"Caroline’s story is profoundly sad, and yet hopeful, magical, and yet rooted in reality. There is magic, mystery, and daring adventure." - BooksCoffee
HALL WAYS REVIEW: Audio Book Review. I was intrigued by the cover and premise of Caroline and Mordecai the Gand, and I was drawn to the book because of the author’s motivation to write it. I expected I’d enjoy it, but I didn’t expect to be absolutely delighted by it. This fully engaging story is entertaining, yes, but it’s thought provoking at a deep level, and by story’s end, I sat with tears that threatened, then spilled, from my eyes. Wow.
To begin the delights, readers are treated to audio book narrator Sarah L. Colton’s delightful accent. She is cast perfectly for such an otherworldly adventure, voicing the characters so that each is unique. She reflects the mood of the scenes and emotions of the characters to seamlessly complement the text so that narration and story go hand-in-hand. Her pacing is exactly right for listening at regular speed. Top notch performance and quality.
“If we remain open to life, hold it dear, and celebrate it, then it will forever be an adventure without limit in a new land.”
No narrator can nail a story like Colton if the story is lacking. Caroline and Mordecai the Gand isn’t lacking in any way. It’s amazing that an audio book that comes in at less than four and a half hours in length can pack such a punch, but this one does. The author bookends the story with opening and ending notes to explain the heartbreaking reason for writing the book. Don’t we all want our children (and everyone else) to remember us at our best when we are gone? What a blessing that author Jeff Gunhus decided to share his message of hope and coping to the world instead of just his kids.
“Oh, that was long ago. They rarely eat travelers now.”
The framework of Caroline and Mordecai the Gand is very interesting as it’s a story within a story within a story (within the story). Complex? Yes, but it’s delivered in bite-sized chunks so that readers can easily consume what’s happening. And oh! What’s happening! From the realities of bullying, guilt, and grief to the fantastical elements of magic, witches, and dragons (and cannibals, who can be reality or fantasy, right?), this book has something for everyone to enjoy. A suspenseful, tension-filled adventure on the surface, the allegorical side, coursing beneath, will have readers finding ah-ha moments as they see the parallels between all the seemingly different characters dealing with grief and how destructive and consuming it can be.
A quick mention about the characters – Gunhus’s descriptions are wonderfully evocative so that readers have clear snapshots of each person or creature (or CREACHure), even as they go through changes. This is a real nod to Gunhus's writing skills given the short length of the book. (Side note: as a LOTR fan, I couldn’t separate Mordecai the Gand from Gandolf the Grey. Not sure I am supposed to.)
With its captivating stories and subplots and painfully beautiful ending (here come the tears again), I highly recommend Caroline and Mordecai the Gand to readers of all ages. I think it would be an excellent story as a read-aloud or read-along because it will foster important conversations. Well done, Jeff Gunhus.
Thank you to iRead Book Tours and the author for the audio download in exchange for my honest opinion – the only kind I give.
connect with the author: website ~ twitter ~ facebook ~ instagram ~ goodreads ~ bookbub
Mar 31 – Rockin' Book Reviews – book review / guest post / giveaway
Apr 1 – Lisa's Reading – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Apr 5 – Freda's Voice – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Apr 6 – Because I said so -- and other adventures in Parenting – book review / giveaway
Apr 7 – Leels Loves Books – book review / giveaway
Apr 8 – pick a good book – book review / author interview / giveaway
Apr 12 – Gina Rae Mitchell – book review / giveaway
Apr 13 – Book Corner News and Reviews – book review / giveaway
Apr 14 – michellemengsbookblog – book review / author interview / giveaway
Apr 16 – Writer with Wanderlust – book review / guest post / giveaway
Apr 20 – Sadie's Spotlight – book spotlight / giveaway
Apr 21 – Sefina Hawke's Books – book spotlight
Apr 22 – Kam's Place – book review
Apr 23 – Books Lattes & Tiaras – book spotlight / giveaway
Apr 26 – I'm All About Books – book spotlight / giveaway
Apr 27 – Cover Lover Book Review – audiobook review / giveaway
Apr 28 – Icefairy's Treasure Chest – book review / giveaway
Apr 30 – Books for Books – audiobook review
May 3 – Hall Ways Blog – audiobook review / giveaway
May 4 – High Society Book Club & Review – book review / author interview / giveaway
May 5 – Westveil Publishing – audiobook review / guest post / giveaway
May 5 – Jazzy Book Reviews – book review / guest post / giveaway
May 6 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book review / giveaway
May 7 – Reading is My Passion – book review
May 7 - Splashes of Joy – book review / author interview / giveaway
May 10 – Bound 4 Escape – audiobook review / giveaway
May 11 – Laura's Interests – audiobook review / giveaway