Friday, April 1, 2011

Book Review: The Familiars by Adam Jay Epstein and Andrew Jacobson

The Familiars by Adam Jay Epstein and Andrew Jacobson
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication date: September 2010
ISBN: 9780061961083
Source: Review copy provided by publisher

The Familiars

When alley cat Aldwyn narrowly escapes from a bounty hunter, he's mistaken for a magician's familiar and is attached to Jack, a young magician.  He's hoping he can get by without anyone knowing he doesn't have any magical abilities.  But, when he and his friends' loyals are kidnapped, he must embark on a dangerous journey with Skylar, the smart bluejay and Gilbert the clumsy tree frog to rescue them.  Will they be able to find them before it's too late and will Aldwyn be able to keep his secret?

Things I Liked:
This was a fun new adventure to start a younger-aged magical series.  I think younger readers will love the fast-paced story and the humor sprinkled throughout.  There are some twists and surprises that will feed the older readers interest and keep them guessing as well, though.  I thought the characters were pretty well realized, if a bit too much like typical magical characters.  A pretty good new series with an exciting first book.  I got a real kick out of this part:

"Those snakes are deadly, you know.  I think it was intending to swallow the pretty lady whole."
"Well, thank you for saving me," said Skylar.
"Not you," replied the tree frog.  "The furry one."
It took a moment for Aldwyn to realize the frog was talking about him.
"Actually, I'm not a girl."
"Oh," said the frog, not completely convinced.  "You cats all look the same." p 163-164
Things I Didn't Like:
I think most of what I don't like is from my adult feelings about the book.  It felt like it was for younger audiences than even the middle grade books I've been reading, despite its length.  It was pretty predictable as well, though I think that's just me not being a kid.  The characters seemed kind of exactly what you'd expect them to be, but for fresh minds, it would be a great introduction to fantasy.


A bit like Keeper by Kathi Appelt
Probably like the Redwall books by Brian Jacques, though I've never read them! 

s-factor: none

mrg-factor: none

v-factor: none

Overall rating: ****

Too bad I don't have anything tricky to post on April Fools - I'm not clever enough, I decided.

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


  1. That looks pretty cute. I loved Keeper!

  2. Caitlin, I think it will really appeal to the animal book lovers out there.


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