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- Feather and Fang
- Narrated by: Ali Sparkes
- Length: 6 hrs and 2 mins
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Dax Jones will not be tamed. The Children of Limitless Ability can do all sorts of amazing things. Terrifying things too. Some can move things with their minds. Some can make themselves vanish. Dax Jones can change his form; can hurtle through the sky at 200km an hour, or swim underwater for minutes on end. But all is not well.
Fenton Lodge, the school and home the COLA kids had grown to love over the past few years, is being turned into a prison. The new prime minister has set up a crack force of experts to manage, contain and use the COLA resource in the best interests of decent hardworking British people. And...if necessary...to shut it all down. Permanently.
With all communication scrutinized, Dax's only option is to write to his spoilt little sister, Alice. Even she might notice something is amiss, if she reads his letters properly. And Alice, for all her annoying shallowness, does notice. And what she does about it is extraordinary. But then, she is the half-sister of Dax Jones.
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- Alan D.
My First Audiobook - What An Introduction!
Spending a hot day in a long queue for a cross-channel ferry, with two bored and grumpy teenagers, is nobody’s idea of a good day. Our day, however, was enjoyable and memorable, and it was entirely thanks to this marvellous audiobook.
Feather and Fang is the final book in an eleven-part series, and though we all came to it with no idea of what had gone before, we quickly found our way into an understanding of the slightly off-kilter world inhabited by Dax Jones and his companions. Off-kilter? Think Philip Pullman: it’s our world, it just doesn’t quite work in the same way. It’s not really sci-fi, and not really fantasy; it’s more like the world of my wildest dreams – and nightmares. For this world can be dark and disturbing, and though this story is ostensibly intended for teens it appears to be the culmination of a journey that begins in a simpler time, accompanying young readers as they grow and become adults alongside the characters.
Plot aside (nobody likes a spoiler), the key themes of this book are definitely adult: the limits of freedom and the consequences to an individual when ‘the greater good’ prevails, leading to the mistrust of authority in general and the Government in particular. What happens then? Loyalties are divided; people are betrayed; people get hurt. And then: redemption. Of a sort, at least. For though this isn’t set in the real world these characters are drawn as real people, with all the contradictions, confusion and small acts of heroism that entail. There are few happy endings in real life, so we make do with satisfying endings instead. If it were real life and I had experienced what these characters have been put through, I would happily accept the satisfying ending that Ali Sparkes provides, and consider myself lucky.
A great ending doesn’t make a great book though, this is a great book because of the tale itself and, particularly, the way it is written. The plot is compelling, and these are characters one cares about. This makes it thought-provoking. The themes here are relevant to the world we live in today, which stimulated interesting, and enlightening, discussions among our family.
Sweltering in the heat though we were, I doubt there was a happier vehicle anywhere in the country that day. We might not have been physically going anywhere, but we were transported nevertheless. It was the perfect start to a holiday, and also the start of a new relationship – with the rest of the Shapeshifter audiobooks, so I can enjoy the whole saga.