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Cheshire Crossing by Andy Weir; Narrated by Sophie Amoss, Brittany Pressley, Kristen DiMercurio & Full Cast
Penguin Random House Audio / Ten Speed Press
Publication Date: July 9, 2019
With a heel click, a hop through the looking glass, and a quick flight toward the Second Star on the Right, the heroines of Oz, Wonderland, and Neverland come together in a saucy, world-bending adventure perfect for those who wonder what happens after happily ever after. Identical diagnoses of dissociative psychosis land teenaged Wendy Darling, Alice Liddell, and Dorothy Gale at Cheshire Crossing, a boarding school where their magical travels can be celebrated…and studied. Alice is not anxious to be anyone’s “science project,” much less return to Wonderland, and makes swift use of Dorothy’s slippers to escape to Oz with a reluctant Wendy in tow. Chaos quickly ensues as the girls — and then their villains — skip between the magical realms, bringing together some unlikely allies along the way.
The full cast narration brings each character to life with a range of accents and attitudes befitting their origin stories and successfully bridging the translation from graphic novel to audiobook. Superb narration by Pete Bradbury lends a level of gravitas to the three girls’ rapid-fire — and, often, raunchy and ridiculous — teenaged antics. Strong use of sound effects and music bring atmosphere, clarity, and richness to the audio production.
Fans of Gregory Maguire’s reimagined fairy tales will appreciate Weir’s creative liberties with these classic characters. The story should also appeal to those who enjoy time-travel or multiverse YA stories such as A Darker Shade of Magic, Spider-Gwen, and Invictus. The premise is akin to Seanan McGuire’s Wayward Children series, especially Every Heart a Doorway. Snappy dialogue and strong female characters will be a natural fit for fans of Gilmore Girls and the recent Netflix Sabrina reboot, and listeners interested in more full-cast audiobook graphic novel productions might also enjoy Nimona or Locke & Key.
— Kit Ballenger