Description ver wonder why life doesn't always go according to plan? Perhaps you had a big party to go to when you came down with a terrible cold. Or you were up to play quarterback when you twisted your ankle. Or your favorite shirt got a hole in it exactly when you were about to show it off to a friend. You might chalk it up to bad luck, poor timing, or straight up clumsiness. Nathanial Thatcher believed he'd drawn the short straw in life and blamed his weak immune system for keeping him locked up in his sanitized bedroom. It took his 12th birthday wish to cure him and finally pull the trick off his eyes revealing the true culprits of his situation, and perhaps yours, the sprites!
Now Nathanial must take on these wish thieves if he is to keep his health. But how does one boy stand up against a society of sprites who make their living from using humans like factories? His new friend Aliya might know, but Nathanial must rescue her off that pirate ship and let a dagger guide them through enemy filled terrain before they can reach the only sprites sympathetic enough to help them, the wish sprites. The alternative is not acceptable and Nathanial will do whatever it takes to gain control over his own life.
The Nathanial Thatcher series is "Middle Grade Fiction" so aimed squarely at the teen and young adult markets, and I think it hits the mark for the younger end of that market.
So what's it about? Nathanial Thatcher, a boy confined to his sterilized bedroom is on his way to becoming a full-blown "bubble boy". He can leave the safety of his bedroom very occasionally but often is rushed back there suffering coughing fits.
When the story opens and we're introduced to Nathanial. The heartbreaking life he leads is doubly harsh on his birthday and you can't help but sympathise... but all that is quickly swept aside as Nathanial is unwittingly launched into the adventure of a lifetime.
Having the existence of sprites suddenly revealed to him and the shock they've been harvesting loogies, the sprites take him on an adventure to "amend" his birthday wish as it's interfering with sprite life.
Many of the sprites and their jobs are kind of gross, appealing I guess to the target age bracket but certainly not enough to be put off by. I think the author, T. C. Chappell, treads the line well and builds a lot of quirky characters and fun explanations for everyday things - from petrified wood to dust bunnies.
Fantastical cities, pirate ships lost in time, giant magic bugs - this book has so much fun woven through it! The narrator, Tara Sands, I thought delivered a fantastic performance. I looked her up after listening to this and realised why I thought she sounded familiar. As the father to a couple of young girls, Tara has voiced characters in some of their favourite cartoons.
I'll definitely be bookmarking the series for when my kids are a little older as I think they'll certainly get a kick out this one.
I was given this audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review. I have not let this gift affect nor influence my opinions of this audiobook and have left an honest review.