Saturday, October 12, 2019

Charlie Thorne and the Last Equation - Stuart Gibbs

I find myself listening to more and more audio books. And I also find that I'm (happily) listening outside of my normal choices.

Charlie Thorne and the Last Equation is new from Stuart Gibbs and was my latest listen.

Charlie Thorne is actually a twelve year old girl. A brilliant (and wealthy) twelve year old who is already in college. But her studies are cut short (well honestly she hardly ever went anyway) when the CIA comes calling. They need her help to find a 'last equation' from Albert Einstein - one that some 'baddies' also want. If it falls into the wrong hands, the fate of the world is at stake.

Gibbs has penned a fun read that anyone around that twelve year old mark is going to love. (and especially girls) Charlie has an incredible quick mind. Listeners will enjoy her leaps - both physically and mentally. She thwarts the adults in her path time and time again. I must admit, I was impressed with Gibbs' clues - they're well thought out, believable and fairly intricate. I quite enjoyed following along to the final reveal. The action is constant, keeping the book moving forward at a fast pace.

The two adult agents paired with Charlie are (thankfully) not buffoons. They're very capable as well. Gibbs does some relationship exploration between both agents and Charlie. This is done thoughtfully - after all, she may be brilliant, but she's still a twelve year old.

Emily Woo Zeller was the reader and she did a great job. She provided a perfectly suited voice for Charlie, youngish sounding but full of sass. She lowers and slows down the tone and pace for the adult characters. The male voices were believable. And all the characters were easily differentiated. Zeller's voice is clear and easy to understand and she enunciates well. She captured the action and tension of the plotting easily with her inflection and speed.

This would be a great listen for a family road trip. And I could see a sequel in the making. Hear for yourself - listen to an excerpt of Charlie Thorne and the Last Equation.

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