The Sleepwalker Tonic | Odin’s Ravens | The Inquisitor’s Tale

Mini Reviews of The Sleepwalker's Tonic by Jason Segel & Kirsten Miller, Odin's Ravens by KL Armstrong & MA Marr, and The Inquisitor's Tale by Adam Gidwitz

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Nightmares! The Sleepwalker Tonic by Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller is a spooky, fun addition to the Nightmares! series. Of course, these books absolutely must be experienced via audiobook. Any other way and I think you will miss out. Jason Segel, of How I Met Your Mother fame, narrates the series. He’s also co-author too. These books are fantastic fall reading for children.

The Sleepwalker Tonic begins slightly after the events of the first book. Charlie Laird is finally getting along with his stepmother Charlotte. She’s still running to local herbarium, only business is on the downswing thanks to a competitor in Orville Falls. Not only that, but there’s a man who is selling this tonic that is claiming to help people sleep and get rid of nightmares. Really, it is just turning people into zombies. It is up to Charlie and his friends to save the day.

So, as you can tell, I am very loyal to the audiobooks in this series. The second audiobook is 7 hours and 20 minutes long. As I stated above, Jason Segel narrates. Of course, his narration is goofy and completely age appropriate. I found that The Sleepwalker Tonic held my attention throughout the duration of my listening. At some point, I plan on also listening to the third book in the series.

I would recommend listening to this only after you’ve listened to Nightmares! because you’re going to want the nuance that comes with knowing the backgrounds of all the characters. Granted, this is easy to get into if you haven’t read the first book in the series. It is very easy to follow along with what is going on. However, the experience of the first book greatly enhances The Sleepwalker Tonic.

Other reviews of The Sleepwalker Tonic by Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller:

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Odin’s Ravens by K.L. Armstrong and M.A. Marr is the second book in The Blackwell Pages trilogy. I thought this was an okay read for me personally. It definitely will find more appeal with a younger audience. However, I do not think I will continue on with the series. It’s just not for me.

Odin’s Ravens begins where Loki’s Wolves leaves off. Basically, Baldwin the god descendent that everyone loves because he is so much fun has been poisoned. So, the gang has to go down to the underworld to rescue him. In addition, they also have to complete their mission – defeat the Valkyries, defeat the serpent, and save the world. There’s definitely going to be some challenges and some angst along the way.

The audiobook has a ton of narrators - Casey Holloway, Jon Wierenga, Pat Young, Corey Bradberry. This makes sense because there’s like seven important characters – descendents of the Norse gods in this book. However, as I listened, I could not help but compare to Joshua Swanson’s narration of some of the Heroes of Olympus series. That series also has a ton of characters, but I never felt like I lost my place. I just felt like there were way too many narrators and I found my attention wandering and myself getting bored while listening to this book.

Certainly, I think the audience is out there for Odin’s Ravens and The Blackwell Pages, but that audience is not me. Perhaps people who cannot get enough of Rick Riordan’s mythology based series will enjoy these books. I mean, I love Rick Riordan but I can’t help making the comparison. And frankly, these books fell kind of short for me. However, they are not terrible or anything. They just kind of suffer from my already having read something similar. I’d recommend though to actual middle school kids.

Other reviews of Odin’s Ravens by K.L. Armstrong and M.A. Marr:

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Of all the books reviewed today, I absolutely enjoyed The Inquisitor’s Tale by Adam Gidwitz the most. So much about this book appeals to me – from setting to the types of characters to the author. I’ve got quite a bit of admiration for The Inquisitor’s Tale. If you listen to any of these three audiobooks, listen to The Inquisitor’s Tale. It is the best of the three reviewed today.

Set in 1242, Adam Gidwitz’s The Inquisitor’s Tale is about three children – Jacob, Jeanne, and William. The story begins with travelers at an inn sharing stories. A man, the Inquisitor, is there taking down the stories. You see, he has heard rumors of the children committing saint-like acts and feats that defy belief. The people at the inn each have something to add about the children. So, the story takes on a tone a little bit like The Canterbury Tales, only they are all relevant to each other.

Jacob is a Jewish boy who fled his home which caught on fire because back in the Medieval times there was a strong anti-Semitism wave. William is an oblate at a monastery and is on a mission. Also, William is a person of color which is pretty important to the story. Jeanne is a French girl whose dog has died and come back to life. She also has visions of the future. Of course, during the Inquisition, these things will get you killed, so the kids are basically on the run. Oh, and William has this superhuman sort of strength.

So, The Inquisitor’s Tale revolves around if the children end up finding safe haven and if they are indeed saints. It’s an interesting examination of religion and medieval thought in regards to faith and heresy. I felt like this was such a complex and interesting middle grade book. It’s a book that is sure to have cross audience appeal. There’s blood and violence and gore. There’s also humor too. It’s a book that does not undermine or underestimate the intelligence of its intended middle grade audience.

The audiobook has a bunch of narrators, but in this case, it’s perfect for the book. The cast of narrators of The Inquisitor’s Tale: Or, The Three Magical Children And Their Holy Dog is comprised of Adam Gidwitz, Vikas Adam, Mark Bramhall, Jonathan Cowley, Kimberly Farr, Ann Marie Lee, Bruce Mann, John H. Mayer, and Benjamin Bagby. These narrators are appropriate for the story. Each is unique and plays their section to perfection. The audiobook is 10 hours and 22 minutes long and worth every single minute of your time.

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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.

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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.

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