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Book Review: ‘The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader’ Enhanced eBook
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The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader
The Chronicles Of Narnia
By C.S. Lewis
Enhanced eBook
Price: $9.99
Platform: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch
HarperCollins
Release date: October 26, 2010

With The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader movie out in theaters this weekend, it’s a great time to go back and read the classic C.S. Lewis story in this brand new Enhanced eBook edition recently released by HarperCollins for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch handheld devices.

Dawn Treader has always been one of my favorite Narnia books, so I’ve read it in print, but then I also purchased the Kindle edition when I got that device. It’s a quick read, so I found it very easy to get through in ebook format. Now I’ve also read this Enhanced eBook edition, which has full-color illustrations and is packed with lots of interactive features, on my iPad through iBooks and found it even more enjoyable.

Enhanced eBooks are relatively new on the market, and I don’t think they’re really on anyone’s radar at this time, but I’m hoping that will change, as publishers are getting more creative in how they put these eBooks together. I love illustrated books, so being able to read this with full-color illustrations was a real treat. Also, double-tapping the images enlarges them, which was a nice bonus.

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is the third published book in the The Chronicles of Narnia series and focuses on the two younger Pevensie children, Edmund and Lucy, who were, along with their older siblings Peter and Susan, once Kings and Queens of Narnia. After two previous journeys to Narnia, Edmund and Lucy find themselves back in the magical land, this time, their annoying cousin Eustace is reluctantly along for the ride. And a ride it is, aboard the Dawn Treader, the ship of King Caspian X of Narnia (the main character of the previous book, Prince Caspian). The tale mainly takes place on the ship with Caspian and his crew, as well as in the far-off lands they journey to in their quest to find the seven lost Lords of Narnia.

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader – Enhanced eBook has integrated audio, so at the beginning of each chapter, there’s an audio file you can play. Unlike “text-to-speech” enabling that other eBook readers have (which I appreciate), this version is actually audio book quality. I like to put the audio on and read along sometimes; also, I read in bed before going to sleep, so after a while when my eyes got too tired, I would just listen to the audio until I fell asleep. It’s like getting a bedtime story read to you, which I loved. I can imagine this being a great way to read to your children at bedtime, and all of the interactivity of the enhanced version can also keep your child busy during car rides or waiting room visits and the like.

The only disappointment I had with the audio was that it’s the abridged text, so it’s only a few pages being read per chapter, though I really liked how Derek Jacobi performed it. But, I really wish the audio had been the unabridged version, though I suspect that would drive the price up from its affordable current cost of $9.99 (as that would really be two products: an eBook and an Audio Book).

If you’re a big fan of the Narnia universe, you’ll appreciate all the extras in this enhanced eBook. You can test your knowledge of Narnia in the interactive trivia segment “Test Your Narnia Knowledge,” which also has full-color images, and check out the Blueprint of the Dawn Treader ship to learn all the different aspects of the vessel at the center of this tale. There’s also maps of Narnia (which is the original Pauline Baynes map of Aslan’s kingdom) and the Great Eastern Ocean where Dawn Treader takes place, as well as Guides to the Creatures and People of Narnia. A colorful 8-minute Animated Timeline of the Dawn Treader is included, with original Pauline Baynes artwork, music, and narration. This animated timeline video, which is exclusive to this Enhanced eBook, is embedded into the eBook so you don’t have to click onto another page or open up any external links to view it.

If you’re on the lookout for eBooks for your iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch, then give The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader – Enhanced eBook a try. For only $2 more then the standard eBook version, you get a lot more features and interactivity, and at $9.99, it’s still affordable.

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