Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Lighthouse Land Audio

The Lighthouse Land Audio

Adrian McKinty
For ages 12 and up
Unabridged audiobook (CD)
Performed/read by: Gerard Doyle
Blackstone Audio, Inc., 2011   ISBN: 978-1441771490

Jamie’s mother is delighted when she finds out that she has inherited, off the coast of Ireland, a small island on which there is a house. She cannot help hoping that this change of scene will help her son. A year ago Jamie was diagnosed with cancer and one of his arms had to be amputated to save his life. Since that time Jamie has not spoken to anyone, preferring to communicate using a simple sign language and by writing notes. It is not that Jamie cannot speak, he simply chooses not to.

Jamie loves the island and the house and he cannot wait to explore the lighthouse which also stands on the island. It is only with the help of a new friend, Ramsay, that he persuades his mother to let them investigate the lighthouse and spend time there. One day Ramsay figures out that there is a hidden room in the lighthouse, a room above the one where they spend so much time. The boys manage to get into the room where they find a metal artifact which looks a bit like a stylized fish. When Jamie pushes in the jeweled eye of the fish he is transported, via a wormhole, to another planet called Altair. Here he meets Wishaway, a girl who thinks that Jamie is Lord Ui Neill, come to her world to save her people from cruel invaders.

Jamie quickly goes back home and tells Ramsay what happened to him. The boys then return to Altair together and they promise to help Wishaway. Jamie, figuring out now that his ancestors must have come to this planet long ago, cannot help feeling that he should help Wishaway’s people, just as his ancestors had done long ago. What is amazing is that on Altair, Jamie is whole. Both his missing arm and his power of speech is returned to him.

The boys quickly realize that they are no match for the enemies of Wishaway’s people, the Alkhavans. Fierce warriors with iceships, the Alkavans quickly subdue the people, enslave them, and pillage their city. What on earth can two boys do against such a force?

Help comes from an unexpected quarter and as he finds ways to defeat the Alkhavans, Jamie learns a great deal about himself and about the things that matter to him.

This exciting and beautifully crafted story will have listeners sitting on their edge of their seats wondering what is going to happen next. Superb characterization and an acute understanding of the grieving process makes the story powerful and unforgettable.

Gerard Doyle's rich and versatile voice lends itself beautifully to this tale. He gives the characters a three dimensional feel, and he captures their fears and hopes in his narrative.