Thursday, January 5, 2012

Marvelous Middle Grade Read-a-thon #2

I've been pretty busy the last couple of days with school and the numerous things that need to be done, but I have finished another book.  I'm also about a third of the way into The Secret Life of Ms. Finkleman.  I also plan to start Grace Lin's Dumpling Days about which I have been hearing many good things.  Miles to Go for Freedom is on my list as well.  I need at least one good nonfiction read.  head on over to Just Deb for some Middle Grade fun.

The Familiars
written by Adam Jay Epstein and Andrew Jacobson
HarperCollins, 2010
ISBN:  978-0061961106
Grades 3-6
Reviewed from purchased ebook.

BLURB: Is the kingdom's fate in the hands of an orphan cat?  Running fast to save his life, Aldwyn ducks into an unusual pet store. Moments later Jack, a young wizard in training, comes in to choose a magical animal to be his familiar. Aldwyn's always been clever. But magical? Jack thinks so and Aldwyn is happy to play along.  He just has to convince the other familiars the know-it-all blue jay Skylar and the friendly tree frog Gilbert that he's the powerful cat he claims to be.  Then the unthinkable happens. Jack and two other young wizards are captured by the evil queen of Vastia. On a thrilling quest to save their loyals, the familiars face dangerous foes, unearth a shocking centuries-old secret, and discover a destiny that will change Vastia forever. Their magical adventure an irresistible blend of real heart, edge-of-your-seat action, and laugh-out-loud humor is an unforgettable celebration of fantasy and friendship.

I quite enjoyed this book despite the predictability and common fantasy elements.  For one thing the main character is a cat (I like cats), which provides a different perspective.  The end was not real hard to figure out, but getting there was enjoyable and exciting enough that I had a hard time putting the book down.  I liked the fact that the focus is on the animals rather than the humans.  While the book did present fairly typical fantasy motifs such as chosen ones, prophesies, evil wizards, quests, etc.  There is an interesting twist at the end that I did not see coming.  I definitely will be reading the sequels.  Recommended for readers who enjoy animal fantasy.

1 comment:

  1. I'd like to read Dumplings Days, as well. Agree on the enjoyable journey to get to the end of the Familiars. I've got Blizzard of Glass for a non-fiction read. Thanks for joining in the read-a-thon!


Blog Design by Imagination Designs all images from the Story Time kit by Kristin Aagard