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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Emerald Atlas...Review

About the book:
Kate, Michael, and Emma 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 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.

The Emerald Atlas brims with humor and action as it charts Kate, Michael, and Emma's extraordinary adventures through an unforgettable, enchanted world.

For all my love of all things Harry Potter, fantasy/magical novels--regardless of which age they are written for--aren't usually my thing.  The premise for The Emerald Atlas, however, intrigued me.  While it was a bit slow starting and it took some time to get into it and learn the setting, I think that is often true of fantasy stories. This certainly didn't lessen my enjoyment of it 

Those who love fantasy and magic and books like Lemony Snicket or Percy Jackson will enjoy this one.  The story has a familiar feel and with shades of Harry, Narnia and even Tolkien, this is a book full of magical, mystical creatures and time travel, and there is definitely a British flavor to it. 

The story has something for everyone and Kate, Michael and Emma are terrific characters. I think I liked Michael the best!  Dr. Pym is their mysterious benefactor and Gabriel is Emma's hero.  There are evil wizards and good wizards. There are dwarves and witches and battles with swords and weapons. And there are three children who must discover their own destinies as they save the world. 

The book is aimed at the middle grades (ages 6-12).  I'm waiting for The Boy to read it and write a review as well.

This is the first novel in the Books of Beginning series and it will be available in April.  Thanks to Random House Children's Books (through Shelf Awareness) for the opportunity to review this book.  You can learn more about John Stephens here.  You can purchase your own copy here.

Read 2/11

* * * *
4/5 Stars


  1. I was just saying this morning that I don't like magic in books and then it came to me that I love Harry Potter. I'd be willing to give this one a try.

  2. I just saw this one for the first time in the bookstore yesterday. Seems like something my oldest would like!

  3. I love magic in books and I really miss Harry Potter. I may have to give this one a try. It sounds good.