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The Undrowned Child [Audiobook, Unabridged] [Audio CD]

Michelle Lovric , Lucy Scott
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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Book Description

12 July 2010
It's the beginning of the 20th century; the age of scientific progress. But for Venice the future looks bleak. A conference of scientists assembles to address the problems, among whose delegates are the parents of twelve-year-old Teodora. Within days of her arrival, she is subsumed into the secret life of Venice: a world in which salty-tongued mermaids run subversive printing presses, ghosts good and bad patrol the streets and librarians turn fluidly into cats. A battle against forces determined to destroy the city once and for all quickly ensues. Only Teo, the undrowned child who survived a tragic accident as a baby, can go 'between the linings' to subvert evil and restore order.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Oakhill Publishing Limited; Unabridged edition (12 July 2010)
  • ISBN-10: 0857350560
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857350565
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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I would recommend this book to anyone that would like to have fun while finding out true stories about this world famous city... This brilliant adventure is full of fantasy and drama and there is always something going on (Rachel (young reviewer) SCOTTISHBOOKTRUST.COM) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

A stunning debut in which Venice is dying - and a long-ago prophecy of an enchanted child has been awakened from the canal's poisoned waters. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Queen of the Adriatic 30 July 2009
By Hector Lerbioz VINE VOICE
This book is a beautiful gem. It is clearly written for intelligent younger readers, but there is also much for adults to enjoy. On first acquaintance with it I was irresistably reminded of the HARRY POTTER books. However, like Venice itself, there is more to THE UNDROWNED CHILD than might at first be apparent.

Like Harry Potter, the heroine of this marvellous fantasy discovers a magical realm that is unseen by most of the ordinary world. Again, like Harry Potter she discovers that she is the enemy of an evil force seeking to restore his material form and wreak vengeance on those who previously defied him. Like J.K. Rowling's hero she meets a cornucopia of supernatural beings and is aided in her fight against the enemy by various magical devices.

But THE UNDROWNED CHILD is a far more subtle and evocative read than J.K. Rowling's creation. Part of its charm lies in the depiction of Venice - clearly born of an abiding passion for the architecture, culture, art and history of arguably the most beautiful city in the Western World. There is a dream-like beauty to this book which reminded me more of C.S.Lewis at his best than the stories of Hogwarts. The research and knowledge that has gone into this work shines through even during the phantasmagorical encounters with ghosts, werewolves, talking cats etc.

Author Michelle Lovric has mastered a compelling prose style that will captivate younger and older readers alike. Lovric, like her heroes, clearly loves books and learning. This is not to say that the book is in any way stuffy or humourless. The rough-talking, curry-eating mermaids are a comic highlight, and Lovric makes the 2 human heroes undergo a great deal of peril in the best traditions of fairy tales and fantasy adventure stories.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great 1 July 2009
By Rubbah
A headless handless ghost that eats children. A librarian that tuns into a cat. Mermaids that run a printing press. A kraken-like creature that gives childen bubonic plague. All these and more can be found within this book.

Initially I thought this would be a typical '2 children fufill ancient prophecy in saving....', which it is to some extent. But it is also much more than that. the lines between foe and friend is constantly confused, and the characters are portrayed in wholly unique ways. For example,the mermaids; who talk like sailors and love a good curry. There is also genuine fear, for example the terrifying Brustolon statues that are appearing all over Venice. Finally, themes such as bullying, outcasts and friendship run throughout.

Overall an amazing urban fantasy for children.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Venetian dreams and delights 18 Dec 2009
Rich in enchanting imagery and fantasy, as usual with Michelle Lovric, this is also an exciting adventure with the requisite 'goodies' and 'baddies' who battle for the survival of the way of life of Venice.
Written for an intelligent reader of any age,it presents quite a complicated plot . The protagonists' dashing around Venice would be better appreciated by those who have an acquaintance with the city, but this does not detract from enjoyment of the unfolding tale.
The author conveys the unique atmosphere of Venice and enhances it with an imaginative exploitation of some of the myths and characters which emerge from its history, animating it with a few more of her own.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A magical fairy story 24 Sep 2009
Having read Michell Lovric's first three adult novels and thoroughly enjoyed each of them, especially Carnivale, I was eager to read her first "children's" book. I was not disappointed. Notwithstanding the similarities between The Undrowned Child and the Harry Potter books, where else would you find beautiful, curry-guzzling mermaids who talk like rough sailors.

