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98 Reviews
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67 of 74 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Refreshing
The Seventh Tower by Garth Nix has a refreshing new portrayal of characters that is not typically seen in books for this age group. The book is not beholden to the stereotypes of male strength and violence and female compassion, as one typically finds. Rather, both genders portray a complete range of personalities; from the compassionate male hero to the violent girl...
Published on June 12, 2000 by David Wilson

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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An Interesting Start, But Not Nix's Best
I am a total fan of Garth Nix's work and consider it some of my favorites. I didn't have the highest expectations going into this series, as it is geared towards younger readers.

This book doesn't strike me to have the traditional Nix charm that I see in the Old Kingdom Trilogy and in Shade's Children.

I found the concept of the story intriuging, and...
Published on April 13, 2005 by Rhia


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67 of 74 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Refreshing, June 12, 2000
By 
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The Seventh Tower by Garth Nix has a refreshing new portrayal of characters that is not typically seen in books for this age group. The book is not beholden to the stereotypes of male strength and violence and female compassion, as one typically finds. Rather, both genders portray a complete range of personalities; from the compassionate male hero to the violent girl (Milla) that wants to kill Tal but resists out of loyalty to her clan and because she gave her word to her clan's (female) leader. The story line itself is interesting and shows no inconsistencies that leave the reader wondering if the book was ever edited. This the first book in a total of six in the series. My only complaint is that this book is not a complete story in and of itself as are the Harry Potter books or Ursula Le Guin's Earthsea series. It leaves the reader hanging at the end with no idea of when part two will be written. But that is a minor complaint and inspite of that I highly recommend it. In todays world it's important that boys have compassionate male heros and understand that females can be just as violent as males. Likewise, girls have to understand that boys aren't weak just because they aren't physical and that girls can be strong both physically and mentally. Of course, the book also has it's share of underhanded people (both male and female) along with the snobs, the cheats, the genius teetering on the edge of insanity and plenty of fantasy creatures to round it out. In short, as far as the characters go, the book is an accurate portrayal of life. And the story is a wonderful fantasy.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another winning story by a consistently great writer, July 3, 2006
Rating System:

1 star = abysmal; some books deserve to be forgotten

2 star = poor; a total waste of time

3 star = good; worth the effort

4 star = very good; what writing should be

5 star = fantastic; must own it and share it with others

THE CONTENT:

This is a story for ages 8 - 12, though as an adult reading it with my kids I'm enjoying the series too. Nix's Abhorsen trilogy is for teens and his Keys to the Kingdom series is also for ages 8-12.

THE STORY:

Tal is in a bind. His father has been missing. His mother is ill. And his family doesn't have a strong Sunstone to elevate their position and provision. It falls to Tal to provide for his mother and little brother by seeking out a sunstone. But there are forces in his way that stop him from achieving these goals. It doesn't help in the opening scene that he falls from the Red Tower in his attempt to gain a stone. The fall leads to adventure Tal never would have thought possible.

THE CHARACTERS:

Tal is a likeable kid caught in a bad situation. He wants to do the right thing and provide for his family, but he just can't. We empathize and sympathize with him as a character. The rest of the cast is equally likeable in their own way and those that are meant to be disliked are definitely dislikeable. Overall, a great cast of characters that add to this story of Tal's quest

THE SETTING:

Not your typical fantasy world, but that is one reason why I love reading Garth Nix's books. . .there isn't anything typical only new and imaginative about them. The world is richly described in just the right words that a short paragraph leaves an easily visualized scene in one's head.

THE PLOT:

A nicely constructed quest story, which leaves our character no choice but to follow certain paths. Helper characters and hindering characters line his path that lead to a world we experience with amazement just as Tal does. The progression is logical and a well paced story. There is plenty of action in this story! Creatures that want to eat people, treacherous "natives" and more.

OVERALL:

My 8 year old and I are thoroughly enjoying this story and each chapter cliff-hanger keeps us turning the pages.

