Publication Date: January 15, 2014
Targeted Audience: Middle Grade
First, off lemme just say that in my opinion I think that this book is a bit too big for average middle grade students. I mean, when I was 11 I don’t think I’d have read this book because it’s just so big.
But if I did read it or if someone read it to me I think I’d have liked it a lot. It’s all about wizards and magical creatures. The story revolves around Brian and how he gets thrown into the magical world when his mom leaves him at his grandparents. And yes it did remind me of Harry Potter in a lot of places because of the characters but plot-wise it is pretty unique in its own way albeit similar.
I did like the book but it was very slow at many points, lots of descriptions that would get a bit boring at times and the fact that we didn’t really know what everything in the story was working up to. I mean, we kind of did but it felt lost at times.
I read this book to my 13 year old sister and she started losing focus on the story because she said, “The descriptions are endless and the made up words feel too made up and don’t seem to fit in with the magical world that’s described.”
And the characters didn’t shine on their own. I mean, yeah sure Audrey and Norman would keep bickering and Violet is the one with the bruises but if they were to be separated from their physical body, it would be difficult to differentiate them. They didn’t have their own voice is what I’m trying to say. Except Sam and Hadley, the minute they would start speaking I knew it was them and that is what I wanted with all the characters.
I know I sound too harsh but it’s just what I felt about the book. And that is all I have to say!
Blurb: When eleven-year-old Brian Pankhurst has to stay with his grandparents, he’s not exactly enthusiastic. He barely knows them, after all, and they’re a little strange. They’re stranger than he realises, in fact. Very soon after he arrives at their ancient house, Brian starts to feel that something isn’t right. Why has someone sent his granddad a completely blank letter? Why don’t people who go in to the local bookshop ever seem to come out again? What does his granddad mean when he says Brian’s father wasn’t really an accountant? Then Brian wakes in the middle of the night and finds he’s going to have to adjust to three things very quickly: magic is real, monsters are real, and he and his family are in terrible danger…
Lots of love,