The Emerald Atlas [Audiobook Review]

Title: The Emerald Atlas
Author: John Stephens
Narrator: Jim Dale
Genre: Children’s Fantasy
Pages: 432
Audio: 11.5 hours
Year: 2011
Publisher: Listening Library
Source: 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.

My Thoughts:

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.

Audiobook Thoughts:

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.

6 thoughts on “The Emerald Atlas [Audiobook Review]

  1. Sandy March 5, 2013 / 7:15 am

    I actually ended up DNFing this one. I don’t know what my problem was, but I suspect that because Jim Dale was the narrator, I couldn’t get past the fact that it WASN’T Harry Potter, but just a second rate wannabe. The kids had no patience for it either. But I think I’m in the minority because many people have raved about the book. It did me pause though, as to whether I’ll ever be able to enjoy Jim Dale in any other audio?


    • Michelle March 5, 2013 / 12:20 pm

      Have you read Leisl and Po by Lauren Oliver? That was another good one Jim Dale narrated.


  2. zibilee March 5, 2013 / 11:39 am

    I actually haven’t listened to any audiobooks narrated by Dale, so this one intrigues me. I do think that sometimes I prefer to read fantastical tales when life gets hectic, and especially when I am looking out for good books for my teens. I think this one sounds like a lot of fun, and would love to try it on audio. It’s a good thing I have a credit left on my audible account!!


  3. Kyle @ A Reader's Pensieve March 5, 2013 / 2:10 pm

    Hmm, I have not heard of this, but it sounds like something I would like! Thanks for bringing it to my attention 🙂


  4. Lucia March 27, 2013 / 4:23 pm

    So glad you enjoyed The Emerald Atlas!
    I noticed the similarities with Harry Potter and His Dark Materials but they didn’t bother me (as I thought they would) and I agree that this book stands on its own merits.
    Are you going to read 2nd book? I really enjoyed it, even more than the 1st one.

    Oh, and I didn’t know John Stephens has been a writer on Gilmore Girls!


  5. Teresa Kerska May 9, 2013 / 3:22 am

    Nominated for 1 Emmy and 1 Golden Globe in its first five seasons, Gilmore Girls has experienced much greater success among TV viewers than among industry critics. In fact, the show is the first script supported by the Family Friendly Forum’s script development fund to go on and become a regular television series. Part of an initiative between The WB Network – maker of such hits as Dawson’s Creek (1998), Felicity (1998), Angel (1999), and Smallville (2001) – and fellow industry executives, this push for more family-oriented programming resulted in a series showcasing a unique mother-daughter bond and the various people they encounter on their life voyage of discovery. Set in the fictional town of Stars Hollow, Connecticut, Gilmore Girls utilizes many of the same sets as the hit series The Dukes Of Hazzard (1979) – another successful Warner Brothers production from years past….,

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