Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew.
My family loves listening to audio books. Many years ago, I found, in a secondhand store, a set of tapes of dramatized Bible stories, and those tapes nearly got worn out from all the listening! So, when we were offered the chance to review The Adventum, Volume 1, I didn’t hesitate to request it. Unfortunately, I haven’t had the chance to listen to all of this yet. I thought we could get through a lot of it while we were traveling about a month ago, but Miss Joy couldn’t handle listening to it, so that didn’t work. I thought we could listen in the afternoons while she’s asleep…but half the time now, she doesn’t sleep, and the other half of the time, we want to get outside in the sunshine! So, that hasn’t worked, but Esther listened to all of it and very kindly wrote this review for me. I had taken some notes as we listened to the first two chapters, and she covered everything I noted, so I’ll just let her tell the tale.
Since I was very young, I have loved stories, and when audio dramas first entered my life, I was amazed and even more addicted to books. I was the girl that went around with one of those 9-inch-long portable cassette tape players, the kind with four AA batteries in it, riding my bike on our driveway for hours just so I could get a little more listening time in. And, with all the different stories I listened to—some that Mom recorded herself, and some that we bought—there were a certain amount of Bible stories I had the chance to hear. Some were gripping; others, not so much. But no matter what, I always enjoyed the chance to hear another story.
Recently, I was reminded of that time when Mom brought out The Adventum for us to listen to. I admit; I was skeptical at first. Most of the dramatized Bible stories I’ve heard in the past typically fall into two camps: Dramatized with too much creative license so it deviates from, or even undermines, the messages from the Bible, or ones that sound like they’re straight out of a children’s Bible story book with a bit of music added in the background. Neither option is particularly appealing to me, and though I’ve learned more about the Word from both, I wasn’t excited about hearing more of the same. But hey…anything is worth a try once, right?
When Mom turned it on, I thought it sounded like the “Bible story book with a bit of music” sort of recording. “Okay…this is going to be boring,” I thought. “No surprise there, I guess.” We progressed through the first days of creation, and part-way through day four or five, I realized it wasn’t just music in the background. I found myself in the Garden of Eden, watching the calm sea suddenly erupt in a chaotic whirl of bubbles and foam, with the snorts and squeals of a myriad of sea animals coming to life all at once. Then the sky was filled with the twittering and warbling of hundreds of birds—a majestic, beautiful scene. Then came the land animals, with the elephant trumpeting nearby and dogs and sheep running on the new green grass. It was…stunning. I’d never seen the creation of the world that way before. And as we followed the progression of the story—the Lord creating Adam, Adam naming the animals (I loved the humor in that scene!), then searching the garden for his special “other”, I found myself drawn into the story more and more. When the eventual fall came, I found myself shocked and grieved by all that transpired—in a way I hadn’t considered the story before.
We weren’t able to listen for very long. Around about the time we heard about the fall of man, my two-year-old sister decided it was too scary to listen to any longer, and we had to turn it off. She’s a sensitive soul and is incredibly adept at immersing herself in stories, even at a young age. But later, when she was out of earshot, I was able to finish listening on my own.
There’s a lot to love about The Adventum. From the beginning, I noticed that they weave New Testament truths into the story. At one place, I think around the time of the fall, it was talking about the grief Adam and Eve experienced, and the narrator quoted part of John 3:16: “For God so loved…,” and suddenly, that verse was enriched by the context. I found this first volume—tracing the Bible story from the creation of the world through to Jacob fleeing to Laban—gripping, entertaining, humorous, and insightful.
But the question remains…how does this story stack up compared to the Bible? There was creative license used here and there. With Adam searching for Eve, for example, it shows him running all over the garden, wearing himself out before he falls asleep and God creates her. That’s not in the Bible, but I felt it’s a good idea of how that may have played out for him. There were a few inconsistencies I found, though. One that sticks out is right before the flood, when it shows Noah out gathering firewood when he knew that the flood was imminent. He finds himself racing back toward the ark as the floodwaters rise around him, and only just manages to get in in time. It’s possible, of course, but I feel like Noah and his family would have stayed in the ark in those last few days, trusting God for the timing of everything, rather than running around trying to get a few more supplies. Another place I noticed was when Abraham sacrificed Isaac. That was a powerful scene, but they never had Abraham tell Isaac what was going to happen—you hear him suggest that Isaac sit on the altar, then lay down, then close his eyes…the Bible doesn’t say either way, but I’ve always read the story as if Isaac was a knowing and willing participant in the scene. Again, it’s possible; I’m just not convinced.
As a whole, though, I came away very impressed by The Adventum. They kept to the Biblical account, didn’t detract from what God was doing (and didn’t change it), and delivered an engaging, fresh look at the stories we all know and love. While younger listeners, like my sister, might find it hard to listen to because they are pulled into the scenes so much, I believe most children above 8 or 10 years old would be fine with it. One thing I appreciated was that this series is very clean—you hear that the people before the flood or in Sodom and Gomorrah are evil, but their sin is not described. And even though several babies are born, those scenes are also carefully crafted and not graphic.
For the child, like me, who can’t get enough of audio stories (even if they don’t have a portable tape player!), I think this would be an exciting addition to their library. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to Volume 1, and I hope I’ll have a chance to hear more of them in the future!
The Adventum is available in two formats, as CDs or as a digital download. We received the digital download, which is very handy, as we can load it onto any device for easy listening. Both cost the same. Right now, both are 50% off through their website, and here is a code for free shipping within the United States: advcrew22. If you have children who enjoy listening to audio drama, don’t hesitate. Order now—you won’t regret it! Click on the image below to read more reviews of this new way to hear the Bible.