Saturday, June 13, 2015

Walking and Listening to "The Spy Catchers of Maple Hill"

Blakemore, Megan Frazer. The Spy Catchers of Maple Hill. 7 cd's. 8 hours, 11 minutes. Recorded Books, 2014. $45.10. ISBN 978-1-4906-2759-5.

Hazel dreams of being a detective like her idol Nancy Drew. So when she reads in the paper that there is an investigation going on at the local plant, following up on a report that Communists spies are working there and her parents hire a new grave digger who came from seemingly nowhere, Hazel has her first case. She enlists the help of the new boy at school, Samuel Butler. Samuel has a fascination with headstone rubbings which will come in handy as Hazel is convinced that the headstone for a ten year old girl named Grace is important to their case. Is the new grave digger a Russian spy and is this grave where he leaves intel he has gathered? Hazel is bound and determined to gather as much information as she can and get to the bottom of it.

I enjoyed listening to Meredith Orlow read this story. She had a genuine sincerity in her voice and was extremely believable as a young girl who was concerned about what was happening in her community and the angst she felt about a possible nuclear attack. 

One afternoon as I was out walking there was a broken water main by the bridge. This was hours after the main had been broken and the water was still gushing out.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Walking and Listening to "The Chosen Prince"

Stanley, Diane. The Chosen Prince.  7 cd's. 7 hours 45 minutes. Dreamscape Audio. 2015, $39.99.

Being born heir to the throne is pretty daunting. But can you imagine adding on top of that being chosen a champion by the goddess Athene which means you are the one who will restore the god's favor in Arkos? In my opinion, that's insane and more than any one person should have placed upon them, let alone a child. That is however what happens to Alexos, making his childhood pretty lonely (even though all eyes are on him) and pressure filled. After a serious illness leaves Alexos weakened, his father decides he can not be the heir to the throne and bestows that honor on his younger son Teo. Confused and angered Alexos does the unthinkable, which he instantly regrets and will have to bare the burden of for the rest of his life. To make matters worse, just when Alexos seems to be getting his life back on track, he is taken prisoner by the King of Ferra and sent to an island shrouded in fog. It is there that the events in his life begin to make sense.

I have never listened to a book read by Robertson Dean before. His voice reminded me a lot of Kelsey Grammer, which was a bit off putting at times since I am personally not a fan. While I enjoyed how he conveyed expressions, I felt the pacing was too slow which tended to drag things out. It also didn't help that there were, in my opinion, very long, drawn out conversations between characters, which seemed even longer due to the pacing.

I switched up my walking route again and thought I would try to capture this amazing view down the valley to the ocean.