NOTE - This is the first of 6 books. You must keep reading! The first book resolves very little if anything. We are in the 2nd book now and the same great story/writing continues on there.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece for 9-12, June 13, 2000
This is the perfect kids' introduction to Garth Nix. Though published by the same people as the "Jedi Apprentice" books, this one is both more complex and considerably darker.
The young hero, Tal, is searching for a sunstone so that he can undertake a ritual quest, and solidify his family's position in the favored classes of his darkened world. If he fails, he and his younger siblings and his ill mother will be relegated to servants for the rest of their lives. But an enemy is trying to thwart Tal's attempts, and he must try to get a sunstone on his own-with disturbing results.
The levels of differentness in this book are spectacular, though not as much so as Sabriel-one can hardly expect something so advanced for readers of Jedi Apprentice! Tal is a thoroughly human and sympathetic character, and as he grows more desperate the reader wants him to succeed more.
Compared to the kids' fantasy usually published now, this is a gem. I wish I could give it 6 stars!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a good book, November 3, 2000
A Kid's Review
Sixth Grade White Heath
The Seventh Tower :The Fall by Garth Nix
They say the first book in every series is the worst ... all it does is talk, describe the setting, no adventure. Well, I don't know if "they" say that , but I do. The Fall which is the first book in the series The Seventh Towers broke that rule. This is a great science fiction book and series. In the book The Fall , Tal is faced with many challenges. Tal's dad gets lost on a mission and is presumed to be dead, his mom is sick, it seems like his elders are picking on him and his little brother got caught by a shadow spirit, the servants of the powerful in his castle. All Tal's problems would be solved if he could get a sunstone, his peoples' only source of light. When following Tal's crazy uncle's idea,Tal decides to climb one of the seven towers of his home, the castle in the sky, and into the veil where sunstones grow plentifully. Here's where the book gets its name; Tal falls out of the veil onto the planet below his precious castle where he meets the Icecarls. There, Tal meets a crazy bully of a girl trying to prove herself so she can become a Shield Maiden. A Shield Maiden is a warrior who travels all over the ice in search of a battle. Like I said, she's crazy. It seems all Milla, the crazy girl, wants to do is kill Tal. They're bound together on a quest to get 2 sunstones, 1 for Tal, 1 for the Icecarles. Milla continued being mean to Tal even though Tal and his shadow guard save her from a monster that lives on the ice. Tal's shadow guard wasn't as powerful as an important person in the castle but it helped heal Mila's wounds. The shadow guard is also useful because shadow guards are feared by all Icecarls. This was a truly a good science fiction book. I personally can't wait to read the next book in the series. I hardly even minded that it left me hanging at the end. I usually hate it when the author does that, but this is an exception. I give this book two thumbs up.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Parent's Review, June 11, 2001
By 
After reading the much touted children's books, The Golden Compass and Artemis Fowl, I know now to look for other parent's reviews of fantasy children's books. This one is great! I found nothing objectionable in it, and I rather enjoyed it. The only thing that kept me from giving it a 5-Star rating is the end, which is a kind of cliff-hanger. You definately need to have the sequels on hand for it! I do recommend this for 9-12 year boys AND girls, since both sexes are heroes in the book.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Exciting, Mysterious and Adventrous Novel, February 17, 2001
By A Customer
I saw the ad of The Seventh Tower in one of the Star Wars Jedi Apprentice Books, which I'm also a fan of. It seemed interesting since it was incooperation with Lucas Books. I was so excited when I first bought this. I read that this novel takes place in a very dark world covered by which they call, the veil, covers the suns light. Tal is one of the Chosen of the Castle, where he lives. There are 7 orders (levels) of the Castle, there is the Violet, the highest, Indigo, Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange, Red, the lowest and the Underfolk, the servants. Tal desperatly tries to climb the Red Tower to get a primary sunstone, which holds sunlight and produces magic, to save his family. Tal crosses the veil and falls into a world of ice and darkness. Tal meets Milla, an Icecarl sheild maiden who will become his friend. I really enjoyed this book because there is lots of excitement, adventure and mystery. I recommend this book to all people, espescially to the bookworms out there. I am currently reading book 2 of this series.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Game of Beastmaker, June 14, 2002
By 
Dawn Kessinger (Lima, OH United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
Tal's father is missing, his mother is very sick, his little brother, though wanting to help, finds more trouble than solutions, and his baby sister doesn't understand anything that is going on. It's up to Tal to take care of his family, which means aquiring a Sunstone. Tal doesn't understand why Shadowmaster Sushin, who seems to hate Tal with a vengeance, finds such satisfaction in making every single one of Tal's attempts to obtain a Sunstone unsuccessful.
I was completely enthralled with Tal's world: The hierarchy of "better than" and "less than" social codes that the people have to live under at times made me cringe - it seemed so unfair... the crystal woods, where Tal is tricked into competing musically, is amazing... the game of Beastmaker, between the Empress's guard and Tal will give you front-row seats to a battle you'll not soon forget.
Then suddenly Tal is no longer in his familiar world - while trying to steal a Sunstone from the top of the Red Tower, he falls... he soon finds himself at the mercy of one who would rather see him dead than to be in the same room as he is. Will he ever make it back home?
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as Sabriel but amazing in it's own way, June 2, 2003
Thirteen-year-old Tal is a chosen. This means that in place of his shadow he has a shadowguard, a shapshifting shadow that protects him from harm. In a few months he will have the chance to shed his shadowguard and bind himself to an adult shadowspirit. Unfortunately because of an unfortunate series of events Tal may not be able to receive a shadow spirit. You see he cannot go through the ceremony unless he has a primary sunstone and because his father has disappeared he has very few ways of receiving this sunstone. Even more serious is his mother's health. Tal's mother is very sick and the only thing that can help her is the light of a sunstone. Tal knows that if he doesn't find a primary sunstone, chances are she will die. This sends young Tal out on a dangerous journey through the castle he lives in. He knows that he only has so much time and must do anything he can to receive this primary sunstone. Unfortunately people seem to be working against his quest to receive a sunstone. It looks like his only hope is to steal a sunstone, and the only way he can do that is to climb up the castle and penetrate the mysterious vale where the sunstones are stored.
Garth Nix is probably best known for his dark YA series (starting with Sabriel) that takes you into a mysterious world known as the old Kingdom where the Abhorsen is peoples only protection against dangerous necromancers. The Fall, the first book of the Seven Towers series looks to have some things in common with Sabriel and it's predecessors. It's filled with fascinating characters and dark and mysterious creatures. It has a strong female character and a new and original world. The Castle is a mysterious place where what you're class is means everything. Unfortunately, it's not quite as gripping and addicting as Sabriel, possibly because it's written in a much different style. The Seventh Tower series was made for a much younger audience so it doesn't posses the enthralling descriptions and complex characterization as Sabriel. Still the book is very good. It's fast paced, exciting, and interesting to read. Tal is a very amiable character. I can't wait to see what will happen to him and the other characters in the second book in the series, Castle.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing new world., August 12, 2005
My son and I ordered this book because is was a Nix book and we had just finished the Abhorsen trilogy. While it is aimed at younger readers it is a clever story. Entertaining characters, interesting world, clever plot twists. After reading this one we ordered the remainder of the series in one go. It only took us a week or so to read the whole set (one a night for older readers) and the way each of the books end is annoying... I got the impression that it was more like he wrote a book and "serialized" it. If you don't have the next one to hand it could make you crazy. Since we had them all to hand, we really enjoyed the ride. Not as complex as his other stuff but definitely worth the time. Adults and older teens should remember that this is a young peoples series... some questions are not adressed and some are treated fairly simplistically but it's not meant to be deathless prose. I'd classify it as a great summer read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Seventh Tower - The Fall, May 4, 2006
A Kid's Review
Tal is a young teenager who livee in the mysterious world of the Seven Towers, a castle of

