We’ve been featuring the audiobook reviews from guest blogger Jana Warnell, an elementary school librarian in Montana. You can read her review of Clementine here. Check out more reviews and librarian insights from Jana at her blog, http://janasbooklist.blogspot.com/.
The Ranger’s Apprentice by John Flanagan
Running Time: 7.75 hours
YALSA Select Audiobook for Young Adults
I have several people who have recommended The Ranger’s Apprentice series to me, but I have never been that interested in reading them. Next year, however, I am going to be a middle school librarian and I really felt I should get at least the first book read so that I can talk with students who are interested in this series. Amazingly, I won the first book, The Ruins of Gorlan, in a contest from Recorded Books! I wasted no time in listening to the book.
The audio book is narrated by John Keating. He is British and very good at accents. He does one of the characters, Halt, with a Scottish type accent that is wonderful—it really brings the character to life. For the other characters he mostly changes the pitch and tone of his voice. This works well for the story which is the start of a series that now has eight books in it.
The main character is Will (one of my favorite character names—characters named Will always turn out to be so noble). He is an orphan who finds himself assigned to become an apprentice to a ranger named Halt. The rangers are servants of the king, but are each assigned a fife and a baron to serve under. They are basically spies.
The book takes us through the start of Will’s training, but also introduces us to another orphan, Horace. We see his training as a warrior apprentice—and follow the ups and downs of he and Will’s friendship. I was glad that, although Will was the main character, the author gave us another character to get to know. I hope in future books Will and Horace continue to work together.
I love it when narrators of audio books treat the audience as intelligent and John Keating does. I felt like I was part of the story, not just a listener. It was easy to immerse myself in the world of the book and I was sorry to see it end. I look forward to listening to more books in the series.
Next week, check back to read Jana’s review of Newbery Honor Book The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner.