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Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Audible Book Review: The Green Ember by S. D. Smith

This is an entertaining, sweet action fantasy.
The Green Ember
By: S. D. Smith
Narrated by: Joel Clarkson

Series: The Green Ember, Book 1
Length: 7 hrs and 55 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release date: 02-04-15
Language: English
Publisher: Story Warren Books
Genre: Children's Fantasy, Christian Fantasy
My Rating: 4.25 of 5.0 Overall; Story 4.25; Narration 4.25.

Publisher's Summary
Heather and Picket are extraordinary rabbits with ordinary lives until calamitous events overtake them, spilling them into a cauldron of misadventures. They discover that their own story is bound up in the tumult threatening to overwhelm the wider world.
Kings fall, and kingdoms totter. Tyrants ascend, and terrors threaten. Betrayal beckons, and loyalty is a broken road with peril around every bend.
Where will Heather and Picket land? How will they make their stand?
©2015 S. D. Smith (P)2015 Story Warren

Heather and Picket are young rabbits enjoying friendly brother and sister competition in their ordinary lives. They are often enthralled by their father’s stories of kingdoms, kings, loyal warriors, battles and danger. One night their father begins to tell them a new tale about the “Rise and Fall of King Jupiter”. They have only heard the beginning of the story when their world erupts under attacks by wicked, frightening wolves.

Heather and Picket are able to escape with the help of some new friends. Heather and Picket have different attitudes as they travel to a place of refuge for displaced rabbits. Heather worries about her family but wants to make sure that Picket remains safe. Picket quickly becomes sullen, frustrated that he couldn’t protect his family and resenting the two skilled warrior rabbits who saved them and are guiding them.

The group struggles to escape from the wolves following them as they don’t want to lead them to the safe place. Along the way, there are other home and business sites that have been attacked. Once Heather and Picket are delivered to the safe warren, they don’t understand why many rabbits look at them with suspicion.

The pair begin to learn secrets their father never told them. The dangers continue and intensify as it becomes clear there are betrayals putting all of the rabbits at risk. Can Heather and Picket prepare for danger and learn to fit in?

The story started slowly but picks up especially when the attack occurs and the rabbits go on the run. There is plenty of daring-do and possible opportunities to become heroes. Picket’s attitude is very frustrating but offers a parent an opportunity for discussion with younger children who may listen to the story. I can appreciate the reviews that criticize the male and female stereotyping: males are warriors, females are nurses, storytellers or other artisans. Still, the female rabbits are shown with courage and gumption too.

The story is entertaining and has a sweet tone to it even with the enemy attacks. My son gifted himself with the print set which is very nice. The print/ebook has some really nice images to go along with the story, including introductory maps. I recommend this to adults as well as younger readers/listeners. I am glad that I have the next book in the reading order: The Black Star of Kingston.

Audio Notes: Joel Clarkson does a really good job with the narration. He provides distinct voices for the characters and gives good energy to the action. I enjoyed the audio presentation.

Source: My Kindle library - free 2018. Audio Sharing with Son's Audible. This qualifies for 2020TBR and 2020Audiobook goals.

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