By: John Stephens
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: October 2012
Reviewed by: Amy Lignor
Review Date: October 21, 2012
In The Emerald Atlas, readers got their first look at three siblings who were literally thrown into another world by their parents who were doing their best to save Kate, Michael and Emma from certain death. From the onset, the kids ended up on an adventure with a wise wizard named Mr. Pym; a journey that would have them discovering the first ‘Book of Beginning.’
As the novel opens, the kids are still trapped in the Edgar Allan Poe Home for Hopeless and Incorrigible Orphans (my absolute favorite ‘title’ in all the YA’s out there). They are waiting for Pym to reappear and get them the heck out of there. It’s been seven months since the wizard disappeared from sight and Kate is getting more and more worried because of the nightmares she’s been having. Kate can feel the darkness creeping closer to her and her younger siblings, and wants to take the Atlas (the book she’s the keeper of) and get the heck out of there.
Right off the bat the demons arrive and Kate must throw herself into the past in order to get the monster away from her sister and brother. In the past, she will leave it and return, but…things don’t go the way she plans. Kate finds herself locked in NYC in 1899, a few weeks before the big break occurred where the magical and non-magical worlds split apart. There, a witch sells Kate to an evil man and she is saved by a young boy named Rafe; a boy who’s linked with her future and has a huge part in how this adventure will ultimately end.
While Kate is trying her best to get back to her siblings, Emma and Michael are traveling with the wizard Pym, as they try to unlock an old secret that will lead them to the second Book of Beginnings - The Chronicle. This is the Book of Life, and Michael is the one chosen to be its keeper. Deep inside a crypt a map is found and the trio soon find themselves in a world that should be below zero temperatures and covered in ice. However, it is all about fire - a fire filled with a crazed member of the Order, an egocentric dragon, and a choice that could destroy them all!
The adventure is outstanding in these books, as well as the humor and fun that the characters bring to each and every page. For those who did not yet read The Emerald Atlas, get both of these outstanding novels, sit in a quiet room and soar! The author has, yet again, done a magnificent job!
Quill Says: Bring on Number III! After reading this, you’ll most definitely need to be a part of the tale when the Book of Death comes to light!