Audio: Ethan and the Key by Dennis Canfield @CanfieldDennis #NickPodehl

Posted November 5, 2018 by Robin in Book Review / 6 Comments

Review copy was received from Author. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Audio: Ethan and the Key by Dennis Canfield @CanfieldDennis #NickPodehl Ethan and the Key by Dennis Canfield
Narrator: Nick Podehl
Published by Indie on October 31, 2017
Genres: Fantasy
Format: Audiobook
Source: Author
One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Twelve-year-old Ethan Mason is focused on baseball, math tests, and staying out of Howard Russman’s way. That is, until a mysterious puddle of green light appears in the upstairs hallway of his home. The light brings Ethan to the kingdom of Abentur, a beautiful world defended by a dragon against vicious invaders and Draykik, their brutal leader. Ethan can’t tell his parents or friends or anyone else about the new world he’s discovered, because he has no way to prove, even to himself, that it really exists. When the invaders capture the castle and take him and the royal family prisoner, Ethan learns that he alone may be able to save Abentur. But should he risk his life for the kingdom?

Every once and awhile, I give a Middle Grade (MG) book a shot.  Sometimes they are a lot of fun and easy reads. Ethan and the Key was just that an entertaining read which transported me into another world.  This is also narrated by the fantastic Nick Podehl who is one of my favorite narrators which made this even better.

Ethan is just the average kid.  He has a few friends and goes to school has parents that love him.  He is on a few sports teams but not great at any of them. Then one day he sees a green light in his room, when he steps into it he is transported into the world of Abentur.   It is a world not like his own at all.  There are Pegasi for one, a Castle and Royal Family for another and even a Dragon whose best friend is a horse.  It is a wonderous place and Ethan has been brought there to save it.

The great thing about this is how the story doesn’t waste any time.  We get to the meat of the story right away and don’t have much down time at all.  I think this would easily keep the attention of someone in the 8-12 age group well.  Also, Ethan isn’t just magically transformed once in Abentur to be smarter or stronger, but he does do so work both there and in the real world to increase his strength and athleticism.  

There are some great twists in this and I’ll admit the end wasn’t really predictable. I thought I would easily figure it out since I’m much older than the demographic age group but there were some fun twists.  I liked how this ended and that the parents were a big part of Ethan’s life and not absentee parents.

A fun story for everyone in the family.


As I mentioned Nick Podehl is a favorite narrator of mine.  He never disappoints and was wonderful to listen to for book as well.  He brings the characters and story to life. If you haven’t listed to an audio book by him I hope you give him a try, maybe even with this one.  This audio was about 5.5 hours and I listened at my normal 1.5x speed. If you have a car trip with the kids planned this holiday season, it could be fun for everyone.  

Listen to a clip  HERE


About Dennis Canfield

My wife and I live near Chicago, Illinois with our two daughters. I am a graduate of the University of Illinois College of Commerce, and the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

I became interested in writing when my older daughter played ‘Wendy’ in ‘Peter Pan,’ and the theater needed someone to ‘fly’ her (that is, pull the rope to make her fly above the stage). That was my first ever experience in theater, and I loved it. But I can’t act or sing or dance, and I’m not handy, so if I’m going to have any more connection to theater, I’m going to have to write plays. Or maybe pass out programs.

My first printed book is Back to Christmas, followed by Ethan and the Key. My latest book is the crime novel Hardly Even Rich: A Short Story

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Posted November 5, 2018 by Robin in Book Review / 6 Comments

6 responses to “Audio: Ethan and the Key by Dennis Canfield