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The Book of Nonsense (Forbidden Books) Paperback – November 4, 2016
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The story follows twins Dex and Daphna as they discover an age old conspiracy surrounding a mysterious 'Book of Nonsense' that their father brings home the day before their thirteenth birthday. The story quickly escalates into a fast paced mystery as they try to figure out why Mr. Rash, an old bookstore owner, wants this book so badly, to the point of using magic to obtain it, and ultimately try to stop him from reaching his goal.
I think the premise of the story was excellent. It surprised me a few times, and was definitely more than I expected. There was a certain point where the story could have been over, but the author took it farther and added even more intrigue and action to the end to really bring the story together.
Two things I didn't care for in the novel was the part where a young girl flirts her way through a situation which seemed...unbelievable given the circumstances, and put me off a bit. Also that they figured it out very, very quickly, and didn't question it.
Had it not been for these two things I would have definitely given it five stars as I loved the novel as a whole.
Daphna and Dex Wax are twins, but very different from each other. Daphna takes after their father, Milton, who is a book scout; i.e. he travels the world in search of rare books, and sells them on to others with the same interest. Dex does not share their interest in books. (We learn more about the reasons further into the story.)
On the day before the twins' 13th birthday, Milton comes home from one of his journeys, bringing a very old and tattered book. Daphna meets him full of enthusiasm: a new Antiquarian Book Center (ABC) has recently opened in town. It is a really amazing place, and she is eager to show it to her father.
The ABC is run by a very old man, with a young and weird-looking assistant. When Milton goes to meet the shop-owner, Daphna follows him (to the middle of the labyrinth of bookshelves in the shop). The conversation between her father and the shopowner that she overhears puzzles her, as it does not at all follow the usual routine when her father tries to sell books...
From the very first page, we get right into the action in this story, and the fast pace is kept up all the way. I found it to be a page-turner, hard to put down. However, it is a story with a limited set of characters. There are vivid descriptions of details, but the background remains hazy, and the action takes place within just a couple of days (around the twins' 13th birthday). Within that time, they do also learn some things about the past, though - and I suppose further explanations might follow in the sequels.
My spontanteous feeling at the end was that this book could have been made into a really good stand-alone fantasy novel. The fact that it is the first in a series makes me hesitate. I'm not sure if I'm really interested enough to invest (time and money) in the next one as well (and the next, and the next, and...) I'll let the decision rest for a while. Time will tell whether the story will linger enough in my mind to tempt me to follow Daphna and Dex on more adventures. (There are three more books in the series published so far, I think.)
To be fair, I should perhaps add that I'm well past the target age group myself... But if I had fantasty-loving young teens in the family, I'd consider the Sacred Books one of the better series of its kind to recommend (based on the first one).
This coming of age tale takes place in a 24-hour span—a day for the ages, including all ages of readers. For who, regardless of age, will resist a fast-paced tale of impending global disaster that comes complete with a giant who’s both a bully and a victim, a dusty bookstore that only deals in books about wizardry, spells and magic, and then—there are the dwarves! These are the bravest, funniest coots to ever face down death!
And finally who will not be curiosity bound to find out how sibling rivals like the Wax twins can unravel the spell cast by an arch-villain named Asterius Rash!
Let me be perfectly honest. I’m an old English teacher. Despite all the rich, idiosyncratic characters with their comical names, and despite the taut suspense and well-crafted plot, the intra-family squabbles so true to all our lives, and in spite of the acute mystery that whirls the pages past our frozen eyes—it is the Nonsense, for me, that makes this book emphatically irresistible. It’s about our first language, after all, and the power that it manifested upon our human world, our lives, to this time we live in and to our future days. The best news? The story is the first of a series of “Forbidden Books”! Read on!
Thanks, author David Michael Slater, for your word craft!
Most recent customer reviews
It is about 4 or 5 grade
You will absolutely love it
Kids will love it