Monday, November 15, 2010

The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens

It's Christmas Eve and Kate's Mom wakes her and tells her to take care of her younger sister and brother.  The man standing in the doorway behind her says:  "It's time."  And away they go from life as they know it...

This hardcover book will be published in April, 2011.  Alfred A Knopf sent me an ARC to review (thank you).  This is the first in the Book of Beginnings Trilogy.  I'm already waiting for book number two.

Kate, MIchael and Emma have no idea what happened to their parents, but they are well aware that as "orphans" they are having trouble being placed in a home.  When they are suddenly accepted - all three - with no hesitation, it gives them pause.  And when they find out where they will now be living, they get a little scared. It's some sort of old mansion and it has hidden rooms.

This is fantasy at its finest.  There's a witch, a magician, dwarves, screechers, time travel and an emerald atlas.  How are these three small children going to survive their adventures, especially since they are learning everything on the run and by making mistakes?  But if they don't, they'll never find their parents again.

Once I picked this book up, I couldn't put it back down until I was finished reading it.  It's very fast paced, you have to pay attention to how all the characters relate to each other, to how the time periods overlap, and how three small children with no experience stumble along and try to figure out how to deal with the impossible situations they find themselves in.

I found it tantalizing and fun to read.  I highly recommend this series.  I can't wait to see what happens in the next book.  I know it won't be slow and boring.

Watch for this one to appear in your local bookstores next April.  Happy reading!

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