MEDIA
S.T.A.G.S.
S.T.A.G.S. 7 CDs. 8:37 hrs. Listening Library. Jan. 2018. $55. ISBN 9780525589877. digital download.
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Gr 9 Up—St. Aidan the Great School (S.T.A.G.S.) students ignored their scholarship classmate Greer MacDonald throughout fall term. Until the "The Medievals," the school's dominant clique of anti-technology aristocratic kids, invite Greer and two other outcasts, "new money" Chanel and India-born Shafeen, for a traditional British countryside holiday. Cut off from the modern world, the stately manor of the group's kingpin, Henry de Warlencourt, enshrines an antiquated life of secret and sacred privileges. The weekend of hunting, shooting, and fishing starts awkwardly, becomes dangerous, and ends in blood. Narrator Katharine McEwan's voice cloaks listeners in chilling suspense as each dark moment unfolds. McEwan's Greer is an appropriate blend of apprehension and eagerness as she discovers the true nature of a grim tradition. McEwan subtly portrays the slight but telling vocal differences between the rigid British social classes. Though the characters' voices blur in the heat of the action, McEwan's timbre and tone perfectly match this monied private school thriller.
VERDICT A well-chosen narrator animates the privileged and darkly mysterious world of British blue bloods gone murderous.

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