Review posted October 13, 2008.
HighBridge, Minneapolis, 2004. 7.5 hours on 6 compact discs.
This time, instead of stopping in the middle of Charlie Ashanti's story, as I did the first time I read Lionboy, I made sure I continued on.
I'm finding that when I listen to books on CD, I enjoy very different books than the ones I like to read. Although I enjoyed the first book of the trilogy the first time I read it, I didn't find it gripping, the sort of book that keeps me up all night reading. So I never found myself compelled to pick up the second book in the trilogy.
Listening to the audio version of the book is a different situation. Because I only live ten minutes from my workplace, I enjoy a diverting, entertaining story. One that pulls me in, but that I don't mind stopping after ten minutes. The audio books I'm enjoying, this one among them, are an entirely different category of books than my usual choices. Although I loved listening to some print favorites, such as Enna Burning and Fairest, I almost found it annoying that I couldn't gobble up the story quickly, I liked it so much. With a lighter book, like Lionboy, or comedies like those by P. G. Wodehouse, the way listening takes so much longer than reading is part of the fun. I'm finding that listening to the audiobook is the perfect way to get around to reading a book that I couldn't quite get myself to pick up and read with my eyes. After all, I'm just entertaining myself while driving!
Most of Lionboy: The Chase took place in Venice -- a future Venice where much of the city has finally fallen into the sea. Still, the parts still standing are the same as they have been for hundreds of years, the same Venice I fell in love with myself, so I enjoyed vicariously spending time there while reading this book.
Charlie has gotten the circus lions away from the circus and away from Paris. In this book, he needs to get them away from what he thought was their safe haven, a palazzo in Venice. He still doesn't know where his parents have been taken, and now there's a reward offered for finding him and the lions.
The plot in this story did include some unbelievable coincidences, but mostly it was an entertaining adventure yarn to listen to. How will Charlie, who can talk to cats and lions, save his friends the lions, and himself? How will he find his parents? How will he escape Raffi, who continues to go after him?
Charlie grows in this book, faces tough challenges, and overcomes.
I appreciated that this book did not end in the middle of things. In fact, if they didn't tell us in the epilogue that things are about to get much worse, I would have thought it was a nice, happy ending. I like trilogies better when they consist of self-contained books, and this one at least finished the saga of the first two books.
The narrator is excellent, maintaining a nice variety of voices, including distinct voices for lions and cats. Of course, I'm always a sucker for a British accent, and can listen to such a speaker all day long!
I intend to listen to Book Three while I am still thinking about the story.