Thursday, September 27, 2018

SERIES THURSDAY: The Adventurer's Guide to... by Wade Albert White


Anne has spent most of her thirteen years dreaming of the day she and her best friend Penelope will finally leave Saint Lupin's Institute for Perpetually Wicked and Hideously Unattractive Children. When the big day arrives, a series of very curious happenings lead to Anne being charged with an epic quest. Anne, Penelope, and new questing partner Hiro have only days to travel to strange new locales, solve myriad riddles, and triumph over monstrous foes--or face the horrible consequences.


If you enjoy snarky comments and plenty of humor, this enjoyable fantasy novel is for you.  I'm a fan of snarky comments and humor so I really enjoyed this book.  Anne has spent her entire life at St. Lupin's Institute for Perpetually Wicked and Hideously Unattractive Children (orphanage).  The existence is not a pleasant one as the children spend most of their time completing punishments or doing chores.  The only thing that made it bearable was the presence of her best friend, Penelope, and the library out of which she sneaks books to read.  Anne is thrilled that the day has arrived that will allow her to leave.  But things don't turn out the way she hoped.  First she's told she has to stay for another year, then while tending the Matron's fire lizard, she falls off the end of the world (the world is made up of tiers that do end) before being recruited to a quest academy.  But things get worse when she ends up in the orphanage dungeon followed by a crazy escape that leads to being blown on by a dragon and an encounter with zombie sharks.

Once she and Penelope arrive at the quest academy, Anne hopes things will calm down.  But it turns out she inadvertently started a quest that she must complete.  The problem: she has absolutely no training whatsoever and it's a high level quest.  Disaster continues to plague Anne and her companions as they set out on their journey.  But Anne's determination, Penelope's fierceness, and Hiro's magic may not be enough to save them.

The book contains advice from various quest-related books but in reality isn't very helpful.  For example, in a pamphlet entitled: The Limitations of Forever: the reader is told "don't bother trying to picture infinity.  It's impossible".  For readers who enjoy a good dose of laughter along with their adventure this is a fabulous series.  The unusual combination of quest literature, world tiers that end, and strange references to technology also make for a fun read.



Get ready for dragons, robots, and an even more dangerous quest in the sequel to The Adventurer's Guide to Successful Escapes!
Anne, Penelope, and Hiro have returned to Saint Lupin's Quest Academy for Consistently Dangerous and Absolutely Terrifying Adventures, where there's only one way to leave: pass or fail. At the annual Quest Academy awards, they're recognized for their success in their first outing-Best Illegal Quest That Nearly Destroyed the Entire World--but a strange boy steals Anne's gauntlet and activates a new quest that pits them against all of dragonkind. Their charge: kill the dragon queen. The problem is, Anne doesn't want to kill any dragons! But ignoring a quest can have horrible consequences, just as killing the dragon queen would start an all-out war between people and dragons. To avert disaster, Anne and her friends will have to dodge robot attacks, defeat new foes, and survive the dangerous dragon trials just for a chance to explain.

With charming, funny text and lots of heart, The Adventurer's Guide to Dragons is the perfect read for anyone who likes fantasy with lots of laughter.


White has written another snarky, humorous adventure novel with this book.  After their first madcap adventure, Anne, Penelope, and Hiro have enjoyed a bit of calm as they settle in at Saint Lupin's Quest Academy for Consistently Dangerous and Absolutely Terrifying Adventures, which Anne owns.  But it's the calm before the storm.  After arriving at the capital city of the Hierarchy to receive an award, things begin to go wrong in monumental ways.  Anne's gauntlet gets stolen, iron robots come alive, and Anne ends up with another unexpected and unwanted quest.  And this quest isn't just life-threatening, but war-threatening.  Once again it's up to Anne and her friends to somehow save the day in their rather unorthodox way.  

One of the things that I've especially enjoyed about this series is the twists and turns that jump out at one from behind almost every chapter.  One really can't predict where the story is going to go next.  Which is why I'm eagerly awaiting the next book in the series which involves pirate treasure.  So many fantasy stories follow tried and true tropes that I always find it refreshing to find one that stands on it's own as uniquely as this series does.  The combination of fantasy and science fiction elements is so unique that I can't really think of any books to relate it to. Just know that if you have a middle grade reader who enjoys a strong dose of snark and sarcasm with their fantasy adventures, this series makes for a wonderful place to start.

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