My name is Ardis and I am an avid reader and budding writer. I want to share my love of books with others. I work with kids and am interested in finding and creating books that will ignite the reader in everyone. Contact me at: ardis.atkins@gmail.com

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Thursday, July 11, 2019

Audio ARC Review: Cheshire Crossing by Andy Weir, Illustrated by Sarah Andersen

Please note:  I received an advance copy of this audiobook from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  This did not influence the opinions in my review in any way.

Synopsis (from Goodreads):
From the #1 New York Times best-selling author of The Martian and Artemis, and illustrated by webcomics creator Sarah Andersen, this graphic novel brings together the heroines of Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, and The Wizard of Oz in a charming fantasy mash-up as they join forces to defend their worlds from villainous threats.

Pulled from the pages of beloved children's fantasy stories, Alice, Wendy, and Dorothy meet at a supernatural boarding school where they're meant to learn how to use and control their special, superheroic powers. When villains like the Wicked Witch and Captain Hook form an evil alliance to conquer the worlds of Oz, Neverland, and Wonderland, the girls must work together to save not only these fantastical lands but also the Earth itself. This "storybook meets superheroes" graphic novel features the original magical girls of fantasy embarking on exciting supernatural adventures in a tale that could only come from the imagination of Andy Weir and the illustrative sorcery of Sarah Andersen.

When I heard that two of my favorite creative people, Andy Weir and Sarah Andersen, were teaming up to create a graphic novel, I was immediately excited!  Cheshire Crossing is a fun, wild spin on several classic fantasy tales, including Alice in Wonderland, The Wizard of Oz, Peter Pan, and even Mary Poppins.  I received the audiobook version of this story.  But even without the artwork, I found this story to be quite entertaining.

What I Liked:
This audiobook production has a full cast, so it is kind of like listening to an old-time radio show.  I enjoyed all the performances, but a particular stand out was Rebecca Soler as Miss Poole.  As performed, the listener is  definitely meant to connect Miss Poole to Mary Poppins.  It really put a smile on my face when I would get the subtle references to Mary Poppins.

The main narrator, performed by Pete Bradbury, sounded rather like a Rod Searling from The Twilight Zone.  It made for an eerie tone, emphasizing that something was amiss in each of the classic tales.

What would happen to any young girl at the turn of the twentieth century who claimed they visited another world?  They would be sent straight to an asylum, of course!  And that's exactly what happens to Dorothy, Alice, and Wendy.  I loved this.  Later, when they start visiting each others fantasy worlds, we see that each place (Oz, Wonderland, and Neverland) has its charms and its difficulties.  

The three main female characters, Alice, Wendy, and Dorothy, are affected by their stories.  Alice is bitter and seems traumatized by her experience in Wonderland.  Wendy takes her feelings of helplessness and it empowers her.  She learns to fight!  Dorothy is bewildered and has little self-worth.  After all, it was the shoes that were magical, not her.  Or was it?  I really liked that the author did try to show what would happen to these characters in a realistic way.  But he did so without ruining the spirit of those beloved stories.

This is a story of empowerment.  All three of the girls have others making decisions over what happens in their lives.  This story has them taking back control of their lives.  Awesome!!!

A note about the illustrations:
While this was an audiobook and I did not have a chance to experience the illustrations, I will say that Sarah Andersen is one of my favorite illustrators.  The cover, which I did see, is drawn in a lovely style.   I have no doubt that the rest of the graphic novel will be equally delightful. 


Release Date:  July 16th, 2019

Genre:  YA Fantasy Graphic Novel

Author:  Andy Weir

Illustrator:  Sarah Andersen

Publisher:  Ten Speed Press

Page Length:  128 Pages

Audiobook Publisher:  Penguin Random House Audio

Audio Length: 1 Hour, 38 Minutes

Audiobook Cast:

Sophie Amoss as Alice
Brittany Pressley as Wendy
Kristen DiMercurio as Dorothy
Rebecca Soler as Miss Poole
Lisa Flanagan as the Wicked Witch
James Monroe Iglehart as Captain Hook
Neil Hellegers as Rutherford and Smee
Sean Patrick Hopkins as Lem and the Jack of Knaves
Peter Coleman as Peter Pan
and Pete Bradbury as the Narrator

Source:  Penguin Random House Audio

Format:  Audiobook

Recommendation:  A fun, quick audiobook that I think will be a wonderful graphic novel, as well.  Read this if you love all those classic fantasy novels of old.


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2019 Reading Challenge
MsArdychan has read 10 books toward her goal of 120 books.


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