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The Books of Elsewhere : The Shadows / by Jacqueline West ; narrated by Lexy Fridell

The Shadows - Jacqueline West

Let me start off by saying that Lexy Fridell has a perfect voice with which to narrate the books in the Books of Elsewhere series.  She's got that high-ish Lisa Simpson voice, and that works for these books since our main character is an 11 year old girl.  I wasn't sure if I'd be able to deal with Fridell's voice, but it all worked out just fine.


I did enjoy The Shadows, the first book in the Books of Elsewhere Series.  It was good fantasy aimed at older elementary school kids.  There was some suspense, some horror, some sense of magic, and that was all nice, and the right kid would probably enjoy reading this book.


To me, though, an old auntie in her 40s, the book didn't feel particularly fresh.  At various points I found myself reminded of Alice in Wonderland, Harry Potter, and The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.  All of those are classic books, and it's not like The Shadows suffers in the (ahem) shadow of those books.  But again, it isn't fresh, and I'm not sure that there's anything in particular that would pull me irresistibly toward reading the next book in this series.  Maybe if I were a 5th or 6th grader interested in fantasy I'd go back for round two, book two, and maybe someday when I need something to occupy my mind I will give book two a shot anyway.  Olive is a compelling little character even if she leads a story that has been told before.