Written by Francisca Goldsmith on Wednesday, July 19, 2017
GONE by Michael Grant is the first title in the popular series of the same name. Narrator Kyle McCarley, for Tantor Media, lends distinct voices to each of the characters here: a band of kids who have awakened to a world in which everyone older than 14 has completely vanished. Power struggles ensue, as they did in William Golding’s classic Lord of the Flies, with the added twist that some of the kids in Grant’s tale also happen to be imbued with magical powers.
Paired with that selection is Tania Unsworth’s THE ONE SAFE PLACE, narrated by Mark Turetsky for HighBridge Audio. In this genre blend of mystery and fantasy, Devin falls in with two other teens, one of whom lures them to a garden populated by confused young children who seem to be contained there by disturbingly cheerful guardians. Turetsky imparts Unsworth’s rich and intense imagistic language with clarity, fully developing Devin, a character with both a photographic memory and synesthesia.
This week’s pair is likely to entice listeners into seeking more audiobooks featuring the revelatory power of fantasy. As with each title in the AudiobookSYNC program, the publishers have provided handy lists of listen-alikes on the same web page as the featured title download. While these listen-alikes aren’t available through SYNC this summer, you’re likely to find them in nearby library collections, ready for you to borrow.