Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Book Review: The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens

Posted as part of Tween Tuesday, hosted by GreenBeanTeenQueen.
The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publication date: April 2011
ISBN: 9780375868702
Source: ARC provided by publisher

The Emerald Atlas (Books of Beginning) 

Kate, Michael, and Emma have been passed from one orphanage to another.  But the latest one, located on a remote crumbled old manor, is the strangest yet.  Besides being the only children there, they meet the mysterious Dr. Pym and find an old book with magic powers.  When the children discover that the book has the ability to send them through time, they become embroiled in a centuries-old battle to protect the books from evil forces.  But can they protect the book and each other too?

Things I Liked:
This was a fun and unique fantasy story that kind of stole into my heart.  I really liked the world that Stephens created, though I had a hard time getting into it.  The atlas and the history of it was the most intriguing part of the world, though we didn't get much about it early in the book.  I fell in love with the three kids, though not right away.  I was especially fond of Emma, who is such a spitfire that it's fun to read about her.  A fantastic new fantasy series for those aching for a new world and new adventures.

Things I Didn't Like:
As I mentioned, it was hard to get into it.  I think maybe it was too slow in the beginning.  It didn't really pick up in action until about halfway through for me.  I wanted more details about the magical aspects of the world than we got and I look forward to more from the next books.  True fantasy tween fans will likely devour this series.

I agree it's kind of like a MG Lord of the Rings by Tolkien

Beyonders: A World Without Heroes by Brandon Mull
The Shadows by Jacqueline West

s-factor: none
though I could have missed a few

mrg-factor: none

v-factor: ->->
some, though not described in detail

Overall rating: ****

What fantasy series did you love as a tween?

If you buy through my Amazon linkage, I will get a very small percentage


  1. My daughter (age 12) read this and loved it. I mean really really loved it. And another student of mine read it and felt the same. I plan on reading it, but haven't yet.

  2. Jill, yeah! That's fantastic to hear. I think it is a really great book to get kids hooked on fantasy.

  3. I tried to listen to this one on CD (Jim Dale narrates). It's good, but it wasn't super engaging at the start. I want to go back and finish it-I had to turn it back in!

  4. GreenBean, it definitely has a slow start, but should be worth it in the end (especially with Jim Dale!)


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