|Print List Price:||$14.99|
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The Camelot Kids Kindle Edition
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|Length: 515 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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|Age Level: 12 - 18|
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I also want to clear up something that had me confused, a little. This book combines four books into one volume (and one continuous story, to be fair), which explains the high page count, as well. Now for the review:
I loved it. I'll confess to just a hint of trepidation as I went into this, because I've gotten kind of tired of the "ordinary kid discovers he's something else in a fantasy world" model (see Percy Jackson, for example). I think Ben nailed it. He certainly swept away my doubts in fairly short order, leaving me free to dive into the world of New Camelot and enjoy myself.
Simon's world, both before and after he discovers New Camelot (or is dragged there, kicking and screaming), is vividly painted, with visuals that I found clear and compelling. Simon's challenges as an orphan are believable, with just a hint (in retrospect) that there is something more to him. And the characters he meets along the way have depth--often a great deal more depth than Simon imagines.
The pacing is really nice--it's fast-moving, but the action isn't so non-stop that you get dizzy watching it. It's exciting, but I believe well within the bounds for elementary-aged children--the violence is less than in Percy Jackson, and though people die, the gore is kept to a minimum, and the reactions to their deaths feel genuine.
The book is impeccably edited, and the illustrations by Ian Greenlee are fascinating, though at first I found them a little dark. They have a complexity that yields to study, though, so I think are a nice addition to the book.
I am eagerly awaiting the next installment.
For kids from about 9 up, who like fantasy, and for anyone who loves the Arthurian legends. I have to confess that my own studies of the earliest stories--Mallory's Morte d'Artur and the Lays of Marie de France--are too long ago for me to offer much check on how the Ben used the material, and I never did read T.H. White's books. But this is a great addition, if readability and interest count!
It's my first book by Ben Zackheim and it's a great introduction to his writing. The story is really engaging, and although I have known the tale of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table since I was a kid I've found "The Camelot Kids" refreshing, lively and full of surprises. There is humour and there is depth in the dialogues, the characters sparkle from the pages - some of them irritate you, some of them move you. The troll is slow and unexpectedly warm, Molly is annoying at times though a character I'd like to befriend and have on my side, Simon and Gwen definitely are growing to take on their responsibilities. And Merlin... well, he's grumpy, sarcastic, very irritating... but would you expect such an old man to be anything else, really?:)
The plot develops swiftly, with some unexpected twists and turns, just like it should in a tale of this kind. There are fights and battles, and magic, all described in a vivid, imaginative way. And although it's the first volume in a series, it doesn't end with a total cliff-hanger - it stands well on its own, though definitely leads to the next part of the story.
As for the narration by Ms Chalfant, the only reason for me giving it 4 instead of 5 stars is the fact that I didn't like the voices of 2, maybe 3, characters. The voice of Red really irritated me (the pitch was a little too high for my ears:)) and Karadok (I hope this is the proper spelling of the troll's name - I only heard it, not read it on paper) sounded a little bit too slow and too slurred - although I know that trolls are supposed to be like that:)
But besides that, Ms Chalfant's narration is really really good - her acting abilities are great, the pace of the narration is just right and the Scottish accent of some of the characters was a real treat, especially for me - a non-native speaker of English - as it allowed me to really feel as if I was there, in Scotland:)
So it really is 4.5 stars for the interpretation.
DISCLAIMER: I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.
Most recent customer reviews
The Camelot Kids is a fun adventure perfect for both the middle grade and YA audience.Read more
Simon is a descendant of Sir Lancelot, but he's just lost his parents and not ready for Merlin to recruit him to a teenage New Camelot.Read more