And Put Away Childish Things

Tantor Media. Dec. 2023. 4:41 hrs. ISBN 9798350874686. $12.99. FANTASY
Tchaikovsky’s Harry Bodie is off-puttingly desperate for the world to recognize his importance. Unfortunately for him, he actually is important—just in another world. It turns out that his grandmother’s Narnia-like children’s books are real, and the land of Underhill needs its missing heir. However, Harry’s role may not be as simple and free as his grandmother’s books suggest. Tchaikovsky (Children of Memory) narrates the novella himself, using his talents as a storyteller to imbue Harry, his one human ally, and the inhabitants of Underhill with a weariness that rings true. Harry, more irritating than heroic, has a voice to match but doesn’t descend into caricature. As forces from both sides of the magical portal plot to control him, there is a real danger that he will not grow enough to save himself—let alone an entire magical world. He’ll need to understand his own heart before he can pierce the mysteries of Underhill.
VERDICT A great listen for anyone who enjoyed Lev Grossman’s The Magicians or Seanan McGuire’s Every Heart a Doorway and who understands that the worlds next to ours may be filled with darkness.
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