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Publisher's Summary

A boy on the run. A girl determined to find him. A compelling fantasy looks at issues of privilege, protest, and justice.

All light in Chattana is created by one man - the Governor, who appeared after the Great Fire to bring peace and order to the city. For Pong, who was born in Namwon Prison, the magical lights represent freedom, and he dreams of the day he will be able to walk among them. But when Pong escapes from prison, he realizes that the world outside is no fairer than the one behind bars. The wealthy dine and dance under bright orb light, while the poor toil away in darkness. Worst of all, Pong’s prison tattoo marks him as a fugitive who can never be truly free.

Nok, the prison warden’s perfect daughter, is bent on tracking Pong down and restoring her family’s good name. But as Nok hunts Pong through the alleys and canals of Chattana, she uncovers secrets that make her question the truths she has always held dear. Set in a Thai-inspired fantasy world, Christina Soontornvat’s twist on Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables is a dazzling, fast-paced adventure that explores the difference between law and justice - and asks whether one child can shine a light in the dark.

©2020 Christina Soontornvat, original book published by Candlewick Press. (P)2019 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

Critic Reviews

"Korean-American narrator Greta Jung vividly brings to life the rich dystopian Thai setting of this fantasy twist on Les Miserables.… Jung pays close attention to the intonation of long and difficult-to-pronounce names in the tonal Thai language. Distinct voices for each character give even more resonance to the emotional pull of their relationships." AudioFile Magazine

What listeners say about A Wish in the Dark

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Amazing story brought down by narration

I hate to leave a bad review but I feel in this case it’s warranted. This is an amazing story that we read as a family. Unfortunately, the narrator does a terrible job voicing one of the main characters, Somkit. He comes across as whiny and petulant for the entire story and reading the text, I don’t feel that was the author’s intention at all. Quite frankly it was grating on our ears, but having paid for it, we stayed the course. My recommendation is to do this as a read aloud or just read the book.

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Great story, terrible narration

I agree fully with the previous reviewer. The way that Somkit is voiced doesn’t make sense for how the character is written at all. That, and nearly every time she reads the main characters name, it is said with such unnecessary force that it distracts from the context of the story.

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  • Emily Regan
  • 04-22-20

Great story, Reading drove me crazy

I loved this story, The characters and plot are great. But the reading is a disaster. It sounds like the reader must have mispronounced the name the main character, Pung, and it has been digitally 'corrected'. Each time the name 'Pung" is read (almost every sentence!) there is a jump in the fluency of the reading. Words are unevenly spaced rushed and sometimes hard to understand if they come before or after this name. I don't think I will be able to finish listening. What a disappointment for a great story.

We listen to audio books as a family *all* the time. We have dozens of audible books. I've never felt so compelled to write a review, and never left a negative review before. We listened to the sample before purchasing, but I didn't notice this fault. I cannot recommend this audiobook.