Publisher: M&S Publishing
Publication date: April 2012
Source: Review copy provided by author
Series: Prophecies series, Book 1
Things I Liked:
The book has an interesting plot - the family that accidentally ends up in a strange world, complete with magic powers. I love the device of following strange paths to new worlds, like the Chronicles of Narnia or Beyonders, and this is along those same lines. The fantasy world is complex and interesting, if not unique, and has plenty of cool creatures and odd characters - and, of course, an evil wizard. I was especially fascinated at the inclusion of Ryan and Aaron's parents in the adventure - it seems there are very rarely good, present parents in fantasy stories, but they are here in this one and quite good. Definitely a unique trait in MG fantasy books.
Things I Didn't Like:
I have to admit, I was put off a few times with the writing. Sometimes the way things are described just seemed awkward. And I had a hard time imagining the family wouldn't even think about getting home, instead they settled completely into their new life in a strange place. It just didn't seem realistic at all and left me feeling like the first part of the book, about their life before, was not important. It's not as compelling or interesting as many fantasy books (especially the read-alikes), but it will still be fun for those who love a good adventure story - and especially fans of blacksmithing (there's a LOT of time spent describing the making of swords, etc.).
Beyonders by Brandon Mull
Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
BOOK CONTENT RATINGS:
maybe one or two
a few instances of fighting, not descriptive
Overall rating: ***
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