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The Truth: Lionboy    by Zizou Corder order for
by Zizou Corder
Order:  USA  Can
Highbridge Audio, 2005 (2005)
Hardcover, Audio, CD
* *   Reviewed by Lance Victor Eaton

Charlie Ashanti has had but a few days to enjoy being with his parents. In previous episodes, he and the pride of lions that he rescued from a traveling circus made their way through Africa and Europe to free his kidnapped parents from the devious machinations of the Corporacy. Once reunited with his parents, Charlie (who can talk to all felines) parted ways with the lions so they could retire to the savannah, with their captive Maccomo, the malicious lion trainer.

Charlie quickly realizes that a return to normalcy will never occur. The Corporacy still seeks his parents for the cure to asthma they have discovered. Regardless, Charlie hopes that now he is back with his family, things will be all right. Unfortunately, carelessness lands him in a sack on a boat, kidnapped and heading to an unknown destination along with his nemesis, Rafi Sadler. Charlie's parents set out to rescue him. In fact, many of the friends that Charlie made during his adventures follow after him, including his pride of lions and King Boris of Bulgaria.

This final installment in a trilogy by a mother and daughter team provides all sorts of interesting plot twists. Charlie discovers new branches of his family tree and acquires odd friends. Like the previous volumes, this episode offers a good combination of humor and adventure. The comical cast of characters includes instantly memorable - as well as deplorable - favorites. Through the entire trilogy, Simon Jones has enhanced the audiobook. His smooth and charming English accent provides a great tone in which to enjoy the story. His narration never errs and he fantastically executes his adult voice to present the story through a child's eyes.

One can only hope for further flights of fancy from the writers behind Zizou Corder. In their first leap into the world of young adult fiction, they've made a memorable splash with a story that blends cultures, past, present, and future, and the transcendence from childhood to adulthood. Add to the mix an award-winning narrator and Lionboy: The Truth becomes a prime example of fantastic storytelling via the audioboook format.

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