Written by Francisca Goldsmith on Thursday, June 7, 2018
This week, our teen title, named by the Young Adult Library Association’s as among the Best Fiction for Young Adults in 2018, gives a steampunk riff to the Peter Pan story. EVERLAND, by Wendy Spinale, and narrated by Fiona Hardingham and Steve West for Scholastic Audiobooks, puts us in a postwar London where only children have survived deadly disease. A German Captain wants to snatch as many of them as he can, while a gang of boys led by Pete and sharpshooter Bella take cover underground until they come to the aid of Gwen who is searching for her kidnapped siblings. Hardingham and West perform their roles with all the drama anyone would hope to hear, making this a fine introduction for new audiobook listeners and a reward for the experienced. If you get hooked, you might move on to the sequel, Umberland, which will be narrated by a full cast.
We’ve paired a novel written during World War I with this. Edgar Wallace’s THE JUST MEN OF CORDOVA, read for Naxos AudioBooks by Bill Homewood, recounts a complex tale of revenge for wartime offenses and personal crimes—as the men seeking revenge have judged them. Of course, the men who judge might also be guilty of similar crimes, mightn’t they? Listeners will need to pay close attention as the story twists through countries, cultures, and occasions for wrongdoing, dynamically led by the narrator's storytelling. It seems that judgment may be easy to make but requires the judge to find some consistency from one judgment to the next. Edgar Wallace was fascinated by morality and his stories, for film as well as in books, explore morals in surprising ways. Did you know he wrote the movie script for King Kong?
To help direct attention locally to SYNC, this week also features a real-time Twitter chat with narrator Bill Homewood. Come prepared Monday, 11 June, at Noon Eastern Time, to ask him about his work, training, preparation to to bring THE JUST MEN OF CORDOVA or any of his many other audiobooks to voice, or whatever makes you curious about audiobooks or this title. The chat will last one hour, via @audiobookSYNC (the twitter address to which you can post your questions) and with the hashtag #sync18chat (be sure to use that so we recognize that your tweet is related to this event).