Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Book Review- The Emerald Atlas

Released on April 5th, 2011
Source- ARC/book from publisher to review
5 stars

John Stephens' aptly-titled new fantasy trilogy begins auspiciously with a nimble, fast-paced tale of three siblings. Kate, Michael, and Emma have suffered through ten years of odious orphanage "care"; now they have slipped into the care of the eccentric, disturbingly mysterious Dr. Pym. While exploring their new home, the children discover a magical green book. With that discovery, a decade of tedium dissolves into cascades of dangerous time travel adventures and struggles with a beautiful witch and decidedly less attractive zombielike Screechers. High early reader marks for strong characterization and battle scenes (quoted from Goodreads).

A superb book that readers of all ages will enjoy. There's adventure, time travel, magic, wizards, dwarves and plenty of monsters that will keep fans of fantasy and adventure glued to the pages.

I love it when I sit down to read a book and I find myself immersed into it's world. That's what it was like reading The Emerald Atlas. This book has the perfect mix of everything middle grade readers will love, from it's memorable characters, to the heart pounding adventure, the battles, the laugh out loud moments, and the moving moments that the three main characters, siblings Kate, Michael and Emma share. I adored their characters. Like many siblings the three of them of have their moments. They learn to really rely on each other, forgive on another and will do anything to protect one another. There's just one problem, Kate isn't telling them everything she knows about the parents they've not seen for years. All three hold on to the hope that they'll see them again. I don't blame them. I would have done the same thing if my mother had told me what Kate's told her. It's that hope that allows these three orphans who soon find themselves traveling back into time and in the middle of a magical, dangerous world, the inner strength to carry on.

I loved that through Kate, they can all travel back in time through a photograph. Each time they go back into time, more clues are unraveled surrounding them, the Atlas, the power it has, their parent's disappearance, the world they're apart of and the wizard, Dr Pym. I can't forget the evil Countess who will do anything to get her hands on that Atlas, and Kate. John did a great job at tying the characters together through out the course of history, and delivered a fantasy that fans of The Chronicles of Narnia and Harry Potter will enjoy.

Wonderful plot twists, engaging characters and an unforgettable adventure make this a story one I highly recommend picking up. This is a fantastic middle grade read that should be included on all Summer Reading Lists. Don't let the high page count make you doubt that early middle grade readers won't be able to tackle it, I think they will love every minute they spend reading it. I am looking forward to reading the next adventure in this series.

Be sure to visit The Emerald Atlas here and watch the video here-
I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves. ~ Anna Quindlen

Good children's literature appeals not only to
the child in the adult, but to the adult in the child.
~ Anonymous ~