Narrated by Eileen Stevens
Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Publication Date: November 28, 2017
Date Read: March 1, 2018
Length: 11 hours 22 minutes
Source: Audiobook Jukebox
Discover your inner child once again in this debut fantasy adventure for fans of Madeleine L'Engle, Diana Wynne Jones, and E. L. Konigsburg.
Freddy doesn't want people to think she's weird. Her family makes that difficult, though: her deaf stepbrother Roland's a major geek, and her genius little sister Mel's training to be the next Sherlock Holmes. All Freddy wants is to survive high school.
Then two extremely odd neighbors move in next door.
Cuerva Lachance and Josiah definitely aren't normal. Neither is their house, which defies the laws of physics. Neither is Freddy's situation, when she suddenly finds herself stuck thousands of years in the past with her very, very weird neighbors. And that's only the beginning.
I didn't like this book at all. I thought about abandoning the book pretty early on and those thoughts seemed to pop up over and over with increased frequency. I don't know why I just didn't give up on this book and move on to something that I would enjoy more but for some reason, I kept pushing myself to keep listening for just a little bit more. I do think that this is a book that some reader will really enjoy but it wasn't the book for me and I should have stopped as soon as I started considering it.
I found this book to be rather confusing at times. As I was trying to get into the book, I often found myself having to back up the audio to listen to sections again in an attempt to make sense of the story. Things happen that really make little to no sense and the story shifts time and place without a lot of explanation. There were times that multiple versions of the same character were in a scene which just added to the confusion. I had a hard time following the storyline at times.
I didn't feel a connection to any of the characters. Freddy, Mel, and Roland were the most likable characters in the book but I never really felt any kind of connection to them. Mel and Roland play large roles in parts of the book but are absent in a large portion of the story. Josiah and Cuerva Lachance were incredibly strange. Cuerva Lachance may win the prize for the strangest character that I have read in all of her various forms. Josiah was hard to trust and it always seemed that he was hiding important things from Freddy. Freddy was the main character of the story and while we spend a lot of time in her head I still didn't feel like I truly understood her at the close of the book.
I did enjoy the narration. This was the first time that I have listened to Eileen Stevens and I thought she did a good job with the book. Honestly, her narration is probably the reason that I continued to listen to the book even when I realized it wasn't going to work for me. She did an excellent job with all of the character voices and her voice was very pleasant to listen to. I would not hesitate to listen to her narration again in the future.
I will not be recommending this book to others. There were parts of the book that I did like a lot more than others. I thought that the opening scene was well done and I generally liked all of the scenes with Freddy, Mel, and Roland a lot more than the parts of the book where the characters were twisting around in time. I do think that other readers may have a very different reaction to this book and may really enjoy it. I would say to give it a try if you think the concept sounds like something you would enjoy.
I received a review copy of this audiobook from Blackstone Audio, Inc. via Audiobook Jukebox.
About the Author
KARI MAAREN is a Toronto-area writer, award-winning musician and cartoonist, and academic. She created the webcomics, West of Bathurst and It Never Rains, and is also known as a musician for her popular song "Beowulf Pulled Off My Arm." This is her first novel.