Paraworld Zero (Unabridged)
by Matthew Peterson
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Simon Kent is just an ordinary teenager trying to cope with the loss of his parents and the bullies at school . . . or so he thinks. After meeting an outspoken girl with strange hair that changes colors with her mood, he is swept into a futuristic world filled with dragonlike creatures, vast technology, and enslaved giants.But Simon also stumbles upon a secret: He can perform magic in this parallel world! While fighting mystical creatures, unraveling an ancient mystery, and even experiencing his first kiss, Simon discovers that he, an outsider from Earth, is the only person who can save the high-tech planet from an impending doom.Parallel to Simon's adventures is a mystery involving a catlike spy and a magical swordsman who both struggle to maintain peace among the paraworlds. But evil lurks in unexpected places, and few people can be trusted. Their paths ultimately lead them to Simon: the one boy who might be able to prevent the biggest assassination attempt in the known paraverse.
Great for the Whole Family
Okay, I have to admit I found myself laughing out loud several times during this audio book. The characters are so fun to listen to as they banter, joke, cry, etc. Paraworld Zero takes you through many emotions and leaves you feeling well entertained. There are some deeper parts dealing with slavery and self-esteem issues, but in general the book doesn't take itself too seriously. The narration and pacing was spot on. There's a female and a male narrator, by the way, which I like, since a male trying to do female voices often sounds strange to me. I was impressed with the narrators' ability to change their voices so dramatically. This is a kid's fantasy, mind you, so many of the voices are somewhat cartoonish, but don't let that stop you from listening if you're an adult. There's a whole storyline with adult characters interweaved within the plot, and this really did keep my interest. I'd like to see more of these older characters in future installments. Since there are multiple storylines going on, the book keeps you on your toes, especially the climax, which brought everything together superbly. I'm not usually one to be surprised at the end of a mystery, but this one threw me for a loop. I can't wait for the next book.
Good Clean Fun
My family enjoyed listening to this book on a long road trip. It was entertaining for the parents and kids alike. My kids (11 and 9) laughed out loud. My wife and I enjoyed it as well. I highly recommed this. It is entertaining and appropriate for any age kid.
Excellent Alternative to Harry Potter
I devour everything Harry Potter, so when I heard the phrase "Harry Potter meets Star Wars" I had to pick this one up. Paraworld Zero is not your typical Harry Potter-like book. The story has a lot of science fiction and fantasy in it, so I guess you could call it "Harry Potter in space," though space is not really the word for it. The characters travel through a thing called the parastream, which is like a special form of outer space that allows you to move quickly from parallel world to parallel world. The idea is intriguing, and the author makes it simple to understand. Simon Kent is now my favorite 12-year-old magician. He gets into the most precarious situations. Oh, and the narration was top-notch.