Review by Rox Burkey – ***** Places to go, creatures to meet
Mr. Ryan Wakefield crafted an immersive, whimsical story containing a pampered yet determined, loyal housecat named Alby and his Professor Wizoom, an inventor. It begins with a curious cat seeking his master for food and attention, walking into the lab, and seeing the current creation, a triangle with lights. The professor greets his feline and tells him about the exciting project until bedtime. Alby wakes up with a sense that things are too quiet and looks for his owner. His search takes the overweight cat to the lab. The triangle pulses lighted colors and voices, which beg Alby for help. Stepping into the triangle doorway uncovers a world of wonder.
The land of Jumbalot contains bold colors and creatures that resemble combinations of multiple animals one can recognize from our world. Readers and listeners get drawn into this world with descriptive visuals, relatable sounds, and delightful conversation. The plants provide nourishment and enable creatures to speak a common language. Alby’s hunting for Professor Wizoom, discovers his new friend, Fremy, a froguar who offers help. These two friends travel through Jumbalot in their quest to find Professor Wizoom. The pair face many dangers on their trek and meet a variety of animals, including a queen. Alby learns a great deal about himself and his capabilities.
The voice acting of Bill Lord brings Jumbalot to life. Listeners will find each character excellently portrayed with distinctive tones and inflections in the rapid dialogue. The perfect consistency of the myriad of voices brings listeners into the story, rapidly painting words into pictures in their minds. There are no issues with the quality of the audiobook. You’ll get absorbed into this delightful fantasy, whether young or old. Grab his story as a perfect way to give young readers an exciting start to reading. I highly recommend this as a great summer listen or read for each family member.
About the Author
Ryan Wakefield worked primarily as a graphic designer for the last 20 years but always dreamt about writing a fantasy novel for young readers. In grade school, he was fascinated with animal hybrids. Ryan loved the idea of blending two or three animals together to create a magnificent new species. This fascination and his love for fantasy inspired Ryan to fulfill his lifelong dream of breathing life into a new world that young readers can explore – Jumbalot. Find more on his website.
About the Narrator-Bill Lord
Every book has a story to tell. When a book goes to audio, I am grateful for the publishers and authors who trust me to tell their story well. I’m an Audiofile Magazine Earphones Award recipient who reads fiction and non-fiction for major and indie publishers. My favorite genres are Mysteries, Thrillers, Memoirs, Science Fiction, and Children’s stories.
I’m an audiobook coach for Edge Studio and have led sessions on vocal booth and website design for the highly acclaimed Audiobook Biz Workshop Series presented each year by my fellow narrators, Johnny Heller and Scott Brick.
An avid boater who spends much of my free time cruising the lake with friends and family, I also play guitar and am a former radio presenter and proposal development professional with extensive copy and technical writing experience.