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Pan’s Labyrinth: The Labyrinth of the Faun by Guillermo del Toro and Cornelia Funke; narrated by Thom Rivera
HarperAudio / HarperCollins
Publication Date: July 2, 2019
Spanish filmmaker Guillermo del Toro and German author Cornelia Funke join forces to adapt del Toro’s 2006 fairytale horror movie into novel form. Set in Spain at the end of the Spanish Civil War, Ofelia, a young girl moves with her pregnant mother to live with her new step-father. Ofelia’s step-father, a military captain nicknamed “The Wolf,” puts Ofelia on edge. Shortly after arriving at his forested estate in northern Spain, Ofelia enters a labyrinth where she meets creatures both strange and menacing, and finds herself bridging two worlds that are both battling between the forces of good and evil.
Rivera’s accented narration imbues a magical element to this creepy allegorical tale placing the reader in the Spanish countryside. Seductive and enchanting he leads the listener down a path that leads to the labyrinth that can serve a metaphor for doing what is right, no matter what the consequences. The book’s themes of justice, honor, and the horrors of war and power are enshrouded in atmospheric dark fairytale-like tropes.
This will be great for listening fans of Elana K. Arnold’s Damsel, Libba Bray’s The Diviners series, Madeline Miller’s Circe, Naomi Novik’s Spinning Silver, and Katherine Arden’s Winternight Trilogy. This extends the story of the movie version and would be a great companion to A Monster Calls, both book and movie, Spirited Away and the classic Labyrinth. Tonally it will capture the interest of Stranger Things, Carnival Row, and The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance fans.