The Emerald Atlas
By John Stephens
Knopf Books for Young Readers, $17.99
Kate, Michael and Emma are driven from their home on Christmas Eve. Kate's only four and she promised her Mother that she would look after the other kids, and she does her best. Over the next ten years the kids bounce from one foster home to another. While they don't know it, they are being protected by a horrible evil force. The kids end up in a mysteriously creepy mansion in the mountains, once there they stumble on a door that magically appears and on the other side of the door they find an enchanted emerald colored leather atlas. Now, they are out to fulfill and ancient prophesy and if they can, they will save not only their own lives, but also change the world.
I liked The Emerald Atlas, I thought the plot was well developed and the main characters, as well as the supporting cast, especially The Countess and Gabriel, were well defined and totally interesting to discover and get to "know." Author John Stephens did an amazing job in creating an alternate existence for the kids to live in. His plotting was tight and the book easily kept this adult's interest. However, the book is called The Emerald ATLAS and I was sadly disappointed that there was no map or atlas in the book for the reader to reference. This is a young-adult-reader level book, and I know kids want to "see" that fantasy world. Shoot, I wanted to see a map, I think a map or an atlas would have been a great addition to the story. Especially when you consider that this is the first in a series of three books, The Books of the Beginning.
I did get a small nagging feeling that I'd read something similar before in Tolkien, Rowling and Lewis. Don't get me wrong that's not a bad thing, I liked them all, but had a bit of a "been there, done that" feeling. That bit aside, I do look forward to reading the next book in the series and I do recommend The Emerald Atlas.
I highly recommend visiting the books website, it's awesome! The Emerald Atlas
4 out of 5 stars!
This ARC was provided to me by the publisher at my request and in no way affected my review.