Michelle Lovric is the only author who has inspired me to say out loud (but to myself) - my god, that is beautiful. Her use of words is pure poetry.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Venice becomes a character in her own right 1 Aug 2009
Reading THE UNDROWNED CHILD, it is clear how much Lovric adores Venice. As another reviewer has said, the amount of research that has gone into this novel for children is fantastic - history (both imagined and true), architecture, art and politics all have mention within this enchanting tale. In fact, Lovric has done such a good job that, as you read, you really do feel as though you have been transported away to the canal-lined streets.
And while the plot has many similarities to the overall genre of children's literature - two children who originally clash have to learn to work togther despite their differences to overcome a great evil - there is plenty which makes this book original and new. The different classifications for ghosts, for example, are one way that Lovric has made something for herself. And with the character of the Butcher Biasio, his ghost is perhaps one of the most frightening that I have encountered for a long time.

The only thing which stopped me from awarding 5 stars was that, personally, I felt the chapters were too short. It often made the action feel a little rushed - Teo and Renzo faced mortal peril one minute and then the next something had miraculously happened which saved them. Yet despite this rushed feel to the pace of the book, it is actually just under 400 pages in length, so in a way this sense of rush is strange. While some aspects of the plot had just the right attention, there were others which could have had more.

Overall, this is a brilliant novel for younger adults. Not only does it feel steeped in magic, there is a good dose of history too. Reading it has made me want to go to Venice to see it for myself...
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The Undrownd Child
the book WOWED me it inspired me so much I loved the illustrates and the mystery in the book and I LOVED IT SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Read more
Published 9 months ago by Tallulah Fenton
5.0 out of 5 stars
This book is the poster child for 'a page turner'! I literally could not put it down! This is the third time i have read it and each time the surprises, twists and cliff hanger... Read more
Published 16 months ago by A. Twiddy
4.0 out of 5 stars the child bit was the clue
I bought this book for myself not realising it was a childrens book, but I am glued to it and I want my next holiday to be in Venice, preferably in 1899.
Published on 27 Jun 2011 by Stevem84
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabuphantasmagorulous
I have never read a book quite like "The Undrowned Child" and have to say straight away that I was bowled over by the writer's imagination and ideas, combining the familiar and the... Read more
Published on 24 Jun 2011 by Secret Spi
3.0 out of 5 stars Would benefit from a good editing
I am an adult, and therefore not the target audience for this book, but I read and enjoy a lot of children's and YA fantasy. Read more
Published on 18 Jun 2011 by Ms
5.0 out of 5 stars An enchanting tale
I so enjoyed this book. It is an intelligent, atmospheric rollercoaster ride of adventure. I don't know Venice, but the book brought the streets and waterways alive both by day and... Read more
Published on 19 May 2011 by ML Jensen
5.0 out of 5 stars Sheer magic
I just utterly adored this book, and was spellbound by it. It was an enthralling story, and I loved the characters. Read more
Published on 6 May 2011 by Leslie Wilson
5.0 out of 5 stars The Key to the Secret City
The Undrowned Child was a truly amazing book and it really razed a love of Venice in me. I can't wait till the sequel comes out. Read more
Published on 9 Aug 2010 by Pantaloni
4.0 out of 5 stars Absolute Cracker
If I was asked to sum up this novel in a short sentence it would be: "Perhaps the quirkiest young adult novel I've ever read." That is by no means a bad thing. Read more
Published on 16 Aug 2009 by Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog
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