towersthat are locked in forever twilight. The people who live there are placed in several

different Orders, or groups, based on a family's strength and power. Tal and his family live

in the Orange Order, or one of the minor orders. Tal dreams of becoming one of the greatest

Shadowmasters ever in the Violet Order, the top Order and the order that the Empress

of the Seven Towers is in. By the time he becomes thirteen and three quarters, Tal will be

able to travel to the world of Aenir, where he will capture a Shadowspirit on the dangerous world.

Tal must enter with his primary sunstone to reach Aenir, or he will never be able to reach

Aenir and he will be forced to become an Underfolk, a servant to the different Orders. He

tries to beg to his cousins, competes in a competition, and even tries to see the Empress

herself. All three of these methods fail. Tal That is why Tal decides to steal a sunstone. He

climbs up the Red Tower, the smallest tower of the Seven Towers, and tries to reach through

the Veil, a layer of darkness, into what is a "gold mine" of sunstones. He almost reaches it

before he falls into a different world of ice and snow, and runs into a battle-crazy, mad,

Underfolk-like girl, except this girl is not like ordinary Underfolk. She has alien blond hair,

and she has a normal Human shadow. He is knocked unconscious by her and awakens on a

ship that has people exactly like the girl. They are a group of warriors known as the Icecarls

and are in search of a sunstone. They assign a mission to Tal and the girl, Milla, and they

travel on mission to retrieve a sunstone for their ship as well. Now Tal has to retrieve two

sunstones. The journey ends when another group of Icecarl-like people take Tal and Milla

after a long trek of fighting creatures and each other. The Seventh Tower: The Fall, by Garth

Nix, is an excellent novel for its vast quanities of science-fiction, its great and unique

description, and for its adventure.

The Fall, by Garth Nix, is an excellent science fiction novel to read. The first reason that a

person should buy this is simply that Garth Nix is a talented and famous science-fiction

writer, and The Fall is definitlyone of his greater writes. Garth Nix's ideas have transformed

into a "masterpiece" that everyone should read. The science-fiction/fantasy in this novel

can easily be detected by reading about the Veil and other wonders in the book, and the

reader gets a whole new point of view of how other worlds are different from Earth.

The Fall is a great novel because it has great qualities of description. The book, when read,

is easy enough for a seventh grader to understand, yet still hard enough for a developing

adult. The book gives enough description to the reader that he or she is literallly able to

paint a picture in his or her head. This helps the reader have a much better understanding

of what is going on the novel, but also gives the reader background information about The

Seven Towers. an example of this comes from the chapter in which Tal goes to see the

Empress, but is blocked by two guards who demand that he plays a game of Beastmaker

with them. This chapter alone is more than enough to describe life on Aenir.

The Fall, by Garth Nix, also has great qualities of adventure. The book compares other

journeys in other adventure stories as mere "little kids' books" to The Fall. A very

adventurous and suspenseful trek is when Tal and Milla are forced to walk across an icy

expanse to gather a sunstone. They have to fight giant Selski and gigiantic Merwin

before they are finally taken to another tribe's camp.

The Seventh Tower: The Fall, is an Excellent novel bby Garth Nix because it's the perfect

science-fiction/fantasy and adventure book, and has a large quanity and quality of detail

that is perfect for any reader. This book is about a young teen who must travel through

a dangerous land so that he can get on with his life in the future. I rate The Fall, by Garth

Nix, a total of five stars out of five.

A. Chappell
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The Seventh Tower
The Seventh Tower by Garth Nix (Hardcover - 2004)
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