Title: The Emerald Atlas
Author: John Stephens
Narrator: Jim Dale
Genre: Children’s Fantasy
Audio: 11.5 hours
Publisher: Listening Library
Book Rating: 4.5/5
Audio Rating: 5/5
After their parents mysteriously disappear, Kate, Michael, and Emma have been passed from orphanage to orphanage for practically their whole lives. When they’re sent to live at an orphanage in Cambridge Falls that no one has ever heard of, they discover a book that takes them to the past, and a magical world filled with evil countesses, dwarves, friends, and enemies.
John Stephens has been a writer/producer on Gilmore Girls, The OC, and Gossip Girl. No wonder I like him. The Emerald Atlas is nothing like those shows. Set in a magical version of our own world, Stephens uses familiar elements of fantasy to create a unique story.
I love Kate, Emma, Michael, who have only ever had each other. I know Kate is the “main” charchter, but I especially love Michael’s enthusiasm when he interacts with his beloved dwarves and how Emma’s relationship with Gabriel shows her fierce loyalty and capacity to really care about others.
The Emerald Atlas is reminiscent of Harry Potter and His Dark Materials (which actually inspired Stephens to write his own children’s fantasy story), but it stands on its own merit.
Jim Dale, as always, is wonderful. He gives each character an appropriate voice and drew me into the story with his narration. I highly recommend the audiobook.