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106 of 118 people found the following review helpful
on March 15, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
This is how Kindle books should be produced complete with maps and line drawings which you can zoom in for more detail. For some strange reason it opened at the start of the story so unless you go to menu and select the map or page backwards from the start you will miss the delightful maps.
This is a children's book in the tradition of the Enid Blyton books such as the "faraway tree" and although at the end there is some violence it is suitable for all ages, a welcome change. With talking animals, birds, trees and even time travel there is something for everyone and although it has a basic quest theme it is well written. It is book one of a series but it stands alone and although it is set up at the end for the next book there are no loose ends that require the next book to be read although you should.
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31 of 36 people found the following review helpful
on April 10, 2011
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
This is a very engaging story; probably best suited for a teenage reader. The writer has not tried to ride the coattails of Harry Potter, even though it's a magical tale and the setting is Britain. I enjoyed the animal characters as well as the people characters (some are not exactly human - smile). I liked the main character and was genuinely interested in his developing confidence in himself and his mission.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on May 11, 2011
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I am at least a book a week reader and have been for nearly twenty years. In all the books I've read, this book is in my top ten favorites. I was so engrossed in the world Catherine created that I couldn't wait to finish it! Her characters are intriguing and the story is unique, something that is so rare to find. If you are an adult looking for a great book that breaks the mold, or if you are looking to read something to your children, you must read this book!
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on July 2, 2011
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
This book is for the grade school set. It's very oversimplified even for that age group. There is a ton of childish rules that set the story back. For example, it is stressed that some characters may die if something is not done in a timely fashion, yet the action stops nightly for Jack to go home to grandpa and for him to go to school. In other words, the other main characters do nothing while Jack is at school. Second, there is a lot of reprimanding one of the characters when he expresses hunger or grouchiness, but when he breaks MAJOR rules, there is minimal to no reprimands. This story could have been much better done. I do think this first book is better than the second. The sequel declines dramatically.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on April 16, 2011
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I picked this up as a free Kindle book and really enjoyed it. The sequel is lovely as well, and I hope to see more of this series in the future. Suitable for children, and would make a fun read-to-the-kids story.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
An entertaining book for youngsters... I enjoyed it even though I thought it was a bit long for that age group. The best part of the book was the Roman connection (I'm trying not to give anything away here!). I would have liked that section of the story to have been longer and the run up to it a bit shorter!
However I loved the developing relationship between Jack and Camelin... very entertaining! And the fact that the author has incorporated some real history into the story is a wonderful learning tool for young children.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on April 27, 2011
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I have to say first it is a cute story, but I couldn't give it 4 or 5 stars. It is a simple story for small children. This isn't a book I think most adults could enjoy without reading it to or along with a small child.

With the percy jackson books and the fablehaven books and I know I don't even need to mention the HP books you get all these wonderful creatures and their various discriptions and backgrounds. They make the book more enchanting and the world seem more real.

Unfortunately in this book the fairy creatures are kind of glossed over. For instance there is a creature called a Bogie (insert silly reference to nose picking). A small miserly little people that prize their prominent noses almost as much as they do gold. I wish the writer had written a little aside about them like that. But once the Bogie is introduced you have to piece together everything about them throughout the rest of the book. It takes away from the magic.

Camelin is a wonderful character (think Templeton from Charlotte's web with a soft side in raven form). His character needs way more depth for what happened to him, but it's addressed so as not to stress a small child. Honestly I think kids can take it. She could have explored such a deep beautiful side story about what happened to Camelin. There is no real reference to the guilt he feels and he doesn't develop as much as you would expect.

I'm just a little disappointed because it had the potentional to be a really great fantasy series for all ages, but really stuck itself at that toddler to young child age group. I mean even charlotte's web deals quite eloquently with death. This book needs to grow up a little.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 1, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Man, when I first got this book, I thought it would be a little, well, boring. But was I ever wrong! Catherine Cooper has made an excellent novel, full of excitement, magic, and with a hint of suspense thrown in there. If I could add one thing, it might be to add what things Jack learned from his Book of Shadows. This would be a good read for ages 8-30, and not higher because of the intellectual incapability for middle aged humans to enjoy this material. Now, I am not saying that it is a childish book, but that the material may not be suitable for middle aged beings. My thanks to the author.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on July 19, 2011
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I'll be the first to admit: had this book not been free, I know I wouldn't have tried it. I'm not a big "fantasy" fan. That said, I am so glad I gave this book a try. It's well-written and draws you in from the very first page. It's fast-moving and entertaining. As soon as I finished this one, I immediately purchased the next book in the series. I can't wait to start it!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on July 7, 2011
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I downloaded this to my Kindle to analyze the story structure and see what makes stories tick. I found myself so immersed in the plot and characters that I had to forego my initial intention. This book is a very interesting, well-plotted story with unique characters. I can't believe it's FREE on the Kindle. I'm planning on buying the print version of it for my daughter for when she gets old enough to read it.
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