Friday, December 29, 2017

Audiobook Review: The Book Jumper by Mechthild Gläser

Pub. Date:July 20, 2017
Publisher:Tantor Audio
Narrator:Mary Sarah
Length:8 hrs 15 min

I'm not a huge reader of young adult books, but this story had such an interesting premise that I just couldn't resist. Imagine if you could transport yourself to the fictional world of any story that you read? I mean isn't that the bibliophile's dream? If I was granted a superpower, that would probably be what I would pick.

So Amy Lennox and her mother leave Germany in the doldrums and return home to the Lennox ancestral estate in Scotland. The estate is on the island of Stormsay with very few inhabitants, just two families who have the magical literary ability. Amy first learns of her family's ability when she arrives on Stormsay, and she takes to it with aplomb. She soon finds herself traipsing through magical and literary worlds of The Jungle Book, Alice in Wonderland, Metamorphosis, The Odyssey and many others. I was so jealous of this ability and thought it was so freaking cool! 

Amy has some self-esteem issues, but she seems to find her confidence in her book jumping ability, and she undergoes a bit of transformation as the story progresses. When parts of books are being stolen and stories are irreparably damaged, Amy becomes an amateur sleuth and searches for the culprit with fellow jumpers and literary characters.  So this story is a mystery and fantasy rolled into one, with my favorite aspect being the fantastical transportation into fictional worlds.

As great as this premise was, the story didn't hold my interest very well once we got past the halfway mark. It became more about finding and stopping the plot thief than the interaction with the fictional realm. I blame part of this on my giddy excitement for the premise of the story. I wanted our characters to visit more fictional worlds and interact with more beloved characters. Some of the fictional worlds were well known to me (the ones mentioned above), and other characters and stories were not as familiar (Metamorphosis, The Sorrows of Young Werther). Overall I would say that I would have liked to see more world building and plot cohesion. I finished the book feeling unsatisfied and often found myself daydreaming about what fictional worlds I would visit instead of paying attention to what was happening in the story.  The narrator did a good with her performance, so I would attribute the wandering mind more to the writing than the audio performance.

I voluntarily read and reviewed a complimentary copy of this book that I received from the publisher, Tantor Audio.

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