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The Edge Chronicles: Stormchaser
Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell
Fiction (Series)
Ages 12 and up
Abridged Audiobook (CD)
Read by Alex Jennings
Random House Audio UK, 2006, 1-846-57653-9
  Twig has finally found a place that feels like home. Surprisingly enough considering the fact that Twig grew up in the Deepwoods, in the gloom under the trees, Twig’s new home is in the skies over the Edge, sailing above the ground in his father’s ship.
 Twig has changed quite a bit since we saw him last as several years have passed. Much more confident and more hopeful, Twig is in Undertown, the settlement that lies right on the rim of the Edge. As he wanders the filthy streets, Twig happens on a shop and inside he meets an old friend, the Caterbird. The Caterbird tells him that the floating city which hovers above Undertown, Sanctaphrax, is in grave danger. It would seem that it is getting lighter and lighter and soon no amount of chains and bolts will be able to keep it tethered to the ground.
  Clearly something has to be done, and yet what is the answer. It is a complicated story which is hard to unravel. It would appear that a substance called stormphrax is what makes Sanctaphrax heavy enough to stay tethered. Not that long ago one of the academics who lives in the learned society of Sanctaphrax, a greedy creature called Vilnix, discovered that when stormphrax is converted into a dust, it acquires purifying properties. The powder soon became highly valued by the people of Undertown because it could be used to purify the filthy and polluted waters of the Edgewater River.
 Vilnix is now very powerful and it doesn’t take much time to realize that he has been taking stormphrax out of the treasury of Sanctaphrax and selling it to be made into phraxdust. This is the reason why Sanctaphrax is becoming lighter and lighter – there is not enough stormphrax to weigh it down.
  Soon enough Twig finds himself in the middle of an extraordinary adventure as he travels on his father’s ship The Stromchaser on a search for stormphrax. Stormphrax is created when a certain kind of storm, a Great Storm, breaks over the Edge. Lightning hits the ground and solidifies into stormphrax. The problem is that one has to be right in the middle of the storm to see where the lightning strikes on the ground below. Needless to say being on a floating wooden ship in the middle of a storm is highly dangerous.
  To add to this mix of danger and adventure there are the squabbles that are taking place between the evil Vilnix, the other academics who live on Sanctaphrax, and some of the political and commercial leaders in the community. Each side wants the stormphrax for themselves and in the middle of the conflict there is Twig, his father and their friends, pawns in a terrible game which could end up being fatal for Twig and those he cares for.
  As we listen it becomes clear that Twig has the kind of personality which attracts others who are in trouble to him, which inspires honesty and loyalty in those who choose to be his friends and companions. Twig is truly beginning to come into his own and we continue to like and respect him as he grows into a force to be reckoned with.
  Full of bizarre creatures, unspeakable cruelty and violence, “Stormchaser” is if possible even more gripping than its prequel “The Deepwoods.” It too is not for the listener who is easily upset by people and creatures who have no compassion, who are interested only in their own successes. And yet the evil and avarice in these characters is balanced by the generosity and unselfishness found in the hearts of Twig and his kind. We can only hope that Twig and his father will indeed be able to save Sanctaphrax and Undertown from those who are care only for themselves and not for the good of all
  With great skill and a rich narrative voice, Alex Jennings brings the events in this extraordinary story to life, making it possible for listeners to almost see the strange creatures which people The Edge.

Stormchaser Audio


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