Ophelia And The Marvelous Boy by Karen Foxlee | Audiobook Review

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Ophelia And The Marvelous Boy by Karen Foxlee | Audiobook ReviewOphelia and the Marvelous Boy by Karen Foxlee
Narrator: Jayne Entwistle
Length: 6 Hours 19 Minutes
Published by Random House LLC on 2014-01-28
Genres: Fairy Tales & Folklore, Friendship, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 224
Format: Audiobook
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon

A luminous retelling of the Snow Queen, this is the story of unlikely heroine Ophelia Jane Worthington-Whittard who doesn't believe in anything that can't be proven by science. She and her sister Alice are still grieving for their dead mother when their father takes a job in a strange museum in a city where it always snows. On her very first day in the museum Ophelia discovers a boy locked away in a long forgotten room.  He is a prisoner of Her Majesty the Snow Queen.  And he has been waiting for Ophelia's help.As Ophelia embarks on an incredible journey to rescue the boy everything that she believes will be tested.  Along the way she learns more and more about the boy's own remarkable journey to reach her and save the world.A story within a story, this a modern day fairytale about the power of friendship, courage and love, and never ever giving up.From the Hardcover edition.

Why Did I Listen To This Book?

I am a huge sucker for middle grade fantasy book, especially when those books are receiving acclaim. I picked up Ophelia And The Marvelous Boy by Karen Foxlee on audiobook because the narrator’s voice sounded interesting from the preview. The book is a retelling of the Snow Queen fairy tale. Also? It’s a pretty quick listen. Furthermore, the summary sounded really interesting and plenty of my goodreads friends with the exception of one person really enjoyed this book. So, I decided to give it a whirl because it hit a few of my things that I look for in audiobooks and books to read.

What’s The Story Here?

Ophelia Jane Worthington-Wittard has moved to a new snowy city with her father and sister, Alice, as a result of her father’s new job as museum exhibit curator. Ophelia is grieving the loss of her mother, a writer, who has been dead for over three months, Ophelia is quite specific about it in the book as it changed her life. As her father is curating an exhibit called Battle on swords throughout time, Ophelia finds herself wandering the museum and stumbling upon a boy in a long forgotten room. The boy does not remember his name, he just knows that he needs to find a specific sword and he is the Snow Queen’s prisoner. Ophelia has a very hard time believing this as she puts all her faith in science. The boy is insistent though, and so Ophelia does her best in the race against time to help the boy and also to try and figure his name out. Now that I write this plotline out, I realize that perhaps I need to reread the book in physical format as I think I may like that format more than I’ve rated here.

How Is Ophelia As A Main Character?

Ophelia is pretty much a girl after my own heart. I love her belief in the logical and in science. I love that she struggles with believing the boy, but decides to help him anyways as his tale unfolds. Ophelia is grieving. She is sensible. She is brave. She’s smart and doesn’t apologize for it, at least not that I remember. I am a big fan of that. Frankly, she carries the story quite well. It’s interesting to see her in conjunction with her sister, Alice, and with her mother, who was not nearly as scientifically inclined as Ophelia.

How’s The Narration?

For most of this audiobook, I thought the narrator was Polly Lee, who narrates the School For Good And Evil. Alas, I was wrong. That’s okay though, because Jayne Entwistle is quite good. Her voice is very gentle. She’s got this fairytale feel to her voice. She gives the villains an interesting accent. Entwistle has a voice that you can’t help but sit up and pay attention to. Although, I have to admit that while listening to this book, I had a lot on my mind and was unable to give Ophelia And The Marvelous Boy by Karen Foxlee my attention, because essentially, I am the worst. Oh well. I do think I am going to re-read in a different format. If you don’t have a ton on your mind or a whole lot of stress, this would be a pretty good listen.

Who Would I Recommend This Book To?

  • Fantasy fans
  • People who loved Night At The Museum
  • Those who like their characters scientifically inclined
  • 12 year olds
  • Fairy tale fanatics

Sum It Up With A GIF:

Yes, this. Exactly.

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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.
About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. I read this one a few weeks ago and loved it. I thought Ophelia was a great main character. Cautious but brave. It was definitely an interesting retelling of the Snow Queen. My mind might have wandered with the audio, though. It’s a quiet story. I probably would have fallen asleep with the audio, lol. Glad you enjoyed it.


    • YES. I am a big fan of the cautious but brave trope or character attribute because characters who just rush into danger kind of irritate me.

      Haha, my mind actually did wander a few times, but overall, because the narrator is awesome I was really able to focus.

  2. Entwistle narrates the Flavia de Luce audiobooks, by Alan Bradley, and she’s AWESOME. I highly recommend these books, both for the story and the narrator. Thanks for the great review.

    • I actually have not read or listened to those books and I think I will download them once I finish listening to the Bloody Jack series because you know, I love having audiobook series to listen to.

      Thanks for commenting 😀

  3. Okay, April, you pick the best gifs for your reviews (and now I have that I Will Go the Distance song from Hercules in my head).

    I’ve been meaning to read this book for such a long time. Since it came out. I have the physical copy checked out from the library right now.

    But I kind of want to listen to it now, because I love Jayne Entwistle. She narrates the Flavia de Luce books by Alan Bradley and she totally rocks that. Have you read those books? Because you would definitely like them! Talk about smart young girls who know they’re smart and don’t apologize for it. 🙂

    • Thanks Quinn, the GIFs are like one of the most important parts.

      Yeah, if you do read this definitely get your hands on the audiobook because the narration is superb.

      I have not read them, but I want to, I am all about brains!

  4. I love Polly Lee! Now I’m going to have to check out Jayne and what else she narrates. I checked Polly’s list because I loved her narration of The School for Good and Evil but I unfortunately didn’t find any other books she’s narrated that I would want to listen to.

    I’m not particularly feeling like more MG right now since I just read A World Without Princes (which I loved) cause I only read a small handful of them a year. I’m more adult and YA but MG can be sooo good when you find the really good ones.

    I’ll add this to my list to check out when I’m feeling the urge again.

    • Right? Polly Lee is awesome. Like you, I wanted to listen to more of her books because she rocks The School For Good And Evil.

      Ahhhh, I recently finished A World Without Princes too. I liked it, but for me it’s not quite on the level of the first one.

      I agree about MG being great when you find the right ones.

  5. Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy was an interesting read! I really liked Ophelia too, as she’s my favorite kind of fantasy main character – strong, smart and brave. But what I liked best of all was the story, because it was just so whimsical and so fun to read.