Audiobook Review – Serafina and the Black Cloak

Posted August 3, 2016 by Kathy in 4 stars, Audiobook Review, Book Review / 2 Comments

Audiobook Review – Serafina and the Black CloakSerafina and the Black Cloak Series: Serafina #1
by Robert Beatty
Narrator: Cassandra Campbell
Published by Listening Library on July 14, 2015
Genres: Middle Grade Paranormal
Length: 8 hours 40 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Borrowed
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"Never go into the deep parts of the forest, for there are many dangers there, and they will ensnare your soul."

Serafina has never had a reason to disobey her pa and venture beyond the grounds of Biltmore Estate. There's plenty to explore in her grand home, but she must take care to never be seen. None of the rich folk upstairs know that Serafina exists; she and her pa, the estate's maintenance man, have lived in the basement for as long as Serafina can remember. She has learned to sneak and hide.

But when children at the estate start disappearing, only Serafina knows who the culprit is: a terrifying man in a black cloak who stalks Biltmore's corridors at night. Following her own harrowing escape, Serafina risks everything by joining forces with Braeden Vanderbilt, the young nephew of the Biltmore's owners. Braeden and Serafina must uncover the Man in the Black Cloak's true identity before all of the children vanish one by one.

Serafina's hunt leads her into the very forest that she has been taught to fear. There she discovers a forgotten legacy of magic, one that is bound to her own identity. In order to save the children of Biltmore, Serafina must seek the answers that will unlock the puzzle of her past.

My Review

Serafina and the Black Cloak is a magical story. This was just what I needed to add adventure to my reading list.

Serafina and the Black Cloak is a middle grade series that people of all ages will enjoy. Serafina has been secretly living in the basement of the Vanderbilts estate with her Pa. Her Pa has been employed as the estate’s maintenance man by the Vanderbilts for many years but has been keeping his daughters existence a secret. Fear of being discovered and becoming homeless Pa has strict rules for Serafina to follow: stay hidden and stay away from the deep parts of the forest. Serafina has always obeyed her Pa but longs for a friend her age. But when children start disappearing and Serafina is a witness she knows she has to do something to solve the mystery. Thus begins an adventure filled with mystery and paranormal twists that kept me entertained and intrigued.

Serafina is a great character. Despite the danger she knows she has to help solve the case. I loved her curiosity and her thirst for knowledge. Along the way she finally makes a friend and learns the truth of her past.

The story has a paranormal twist to it that is creepy and makes this a fun read (it’s always fun to be scared). I did think this was predictable but I still enjoyed the suspense. This is a great adventure that readers of all ages will enjoy.

Audiobook Review

This is the first time I listened to Cassandra Campbell and I enjoyed her performance. I was amazed to have discovered she has narrated nearly 200 audiobooks. I loved her voice for Serafina which had a touch of a southern accent. Her performance was solid and kept me engaged. I look forward to listening to her in the next book.


Rating Report
Audiobook Performance
Overall: four-stars

About Robert Beatty

Robert Beatty lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Asheville, North Carolina with his wife and three daughters, who help create and refine his stories. He loves to explore the grand Biltmore Estate and the darkened forest trails where his novels take place. Robert’s Disney Hyperion novel Serafina and the Black Cloak went on sale in July 2015, became an instant New York Times Bestseller, and remained there for 20 weeks. Serafina and the Black Cloak was also selected by independent booksellers as representing "the best in Southern Literature." He writes full-time now, but in his past lives, Robert was one of the early pioneers of cloud computing, the founder/CEO of Plex Systems, the co-founder of Beatty Robotics, and the chairman/CTO of Narrative Magazine. In 2007, he was named an Entrepreneur of the Year. When asked about the inspiration for his book, Robert said, “Serafina’s journey grew out of my desire to write a story about an unusual and heroic young girl for my three daughters.”

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2016 Audiobook Challenge
  • COYER Summer 2016


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2 responses to “Audiobook Review – Serafina and the Black Cloak

    • Kathy

      This was a fun book and a nice change from the romance novels I’ve been reading. I loved Cassandra’s performance so I purchased some of her other audiobooks. I hope you enjoy this book too. Thanks Katherine for stopping by!