Sunday, June 2, 2013

Book Review: The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens

The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens
(The Books of Beginning)
Book 1

Middle-grade/Young Adult
Fantasy Adventure

April 5th 2011 by Knopf Books for Young Readers  


Borrowed from library 

My Rating:

Called “A new Narnia for the tween set” by the New York Times and perfect for fans of the His Dark Materials series, The Emerald Atlas brims with humor and action as it charts Kate, Michael, and Emma's extraordinary adventures through an unforgettable, enchanted world.
These three siblings have been in one orphanage after another for the last ten years, passed along like lost baggage.
Yet these unwanted children are more remarkable than they could possibly imagine. Ripped from their parents as babies, they are being protected from a horrible evil of devastating power, an evil they know nothing about.
Until now.
Before long, Kate, Michael, and Emma are on a journey through time to dangerous and secret corners of the world...a journey of allies and enemies, of magic and mayhem.  And—if an ancient prophesy is correct—what they do can change history, and it is up to them to set things right.
 Three siblings - Kate, Emma, and Michael - are tossed from orphanage to orphanage for ten years while knowing that their parents are still alive out there somewhere. They eventually end up in the 'orphanage' of Dr. Pym where they are mysteriously the only three children there. They soon come across a book that sends them back in time to an age where magic and monsters exist.

The main characters are the siblings and I love how the author portrayed them. Kate, the oldest, looks after the younger two and plays the role of mother. Michael, the brother, is extremely curious and knowledgeable and has an intelligent answer or suggestion for everything. Emma, the younger sister, is the toughest, having not known her parents, and is prone to sarcasm and rolling her eyes at anything her brother says. The way these children act towards each other is perfect. One moment they might be arguing over who is right and who is wrong, and the next they are defending and protecting one another. As someone who had many siblings of my own, I think the author pulled them off splendidly.

I really love middle-grade fantasy. They are always so fun and full of adventure and this book is no exception. I loved the pacing despite the fact that everything that happens in this book takes place over a very short amount of time. Time travel is partly to thank for that but overall, there was amazing plot building. And I just have to comment about the time travel because I can't imagine myself coming up with an intricate timescape and getting it right. This author must have taken a ton of time to figure out how everything would work out and how traveling through time would affect the past, present, and future. To be able to pull that off while so much is going on is amazing. Well executed.

I'm very much looking forward to reading the second book in the series, 'The Fire Chronicle'.

No comments:

Post a Comment