Note: Even though this is Book 2 in the series, it works fine as a stand alone.
Halloween is my favorite holiday and when I saw Justin Sloan had a Teddy Defenders book set on this holiday, I couldn’t turn it down. It’s Halloween night and Rick and his little sister Tiffany are getting dressed up to go Trick-or-Treating. Meanwhile, the Teddy Defenders alternate between playing deaf and dumb cute toys and discussing the fun of being taken out with the kids on this fun night. However, things don’t go as they planned. Mia, Tiffany’s Teddy Defender, and her friends are able to move around more freely on this night because of all the costumes. They overhear a conversation about a scary ghost scaring the kid’s at Tiffany’s school and they head there to investigate and take care of the ghost. After all, we know that goblins and such are real; why not ghosts?
While this is a short story instead of the longer novella that Book 1 (Teddy Bears in Monsterland) is, I felt that it was better balanced. The pacing is better, the plot tighter, and we have a better mix of the genders. I also like that we get to know Rick and Tiffany a bit more as they had very small, if significant, roles in Book 1. Additionally, the Teddy Defenders have kept some of the friendships they made in Book 1 as well, so we get some non-Teddy characters in the mix.
We learn a little more about the Teddy powers, especially if they are stressed. Plus Tiffany has a little secret and we all know that Halloween isn’t just the night for treats, but also for tricks. Mia was quite stunned at the revelation and it was fun to see the Teddy Defenders caught off guard and their various responses. All in all, this was a fun little tale fit for the family and it makes a good lunch break listen. I’m looking forward to seeing where Sloan takes this series!
The Narration: Michael Gilliland narrated Book 1 and I am glad the author kept him for Book 2 even though most of the character viewpoints are female. Gilliland has pretty good female voices and excellent little kid voices. He does a great job of keeping each character voice distinct. He also does an excellent job of imbuing the characters with emotion when required. I especially liked his determined or ticked off voice for Mia.