join Jordy, Alex, and Chloe as they cross the portal from our world to a strange and wonderful place, accessible for just a moment through the trapdoor of the attic in their family home. From hat-stand forests to towering hills of old musical instruments, deserts of old books, and a great water-tank lake, the vast continent they stumble upon is one of limitless surprises—and that’s before they meet the inhabitants. The strange clans of small, lumpen people live in homes constructed from all manner of found things and drive vehicles powered by old sewing-machine parts. It is against this remarkable backdrop that the three children will embark on a spellbinding adventure to recover a prized possession, save a life, and—somehow—find a way back home.

A story of courage, loyalty, and friendship; of incredible landscapes, ingenious devices, and cunning plot twists; Attica has a richness and depth that will delight listeners of all ages.


Received an audiobook copy of Attica for review from via Audiobook Jukebox

Attica was brilliantly narrated by Simon Vance. This was the first title that I have listened to by this narrator which is surprising since he has narrated over 700 popular novels such as The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. After listening to his outstanding narration of Attica, I will be searching out more titles read by Vance. I would say that Vance's performance of this audio was contributed significantly to my enjoyment and brought life to even the dullest moments of the story.

Attica introduces the reader to 3 siblings who find themselves on a quest to find a missing object in what they believe is an average old attic but find themselves exploring an ever expanding world of bizarre creatures & dangerous adventure. I found the story to be reminiscent of the dark & whimsical style of Neil Gaiman but lacking his crucial ability to build a connection between reader and characters. This also read a lot like Narnia without the intensity and religious overtones.

Middle grade readers will likely enjoy the strange creatures introduced,the sense of adventure, and the relationship between the kids. Older readers should enjoy reminiscing about the excitement of exploring an old attic and imagining all the hazards that may be lurking there and the treasure that may be waiting to be found.

Ultimately, this was an enjoyable read that I would recommend for fans of whimsical middle grade fantasy. I would urge anyone considering reading Attica to listen to the audio. The fabulous narration by Vance adds personality and atmosphere to this story that distracts from any flaws in the plot or writing.

Rating – 3 of 5 stars


Lizzy Lessard said...

I have never read more than 10% of an audiobook. It might be a good thing considering how much trouble my little one can get into while I'm reading a book. Imagine if I couldn't hear him get into mischief. I think I'll check this book out. I'm always on the lookout for books for my 10 year old nephew and he adores fantasy.

Donna @ The Happy Booker said...

I agree that with a little one, it would be difficult to spend much time listening to an audiobook. It's my favorite way to read though! Has your nephew ever read the Leven Thumps series? My 11 year old LOVES them. Also the 39 Clues series, and Janitors by Tyler Whitesides are some of his favorite reads.

Sam @ Realm of Fiction said...

I'm not always drawn to middle grade novels, but I really like the sound of this one. It's the sort of whimsical fantasy book that I reckon I'd enjoy. Although the story itself wasn't a standout read for you, I'm glad you thought the audiobook was well narrated. It's strange how much of a difference it can make when the narrator does a good job. :) Lovely review, Donna!

Donna @ The Happy Booker said...

Thanks Sam! The narration was AMAZING. I wish I could hire him to narrate every book I plan to read in future. You may like this one, I don't know. There were definitely some sluggish parts. I think you would love Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman. That's dark whimsical fantasy at it's very best, imo.

Pabkins said...

I do enjoy middle grade of the whimsical variety! But your 3 star worries me...because I'm quite picky with the few ones I do read. The cover though ...I love!

Pabkins said...

I love audio books for while Im driving!

Donna @ The Happy Booker said...

This one was a bit mediocre but with a fantastic narration. I think my 11 year old son might like this better than I did. Some middle grade whimsical reads that I loved were Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu, & Doll Bones by Holly Black. I'm sure you've read the latest Gaiman novel what with you being all chummy with him recently (sipping the haterade about the book signing thing, I admit it :P ) but if you get the chance to listen to ANY of his audiobooks that he narrates himself, those are outstanding!!

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